‘The Week Ahead’ columns below together indicate an extraordinary breadth of ongoing activity across the College. At the same time, we have come to expect this rich range of activity in just an ordinary week at Wellington. We hear below about the Year 6 London trip, a Year 12 Art trip, the World Scholars’ trip, recent and upcoming Theatre performances, a university presentation, and our upcoming Sports Days. And all this is happening during a busy examination term. I was reminded recently how some of our excellent students take full advantage of this multiplicity of opportunity at Wellington, and simultaneously excel, not merely participate, in several different spheres. The students concerned had come to share with me some outstanding academic work, marked as GCSE A* standard, achieved within a year group below GCSE. These were students who have also excelled in both drama and sport this year. They demonstrate admirably a highly developed sense of responsibility both to make the most of their talents and opportunities, and to contribute fully to their community.
I should also like to draw the attention of Junior School parents to Mr Philpott’s piece below on the introduction of our new online accelerated-reading resource. There is a direct link between regular, rich reading and expanded vocabulary acquisition and comprehension, and we should therefore be delighted to have our parents’ support for this new initiative.
With best wishes to all our Wellington families.
The importance of sport and physical exercise in schools
Even a cursory glance at the school’s calendar, and this edition of the Week Ahead in particular, will show you how much emphasis we place on developing physical activity and sport in our young people. The 8 Aptitude model, for so long now the underpinning of our broader educational ethos here at Wellington, stresses the centrality of developing physical dexterity; a state of genuine wellbeing without regular exercise is unachievable; sport–and team sport in particular–is a vital part of the growth of a child’s social interaction with his or her peers, as well as fostering an understanding of the importance of participating as part of a collective group with a common goal. Research from the UK suggests that physical activity has proven learning benefits.
The social interaction of young people in sporting events and the skills they develop all help to produce, “pupils who are confident about their learning and who have a ‘growth mindset’ (they believe their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work), [who] persist when faced with challenges and…who can set goals, manage stress and organise their school work achieve [to] higher grades” (source: The link between pupil health and wellbeing and attainment, Public Health England, November 2014).
These days, all good schools stress their ability to educate the ‘whole child’, reflecting parental desire to see their offspring grow and mature in all aspects of learning. The Wellington group of schools has long been at the vanguard of this move away from the idea of schools as little more than pure examination ‘factories’. We are determined to produce graduates who fit the Wellington Identity – all-rounded, compassionate young people who recognise their place in the world and who have the resilience and sense of social responsibility to make the most of their lives beyond school. In this context, an education that offers sport as a core part of its curriculum and activity programme is essential. Parents of children in the Nest and Junior School are invited to attend the sports’ days next week; you will see hundreds of our youngest pupils revelling in new and exciting physical challenges, but more importantly, embedding skills that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives.
Meet the Master
Thursday 18th May
This week the Meet the Master slot is aimed at parents of children in Years 7-11. If you would like to attend, please confirm via email with Ms Emma Shi
(firstname.lastname@example.org) by Wednesday 17th May.
Our next Meet the Bursar will be on Monday 15th May, please send Ms Lisa Liu a message if you are planning to attend and if you have any specific topics you would like to raise (email@example.com). I will be providing an overview of what campus security will look like before we start Term 1 of the next School Year; we will see some significant improvements to our ability to control campus access and to insure the safety of all those on campus, in the event of an emergency. We will need the support and cooperation of all our community to make this transition smooth and successful.
We have been working with LuJiaZui to address parking issues along Yide Road and are hopeful there will be progress to report before start of the next Academic Year. Until then, we will be placing trash bins along the campus walkway, along Yide Road, and all members of the community are asked to help keep the walkways clear of trash and debris. You will have noticed that the accumulation of construction materials just inside the wall of the construction site, along Yide Road; I would suggest that you refrain from parking along that area in case of any falling materials that could damage your car.
Renovation works on the Nest are progressing well, with all internal safety systems completed. The kitchen construction is finished and all equipment is in place. The perimeter fence is now going up rapidly and should be completed within the week. During the Summer Break we will equip a dining hall area inside the Nest so that meals for the children can be served near their classrooms.
