The Week Ahead 8 June 2017

Dear Parents,

An important indication of both a vibrant school and a rich curriculum is the quality and variety of its educational visits programme. These happen on more or less a weekly basis at Wellington Tianjin. This week for example KS3 pupils had a theatre trip to Beijing, next week Years 5 and 6 will make a cultural visit to the Tianjin Drum Tower area, and Years 7 and 8 will have a Science trip. Last week I joined the excellent Beideihe Sailing trip in the middle of their five-day experience. Extended residentials such as this provide special opportunities for the enhanced development and challenge of our students, and the pastoral benefits can hardly be overstated.  Students learn rewarding and valuable new life skills, experience and persevere through personal challenge, and greatly appreciate the value and importance of team work. Their worthwhile achievement increases self-respect, as well as knowledge of the value of personal effort.

Residentials such as the Sailing trip are recommended as a rich extension of our students’ education. This academic year, as in previous years, pupils in both Junior and Senior schools have benefitted from a considerable number of such residential activities and cultural visits, both overseas and in China. And in Monday’s Senior School Assembly, we heard details of several residential trips already planned for the next term, two to the United States, and yet another two to Europe, with more opportunities to come later in the year. Every Wellington boy and girl from Year 5 upwards has the opportunity of such residential trips in each year of their Wellington career. Whilst no one would suggest trying to join them all, we do recommend a planned approach to at least one per year for all our students.

May I extend mine and my colleagues’ particular thanks to all those parents able to join us in College for one or more a number of events and meetings since the holiday break, from last Friday’s Milepost 3 Exit Point presentation, through to yesterday’s terrific Junior School Talent Show and today’s Junior School ‘Meet the Master and Senior Leaders’ session. There are still more opportunities coming up, so please do see the full forward calendar for next week, further below – we hope you have next Friday’s Summer Concert and Saturday’s Summer Fair already in your diaries.

With best wishes to all our Wellington families.

Michael Higgins
Master


Inquiring minds

It is inevitable that, towards the end of any term, the focus falls on the marvellous IPC Exit Post presentations for the three Mileposts in the Junior School. I have been inspired – a very Wellington trait – this week by a series of wonderful pieces of work by pupils from Milepost 3 entitled ‘Building a Village’. The IPC is a terrifically imaginative and challenging programme for young learners, and the school’s move to encourage further independent study this year by broadening the homework projects has allowed children free rein in terms of their imagination and insight. Developing the confidence to research and produce extended pieces of work such as these gives children a huge boost for their time in School. It helps to establish an essential underpinning of the critical thinking and time management that are so important to success at IGCSE, A Level or IBDP, but it also lets children learn by moving between individual work and collaborative projects. In this way, a child working in the Mileposts of the IPC is already developing skills and self-confidence that will stay with them for life. Wellingtonians are encouraged to develop independence of thought and action in many ways – that is, after all, the point of a holistic education – and through such stimuli as the IPC in the Junior School, the Model United Nations, World Scholar’s Cup and Global Social Leader programmes further up the school, pupils are nurtured and supported through the process of becoming genuinely reflective and resilient learners. The displays of work in the Exit Points are available to parents for the next few days and I would urge any of you who have yet to see the power of a child’s imagination and work ethic in action, to come to school and spend some time admiring their work.


This is another in our regular series of insights from teachers across the school into raising resilient and successful young Wellingtonians. This week, Mr Robert Bradley writes about Multiculturalism, comparing it to the ‘Internationalism’ he has discussed in The Week Ahead before.

Two months ago, I wrote for The Week Ahead about internationalism. Here, I follow up with its sister concept, multiculturalism. To stretch this analogy further, I will examine how closely the two ideals are related. Are they twin (but not identical) sisters or is one the older and more experienced sibling?

While internationalism is a cooperative whereby differences are overcome or put to one side in the interests of peaceful co-existence, multiculturalism is almost the opposite in that differences are welcomed rather than overcome and as a result, celebrated as a representation of diversity. A belief in multiculturalism, therefore, is a recognition that the differences in culture and tradition are necessary for the development of a society in order to prevent stagnation.

In many international schools, multiculturalism is often celebrated under the guise of internationalism. This can lead to a dominance of one culture over another. It is therefore important to ensure that we at Wellington celebrate both our similarities (shared values) in the spirit of internationalism whilst simultaneously taking pride in our differences and welcoming diversity.

Revelling in diversity can bring its own problems. As the world has become metaphorically smaller through the effects of globalisation, claims of ‘cultural appropriation’ have risen to become a major social issue. The use of national symbols, dress and other customs for financial gain by international conglomerates has led to tensions within multicultural communities.

It is in this way that we see the real differences between older, wiser sister, internationalism and tempestuous and volatile little sibling, multiculturalism. It is far easier to set aside differences and work together than it is to throw them into the melting pot and avoid cultural misunderstandings and unintentional insults. Nevertheless, it is this very difficulty which makes achieving true multiculturalism such a desirable and worthwhile aim for a community.

