The Week Ahead 10 January 2020

From the Master

Dear parents

Welcome back to another term here at Wellington, and a particularly warm welcome to our new pupils and their families. One of the goals for me for the rest of the year is to connect more directly with our parent body, improving further the channels of communication between home and school. To this end, those parents with children in the Nest will have greater access to senior leaders from across the school as we will have a new base in that part of the school. My colleagues and I will be available each morning and afternoon to chat with parents as they drop off and collect their children.

You will also notice that our regular survey of parents for the school’s Annual Review opens for responses next week. Details are given below, so please keep an eye out for the email which contains the link to the survey.

Annual Review Survey: As in previous years, we will be hosting a visit from the UK Annual Review team this year during the 17th and 18th of March. The feedback from the previous inspection was extremely positive, and the school has continued to build on this even further. The views and experiences of parents are important in informing the team of the trends in the school and as part of the process, an Annual Review survey will be made available on Tuesday 14th of January and will close on the 2nd of February. This will be available in our three main languages of English, Chinese and Korean. I would be very grateful for your support in getting as much feedback to the team as possible, and the survey should take only 10-15 minutes to complete online.

As ever, I hope that this new term offers another opportunity for us to continue to build the Wellington community here in Tianjin, forging a school in which all our pupils are supported, stretched and challenge to achieve their best.


Best wishes

Julian Jeffrey




The school will finish at 1600hrs on all days this week. Buses will run at these times.


Common Room

0900hrs – 1015hrs, Wednesday

15th January


Every other Wednesday morning from 0900hrs-1015hrs, 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. For this week’s meeting, Mrs Megan Gater, the Head of Humanities, will give details of the Humanities programmes in the Senior School. There will also be time for questions after the session. It starts at 0900hrs in the Common Room. 


Chinese New Year Celebrations


Please note that Chinese writing competition final will be happening at 1500hrs – 1545hrs on next Tuesday and Senior School Chinese New Year Show will be at 1450hrs – 1550hrs on next Thursday as there is no ASA next week.

Parents are warmly welcome to join the shows, the dress day and the Temple Fair!


USAP and USAD Parents’ Meeting

Common Room

1500hrs – 1600hrs, Thursday

16th January


We would like to meet all our USAP and USAD parents before the onsite competition to talk about the itinerary and things to pay attention to during our stay in Chengdu. USAP and USAD pupils are also welcomed to attend.


Children and Screen Time


Dear parents, as the two-week Chinese New Year holiday is coming up, our children will have some free time to spend on their digital devices. I would like to share a few words about screen time, as an excerpt from an article I recently wrote.

As digital devices and new technologies inevitably fill the space around us and our microcosms, rarely failing to amaze us with the ways in which they make our lives easier, safer, and more entertaining, we cannot avoid wondering about the possible negative effects this technology may have on us.

A study published recently by Dr Andrew Przybylski from Oxford Internet Institute at the University of Oxford and Dr Netta Weinstein from the Cardiff University found that “. . . there is a point between low and high use of technology that is ‘just right’ for teenagers when their sense of well-being is boosted by having ‘moderate’ amounts of screen time.” The researchers suggest this may be because digital connectivity can enhance creativity, communication skills and development. The tipping point when usage starts having negative effects is:

  • 2 hours for videogame playing and smartphone use
  • 4 hours for watching videos

This particularly applies to weekends and holidays, when this time would not interfere as much with their school tasks as it might during school nights.

This is what The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends for younger children:

  • For children younger than 18 months, avoid use of screen media other than video-chatting. Parents of children 18 to 24 months of age who want to introduce digital media should choose high-quality programming and watch it with their children to help them understand what they are seeing.
  • For children ages 2 to 5 years, limit screen use to 1 hour per day of high-quality programs. Parents should co-view media with children to help them understand what they are seeing and apply it to the world around them.
  • For children ages 6 and older, place consistent limits on the time spent using media, and the types of media, and make sure media does not take the place of adequate sleep, physical activity and other behaviors essential to health. (A link to creating your own AAP approved Family Media Plan can be found at the bottom of this article)
  • Designate media-free times together, such as dinner or driving, as well as media-free locations at home, such as bedrooms.
  • Have ongoing communication about online citizenship and safety, including treating others with respect online and offline.
  • Avoid exposure to devices or screens for 1 hour before bedtime, as evidence suggests that media use can negatively affect sleep.

