The Week Ahead 22 March 2019

Dear parentsPupils and staff have been discussing the appalling events that unfolded in Christchurch, New Zealand last Friday. This is not a surprise; we have several families with roots there, as well as many who have holidayed in that beautiful country. The shootings have shocked the world, once again bringing to our screens and newspapers horrific images and testimonies of survivors and rescuers; even some of our youngest pupils will have been exposed to such scenes.This is not the usual content for one of my Week Ahead pieces. I try not to focus on the gloomy news from around the world, preferring instead to highlight the positive education we are bringing to our corner of Tianjin, but the events of last week have set me thinking about ways in which we, as responsible and reflective teachers, prepare our pupils for the real world. Something in the background of the gunman has left him drenched in hatred, a hatred so irrational it became focused on the religious affiliation of a group of otherwise unconnected, innocent people. The exact cause for his actions may never be fully understood, but what is clear is that he (and others like him) have become possessed by an ideology that made such unspeakable events possible. This man seems to have been motivated by virulent Islamophobia, but it could just as easily have been racism, anti-Semitism, homophobia, or indeed any other kind of ‘hate crime’ – the colour of one’s skin, or one’s nationality, can provide, for those at the margins of society, sufficient reason for murderous violence.One of the pleasures of enduring what is politely termed a ‘significant’ birthday recently meant that I got some interesting presents; gifts a little more thought-provoking than the usual collection of socks and ties. One that struck a particular cord was a DNA testing kit. These are increasingly popular, as people have at their fingertips a new and powerful tool for looking back into their ancestry. I knew mine would be quite mixed as I come from a bilingual family – my father was British and my mother is from Holland – but even then, the results were quite a surprise. I have ancestors from all across Europe, with the majority of my genes descending from central and southern regions, and only 30% from western parts of the continent. Clearly, I am from very mixed stock! The three Heads of School are from equally diverse backgrounds, as of course are the rest of the staff and pupil body. We are a genuinely international school, bound by both our commitment to Tianjin, but also to our vision of a holistic education. These things, as well as our differences of ethnicity, religion, mother tongue or orientation, bind us closer as a community, rather than set us apart. All Wellington schools celebrate the variety of people who go to make up their communities and each is dedicated to educating its pupils in the ways of tolerance and respect.It is through education, through modelling these virtues of tolerance and respect on a daily basis, that we work to stop any one group of people claiming inherent superiority over another. Internationalism and interculturalism, such core parts of being a CIS accredited school, lie at the heart of our work with your children. Next week is internationalism week here at school; we will seek to shine a light on the issues that face us in the 21st Century, from the importance of critical thinking in the age of ‘fake news’, to a reflection on our own personal responsibility in making the world beyond Wellington a more peaceful place. I hope too that, after this traumatic week for so many of us, we can use the time over the coming days to resolve to make a commitment to understanding one another more, to confronting prejudice where we find it and to building a community of learners who will, in turn, go on to help others lead better lives.

Best wishes

Julian Jeffrey

MASTER

MEET THE MASTER 

Duke of York Room

1400hrs-1515hrs, Thursday

28th March

This week, the Meet the Master slot is aimed at parents of pupils in Years 7 to 11. If you would like to attend, please confirm via email with Ms. Emma Shi by Wednesday 27th March.

(emma.shi@wellingtoncollege.cn)

REMINDER:

Term ends at 1515hrs on Friday 29th March. All school buses will leave at that time.

The Summer term begins at 0800hrs on Monday 8th April. Boarders return by 1900hrs on Sunday 7th.

FROM MR ROUNDELL, EAL DEPARTMENT

Internationalism Week

Wellington College International Tianjin will celebrate its pupils’ national identities on the final day of term with a whole school International Dress-Up Day on Friday 29th March. All pupils from Nest to Year 13 are encouraged to dress up in costumes from their nations.

