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The Week Ahead 20170512

12 May 2017
The third Gentleman nobly takes his place in the setting. The plum tree is renowned for bursting into a riot of blossoms in the dead of winter. Its subtle fragrance spills forth at one of the coldest times of the year, making it difficult to go unnoticed. Though neither the plum tree nor its blossoms are very striking, they manage to exude an otherworldly exquisiteness and beautiful elegance during the desolation of winter. The demeanor and character of the plum tree thereby serves as a metaphor for inner beauty and humble display under adverse conditions. http://www.chinaonlinemuseum.com/painting-four-gentlemen.php       Wise words from Julian Thomas, Master, Wellington College. I was reading a recently published yearbook for Wellington College and was overwhelmed at the achievements of the pupils of the Wellington College group of schools. Documenting sporting, academic, charity and pastoral achievements, I felt an enormous sense of pride that we belong to such an outstanding family. I found particular resonance in these words, “A school rises and falls not on the remarkable deeds of the few but on the everyday deeds of the many, be they students, staff, parents, Old Wellingtonians and even former parents – anyone, in fact with interest in and a love of Wellington.” It is true that the culture and ethos of a setting imparts a way of being to the members of its community, valued as much more than achieving grades in exams.   Developing Bilingualism in the Home by William Green This week, we’ll explore some tips on how you can help your child get on the right path towards developing proficiency in his or her native language as well as English. A key concern for many parents is how they can help at home to enable their children to be successful in their second language. These are some common tips to keep in mind: 1.Make it a team effort For your child to develop both languages effectively, everyone in the family needs to play their part. It could be that father reviews vocabulary words in the second language on Monday or that mother plays songs in the second language on Tuesday. Or perhaps the family has English speaking day in the kitchen and dining areas on Wednesday. No matter what strategy you pursue, it is important to clearly communicate your plans with all members of the family and make sure that everyone is involved. Remember, the process of bilingual language development starts at home. The more that all family members are an integral part of the language learning process the more likely your child will succeed in the long run.   2.Play games and sing songs in another language For children, playing games and singing songs is critical to language learning success. Games include activities that involve actions such as guessing, matching, sorting, colouring and labelling. Such activities provide children with opportunities to actively use the second language while having fun. The “fun” part is important because this will increase the likelihood that your child retains all of the rich learning experiences that take place when they are actively involved in learning. Songs are also equally important. There are hundreds of children’s songs to choose from and these songs should be based on your child’s interest and what they are learning at school. Try to pair dancing with music or check out Youku or Tudou for videos of dances that correspond to the song that you are trying to teach. Pairing dance with singing is exciting, reinforces key concepts through pairing sounds with action while simultaneously developing your child’s language, self-confidence as well as physical development skills.   3.Read children’s books in another language Many parents who enrol their children at bilingual or international settings have a variety of bilingual books at home for their children to read. It is important to note however that it is simply not enough to read books to children. Children need to actively participate in the process. As you read books to your child, ask them about the characters, setting, and plot of the story. Teach your child new words that appear in print or from the pictures on the page and, when possible, let them retell the story to you. It is important for children to understand that stories have a beginning, middle and an end.   4.Let your child watch educational TV programs and movies in another language We encourage parents to let their children watch television programs in the second language. Television programs such as Peppa Pig, Octonauts, Dora the Explorer or Super Y are great because these programs also teach concepts related to science, geography and basic vocabulary words found in daily conversation. Action cartoons with violence, fighting and videos with little dialogue are not recommended for developing bilingualism.   5.Get a nanny or babysitter who speaks another language Developing bilingualism is all about exposure to the target language. Remember that the more opportunities that your child has to practise, the more likely he or she will be successful. Having a nanny or babysitter who speaks the target language will undoubtedly enhance your child’s receptive and productive skills.   6.Set up play dates or put your child in playgroups with children who speak another language. Organise weekend play dates with children from your child’s class where the activities focus on using the second language to communicate. 

