One of my goals for this year is to establish our Wellington values as a driving force behind all that we do as a community. In this way, terms such as courage, respect, integrity, responsibility and kindness become more than simple expressions of intent; they become embedded in the school ethos and are embraced and understood by all. The values are central to my vision for the school, marking us out as an organisation that is genuinely underpinned by a shared sense of what it is to be part of Wellington.
To me, the values are a clear, universal statement of the way we seek to conduct ourselves within the Wellington family. They transfer between languages, cultures and continents with a resonance and meaning for all. As such, they are a powerful statement of unity, not only giving us a strong link across our school here in Tianjin, but equally, within the global Wellington community. The next stage of this process of absorbing our values into the very DNA of the school is to seek out ways to contextualise them, ensuring they fit our school more completely. By this I mean to explore ways to make the values meaningful to all groups in our community, giving them a vitality and relevance that is more readily understood by its constituent parts: in effect, to promulgate a clear definition and set of expectations for each individual value for us in Tianjin.
My review of the Wellington values and their place in the community here in Tianjin has three key aims:
To improve cross-cultural awareness across our community
To establish unambiguous definitions for each value
To create a system of monitoring and reviewing of the impact of our values-driven ethos
As a result, I propose to draw up a working party of representatives from across our community (pupils, parents, governors and staff) to undertake this review and present a series of proposals to the school’s leadership team for final agreement and implementation. This group will meet on a weekly basis for a period of not more than two months to review the proposals and draft a report before its introduction across the school in the New Year. I would like three or four parents to join this group and contribute to this shared vision for the values. If you are interested in joining us, or simply would like more information, please do not hesitate to contact Ms Emma Shi (email@example.com) by Tuesday 12th September.
MEET THE MASTER
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) by Wednesday 13th September.
AN INTRODUCTION TO THE WCA
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 Julian Jeffrey, the Master, will introduce the Wellington College Association (WCA).
Wellington College International Tianjin has strengthened and extended the commitment to pupil welfare and safety in recent times. In the field of safeguarding and child protection we have established systems that are recognized by external experts as international excellence. Our House system and Tutoring, as well as a commitment by all staff to wellbeing and school values, have seen the pupils benefit and they are telling us in their feedback that the school is a much happier and safer place to be. We are not a College that likes to stop developing the way it supports the pupils, and the appointment of Mrs Samantha Wood as our new Pupil Guidance and Welfare Teacher is a significant indication of our commitment to the further development. Mrs Wood (email@example.com) is a very experienced senior teacher from the United Kingdom. She has achieved significant success and recognition in her role as a senior leader in schools. Mrs Wood is also the Head of Boarding. She and her husband, Mr Ian Wood, manage a very happy and pupil-centred Benson House.
Mrs Wood is excited about her new role and she is developing a comprehensive and proactive strategy that will enable your child to benefit from her skills and abilities. Occasionally, she will be there to support any child who is referred to her by a teacher who may have concerns about the wellbeing of a child. Mrs Wood will be supporting our wellbeing programme across the school; she is very keen to meet you all in future Parent Briefings and communicate with you through the Week Ahead and other projects later this year. I ask you to join me in welcoming Mrs Samantha Wood to our community and remind you that she is also here to support you, the parents, with any welfare or guidance that you may require at home that impact on your child’s learning and wellbeing.
SENIOR SCHOOL PARENTS’ EVENING
Year 7 Open House
Tuesday 12th September
Parents’ Evening for parents of pupils in Year 7 will be held on Tuesday 12th September from 1700hrs to 1830hrs. Pastoral care at Wellington plays a crucial role in developing every child to his or her full potential. If you would like to meet your child’s Tutor and Housemaster, please do come along. The meeting point is at the Atrium at 1700hrs where the introduction will be held. After the introduction, you will have an opportunity to ask questions about the House system in the Senior School and have a tour around your child’s House.
SENIOR SCHOOL PARENTS’ EVENING
Year 13 (A Level and IB streams)
Sixth Form Centre
There will be a meeting for all parents of pupils in Year 13 (both A Level and IB streams) on Thursday at 1700hrs in the Sixth Form Centre (Room 238). This is an informal opportunity for you to meet the new Sixth Form team and talk to us about your child’s university application. We hope to see as many of you there as possible.
