A Uniting Church coeducational independent day and boarding school on Kaurna Country, Adelaide, South Australia

Early Learning to Year 12

From the Acting Principal - Edition 5 - 2023

As Term 1 draws to a close, I have been reflecting on my first term at Westminster.

January seems like a long time ago but, as you all know, school terms seem to fly past every year. The excitement and uncertainty of starting a new school year, with an innumerable number of unknowns ahead of me, was a daunting task. From the moment I stepped into our School, I have felt like it was the right place for me. The staff always speak so highly of the Westminster community. One term into my role as both Deputy and Acting Principal, I’ve seen it for myself and can absolutely agree. Across every area of the School, we have hardworking teachers and administration staff who only have one thing in mind and that is to see the School improve. Our teaching staff work incredibly hard to educate our students and they are very well supported by all other staff around the School. It has been a wonderful experience to be welcomed so warmly into the Westminster community. One where we not only aspire to achieve the highest level, but where the values of kindness and compassion are equally evident in all that we do.

One of the most enjoyable things I have seen this year is the engagement that students, of all year levels, have with their School. In our first ‘non-affected pandemic start’ for three years, students have embraced the stable beginning with vigour. I have seen students and staff putting in many extra hours to ensure they are best prepared for any academic challenge ahead. On Saturdays and at mid-week games, seeing students compete in volleyball, cricket, tennis, swimming and many more sports has been a pleasure. The enjoyment of students when competing with classmates and friends shows the strength of a comprehensive co-curricular/sport program. One of my term’s highlights also came this week when I attended the School musical performance of Mamma Mia! The show was wonderful with a lot of first-class talent on display. Many hours of rehearsals have been coordinated around the myriad of events this term and it is a credit to everyone involved for the show they produced. Well done to cast and crew - students and staff alike!

Our Performing Arts department is one of the busiest in the School with over 400 students involved. In early morning rehearsals, across lunchtimes and after school our students really shine when it comes to performing. The Sunday night performance of Tenebrae from our choir was a very moving experience. Once again, the talent on display was exceptional. It was a real joy for me, and I’m sure others, to witness for the first time.

At the beginning of the year, I challenged the students to become the best version of themselves. To see so many thriving outside their comfort zone has been very pleasing. Challenges for School students take many and varied forms – in the classroom or school yard, when working part-time or performing, or perhaps when being away at camp. All experiences and activities I saw this term set a goal of encouraging students to better themselves. The Year 9s who attended Westventure are to be congratulated for surviving and thriving in that challenging environment. In Term 2, our Year 7 and 8 students will have the opportunity to attend their year level camps and enjoy being in the great outdoors. Next term, we will hold the postponed Senior Swimming Carnival on Friday 19 May.

I hope that over the Easter break you find time to recharge the batteries. A school environment is a busy one and we often talk to our students about discovering that sometimes elusive, magic balance between schoolwork, sport, casual work, socialising, fun, rest and relaxation. Hopefully, we too, as adults, can find that magic too and enjoy spending some all-important, quality time with our family and friends.

Principal Simon Shepherd will be back, ready for Term 2. In the meantime, I wish you and your family all the best for a safe and happy school holiday period.

Andrew Whiteman
Acting Principal