Over 430 pupils have been welcome back to the 2021-22 academic year at Wycombe Abbey Primary School since the start of September, with returning and new pupils settling into their new school routines, with new classmates, new teachers, and new opportunities.
Our values at Wycombe Abbey focus on the following aims:
Our pupils in the Primary School receive the best of both British and Chinese education. Our pupils learn English throughout the course of the school day, not just in the classroom, but on the playground, in the dome, in the canteen and during reading time with our team of foreign form tutors and teachers. The start of the year sees baseline assessments of all our children, in areas such as reading, spelling and grammar, and comprehension. This helps inform our teachers of the lesson content they need to cover in their class over the course of the year.
As well as a focus on English, all our pupils learn Chinese, either as a first or second language, as they begin to be develop their linguistic skill in two of the most widely used languages worldwide. Through storytelling, handwriting practice, and group discussion, the focus on language acquisition and development is something that is at the core of everything our teachers do in school.
On top of English and Chinese, our pupils undertake topic lessons throughout Primary, covering areas such as the Romans, Rainforests and the Solar System. As part of their Music, Art and PE lessons, specialist subject teachers encourage children to express themselves through song, through art, or through sport, cultivating interests we hope they will carry with them throughout the rest of their time at school and beyond.
Our pastoral care system in the Primary School is something we are very proud of. With all classes having a dedicated form tutor, these important members of staff act as a link between home and school, updating parents with day to day goings on at school, as well as any major upcoming events or activities to prepare for.
The introduction of “Golden Time” this year has already proved very popular, with all children in the school able to enjoy the final period of the week choosing fun activities of their own to take part in, as a reward for hard work during the week. Last Friday, children chose to play on iPads, play board games with their friends, or enjoy time on the play equipment outside, and this session acts as a fantastic incentive for our pupils to work towards throughout the course of the week.
In the boarding house, with a mixture of returning and new boarders, the start of term can always bring its ups and downs, with many pupils living away from home for the first time. Homesickness if of course to be expected and a perfectly natural part of entering boarding, however our experienced boarding team, many of whom have either grown up or worked in boarding schools in the UK, have worked with children of all ages in boarding environments before, and understand the importance of keeping children active throughout the week, with a wide range of evening activities on offer for our boarders. From Rugby and Netball on Monday, to Board Games and Dance on Wednesday, boarders get to experience different activities each evening with different teachers leading these activities.
Our wide ranging ECA program exposes all our pupils to different activities outside the classroom each and every day. Health + Fitness programs, Cooking Clubs, Debating Societies, Chess Clubs, Book Clubs, Yoga, calligraphy, zumba, baseball, and creative story writing are just some of the activities our pupils have been involved in during the first week of school.
As well as giving opportunities to our pupils to involve themselves in as many different things as possible, we also want to encourage our children to set their own targets, be that in reading higher level books, taking part in sports teams, or joining the Primary School Choirs, our teachers in Primary are there to support and guide our children to exceed even their own expectations.
Our “Golden Rules” we follow in the Primary School, which focus on key values such as “being kind and helpful”, “looking after property”, “trying our best”, and “being gentle” are talked about and discussed with our pupils throughout the week, and play an important role in fostering the sense of community which has developed in the Primary School since its inception in 2016.
It has been so exciting and encouraging to see so many of our returning pupils, many of whom have now been with us for a number of years, take such leading roles in helping our new pupils settle in at school, and guide and support them just as they were guided and supported when they first joined the school.
What a brilliant start to the new year at WASCZ Primary – we are looking forward to telling you more about what has been happening in school over the weeks and months ahead!