The Week Ahead 09 November 2017

Dear Parents

Are we doing enough as a community to ‘futureproof’ our young people at Wellington? By this, I do not mean to question the academic expectations we have – far from it, I want and expect these to keep improving, so that our graduates continue to gain admission to the best universities across the world. The Festival of Education last month offered a host of ideas about the way education was developing, and many of the speakers recognised that the schools of the future will not be successful if they sought to be little more than a facsimile of those schools of today. The world moves too fast for such stagnation of ideas, particularly in the sensitive area of learning – young people only get one chance at childhood.

I have heard and read enough about the ways schools are going to know that it is unwise to make predictions about the future with any greater certainty. We recognise this ourselves: the College’s own mission statement talks of developing youngsters who can, “thrive within an ever-changing global society.” If we cannot with confidence predict what the world of tomorrow holds for our pupils, there are ways we can prepare them to face the challenges more fully. Aside from giving our children a thorough grounding in academic rigour and embedding a set of personal values that underpin their conduct, Wellington seeks to support pupils in their resilience. Resilience is a much underrated characteristic. It is often the preserve of the quieter, more determined individuals, and only reveals itself in times of hardship or challenge. The great benefit of genuine resilience is that it helps people adapt to fast-changing or uncertain situations; to be resolute, but never dogmatic, in their decision-making. Resilient people have the ability to respond to the unexpected more quickly than others and they do not let incidences of failure or disappointments hamper their lives.

As such, it is to me a wonderful characteristic to encourage in young people. It can help them to contextualize setbacks in their academic progress, or respond with greater emotional intelligence to events that have the capacity for harm. Wellington’s programmes of wellbeing; of team and individual sports; the International Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme; and of developing confidence and skill in the performing arts, are all key elements to building this characteristic in young people.  An emphasis on independence of thought, of learning from mistakes without a fear of failure or ridicule, and an expectation of stretch and challenge from teachers, all framed within a safe and forgiving environment, are the keys to helping young Wellingtonians face the world, better armed for the uncertainties of tomorrow.

Best wishes for the forthcoming break
Julian Jeffrey
Master

Master’s Office
1400hrs-1515hrs
Thursday 16th November

This week, the Meet the Master slot is aimed at parents of pupils in Years 1 to 6. If you would like to attend, please confirm via email with Ms. Emma Shi (emma.shi@wellingtoncollege.cn) by Wednesday 15th November.

 

Senior School Assessment Week

Assessment Week for the pupils in the Senior School in Years 7, 8, 9, 10 and Year 11 A Level Induction group will start on Monday, 20th November. The revision guide and the timetable have been sent by email to all the pupils. Pupils should use the time during the November break to revise content covered so far in each of the subjects.The ASA will be cancelled for the whole week.

Christmas is just around the corner and it is time for our annual Charity Christmas Bazaar which will be held on Friday December 1st, 2017, 1400hrs-1700hrs. We will continue our theme from last year–The Gift of Giving – with proceeds from the Bazaar going to the Tianjin RuHui Rehabilitation Centre. If any parents or friends from the Wellington Community are interested in organising a stall or offering any other support for the event, please contact Ms. Fiona Yang: fiona.yang@wellingtoncollege.cn

 

University Visit: Royal Holloway University London
Seldon Theatre
1545hrs-1645hrs
Thursday 16th November

Royal Holloway University London, will be visiting the College next week. They will be with us on the Thursday 16th November from 1545hrs until 1645hrs in the Theatre. All pupils in Years 11, 12 and 13 will be attending this presentation instead of their ASAs.

Royal Holloway was ranked 197th in the world and the 31st overall in the UK in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2017/18. Recognized as world-class experts in the arts, humanities and sciences, many Royal Holloway academics act as advisors to policy-makers and the Government.

There will be a presentation followed by a Q&A session. Parents with children in all year groups in the College are welcome to attend. There will be opportunities for questions regarding applications to universities in the UK.

Each week we will have workshops and lectures on various and colourful topics held by our school parents and friends. This is to enhance our bounds as a Wellington Community and we would love to welcome all of you to join us!

Art Class
Junior Art Room
0830hrs-1100hrs
every Friday 

It is such a privilege to work with talented and eager people – an amazing and energy boosting experience. Art classes are meant to be relaxing, fun and widen our art horizons beside gaining different skills and traveling through art history, but I’ll tell you a secret: my students are the ones who always want even more and that’s how we ended up drawing a live model! If you had asked me three days ago, I would have said: no, it’s still not the right time, even though I see the great potential of my lovely students. But they are so passionate about their intimate love of art which makes each class quite unpredictable.