University Fair 2017
Thursday 21st September
Following from the success of last year, we are delighted to be organising our Fourth Annual University Fair, to be held in the Sports’ Hall on Thursday 21st September. More than 40 top universities and colleges from around the world will be attending and there will be presentations from teachers, pupils and university representatives throughout the afternoon. We would love to see as many of you there as possible since this is a very important event in the school calendar and it gives you the chance to communicate directly with university admissions’ officers who will be able to answer all your questions regarding university applications. The contacts made at such events can result in the receipt of generous offers from universities, so it is important to communicate effectively with them. Parents of children in all year groups in the school are most welcome to attend from 1400hrs. Pupils in Years 12 and 13 will be attending from 1500hrs and pupils from Years 9 – 11 will be there from 1530hrs. The ASA for the Senior School is cancelled on that day, but the school buses will be leaving at the usual time. However, the universities and colleges will be here until 1830hrs, so you will have plenty of time to communicate with the university or college representatives.
If you have any questions regarding the University Fair, please contact a member of the Sixth Form team and we will get back to you within 24 hours.
firstname.lastname@example.org (Head of Sixth Form)
email@example.com (Deputy Head of Sixth Form)
firstname.lastname@example.org (Chinese Liaison Officer)
email@example.com (Korean Liasion Officer)
Year 11 Mandarin Trip
Thursday 14th September
On Thursday 14th September, Year 11 pupils will be taking a trip to the House of Cao Yu and the House of Liang Qichao. The trip is designed to inspire pupils the awareness of the literature context, and familiarize them with Cao Yu, who is the author of works of literature including Sunrise.
The school bus will leave at 1100hrs and back around 1500hrs. A parent letter has been sent to you this week, but if there are any further queries please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Roald Dahl Day
Wednesday 13th September
September 13th marks the birth date of Roald Dahl – the famous British novelist and poet. He is one of the greatest story-tellers of children’s literature. In memory of the popular writer, our pupils in the Junior School will dress up as their favourite Dahl character and share their love of Roald Dahl’s books.
All pupils and parents are welcome to join the literacy based activities in the Library. It will be a great opportunity to discover the secrets of Dahl’s writing: his inventive, playful use of language, a sense of humour and the incredible imagination – all of which are ways to win the hearts of the readers.
Vison Screening Test
Thursday and Friday 14th and 15th September
Tianjin Aier Eye Hospital will have a vision screening test for all the pupils on 14th and 15th September, from 0830hrs to 1500hrs in the Black Box. The test includes: Visual Acuity, Slit Lamp and Automatic Optometry. Aier Eye Hospital will arrange a follow-up meeting in the school for the parents whose child has been identified as having potential issues with vision.
Junior School ASA
ASA in the Junior School will start this term on September 11th. There is a diverse range of ASA on offer for this term, as our teachers in the Junior School are highlighting their talents and expertise. Please do email me (email@example.com) if you have any questions related to the ASA programme.
Easing the ‘Home-School’ Transition in Early Years
The beginning of a new academic year is the time to help your child adjust to routines, get excited about learning, and become more independent from their parents. For our youngest learners, this can be a challenging time as they deal with new environments and unfamiliar faces. Yet we may ease this period of transition with care and consideration.
In the morning, it is important for parents to say goodbye and reassure the children that they will be collected after school. The children will feel secure when they know what to anticipate and build trust on this predictable pattern of separation. Waving through the window or blowing kisses are some of the few strategies that parents can use. Keep in mind that the longer a parent lingers, the harder it is to say goodbye.
The children find comfort in familiar objects. The photographs of their family in class help the children feel connected to their home whilst they are in school. A special item such as a favourite toy or a book can also be a very soothing item for young children.
One of the core frameworks in the Early Years is understanding that each child is unique. As the teachers and children are still building relationships, the communication between the parents and the teachers is key to bridge this gap. Teachers regularly update the parents of their children’s progress; please feel free to inform them of any information about your child that will support them in class. An “All About Me” questionnaire was sent out to you, please kindly complete this form and return them to your class teacher.
With any life transition, children need time to fully adapt to it, but with good preparation, we can ensure a nurturing and happy start to a new academic year. Thank you for all your support!
What an amazing start to the first full week in the Junior School. Years 3 and 4 had their Entry Point on Monday with lots of different foods for all the children. Thank you to the parents that donated food for the event.
We also had the first of our many planned Parent Briefings of the year, on Assessment and Reporting. I explained to the parents how we grade the children for Reading, Writing and Maths by using Age-Related Expectations and how we track the IPC subjects using the ‘Rubrics’. I also explained the grading system that we use, which is split up into 6 stages in each year group: Entering, Entering+, Developing, Developing+, Secure and Secure+. We expect all the children to make 6 steps of progress from the beginning. Note, though, that every child’s starting point can be at a different stage, especially in Reading and Writing due to the exposure of the English language.
