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“It’s Your World” Literacy fortnight and United Nations Day at Wellington College International, Tianjin

November, 2013
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wellington-tj-un-dayOn a wet Monday morning in mid-October, two drama specialists from the UK-based company Round Midnight, Emmi-Jane Isham and Sami Cornick, arrived at Wellington College International Tianjin to begin two weeks of workshops based on the United Nations, which would culminate in a show featuring some 300 children, teachers and teaching assistants. Isham and Cornick had worked with Wellington before as part of the Education Festival in March, but this was going to be a much tougher, but altogether more exciting project.

Over the next ten days almost every year group in the school took part in a series of workshops that focused on how drama can help enhance both language and literacy skills, having such great fun that they actually forgot they were learning! To prove that we never stop learning, two very special workshops were also laid on – one for teachers and one for parents.

The teachers’ workshop involved staff from Wellington and from a number of other international schools in Tianjin as part of a commitment to shared professional development opportunities. Everyone got to take part in a series of activities aimed at showing how drama can be used in all areas of the curriculum, and for all children, no matter how old or young or how well developed their language skills are. The parent workshop had a similar focus, and those that attended were very excited by the opportunity to experience first hand the same learning as their children.

To highlight the literacy side of the event, the Page One bookshop from Beijing ran a book fair in the school. This was the first time they had held such an event outside Beijing and it was very well received by children, staff and parents, as well as a number of other schools who attended. Wan Yun Living Kitchen provided free snacks for the three days, and it is safe to say that everyone loved their tasty treats!

On United Nations Day everyone pulled together to put on an amazing theatrical event showcasing all the hard work they had done with Isham and Cornick. Parents and invited guests came along to watch their children, from Nursery through to Year 13, perform a series of short sketches based on a number of different countries, all tied together with information on the United Nations. The finale featured all of the children who had performed, all the Junior School teachers, all the teaching assistants and most of the backstage crew, singing Joy to the World. The happy faces of those involved and the enthusiasm with which they all performed was testament to just how much everyone had enjoyed the last two weeks in school.


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