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

Early Learning to Year 12

From the Principal - Edition 11 - 2023

Welcome to Term 3. We’re already into our third week and the School has got off to a great start. We've already had the fantastic Australian Made Dance concert. In a few weeks we will be hosting the statewide ABODA music festival and Intercol, our annual major sporting event against Pembroke. These are just a few highlights amongst many others in a busy term for our students, families, staff and community in general. It is also a time when we turn our attention to preparing for 2024.

We are also deep in developing our new strategic plan, which incorporates outcomes of our Parents and Caregivers’ Survey at the end of 2022. Through this process, the importance of experiential learning, that is learning by doing, has become a primary focus. We see as AI further influences education that experiential learning will become increasingly important to empower our students to achieve more than they thought possible.

Consequently, we are reviewing experiential learning opportunities at Westminster, particularly in the three broad areas of Performing Arts, Sport and Co-curricular Clubs, and Outdoor Education.

Each review will be undertaken independently and revolve around three key questions:

  1. How are we going?
  2. How do we know?
  3. What are we going to do about it?

The Performing Arts and Sports and Co-Curricular reviews will commence this term with reports due in Term 4. Outdoor Education will be initiated in Term 4 and roll into 2024 with a report due in Semester 1.

These reviews are being carried out by specialists in each field:

  1. Performing Arts – this review will be undertaken by Emma Williams. Recently contracted to Westminster, Emma has considerable experience in the performing arts and will engage specialist support as necessary.
  2. Sports and Co-Curricular Clubs – this review will be undertaken by Nikki Burger from Life Sport Journey, a consultancy that specialises in assessing and developing sport delivery programs.
  3. Outdoor Education – this review will be undertaken by Clare Dallat from Risk Resolve, a consultancy specialising in outdoor education and its associated risks.

In carrying out our reviews, we are looking for ways to improve and enhance our experiential learning opportunities. There will be surveys and focus groups carried out in the reviews and we will be encouraging students to grasp the opportunity for providing input and feedback. Being student-focused is important in this process to create the best outcomes for our programs moving forward.

Furthermore, we are reviewing another a matter raised within our Parents and Caregivers’ Survey, that is, road safety and traffic management in and around the School. It will surprise no-one who transports their child or children to the School that pedestrian safety and traffic management continue to produce spikes of community concern. I will soon be writing to all families about specific issues identified, particularly those situations involving blatant disregard for the speed limit and traffic movement in and around our School grounds. While this review has no end date as such, I am confident with the commitment of our community that we can resolve to make campus and student safety a priority for all.

Simon Shepherd