Further reading:
History of multiculturalism – http://www.iep.utm.edu/multicul/


This week, the Meet the Master slot is aimed at parents of pupils in Years 7-11. If you would like to attend, please confirm via email with Ms Emma Shi (emma.shi@wellingtoncollege.cn) by Wednesday 14th June.


Common Room
0900hrs, Wednesday
14th June

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 next week’s meeting, parents will be in the Common Room for an important briefing on Pupil Leadership from Mr Jonathan Lewis, Deputy Head (Pastoral).

It could be a terrifying thought that our children are going to grow up, leave school and one day be in positions of responsibility, leadership and be “in charge”, particularly after viewing the state of their bedrooms and school files!

In this Parent Briefing on pupil leadership you will discover how we are developing leadership behaviours in College through a wide range of opportunities available to all children. You will find out why all children need to develop personal leadership and the impact that this can have on their social, emotional and academic progress.

Discover your own leadership traits as we explore the ways in which every family can support the leadership development of their children. We are also delighted that several of our College pupil leaders will be talking to us about their roles and perspectives.


Open Morning
0830hrs-1100hrs, Thursday
15th June

We will be holding our second Junior School Open Morning on Thursday 15th June from 0830hrs to 1100hrs; everybody is welcome. The Open Morning is for existing parents to tour the Junior School: parents will be taken into every class across the school. We will be sticking to the timetable for each class, therefore you will have the opportunity to see all the subjects that the pupils do.

Please contact polly.zhang@wellingtoncollege.cn to register for your place by 1600hrs Wednesday 14th June. We need to ensure that we have enough staff to show you around, so it would be greatly appreciated if you let Polly know if you want to attend.


Years 10-12: University Preparation Trip to California
30th September – 6th October 2017

There is a proposed trip to California from Saturday September 30th until Friday October 6th 2017. The tour includes visits to UCLA, California Institute of Technology, Harvey Mudd, Claremont University, Pomona College, Berkeley and Stanford Universities. The trip offers opportunities for our pupils to meet with college admissions’ officers, current professors and students. They will also have workshops on college essay writing, SAT preparation and building a college portfolio. During their down time they will have the chance to attend cultural and sporting events and do some sightseeing in California, including Los Angeles and San Francisco.

The pupils have been given letters to take home. If you would like to reserve a place on the trip, please make sure that all the details are completed and return the deposit is returned by Friday 16th June. Places will be limited.


IB Group 4 Project
12th – 13th June

This is a mandatory Internal Assessment (IA) project. It is a collaborative activity where pupils from different G4 subjects (Physics, Chemistry, Biology, ICT & Design and Technology) work together on a scientific topic, allowing for concepts and perceptions from across the disciplines to be shared. The 10-hour activity is divided into three stages: Planning (2 hrs), Action (6 hrs) and Evaluation & Reflection (2 hrs) and will be carried out in two days.

The emphasis is more on the process rather than the product! The aims of the project are:

  • To develop and apply your information and communication technology skills (ICT) in the study of science, (Aim 7)
  • To raise your awareness of the moral, ethical, social, economic and environmental implications of using science and technology, (Aim 8)
  • To encourage an understanding of the relationships between scientific disciplines and the overarching nature of the scientific method. (Aim 10)

This year pupils will do a project on “The Un-habitable Earth” where they will explore ways to extend our stay on earth beyond the 100-year prediction, find solutions to our existing challenges or where else we can camp as humans.


Mandarin Information Parents’ Meeting  
Common Room
1545hrs, Monday
12th June

There will be a Mandarin information meeting for Years 1-9 native learners’ parents on Monday 12th June (1545-1645hrs). This is to introduce the revised grade description and curriculum. If you would like to know about the latest information and the upcoming development of Wellington Mandarin Native curriculum, please join us for the meeting. The meeting location will be the Common Room.


Summer Art Exhibition
Black Box, Thursday
15th – 21st June

Next week will see the opening of the Art Department’s Summer Exhibition in the Black Box foyer. Celebrating a range of creative talents from across the senior school there will be a wide selection of drawings, paintings and prints on display by all students in Years 7, 8 and 9 plus larger works by our more senior Art students in Years 10, 11 and 12. The exhibition will be opening on Thursday 15th June and refreshments will be served on Friday 16th June before the Summer Concert at 1800hrs. We look forward to seeing you then!


Years 7-8: Science Trip to Tianjin Haichang Polar Ocean World
0900hrs-1530hrs, Thursday
15th June

The trip will depart at 0900hrs and return by 1500hrs. The trip is designed to study various conditions and species found under the water, as well as educate and inspire pupils about the connection between the land and the ocean. This will be a great learning experience for our pupils. Subsequent discussions and presentations on various topics will be done in Science classes as a follow up of this trip.  On that day, children will also enjoy a special exhibition of ocean resources along with a performance by those wonderful marine animal stars.