Regular reading at home with your child and asking them questions about the text: what do you think will happen next, what kind of character do you think this is and why, find a word that is similar etc., will help your child develop in their Reading.
To promote their Writing further, we suggest when you support your child on their homework project, or in any writing tasks, you remind them to use, full stops, capital letters, conjunctions (for example, also, and, but, so, whereas, even though, however, although), past and present tenses etc. All the homework projects, the termly overview and the weekly newsletter should have been sent out on Friday, if you have any questions that you would like to discuss, please speak to your child’s class teacher on Thursday during the Junior School Parents’ Evening.
All classes’ weekly newsletter will be sent via email on Friday 8th September; if you do not receive your weekly newsletter please speak to firstname.lastname@example.org
During the Parents’ Briefing, several parents asked to see what the children learn in Maths, and how they can help them at home. Unfortunately, the children cannot bring their books back home on weekends as they are needed for planning and marking, but the Junior School staff have agreed to have a weekly Open Evening session, which is every Wednesday at 1520hrs-1540hrs (starting from 13th September), where the parents can look at their child’s Maths book, see how they performed in the weekly test, and how you can support them at home. Please note that it is not a formal parents’ meeting; if you wish to ask the teacher questions, please make an alternative 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! Starting with new academic year, school parents Mrs. Daniela Stofkova opens the ‘Pilates’ session and Mrs. Ksenija Markovic holds “Art Class” for your mental relaxation and inspiration. In addition, we also have Professor Wei Wang from Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) to explain how TCM can help with your family’s daily diet. Finally, Mr Paul Findlay, the Head of EAL, will give an interesting English lesson to the parents who wish to study English as their additional language.
Junior Art Room
Every Friday from 1st September
What a lovely start we had last Friday in our WCA Art class!
A little journey to the Impressionist period of art revived through colours, music, even a drink called Absinthe, they were consuming at the time and gave us a clear picture of their vivid world.
Hidden energy, preserved for a long time, poured out like volcanic magma! By analysing the way famous painters such as Monet, Manet, Degas and Renoir did their pictures, what they used, preferred, what were the topics of that time and how radical they were in perceiving lives and surroundings, we started to create our own canvases and transpose them to our contemporary moment. Lovely Tianjin landscapes became modern impressionist interpretations!
Such great art lovers gathered in one place! If you feel like sharing your love of art, expressing yourself in an artistic way, and relaxing away from everyday noise of the city, please come and join us. We will be there every Friday from 0830hrs to 1100hrs, in the Junior Art room. I’m so delighted that our first meeting went so well; I’m planning to continue with that positive approach, and bring you more nice and interesting art topics we can enjoy together.
For more info please feel free to contact me at email@example.com
Monday 11 September 2017
0900hrs – 1030hrs
WCA: Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) (WCA Room)
1100hrs – 1200hrs
WCA: Pilates (Dance Studio)
1700hrs – 1830hrs
Parents’ Evening: Year 7 Open House (DP)
Tuesday 12 September 2017
1600hrs – 1730hrs
MS Boys Football vs TIS (h) (RG) (Sports Field)
Wednesday 13 September 2017
Roald Dahl Day (JP) (Library)
9:00AM – 10:00AM
Parent Briefing: An Introduction to the WCA (JAFJ) (Black Box)
Thursday 14 September 2017
0830hrs – 1500hrs
Milepost 2: Educational visit
1100hrs – 1530hrs
Year 11 (A Level Steam) Trip to House of Cao Yu & House of Liang Qichao (YZ)
1100hrs – 1200hrs
WCA: English Class (PF) (MB231)
1400hrs – 1515hrs
Meet the Master: Years 7-11 Parents (ES) (Master’s Study)
1600hrs – 1730hrs
MS Boys and Girls Football vs TIS (h) (RG) (Sports Field)
Parents Evening: Year 13 (A Level and IB streams) (JMS)
Friday 15 September 2017
0800hrs – 1100hrs
WCA: Art Class (KM) (Junior Art Room)
0830hrs – 1500hrs
Milepost 2: Educational visit
1100hrs – 1200hrs
WCA: Pilates (Dance Studio)
Saturday 16 September 2017
0800hrs – 1530hrs
ISCOT MS Football (@ IST) (RG)
0900hrs – 1200hrs
Saturday Activity Programme (SAP) (EvK)