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 - 2021

Ready for the next stage…

Over the past month, I have had the opportunity to meet with the children who are finishing their time in the Early Learning Centre and will be moving into our mid-year or Transition classes from the beginning of Term 3. I find these ‘interviews’ to be most enjoyable and the interactions range from the young student being full of stories to share, to those who are too shy to leave mum or dad’s lap. Recently we had the opportunity to celebrate the end of their time in the Early Learning Centre with the students who will be moving on to full-time school for the second half of this year. 31 of these students will be forming the two Westminster Transition classes. The graduation ceremony involved the children sharing some songs, receiving their certificates as well as a folder (or folders) full of their work completed over their time in the ELC. Hopefully, their remaining days at the Early Learning Centre are enjoyable and they are excited for what life in ‘big school’ will have in store for them.


Year 6 Exhibition

A true celebration of inquiry learning was showcased in the Mathwin Centre on Friday 18 June. Parents were invited to view a ‘People-scape’ demonstrating the significant contributions migrants have made to Australian society. It was lovely to see the buzz of excitement created by students sharing their learning in rich conversations with their parents.


Through critical and creative thinking routines, the students were able to make many connections with their migrant. They showed great pride and joy in presenting their work. Many staff and parents commented on the student’s engagement with their inquiry. It was an inspiring occasion and the students had a great time researching and designing their exhibit.


Future Problem Solving – on the International stage!

Future Problem Solving is an academic competition that teaches problem-solving strategies, collaboration, communication and critical and creative thinking – skills essential in the 21st century.

Last year, Year 6 students Georgie Burt, Kate Daniel, Gerard McGinley and Janet Wang were successful in winning the national championships junior division. This led to an invitation to compete in the international championships in June 2021.

Due to the ongoing pandemic, the team could not travel to Massachusetts to compete with other international teams. Instead, they used a virtual platform to compete from Westminster last Friday. Unfortunately, due to illness, Georgie Burt was unable to compete in the competition and Kate Cao from Year 6 was thankfully available to join the team.


The team worked well on a future scenario about neurotechnology and the ethics of brain implants. They completed the competition within the timeframe and solved the problem by inventing a genetically modified plant-based serum to aid the recovery from mental health illnesses while the person sleeps, therefore reducing the risk of side effects.

The evaluators gave the team some very positive feedback about their competition booklet and their capacity to work as a team. They placed 19th overall out of 60 teams competing – an amazing effort on a global scale!

Tanya Madex
Preparatory School STRETCH Coordinator

Student Representative Council

The Student Representative Council (SRC) gives our students the opportunity to have a voice in decisions made across the school for our students. They represent the views of their class and design ways to improve the learning experience for all students. Congratulations to all reps listed below for being selected by their class for this important position.

Sara Wang (ELC Ninna), Remy Huynh (ELC Marni), Levi Bund (Reception Mace), Sophie Wong (Reception Wesley), Ella Anderson (Reception Charter), Alfred Yang (Year 1 Mace), Darcy Wilson (Year 1 Wesley), Maddie Huang (Year 2 Crown), Charlotte Williams-Cox (Year 2 Wyvern), Charlotte Headlam (Year 2 Abbey), Emily Forde (Year 3 Crown), Zunairah Chowdhury (Year 3 Mace), Callum Rice (Year 3 Wesley), Caleb Dyer (Year 4 Crown), Amelia Parkinson (Year 4 Abbey), Ethan Greenfield (Year 4 Wesley), Christopher Williams-Cox (Year 5 Wyvern), Ariana Chandra (Year 5 Mace), Chelsea Ireland (Year 5 Crown), Samantha Gellert (Year 6 Wyvern), Noah Hunter (Year 6 Abbey) and Summer Bradford (Year 6 Charter)

On Casuals Day last week, we held our first SRC meeting for 2021. We discussed the importance of their role as class representatives, our focus on sustainability, developing service to others and creating ways to further develop our links to the local community. The reps voted on some important decisions and already have lots of great suggestions! The SRC will be involved in some fun and exciting projects in Semester 2 and will work closely with our School Leaders. The representatives from each class will be officially welcomed to the SRC at a special whole Preparatory School Assembly at the start of Term 3.


The Turning Circles are for turning

In an effort to keep traffic moving and limit frustrating scenarios can I please remind parents who choose to drive onto the school grounds that it is important to be considerate of others. One aspect that is causing frustration is when parents park in what is designed to be a turning circle. Sometimes this is even happening when parks are readily available nearby. Parking in the turning circle just causes blockages that are unnecessary and potentially dangerous for small children crossing roadways. An alternative is to park off of the school grounds as fortunately very few of our students are unable to walk to the front gate.

Public Speaking Final

Throughout this term, all of the students in Year 6 have prepared and presented a three to four minute speech to the members of their House. The staff in each House then selected a representative to go on and represent the House in the final. Our adjudicators for the final were our Director of Learning, Ms Andrea Sherwood and Deputy of Junior Primary, Mr Danny Page.

Lachlan Dyer was the first speaker representing Mace House. He shared with the audience the experience of having grommets implanted to help his hearing from the tender age of two years. He was very well qualified to comment on this as he has unfortunately been through the process multiple times over the years.

Ellie Rosser (Abbey) told the audience about an adventure that she and her family had on a bushwalk when descending from Mt Remarkable. Choosing an alternate ‘shortcut’ path seemed like a good idea at the time but turned out to be less than straightforward. It was the ‘road less travelled’ for good reason.

Aryan Kohli (Wesley) in a very entertaining and amusing speech gave the students in the audience some excellent tips on how to make the worst possible House Talk.

