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 - 2022

Years ago, as I was heading off to live abroad, a good friend farewelled me with the following message:

When you wheel your barrow to the foot of the mountain, suddenly a path will appear.

According to my friend, a Chinese teacher, it is an ancient Chinese proverb about facing adversity. It is encouraging us to not give up when the obstacles ahead seem insurmountable. Keep going and the way forward will become clear. This adage speaks of being resilient, prepared for challenges and not to give up, especially before we start.

Our Year 9 students on their Westventure experience this week are having to do this right now. The unseasonal October weather has seen them facing heavy rain. Nonetheless, when I visited them this week, they were in high spirits making the most of the experience being afforded.

Likewise, there is guidance in the words for our Year 12s as they face their final exams and assessments. Year 12s need to approach their last weeks of school with the resolve and resilience to find a path that will allow them to fulfil their potential. They are a fantastic cohort and their teachers have worked tirelessly to help them find a way to ‘climb their own mountain’.

On Saturday afternoon, between 3.00 and 7.00 pm on the new Westminster Green, we will celebrate the completion of the first significant stages of our current Campus Masterplan with the Grand Opening Celebration. There’ll be food trucks, refreshments, great entertainment, including student performances and internationally acclaimed jazz pianist Kym Purling (’89). I do hope that you can join us for this momentous community occasion. The evolution of our School continues and this weekend we celebrate all that we have achieved over the last five years, a path shared by many with great commitment and perseverance to deliver the outstanding improvements to our School.

The Class of 2022 has seen the most change on our campus since Westminster was founded. It is somewhat fitting that when they finish their final assembly this week, they get to walk along the new driveway while the rest of the School forms a Guard of Honour for them.

The ceremonial driveway through the Main Gates will be operational next week, as will be the ‘kiss and drop’ bays. All of us who use the ceremonial drive will be delighted with the upgrades, but we do need to be mindful of some key safety messages. It is vital when we reopen the Main Gates that no car stops in the middle of this roadway to let their children out. The new ‘kiss and drop’ bays exist for that. And a reminder that the speed limit throughout the grounds exists to ensure our students, your children, stay safe.

We look forward to welcoming you back on an unencumbered campus as our current projects are concluded.

Late last term, my eNews article contained a coded message that no one managed to crack, even though a few tried. Acknowledging that it needed a good dose of perseverance to decipher, I can reveal that the proverb above was encoded in the opening paragraph as every 10th letter.

Simon Shepherd