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Wellington Celebrates First-ever Kindness Week

November, 2017
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At the heart of Wellington’s educational philosophy is the idea of holistic development; of not only giving pupils every opportunity to gain all kinds of knowledge, but also helping them develop morally, socially and emotionally. Wellington’s five core values of courage, respect, integrity, kindness and responsibility form a constant and essential part of this process, as every member of the Wellington family strives to live up to them and make them part of their daily lives.

During 18 - 22 September, pupils and teachers all across the campus of Wellington College International Shanghai took time to reflect on the nature of kindness, as well as actively practicing it and spreading it around as much as possible.

This dedicated Kindness Week was organized to commemorate a Year 4 pupil, who died in June, following an asthma attack. The week was a fitting tribute to Taylor, who was widely known to be an extremely kind and courteous boy himself, while also serving as a celebration of the uplifting and positive force that kindness represents.

Each of the College’s respective schools were involved in Kindness Week, from the youngest Early Years learners to the Senior School pupils, as well as their teachers.

In Pre-Prep, pupils had specific lessons dedicated to the nature and importance of kindness, and were encouraged to think of imaginative ways to show kindness to friends, family and even complete strangers. Additionally, their wellbeing sessions focused on this essential core value, as did the KS1 assembly, where Miss Button asked pupils to choose one of five ‘kindness statements’ to give to someone of their choosing. By choosing one of these complimentary statements and thinking of an appropriate recipient, the Pre-Prep pupils turned written words into small acts of kindness.

For the Lower and Upper Prep pupils, kindness discussions and reminders became part of each school day. For example, at registration time in Ms Doamekpor’s class, each pupil had to recall an act of kindness they had made or received when their name was called. While in the Senior School, pupils were encouraged to show their kindness in an artistic manner, by adding their own heartfelt messages to a large communal canvass.

Wellington staff members (both teachers and non-academic) also enthusiastically embraced the spirit of Kindness Week, registering their interest with Miss Button who assigned each participant their secret ‘kindness target’ for the week. The aim was to secretly show their chosen target numerous acts of kindness throughout the week, but without them knowing. Imagine it as an extended ‘Secret Santa’, with teachers sneaking into one another’s classrooms to hide sweets, cards, poems, notes and all manner of inventive little kindnesses.

When asked about the impact of Kindness Week and how it was received, Miss Button outlined how the entire school had entered into the spirit of the week and how it had successfully sparked off such a series of kind thoughts and actions, “Kindness, like all of the core values, is part of everything we do. Whether you’re a pupil or a teacher, kindness is implicitly linked to each part of every day; it’s connected to our respect for others, how we treat people, how we talk to one another, how we offer and give support. This week has been great for helping all of us remember the importance of that fact, as well as being full of genuinely lovely and uplifting moments playing out across the school.”

Wellington strives to instill all five of the core values in its pupils, to the point where each characteristic is ingrained in their behavior and thought process. The core values are an inherent part of everyday life at Wellington, and the first instance of Kindness Week has clearly demonstrated the importance of consciously thinking about each of them in turn. By considering kindness, what it means and how best to spread it around, everyone in the Wellington family has been able to help one another live up to this much needed characteristic. 

 

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