A Uniting Church coeducational independent day and boarding school in Adelaide,
South Australia

Early Learning to Year 12

From the Principal - Edition 14 - 2018

We have had a very busy few weeks at Westminster. The end of term is always busy, but Term 3 seems to be busier than most. We have had Music performances, Dance performances, information evenings, and an array of sporting events, ranging from Athletics to Volleyball. Furthermore, our Year 12s are busy working hard to ensure that all of their assignments and portfolios are finished so they are on top of their study.

It’s a busy time but being busy isn’t bad, it can actually be really good for us. Our most active and engaged students are often our most successful students. They learn the ability to prioritise and learn how to apply themselves fully to the task in front of them. Being busy or active also helps create a bit of pressure, and what better time is there than Grand Final week to talk about pressure! We all need a bit of pressure to bring out our best.

Graph 1: Hebbian version of the Yerkes-Dodson Law

It is clear in the graph above that we need to find a degree of stress in our lives to reach our peak performance - enough stress to motivate and keep us focused but not so much that we become overstressed and under achieve.

Finding the right amount of stress to bring out our best is a matter of personal trial. It is a matter of trying, succeeding or failing, and ultimately learning. Outside of the classroom, sport and the performing arts are great ways of learning how you can bring out your best and, indeed, why Westminster has such a comprehensive co-curricular program.

During the Grand Final, I am sure you will see players who get it just right and excel, and others who don’t. Last weekend, the Demons clearly didn’t and the Eagles did! As we head into Term 4, I hope that all of our students continue to look for ways to test themselves so they can achieve more than they thought possible.

I hope you all have a fantastic holiday and look forward to seeing you back at Westminster next term.

Simon Shepherd