It has been fabulous to see the pupils participating in a wide range of activities after their lessons this academic year, following the Covid-19 restrictions. We are running over 240 types of SA activities, about 20% more than the number in last academic year. Over the first three days, I visited many different activities to see both staff and pupils really enjoying the opportunity to get fully involved once again. The number and diversity of school activities on offer this year has increased while still maintaining the core philosophy that is at the heart of Huili School Hangzhou.
The SA programme is key to ensuring positive wellbeing for our pupils. The interactions and outcomes of our SA activities enhance the sense of achievement among pupils. According to a university study from Holland, “there is a positive relationship between emotional and psychological wellbeing and academic achievement.” (BF Grabel 2017). For our pupils to grow into fantastic individuals, it is essential for these experiences to be provided. Wellbeing is key for growth and learning outside the classroom plays a large part in this evolution.
This semester you will notice an increasing number of new staff involved in the SA programme. Also, some professional external vendors are also invited to provide pupils with more diversity and a more professional SA experience. Let us look into some of the new SA activities provided this semester.
The introduction of Coding with Ozobot is a wonderful addition to our programme. Giving pupils the chance to explore coding using robots and having insights into coding is a firm foundation for the future. The learning process could enhance pupils’ abilities on advanced loops, sequencing and logic reasoning. These experiences will offer lifelong lasting skills for our pupils as the global society moves from technology achievement to the next coding robot and AI will be at the forefront. In 15 years, our pupils could be coding engineers that could have coded a robot to complete open-heart surgery, who knows?
It is an honour to introduce a LAMDA programme to pupils at Wellington. In the United Kingdom great prestige is given to people who have gained certificates from their examinations. Russell Group universities place high credence to students who apply with these certificates. The LAMDA programme process of preparing for and succeeding in a LAMDA examination essentially helps learners, whatever their age or aspirations, to develop a broad range of skills that will serve them throughout life. The wonderful aspect about LAMDA examinations is they develop a pupils ability in a range of skills such as reading fluently, expanding vocabulary to improve their self-expression, improving confidence in speaking and listening, creating and defending arguments to name but a few. It does this through encouraging pupils to develop a love of literature, poetry and drama and improve standards of communication through the spoken word. LAMDAs philosophy of transformative power of the dramatic arts and the value to society of creativity, innovation and authentic, confident communication is enriching and exciting.
This year the largest SA will be a musical involving over 100 pupils, managed and produced by the performing arts department. The team are so excited about the musical. There is a constant buzz of anticipation ready to guide the pupils through all aspects of the performance. The SA will really stretch and challenge the pupils not only in their performance skills but also personal organisation and time management too.
This year’s introduction of the farm will complement the whole-school philosophy of understanding where items come from and how they are produced. The pupils will be producing the farm with guidance from Ms Wood. Their mini farming efforts will be key when they plant, tend, water and reap the produce. Combining the knowledge of farming and appreciation of where food comes from will enhance pupils appreciation of food on a global scale. It is interesting to visit the farm to watch the plants grow under Ms Wood’s expert eyes.
The Spelling Bee craze has arrived and the passion for spelling competitions will commence. Spelling Bee is a competition where pupils are asked to spell a range of words to varying degrees of difficulty. To be able to balance the academic English rigour required and the fun competitive nature of the competitions will be wonderful to see. We are looking forward to entering pupils into the events.
I am incredibly proud of the hard work and professionalism staff have put into the planning and organising of the SAs for this year. I know that our pupils are going to have a wonderful time during school activities.