Welcome back to a new school year at Wellington. I hope that you all managed to have a restful holiday, and that the children used the time not only to recharge the mental and physical batteries, but also kept their minds fresh through some careful reading and studying over the long holiday.
A new year represents a new start, and for many of our pupils, August will be their first taste of a Wellington education. Acclimatising to a new environment can provoke feelings of anxiety among some children, and of course for many of our pupils, this will be their first days in school. This anxiety is then compounded by an equally natural reaction among parents, who may well share such emotions. It can be a daunting experience to step into a school of almost 600 other young people, particularly if you feel as if you are the only one struggling with feelings of loneliness or homesickness.
Happily, help is at hand. The staff, both academic and non-academic, all understand such first week nerves and are highly experienced in supporting children (and their parents) through this initial phase. In the Nest, for example, new pupils are brought into school on a graduated basis, slowly getting to know their teachers and support staff while they grow more familiar with their new surroundings. Parents can help this transition process by talking to their child each day, before and after school, to encourage dialogue about their experiences and to ease their way into a new setting. Furthermore, parents can provide a rock of strength and support for a hesitant child. Above all, it is crucial that parents, who themselves may well be experiencing powerful emotions at the start of their child’s school days, avoid transmitting such feelings to their offspring.
I thought it might be useful to suggest some ways that new parents can engage positively with their child in the first few days of a new term:
- Be positive and upbeat – ask your child about his or her favourite things of the day, or their happiest memory.
- Talk to them about their new friends and classmates – who have they found to talk to or to play with?
- Draw on your own happy recollections of school to tell stories that can show how much fun schooldays are; making these relevant and personal to your child can be a really positive reinforcement for even the most reluctant new pupil.
- Get to know your child’s teachers and support staff; ask them questions about the day, or what lies ahead in the week. This helps your child understand that the new adults in their lives care about them, and know them personally.
Perhaps the most important single piece of advice I can give is that, if you have any concerns about your child’s ability to settle into class, contact the teacher at once. Teachers will be proactive in return, seeking ways to resolve issues before they have the chance to escalate into more deep-rooted situations. Our staff are there to help, and we can offer support in Chinese and Korean as well as English, so please do not agonise in silence over whether or not to contact staff individually.
The really good news is that any anxiety about school is almost always forgotten within a few hours and days. Young children are remarkably resilient, and soon settle to a routine once they are familiar with the new environment. By working with the teaching staff, and by maintaining a positive outlook themselves, parents new to the school can also help to ensure a smooth transition to the next phase in their child’s journey through learning.
FROM THE SECOND MASTER
End of the school day: timings 21st-30th August
This week, school will finish at 1505hrs, and the buses will depart at 1515hrs.
The following week (26th-30th August), school will close at 1550hrs; the buses will depart at 1600hrs.
The ASA programme starts on 2nd September and the school will resume to its usual working hours that week.
FROM THE SERVICES’ SUPERVISOR
Black Box Theatre
0900hrs – 1600hrs, Monday and Tuesday
19th and 20th August
The popular uniform event for the new academic year will be from 0900hrs to 1600hrs on Monday 19th August and Tuesday 20th August. Supplies will be provided in in the Black Box theatre. For parents and pupils who would like to purchase the uniforms, please come to Black Box between 0900 and 1600hrs.
FROM THE HEAD SCHOOL NURSE
My name is Mrs Candy Chang and I am the school’s head nurse. At the beginning of the new term, I am very happy to see the familiar smiling faces of children and new pupils and I am delighted to welcome you to join our Wellington family.
Since the beginning of the new year, we have added a new school nurse, Zoe Zuo, to the medical team so that we can provide further comprehensive medical services for all pupils. Zoe is a very experienced nurse and brings with her a wealth of insights in current best practice in nursing care.
I would also like to highlight some information for parents of new pupils in the Nest. According to the Education Bureau guidelines, we will need to complete a physical examination for each new pupil on their first day of entering the school. Nurse Avy will send specific details to the families concerned separately.
Furthermore, until September, we will be organising some free medical examinations across the Nest, Junior School and Senior School. These examinations include checks on hair, eyesight screening and oral cavities. You will receive the examination report issued by the hospital, so that you can keep abreast of your child’s health status.
At the same time, the school’s medical safety management system is also very specific and comprehensive, and there are relevant provisions for students who fall ill at school and need to take oral medication. If you need to know the relevant regulations on taking medication in school, please email us for details:
Head nurse: Candy Chang – firstname.lastname@example.org
Nest nurse: Avy Ma – email@example.com
Any problems, please do not hesitate to ask.
FROM THE HEAD OF EARLY YEARS
Nest Parent Briefing: Getting your Child Ready for School
0900hrs – 1030hrs, Wednesday
Through developmentally appropriate play and interactions with family and peers, children can come to school with many skills that teachers can build upon. Children should have fundamental knowledge of themselves, their families, and the world around them in order to successful. In our first parent briefing, we will delve into what it takes for a child to be ‘school ready’ with practical tips that parents can easily support. Please join us for this informative session that will help you and your child become better prepared for the new academic year.
Immediately afterwards, there will be a briefing by our food service provider, Chartwells, on catering and on site food. They will be providing important information on food preparation and each meal’s nutritional value.
We hope to see you then!
Mrs Yuan and Mrs Zhang
Traditional Chinese Medicine
Notice: Any changes of time/date/venue please follow the notice according to the course organiser.
Tuesday 20 August 2019
Induction of new pupils (DZ/RA/DP) (Main Building)
10:45AM – 11:45AM
Nest classroom briefing for all parents (DZ) (Nest)
Boarders return (SW) (Benson)
Wednesday 21 August 2019
Junior School name project and baseline assessments (to 6th Sept) (MM)
Week 1 (A)
Senior School baseline tests: Years 7, 10, 12 and Year 11 (AL Induction) (EIW)
Michaelmas Term begins (ES)
9:00AM – 10:30AM
Nest parent briefing: Getting your child ready for school (DZ) (Common Room).
3:05PM – 3:45PM
Junior School assembly (RA) (Theatre)
Saturday 24 August 2019
College Board SAT examinations (JMS) (Main Building)