One of the most interesting features of a career in education is the level of engagement in issues around thinking about schools and learning by what may be termed the non-specialist, those not employed in the business of teaching. Schools are unique places. Unlike doctors’ surgeries, aircraft cockpits or offices, all members of a school community have spent significant parts of their lives in schools. This brings with it the great advantage of prior knowledge and experience on the part of parents and grandparents when choosing schools, advising children or talking to members of the school staff. Adults, even those not employed in education, tend to be on familiar ground once they step back into a school. However, working with young people and helping them to learn as preparation for the world around them, is not a static process; educational practices and ideas move fast, and for those who do not make their careers in this field, much of the development in pedagogical practice and theory can remain a mystery.
If you have read any of my recent Week Ahead pieces, or been to a Meet the Master session, you will already know that part of my role here is to draw our wider community, of parents, grandparents and friends of Wellington, further into the life of the school. The WCA, with its focus as a social hub for our families, is one such initiative, but it is not designed to engage with the practice of teaching and learning. Much of my time is spent in talking to parents about education and the application of innovation across the school, so I know there is a strong appetite among our community for further engagement with the theory and practice of education. As a result, I am delighted to announce our first major collaboration as part of the expanded Wellington College China group, in the form of a Festival of Education (‘EdFest’), to be held here at the school on Monday 23rd October. In partnership with our sister schools in Shanghai and Hangzhou, we will be offering a day-long programme of lectures, workshops and short talks, all focused on teaching and learning. We are lucky to be joined by experts from across China and the globe for this exciting event, and I am sure it will be of significant interest to many across our community. Details of the speakers and topics appear below in the Week Ahead, but it is safe to say that there will be discussion on everything from Early Years’ education to university admissions’ advice. The cost to those from outside the Wellington community is 100RMB, but entry for parents and friends of the school is free (please register your intention to attend to ensure this concession). I would encourage as many of you as possible to come along and engage with the speakers and their ideas.
The Ed Fest promises to be one of the pivotal moments in the school year, opening up fresh insights for parents, educators and the wider Wellington community, as well as removing some of the mystique that surrounds modern educational practice. Please do join us for what promises to be the first of an annual celebration of the world of learning.
To register, for the Ed Fest, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or book your tickets at the college reception.
MEET THE MASTER
Thursday 19th October
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 (email@example.com) by Wednesday 18th October. Mrs Popovic, Mrs Sabio and Dr Yang will be available to answer your questions.
REPORTING IN THE SENIOR SCHOOL
Wednesday 18th October
Every Wednesday morning from 0900hrs, 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, Mrs Dragana Popovic, the Acting Head of Senior School, will give a presentation on the reporting of the Senior School.
The first set of reports this academic year will be published in two weeks. If you would like to know more about this topic, please join us. Parents’ understanding of the data and reports we produce for each child is very important because it will provide information on where your child is and where we anticipate your child will be at the end of the Key Stage. Also, it will provide the pupil’s current progress and areas for development and improvement identified by their teachers, which is crucial for a child’s academic performance and success. The Briefing will be in the Common Room. Chinese and Korean translations during the event will be provided.
Year 8 Mandarin Trip to Drum Tower
Thursday 19th October
Year 8 Mandarin learners will have a trip to the Drum Tower and Ancient Culture Street on Thursday 19th October. They will leave at 0830hrs and be back by 1200hrs for the LTA. Pupils will board the bus at the school gate. A parent letter has been sent out with more details and information, if you have any question, please contact with me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Europe Trip Parent Briefing
Monday 16th October
I am pleased to invite both the parents and the pupils who are joining us on this amazing trip to a briefing at 1700hrs on Monday 16th October. The meeting will be an opportunity to share key information with you all, and ensure that everyone has begun the process of securing a visa, if required. To ensure that we are aware of numbers, please can you confirm if you will or will not be joining us by email to one of the following:
email@example.com (Korean speakers)
firstname.lastname@example.org (Chinese speakers)
We look forward to seeing you all there!
Year 7: Take Your Father to School Day
Friday 20th October
The Senior School is delighted to once again invite the fathers of our Year 7 pupils to join us for the day on Friday 20th October. Please remember to check your timetables the night before, dads! Pack your calculator, art supplies and your PE kits (if necessary) as we expect all fathers to join in the lessons as well as the House time.
After the success of last year, fathers will be invited to join me, as the KS3 Coordinator, and some senior colleagues in the Common Room during Period 5 for a coffee and a chance to ask any questions they may have about our curriculum. We sincerely hope to see as many of our Year 7 fathers as possible, please ensure you have returned your reply slip to Ms Emma Paine by Monday 16th October.
The Caucasian Chalk Circle
Wednesday 18th – Fri 20th October
Over the past half term, a number of pupils have been working on our very own version of Bertolt Brecht’s The Caucasian Chalk Circle,itself a play based on an initial premise from a Chinese playwright Li Xingdao. Brecht’s play explores the problem of a child left behind by his mother during a military coup and saved by a maid who devoted herself to the child.
The pupils involved have been reading the play, exploring how to perform it and have written the music that will accompany the performance. This week for three nights only, it shall be performed and we invite you to join them in the Black Box Theatre. Tickets are available from reception at a cost of 50RMB for Wednesday, Thursday and Friday night. Doors will open at 7pm each evening. Building on the success of last year’s performance of Two, this will be a wonderful experience – a not-to-be-missed highlight of the Michaelmas Term calendar. We look forward to seeing you there.