These playdates will be fun and your child will have confidence to communicate with children who they are familiar with. There are multiple opportunities to practise using English in Shanghai as well. The website Time Out Shanghai has a section for families which contains suggestions for family weekend events such as museum trips, arts and crafts as well as visits to the park. (http://www.timeoutshanghai.com/family/Things-to-do-in-Shanghai.html)   7.Encourage your child to actively use another language It is not enough to simply memorise vocabulary words and phrases. Your child will need to start actively using what they’ve learned to truly become bilingual. Make communication in the second language a regular part of your daily or weekly routine. Make sure to read the Week Ahead to determine what your child is learning at the setting and then make an effort to begin using the words, phrases, and discussing key concepts and topics at home. Set aside time every week for communicating in the target language. It may help to make a certain area of the house a place for communicating in the second language.   8.Be persistent Learning a second language takes time and it requires consistent effort and diligent practise. Keep in mind that to succeed, team work, play dates, language rich environments and set routines are key components to helping bilingual children. Language learning is a lifelong process that requires grit, keen determination and an open mindset. Following the steps above however should support your child on the path to becoming successful in their second language and on the road towards becoming bilingual. Note: Subheadings in this Week Ahead were adapted from: eHow: How to raise a bilingual child   Classroom News for week beginning 15th May 2017 Early Years 1 – Favourite Stories This week we will continue reading the Very Lazy Ladybug and we start the week by learning to use instruments to make the sounds that the animals make in the story. Did you know, the sound of the drum is like the sound that animals made in the story when they stomped on the ground? We will take the opportunity to review the concepts of “hard” and “soft” while the children work on their artwork. We will also explore shapes and patterns on animals, starting with the spots on a ladybug. We will then try to create our own creatures with construction paper that also have spots, stripes and other patterns of skin or fur. Extending our activities, we will draw our own animals and discuss feeding them with their favourite food. This will be supported in the library by reading books about animals; we will be artists and research animals before creating a masterpiece. We are reading: The Very Lazy Ladybug, The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse We are singing: Let’s go to the zoo, Walking in the Jungle, Do you like broccoli ice cream? Shu ya zi, Yi tong qu jiao you, Wo you yi tou xiao mao lv   Early Years 2 – In the Garden 

This is our final week looking at gardens and as we depart the topic we hope the children will take away with them a greater appreciation of how important our outside environments are for us and the mini beasts that live in them. The children will also get their hands messy as they explore different media hunting for bugs, as well as using their own magical imaginations to create weird and wonderful bug creations of their own. To develop the children’s physical ability, we will have some garden games outdoors and indoors such as hopscotch and throwing the handkerchief. To assist the children better recognise their English names and other words, we will trace them with stickers, their fingers and other writing tools. We are reading: 啊~蜘蛛, 小种子, The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle, Mini-beasts by Lynn Huggins-Cooper We are singing: 小蜜蜂, 我的小花园, The ants go marching one by one, Bumble Bee   Early Years 3 – Exploring Animal Habitats The children have enjoyed looking at how things in the environment change over time – we have seen our silk worms build cocoons, our tadpoles turn into frogs and our beans begin to grow! This week we will be investigating where our beans grow best, making sure that we look after them and we will be using our measuring skills to see how fast they grow. We’ll even build our own small world garden for some of our animals to live and grow in! We are reading: Jasper’s Beanstalk – Nick Butterworth, 爷爷的花园, 蚯蚓的日记 We are singing: Mary, Mary, 蝴蝶花, 春天在哪里, 黄鹂鸟 A special note from the EY3 team: When you are out and about at the weekend, if you find anything that has grown from a seed, or even some seeds themselves, we would love for the children to bring them in and practise their speaking and listening skills by showing them to the rest of the class.   A Special Note to All Parents and Families The sun is strong this time of year. All children must have a hat for outdoor learning and play activities. If your child does not have one they are available from the uniform store. Sunscreen & insect repellent are also recommended. Please be sure to label everything your child brings to the setting!