Hamish Kolb (Wyvern) took a more educative approach and explained a moment in history when the Australian Government declared ‘war’ on the burgeoning emu population in Western Australia. An attempt to decrease the population turned out to be both very expensive and very unsuccessful.

The speaker representing Crown House was Max Junge who explained some helpful tips for anyone who has feelings of anxiety – especially relevant when having to stand up in front of 350 peers to deliver a House Talk!

Charter’s speaker was Thinus Janse van Rensburg who took us on a journey to his homeland and gave the audience a glimpse of how beautiful the landscape and animals of South Africa are.

While all of the speakers were commended on their selection to represent their peers and their performance in the final, it was slightly ironic that Aryan was declared the winner, given that his topic was how to fail in this arena. Thinus was awarded the honourable mention.


SA Schools Cross Country

Mr Thompson recently accompanied a team of athletes to the SA Schools Cross Country Championships conducted at Oakbank Racecourse. We had many students perform very well – a testament to the fact that most of them are regular attendees at our before school Running Club sessions.

Outstanding efforts were:

  • 10-year-old boys - Eric Tie (Year 4 Charter) won a silver medal in the team event.
  • 10-year-old girls - Georgia Davison (Year 4 Wesley) and Emmerson Warren (Year 4 Wesley) won bronze medals in the team event.
  • 11-year-old boys - Jordan Tucker (Year 6 Wyvern) won the bronze medal finishing 3rd in his race. He combined with Charlie Kittel (Year 5 Abbey) and Jed Petroff (Year 5 Crown), to finish 4th place in the 11-year-old team event.
  • 13-year-old boys - Astin Rouvray (Year 7 Kelly), Quinn Hammersley (Year 7 Dunstan) and Armaan Chandra (Year 8 Clark) combined to finish in 1st place in their team event.
  • 13-year-old girls - Tessa Ebert (Year 8 Carter) finished 1st place, Adelle Parkinson-Need (Year 7 Fereday) finished 11th place, and Tessa, together with Anna Goad (Year 7 Carter), Emily Mableson (Year 8 Dunstan) and Kate Daniel (Year 7 Carter), combined to finish in 1st place in the team event.
  • 14-year-old boys - James McManus (Year 8 Jeffries) finished in 1st place, Jeremy Shepherd (Year 8 Woollacott) finished 2nd place and they combined with Alex Gellert (Year 8 Heaslip) and Zachary Tucker (Year 8 Clark) to also take out 1st place in the team event.
  • 15-year-old girls - Katie Natt (Year 10 Forder) finished in 1st place.
  • 15-year-old boys - Jake Charles (Year 9 Dunstan) finished in 10th place.
  • 16-year-old boys - Kalan Knox (Year 10 Carter) finished 9th place.
  • 16-year-old girls - Jess McManus (Year 11 Jeffries) finished in 1st place and Emilia Parkinson-Need (Year 10 Fereday) finished 8th place, combined with Jessica Geraeds (Year 10 Kelly) to place 2nd overall in the team event.
  • Open Girls - Caitlin Dyer (Year 12 Forder) finished 4th place.
  • 13 Years + Multiclass Boys 3km - Angus Hincksman (Year 10 Woollacott) finished 1st place.

In Good Company

In the last edition of the eNews I mentioned the fact that two of our girls did very well at the Marion Swimming Club Championships and also got to meet an idol. Not to be outdone, Jordan Tucker (Year 6 Wyvern) came 2nd in his 11-year-old age group and his brother Axel (Year 7 Clark) came 3rd in his 12-year-old age group. An impressive result given he has missed a lot of pool time with a broken arm. This is a photo the boys will treasure for a long time. Jordan, Sebastian (Year 8 Clark) and Axel with Kyle Chalmers and Maddie Wilson, Olympic swimmers at Marion for the National Olympic Trials.


Haider wins a cricket award

Congratulations to Haider Imran (Year 5 Wesley) who has enjoyed a successful cricket season once again this year after taking 14 wickets during his season with Mitchell Park Under 10s. This flows on from his best spin bowler award for the 2019/20 season.

They loved it…

Last Wednesday Westminster hosted the all-girls Year 5-7 Glenelg Metropolitan Optus Crows Cup Football Carnival.

We had two Westminster teams enter the competition. A Year 7 team coached by Year 12 student Brooke Kleining (Fricker) and a Mixed 5/6/7 team coached by Caitlin Dyer (Year 12 Fricker). Both teams played six games over the day with our Year 7 team finishing 5th and our Mixed team finishing 7th out of the 19 teams that participated.

It was a great introduction for many of our girls to football and they all had a wonderful day.


Holiday Opportunity – Code Camp

A reminder that Code Camp will soon be up and running again at Westminster. These holidays we’ll be running:

  • Spark: Monday 12 to Wednesday 14 July
  • YouTube Creators: Monday 12 to Wednesday 14 July

The camps are now available to book via www.codecamp.com.au/westminster.


Diary Dates

  • End of Term 2 - 1.00 pm dismissal, Friday 25 June
  • Code Camp - Monday 12 to Wednesday 14 June
  • Term 3 Commences - Tuesday 20 July
  • Year 4 Camp (Mylor) - Wednesday 8 to Friday 10 September
  • Year 5 Camp (Willow Creek) - Tuesday 14 to Friday 17 September
  • Year 6 Camp (Canberra) - Monday 20 to Thursday 23 September
  • Year 3 Camp (Aldinga) - Wednesday 22 to Friday 24 September

Grant Bock
Head of Preparatory School