From the MasterJulian JeffreyDear parents
Term is rattling by at a dizzying pace and the long holiday is beginning to loom large on the horizon, although perhaps not large enough yet for our busy public exam candidates. It seems odd to be writing about a holiday still nine weeks away, given this is meant to be the Week Ahead, but I was reminded of the importance, and indeed the imminence, of the break by two pieces of excellent news recently. The first is that increasing numbers of our Year 11 and 12 pupils are gaining places at the world’s leading universities for summer school programmes. In the past few days alone, we have heard of offers for places at Harvard, Yale, Oxford, Cornell, Duke, and the University of Pennsylvania. These are offers for prestigious courses of study, attracting thousands of applicants from across the world for what are very limited numbers of places. Each will prove an invaluable experience in the next stage of the learning journey for our older pupils: gaining admission to these universities as undergraduates in the next 12-24 months remains their key focus.
The second piece of good news surrounds our own 2019 summer camp, based here in the school. As you may know, we have taken the decision to run our own, bespoke programme this year, ensuring that we take responsibility for raising the quality of the tuition and broadening the range of courses available to our young campers. It is of course key to the success of this camp that the teaching is of the highest consistent standards, and thus I was delighted to learn that we had already attracted applications from several teachers from Wellington College in the UK to fly over and deliver English, Maths and Science courses at the camp. These teachers will supplement our own staff and others, including expatriate staff from Tsinghua university and other highly prestigious institutions. It is a very exciting prospect, and further details of the programme can be found in this Week Ahead.
The summer holiday is traditionally seen as a time for children and their teachers to relax and recover from the pressures of the school year. This is still an important element of the holiday, but increasingly the research (as well as the experience from the classroom) suggests that such extended breaks can have a significant impact on slowing the learning once school resumes in August. This is most evident in children who let their English language proficiency slip, with a marked plateau-effect in their progress in the early weeks of the new year. It makes sense, therefore, to use the time afforded by the long summer break to recharge the mental batteries by resting but also – crucially - to sustain the momentum built up from the previous year. Both the children enrolled in our own summer camp, as well as those older students heading for the US or UK to attend summer courses, will return to school refreshed by their time away from school, but also reinvigorated by the stimulation and excitement of learning in a new environment.
It is an unequivocal statement of Wellington’s academic intent that both these sets of summer programmes have been heavily supported by the staff and pupils at the school. Our community prizes academic ambition very highly, as shown by our recent successes in national and international competitions across China. It is fitting, therefore, that we seek to sponsor deeper learning opportunities outside of our regular term times as well, and these programmes compliment the year-round access to scholarship which we offer to all our pupils. As ever, if you would like to find out more about either the application process for university summer schools, or the summer camp, please do not hesitate to contact us here at the school. For the summer schools, please contact Ms Luyi Feng (firstname.lastname@example.org) and for the summer camp, emails should be directed to Eelco van Kuilenburg and his team (email@example.com).
The unbounded nature of learningWe often think of skills and competencies in the major areas of development, such as language and literacy or social emotional as separate or independent. But recent research reminds us that ‘the major areas of development are deeply intertwined in the brain and in behavior and they grow in tandem and influence each other in profound ways’ (Jones, 2018).Setting up learning areas that contain resources which are open-ended and ambiguous is a significant part of the Nest and are good examples of how we provide unbounded learning. Development in various skills in physical, social, communication, linguistic and others happen in these areas. The following are examples of what development can take place in each learning area:Construction
- Explore mathematical concepts of area, shape and spatial relationships
- Promote social skills such as collaboration and cooperation
- Develops communication and language skills through interaction and conversation
- Allows independence in making choices
- Promotes self-expression to explore life experiences and emotions
- Develops involvement for long periods of time
- Encourages communication and social skills
- Expands their language and literacy skills
- Develops listening focusing attention
- Promotes empathy and perspective taking
In the early years, understanding that various skills can be developed in all learning areas is truly significant as every waking moment in children’s lives become an opportunity to learn, grow and thrive.
Jones, S. (2018). The unbounded nature of learning. Harvard Graduate School of Education
- Supports physical development of large motor skills such as running, jumping and climbing
- Teaches safety and making calculated risks
- Allows to explore the environment and structure
- Opportunity to investigate the features of various living things and the changes that occur around them.
This week, we continue with learning about zoo animals. We also introduced the story of Humpty Dumpty and the children have made finger puppets to sing along to this favourite nursery rhyme. The children had great fun painting their arms and hands to make a giraffe. They absolutely love the feel of paint on their hands!
The children were still very keen to do lots of cutting and sticking as well as mark making using the class white boards. What has blossomed are beautiful friendships as they share resources and work together.
We are enjoying our lovely Springtime topic by looking at how beans grow. The children enjoyed listening to a story of Jack and the Beanstalk and we have started growing our beans that are about to germinate soon on our classroom balcony. They have also been involved in spring related art and craftwork.
Next week we will also explore vegetables as part of the plant world. The children will look at the cabbage leaves absorbing coloured water to show how water travels up the plant. There will also be some opportunities for vegetable printing. We will read the story of the Enormous Turnip and role play the story.
We have had a lovely week in reception, the children have been very happy and engaged in their learning. We started the week by inquiry brainstorm, what animals we know? What we want to find out and learn about to explore. The children came up with some wonderful ideas and things we can investigate. In Maths' we have been focusing on counting in 2’s using songs and actions.
