Westminster is committed to the wellbeing of students and staff, and a caring community is a highlight amongst many School attributes.
A robust network of support exists around each student, beginning with class teachers and extending to include their Head of House, the Head of Wellbeing, the Heads of Year 8 and Year 12, House Captains and student leaders, the School Chaplain, the School Psychologist, the Heads of School, and ultimately the Principal.
A Wellbeing committee exists to represent the School community, and provide guidance and discussion around this important topic.
All students participate in Wellbeing@West on a regular basis. We are a partnership school of The Resilience Project (TRP) and have been using their curriculum for several years. TRP teaches positive mental health strategies to build young people’s capacity to deal with adversity. Students engage in weekly lessons and activities around the key principles of gratitude, empathy, mindfulness (GEM) and emotional literacy to build resilience.
Through a focus on improved wellbeing, it is our aim that students, staff, and our community will find Westminster is a place to flourish.
Our House system works across the whole School to deliver our pastoral care and wellbeing programs. Students are assigned to one of six Houses in the Preparatory School and one of ten in the Senior School. Houses comprise students from all age groups (within their respective schools, Preparatory or Senior) and form the basis for friendly, intra-School competition for sports days and other activities.
In the Senior School, Year 8 students are assigned a class group with a class teacher, who is responsible for their care and welfare. The Head of Year 8, oversees and supports the class teachers and all Year 8 students. From Year 9 onwards, pastoral care is overseen by the relevant Head of House, with assistance from tutors, and guidance under the direction of the Head of Senior School. In general, the Head of House will be the first point of contact for many parents in the Senior School.
The teacher in charge of a House knows about many aspects of every student in their House – enough to have an overview of their welfare. The House tutors work with smaller tutor groups within the House and have daily contact with students.
Each House holds regular meetings where students of all age levels interact. Each House elects leaders, who take on positions of responsibility within both the House and the wider School. Houses also organise community service activities and fundraising projects, and involve parents in many of their activities.
The Houses in the Preparatory School are named after aspects of the Westminster complex in London, United Kingdom, while the Houses in the Senior School are named after individuals of great vision and leaders in the founding of the School.
|Abbey||Orange||The famous Westminster Abbey, alongside Westminster School, London.|
|Charter||Blue||The Magna Carta, the great list of freedoms guaranteed by King John I at Runnymede in 1215. It represents the parliamentary process.|
|Crown||Purple||The royal families who have provided leadership throughout history and is specifically representative of the Palace at Westminster.|
|Mace||Red||The club-shaped staff, the symbol of authority in Parliament.|
|Wesley||Teal||John Wesley who founded the Methodist Church and his brother Charles who attended Westminster School, London.|
|Wyvern||Gold||The mythical wyverns, Welsh dragons that were supposed to vanquish evil. John Wesley wore them on his ecclesiastical garments. They therefore represent the Church and are specifically representative of Westminster Abbey.|
|Carter||Sky Blue||Mr Roy Carter - a School Council and Executive Committee member, Mr Carter was awarded the Order of the British Empire in 1966 for services to the community. The Carter Laboratories were opened in 1966 in his honour. He was made a Life Member of the School in 1975.|
|Clark||Green||Mr Paul Clark – a member of the School Council in 1959 and Council Treasurer for over 25 years from 1960 until 1986. Mr Clark gave outstanding and professional service to the School for many years and was made a Life Member of the School Council in 1986.|
|Dunstan||Burgundy||Mr Douglas A. Dunstan – having been a leader in the printing trade, Mr Dunstan was a Member of School Council from 1961 until 1976 when he was made a Life Member of the School. Mr Dunstan also developed the School seal and helped raise funds to build the School.|
|Fereday||Navy Blue||Mr Stanley Fereday – a highly regarded housing estate builder whose wisdom, generosity, and technical knowledge was of immense value in the building of the newly proclaimed School that opened in a ‘green field’ with just three structures. Mr Fereday was a Foundation Member of the School Council.|
|Forder||Pink||Mr Douglas Highmoor Forder – Westminster’s first appointed Headmaster until he retired in 1976. Mr Forder is remembered as a great man who worked tirelessly to make Westminster a success. The Forder Centre in the Preparatory School and the Principal’s Residence ‘Highmoor’ have been named in his honour.|
|Fricker||Orange||Mr Frederick Fricker – a well-known building contractor who worked on major SA Government developments. Mr Fricker was Chairman of the School’s Building Committee for many years. The Fricker Centre, purpose built as a library in the 1970s and currently the Year 12 Centre, was named in his honour.|
|Heaslip||Red||Mr Frank Heaslip – a successful grazier and businessman. Mr Heaslip was integral in driving the fundraising campaign across the state to establish Westminster. He was the first Chairman of School Council, holding this position until the end of the ‘all boys’ era in 1977. He was made a Life Member of the School Council in 1978.|
|Jeffries||Yellow||Sir Shirley Jeffries – a former Attorney General and Minister of Education in the Playford Government of South Australia. A man of great faith, Sir Shirley was instrumental in Westminster being named after the famous London school and adopting the motto of Deo Duce. The Sir Shirley Jeffries Memorial Chapel was named in his honour.|
|Kelly||Purple||Mr Arthur Kelly – the first donor to Westminster School, who donated £1500 in 1957 by slipping a cheque into Frank Heaslip’s pocket as a contribution towards the parcel of land purchased to establish the School. Being the first donation received, the Westminster Foundation’s Kelly Society for bequests is named in recognition of his generosity.|
|Woollacott||White||Reverend Harry Woollacott – Mr Woollacott drove the committee appointed by the Methodist conference in 1956 to consider the feasibility of a new school. He was Secretary of School Council (1958 to 1970) and School Chaplain (1961 to 1963), becoming a Life Member of the School in 1963.|
Families are welcomed to the School from all religious backgrounds. Westminster is affiliated with the Uniting Church. Many students at the School come from families who are members of the Uniting Church or other Christian denominations. Some of our families have faith in other religions, while others have no preferred faith.
The Sir Shirley Jeffries Memorial Chapel is the spiritual heart of the School. All students go to a Chapel service once a week with their particular class, year group, or House group. Chapel is a place where students and staff are encouraged to engage in various aspects of worship and celebrate communal life. We consider it important to help students make their own informed decision in their own time, in this important area of faith, spirituality, and religion.
Community is an integral value at Westminster School, and Chapel services are another dimension of communal expression in the life of the School. Chapel is a place where values, respect, identity, individuality, belonging, care, and compassion are evident and encouraged.
Music, drama, worship, readings, prayer, and media are some of the opportunities in Chapel for students to present messages in creative ways, connecting students to each other and with the culture of the time. Chapel services at Westminster vary in style and many new and exciting dimensions of personal reflection are encountered.
Pastoral care, personal support, visitation to homes and hospitals, family support, and mediation are supported by our Chaplain.
Chaplaincy Services under the National School Chaplaincy Program are supported by funding received from the State Government Department of Education and Child Development which is funded by the Australian Government Department of Education and Training for this purpose.