The Week Ahead 20170623

It’s raining, it’s pouring………

The weather is changeable at present, fluctuating from glorious sunshine to grey, wet days. The one constant is the humidity; clinging to clothes, hair and skin like a fine layer of silken mist. The benefit of the rain is that it lifts the air quality affording the pupils opportunity to be outdoors, wellington boots and waterproofs adorned, the pupils attend to the vegetable garden, identify minibeasts and creatures of the great outdoors.

Plum rains come every year between late spring and early summer for about a month at a time when plums ripen. Although the timing varies from year to year and from place to place, the season generally begins in mid-June and ends in mid-July.

Rainy season starts in the south and moves north as the months go by. The plum rains, 梅雨 (meiyu), nicknamed for the season when the fruit ripens, hit eastern China in May-June. The rains move north from June-July.

I love this weather. Living in the UK, us Brits are used to wet weather, as it makes for around 70% of our annual weather experience (I may be exaggerating here a little). Living in the beautiful yet somewhat arid Emirate of Abu Dhabi, rain was a rare treat. When it did rain (maybe twice per year and for only brief moments), I would hurry the children outside in to the garden to dance and run in the rain. As quick as it started, making pretty patters on the ground, it was gone. Within minutes, the ground was dry once again and the rain only a memory. We needed no waterproofs, no wellington boots, as we do here in Shanghai.


Did you know?

The wellington boot is associated with Arthur Wellesley, the first Duke of Wellington. He instructed his shoemaker to make traditional hessian boots from calfskin leather. Wellingtons first appeared in 1817 and proved popular with the troops because they were hard wearing for battle yet comfortable for evening wear. The boot leather was treated with wax to make them softer and more waterproof. The new boots became a very popular fashion accessory for gentlemen. Considered fashionable and foppish in the best circles, they remained the main fashion for men throughout the 1840’s. In the 1850’s the boots were also produced from rubber, serving agricultural and fishing communities and today are seen not only as purposeful footwear but as fashion statement.


Getting ready for the summer

In preparation for the summer break, Yuki and I are hosting Parent Information sessions next week for parents of pupils all year groups. You would have received the invitation earlier in the month of June and we are looking forward to seeing current and new parents attend the sessions. As part of the preparation, we have put together presentations on the educational ethos, curriculum, partnership expectations, timetables, lessons and how we monitor pupil progress. We have also asked the teaching teams for the key messages that they would wish to send to the parents. The team conveyed the issues that they feel are most important to the Wellington family, namely:

  • The importance of routine – children need solid routines to function and maximise growth. Eating and sleeping at regular times is key to establishing a pattern of life for young learners. They understand what happens when and feel secure in their routine, which in turn positively influences behaviour.
  • The importance of identity – the Wellington uniform represents our community and the pupils recognise their place within that community by visual identity. A full uniform is required to be worn each day.
  • The importance of time – learning starts at 08:30 and continues throughout the day. Pupils arriving late miss out on so much vital learning (early mornings are a wonderful time to absorb new concepts and explore new and familiar ideas).
  • The importance of independence – let children walk in to the setting each morning. Allow them to carry their own bag, so that they feel that they have a key role to play in getting to and from the setting. At home, encourage independence further by allowing children to get involved in household chores, helping with shopping, tidying away their belongings before the bedtime routine starts, dress themselves, clean their teeth, put on their shoes and pack their bag.
  • The importance of communication – each class of pupils has one English and one Chinese teacher who takes the lead for learning on any given day. It is important that parents feel open to communicate with both teachers about their child. On English days, the English teacher is the key person to talk to. Likewise, on Chinese days, the Chinese teacher is the key person to talk to. The teachers wish to establish a close and positive partnership with the parents and families; to this end, they ask that the value of courage is exhibited and communication is open and effective.
  • The importance of understanding – families have expectations of the setting, and the setting in return, has expectations of the families. Understanding the routines, expected behaviour (we do love everyone to say good morning, goodbye, please and thank you), how we operate and how we make early years’ education work is important as this strengthens the partnership between us. Families choose Wellington College for their own personal reasons and these reasons need validating by clear understanding of how we work, what we do and why, and how to deal with queries and questions as they arise.


Classroom News for week beginning 19th June 2017

Early Years 1 – We are Wellington

It’s hard to believe how far we’ve come this year! The end of term is right around the corner and what better way to end on a positive note than through reviewing what it means to be a Wellingtonian. We will review key values such as what it means to show respect, kindness, responsibility as well as talk about how to work together and cooperate in the classroom. We will also revisit colours, shapes and feelings, as well as how to take care of others when they are hurt.

We are reading: Mary goes to the hospital, Ship Shapes, I Spy

We are singing: Head Shoulders Knees and Toes, Row Row Row your boat, Yi tong qu jiao you,

Wo you yi tou xiao mao lv, Ai wo ni jiu bao bao wo. We will also ask children to decide which songs they liked best during the term to sing during song time.

A special note from EY1: Don’t forget – 29th June is the EY1 Assembly


Early Years 2 – We are Wellington

As Wellingtonians, our children have grown this grown to become active learners, explorers and problem solvers. They are strong, physically developed and challenged. They create wonderful individual and group pieces of art work. It has been a pleasure for all the EY2 team and extended family to work with your children this year, every single one of them brings something unique to this special setting. As the final week in EY2, the children will help make a record of their memories in EY2. This will recall some happy moments they have had in the setting with their friends. Also, we will do some transition activities to help children know more about EY3 daily life. For all those families who will be returning to us next year, we cannot describe enough how excited we will be to see you all again in August. For those families who are leaving us this year, we wish you the best for you and your children’s future and hope that it is always filled with happiness, enjoyment and challenges.

We are reading: 勇气, 大卫不可以, 最好的朋友, Holiday books

We are singing: 老师再见了, Clap your hands song (Click here to view song on youtube)


Early Years 3 – We are Wellington

As the year draws to a close, we have an exciting week of activities planned for the children, all based around the topic of water. We will be making ice chalks, deciding on what materials would make the best umbrella for a teddy bear, playing water skittles and experimenting with how we change the speed at which water travels.

We are reading: Commotion in the Ocean – Giles Andreae, Sharing a Shell – Julia Donaldson

We are singing: Row, Row, Row Your Boat, Baby Shark, A Sailor Went to Sea, Sea, Sea