It has been a real joy to see so many of our pupils settle down to purposeful, engaged learning from the very start of the new academic year. I have been particularly impressed with the way in which our returning pupils have made new Wellingtonians feel at home, both in the classroom and in their social interactions. Visiting the Nest, I am struck by the way in which relationships between our youngest pupils, their teachers and parents have developed so quickly. Children who are new to the rigours of a day in school can often find separation from parents a daunting experience, but the transitions have been very smooth this year and I am delighted by the way they have settled.
In both the Junior and Senior Schools, lessons began promptly on the first day of term, and our new arrangements for supervised prep sessions at the end of the day have been equally effective in helping pupils tackle the workload that a Wellington education demands. I am now looking forward to seeing the school packed with children enjoying our revised ASA courses from Monday 3rd September. Our aim has been to revitalise the programme, giving pupils a chance to not only try out new things, but also to offer longer courses of instruction which build on an existing body of skills and knowledge. Pupils from across the school – from Eaglets to Year 13 – will find that progress in class is fully supported a huge range of exciting and challenging activities.
As ever, parent feedback is an integral part of the school’s restless pursuit of excellence, and our opportunities to establish dialogue between parent and school has been further enhanced this year. In addition to our regular slots to meet the Master and Bursar, parents’ evenings, reports, the Week Ahead and other publications, we have launched a T-chat platform that allows parents and teachers to engage directly on matters concerning individual children. You will find the guidelines for parents’ use of T-Chat at the foot of this edition of the Week Ahead, as well as stored on the parent portal.
MEET THE MASTER
Duke of York’s Room
1400hrs – 1515hrs
Thursday 6th September
This week, the Meet the Master slot is aimed at parents of pupils in Years 2-6. If you would like to attend, please confirm via email with Ms. Emma Shi by Wednesday 5th September.
PARENTS’ BRIEFING: PASTORAL CARE AT WELLINGTON
Wednesday 5th September
Every Wednesday morning from 0900hrs, parents will have the chance to engage with the school in sessions that cover all aspects of your child’s education, from the Early Years to A Levels and university admissions. The venue will vary according to the anticipated audience, and for next week’s meeting, Mr Jonathan Lewis, the Deputy Head (Pastoral) will be in the common room to introduce the tutoring and pastoral system at Wellington.
Pastoral care is for every young person, not just those with ‘problems’. Effective learners need good mental health. Pupils learn best when they feel safe, happy and valued. Throughout the College, our teachers ensure that all pupils are learning about the enjoyment of education, engaging and reflecting every day on both success and areas of development. Pupils learn about building strong friendships and relationships, healthy lifestyles and maintaining a work-life balance through good organisation and self-management skills. We aim to create a sense of engagement for everyone in our community.
Please come along and find out what we do to support your child in being the best they can be.
FROM THE BURSAR
Food Committee (Nest) Meeting
Nest Dining Room
1300hrs – 1400hrs
Friday 7th September
Following the recent food committee meeting we held for parents of children in the main building, we will continue the food committee series with a meeting for Nest representatives on Friday September 7th, 1300hrs-1400hrs in the Nest building. Our service supervisor, Ms Lisa Liu (firstname.lastname@example.org), has sent out the invitation to all the committee members. If you have any specific question you would like to raise, please directly drop an email to the committee members or Lisa Liu. Many thanks.
FROM THE HEAD OF JUNIOR SCHOOL
Junior School Parents’ Evening: Welcome to our class
Class teacher’s classroom
1600hrs – 1730hrs
Wednesday 5th September
1700hrs – 1830hrs
Thursday 6th September
We will be holding Welcome to Our Class parent meetings next week on Wednesday 5th September (1600hrs-1730hrs) and Thursday 6th September (1700hrs-1830hrs), so that you can get to know the teacher of your child better. Our aim as a school is to build strong relationships with parents, and the class teacher is your first port of call for any feedback you may have. The meeting will give teachers an opportunity to share with you the expectations they have, and also outline curriculum content, teaching approaches and assessment strategies. After the formal presentations, you will be able to look at resources, examples of student work and ask questions. Class teachers will inform parents of the day allocated for their year class.
