As autumn slips away, leaving a distinctly wintry feel to the city this week, I thought it was worth taking stock of the key academic developments of the term. We have enjoyed some wonderful triumphs in music, art, drama and sport this term, but underpinning everything of course, is our relentless pursuit of academic excellence.
You will soon be getting reports or interims on your child’s attainment, progress and effort this term. These represent a key benchmark for all of us – pupils, parents and staff – to think carefully about the next steps for each Wellingtonian. Even the youngest children among our community have targets to work towards, although of course these are expressed in very different ways among the Early Years to those of the public examination candidates. Pupils and parents need to be aware of these targets, and understand ways of working to achieve them. This latter element is crucial in supporting all our learners, as without an appreciation of how to improve, few children will be capable of making (or indeed, exceeding) their goals for the year.
We have taken significant measures to help parents and pupils access such information more easily. Reports on Tapestry in the Early Years and for pupils in our A Level induction year are now produced in both English and Chinese; parents’ evenings are held at least twice each year for every group, with translation support available for those who request it; individual meetings with teachers, tutors and Housemasters can be arranged with reasonable notice; and, of course, children have their baseline assessments to use as a reference point for their development. The Parent Portal hosts relevant curriculum advice as well as all reports and interim grades, and parents of all year groups have been offered a briefing on how assessment works at their child’s relevant age group.
Dialogue and communication remain at the heart of this process of school and home acting in harmony to help our pupils make progress. Our school is an open one, accessible to all members of the parent community to engage with the academic staff; please take advantage of the opportunities to come in and speak to us. In this way, by working together, we can help ensure that all our children achieve great things in their learning this year.
MEET THE MASTER
Thursday 2nd November
This week, the Meet the Master slot is aimed at parents of pupils in Years 12 and 13. If you would like to attend, please confirm via email with Ms. Emma Shi (firstname.lastname@example.org) by Wednesday 1st November.
STRETCHING THE MOST ABLE
Wednesday 1st November
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, Mr Robert Bradley and Mr David MacKinnon will talk about how we stretch our most able students at the College.
Senior School Parents’ Evening
Tuesday, 31st October
Thursday, 2nd November
There will be two Senior School Parents’ Evenings organised next week. Parents of the pupils in Years 7 and 11 (both streams) are invited to attend the evening on Tuesday 31st October; and parents of the pupils in Years 12 and 13 (both streams) are invited the evening on Thursday, 2nd November.
Parents will have an opportunity to talk about their child’s progress and areas for improvement with the subject teachers. Members of the Senior Management Team will also be present on both evenings to address any enquiries parents might have.
Mandarin Magazine: Anti-wasting food
Monday 30th October
Next week, we will organise a school activity called “Anti-wasting food”, which includes an online survey, news report, charity green market with pupils from Mandarin Magazine in the Senior School. It aims to raise the awareness of saving food and find out the ways to avoid any food waste during lunchtime. All donations from this activity will go to the charity programme ‘Free Time’, which offers free lunches to the children in poverty.
Monday 30th October
This coming Monday, the 30th October, we will have the second in our new series of lunchtime concerts, where we warmly welcome you to see our junior and senior choir perform a choral masterpiece by the wonderful choral specialist and composer, Paul Ayres. You will also see three other performances on the saxophone, violin and piano. The concert should last around 25 mins, and will begin at 1255hrs in the Black Box. Please do come and support our hard-working and talented musicians.
Combined Wellington Choirs – The Isle is Full of Noises, Paul Ayres
Violin Solo – Take Five, Paul Desmond
Saxophone Solo– Forever Small from One Just Second, Sakayui Misako
5 Short Piano Duets
This was another interesting and exciting week in Junior School. There was a superb class Assembly by Year 6 on Friday. Parents and pupils were entertained and educated by a play written by Year 6 Teacher Mr Bradley on the Trojan War. All pupils in the year group participated in this educational comedy. The costumes were excellent; the diction was clear and the story was delivered with precise timing, which left the audience not only in stitches laughing but all with a much clearer idea of what occurred during this period of history. There was another short play by Year 1 pupils on Diwali. With the direction from one of our lovely parent volunteers, the children told the story of Rama, Sita and the festival of lights.
Our very own Chinese magazine group run by Ms Jia launched their new food initiative during the Assembly. Pupils have been asked to consider food wastage and how we can cut down our wastage at school. There is a competition this week between classes to see who can produce the least food waste each day.
On Sunday, all the teachers had a very productive day on a course called ‘spread the happiness’ so let us see more happier teachers and pupils in the Junior School for the rest of the term!
