Week Ahead

The Week Ahead 18 January 2018

18 January 2018
Dear Parents, I have written often about the centrality of pupil wellbeing in our school. Growing instances of mental health issues among today’s young people across the world should concern any parent or educator, given the potentially crippling impact such problems can create in later life. The evidence for links between low self-esteem, or the effects of bullying, for example, and depression in adults is overwhelming. The pace of modern living, and the uncertainties over the future, mean that such pressures will only become greater. Parents may well have read recently about reports of ‘multidimensional perfectionism’ as a phenomenon to add to the growing list of challenges facing young people. Psychologists are increasingly finding instances of a pattern of behaviour among today’s younger generation that is markedly different to that of their parents; “an irrational desire for flawlessness”, as one group of respected researchers described it. For perfectionists, the goal is to achieve gratification through the achievement of the best possible results available, whatever the task or activity. Falling short of this goal means failure, and with such a mindset, there follows a resultant redoubling of efforts to eradicate perceived weaknesses in themselves. In this way, a child’s own imperfections become magnified and intolerable, creating a burden of expectation that is all too often unattainable. A culture that seeks only to evaluate children through constant grading, by their social media status, or by focusing reward only on attainment can contribute to this multidimensional perfectionism. In our social media society that judges appearance and performance so critically and publically, we are in danger of reinforcing unrealistic expectations for the very group in society least capable of contextualising such forces, and most vulnerable to the pressure to conform: children. There are no easy answers to this, but school and parents can help in two key ways. Firstly, by recognising that the drive to perfectionism is a real threat to mental wellbeing, and that by talking about expectations and the pressure to be perfect is an important way to help children. A second way is one that we also use a great deal here at Wellington; a focus on progress as much as attainment. By placing an emphasis not on the (often unattainable) ‘prefect’ score or answer, we encourage pupils to recognise progress. In this way, educational growth is more overtly tied to an individual’s journey through learning, rather than fixating on an end goal. Instances of praise from parents and teachers that highlights progress can help to build self-esteem and to allow pupils a chance to find an individualised pathway through school, rather than simply conforming to unrealistic expectations. If you would like to know more about the ways the school addresses issues around mental health and wellbeing, please contact Mrs Samantha Wood, our welfare and guidance counsellor (samantha.wood@wellingtoncollege.cn) or for broader advice and support, Mr Jonathan Lewis, our Deputy Head (Pastoral): jonathan.lewis@wellingtoncollege.cn.   Best wishes Julian Jeffrey Master MEET THE MASTER Common Room 1400hrs-1515hrs Thursday 25th January This week, the Meet the Master slot is aimed at parents of pupils in Years 7 to 11. If you would like to attend, please confirm via email with Ms. Emma Shi (emma.shi@wellingtoncollege.cn) by Wednesday 24th January. JUNIOR SCHOOL Black Box 0900hrs-1000hrs Wednesday 24th January 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. Edward Philpott, Literacy Coordinator and Year 3 teacher will introduce what parents need to know about reading in the Junior School.       Parents' Evening: Year 11 (A Level Options) Black Box 1700hrs-1830hrs Tuesday 23rd January The Parents’ Evening for all pupils in Year 11 and their parents will be held on Tuesday 23rd January. The presentation will be in the Black Box and it will start at 1700hrs. After a 30-minute presentation, pupils and their parents are invited to attend the short introductory sessions organized by the academic departments; each of the subjects will be introduced. The schedule of the evening and the booklet with the brief introduction of all the subjects in three languages (English, Chinese and Korean) will be available on that day. Making choices is not an easy task because the decisions they make now will affect the rest of their lives, potentially. Teachers, Key Stage coordinators and Housemasters are playing a very important role in the decision-making process. Consultation with them and seeking their opinion will help your child decide on the most suitable combination of subjects for themselves. Choosing the right subjects has never been more important. After the evening, if your child is still not sure which subjects to