SAs and Personal Growth: An Holistic Approach to Education

The importance of personal growth during a pupil’s lifetime at school cannot be underestimated. The Wellington College Hangzhou School Activity (SA) programme focuses on many aspects of development that cannot be assessed through tests or formal examinations in a standard classroom environment. It embodies Wellington’s holistic approach to education by creating new environments in which pupils experience sport, music, dance, art, or drama. Different approaches to learning in our diverse SA programme allow our pupils to explore their potential in whichever area enthuses them, whether that be printing a frog with foam or planning a charity event. This potential, moreover, is not restricted or limited; rather, pupils are given opportunities to further their interests outside of their academic courses.

The emotional, social, and physical growth of a pupil is just as important – if not more so – than the pupil’s academic progress. Academic studies over the past 10 years have found that children with varied experiences outside the classroom are more resilient and motivated to achieve their personal goals than their peers. By categorising our School Activities in different groups, we allow pupils to see the options available to them and choose which area of growth they are interested in pursuing.

The dozens of activities offered through our SA programme give pupils the chance to explore interests as diverse as bushcraft, sailing, and debating. Here, pupils can explore and dive into the intricacy of tracking, rigging a sailboat, or presenting a detailed argument to their peers. While doing so, pupils subconsciously develop team skills, hone effective communication practices, engage in reflective processes, and develop their time management skills. This blend of holistic learning outcomes allows our pupils to become effective leaders who are capable of achieving the fantastic potential inside of them.

The current programme is split into two blocks. Currently, in block one, we have over 800 pupils participating in nearly 70 activities each day. Signups for block two will open in December and begin after Chinese New Year. The Schoolbuddy system allows older pupils to make their own selection of SAs in hopes they will choose an activity that motivates and inspires them.

Our programme’s activities are carefully designed with the pupil’s growth in mind. Through our art offerings, we hope to spark creativity and imagination, and as members of sports teams, we aim to energise, test, and challenge our pupils as athletes. Our performing arts activities, moreover, will be marked by passion and emotion as pupils rehearse for their end-of-year production. All of these will contribute to the personal and social growth of the pupil, and positively influence their academic performance when they return to their classrooms.

The CCA team has ensured that the SAs programme supports the PE sports teams and Performing Arts team, as well as the Model United Nations competitions, the Olympic Maths school competition, and public speaking and debate events. We look forward to the exciting times ahead.