It has been a few busy weeks in the Sixth Form and it’s good to take a moment to highlight all the things that have been going on. One exciting item of news is that we have completed two student applications for Cambridge University. This is one of those situations where even being able to apply is something of an achievement, and our very best wishes go to both candidates. The Oxbridge deadline means that we are getting into application season. Parents can help us by asking to read your child’s personal statement or college admission essay and by having some honest discussions about grades and performance.
Two weeks ago, Mr Batey and I attended an evening reception at the Yale Centre in Beijing where we heard a presentation from the Head of Admissions for China. Interesting points include that they are genuinely interested in the ‘whole student’ rather than just grades – he made it clear that they want a student body which does not just represent the highest academic performers. The second point is that he is getting very good at recognising admissions essays which are written by agents, and the third is that he is continually impressed by the quality and care shown by the school university counsellors.
Keeping up the momentum from the University Fair, we have had visits from the University of Rochester in the State of New York, Albion College in Michigan and LIM College in NYC. Wednesday 25th October also saw a visit from the University of Exeter in the UK. We shall continue to try to give a forum to the best universities from around the world.
Ms Liu is fast becoming our expert on US college applications and she has been working closely with several students over the past fortnight. If you would like to communicate in Chinese regarding a university application, please contact Ms Liu on her school email.
To continue the theme of the ‘whole student’, Dawn in Year 12 has just returned from Shanghai where she was an intern at ‘White Milano Shanghai’, one of the biggest trade shows in the country. It seems that people were impressed as she was offered a further internship in Milan – something that may have to wait for a year or two! This really shows how valuable ‘inter-culturalism’ is and as a bilingual, confident young person, being able to interact easily with people from around the world will be a huge asset.
Finally, it has been lovely to meet some parents over this first half of the term. We will always make time for a conversation about pupil’s progress, university applications or anything at all that may be worrying you. Contact Jayne Sabio, Ed Batey and Stacey Liu through their school emails or contact the school office to make an appointment.
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!
Junior Art Room
0830hrs-1100hrs, every Friday
Art of celebrations! It is exciting to celebrate Diwali, Slava, Halloween at the same time!
Dear art lovers, we will be celebrating all the festivals on Friday 27th of October! Leading with the ‘Slava’ celebration which I celebrated as a Serbian girl. ‘Slava’ is in the UNESCO protected, authentic, intangible cultural heritage of humanity list. It is celebrated by Serbian Orthodox Christians, the day when a family celebrates their patron and protector saint. It outgrows religion and tradition and becomes a family and friends gathering in contemporary life with a view back to their roots. How is it connected with art?
In a lot of ways: ichnographically, in what we do and make to protect our family and childhood memories, what we receive as visual heritage from our homes, families and nations. Think about your heritage wherever you come from and share it with us on Friday. The overlapping of different cultures is what specially excites us in the Art room.
We will explore how to simplify objects to make it a universal symbol, yet recognizable. Celebration cake figures will help us explore that challenging topic.
After the Art class, from 1100hrs to 1200hrs, we will be celebrating with fragments of old customs. Please come along to try food specialties as ‘Slavski kolac’, ‘Zito’ and typical cookies, beside ‘Ajvar’ … it’s free, everybody is welcome!
Monday 30 October 2017
Mandarin Magazine: Anti-wasting food (SL)
1255hrs – 1320hrs
Lunchtime Concert (FG) (Black Box)
Tuesday 31 October 2017
0830hrs – 0930hrs
WCA English Class: beginners (PF) (MB 235)
0900hrs – 1030hrs
WCA: Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) (WCA Room )
1100hrs – 1200hrs
WCA: Pilates (Black Box)
1700hrs – 1830hrs
Parents’ Evening: Years 7 & 11 (DP)
Wednesday 01 November 2017
Senior School Book Scrutiny (to 3rd) (DP)
0900hrs – 1000hrs
Parent Briefing: Stretching the Most Able (RWB / DAM) (Black Box)
Thursday 02 November 2017
1100hrs – 1200hrs
WCA: English Class – Intermediate/Advanced (PF) (MB 231)
1400hrs – 1515hrs
Meet the Master: Years 12-13 Parents (ES) (Master’s Study)
1700hrs – 1830hrs
Parents’ Evening: Years 12 & 13 (AL and IB streams) (DP)
Friday 03 November 2017
0830hrs – 1100hrs
WCA: Art Class (KM) (Junior Art Room)
0930hrs – 1030hrs
WCA: Pilates (Dance Studio)
1330hrs – 1600hrs
Swimming vs TEDA IS (Years 3-5) (h) (Sports Centre)
Autumn Concert (FG) (Theatre)
Saturday 04 November 2017
0900hrs – 1230hrs
SAT Exam (DA) (Black Box)