choose, please make an appointment to meet the Sixth Form Team by contacting agnes.cui@wellingtoncollege.cn. Option Process Making the right GCSE and A Level options is often a stressful and confusing process for our pupils, especially for those who are new to the British education system. To ensure that our pupils receive the best possible support, a number of things will be happening over the next few weeks. Firstly, all parents and pupils involved have been invited to the Parents’ Evenings lead by Mrs. Popovic and Mrs. Sabio: Year 9 – Tuesday 16th January Year 11 – Tuesday 23rd January These evenings will allow pupils and parents the opportunity to visit departments and gain a full understanding of the subjects on offer. They will also have the opportunity to speak with department teachers, see examples of the quality of work they will need to produce and ask any questions they may have. Secondly, a pupil-centred options Assembly will take place at 1200hrs on Wednesday 17th January. Advice will be given to reiterate the process and the support available for all our pupils. Finally, each and every Year 9 and 11 pupils will meet with a member of the Key Stage Coordination team, before they submit their choices, to have a conversation about the subjects they have chosen. This process will ensure that pupils have made the best possible choices for them, and allow very honest conversations about the suitability of certain subjects and the language level required. Our focus for this year’s process is to ensure all pupils make the best possible choices for their future success, both academically and pastorally. Success is grounded in a genuine desire and enjoyment of learning, this begins with the right academic choices that stretch, without overwhelming, and broaden a pupil’s area of interest and passion. If parents have any questions, they are welcome to contact the Key Stage Coordinators below: Emma Paine – Key Stage 3 Jane Arden – Key Stage 4 Ed Batey – Key Stage 5 Nest Lending Library 1500hrs-1600hrs Every Wednesday   To spark a love of reading with children in the Early Years and encourage parents to take an active role in their children's education, the Nest will open their library for parents, grandparents or any caring adults to borrow books to read at home and extend learning beyond the school day. The Lending Library will be open every Wednesday, from 1500hrs to 1630hrs. Some useful tips when reading to young children:
  • Introduce the book before you read it by asking your children to flip through the pages and look at the pictures from left to right. As they grow older, point to each word as you read them.
  • Have your children described the beginning, middle, and the end of the story after you read it together.
  • Ask your children if they enjoyed the story and why. Talk about the characters and their favourite parts of the story.
Cooking Activity with Chef Olivier On Wednesday 24th January, Nursery children will participate in a cooking activity with Chef Olivier and will be baking "king cakes". There are many benefits entailed in cooking with young children as it gives them a hand on experience in food preparation and this in turn, will influence their preference for healthy and nutritious food, especially for picky eaters. Children learn Maths’ skills such as measuring and estimating along with new vocabulary. Cooking also broadens their palate as they are introduced to certain foods they have never tried before. The Nest offers regular cooking activities for our pupils throughout the year in partnership with our school catering company, Compass. Early Years’ Open Morning Parents of Early Years’ children are invited to our Open Morning on Wednesday 24th January from 0830hrs to 1100hrs. Space is limited so kindly email agnes.cui@wellingtoncollege.cn if you would like to attend. A Level and GCSE Art Exhibition Black Box Foyer Friday 26th January Friday 26th January sees a new exhibition of Artwork made by pupils in Years 10, 11, 12 and 13, opening in the Library and Black Box foyer. This term's interim show will be the celebration of 'work in progress' and visitors will be able to see up close, drawings, studies and written reflections which document the creative process of our pupils. If you have ever wondered where ideas come from or how artists have influenced their work then this will be a good opportunity to come and have your questions answered. The work will be ready to see from lunchtime on Friday 26th January and on display until the middle of March. All members of the Wellington community are invited and the Art department looks forward to welcoming you! Chinese Cultural Trip to Xi’an The Mandarin Department is arranging a Chinese cultural trip to Xi'an from 30th March to 2nd April. A parent letter is ready for students who are interested in this trip. Any inquiry please contact with Ms. Zhou (yang.zhou@wellingtoncollege.cn). 