THE WEEK AHEAD 18 MAY 2017

Dear Parents,

In the last edition of ‘The Week Ahead’ I referred to the rich range of activities taking place every week across the College.  I particularly commended those students who strive to excel in a number of areas, responsibly making the most of their opportunities at the same time as contributing to both Wellington and our wider community through performing arts, sport, and charitable initiatives, as well as in other practical and useful ways.  Amplifying this theme, our hosting last Sunday of our inaugural Tianjin 5-a-side Youth Football Tournament represented an outstanding spectacle of sporting endeavour and accomplishment, combined with purposeful community engagement.  A remarkable 27 Tianjin club and school teams participated in the day-long tournament (including 6 squads from the College). Eight teams were engaged at any one time, and the sense of our hosting of a tremendous new community event, hugely enjoyed by hundreds of eager participants and cheering spectators, and superbly organised, was unmistakeable.

Our particular thanks for the Tournament go to all the participating squads, the great numbers of supporting Wellington staff and visiting coaches, and of course especially to Mr Eelco, our Weekend Activities Coordinator, and Mr Smith, College Head of P.E.  However, there was much more to come this week from both staff and pupils, as many of you will have seen for yourselves during the succeeding – in all senses of the word – terrific Sports Days:  namely for the Nest on Monday, the Junior School on Tuesday, and Senior students on Wednesday.  It was a great pleasure for us to welcome so many parents and guests able to join us in College for some or all of these events.  Considering also the continued progress this week of our regular new series of parent meetings and workshops, all in all this has been a great week for Wellington community links.

With best wishes to all our Wellington families.

Michael Higgins,

Master



‘Doing good’

“We want our pupils to be inclusive in all dealings with other people, so they leave the College not in a bubble of privilege and elitism, but with the ability to engage with their local, national and international communities, and with a burning desire to do good in the world.”

From – The Wellington Identity

Are Wellingtonians doing ‘good in the world’? I ask this, not because I doubt the capacity and drive of our young people, but because I was asked the other day by a parent, what was the ‘soul’ of the school? It was a very unusual question, one to which I have returned again and again in the intervening few days. I think I responded to the questioner with a brief analysis of how the school’s leadership saw this issue, largely in terms of a vision for the future, but the answer surely goes deeper than that. What does it mean to be a Wellingtonian? Why does the school go to such great lengths to instil particular values in our pupils? What is WeareWellington?

The Wellington Identity – which in English is readily identifiable as the ‘5 Is’ (Inspired; Intellectual; Independent; Individual; and Inclusive), but equally memorable in other languages – embodies our core aim for each and every child at the school. Through our values and the emphasis on educating individuals, children are imbued with an understanding that to be a Wellingtonian can mean something out of the ordinary; something extraordinary, in fact. By the time our graduates leave us to go to universities across the world, our young men and women have shown a profound understanding of what it means to live as Wellingtonians, even though they may end up thousands of miles away from the school. I have seen countless children this year who have given selflessly of their time to support those younger or weaker than themselves. Pupils have organised charitable giving across the school, spoken up for others who have been made unhappy, and volunteered for House and School events that have eroded their own valuable free time. The Summer Fair this year will raise thousands for two great charitable causes; the Youth Football tournament, held here so spectacularly last Sunday, drew in hundreds of children from across Tianjin and gave them all an equal chance to enjoy team sports together. Those pupils who participated in the MUN in New York in March, and those heading for the World Scholar’s Cup in Shenzhen, have the chance to work with their peers in learning more about themselves, as well as talking about the issues from across the world that concern them most.

No one doubts that our pupils are privileged. Their mere attendance in the school is testament to that, but it is Wellington that draws them beyond this ‘bubble’ and provides a profound sense that they have a role to play in making a difference to the lives of others. To be a true Wellingtonian must really mean something to our pupils, parents and staff. In the end, it may be that which best captures the ‘soul’ of our school.

Meet the Master

1400hrs

Thursday 25th May

This week, the Meet the Master slot is aimed at parents of children in Years 12-13. If you would like to attend, please confirm via email with Ms Emma Shi (emma.shi@wellingtoncollege.cn) by Wednesday 24th May.

Parents’ Briefing                                       

Common Room

0900hrs

Wed 24th 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 this week’s meeting, parents will be in the Common Room for an update on our very exciting new university application platform, Bridge U. This has been available to pupils since February, and we are now rolling it out to parents.

 

There will be a briefing for parents regarding university admissions during which you will be able to see how Bridge U works and how you can access it to help your children in the increasingly complex process of successful admission to the world’s finest universities. All parents with children in Years 9-12 will have received an email on Friday 12th May prompting them to send their preferred email address to

suzy.liang@wellingtoncollege.cn so that we can register you with Bridge U before the briefing. Please do so if you have not yet replied. This will be open to all parents.

It will be held in the Common Room on Wednesday, 24th May from 0900-1030hrs.


Mobile phone policy

Most of you will have read and signed our new mobile phone policy by now. If you have not, please take some time to do so. Your support in this will help us to vastly reduce the use of mobile phones in school and the feedback that we have had so far has been very positive and supportive. We understand the need for your children to have their phones in school and this is the reason why this policy was created. We want our pupils to be safe in school and go about their work with the minimum of distractions. If we have not received your signed copy, then we will assume that you have not given permission to your son/daughter to bring a mobile phone in to school.



