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 - 2021

Last Friday, I had the chance to help manage some Preparatory School volleyball teams before attending the Creative Arts Exhibition and Music Night. Reflecting on these two very different events, it was clear to me that in their own ways both encouraged the spirit, skills and real character of our students to shine through.

At the volleyball, I saw our Prep teams working together, learning the skills of a new and challenging game. Watching the students compete, it was great to see them supporting each other and playing with gusto. Perhaps the most heartening observation was to see one team, having endured over an hour of volleyball, help a younger team by providing an extra player needed for their game. It was a bitterly cold night to play beach volleyball and the student who volunteered was tired, yet he played to give others the opportunity to enjoy their game. This sort of altruism and servant leadership is always a privilege to see, especially in such young students.

Similarly, the Art Show displayed the creative talents of our student artists and the amazing performances of many of our musicians, making for another great experience. The range of opportunities our students enjoy make a Westminster education what it is and are made possible by the commitment and application of our staff. As parents, we should do our utmost to ensure our children avail themselves of what is offered.

Student participation in Prep School sport is particularly important as is it enhances teamwork and leadership skills. It also allows students to develop fine motor skills and respond to feedback. Through playing sport, students have the chance to be a part of something bigger than themselves. They also learn how it feels to win and lose and either way, do so graciously.

We strongly encourage our students to make the most of the opportunities afforded to them by a Westminster education. These range from academic opportunities, like an enormous array of subject choices, including their exams, through to sport, outdoor education, performing arts and a vast list of clubs and activities. The downside is that opportunities can cleverly disguise themselves as hard work or challenges that push beyond comfort zones. I would encourage every student to make the most of the opportunities in front of them. They are a part of their education and will help form that tool kit of skills and experiences we all need in life.

In the upcoming exams for Years 7 to 11 students, I hope they make the most of this time to develop and hone their academic skill set. This opportunity will be hard work for all, including the teachers who write and mark the papers. But like all opportunities for our students, the reward from the experience will be directly proportional to the effort put in.

Simon Shepherd