21st – 27th October
Wellington Art teachers are excited to be holding the first exhibition of their artwork at Nasca Linien in Wudadao from Saturday 21st to Friday 27th October. The exhibition ‘山水心Mindscape’ will have a special opening for the Wellington community on the evening of Friday 20th October and a bus will be available between school and Wudadao. Following the exhibition there will be dinner for all guests at former Wellington parent Fiona Yu’s hot pot restaurant. Tickets will cost 50RMB and further details will be sent out on wechat soon.
The University of Rochester,
Tuesday, 17th October
Thursday, 19th October
There will be two American universities visiting Wellington next week. The University of Rochester will be with us on the 17th October from 0830hrs until 0900hrs. Rochester describes itself as one of the smallest and most collegiate schools among the nation’s top research universities. The University of Rochester’s graduate programs include the highly ranked William E. Simon Graduate School of Business Administration, Hajim School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Medical Centre, Department of Political Science and Department of Economics. The well-regarded Eastman School of Music is home to more than 20 ensembles, including the first wind ensemble in the country. The Institute of Optics is the nation’s oldest educational program devoted to optics. The school’s unique “Take Five Scholars” programme provides students an additional tuition-free semester or year studying topics of interest outside of their major. Notable alumni include former U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu and visual effects artist Michael Kanfer, who won an Academy Award for his work on the film ‘Titanic’.
Albion College will be here on the 19th October from 1000hrs until 1100hrs. Albion is a private liberal arts college, located in Albion, Michigan. The most popular majors at Albion College include: Biology/Biological Sciences, Psychology, Business Administration and Management, Economics and Kinesiology and Exercise Science. The average freshman retention rate, an indicator of student satisfaction, is 82 percent.
Both presentations will take place in the Theatre. All pupils in Years 11-13 will be attending. Parents with children in all year groups are welcome to attend. There will be opportunities for questions regarding applications to Universities in America.
Welcome back after a lovely mid-Autumn break! The Junior School has started off a new half term with the monthly Open Morning. Even though there was lots of rain, we still had over 50 parents attended. Parents were shown around by staff members as well as by some of our children: Mimi, Kai Yi, Leena, Masa, Riordan, Julia, Jason, Alice, Sunny and Linda were our wonderful tour guides. A big thank you to all the staff and children to make the morning so successful.
During our Open Mornings, we would like to take parents around every classroom to see the excellent quality of teaching and learning. The school has invested heavily to upgrade our interactive Whiteboards, so that they are more user-friendly for both the pupils and teachers: we now have Apple boards in six classrooms. The group that I led saw an excellent example in Year 2, where the children planned their trip of their favorites places around the school using Poplett. They videoed themselves walking around the school, explaining where they were and why they had chosen this place. In addition, children have a mini Maths quiz each week, which help the teacher have a better understanding that what the children know and need to know for the following weeks’ activities. The teachers do these by Plickers, Kahoot and Socrates, all interactive and fun, but very clear in identifying children’s individual needs.
The homework projects are starting to come in; currently we have the Year 5 and 6 projects about Rivers, out on display by the Room 131. There is lots of super work on display, and I can see that most of the children have researched the topic well.
Our next Open Morning is Wednesday 29th November, please email Ms Polly Zhang, email@example.com to book an appointment.
A reminder that there are no ASA on the week of 23rd October due to the Parents’ Evening. Slips will be sent out by the end of this week. During the Parents’ Evening, all books will be available for parents to view; Reading, Writing and Math targets will be given, and we will have the Chinese translation of the Age-related Expectations.
Golden Learning Moment
Jason is able to locate the next place the Mile Post 2 will be visiting – South America. Well done Jason.
Monday 16 October 2017
Europe Trip Parent Briefing (EP) (CR)
Tuesday 17 October 2017
International Day for the Eradication of Poverty (TCR)
0830hrs – 0930hrs
WCA English Class: Lower Level EAL Class (PF) (MB 235)
0900hrs – 1030hrs
WCA: Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) (WCA Room)
1100hrs – 1200hrs
WCA: Pilates (Dance Studio)
1600hrs – 1730hrs
MS Football vs TIS: Boys (h); Girls (a) (RG)
Wednesday 18 October 2017
0900hrs – 1000hrs
Parent Briefing: Reporting in the Senior School (DP) (Common Room)
Senior School Play (to 20th) (MB) (Black Box)
Thursday 19 October 2017
Inter-House Maths Competition (EIW)
0830hrs – 1200hrs
Year 8 Mandarin Trip to Gulou (YZ)
1100hrs – 1200hrs
WCA: Higher Level EAL Class (PF) (MB 231)
1400hrs – 1515hrs
Meet the Master: Years 7-11 Parents (ES) (Master’s Study)
Friday 20 October 2017
Year 7: Take Your Father to School Day (EP)
0830hrs – 1100hrs
WCA: Art Class (KM) (Junior Art Room)
1100hrs – 1200hrs
WCA: Pilates (Dance Studio)
Saturday 21 October 2017
0900hrs – 1230hrs
Saturday Activity Programme (SAP) (EvK)
0900hrs – 1500hrs
ISCOT Football (Years 3-5) (h) (Sports Centre)