Educating for the Future
14 March 2020
From the Master 来自校长 마스터Dear parents I hope this Week Ahead finds you and your families safe and well. Each week that passes brings better news about the fight against Covid-19 across China. The measures taken to combat the novel coronavirus are proving effective and much of the country is returning to a recognisably normal way of life. That is clearly heartening news for all our communities, both here in Tianjin, but equally across the Wellington College China family of schools. Outside China, the picture is less rosy, though, and there can be no let-up in the vigilance required to limit the spread of the disease across much of the rest of the world. I should remind parents that this means that, for those families returning to Tianjin, it is essential to observe the 14-day self-isolation period scrupulously. School reopening dates The physical reopening of the school estate and a return to business as usual remains a key priority for us. At the time of writing, we plan to ensure a safe and orderly return by staggering the return dates for pupils. In line with local schools, we will seek to invite pupils in the key public examination year groups (Years 11-13) to return on Monday 30th March. This is part of a phased return to school programme and will allow these pupils to receive face-to-face teaching in a clean, safe environment. We then plan to allow pupils from Years 2-10 to return on Tuesday 7th April. Pupils in the Nest will then be readmitted as soon as possible after that date. Please note, though, that these dates are still subject to change. I will keep families notified of any changes to this schedule over the coming days. Online teaching survey Parents will have received details of this short survey on Thursday. It is aimed at gathering feedback from the eLearning programmes we have been following over the past 6 weeks. The community has shown remarkable resilience and dedication to online teaching and learning, and this survey gives us an opportunity to reflect on the experiences of children from across the school. There are versions available in three languages – English, Chinese and Korean – and I would be very grateful if parents could take just 2-3 minutes to complete it; my thanks go to those who have already done so. The survey closes at 1800hrs on Sunday 15th March. The results will be available next week. Summer Term fee schedule I wrote last week of the developments in the calendar for the Summer Term, clarifying some of the amendments to our events and trips. Our commitment to teaching and learning within a safe school environment remains the priority, of course, and to that end I need to remind parents of the fee schedule for the remainder of the school year. My colleagues in the Finance office will be sending out billing details next week. If you have any questions about the process, please contact the Finance manager, Mrs Nancy Zhang (firstname.lastname@example.org), by Friday 20th March. The new term is fast approaching, and I am excited by the prospect of a term of great promise. Judging by the feedback from teachers, our pupils have maintained an admirable work ethic through the current term, and our candidates for public examinations remain well-placed for some wonderful (and richly deserved) results. The energy and determination to succeed is palpable across our community; I am confident of a truly marvellous term of effort and achievement ahead. Best wishes Julian Jeffrey MASTER FROM THE DEPUTY HEAD OF JUNIOR SCHOOL The ice on the river has melted and spring is in the air! As we are enjoying the sunshine and venturing out once more for walks along the river, I feel a sense of hope that soon we will all be reunited working together on our campus once again. We are making detailed plans of what this will entail, both to keep our community safe and healthy as well as continue to take the best of what we have learned from our e-learning experience into our teaching and learning in school. We have managed to develop our pupils into independent learners in a very short space of time, across a range of subjects and in a variety of ways. Our aim is to continue to build on this when pupils are back in school. I am very excited and proud of our pupils for entering the Junior School Writing Competition with such great gusto. The entries submitted were from a range of genres, and the winning pieces selected will be displayed online in our ‘Junior School Projects’ Team folder in the ‘JS Writing Competition’ channel. The standard of writing was really impressive. We have also celebrated the talent and skill of our pupils in our weekly assembly; this is recorded and posted on Teams. Entries have started to arrive for the Junior School section of the Whole School Art Gallery. The entries range from a selection of media, including sketching, colouring, sculpture, collage, digital pieces and mixed media. I encourage you all to have a look at them in our online gallery and be inspired by the creative talent of our pupils. Ms Churchill has upload some more art activities with a springtime theme. Please continue to encourage your children to seek out art activities and to share them with us. FROM THE HEAD OF EARLY YEARS Spring into Learning After what seems to have been a very long winter, the month of March represents the beginning of the spring season. To many, this time is one to look forward to and remains my favourite season of all. The miraculous emergence of tiny buds on what look like dead winter twigs and the drenching of spring rain as if to awaken the earth from its slumber signify a renewed season of vigour and hope in life. This week in the Nest, we are excited to add another feature in our home learning platform. Live online interactions are now available in each class and initial feedback has been very positive, with children eager to interact with their teachers and peers. This will ensure that relationships remain strong and children and teachers alike stay connected. Much like in the classroom, children are learning to listen carefully and take turns in answering questions and sharing their ideas. It is also useful that interactions are recorded to allow children to view the session again or for those who were unable to join. Teachers have sent out time slots for these sessions and if you need support, please feel free to contact your child's class teacher.
I am truly proud of the way our Nest team and Wellington community has emerged from recent circumstances and we only expect progress and success in the weeks ahead. Thank you for all your trust and support.