2018 Spring Festival Charity Market You are cordially invited to join our 2018 Spring Festival Charity Market which will be open on the 9th February 2018. If you would like to arrange a stall, introduce your friends to us or support the market in any aspect, please contact with our Marketing Department or email (catherine.jia@wellingtoncollege.cn) before 22nd January.         Positive Parenting Class (basic) MB125 9:30-11:30 every Monday Date:  22nd and 29th Jan, 5th and 26th Feb, 5th , 12th , 19th and 26th Mar Charges: 30RMB/time or 200RMB/8 times Chinese Language Only Positive Discipline is a programme designed to teach young people to become responsible, respectful and resourceful members of their communities. Based on the best-selling positive discipline book by Dr. Jane Nelsen, it teaches important social and life skills in a manner that is deeply respectful and encouraging for both children and adults. Parents will learn to avoid power struggles while helping their children to learn self-control and self-discipline. Classes are in a small group setting, allowing deeper discussions and very personalized experience. www.positivediscipline.com   Art Class Junior Art Room 0830hrs-1100hrs every Friday  After a long week of taking care of your beloved children it's time to think of yourself as well. A little oasis from everyday noise, ART classes can give you much needed relaxation. An excellent way to cope with your everyday stress routine, and to prepare yourself for the upcoming busy weekend. Painting, sculpture, drawing, acrylics, aquarelle, crayons won't be a mystery to you anymore. All the things you always wanted to try but didn't have time for, now in the most convenient time and place for you - when your kids are at school. Each month we will be focusing on something new that you might like to try. Expressing yourself in an artistic way combined with relaxing, inspiring music and a glass of tea or coffee can help you find your new daily joy. Come and join ART classes every Friday as soon as you leave your little one(s) in school. The Junior Art Room will be open for you from 0830hrs to 1100hrs to learn some new skills, chat with friends, and share your love of art. Looking forward to seeing you in the Junior Art Room. Lower Level EAL Class MB 235 0830hrs-0930hrs every Tuesday This class is for beginner level learners who would like to improve their grammar, vocabulary and all-round language skills. Higher Level EAL Class MB 231 1100hrs-1200hrs every Thursday  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. Pilates Black Box 1100hrs-1200hrs every Tuesday  Dance Studio 0930hrs-1030hrs every Friday Pilates is physical exercise system developed by Joseph Pilates. It is complete coordination of body, mind and spirit. Pilates focuses on core strength and balanced muscle development as well as flexibility and increased range of motion for the joints. So, don't hesitate, join our classes and feel better. You are warmly welcomed. Friday's Assembly was very special as not only did we get to celebrate the very first Stars of the Week for 2018, but also we got to hear from the Year 6 pupils about a programme they have been running this year with Year 2 pupils. It was lovely to see the Year 2 on stage with their buddies sharing their experiences and some heartfelt words about how they feel about their big buddies from Year 6. The pupils listened as the programme was explained to them about how they support Year 2 in the library, with their reading and also in times of need in the playground. The Chinese Magazine ASA shared details of how much money they raised last term in our ‘Don't waste food campaign’. And also they let us know of some very exciting Chinese competitions coming up for the Spring Festival. Our Assembly concluded with the House Points winner - Anglesey. Monday 22 January 2018 All Day The Nest: Arts & Crafts Week (DZ) (The Nest) 0930hrs - 1130hrs WCA: Positive Behaviour (Beginner Level) (MB 125) Tuesday 23 January 2018 All Day House Badminton: Years 1-3 & 4-6 (JM) (Sports Centre) 0830hrs - 0930hrs WCA English Class: beginners (PF) (MB 235) 0830hrs - 1100hrs Junior School Open Day (appointment only) (YT) 1100hrs - 1200hrs WCA: Pilates (Black Box / Dance Studio) 1700hrs - 1830hrs Parents' Evening: Year 11 (A Level Options) (DP) Wednesday 24 January 2018 0900hrs - 1000hrs Parent Briefing: Junior School (YT) (Black Box) Thursday 25 January 2018 1100hrs - 1200hrs WCA: English Class - Intermediate/Advanced (PF) (MB 231) 1400hrs - 1515hrs Meet the Master: Years 7-11 Parents (ES) (Master's Study) Friday 26 January 2018 All Day A Level and GCSE Art Exhibition (to half term) (MFC) (Library, Black Box foyer) 0830hrs - 1100hrs WCA: Art Class (KM) (Junior Art Room) 0930hrs - 1030hrs WCA: Pilates (Black Box / Dance Studio) 1255hrs - 1320hrs Lunchtime Recital (FG) (Black Box)