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

Early Learning to Year 12

From the Principal - Edition 15 - 2019

Week 2 Term 4 at Westminster marks the end of formal lessons for our Year 12 students. While many of our students will be at School next week to see teachers, revise and hone their exam skills, ‘normal classes’ concluded on Tuesday of this week.

For some of our students this marks the end of over 13 years at Westminster while others have joined us in recent years. Regardless of when they started, all Year 12s finish together as a closely bonded group of students.

With exams in the weeks to come, our students will have the chance to test their academic ability against their peers across the State. We hope that they all achieve more than they thought they could. Their results will be combined to make their Australian Tertiary Admissions Ranking (ATAR), which we hope allows them to access whatever study or career path they want to engage in beyond school.

Despite some recent media conjecture about the future of the ATAR, it is still significant for Year 12 graduates to gain admission to their preferred studies and career path. Increasingly though, attention is being paid to the development of soft skills within students, something that Westminster strives to achieve with the huge array of co-curricular opportunities that students can enjoy.

Bernard Salt, one of Australia’s leading demographers, believes that soft skills are vital in helping youth future-proof their career. The changes they will have in their lives, both personal and professional, will require an array of soft skills that most other generations have not had to develop in the same manner. These soft skills include:

From the:

Brookings Institute

Critical and innovative thinking
Interpersonal skills
Intrapersonal skills
Global citizenship
Physical and psychological support


Deep self-knowledge
Emotional regulation
Empathy and perspective taking


ICT literacy and data literacy
Social and cultural competencies

As our Year 12s finish, it is genuinely pleasing to see them openly displaying so many of the skills listed above. Their role modelling for our younger students, and the manner in which they conduct themselves and celebrate their time at Westminster, are exceptional.

Over the coming weeks we will celebrate the Class of 2019 at Speech Day and our Valedictory events. It has been a pleasure for all teachers at Westminster to be a part of our graduating students’ education. Of course, while we farewell the Class of 2019 as a cohort of students, we welcome them as our newest Old Scholars to continue their journey as lifelong members of our dynamic School community.

We pride ourselves on our active community and the next big event in our calendar is the Westminster Foundation’s All Stars Ball on Saturday 2 November at Adelaide Oval. There are still tickets available through the Development Office and it would be fantastic to see you there.

The formal end of school year event is Speech Day on Thursday 21 November. While it is held during a school day, I extend an open invitation to the School community to attend – 1.30 pm in the Michael Murray Centre for Performing Arts. I look forward to introducing our Speech Day Guest Speaker in the next edition of the eNews.

Simon Shepherd