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

Early Learning to Year 12

From the Principal - Edition 5 - 2019

The much-needed rain over the weekend seemingly brought winter to Adelaide a little earlier than we would have anticipated. The rain meant some of the cricket matches that were being played in the morning were cancelled. For all of the cricketing parents, life on a Saturday often means early morning drives and drop-offs or some very pleasant time sitting and watching cricket chatting to each other. When matches are cancelled it means suddenly we have time on our hands that we did not expect and it feels like a bonus.

Making sure we make the most of any bonus like this is really important. For my family, we made sure we finished the washing and, with my wife Susan away for the weekend with work, we thought we would have lunch together at Marion and do the weekly shop. Of course, on the way the boys convinced me that we should have lunch, go to the movies and then go shopping. A day of watching cricket turned into some much-needed family time and this made me reflect over the rest of the weekend.

As parents, most of us strive to give our children plenty of opportunities to fulfil their potential and we are all willing to go to extraordinary lengths to support them. We will drive them all over the city to attend trainings, rehearsals, matches or events, often placing great strain on them and ourselves. Increasingly, this puts enormous pressure on the whole family and, at times, stifles quality time that we could spend with our kids because we are too busy just getting stuff done.

For parents, it is very hard not to live vicariously through our children. We want so much for them and Westminster parents are particularly supportive in helping their children fulfil their potential. Next week’s whole School musical ‘Annie’ is an example of the commitment shown by students, staff and their supportive families, working together, to bring this major show to life. The updates coming in from rehearsals tell me that this will be a wonderful production. The cast and crew deserve to perform in our Murray Centre to packed audiences of family, friends and Westminster supporters, in general.

All families at some stage face a big commitment like ‘Annie’ and the rewards for students are priceless. However, there are also the times when maybe we do need to slow down and not rush to the next commitment that we are trying to teach them to honour. Instead, we could just take in a movie with them and just enjoy their company as incredible young people at a time when we are not flat out getting to band practice, swimming, musical rehearsal or anything else.

Often, we leave these catch-up times to the holidays in the hope that we will get to spend some quality time with our kids and while that does happen for some, for many we are just as busy in the holidays as we are in the term time. I do hope over the break that you all have the opportunity to spend some fantastic ‘in the moment’ time together with your children. The time that you spend will help them fulfil their potential as much as anything that we do at School.

Simon Shepherd