The Week Ahead 17 May 2019

Dear parents

I have been lucky enough to get back into the classroom for some teaching this term, working with a Year 10 group on their IGCSE preparation. It is my first sustained foray back into teaching for a year or so, and despite having taught for (deep breath) over 25 years, my recent experience has helped to highlight for me how far the craft of teaching has developed, even in the relatively short time I have been out of the classroom. I see around me far more assured use of technology, by pupils and staff; children seem to have developed a breezy confidence in essential research skills, so important when using online textbooks and other resources. All pupils engage by asking questions, offering insights to discussions and providing answers to their peers. Differentiation, supporting each individual learner with materials suitable to support and challenge even the most able, has become a far more complex and sophisticated process – no longer is it good enough to hand out just a couple of different handouts and expect learners to thrive. Teaching second language English learners has also developed hugely since I was regularly in the classroom; all our teachers recognise the need to be language support educators and their resources and planning reflect this shift in approach.

I appreciate that this may make me sound like a teaching dinosaur, and probably strikes dread into the heart of any parent of my Year 10 group, but I wanted to highlight the hard work and preparation that goes into delivering high quality lessons. For most parents, busy with their lives, families and employment, opportunities to visit classrooms and see teaching and learning in action are simply not possible. Of course we offer Open Days across the school – parents are welcomed in the Nest and Junior School each term, for example, and in the Senior School, fathers of Year 7 children and the mothers of those in Year 8 each have a day set aside annually for them to spend with their children in class and activities. This can really only scratch the surface, though, and what is not shown is the level of planning and preparation that their child’s teachers go through for each and every lesson. Teaching, as anyone who has ever done it for an extended period of time will know well, is not simply an exercise in turning up in a room and ‘teaching’. Tasks and activities must be planned for each learner, often differentiated multiple ways to meet the needs of each child. Work needs to be assessed and the results fed back to pupils in ways that they can use to further their knowledge and understanding. Each day, each lesson, is different, therefore, and once on-going pastoral care and a child’s wellbeing is factored in, the complexity of delivering excellent lessons becomes more and more apparent. To do this four or five times each day, consistently across term after term, adds to the challenge of teaching. In essence, it means that only genuinely remarkable people – those committed to a learning culture and the highest standards of professionalism – become successful teachers.

If I have learned just one thing since my return to the classroom, it is this: your child’s teachers are among the most hard-working and skilled professionals in education. Their capacity for self-improvement, and for helping their charges meet and exceed their challenging targets at every age group, is inspiring and I hope that parents, as core stakeholders in our learning community, take every chance to recognise the commitment of my colleagues on the teaching staff.

Best wishes

Julian Jeffrey



Parents’ Evening: Years 8, 9 and 11 Induction Year

Dining Hall

1700hrs-1830hrs, Thursday 

23rd May

There are two parents’ evenings organised next week. The parents’ evening for parents of pupils in Years 7 and 10 will be on Tuesday 21st May and for Years 8, 9 and 11(A level Induction year) will be on Thursday 23rd May. Both evenings run from 1700hrs to 1830hrs in the Dining Hall.

Pupils should make appointments with their teachers in advance to ease the queues that can form at such events. Parents will have an opportunity to talk to their child’s teachers about their performance this term and to discuss areas of focus for their revision for the upcoming assessment week. Parents are encouraged to bring a copy of the interim reports with them to the meetings. Members of the senior management team will be present to address any questions that parents might have.


Year 13 Graduation Ceremony


1700hrs – 1830hrs, Friday

24th May

Our annual graduation ceremony will take place on Friday 24th May from 1700hrs – 1830hrs in the Seldon Theatre. All pupils in the Senior School will be attending. Sandwiches will be provided for them before the ceremony and late buses to all regular destinations will also be running from 1830hrs. There will be a buffet reception for graduates and their families after the ceremony. We are very fortunate to have Ms Echo Jin (CFO Microsoft China) as our guest speaker this year.

Senior School Sports’ Day

0830hrs – 1600hrs, Wednesday

22nd May

Wednesday 22nd May will see our Senior School pupils battling against their peers from other houses in the Senior School Sports’ Day. The long-distance races will take place in the morning, followed by the field events, such as triple jump and javelin, just before lunchtime. The sprint events will start at 1400hrs, and the afternoon will finish with the relay races just before 1600hrs. Participants can sign up for events in their house room. Parents are invited to come and watch the events in the afternoon, starting at 1400hrs. We look forward to seeing you there.


2019 Sailing Trip to Beidaihe

0745hrs, Saturday

25th May

A crew of 20 are leaving for Beidaihe for the annual sailing trip on 25th May. Sons and daughters have given their parents information letters that outline the details of the trip, key contact numbers and addresses, as well as what to bring. If you have any questions in relation to this, please drop me an email:

If you need to phone me during the trip please use this number: 136 2219 6432

Otherwise, we are much looking forward to seeing the sailors at Wellington for our early departure at 0745hrs on Saturday, 25th May 2019.


Monday 20 May 2019

All Day

Week A

8:30AM – 9:30AM

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

9:00AM – 10:30AM

Nest Sports’ Day (Sports Centre)

3:05PM – 3:45PM

Senior School Assembly (JMS) (Theatre)

Tuesday 21 May 2019

8:45AM – 10:00AM

FOW Pilates (ES) (Black Box)

8:30AM – 3:00PM

Junior School Sports’ Day

10:15AM – 11:15AM

FOW Mandarin Class (ES) (MB 125)

5:00PM – 6:30PM

Senior School Parents’ Evening: Years 7 & 10 (DP) (Main Building)

Wednesday 22 May 2019

8:30AM – 4:00PM

Senior School Sports’ Day (RG) (Sports Centre)

8:45AM – 10:00AM

FOW Yoga (ES) (Black Box)

3:05PM – 3:45PM

Junior School Assembly: 5KO Everglades (RA) (Theatre)

Thursday 23 May 2019

9:00AM – 10:30AM

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

9:00AM – 12:00PM

FOW Reading Group (ES) (MB 125)

10:45AM – 12:00PM

FOW: Yoga (ES) (Black Box)

2:00PM – 3:15PM

Meet the Master: Nest parents (ES) (Duke of York’s room)

5:00PM – 6:30PM

Senior School Parents’ Evening: Years 8, 9 & 11 (AL Induction) (DP) (Main Building)

Friday 24 May 2019

8:30AM – 9:00AM

Nest Assembly: Reception (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)


Half term holiday begins (to 30th) (ES)

4:45PM – 8:00PM

Year 13 Graduation (JMS) (Theatre)

Saturday 25 May 2019


Sailing Trip to Beidaihe (TR)