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2018/19 November Week 5 : Message from Nick West

30 November 2018

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At Nord Anglia Chinese International School Shanghai, we foster a love for learning and especially a love for reading. Reading to your children is an important part of this journey and there is much research on the benefits of sharing a book with your child. In an ever-increasing digital age, I believe it is important to get hold of a physical book, a favourite story, a creative picture book and tell or make-up a story with your child.

Reading or sharing stories with your children should be an amazingly rewarding experience for you both, bringing you closer but also enriching their vocabulary. If you can use the same book in different languages, then you are also developing bilingual learning and increasing their understanding of language frameworks. Whenever I return to the UK I have great pleasure in reading to my niece and nephew, they are special moments we both look forward to.

This week I had an incredible time with 1 Cedar. They met my very special friend of 11 years, Colin. Colin is a Koala Bear that I bought on my travels in Australia some years ago, but he loves listening to a story and meeting new people, the children of 1 Cedar. The children attentively listened and participated as I read, ‘Guess How Much I Love You’ to them. I look forward to reading to the other seven Grade 1 classes soon. Stories take you on a journey, tease your imagination, make you laugh, make you cry, but most of all with young children, they are best when shared and enjoyed together. Do take the time to read with your children, you will both remember it and the feelings it gives for the rest of your lives.

As a school community, it is important we listen to our students and that they have a voice. I was so impressed on Monday morning when Eric Zhao, from 7Blossom, got off his bike and handed me an envelope. Inside a letter, with a very real concern, that the canteen was possibly wasting milk and throwing it away if it wasn’t used during afternoon snack. In his writing he puts his point across exceptionally well, the issues raised were also from his House members and he didn’t want to take full credit for a shared project. I met with the canteen managers and both Eric and myself were delighted to hear that none of the milk goes to waste and any left is used by staff.

It is amazing that your children feel so passionately about global events, learnt from their House activities, and applying them to their local environment, trying to make a difference. They will speak out. They are passionate. I am, as should you be, extremely proud they feel they have their voice and will be listened to. Thank you, Eric and your House friends.