Next week we will continue with our animal investigation, look at where animals live and what they eat. We will begin writing about animal facts and what we like about them. Continue to engage children in activities requiring hand and eye coordination. Look at books and posters about animals and their habitats.
In Mathematics we will keep counting in 2’s in a practical context, count in 2s using a variety of different objects, and use songs. The children we be learning to recognise and continue a repeating pattern of objects or shapes; recognise and continue a repeating pattern of sounds or shapes.
Year 1 News
Time really does fly when you’re having fun and Year 1 sure are having a lot of fun!
After learning about what a circus was and who performs at a circus, Year 1 decided that they would like to have their very own circus in which they would be, ‘The Stars of the Show.’ Throughout the term, students will work with their fellow performers to design their own costumes and create their own performance. We would like to thank Mr Mehdi, who has kindly volunteering his time and expertise, to assist us in providing fun circus themed physical development activities.
In the week ahead, children will role play circus performances that involve push or a pull forces. We will also write our own senses poem about the circus. Both maths groups will continue to work on our new units of work.
Many thanks for all your support, have a great weekend and see you at 8.00am on Monday 22nd of April.
Please feel free to contact us if you have any queries, comments or concerns, via email or TChat.
PARENTS BRIEFING: ANNUAL REVIEW FEEDBACK / SUMMER FAIR PLANNING
0900hrs - 1015hrs, Wednesday
Every Wednesday morning from 0900hrs-1015hrs, 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 be the Common Room, and for this week's meeting, Mr Julian Jeffrey, the Master, will give details on the Annual Review report (held over from last week’s postponed session) and discuss ways in which the parent community can support the Summer Fair 2019.
FROM THE HEAD OF EARLY YEARS
Nest Parents' Briefing: Positive Parenting
In the Nest, we have been looking at how we can harness your individual experiences and expertise to support each other in supporting your children at home and helping their social and emotional development. For this month's parent briefing, Jonathan Lewis, Deputy Head (Pastoral), will delve into the power of 'positive parenting' and aim to provide encouragement, new ways of looking at things, a chance to share experiences with others in a similar situation and offer a time out from the general run of things. It should also be fun!
FROM MS DINGLI, RECEPTION TEACHER
Reception Class Trip
Reception will be taking a trip to a local vegetable farm in Xiqing District. This is a closing point for both our current topic of Animals and our previous topic of Growing Things. The children will have the opportunity to see and even feed some different farm animals, dig up some vegetables for themselves and have a go at making a healthy salad using some of the fresh ingredients.
Mrs Yuan and Mrs Zhang
EAL (lower level)
EAL (higher level)
Glamour Handmade Course
Traditional Chinese Medicine
FROM MRS. CHRISTINA CHEN
Glamour Handmade Course
MB125 (Junior School Art Room)
1400hrs-1530hrs, every Wednesday
Hi, dear friends of Wellington! I am delighted to invite you to come to my Glamour Handmade Course and have fun together!
Topics like handmade headwear & brooch, handmade vase, Japanese style flowers arrangement etc., are including in the course.
Handmade-material fees and registration fees will be charged. Depending on the different types of handmade materials and topics, the material fees will vary. All the registration fees charged will go to charities and be announced to all of the course attendees.
Please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to consult or register.
Any changes of time/date/venue please follow the notice according to the course organiser.
Monday 22 April 2019
Tianjin Recycling and Environmental Challenge (TReC) (MR)
8:30AM - 9:30AM
FOW EAL (Beginners) (PF) (MB 235)
3:05PM - 3:45PM
Senior School Assembly (JMS) (Theatre)
Tuesday 23 April 2019
8:30AM - 12:00PM
Year 10 Mandarin trip (YZ)
8:45AM - 10:00AM
FOW Pilates (ES) (Black Box)
10:15AM - 11:15AM
FOW Mandarin Class (ES) (MB 125)
Wednesday 24 April 2019
8:45AM - 10:00AM
FOW Yoga (ES) (Black Box)
9:00AM - 10:15AM
Parents' Briefing: Annual Review feedback / Summer Fair planning (JAFJ) (Common Room)
10:00AM - 11:00AM
Nest Parents' Briefing: Positive Parenting (DZ) (The Nest)
1:15PM - 1:55PM
Staff Committee meeting (ES) (Duke of York's room)
2:00PM – 3:30PM
FOW: Glamour Handmade Course (ES) (MB125)
3:05PM - 3:45PM
Junior School Assembly: 4NC Ben Nevis (RA) (Theatre)
Thursday 25 April 2019
9:00AM - 10:30AM
FOW: Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) (ES) (WCA Room)
9:00AM - 12:00PM
FOW Reading Group (ES) (MB 125)
10:45AM - 12:00PM
FOW: Yoga (ES) (Black Box)
2:00PM - 3:15PM
Meet the Master: Years 2-6 parents (ES) (Duke of York's room)
5:30PM - 6:30PM
Senior School Parents' Briefing: university applications (JMS) (6th Form Common Room)
Friday 26 April 2019
8:30AM - 9:00AM
Nest Assembly (DZ) (Theatre)
8:30AM - 9:30AM
FOW EAL (Advanced) (PF) (MB 231)
8:30AM - 11:00AM
FOW Art Class (KM) (MB 125)
8:45AM - 10:00AM
FOW Pilates (ES) (Black Box)
9:00AM - 2:30PM
Reception class trip (DZ)
Master's Society (ES) (Master's Study)
Senior School reports Year 11-13 published (DP)