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 12 - 2019

The Prep School eNews article this week features pieces by various Prep staff and students, written in Grant's absence while he is on leave.

Book Week Summary

‘Reading is my Secret Power'

Book Week was certainly a week where the power of books was celebrated. Some classes engaged in Book Week themed activities in their Literacy lessons and there was extra art work created from some of our Junior Primary classes. As is usual for Book Week, the Haslam Library was, and still is, looking even more colourful with students work displayed as well as some of our own creations. A thank you also to our Library Assistants, Miss Sears and Miss Plenty for their help with all of the Book Week displays.

During their weekly library lesson students were excited to hear which of the Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) shortlisted books had won the Book of the Year. It is always interesting to see if the Westminster Prep School students’ votes match those of the official judges. If you would like to know more about the CBCA and the shortlisted books please go to https://cbca.org.au/ or ask your child(ren), you may be amazed at how much they remember and are able to discuss about the stories.

Lunchtimes in the Library were fun and extremely popular. Students coloured in ‘Rainbow Bear’ pictures and masks, made bookmarks, collaged and showed us their true creative skills using boxes inspired by ‘The All New Orange 430’ and ‘The Dress-Up Box’. There was also the opportunity to ‘dress-up’ using masks and posing for a photo. Another favourite activity was using microscopes to investigate insects. A big thank to class 2F for kindly providing these. Students enjoyed bringing the Library to the outdoors and creating their own street art as inspired by ‘Chalk Boy’.

The highlight of the week for many was Friday’s Book Week Dress-Up Parade. All students and staff from the ELC to Year 7 amazed us with their costumes celebrating their ‘secret power’ or their favourite book character. Thank you to families for helping the students to bring their visions to life. Once again it was a wonderful Book Week.

Julia Baldwin and Sara Mori
Teacher Librarians


Year 4 Excursion

On Wednesday 21 August the Year 4 students went exploring on our ‘Exploration Excursion’.

“We went to the Maritime Museum, we had a ride on the Port River in a small boat, we climbed the lighthouse and saw planes inside a hanger that we could go into”.

This term our focus in History has been learning about the explorers that discovered Australia and places within this great country.

“We thought our excursion was really fun and we learnt about new boats like a Ketch. There were massive passenger planes that we walked in and they seated only a small amount of people. The most amazing part was looking and exploring planes that we have never seen before”.

By Kate Cao and Harry Panton


Student Achievements

We had a number of students lucky enough to participate in the 2019 ASO Big Rehearsal on Tuesday 20 August. Over 60 students from different schools were invited to join this special event. Big Rehearsals are all about giving young musicians the experience and opportunity to play in a professional orchestral environment. Students are encouraged to develop their musicianship and playing skills with the Adelaide Sympathy Orchestra. Congratulations to all of our students who participated in this event. Jeffery Wang (Year 6 Mace) was one of the students who represented Westminster School, was the lead viola for this event. Jeffery is pictured with Martin Butler, a permanent member of ASO and the director/conductor of Adelaide Youth Strings.

A Gift to the Community

Late in 2018 I approached Marion Council offering to donate a sculptural work to a community space. This work was completed as part of the Stretch Extension Art program that is run with a small group of highly gifted artists in the Preparatory School. These students work at a level well beyond their years and were identified using a clear set of criteria, not the least being their ability to work in a highly individual manner across a wide variety of media and techniques. The group meet once a week and last year hosted their first highly successful exhibition at the Flinders University Innovation Hub.

Marion Council provided us with the opportunity to create works for a new community playground on First Avenue, Ascot Park. This playground will house a variety of artistic pieces representative of the multicultural community living in the area. The students worked with me to prepare a proposal that they presented to the Council’s public art committee at a meeting held at Westminster. The proposal was eagerly accepted and work began on the four sculptural pieces that would provide a simple, attractive and meaningful, interactive trail within the playground. With a theme based on foods from different cultures to meld with the playground’s hands-on, multicultural theme, the students were afforded the rare opportunity to work alongside acclaimed Balinese sculptor, Wayan Dudug to produce the 32 stone panels that would be housed inside the metal forms. The picture below shows one of the four towers created.

The results are stunning and all students, along with their parents and friends attended the official opening of the playground on Wednesday 14 August. There they were acknowledged for their hard work, amazing talent and generosity by the Mayor of Marion and the many others attending the event.

The group’s attention now turns to completing multiple works for an exhibition based on the theme of ‘Me’. More details regarding this will be provided later in the term.

Barry Walker
Preparatory School Art Teacher


ABODA SA Band Festival

In Week 4, Westminster hosted the ABODA SA Band Festival. Many of our Westminster students had been working very hard to prepare for this Festival.

“We were both involved in groups that played at ABODA. We enjoyed being able to have the opportunity to listen to our students play, as well as the chance to listen to other schools perform. The Year 5/6/7 String Ensemble and Senior Strings and Orchestra performed non-competitively, but still received very good feedback from the adjudicators. Prep Concert Band, Big Band 2 and 3 all received Silver awards. Senior Concert Band received Gold and Big Band 1 received Gold and were the outright winners of their section. Preparatory School students were involved in several of these Senior School groups. Congratulations everyone for working hard and performing very well on the day. We hope you all enjoyed the experience”.

Written by Juliet Tainton and Olivia Fok

Music: Year 4 Parent Open Music Lesson

In Week 5, the Year 4 Music classes showcased their work in Music lessons for their parents and families at our Open Lesson.

The students played xylophones, displaying their work using pentatonic scales and improvisation. Students also displayed their understanding by discussing the concepts of improvisation, sound production and the structure of pentatonic scales. Students sang a fun song with actions, in unison, two parts and then four parts.

I spoke to parents about the Bigger Better Brains conference that both I and Ms Wandel attended about the positive effects that music education has on brain function and cognitive development. Put very simply, music is a subject that fires up all areas of the brain. It strengthens neural pathways and fires up connections, which benefits all other areas of a child’s education.

Please speak to me or Ms Wandel if you would like any further information about the positive effects that music education has on the holistic development of a child’s education.

Tiffany Hunter
Preparatory School Music Teacher

Code Camp

These school holidays Code Camp are returning to Westminster to teach your child to code, or to help them continue on their coding adventure!

Code Camp has already taught more than 50,000 students in Australia and is a great way to spend time over the holidays as kids have lots of fun with friends while learning important new skills, including logic, creativity, problem-solving, app development and game building. It is fun and engaging, and gets them prepared to take on the digital world of the future.

Westminster will be hosting Code Camp from Monday 30 September to Wednesday 2 October. If you are interested you are able to enter the following discount code to save $20, WESTMINSPRING20. This offer expires at 11.59 pm on Monday 2 September.

Bookings can be made via this link: www.codecamp.com.au/westminster

Diary Dates

  • Grandparents’/Special Friends’ Day – Friday 30 August
  • Show Day Student Free Day – Monday 2 September
  • ICAS Science Competition – Wednesday 4 to Friday 6 September
  • Whole School Open Day – Friday 6 September
  • 2019 Music Night – Friday 13 September
  • Year 5 Camp, Ballarat – Monday 16 to Thursday 19 September
  • KIDZ Biz Education session (Year 4 and Year 6) – Monday 16 September
  • Prep Music Tour, Port Vincent - Wednesday 18 and Thursday 19 September
  • Prep Japan Tour Departs – Monday 23 September
  • Year 3 Camp, Victor Harbor – Tuesday 24 and Wednesday 25 September
  • Term 3 concludes, 1.00 pm - Friday 27 September
  • Code Camp – Monday 30 September to Wednesday 2 October
  • Term 4 commences – Tuesday 15 October