“We are just so happy to be finally here!”

Would you move overseas to a country you didn’t know, with the prospect of being separated from your family and with little or no control over the process?

What if the first thing that happened to you on landing was being transferred by hazmat team to a government quarantine hotel for 14 days in secure isolation?

This is exactly what 33 new members of staff and their families have done this September in order to join Wellington Shanghai this academic year. The same is true across all of our schools in China who have welcomed new teachers. The trust that our new colleagues placed in Wellington College China and in our teams on the ground here was extraordinary.

And to every single one of those teachers already at Wellington Shanghai who covered the absence of 35% of our academic teaching staff: I salute you. Everyone has found themselves in the classroom this September, with many colleagues teaching significantly more than we would reasonably expect.

In schools we often ask a lot of our teams. In education so much of what is achieved is done through goodwill. As a head of school we rely on our ability to use that goodwill in difficult times and September 2020 was an exercise in exactly that.

I hope not to ever have to ask again. I also hope that each and everyone of my Wellington Shanghai colleagues knows how grateful our pupils, their parents and we all are for everything they have done.

Eleanor Prescott, Master Wellington College Shanghai

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