The Week Ahead 15 June 2017

Dear Parents,

This is the final ‘Week Ahead’ for this academic year, which means this is also my farewell column. I should therefore like to take this opportunity to thank all our Wellington Community, greatly, for everyone’s share in the most successful year to date for the College.

We began this academic year with news of record student numbers, record IGCSE and AS Level results, and continued success at IB. Since then, milestone achievements for the College have included our successful accreditation by the Council of International Schools (CIS), of which we are now in full Membership, our best-ever Annual Review report by Wellington College in the UK, and then, at the beginning of this term, our election to Membership of the Council of British International Schools (COBIS). A series of excellent public events and musical and drama performances this year was then capped by an outstanding Graduation ceremony earlier this term, celebrating the achievement of all our Year 13 Graduating class of 2017 in receiving university offers from many of the leading universities and institutions of the UK, the USA, and across the world.

Happy memories of any school year are not, of course, normally recalled in terms of inspection reports, or statistical successes, however impressive these may be. Our highlight memories are much more likely to be personal experiences, shared with others, both in and out of the classroom, and in school activities, trips and events. There will surely be a rich store of these memories for 2016-17, as is evident in the forthcoming publication of this year’s Yearbook. This Yearbook will, I am sure, be invaluable in the years to come in bringing back to mind – and heart – many treasured and formative experiences for our pupils and their families.

Once again, a very warm ‘thank you’ to all our pupils, staff and parents for the many achievements of our young people through 2016-17.

With very best wishes to all our Wellington families for an excellent summer.
Michael Higgins
Master



Keeping Fresh

This is the last edition of the Week Ahead for the current year, and inevitably thoughts turn to those lovely long weeks of summer that lie ahead. The temptation is to think of these months as ones of pure relaxation, time spent away from the intensity and rigour of school. In many ways, this makes a great deal of sense; significant scientific studies in this area suggest that a sustained period of rest – between 8 and 14 days, for example – is essential in helping to refresh tired minds and weary bodies. Holidays of this duration allow disturbed sleep patterns to normalise without losing momentum once the individual returns to work or study. Holidays, therefore, are a time to be cherished and protected, and as July and August loom large, I wish all our community a good rest.

But there is more to it than this, though.

At then end of my first year at university, the Vice-Chancellor announced to all the assembled undergraduates that, as term was drawing to a close, he assumed many of us would be thinking of going on holiday. His next words horrified the listening student body. “Just remember this, ladies and gentlemen. You are not going ‘on holiday’. You will instead be ‘on vacation’.” Once the initial dismay had subsided – the university had not decided to cut short the traditional three-month summer break after all – I began to see what he meant. He did not mean to say that we should not have a rest, but instead of spending the entire time idling away the days and weeks, we were merely vacating the university; his expectation was that, even though physically we would not be present, our reading and studies should not be neglected across those months. Two months is a long time away from learning. Progress in language development can falter; good habits in reading, or extended writing, or mathematics can be forgotten. There are many in the world of education who feel that the long summer break, with its roots in the demands of an agrarian society whose calendar was dictated by the harvest cycle, should be abandoned in favour of shorter, more regular holiday breaks. At Wellington, we are not quite ready to abandon the traditional form, but it is important that young people do not simply waste the opportunity of seven weeks away from school. Trips with an educational focus, whether to museums, art galleries or concert halls, can form a vital part of a child’s development. Similarly, the extended break allows for significant charitable work through volunteering, or gaining invaluable work experience through internships. Many children use the time effectively to review their work from the previous year in preparation for the challenges of the next; others find refuge in something as simple as reading.

Wherever Wellington families find themselves this summer, I wish you all a very good vacation: use the time to rest, to think, to read and to learn.



Senior School: End of Year Reports
Parent Portal
1700hrs, Friday
23rd June

The End of the Year Reports for the pupils in Years 7, 8, 9, 10 and 12, as well as Year 11 (A level stream) will be published on the Parent Portal on Friday 23rd June at 1700hrs. Pupils will also receive a hard copy of their reports on Thursday 22nd June. Please note that in this reporting cycle, Year 11 (A level stream) reports will be published in both English and Chinese.


Early Years: End of Year Reports
Tapestry, Friday
23rd June

Our final progress report for this academic year will be available through Tapestry on Friday, 23rd June.  Kindly select the drop-down option next to your child’s name and the document will be entitled “Summer Report”. This report summarizes the development children have made throughout the year and provides comments on the progress they have achieved.


