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Creating a community of respect, trust and openness at Wellington Shanghai

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Creating a community of respect, trust and openness at Wellington Shanghai

January 08
13:00 2023

A strong and supportive school community does not just happen. It is a work in progress that requires lots of attention and effort. As the best international school in Shanghai, Wellington College International Shanghai is constantly looking for ways to foster the wellbeing of its pupils, parents and staff. And while there is always room for adaptation and innovation, it ultimately comes down the creating an environment of respect, trust and openness. 

Wellington College International Shanghai

Respect is important enough to be enshrined as one of the five Wellington Values. This academic year, Wellington College International Shanghai decided to make it a focus. Of course, Wellington Shanghai expects its pupils to live this value, but the staff must also lead by example, so Wellington Shanghai spent a lot of time thinking about ways that it can truly demonstrate and embody Respect in all facets of the word. Within the newly extended pastoral time in the mornings, Wellington Shanghai has asked pupils to reflect on questions like, “What does respect for the environment look like in a DT lab? What does it look like on the football pitch? What does respect for peers look like? For the teachers? And, vitally, what does it look like for all the adults on campus, like the cleaning staff, food service workers and security guards who keep our school running?” The best responses have been shared and are forming the basis for ongoing projects across the year.

Wellington College International Shanghai 

The pastoral team also decided that it was time to sweat the small stuff and focus on those little everyday interactions around the College. One way Wellington Shanghai is doing this is by simply posting stickers around campus that encourage positive routines (especially helpful for the younger Wellingtonians) which the Marketing department did a fine job producing. A sticker on a door, for instance, may say, “Be polite. Hold the door. Say please and thank you”. Another great example is our ‘Above and Beyond’ cards. We now give these to all adults on site, even visitors. If they witness a pupil putting one of our Values of Courage, Integrity, Kindness, Responsibility and Respect into action, they hand this card to them. These may seem like tiny gestures, but they make difference. Start small, and you can build a positive feedback loop. Eventually, it becomes a habit ingrained into the school culture.

Building trust

Wellington College International Shanghai

Wellington is a community. A community is a complex network of relationships. And relationships cannot thrive without a solid foundation of trust. Having spent so many months apart to remain compliant with local pandemic regulations, Wellington Shanghai knew that it needed to focus on fortifying the relationships upon returning to campus this year. As such, the new pastoral structure has seen heads of year and dedicated tutor teams replace heads of houses as the key pastoral support for the pupils. With this in mind, new pastoral time at the start of each day has given tutors and heads of year the time to build those connections and start to develop that trust. 

Wellington College International Shanghai

Additionally, the Pupil Services team has seen several new staff join this year. Wellington Shanghai has renewed its focus on building relationships between the team — counsellors, coaches and safeguarding — and the wider academic staff. This has meant reaching out to academic departments and offering guidance on how to promote positive emotions in the classroom, as well as support those who are emotionally fragile or vulnerable.

Promoting openness

Wellington College International Shanghai

Growing up is always a challenge. One can easily imagine how that challenge might be compounded with a global pandemic in the background. That is why this year, Wellington Shanghai has made it a mission to let the pupils know that there is always someone available should they need to talk. QR codes have been posted around the campus, and a quick scan can connect them to a qualified staff member if they are struggling or feeling down. It is completely discreet and accessible for pupils, as demonstrated by the number of scans already.  

Wellington College International Shanghai

Moreover, Wellington Shanghai has continued to build on its now-established curriculum of wellbeing lessons across every phase of the College. These lessons provide another forum where the children can express themselves, share their thoughts and discover common ground. This year, these lessons are being supported by parallel activities in pastoral time, planned by the team. A primary theme starting this year has been ‘success’ and what it looks like to the pupils. Their insight into how they measure their own relative successes may surprise, and Wellington Shanghai will be looking to share this with its parent bodies as it begins its parental programme. The pupils continue to impress Wellington Shanghai with their capacity for self-reflection and this international school in Shanghai looks forward to building on these strengths in the months to come. 

Wellington College International Shanghai

Media Contact
Company Name: Wellington College International Shanghai
Contact Person: Admission Department
Email: Send Email
Phone: +86-21 5185-3866
Address:No.1500 Yao Long Road, Pudong New District
City: Shanghai
Country: China
Website: https://shanghai.wellingtoncollege.cn/