FROM THE HEAD OF SIXTH FORM
Year 13 Parents’ Briefing: University Applications
1800hrs – 1930hrs
Thursday 6th September
There will be a parents’ briefing for all year 13 parents on Thursday 6th Sept which will start at 1800hrs in the Black Box. The university team will be there to update you on what your son/daughter should be doing at the moment regarding university applications and we will be there to take any questions you have regarding the process. Please do come along and have a chat with us; pupils are very welcome to join you too. Refreshments will be available.
We have 4 universities visiting us next week:
Wednesday 5th September – Gettysburg and Goucher Colleges
Admissions’ tutors from Gettysburg and Goucher Colleges will be in the theatre from 1500hrs. Gettysburg is ranked in the top 50 liberal arts colleges in the USA and Goucher is ranked number 8 as one of the nation’s most innovative liberal arts colleges. Attendance is compulsory for all pupils in Years 11 (A Level and International streams) and 12. Pupils in other year groups interested in applying to US universities are welcome to attend with permission from their tutors. Parents of pupils in all year groups are also very welcome.
Thursday 6th September – OTIS School of Art, Los Angeles
Friday 7th September – SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design)
Admissions’ officers from both of these art schools will be in school to discuss the application process for US art schools and to offer help on portfolio preparation. This will be for all Year 12 and 13 artists and will take place in the Art Studio on the third floor. Pupils from other year groups interested in attending should contact Miss Churchill or Mr Batey.
FROM THE HEAD OF JUNIOR PE DEPARTMENT
Wellington Community League (WCL) Football
1600hrs – 1700hrs
Friday 7th September
Friday 7th September marks the first training session for the Wellington Community League (WCL). Pupils who have been selected for this league will receive a QR code to take home and scan which will register you in the relevant T-chat group. Please ensure you join as quickly as possible to ensure you are up to date on all matters relating to this league.
T-CHAT: IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR PARENTS
T-chat guidance for parents
T-chat is our new, secure and confidential means of communicating short messages from members of staff at Wellington to parents of children in their care. The aim is to encourage a manageable dialogue, thereby avoiding or defusing potential problems, avoiding the need for constant translation services and fostering a more open relationship across our community. T-chat helps to ensure that parents get timely information pertaining to their child’s time in school, as well as facilitating parents in their communication with school.
It is important that parents follow the guidance published below. Our expectation is that parents will use the messaging service sparingly; it is not designed to be a replacement for a meeting with staff. Teachers will respond to messages within an agreed timeframe and working hours (see below for details) and parents are reminded that communication outside these times will only be activated in the event of a genuine emergency.
The aim for this new form of parent-school communication is to establish a regular, open and manageable system for all users, so I would ask parents to abide by the following guidance:
- Please complete your registration with T-chat by 3rd September;
- Parents are encouraged to communicate with teachers via T-chat as the initial point of contact over an issue involving their child. For more serious concerns, please contact the Head of School directly via email@example.com. In the event of an emergency, please call the school: 22 88758 7199;
- You are encouraged to have short, regular communication with teachers via T-chat. There is no set number of messages that can be sent, but please be aware of the need to balance the time of the teacher concerned; they will be busy with other pupils and parents, so if you would like to have a longer meeting, please request one;
- Except in the event of an emergency, parents can expect communication from teachers between 0745-1700hrs on weekdays in term time. The school has set these times for teachers as a matter of policy, and thus exceptions are not possible;
- Appropriate message forms may include, but are not limited to, the following:Reminders: homework details, specific clothing (eg PE kit), return of parental permission slips, trip details, uniform breaches, special events in school (eg rehearsals);Notifications: test results (1-1 only), ad hoc changes to bus times, updated return times from school matches / trips etc, forthcoming parents’ events, report publication dates
- Members of staff will respond to a T-chat message within 24 hours, even if this is simply an acknowledgement that your concern is being dealt with;
- Teachers will use professional wording at all times when communicating with parents, and – in line with our commitment to our shared, living values – I would ask that parents also abide by this requirement. Simple, unambiguous messages are best in order to avoid confusion. This will ensure that the tone and content of school-parent communication remain professional and unambiguous, precise and succinct at all times;
- Parents are reminded that, in the event of safeguarding issue being raised in a communication with the school, it is school policy to inform the Designated Safeguarding Lead, Jonathan Lewis, of such concerns.