Developing Independence


At WAB, the playground is a learning environment that is as important as the structured activities provided for students inside the classroom. WAB promotes opportunities for students to experiment with things they have learned and to problem solve. This might occur on the play equipment, through the creation of imaginative games or through social interactions. When students engage in play they may become dirty, receive minor injuries or find themselves in conflict with others. This often comes as a result of exploring the limits of their own experiences. 

Through a strong commitment to the IB Learner Profile, staff members support students to explore, learn, and negotiate their way through experiences on the playground and with their peers. WAB also utilizes the skills of Big Brothers Big Sisters (peer mediators that are trained Grade 4/5 student leaders) to support students to resolve issues that may occur and to lead more structured games with younger students.   

Communication Expectations

WAB uses a wide variety of strategies to ensure parents remain informed of student progress and aware of school events. 

The following publications are produced on a regular basis:

  • ‘WAB Weekly’ is the school’s newsletter. It is published on Fridays in our Parent Portal, and is made accessible via email reminders and  WAB’s official WeChat account.
  • Urgent WeChat notifications to parents and health surveys mandated by the authorities are sent through our we-Com system. To join and use this system, please follow these easy steps.
  • WAB Special Emails are sent on an as-needed basis, and may come from WAB Administration or the Elementary School to inform parents of events or other school-related issues.
  • Featured stories about WAB initiatives, activities and accomplishments are also published on the school website’s ‘News’ page several times per week.
  • Regular grade level/class newsletters are posted on Toddle to keep parents in touch with the classroom program, events, and news.

Self Management Skills

From a very early age, students are supported by teachers to develop responsibility and independence in looking after their own belongings (i.e. clothing, school bags, library books, lunchboxes, drink bottles, etc.). 

Teachers also support students in making decisions about their own safety and comfort (e.g. appropriate shoes to wear to school and the need for coats on cold days). Teachers achieve this by asking students questions such as, “Are those shoes suitable for the climbing equipment?”; “What do we need to do when we go outside in cold weather?” and “What do we do with our coat/sweater when we take it off?” It is beneficial for families to work together to develop a similar independence at home.

All learning involves making mistakes, and students will misplace items at school. To allow for easy return of lost goods, parents are asked to help by labeling clothing and other items with the student’s name.

Personal Items at School

Many students are keen to bring their latest “craze” item to school or to collect items and share them with their friends. When these items are brought to school they are often lost, misplaced, or swapped unwisely. Investigating student complaints about items such as sports cards, marbles, mobile phones etc is very time consuming and usually cannot be fully resolved. 

Therefore, it is preferred that these items are not brought to school. Any items brought from home to school are at the discretion of the parents and are the full responsibility of the student while at school. WAB is not responsible for any losses.

Mobile Phones at School

Students in the Elementary School are not permitted to use mobile phones or smart watches during the school day. WAB understands that on occasion parents provide mobile phones for contact after school hours. Mobile phones must be switched off during the school day and must be left in school bags. Phone calls to home can be made through school phones, if necessary, with teacher permission. 

From time to time, students with mobile phones use them to call parents when they have a problem or concern, without the knowledge of staff. Parents are encouraged to keep class teachers, counselors, or administrators informed if this occurs so that WAB can help support the student to resolve issues at school. Counselors are available to help students work through any issues or problems that they may be experiencing.

Lost Property

Lost items are transferred to “Lost & Found” cupboards, which for the Early Childhood Center are under the fish tanks and for Elementary School are located near the Atrium. When lost-and-found items accumulate they are put on display for homeroom classes to check. Periodic announcements in WAB Weekly also remind students and parents to check the Lost and Found locations in the school. Once or twice a year, any unclaimed items are given to charity. WAB takes no responsibility for lost or unclaimed goods.

Home Learning

Philosophy Statement

Home Learning connects home and school. It allows parents and children to have the opportunity to share aspects of the child’s learning. Home learning should be related to the needs of each individual student. The goal of home learning is to support and extend learning beyond the walls of WAB in a positive way. For students in the earlier grades, it should foster positive attitudes and habits; it might require home involvement and reinforce simple skills introduced in class. For students in upper Elementary grades, it plays a more direct role in fostering student agency.

In recent years neuroscientific as well as social and developmental psychological discoveries have taught us more about how we learn. One of the major insights is that emotion drives attention and attention drives learning. We want to help build a sense of ownership and autonomy in our learners. As such, students at WAB have choice in their home learning. Teachers will provide students with options connected to the academics of the classroom as well as opportunities to develop transdisciplinary skills. 

Students will need to make responsible decisions regarding their choices and should consider both their own interests as well as areas for development. Find out more about how parents can support learning at home on the Parent Portal.

Home learning is not an expectation for Early Years and Junior Grade 1 students. We encourage you to read with your child (in your first language) to help foster a positive attitude toward reading, along with discussions and follow up on any areas in which your child shows a particular interest. We encourage you to read your child’s Learning Story portfolio with them and add comments together.


Parent Absent from Beijing

On rare occasions, both parents may be absent from Beijing for a period of time. During this time the family must appoint a temporary guardian who is responsible for the care of their child, and WAB must be informed of this arrangement. This requires the temporary guardian to make decisions about the educational, social, or emotional needs of the student, support the school in dealing with any issues that arise, take responsibility in the case of an accident or injury e.g. taking the student to hospital, giving permission for school field trips or special events, and attending required functions at school.

Parents must complete the Temporary Guardianship Form and return it to the Counseling Office prior to their absence and also advise their child’s teachers that they will be absent. This is essential in order for staff to ensure the safety and well-being of students.