During the week, students will also be focusing on a variety of internationalist themed mini-quizzes touching on a variety of subjects: history, geography, politics, sociology, international relations and language. There will many house-points up for grabs.

Finally, a challenge to all our parent community! How many nations do you think are represented in the pupil body of our school? Email me your answer along with the name of your child. If you are correct, I will give your son/daughter 5 house points!

(toby.roundell@wellingtoncollege.cn)

I will reveal the correct number in next week’s week ahead.

FROM THE UNIVERSITY GUIDANCE TEAM

Coffee Morning

Coffee Shop

0930hrs-1030hrs, Wednesday 

27th March

Every Wednesday of Week B, we will be holding university guidance coffee mornings in the coffee shop from 0930hrs until 1030hrs. All parents are welcome to come along to have a chat about any issues to do with university applications. Parents with children in all year groups are welcome to come along.

University Visit – Johns Hopkins University

Black Box

1600hrs-1700hrs, Monday

25th Monday

On Monday 25th from 1600hrs-1700hrs we will be joined by Mr Nicholas Igo, the Assistant Director of Admissions at Johns Hopkins University. The university is ranked number 21 in the world and there will be a presentation in the Black Box followed by a chance to ask questions. Parents of all year groups are of course welcome to attend.

FROM MRS ARDEN, ACADEMIC ASSISTANT

Senior School Reports Published

Friday, 29th March

The end of term sees the publication of full reports for the year groups of Years 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11 (A Level Induction). All reports will be available from the Parent Portal on Friday 29th March. If you have any questions about how we report your child’s progress, please feel free to contact Mrs. Jane Arden  or Mrs. Dragana Popovic.

(jane.arden@wellingtoncollege.cn)

(dragana.popovic@wellingtoncollege.cn)

UPCOMING EVENTS

Monday 25 March 2019

All Day

Internationalism Week (to 29th) (TCR)

8:30AM – 9:30AM

FOW EAL (Beginners) (PF) (MB 235)

8:45AM – 10:00AM

Senior School Assembly (JMS) (Theatre)

3:05PM – 3:45PM

FOW: Yoga (ES) (Black Box)

4:00PM – 6:00PM

HS Boys & Girls Football vs IST (h) (RG) (Sports Centre)

Tuesday 26 March 2019

8:45AM – 10:00AM

FOW Pilates (ES) (Black Box)

10:15AM – 11:15AM

FOW Mandarin Class (ES) (MB 125)

2:00PM

Milepost 1 Exit Point (RA) (Main Building)

4:00PM – 6:00PM

MS Boys & Girls Basketball vs TEDA (a) (RG)

Wednesday 27 March 2019

8:45AM – 10:00AM

FOW Yoga (ES) (Black Box)

9:30AM – 10:30AM

University Guidance Coffee Morning (JS)

2:00PM

Milepost 3 Exit Point (RA) (Main Building)

3:05PM – 3:45PM

Junior School Assembly (RA) (Theatre)

Thursday 28 March 2019

9:00AM – 10:30AM

FOW: Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) (ES) (WCA Room)

9:00AM – 12:00PM

FOW Reading Group (ES) (MB 125)

2:00PM

Milepost 2 Exit Point (RA) (Main Building)

2:00PM – 3:15PM

Meet the Master: Year 7-11 parents (ES) (Duke of York room)

4:00PM – 6:00PM

MS Boys Basketball vs TIS (h) (RG) (Sports Centre)

Friday 29 March 2019

All Day

International Dress-Up Day

All Day

Easter at the Nest (DZ) (Nest)

8:30AM – 9:00AM

Nest Assembly (DZ) (Theatre)

8:30AM – 9:30AM

FOW EAL (Advanced) (PF) (MB 231)

8:30AM – 11:00AM

FOW Art Class (KM) (MB 125)

8:45AM – 10:00AM

FOW Pilates (ES) (Black Box)

3:45PM

Lent Term ends (ES)

5:00PM

Senior School reports published (DP)

6:00PM

Academy Programme ends (EvK)