SungKyunKwan University Visit
Thurs 18th May
There will be a University visit from SungKyunKwan University for all Korean students in Years 10, 11 and 12 (IB and A Level streams) on Thursday 18th May at 1000hrs in the Common Room. We extend a very warm welcome to all of our parents should you wish to attend. Refreshments will be available.
World Scholars’ Cup regional round
19th – 23rd May
On Friday 19th May, three teams of students from Years 7-9 will be going to Shenzhen to compete in the World Scholars’ Cup regional round. The competition takes place over two days, 20th-21st May, during which the competitors will participate in debates, persuasive writing and trivia activities. The pupils will return to Tianjin on Tuesday 23rd May.
Wednesday 18th May
Every Wednesday morning from 0900-1030hrs, 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 thus week’s meeting, parents will be in the Common Room for a briefing by the Second Master, Mr Julian Jeffrey, on the results of the Annual Review report.
For our next Wednesday briefing, Mr Jeffrey will lead a presentation on the 2017 Wellington College Annual Review report, a quality assurance measurement that provides a rigorous, eternal assessment of the progress of the school across nine core categories. These include judgements on the quality of teaching and learning, pastoral care, leadership of the school and links with the rest of the Wellington College group of schools. It will be held in the Common Room on Wednesday, 18th May from 0900-1030hrs.
I am very pleased to announce that the Junior School have bought a reading programme called “Accelerated Reader” which will run in tandem with our Reading at Home programme for Years 1-5.
Accelerated Reader is a huge online bank of quizzes to test for comprehension of reading books. From this week, when children finish their reading book, they will log in with their unique password and take a short comprehension quiz about that book.
Children should not approach this quiz with any trepidation. It is simply a way for their teachers to get a sense of whether the book is the correct level for them, or whether their next book should be more or less challenging for them.
In the Junior School, we firmly believe that regular and meaningful reading at home makes a very significant difference to children’s overall progress in school. There is a great deal of academic evidence that this is so, so we shall continue to look for ways to motivate our children to read at home. We ask all parents to join us in this cause.
Diary Dates – Sports’ Days
The School Sports’ Days will be held across the week (15th -19th May)
- The Nest Sports’ Day is from 0845hrs to 1030hrs on Monday 15th May
- The Junior School Sports’ Day is from 0900hrs to 1530hrs on Tuesday 16th May
- The Senior School Sports’ Day is from 0900hrs to 1530hrs on Wednesday 17th May
Parents are warmly invited on Monday 15th May (Nest Sports’ Day) and Tuesday 16th May (Junior School Sports’ Day).
Year 12 Art Trip to Beijing
Thursday 18th May
On Thursday this week the Year 12 Art students will be taking the annual Art trip to Beijing. On the itinerary this year is the exhibition ‘A History of the World in 100 Objects’ at the National Museum of China in Tiananmen Square. This is a particularly exciting exhibition which has travelled from the British Museum in London and features artefacts dating back over two million years. From there, we will be visiting the world famous 798 Art district to see an exhibition of paintings by internationally acclaimed artist Peter Doig and a group show of contemporary Chinese artists at 798’s largest gallery, UCCA. As each year previously, it promises to be an excellent day!
This is another in our regular series of insights from teachers across the school into raising resilient and successful young Wellingtonians. This week, Mrs Stephanie Lewis writes about the cross-cultural benefits of using Makaton in teaching.
Using sign language to help all children in early years learning
When I first started at Wellington, my first thought was how was I going to teach and communicate with the children in the classroom with over 6 different nationalities.
I decided to use my expertise in Makaton Signing, which I have been using for over 20 years in my teaching in the UK. In Pre-Nursery, it is used throughout the day to support the children’s language, during songs and stories. Since I have started using signs during our communication time, the children have become familiar using them alongside their spoken language. Speaking, listening and children’s attention spans have developed over a short period of time. This also has had a great impact on their gross motor skills. Therefore, using Makaton signing is important, because it has a great impact on all the areas of learning throughout Early years and reduces the frustration when they are trying to communicate their needs but are not able to speak the language yet.
Makaton is a way of communicating using signs, gestures and it is associated with symbols. As you communicate with words you use signs that are associated with that word.
