On Monday 21 May 2018 it is exactly one hundred days to the opening of Wellington College’s new bilingual school in Shanghai. The Huili School Shanghai will welcome grade 1 to grade 6 pupils for their first day on Tuesday 28 August 2018.
It is normal for there to be a sense of panic as the countdown of days to the opening of a new school slips into double figures, but everyone involved is very calm. Such has been the thoroughness of our planning and the quality of our set up team, that we are well ahead of schedule.
All our teachers are appointed. Those who are in Shanghai already will be joining us to tour the new campus and meet their colleagues on Saturday 9 June. Those who are currently in the UK will be joining us at Wellington College in England for a two-day induction at the start of July. All our staff will be working together in Shanghai from early August, with more than three weeks of planning and induction time before lessons begin.
The beautiful campus buildings have been completed and are now being thoroughly aired. The furniture, books and equipment are arriving, and all our state-of-the art IT systems are being installed. The construction team has been relocated to allow the athletics track and outdoor sports facilities to be installed. The green landscaping has transformed the environment.
Most significantly, almost 300 children are receiving the good news that they have been selected to be our founding pupils. Hundreds of families of grade 1 and grade 6 pupils visited public open days on 14 and 15 April, before submitting their applications to Pudong education bureau. Hundreds of others have met us to apply for places in grades 2 to 5. The new Huili and Wellington school uniforms are now being made and will be available for order in July. The school bus routes are being planned and registered. For more than a year, our school leaders have been developing and planning the bilingual curriculum. We have even completed the planning of all our class, teacher, pupil and room timetables.
My most recent visit to the campus has left me feeling very excited about the start of our new school; so, I too am pleased, rather than worried, that we have fewer than a hundred days to go. In the first fifty of those days, I will be meeting all our new teachers and, I hope, all our founding parents and pupils. By then, we will be all the counting down the days to August 28th.
I hope you share our sense of anticipation. We cannot wait to meet all our teachers, to greet all our pupils and their families, to get to our first day, and to begin to create a world-leading Chinese-English bilingual school.