Summer Concert
Seldon Theatre
1900hrs-2030hrs, Friday
16th June

The annual summer concert will take place on June 16th at 1900hrs in The Seldon Theatre. Included in the programme, it will be a vast array of both vocal and instrumental performers featuring the Senior, Junior and Chamber Choirs along with the Wellington Chamber Orchestra. Together, they will perform music by composers such as Vivaldi, Elgar, Saint Saens, John Rutter and many more. We will also be premiering a new work by our own Mr. Toby Roundell.

As well as the established college instrumental and vocal groups, there will as usual be a sprinkling of some of our best young soloists showing their musical skills both vocally and on their instruments. The solos will range from pieces by Handel and Mozart to Lady Gaga.

So please join us for what will be a musically entertaining climax to the academic year and a prelude to the Summer Fair the following day, at which there will also be a full programme of musical and choreographic activity.

Admission to the concert will be free and will last approximately one hour.

The last day of the half term brought about a superb performance by the whole of Year 5. They delivered an outstanding Wellington Newsround performance with a variety of sketches to represent the ‘goings on’ around Tianjin and Wellington.

  • Major sandstorm hits northern China
  • Tiger terrifies tourists at the Tianjin Eye!
  • Loose laces cause broken bones!!
  • Bumpy ride for a local teacher
  • Top Trumps Tony wins maths trophy
  • Dragon Boat Disaster
  • Pandemonium
  • Missing children discovered in dome house

The children made up the news stories themselves. They used facial expressions to show emotions and delivered drama activities in a clear and fluent way. Signage and miming was used to support the younger children in the audience if they didn’t understand what the Newsreaders were saying. All in all, it was another outstanding performance from Year 5.

Year 2B won the 100% Attendance Award – well done 2B! It was a very close call, as 3 classes got 100% which meant that the one with the lowest number of ‘lates’ becomes the winning class.

Our new term’s celebration Assembly started off with Ms Carr’s ASA ‘Singing for fun’. The singers are all from Years 1 and 2 who have attended their weekly singing club with Ms Ailsa. Whenever I passed by her classroom listening to the children singing, they all sounded so beautiful.
All singers sang clearly, loudly and all in tune with each other. They performed lots of fun and enjoyable songs, like Ram-Sam-Sam, Earth is our Home, Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah and Music Man. They were absolutely an adorable choir.

We also had some amazing pianists with a variety of pieces:

Stanley played ‘Prelude’ by Henry Purcell.
Katerina played ‘La donna e’ Mobile’ by Verdi
Thomas played ‘Cool’ by Stephen Wood.

All pianists were, as usual, completely awesome. It is also a great inspiration for all our pupils to aspire to.

Milepost 3, Years 5 and 6 brought in their fantastic, enormous, immense and huge homework projects, ‘Construction of a model or a village, town or city’ this week – they are as big as a real city!

The Exit point on Friday morning ‘Building a Village’ was well attended by parents; the children were all dressed up to represent the culture of their made-up city. Some also undertook the persona of somebody that came from their city – a thoroughly fantastic Mile Post Exit point.

All their works are on display down the Year 2 corridor and the Atrium, please do come and look at them, as the children have spent a lot of time making their cities, writing about them, using Maths to show pie charts of the city’s population, Geography to identify where in universe the city is, and many more educational subjects that you will see.

We have extremely talented pupils in our school, and it’s a privilege to show off their skills.

The Junior School hosted its first Open Morning for our existing parents on Monday 5th June.  We had both our Head Boy and Girl and some Year 6 pupils as our Ambassadors and thus helped to translate for parents during the morning. We presented all the excellent teaching and learning that is taking place across our school, and answered questions from the parents.

All the parents were extremely positive and thoroughly enjoyed seeing what the children were learning in their different classes. “Really impressed with the Music Department.” “Year 3’s IPC Inventions topic looks excellent!” “How lovely it was to see the older children in class!” “The Nest is very nice.”


Monday 12 June 2017
All Day
IB Group 4 Project (to 13th) (DA)

1545hrs – 1645hrs
Mandarin Information Parents’ Meeting (YZ)

Wednesday 14 June 2017
All Day
World Sports’ Day

0900hrs – 1030hrs
Parent Briefing: Pupil Leadership (JL) (Common Room)

1545hrs – 1845hrs
TESMC Course (CN) (MB 335)

Thursday 15 June 2017
0815hrs – 1515hrs
Years 7 and 8 Trip to Tianjin Polar Word (FC)

0900hrs – 1200PM
Junior House Rounders Y3-Y4

0930hrs – 1100hrs
Junior School Open Morning (YT) (Atrium)

1330hrs – 1530hrs
Junior House Rounders Y5-Y6

1400hrs – 1515hrs
Meet the Master (Yrs 7-11) (ES) (Master’s Office)

1730hrs
Summer Art Exhibition (to 21st) (MFC) (Black Box)

Friday 16 June 2017
All Day
Years 5 and 6 Trip to Cultural Centre (RWB)

0930hrs – 1230hrs
Open Day (PR) (Atrium)

1900hrs – 2030hrs
Summer Concert (SG) (Theatre)

0900hrs – 1200hrs
Senior House Rounders

Saturday 17 June 2017
1000hrs – 1500hrs
Summer Fair (JAFJ)