Our first full academic year comes to an end.
It is hard to know where to start this week’s Week Ahead, there is so much to reminisce upon. We have come such a long way since our opening last year and I feel that we can all head off for our summer break with a profound sense of achievement and pride. The team around me have worked tirelessly to bring a vision to life and it has been a year filled with exciting challenges and a determination to keep our mission on track.
This year, the partnership between the families and the College has strengthened significantly. We have established an active parent representative group who have demonstrated great dedication in bringing events to the setting. Our Winter Market and Summer Carnival were testament to that dedication and were great successes. Alongside the events the parent representatives have worked closely with Yuki and I to ensure that the communication links between the parent body and the team here at the College are open, transparent and responsive. We look to the future; next year, we will have a team of parent representatives who will be the voice of 14 classes and 278 families. We are excited to see what next year brings and are very grateful for the continued support that is offered.
As I write this, I appreciate that we can no longer consider ourselves as new; it is, indeed, time to make the move to establish ourselves as a mature setting. I feel that in many ways, we already are. Feedback from parents recently has compared us to schools and nurseries that have been around in Shanghai for many more years than we have. I have also received emails from parents stating their commitment to working in continued partnership with the College to ensure that we are successful in all aspects of College life. I feel that this reflects the energy and efforts of all involved in Wellington College Bilingual Shanghai. We have made an astounding start, quadrupling in size since opening 15 months ago and I look to the future with a sense of great anticipation.
In the new academic year, we see the introduction of music and movement which will be led by Miss PeiHua and Miss Sarah. Working together the team will offer a truly bilingual experience for the pupils; Miss Sarah has extensive experience at delivering Kindermusik programmes in Beijing and Miss PeiHua is a competent musician specialising in traditional Chinese instruments. Both are early years’ educators who imbue all that is Wellington College. They promote the values and identity whilst appreciating the needs of young learners. What’s more, they have no objection to pretending to be dinosaurs or wearing the occasional dusting of glitter.
We say goodbye to some of the teaching team and a welcoming hello to those who join us in August. Through the parent information sessions, you will have been introduced to the team and will get to meet them in person during the meet and greet session scheduled on Thursday 17th August (08:30 – 11:30 for new families and 13:00 – 16:00 for returning families). It takes a special something to be a member of the team here at Wellington College Bilingual Shanghai and I’m sure that you will be delighted with the team of educators working with your child.
Thank you really isn’t enough. I have watched the evolution of the setting over the last year and have had the privilege of watching the families grow with us. I have gone from chasing people for a ‘good morning’ to being greeted happily every day. I now enter a room to a chorus of greetings. I watch and listen to children singing every day – now generally unprompted in their words. I am surrounded by pupils who are physically bigger, emotionally more mature and socially more confident. I hear English. I see smiles.
To the leadership team: I thank you for your perpetual passion and drive, your commitment to supporting the team and the families as we grow. The challenges throughout the year have been faced with a smile, a solution-focussed attitude and often a bar of chocolate!
To the academic team: I thank you for your unending enthusiasm and smiles. I know the hours that you have worked and I am continually humbled and proud to have you as my colleagues. Have an amazing summer and come back in August with renewed energy ready for the next phase of the journey.
To the non-academic team: I thank you for all the behind-the-scenes support that you offer. Without your efforts, the setting wouldn’t function and your importance should never be understated. Together we have achieved something astonishing.
To the parents and the families of Wellington College Bilingual Shanghai: I thank you for placing your trust in us to deliver an education that matches the needs of your child but that also shares the values that we both hold true. Your commitment to a holistic education for your child is at the heart of our vision and together we will ensure its success.
To the pupils of Wellington College Bilingual Shanghai: You are amazing! I have had the pleasure of watching you grow and develop in so many ways. Enjoy your summer – make memories with your families and friends. I look forward to the next year with you – I wonder what lies ahead?
Classroom News for week beginning 21st August 2017
The week beginning 21st August 2017 is all about establishing routines in the new classes and parents are asked to ensure that arrangements are made to be available to collect children at the allocated times:
EY1 and 2
Pupils will attend the setting for an hour and a half from 08:30 – 10:00 or 10:00 – 11:30. Parents will stay with the children until they are comfortable to be left with the teaching team – this may be for a very short while or for much of the session. Parents will be encouraged to gradually withdraw from the room for increasing amounts of time throughout the week. This provides an excellent opportunity to ask questions and ensure that parents understand the expectations of the class.
EY3 and 4
Pupils will attend the setting for three and a half hours from 08:00 – 11:30. They will have a more structured session with us and will also have snack time. Most of the pupils are returning pupils and therefore there will be less need for the parents to be around the classroom. However, it is important that parents maintain open communication with us (please keep your phones switched on), in case we have need to be in touch. Pupils can be picked up at 11:30, ready for lunch.
From Monday 29th August, the pupils will start their first theme:
EY1: Brown bear, brown bear, what do you see?
EY2: 10 little fingers, 10 little toes
EY3: All about me
EY4: Me and my world
Have a great summer
See you on Thursday 17th August for our Meet and Greet