This year marks my fourth Mid-Autumn Festival in Tianjin, and it remains one of the highlights of the calendar. It seems to me that the varied, traditional forms of celebration of this ancient observance powerfully represent the theme of family. This year it also falls within the range of the National Day holiday, and as such there is plenty of time for families to come together to mark the passing of the mid-year. On such occasions, the cyclical nature of the year is brought to the fore, marked not just by the centrality of the moon in this festival, but also in the symbolic use of rounded objects, symbolising perfection and completeness. The ubiquitous mooncake may be the most visible expression of this, but the sense of Tuan Yuan, or reunion, speaks to me very powerfully at this time of family gathering.
Whilst the obvious emphasis is on the family, here at Wellington we too place community and a sense of belonging at the heart of our education. The celebrations and activities that are taking place in the school during this period seek to build on our aim of drawing in all parts of the Wellington family, irrespective of background, as we continue to build an inclusive and welcoming institution. We do this through our engagement with parents, both formally as a part of a child’s educational journey, but also socially through the activities of the Wellington College Association (WCA); the six Houses foster a sense of inclusion for our young people through their shared events, assemblies and sporting activities; our service projects, including some recent work with our friends at the Tianjin Ru Hui Autism centre, again help to underline the ways in which Wellington draws people in to a shared sense of purpose and ambition.
Wherever you are celebrating Mid-Autumn and the National Day holiday, I wish all our Wellington families a peaceful and happy reunion.
MEET THE MASTER
Thursday 12th October
This week, the Meet the Master slot is aimed at parents of pupils in Years 2-6. If you would like to attend, please confirm via email with Ms. Emma Shi (firstname.lastname@example.org) by Wednesday 11th October.
Wednesday 11th 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 Dionne Zantua, the Head of Early Years, will give a presentation on developments in the Nest.
Monday 9th October
Meet the Bursar will be on Monday 9th October. Please send Ms Lisa Liu a message if you are planning to attend and if you have any specific topics you would like to raise (email@example.com). This will help us to ensure we have enough space and refreshments.
The School has been further developing the swimming pool with new floor mats to increase the surface friction, lifeguard towers, the foot baths and other changes to pursue enhanced certification for the facility. One negative effect has been the higher chlorine smell due to the foot baths, which according to the regulation, must be kept at a much higher chlorine concentration than the pool. We also purchased advanced pool chemistry testing devices to monitor the pool and foot baths and compare the results with our automated chemical dosing system. These changes, along with the replacement of the filtration systems, piping and pumps, constitutes significant improvements of a unique offering for international schools in Tianjin.
At the last Meet the Bursar we introduced Laura Lang, the Manager for our Facility Management Company, Jones Lang LaSalle. She and her team are responsible for keeping our campus clean, safe and working properly. For the next Meet the Bursar, on October 9th, we will be introducing managers from YiLong, our bus transportation provider. We will also present staff from Compass, our catering provider at our next meeting. We are doing this to elevate the importance of communications between all the service providers and parents, and ensure that the services provided are aligned with what we need and in accordance with expectations.
Wellington pupils across the school will show their support for the Tianjin Cancer Hospital Prevention Centre again. All pupils are encouraged to wear a pink item of clothing on Friday, October 13th and donate 10 RMB per item of the pinkness. We are proud to announce that this year some parents will donate their time and skills to help us raise more money. All funds raised across the ISCOT schools will be donated to the TICC’s charity campaign. If parents are interested in getting involved, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org by 11th October.
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!
Lower Level EAL Class
Every Tuesday from 19th September
This class is for beginner level learners who would like to improve their grammar, vocabulary and all round language skills.
Higher Level EAL Class
Every Thursday from 21st September
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.
Junior Art Room
As we approach the Mid-Autumn Festival, we will be enjoying the traditional Chinese artistic patterns and painting on fans. Besides that, we will sneak a peek into the hidden world of Chinese symbols and try to find the deeper meanings of depicted patterns. Apart from the joyful feeling of taking home something that you created, the piece of art that you can use in everyday life, will forever remind you of your life and friends in China.
Come and join us in celebrating Art life and coming holiday on Friday September 29th from 0830hrs-1100hrs in the Junior Art Room.
