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The Master's End of Year Letter

24 December 2020
 

Dear parents

Wellingtonians are encouraged to be resilient and courageous young people, and this year has undoubtedly tested them in ways that just twelve months ago would have seemed wholly outlandish. If nothing else, this year has taught us that our capacity for endurance is both an individual and collective strength across our community. The pandemic is no respecter of calendars and holidays, of course, so if you and your family have travel plans outside Tianjin over the coming break, please do be aware of the risk of local flare-ups and subsequent restrictions on movement.

 

We began the term with record exam results at every stage of our public examinations. Our A Level results, with 74% of all grades at A* or A and 95% A*-B, even exceeded those of our sister school in England. IGCSE and AS results were also outstanding, helping to set up these three generations of Wellingtonians with excellent prospects for the next stage in their academic journeys. The success in the summer has had another hugely positive impact on those pupils in year 13 who have applied to Oxbridge or Ivy League universities. As I write this end of term letter, nine pupils are in the process of interviewing for Oxford or Cambridge, one has an early decision offer from the Ivy League - University of Pennsylvania - and there are six unconditional offers for some of the UK's leading universities. They have all earned the right to get this far in the selection process, and I am sure they all have the full community's best wishes as they face the anxious wait for the results over the next few weeks.

 

Online University Fair

Junior School Sports Day

Library Class in the Nest

Across the school, pupils have been working hard this term, revelling in the chance to access all the school's resources. In the Nest, under the leadership of Mrs Bennett, the co-teaching model has continued to be refined, and the staff set the standard for this complex and nuanced form of teaching across our group of schools. I have seen some really terrific work from the children in the Nest, with pupils of all ages working at a very impressive level. In the Junior School, pupils from years 5 and 6 are already working on accelerated maths programmes, with groups of children studying year 7 equivalent level work. The oracy programme, so central to our project to get children speaking more fluently in English across the school, has encouraged pupils to be more confident when presenting in class. Allied to this is the system of language ambassadors, a group of volunteers from among the pupil body which is committed to embedding spoken English more fully. Senior School pupils have been testing their mathematical skills in several international competitions, including winning six gold medals in the recent UKMT Senior Maths Challenge. This result places them in the top 10% of global entrants and two of the winners, Ted and Frank, are now eligible for the British Maths Olympiad next term.

Mrs Bennett in the Nest

Microsoft Global Learning Connection

The EPQ  Marketplace

I am particularly pleased with the way in which service – the commitment to working on behalf of others – has blossomed this term. Highlights for me were the Pink Day events, raising money and awareness of breast cancer research in Tianjin; the virtual triathlon, also in October, which saw pupils and staff swim, run and cycle the 1220km to our sister school in Hangzhou within one school day; the Eric Liddell group ASA which is working on a collaborative project for the summer term with our friends at the PeiZhi school, here in Hongqiao District; and the 400kg of warm winter clothing gathered throughout November by the community for school children in deprived parts of Gansu province. What has marked out these projects for me is the high level of pupil leadership they have all involved. Indeed, the triathlon was conceived and organised by Marcos and Jurek, two pupils in year 13. Their inspiration and drive raised over 6,000RMB for good causes in the city. In total, we have raised over 70,000RMB this term alone for local charities, and there are still a number of very exciting projects in the pipeline for the coming months. I have always felt that Wellingtonians are privileged to receive the education they do and that as a part of that education, they need to show responsibility towards others. Their committed support for charity projects, particularly those focused on improving the lives of local children, is a symbol of their determination to give something back to the world outside Wellington.

The Virtual Triathlon

Charity Sleepover

Charity Walk

The Visit to Peizhi School

The coming months will still carry an aura of uncertainty, as the pandemic continues to rampage around the world, but we are determined to ensure that the Lent term is as busy and successful as the one that has just ended. There is a great deal to look forward to. We have mock examinations in January for pupils in years 11-13; these will be vital in gauging progress towards their summer exams. The Annual Review, the external quality assurance visit, which helps inform the community about standards across the school, will be with us from 9th-11th March. The parent survey, which helps to provide data for the review, will be sent out to families in early January. Finally, we will have our musical back on stage once again. Grease: The Musical is a vibrant production and promises to be another memorable occasion in the school calendar.

Christmas Choir

Nest Christmas Show

Junior School Christmas Show

Christmas Concert

 

 

Christmas Bazaar

 

 

 Advance dates for the Lent term 

 

Monday 4th January

Lent term begins

Tuesday 5th January

Mock exams for years 11-13 begin (to 15th )

Friday 5th February

15.45hrs

Spring Festival holiday begins

Monday 22nd February

Term restarts

Tuesday 9th March

Annual Review (to 11th)

Monday 22nd March

Grease: The Musical (to 24th)

Friday 26th March

15.15hrs

End of Lent term

 

I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very happy, peaceful holiday.

Best wishes

Julian Jeffrey

MASTER