Now, we will try to capture nature itself. Wish us luck! If you want to join us in this unique occasion to sneak a peek at how serious artists learn how to observe and draw, please let me know, so I can prepare enough space for all adventurers who are ready to try such an artistic roller coaster with us!

Looking forward to seeing you in the room of miracles!

Lower Level EAL Class
MB 235
0830hrs-0930hrs
every Tuesday
Restarts Tuesday 21st November

This class is for beginner level learners who would like to improve their grammar, vocabulary and all-round language skills.

Higher Level EAL Class
MB 231
1100hrs-1200hrs
every Thursday

This class is for more confident learners who would like to extend their grammar and vocabulary and will have a focus on improving spoken fluency.

Pilates
Dance Studio
0930hrs-1030hrs
Friday 17th November

Pilates is a physical exercise system developed by Joseph Pilates. It is complete coordination of body, mind and spirit. Pilates focuses on core strength and balanced muscle development as well as flexibility and increased range of motion for the joints. So, don’t hesitate, join our classes and feel better.

You are warmly welcomed.

Ten excited Year 4 pupils went off on their travels to Beijing on Wednesday. Mr Cameron will be sharing all the photographs and diaries to parents later through Wechat, so please spend time reading the exhilarating time the children had.

Year 5 recited a 500-word book on the Assembly using Pie Corbett strategies: putting actions to the words, pictorially presenting the actual story, role-playing their story and writing their story. These strategies enhance the writing skills across all year groups, and we are proud that Mrs O’Donoghue is currently delivering the training to all staff in the Junior School. I expect that you will see a great improvement of your child’s writing skills over the next few months.

Well done to all Year 5 for a super informative Assembly with wonderful singing and a rap about adjectives. Mr Bradley’s Year 6B won the attendance award, 100%, very closely followed by Year 5F. We also had two winning Houses which scored exactly the same house points this week.

A kindly reminder to please ensure your child to bring a coat to the school as they normally have outdoor activities every day. Though we have to stay in a lot of the time in winter, children do need to run around to burn off their energy, therefore we encourage every child to go outside whenever possible. If your child has to stay inside due to a cough or cold, please let the class teacher know; they will be monitored in the atrium by Ms Lily.

Golden Learning Moment 

To have more confidence in speaking, pupils in EAL immersion created a brainstorm map and shared different ideas with each other. Using these ideas and vocabularies they prepared a classroom speech which featured their newly acquired learning and new found confidence in public speaking.

Chinese Debate Competition

Three Senior School pupils (Year 12 Bridget, Year 10 Eva and Maggie) represented Wellington in a Chinese Debate Competition held at Dulwich College, Beijing on 4th November. There were 40 teams from international schools all over China and we finished in the quarter final stage. We received the prize for being an Excellent Team. It was a precious experience for our pupils to realize and understand a debate is not about arguing but listening carefully and thinking rigorously.

 

Follow-up to ‘Stretching the Most Able’ Parent Briefing 

As you will know, we have established a register of our pupils, categorising a number of them as being particularly ‘gifted and talented’. This is designed to help identify and stretch these pupils in lessons and activities, and is a confidential document within the school. As such, I am afraid that parents cannot apply for their children to be included. All our children are offered individual opportunities to challenge themselves at levels appropriate to their age and progress, and thus inclusion on this particular register is neither desirable nor necessary.

The aim of the register is not to generate more homework for these children; they are given access to higher order work, not simply more of it. Multiple studies across the world have shown that simply adding more work to academically gifted pupils fails to reward them for their work and thus can act as a limitation on their development. It is the quality of the work they are doing that is important in ensuring growth, not the quantity of it.

Thursday 16 November 2017
1100hrs – 1200hrs
WCA: English Class – Intermediate/Advanced (PF) (MB 231)

1400hrs – 1515hrs
Meet the Master: Years 1-6 Parents (ES) (Master’s Study)

Friday 17 November 2017
0830hrs – 1100hrs
WCA: Art Class (KM) (Junior Art Room)

0930hrs – 1030hrs
WCA: Pilates (Dance Studio)

Saturday 18 November 2017
0900hrs – 1230hrs
Saturday Activity Programme (SAP) (EvK)