Our Celebration Assembly opened with a beautiful piano piece by Year 3 pupil, Jiajin and then we had Mimi and Kai Yi, the Head boy and the Head girl, introduced the recently formed Student Council of the Junior School. Mrs Bradley tested and explained the peace symbols on the International Day of Peace, September 21st. This was followed by our celebratory stars of the week from class teachers and specialists.
Jasmine from Year 6 entertained everyone with her beautiful flute playing and it was hard to believe that she had only been playing for one year.
Kai Yi and Mimi announced our winning class for the Attendance award, which was the deserving Year 5, Mrs O’Donoghue’s class. This was followed by House captains announcing the number of House Points during the week and the winner was – the Anglesey!
Ms Angela was invited on stage to inform us about the Chinese culture week. We heard about all the activities taking place across the school and we can wear our traditional Chinese costumes on Friday.
We then had one of the highlights of the assembly with Sunny from Year 6, who serenaded us with a song in Mandarin. She had composed and translated with the help of some classmates. It was truly a magnificent ending.
The importance of encouraging responsibility and independence
Aside from the obvious benefits of the above (effective time management, organization, problem solving and increased initiative) there are three main reasons why Junior School pupils in particular, need to learn these skills.
Firstly, by developing a sense of responsibility and independence, children acquire a life-long habit of being able to ‘fend for themselves’ when it comes to education. They are able to evaluate and address their learning needs without the instruction from adults.
Secondly, children who guide their own learning are usually more engaged with it. They are enthusiastic as they are learning in the manner which suits them. As a result, they are more likely to retain knowledge and develop skills. That is why we place such values on the International Primary Curriculum (IPC) which is an inquiry based approach.
Finally, children who can recognise their own mistakes, and address their misconceptions privately, are better equipped to handle setbacks. Understanding that mistakes are not just part of learning but are essential for it, encourage them to try – try on their own, try new things and try to solve problems.
Independence and responsibly are intrinsically linked. It is difficult to achieve one without the other. Responsibility is a core value for that reason. These are also skills which need to be taught and encouraged both at school and home. We must allow children the freedom to flourish whilst providing the support needed to achieve their potential.
Middle School Football Success
The hastily rearranged Middle School ISCOT football competition took place at IST last Saturday Despite the absence of the TIS squads, we knew that it was still going to be a very tough challenge to replicate the success of both the boys and girls’ teams last year.
The boys, the reigning ISCOT champions, defeated TEDA in a one-sided victory, and then went on to play a very tough final game against IST. Both teams played with energy and flair, and only some terrific goalkeeping by the IST ‘keeper kept the scores level. A late goal, scored against the run of play by IST, seemed to have snatched victory, but the boys’ team is made of stern stuff, and no sooner had IST celebrated what looked like the winning goal when Wellington equalised with the last kick of the match. Their earlier defeat of TEDA meant that Wellington won the competition on goal difference.
The girls’ team also showed real flair and determination in their competition. They lost a close game with IST 2-1, perhaps a little unluckily after a controversial refereeing decision, but they beat a stubborn TEDA team to claim second place in the competition. They scored two good goals and played throughout with growing confidence and skill.
Congratulations to both the squads and a huge “thank you” to the parents who came to support.
Monday 09 October 2017
0830hrs – 1100hrs
Junior School Open Day (appointment only) (YT)
1400hrs – 1500hrs
Meet the Bursar (LL) (Bursar’s Office)
Tuesday 10 October 2017
0830hrs – 0930hrs
WCA: Lower Level EAL Class (RD) (MB 235)
1100hrs – 1200hrs
WCA: Pilates (Black Box)
Wednesday 11 October 2017
0900hrs – 1000hrs
Parent Briefing: The Nest (DZ) (Black Box)
1400hrs – 1600hrs
ISCOT Mixed Football (Years 1-2) (h) (JM) (Sports Centre)
1500hrs – 1830hrs
HS Volleyball vs TIS (a) (RG)
Thursday 12 October 2017
1100hrs – 1200hrs
WCA: Higher Level EAL Class (PF) (MB 231)
1400hrs – 1515hrs
Meet the Master: Years 2-6 Parents (ES) (Master’s Study)
1500hrs – 1830hrs
MS Football vs IST (@IST) (RG)
Friday 13 October 2017
Pink Day (in aid of Breast Cancer Research) (MR)
0830hrs – 1100hrs
WCA: Art Class (KM) (Junior Art Room)
0930hrs – 1030hrs
WCA: Pilates (Dance Studio)