I have had experience using Makaton successfully at Wellington with a little boy who elected to be mute at Nursery and only spoke at home, re capping on what he had done throughout his day at Nursery. It didn’t concern me at all that he wouldn’t speak at Nursery, as I knew that his understanding was at a very high level as he would go home to recap to his parents every day his day at nursery.
After so many months of persevering and being consistent using the Makaton signing daily, he decided to speak, putting two words together and before long he was speaking in sentences.
WOW! What a breakthrough!
I just knew that he would and the secret is never to give up when the going gets tough.
How to use Makaton
• Use the sign or symbol for the important word in the sentence.
• Remember to speak and sign at the same time.
• Use clear short sentences.
• Remember to make eye contact and use facial expression, body language and gestures.
• Use real objects and mime to give reference and meaning.
• You may have to guide your child’s hands to help them to make the sign.
• Reward any attempt at communication and use the sign and symbols for “good “to give praise.
The benefits of Makaton
Many of the signs look like objects or activities they represent. There are also clues in the signs that you don’t get in the spoken word. Symbols also give information about the meaning of the words and have the added advantage of stimulating the visual memory for longer than the spoken word. Visual aids help the child to understand much more of what is being said, thereby giving the child more time to process and understand what is being said.
Year 6 showed off their talents on Friday, starting with two boys performing a rap about their time in London, followed on by a succession of performances from all of the children, explaining what they did each day in London: visiting Buckingham Palace, Lego Land, Natural History Museum, Science Museum, London Zoo, Selfridges and HMS Victory were just a few of the children’s favourite places. The children who stayed behind were able to give excellent explanations of the city in the world they would wanted to discuss. We found out many interesting facts about Paris.
The audience was also extremely privileged to listen to Catherine, from Year 2, play a minuet on the piano: an excellent performance from her that received an almighty round of applause and cheer from her class friends. Catherine has only been playing the piano for a couple of years.
We celebrated Sydney and Xiyuan’s amazing Ice Hockey victory in Shanghai; they showed off their trophy and the medals they were awarded. Both children represented the Tianjin Tigers at a tournament in Shanghai, with over 70 children. The team came 2nd overall – out of all the Ice Hockey teams in China. In addition, Sydney was rewarded for the most goals scored in the tournament – she was only one of four girls in whole tournament. It was an absolutely wonderful occasion and everyone at Wellington is very proud of their achievements.
Monday 15 May 2017
0900hrs – 1230hrs
Sports’ Day: The Nest (AS)
0900hrs – 1300hrs
HOD’s Planning Workshop (YY) (Pan Pacific Hotel)
1400hrs – 1500hrs
Meet the Bursar (LL) (Bursar’s Office)
Tuesday 16 May 2017
0900hrs – 1500hrs
Junior School Sports’ Day (AS) (Sports Centre)
Wednesday 17 May 2017
0900hrs – 1030hrs
Parent Briefing: Annual Review Feedback (JAFJ) (Common Room)
0900hrs – 1515hrs
Senior School Sports’ Day (AS) (Sports Centre)
1545hrs – 1845hrs
TESMC Course (CN) (MB 335)
1600hrs – 1700hrs
Staff CPD – Middle Leaders (JL)
Thursday 18 May 2017
0800hrs – 1800hrs
Year 12 (IB) Art Trip to Beijing (MFC)
0900hrs – 1500hrs
ISCOT Junior School Track & Field at IST (SC)
1400hrs – 1515hrs
Meet the Master (Yrs 7-11) (ES) (Master’s Office)
1530hrs – 1730hrs
Board Sub-Comm: Academic (MEH) (Duke of York’s Room)
Friday 19 May 2017
World Scholar’s Cup Regional Round (Shenzhen) (to 23rd) (SE)
0830hrs – 0930hrs
Class Assembly-Year 2a Mr Cameron (YT)
0930hrs – 1230hrs
Open Day (PR) (Nest)
0930hrs – 1230hrs
Board Sub-Comm: Facilities (SDH) (Duke of York’s Room)
Saturday 20 May 2017
0930hrs – 1230hrs
Open Day (PR) (Common Room)