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

Early Learning to Year 12

From the Principal - Edition 18 - 2019

Education has been in the press again this week as the PISA testing results of Australia have come under question in a comparison with other OCED countries. However, the PISA figures of the nation are averages and averages can mask the achievements at both ends of the spectrum. This week the Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia (AHISA) released PISA data for Australian Independent Schools as if we were ‘a nation’. The data highlighted that Independent Schools in Australia rank as second in the world for Reading Literacy, fourth for Scientific Literacy and eighth for Mathematical Literacy. In all categories, this means that all Australian Independent Schools, if considered as ‘a nation’, would be the highest-ranking English speaking country in the world. Australian Catholic Schools, according to AHISA’s representation of the PISA figures, rank 10th for Reading Literacy, 12th for Scientific Literacy and 23rd for Mathematical Literacy. Based on the OECD average, Australian Government Schools are below the OECD average for the last two categories respectively.

The results of Australian Independent Schools like Westminster, coupled with our commitment to developing appropriate and necessary soft skills in all of our students, mean that our students are receiving a world-class leading education. Your commitment to providing your son or daughter with the opportunity of a Westminster education is empowering them to achieve more than they thought possible.

This week, Senior School students have been enjoying a fantastic week of skill-building STEAM activities. There has been construction and filmmaking, amongst their aquatic sessions, preparation for next year’s Research Project and Westventure, as well as learning the basic skills of First Aid. The STEAM program has focused on creative problem solving while having great fun. The School has been abuzz with so much inventive teamwork, we have enough framed holes for a mini golf course, carts to carry water, as well as some surprisingly good assembly of flat pack furniture, collected today by the Australian Refugee Association.

As we wrap up our school year, my Christmas wish is that everyone stay safe and healthy during the festive season and summer break. With one more week of school left, including the Preparatory School Certificate Ceremony on Tuesday, I ask that we all make a concerted effort to keep within the speed limit around campus. At this time of year as we get busier, we may be tempted to rush things and let our guard down but please be mindful that there are still many students and pedestrians moving around the School grounds.

In what is the last eNews of the year, I take the opportunity to thank all of you who read the eNews each fortnight. The contributors and team behind the eNews do a terrific job. If you enjoy the articles, please share them and encourage others to share as well.

I hope that you all have a fantastic Christmas and enjoy your family time together. Our famous Christmas Lights event starts next week with a Christmas Chapel service at 7.00 pm on Thursday 12 December. Please bring your family and friends as Rev Phil Hoffmann leads us in a service of reflection and celebration. The lights then run nightly until Thursday 19 December.

Next year will be another huge year for Westminster and we look forward to sharing our 2020 journey with you.

Simon Shepherd