Wellington College Sailing Trip

27th – 31st May 

 

Our annual Sailing Trip to Beidaihe is soon upon us as we leave on Saturday 27th May at 0745hrs from Wellington. A letter dated 5th May was distributed to pupils which includes details of the trip, emergency numbers and suggested kit to bring. As this letter includes important information, parents of pupils going on the sailing trip who have not received this letter should email me: toby.roundell@wellingtoncollege.cn


Transition Days

In this week’s article, Mrs Thomas reinforces the messages of her parent briefing last week: What is Transition?

Moving from one class to another class is a significant event in every child’s educational journey

 

Why is transition critical in ‘getting it right’

Transition into another class can alter a child’s whole school experience.

This impacts on:

Child

There are numerous changes that can cause potential challenge and stress for children, when moving to a new class.

  • Physical environment: moving to a different part of the school, moving into the Junior school, moving to Floor 2 – there are huge moves for the Year 2 and 6 children
  • Learning expectations – the ‘higher’ up the school, the higher the expectations from teachers.
  • Rules and routines change
  • Different circles of friends for Year 6 children.

 

Friends

An important aspect of moving class is a child’s friends. Are they going to be in the same class as their friends when they come back in August?

  • Somebody that they are familiar with
  • Somebody that they can share their anxiety with
  • Somebody that’s in the same boat as them, when they can’t find the right classroom
  • Having a sense of belonging

 

Family

  • All children are different, and will react differently; you know your child better than anybody, whether they are happy or sad.
  • Parents will also be anxious – “Will the teacher understand my child’s needs?”
  • Parents’ perception of what the new teacher is like
  • Safety and wellbeing of their child
  • Too much homework / not enough homework

 

Teachers

Teachers have a very important role in; ensuring that your child is happy, safe and achieving to their very best ability.

  • Have a thorough knowledge of every child in their class
  • Know what makes your child ‘tick’
  • Having an excellent relationship with the children
  • Develop positive relationships with the parents
  • Keeping parents up to date with their child’s class behavior and performance

 

KEY ELEMENTS OF A SUCCESSFUL TRANSITION PROCESS

 

Plan well in advance

  • Year 6 – well-being sessions every week since Michaelmas term
  • Year 6 – working with English department for 2 days and visiting Wicked with Year 7/8 pupils
  • Year1/2 pupils – Mile Post entry and exit points, and some classes
  • Reception children have worked with Year 1 during school productions, are on the same floor as the Year 1 pupils and teachers.

 

Provide students with plenty of information

  • All pupils will move to their new classrooms, and meet their new teachers on:

TUESDAY 13th JUNE – for the whole day.

  • Children will stay in their current registration class and move up as a whole class; children will not be swapped around this year.
  • New teachers will send a PPT (and maybe link up with SKYPE) to their class, so children will know what they look like and learn a little bit about them.

 

Provide parents with plenty of information

  • All new staff will write a short biography about themselves: university life, teaching career and hobbies before school opens for children in August
  • Welcome letter to all parents with class teacher’s email
  • Meet the teacher at the beginning of September
  • Look out for the weekly newsletter on 8th June, as this will tell you who your child’s teacher will be and what they will need to bring with them on that day.

 

Effective collaboration between transition settings

All teachers will have several meetings to discuss everything about your child:

  • Friendship groups, who they work well with / don’t work well with
  • Things they are good at
  • Areas they need support with
  • Current teacher assessment grades and tested grades
  • Most importantly – wellbeing

All existing teachers will go into the class where your child is currently learning, to see them in action.

 

Every child is important to us here at Wellington, and we want to ensure that they excel both academically and socially; as life-long learners.


The Junior School was extremely fortunate in watching Year 1’s performance about Dr Suess.

They began by singing wonderfully to the school, and they were then very clear when giving the audience lots of information about Dr Suess.

 

  • His real name was Theodor Seuss Geisel
  • He was born March 2nd 1904, in Springfield Massachusetts
  • He wasn’t just an author, he was also a poet, illustrator, songwriter and film producer
  • His first book ‘And to think that I saw it on Mulberry Street’ was turned down 27 times by publishers!
  • He wrote stories for children, but his wife said he was afraid of them
  • He wrote and illustrated 44 children’s books
  • His books have been translated into over 15 languages
  • He died September 24th 1991

 

Year 1 then performed ‘There’s a Wocket in my Pocket’ by Dr Suess. They all knew the words by heart, and if any of you have read this book, you will understand that it is a huge accomplishment, as there are many made up words in the story. The children put actions into their recital, and expressions; they all looked amazing in their costumes. Another exemplary performance from members of the Junior School.

We were also lucky to listen to Vivian play a piece on the piano called Gavotte by Shostakovich. Vivian is another awesome musician we have in our school.


Monday 22 May 2017

All Day

Staff Wellbeing Survey (to 26th)

1200hrs – 1230hrs

Student Council Assembly (SE) (Theatre)

1700hrs – 1800hrs

HOD’s Meeting (DP) (Duke of York’s Room)

Wednesday 24 May 2017

0900hrs – 1030hrs

Parent Briefing: University Admissions (JMS) (Common Room)

0900hrs – 1100hrs

Board Sub-Comm: Finance (SDH) (Duke of York’s Room)

1545hrs – 1845hrs

TESMC Course (CN) (MB 335)

1600hrs – 1700hrs

Staff CPD – PLCs (JL)

Thursday 25 May 2017

1400hrs – 1515hrs

Meet the Master (Yrs 12-13) (Master’s Office)

1600hrs – 1800hrs

HS Football vs Maple Leaf (a) (SC)

Friday 26 May 2017

0830hrs – 0930hrs

Class Assembly – Year 5 (YT)

1600hrs

Half Term Begins (JAFJ)

Saturday 27 May 2017

0630hrs

Sailing Trip to Beidaihe departs (to 31st) (TCR)