The suggestions above should be taken with a grain of salt. We, as parents, will surely be able to observe the effects that new technologies and screen time have on our children, and take action if these effects become negative. We are also able to provide our children with off-line content and social settings which will benefit their psycho-physical development. We choose schools which are aware of positive and negative effects of new technologies, and which strive to utilise the positive, while minimising the negative effects while the children are in their care. At Wellington College International Tianjin, one of our key goals is to foster resilience (be it real-life or digital) in our pupils. This is particularly important if we take into consideration the findings of a 2015 study by Stephen Houghton and his team, which concluded that following the AAP screen time limit recommendations is increasingly proving impossible, as digital technologies become more and more ubiquitous – computers, tablets, smartphones, or televisions are almost constantly around us. What this means for us and our children, is that we have a responsibility to empower them to deal with issues arising from unexpected and not necessarily positive effects and interactions they may encounter in the digital cosmos.

To conclude, I’d like us to encourage young people to use new technologies in a creative, educational, and developmentally positive way. Knowing that having screen time is quite inevitable in our children’s lives and that it can have a negative effect, however small, it is reassuring to know that as parents and people who are heavily invested in our children’s well-being, we can help – by creating ‘unplugged’ and technology-free spaces and times in our homes, by showing our children that new technologies can (and should) be used in social and creative ways, and finally, by ensuring that new technologies will not interfere with our children’s sleep, exercise, play, reading (aloud), and social interactions.

Note: an AAP approved Family Media Plan can be created using an easy-to-use wizard at



Monday 13 January 2020

All Day

Chinese New Year celebrations begin (to 17th) (YZ)


All Day

Junior School: parent’s evening week (to 17th) (RA) (Main Building)


All Day

Week 19 (A)


8:45AM – 10:00AM

FOW: French class (LL) (MB 125)


11:00AM – 12:00PM

Senior School assembly (JMS) (Theatre)



HOD’s meeting (DP) (Duke of York room)


Tuesday 14 January 2020

8:30AM – 9:30AM

FOW: English class (beginner level) (MB 234)


8:45AM – 10:00AM

FOW: Pilates (LL) (Black Box)


10:15AM – 11:15AM

FOW: Mandarin class (LL) (MB 113)


1:00PM – 2:00PM

FOW: How to use Chinese daily life apps (LL) (MB 113)



ISCOT League MS Volleyball vs TIS; Boys @ TIS, Girls (h) (RG) (Sports Centre)


Wednesday 15 January 2020

All Day

University admissions: UCAS deadline for UK applications (JMS)


8:45AM – 10:00AM

FOW: Yoga class (LL) (Black Box)


9:00AM – 10:15AM

Parent briefing: The humanities at Wellington (ES) (Common Room)


9:30AM – 12:30PM

Open Week: AL Induction Year (to 17th) (PR) (Main Building)


2:30PM – 3:30PM

Nest parent briefing: How grandparents can support a child’s learning & development (DZ) (Common Room)


3:05PM – 3:45PM

Junior School assembly: CNY (RA) (Theatre)



ISCOT League HS Basketball vs TIS; Boys @ TIS, Girls (h) (RG) (Sports Centre)


Thursday 16 January 2020

All Day

Nest Chinese New Year assembly rehearsal (DZ) (Theatre)


9:00AM – 10:30AM

FOW: TCM class (LL)


10:45AM – 12:00PM

FOW: Yoga class (LL) (Black Box)


2:00PM – 3:00PM

Meet the Master: Years 2-6 (ES) (Main Building)


2:50PM – 3:50PM

Senior School assembly for CNY (YZ) (Theatre)


3:00PM – 4:00PM

USAP and USAD Parents’ Meeting (LF) (Common Room)


Friday 17 January 2020

All Day

Nest Chinese New Year assembly (DZ) (Theatre)


8:30AM – 11:00AM

FOW: Art class (LL)


8:45AM – 10:00AM

FOW: Pilates (LL) (Black Box)


3:00PM – 5:00PM

Chinese Temple Fair (PR) (Dining Hall)



Chinese New Year holiday begins (to 3rd) (ES)