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

Early Learning to Year 12

Head of Outdoor Education - Edition 2 - 2020

Merit Ceremony

The 2019 Outdoor Education classes consisting of 32 students again achieved outstanding results across all levels reinforcing the opportunities available for Westminster students.

Most of these achievements have their foundations in Westventure, Year 11 Outdoor Education and numerous Duke of Edinburgh's Award level expeditions. When the students pursue their studies in Year 12 they have a fantastic platform to extend themselves and to excel on their chosen expeditions, and in their risk and environmental analysis.

Congratulations to the record number of nine students who achieved a Merit at the recent ceremony at Government House, Jamie Brazier, Maggie Degenhart, Brodie Eckert, Nikki Gluyas, Sophie Hatwell, Angus Higgins, Chelsea Higgins, Gabriella Loy and Hamish Watt.

In total there were 17 Westminster students who achieved an A+ grade and another 14 students who achieved an A grade. Overall these are pretty amazing results for the cohort. Congratulations to all of the 2019 Outdoor Education group.

Duke of Edinburgh's International Award Program

Now that we are in Term 1 of a new year, students should be looking at their Bronze, Silver and Gold ORB (Online record books) and assessing whether they could finish their relevant Award Level early this year in anticipation of moving on to the next level.

Sometimes many areas are completed and it just needs the recording and sign-off requirements to be met. Given the extra incentive of 10 SACE credits for each of the Bronze and Silver Awards and 20 credits for the prestigious Gold Award, I urge students to take this task on.

Calendar and Website

The Calendar of trips for 2020 can be downloaded below.

Our updated Outdoor Education website has been developed and provides another platform to find out about the opportunities available at Westminster including all consent forms for all Outdoor Education and Duke of Ed Expeditions.

The website is available for students and parents at https://inspire.westminster.sa.edu.au/Play/OutdoorEducation/Pages/default.aspx

New Zealand 2020

In December a group of 36 Duke of Ed students will complete the famous Gillespie Pass alpine walking circuit. The students will encounter snow in the pass, ice-laden lakes and glorious scenery. The four-day walk will be followed up with two days of white-water kayaking on the Hawea River and then a few days of rock-climbing, canyoning and optional adventure activities in and around the Adventure Capital of Queenstown. These end-of-year trips are a great culminating experience for students who are keen to pursue their involvement in expeditions in environments totally diverse from SA.

Only two vacancies for the trip remain.

You can view a video of the 2018 trip, put together by Heidi Collins ('18) at https://youtu.be/d5RsNLNwo84


The first two of the Westventure camps for 2020 were a great introduction to the school year for over 66 students from three Houses. Sam Ferguson has quickly settled into his new role as Westventure coordinator, backed up by a highly skilled instructor team including enthusiastic involvement by many of our Old Scholars. The weather has tested the students and staff with the flexibility of the program proving that the student outcomes can be achieved despite a degree of modification and adapting to deal with heat, monsoonal rain or strong winds.

Students have excelled in 5km and 17 km running/jogging/walking activities, kayaking and sailing instruction, two significant two to three day expeditions and a wealth of learning activities that foster growth, development and self-discovery.

The Outdoor Education Staff have been impressed with the start and this has been re-enforced by the many visitors, including the Principal, Head of Senior School, Heads of House and House Captains who have visited the Westventure campus.

Holiday Expeditions

We will be conducting a number of expeditions over Term 1.

20 Duke of Edinburgh students can visit Innes National Park on the Yorke Peninsula for a four day bushwalk, intermixed with a bit of snorkelling and beachcombing activities.

The two Year 12 Outdoor Education classes will spend five days climbing the crags at Mount Arapiles in Victoria. Students will complete top rope climbs, multi-pitch climbs and will display the talent to be an independent rock-climbing expedition member. Numerous environmental issues and studies will also be undertaken.

Selected individuals will also be completing an open water PADI scuba diving course to gain certification in the activity. This will be conducted through Adelaide scuba at Glenelg.

Details are on the Outdoor Education website.

Gordon Begg
Head of Outdoor Education