From the Master
11th November day is Singles’ Day here in China, the date’s collection of 1s suggestive of lonely singles. It is a day now more marked out for shopping than for celebrating being unattached, with retailers anticipating another bonanza – last year, shoppers spent almost $50million in the 24-hour window. It is quite different in the UK, though, where 11th November has a more sombre resonance. It is Remembrance Day, the day marking the armistice of the First World War and is a chance for people to join together in a shared reflection – in two minutes of silence – on the sacrifice made by all those who have fallen in conflict since 1914. Our sister school, Wellington College, uses the occasion to remember its own fallen; over 1200 Old Wellingtonians gave their lives in the terrible conflicts of the 20th Century.
If you have been in the school over the past couple of weeks, you will have noticed pupils and staff wearing a red (or white) poppy in their lapel. Families new to the school are often puzzled by this symbol, particularly as the poppy can have a quite different and distinctly ignoble association in China, so I thought I would just share with you a very brief outline of the reasons for the poppies you see around school. The wearing of a red poppy is a tradition that began in Britain almost 100 years ago, in 1921. Poppies grow on broken ground, and with the heavy artillery shelling of the warfare so characteristic of the Western Front in the First World War, it was almost inevitable that they grew on the battlefields – some of the only plants to do so. As such, poppies soon became a rare source of colour for the soldiers, and their image has been a source of comfort and reminder for those they left behind ever since. The poppy, therefore, is specifically not a symbol glorifying war; it is designed to give those who did come back (and, by extension, their descendants) a chance to pause and reflect on the sacrifice of those who did not. Each wearer makes a donation to the Royal British Legion, a charity that uses the money raised by the sale of these flowers to provide support for veterans’ care homes, ex-servicemen and their families. Since the introduction of the ‘poppy appeal’, it has raised almost £3 billion for its causes.
Not everyone wears the same poppies, though. Opponents of war can choose to wear a white poppy. These are still produced by the Peace Pledge Union, a pacifist charity that seeks to remind people of the horror and futility of war, but also recognise the losses of the wars of the 20th century. The money raised from their sale goes to support all the victims of war.
Within our school community of so many nationalities and backgrounds, we seek to give an opportunity for our pupils to understand more about the cultural differences that are bound together in a Wellington education. Therefore, whether you pass the day on Monday in a frenzy of online spending or not, I hope you can find the time to reflect on the lessons of a very different kind of 11th November.
MEET THE MASTER AND BURSAR
Duke of York’s Room
This week’s Meet the Master and Bursar slot is open to parents of pupils in all year groups. If you would like to attend, please confirm via email with Ms. Emma Shi
(email@example.com) by Wednesday 13th November.
FROM THE DIRECTOR OF MARKETING AND ADMISSIONS
Charity Christmas Bazaar
Christmas is fast approaching, and I am delighted that once again we are hosting an annual charity Christmas Bazaar. The bazaar will be on Friday, December 13th (1500hrs-1700hrs). The theme is the ‘Season of Giving’, to tie in with the broader messages of the Christmas season. Proceeds from the Bazaar will go to those charity organizations we have been supporting across the school. If any parents or friends from the Wellington community would like to be involved in organising a stall or offering any other support for the event, please contact Ms. Nina Lee in the Marketing department.
FROM THE HEAD OF ENGLISH AND ELA
Theatre Trip to Matilda
Tianjin Grand Theatre
Staff, pupils and parents will be going to see RSC production of Matilda on the 14th November. This is a rare opportunity to see a London, West End production in Tianjin.
Transport will be provided to and from the theatre and food will be provided for students. If any further information is needed, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursday 14 November 2019
Week 12 (B)
9:00AM – 10:30AM
FOW: TCM class (LL)
10:45AM – 12:00PM
FOW: Yoga class (LL) (Black Box)
2:00PM – 3:00PM
Meet the Master and Bursar: all year groups (ES) (Main Building)
5:00PM – 10:30PM
Theatre trip to Matilda (Grand Theatre) (JA)
Friday 15 November 2019
8:30AM – 11:00AM
FOW: Art class (LL)
8:45AM – 10:00AM
FOW: Pilates (LL) (Black Box)
9:30AM – 11:00 AM
Nursery: A Listening Walk along the Haihe River (BO)
Saturday 16 November 2019
Saturday Activity Programme (SAP) (EvK)