Year 9 Trip to Tianjin Binhai Aircraft Carrier Theme Park
0830hrs, Tuesday
20th June

The Science Department has organized a day trip to Binhai Aircraft Carrier theme park for Year 9 pupils. This trip will help them to develop some knowledge about the Kiev-class aircraft carriers. Pupils will get a close look at the command centre and intelligence room as well as the cience and technology museum of the aircraft carrier. There will be chance to enjoy a 4D movie in the aircraft carrier’s theatre. The bus departs from school at 0830hrs and will be back by 1515hrs.


Well what a week the Junior School had last week. The whole of the Junior School was part of the most exciting week so far: an Open Morning, Talent Show, MP1 Exit Point, Year 6 Drama Days, trip toWicked and, to finish off our exciting week, the Nursery performed a wonderful Assembly by sharing their memories over the last year.

Talent Show
A truly memorable occasion for all the children, parents and staff that attended. Our wonderful compères: Sunny, Mimi, KaiYi and Tiger welcomed our performers on stage, like true professionals. The talent was superb – pianists, dancers, ballet and violinists to magicians, drummers, ukuleles, Taekwondo, singers and even a dramatization of a short story – the children’s performances were truly amazing and represented just a small selection of talent within the junior school at Wellington College.

Milepost 1 Circus

On Thursday at 1330hrs, the parents and students gathered in the Seldon Theatre for the Wellington Circus. For many in the audience this was their first experience of a circus and they did not leave disappointed. The Wellington Circus was hosted by Milepost 1 as part of their IPC unit ‘The circus is coming to town.’

Years 1 and 2 have been learning about different circuses, old and new, thinking about different acts and how they have changed over time. They have also been learning about different clown make-up and what they represent (emotions).

The circus show itself was a wonderful experience for pupils across the Milepost. They worked with pupils and staff from other classes and year groups to produce an act for the circus.

The audience arrived to traditional ‘big top’ music and a programme detailing the acts for the show. Our very own Sofija from Year 1 became Ring Master for the afternoon and kept everyone informed of the upcoming acts.

The circus featured clowns, dancers, fighters, animals and acrobats. In case that did not satisfy the circus appetite we were then treated to magicians, a big Top band, jugglers and singers. The finale was our very own EAL group doing the Polka Dot Punch.
This was a splendid effort from all involved and it was thoroughly enjoyed by everyone who came to watch.

Year 6: ‘Twisted Fairytales / Folktales’

Year 6 have spent the past two days working with pupils from across Years 7 to 9 on ‘Twisted Fairytales / Folktales’. Introducing Year 6 pupils to work with the Senior School and encouraging creative thinking and teamwork across the years, this project set them a task, to present a twisted fairytale or folktale.

Mr Higgins, Mr Bradley and I were treated to a range of products from puppet shows to detailed poster-sized storyboards, from homemade movies to stage dramas all conceived and produced by the students within three hours. I am happy to say the results were not only impressive but demonstrated what pupils can do when they are allowed to experiment with their own ideas. The humour was terrific, many of the values expressed were impressive and above all, the Year 6 pupils worked with confidence. They clearly enjoyed the experience, as did the Senior School. I would like to extend a big ‘thank you’ to the Senior School teachers who gave their time and experience to organising this and especially to Miss Paine for her hard work in leading the event.

Junior Assembly

Friday’s Assembly was as usual a wonderful celebration of all the hard work that pupils put in each and every day at Wellington. We started with our wonderful Nursery Assembly, whereby both classes shared their memories from the past year. The children performed a range of songs in both English and Chinese.

‘Star of the Week’ was followed by two musical pieces, the first of which was SuHui, who has only been playing the violin for a matter of months. She played ‘Ode to Joy’ from memory and we were all very impressed with her achievement in such a short space of time. Our second piece was from William who played ‘Indians’ beautifully and confidently.

Mr. Philpott’s class, was this week’s winner of the Attendance Cup, so congratulations go to them.

Monday 19 June 2017
1200hrs – 1235hrs
House Point Assembly (DP) (Theatre)

1430hrs – 1700hrs
Year 6 Assembly and Reception (YT) (Theatre and Quad)

Tuesday 20 June 2017
0815hrs – 1515hrs
Year 9 Trip to Tianjin Binhai Aircraft Carrier Theme Park

Wednesday 21 June 2017
1400hrs – 1515hrs
Junior School: Final Assembly (YT) (Theatre)

Thursday 22 June 2017
1545hrs – 1645hrs
Ultimate Frisbee: Staff vs Pupils (EIW) (Sports Centre)

1700hrs – 1900hrs
Benson BBQ (MB) (Quad)

Friday 23 June 2017
1415hrs – 1515hrs
Senior School: End of Year Assembly (JAFJ) (Theatre)

1900hrs
School Reports: Published (DP/YT)