I am very pleased to introduce our wellbeing matters bi-monthly newsletter. We hope that through this publication we can keep the community up to date on some of the great things happening in the pastoral world at Wellington College Hangzhou.
Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.
Learning to be kind when we play
In April, years 1-4 held a ‘Kindness Week’ in Wellington College International Hangzhou. We wanted to design a programme of events that allowed pupils to reflect on how they play with others. The aim was to let the children enjoy playing while at the same time discussing how we need to ensure we respect each other and show kindness when we can.
We began the week by observing the children playing outside at break. Teachers took notes of their observations and we introduced kindness week to the children by discussing the good things we witnessed and the areas for development. The children spent the following few days engaging in team-building activities designed to encourage cooperation, giving the children an opportunity to practice the skills needed in healthy peer relationships. To help consolidate their learning, the children then had an opportunity to recognise kindness in their peers and were given gold stickers which they could award to their peer when they witnessed an act of kindness.
The children were wonderful throughout the week and we were all witness to wonderful acts of kindness throughout. To encourage further kind acts and to help recognise when the children are getting it right, our duty teachers will continue to award gold stickers while the children are outside playing.
– David MacKinnon
The ‘Big Make’
This year, Si House are helping the rest of Junior High to create ‘time capsules of happiness’. The idea is to support positive mental health, so every student can bring an item or a picture of an item that makes them happy or made them happy when they were a young child. This can include a small toy, a picture of loved ones, song lyrics, a recipe or a picture of their favourite place in the world. The possibilities are endless.
Our aim as a house is to share positive mental health and for pupils to understand what it means to be happy. Being aware of happiness and fond memories can help us when situations become difficult or joy seems far away. We want our students to be able to recall these events with a smile and pride.
The charity we are supporting is the Zhejiang Mental Health Promotion Association. This charity works with groups and individuals to help improve their mental wellbeing. We hope this experience helps make our students aware of how they are feeling and allows them to express their feelings in a positive and productive manner.
– Daniel Ryan-Lowes
Li House Charity
No one has ever become poor by giving
We regularly hold charity events for the benefit of students’ emotional, personal and social development.
Researchers have explored the effect of giving away money or materials on an individual’s life satisfaction, self-esteem, and money-related attitudes (anxiety, distrust and power-prestige). As some hypothesized, participation in the intervention led to significant increases in wellbeing in the experimental group, including improvements in life satisfaction and self-esteem. The results provide corroboration for the powerful idea that charity does not only benefit the recipient but positively impacts the donor as well.
When it comes to teaching children to be charitable, role-modelling is not enough. Having focused, intentional events for children about charity increases the likelihood that they will give or think of others. Participating in charity builds empathy, which is a critical social and emotional skill. It can be argued that charitable activities are important to develop a sense of citizenship – in terms of individual engagement, participation in collective school activities, and engages a broader sense of social responsibility.
One of the charity events, Li House managed was a week-long activity from 22nd to 26th Marchcelebrating World Down Syndrome Day. Awareness is the key to respect. Throughout the week, students in Primary and Junior High got to know what Down Syndrome is, met some of the children with Down Syndrome and fully understood that people with Down Syndrome should be valued, included and treated with respect.
– Carina Ma
Physically fit and mentally healthy
A successful wellbeing system is critical at assessing a school in the domain of education. Wellington, all children are supported and nurtured inside and outside of their classrooms. It is our goal for them to become resilient and passionate about their learning experience, their health and wellbeing.
It is evidenced that PE and sports play an incredibly important and unique role in developing a positive mindset within our pupils, where effort and perseverance are instilled at Wellington College Hangzhou. This fits in perfectly with our Wellington values: courage, responsibility, respect, integrity, and kindness.
It is not something that only elite athletes need to develop, children of all abilities and at all developmental stages can benefit from our diverse programmes, therefore all our children are able to thrive in sports and to learn about health and wellbeing to ensure they acquire the necessary skills to live healthy and happy lives. At Wellington, a variety of sports and physical education programmes are provided and carefully designed to cater to different needs. We encourage all children to step out from their comfort zone, to embrace the challenges and opportunities, therefore maximising their potential.
Lastly, studies show that there is a direct link between wellbeing and academic achievement across the world in all nations and cultures, and PE and sports are crucial to wellbeing, therefore positively linked to academic achievement and performance at school.
– White Wang
Using survey data to improve student motivation
PASS, a survey provided by GL Education, measures pupil’s attitude to self as learner and school, it provides vital insight into students’ attitudes and mindsets that may be having a negative impact on their attainment. The results enable us to identify, track and monitor the type of teaching and intervention each student requires, helping to raise attainment and ensure student wellbeing.
On 23rd March, the pastoral team introduced the PASS survey to our campus, all senior students completed the PASS survey. We then generated the report after all the data has been collected. To interpret data scientifically, we studied through all available resources regarding PASS, and we also consulted international support from GL education.
We analyzed the data by cohort, grade, gender, and by item level. The overall result is satisfying especially in ‘pupils’ attitudes to attendance’ which indicates most of our children enjoyed the learning environment and embraced the Wellington values. However, some results showed areas for improvement, for example, with PASS we can flag specific students who might on the surface look like they are coping, but when you look deeper may have issues preventing them from reaching their full potential. Thus, we identified pupils with potential issues and categorized them into 6 groups.
To use the data as effectively as we could and best support our pupils, we delivered a presentation to all our teachers and support staff and ensured every house tutor received the individual profiles for their tutees. They then conducted screening for every pupil, in the follow-up stage. Finally, we worked with tutors in each grade and assisted them in the decoding of the data, the communication with the pupils, the planning of intervention programmes and the adjustment of each pupil’s teaching and learning strategies.
The aim is to help our children to achieve their very best potential. The joint effort from the senior staff team and any required support can truly help our pupils nurture a robust love of learning and positive wellbeing, and also enable them to find their purpose and passion, not only in school but also in their future lives.
– Valentina Wang
Safeguarding at Wellington College Hangzhou remains central to everything we do. Our staff are committed to protecting all the children within our community and working with parents to help ensure we are acting at all times with the children’s interest in mind. Recently we have adopted a safeguarding software called MyConcern. This software allows us to easily record, track and report any concerns raised, ensuring we can easily see the bigger picture in our child protection work.
Below are some simple tips when it comes to safeguarding and parenting in general:
It is normal for parents to become stressed when parenting, however this is never an excuse for physical punishment
If something is happening to a child, they are much more likely to tell their parents if their relationship with their parent is built on respect and understanding
Although at the school we have an extensive curriculum in wellbeing and ICT which teaches children how to be safe in person and online, parents should also engage in these topics at home
Setting boundaries is important, keep your guidance clear and simple and if they disagree with you, explain to them why you are asking them to do something
Do not be afraid to reach out for support if you are unsure
If you need any support, please do not hesitate to reach out for support: