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

Early Learning to Year 12

Head of Preparatory School - Edition 10 - 2020

Great to be back

I was delighted to see how ready the students, and indeed the staff, were to return to school following the school holidays. As everyone knows this has been far from a usual year, and the start of Term 3 feels more like the start of the year to me. To see the children enjoying being back, catching up with friends and engaging in all that is on offer was very pleasing. Term 3 will be a very busy, but hopefully also enjoyable term. Many of the activities we had to delay due to COVID-19 we will look to catch up on. This includes all of our winter sports activities commencing and later in the term we will look to complete the 2020 Sports Day that was unable to take place in Term 1.

Welcome to new students

One of the most exciting aspects of beginning a new term is the fact that we can welcome students and families into the Prep School.

This term we welcome a new crop of students making the Transition from the ELC (predominantly) into full-time school. In addition, Harrison Fraser has joined Year 4 and Crown House and Sacha Geyer-Drean is a new member of Year 2 and Mace.

The students who have commenced in our Transition classes are Sid Ghosh, Axel Nitschke, Maria Kowalczyk, Sally Zhang, Kloe Nagy, Rosie Lee, Bailey Jarrad (Crown House); James Buchiw, Olivia Askham-Levy, Maddison Moukachar, Isabella Askham-Levy, Lucas Pick (Abbey House); Abigail Lee, Edward Patritti, Trung Tran, Abigail Lee, Yaroon Kumar, Hannah Wolf (Wyvern House); Levi Bund, Thomas Gibson, Ashna Venugopal, Matthew Qiu (Mace House); Ella Anderson, Frederick Law, Paris Reci, Evie Barnes, Owen Swinhoe (Charter House); Eli McKee, Sophie Wong, Jason Hu and Amara Lavan (Wesley House).


New staff

With the new term commencing we also have had some additions and adjustments to our staffing. Ms Susan Morisset and Mrs Georgie Papst return to us as the class teachers for our Transition classes. We also welcome Ms Amelia Young who will join us working as a Learning Support Assistant assisting with our Transition classes.

Mr Chris Haines is on long service leave this term, so we welcome back Mrs Deb Cope who is taking 6H. Mr Jeremy Jury will lead the mighty red team this term as Acting Head of Mace House.

COVID-19 Restrictions

While we still need to be mindful of sensible hygiene and social distancing, some restrictions are easing. Both Chapel and House meetings have recommenced, and due to popular demand House Sport and Assembly will alternate this term.

We are still however asking parents to refrain from visiting the School and in particular the classrooms as much as possible. If your child shows any signs of poor health, please keep them home.

Canteen Arrangements

This term while the lunch order system continues to be available every day, we have embarked on a gradual return to the Prep Canteen being open for over the counter sales at lunchtime. Thank you to those parents who have volunteered to assist in the Prep Canteen on Thursdays and Fridays which are the most popular days with students for buying a snack. On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday students from Years 3 to 6 are able to visit the Senior School tuck shop at lunchtime as long as they go across in pairs.

Combining Math and Poetry

Have you ever looked at a door and wondered what might be on the other side?

Where may it lead?

What may be hiding within?

At first glance, a door is just a piece of wood, glass or metal that is opened and closed so that people can get in and out of a room, a vehicle or space.

But in the hands of a writer, a door represents a world of possibility, a world where things are not only hidden but often closed off and restricted.

At the beginning of Term 2, the world was in lockdown, shut behind doors for the safety of everyone. The students in Years 5 and 6 STRETCH Literacy Enrichment wrote a poem about the world behind a magical door, based on the poem 'The Magical Box' by Kit Wright. They used their senses and imagery to create worlds that could be visualised by the reader.

Mrs Madex

I opened the door and saw…
The smooth swirl of a quadratic function,
The definite divisibility of integers,
Irrational numbers formulating to a whole,
The elegance of equations being equivalent.

I opened the door and felt…
The cool touch of a metal handle,
The complex core of calculators,
The sharp point of a compass,
The precise measurements of a protractor.

I opened the door and smelt…
The pungent whiff of whiteboard markers,
The fresh smell of a clean classroom,
The crisp fragrance of grid paper,
The acrid scent of graphite.

I opened the door and heard…
The pleasant pitch of a page-turning,
The crunchy clicking of keys on a laptop,
The rhythmic ticking of a clock,
The enthusiasm of discussing a problem.

I opened the door and found…
A spark in a curious brain discovering something new,
The satisfactory solution to find unknowns,
The endless number of π,
The extraordinary values for sin cos and tan.

By Gerard McGinley (Year 6 Mace)

I opened the door and saw moss-covered, cracked rocks.
I opened the door and saw electric eels, crackling, sparking and slithering in the sea
I opened the door and saw seagulls, soaring and swirling in the swift air.
I opened the door and heard the howling wind, swishing and swirling in my ear.
I opened the door and heard loud crumbling of the rocks falling off the shoreline mountain.
I opened the door and heard the crashing of the breaking waves, escaping from the sea.
I opened the door and smelt the beautiful, salty sea smell
I opened the door and smelt the sweet, salty seaweed.
I opened the door and smelt the hot salty hot chip smell.
I opened the door and touched the rough, tough and sharp rocks on the shoreline.
I opened the door and touched the soft, wet sand.
I opened the door and touched the serrated edge of the shells on the beach.
I opened the door and found a lovely view of the swishing waves.
I opened the door and found several crabs, dancing and nipping the air on the gloomy rocks.
I opened the door and found a beautiful view of the beach

By Joshua Judd (Year 5 Abbey)

Advising Absentees and late arrivals

The Prep School absentee line is T: 08 8276 0255 and is available 24 hours to advise student absentees or late arrivals.

Unfortunately advising absentees to the class teacher via email on the day is not recommended, as circumstances may prevent teachers from checking their emails prior to completing the absentees for the day, and if the class teacher is absent, the relief teacher will not receive the email. If your child is late to school or is leaving early, you will need to sign them in or out on the sign in and out sheet located in the Prep School Office. Absentees are completed soon after 8.45 am and arrivals after this time remain marked as absent unless signed in by a parent or guardian or advised via the absentee line. If your child needs to leave school early or arrives late, we ask that you please complete the sign-out sheet located at the Prep Office so that we have a record of your child’s attendance in case of emergency. Communication about appointments is always appreciated.

Code Camp went well

In the recent holidays, we hosted Code Camp for three days at Westminster. This proved to be a very enjoyable activity for those that attended.

There were around 40 ‘happy campers’ by the end of the three days.

Code Camp will be back at Westminster School in the next holidays from Wednesday 30 September to Friday 2 October and early bird bookings will open by mid Term 3.


Diary Dates

  • School sport has resumed
  • Year 1 Incursion: Toys from the Past - Thursday 6 August
  • All JP – Shoe Lace Incursion - Schedule to be released, Wednesday 12 August
  • Sing Sing Sing Concert - Wednesday 12 August
  • ABODA Festival (Virtual recording) - Thursday 13, Friday 14 and Monday 17 August
  • Year 2 Excursion to the Zoo - Friday 21 August
  • Reception Excursion to Monarto - Wednesday 26 August
  • Prep School Photographs - Monday 24 and Tuesday 25 August
  • Student Free Day/Staff training - Monday 7 September
  • Summer uniform becomes an option from Tuesday 8 September
  • Parent/Student/Teacher Interview Weeks - Week 9, Monday 14 to Friday 18 September
  • Prep Sports Days - Wednesday 23 and Thursday 24 September
  • End of Term 3, dismissal at 1.00 pm - Friday 25 September
  • Term 4 commences – Tuesday 13 October

Grant Bock
Head of Preparatory School