A Uniting Church coeducational independent day and boarding school in Adelaide,
South Australia

Early Learning to Year 12

Head of Preparatory School - Edition 13 - 2021

After a shaky start, the term has returned to a regular rhythm which the students, staff and I assume parents are enjoying. Our winter sports are drawing to a conclusion and as the weather begins to improve the winter gear will get packed away and the students will be looking for their tennis or cricket gear.

This term will see a number of year levels enjoying a trip away from school on their camps. The Year 4 classes will be travelling to Mylor for three days in Week 8, the Year 5 classes are off on an Adventure Camp at Willow Creek in Week 9, and our Year 3 classes will finish off the term on a high with a camp at Aldinga in Week 10. Unfortunately, COVID intervened with plans to take the Year 6’s to Canberra later this Term so plans are underway to give them a more local but no less enjoyable experience later in the year.

Science Spectacular

All of the Prep School classes recently enjoyed a fun-filled day of Scientific Discovery. The Prep School visited the Senior School in House groups to be involved in a variety of activities which were run by students from Mr Greenslade's Stage I Chemistry class. Experiments included: making colourful solutions using chemicals; exploring the wonders of electricity; investigating liquid nitrogen and dry ice and also reactions to produce coloured flames and other pyrotechnics. Mr Page also booked in a guest presenter for the day and all classes attended Dr Quark’s Scientific Circus and the Scientific Bubble Show. This was a very educational and very entertaining way to introduce the children to the rules of Scientific Forces.

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Drumming Display

Our weekly assembly recently had a Love of Languages focus, and 4J under the tutelage of Ms Kamei gave the school a rousing display of Japanese Taiko Drumming.

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Student Representative Council

At our Assembly recently the SRC Representatives were presented with their badges of office. Congratulations to Sara Wang (ELC Ninna), Remy Huynh (ELC Marni), Sarah Wang (Transition Mace), Peyton Schneider (Transition Charter), 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), Callum Rice (Year 3 Wesley), Emily Forde (Year 3 Crown), Zunairah Chowdhury (Year 3 Mace), Caleb Dyer (Year 4 Crown), Ethan Greenfield (Year 4 Wesley), Amelia Parkinson (Year 4 Abbey), Ariana Chandra (Year 5 Mace), Christopher Williams-Cox (Year 5 Wyvern), Chelsea Ireland (Year 5 Crown), Summer Bradford (Year 6 Charter), Samantha Gellert (Year 6 Wyvern) and Noah Hunter (Year 6 Abbey)

Under the guidance of Mrs Barr, all SRC reps from ELC to Year 6 met to answer a very important question ‘How do we make our school even more amazing?’

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The Reps worked together to come up with ideas that could improve our Prep School and it was wonderful to hear the student perspective about what matters most to them. Some of the Reps brought along suggestion boxes that they made so that classmates could contribute ideas; a wonderful initiative to encourage student voice. Some of the ideas were quite achievable and others might prove quite a challenge for us to implement! Below is a selection of the ideas put forward for consideration by the SRC reps:

  • Hair Down Day
  • Drinking fountains on the oval
  • A school dog
  • Make a buddy stop in the middle primary
  • Fairy Floss Day
  • A swimming Sports Day
  • More tables and benches for eating time
  • Ramps in the playground
  • Class pets
  • A twisty slide from JP to the library
  • Gravy fries and sushi in the canteen
  • More days to raise money to help people in need

Watch out for some of these great ideas being implemented soon!

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Uniform Changes

As the weather takes a turn for the better, some students are looking forward to the option of being able to wear either the Winter or the Summer Uniform. Due to a change in programming for Senior School photographs the date from which students can wear either uniform has been pushed back to Monday 13 September.

In other uniform news, as a trial, girls in Year 6 are able to wear the Westminster Black Leggings as part of their sports uniform. These can be worn on the days that they wear sports uniform and can be worn to and from school. Only the Westminster School Leggings can be worn which are available to purchase through the uniform shop starting in a size 10 child upwards for $92.

This will be trialled until the end of the year at which time we will request feedback.

The Resilience Project Part 2: Gratitude

Earlier in the year, you may remember that we were lucky enough to be able to host both staff and parent Resilience Project workshops. The Resilience Project delivers social and emotional support programs and provides evidence-based, practical strategies to build resilience and develop our ability to deal with difficult circumstances.

The following presentation from The Resilience Project focuses on Gratitude.

Gratitude is being thankful and expressing appreciation for what one has – as opposed to focusing on the lack of something.

Research shows that practising gratitude rewires our brains to overcome the negativity bias (which can lead to anxiety and depression) and see the world through what we are thankful for. It is also shown to broaden thinking and increase physical health through improved sleep and attitude to exercise.

View Part 2 (Gratitude) of the series here: https://theresilienceproject.com.au/parent-and-carer-hub/

There are many ways in which you can practise gratitude, including starting a Wellbeing Journal. In the image below are a few ideas to get started. Source: Psychology Today

For mental health resources and support information, visit The Resilience Project’s Support Page.

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Remember to recycle your Breadtags!

Bread Tags for Wheelchairs has been running in South Africa since 2006 - they collect bread tags that a local plastics company, Zibo, buy per kilo. The tags (high impact polystyrene, type 6 plastic) are recycled and made into seedling trays. The proceeds are used to provide wheelchairs for those in need. At present 500kg are collected per month in South Africa, funding 2-3 wheelchairs.

In August 2018 Aussie Bread Tags for Wheelchairs was launched and started collecting bread tags in Australia on a national scale. The charity also works with recycler Brad Scott in Robe. Brad and his wife Narelle run the recycling project Transmutation and were recently featured on Episode 5 of ABC’s Movin’ to The Country.

In the Prep School, we have been collecting bread tags since early 2020. Aussie Bread Tags for Wheelchairs has provided us with a collection box, which can hold up to 20kg worth of bread tags! This collection box is located in the Prep Office, and we would like to encourage you to please drop any of your bread tags for recycling at our collection point.

The Prep School Environmental Club

Fun in the Snow

During the holidays, both Aidan (Year 6 Abbey) and Peyton (Year 3 Abbey) Stone competed in the SASKI South Australian Interschools Snowsport Championships held at Falls Creek, representing Westminster School. They both competed in the Alpine Ski Giant Slalom, with Aidan achieving 2nd place in Best Performance and Peyton achieving 1st in Best Performance in their respective divisions.

It was the first time the siblings had competed in this event.

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Vacation Care

Families have been sent the program that our staff are running for October Vacation Care.

If you would like to book your child into the program, or if you have any questions, please contact Joel Steer on T: 08 8726 0390 or via Email.

Please be aware that in order to allow for appropriate staffing and accurate numbers to the external services we use such as excursions, there will be no waitlists these holidays once we reach capacity.

Furthermore, please be aware that if you make a booking but do not attend without letting Joel know in advance you will still be charged so please keep track of any bookings made.

Please make sure you read the program carefully when booking as it includes important information you will need to know about our daily schedule and requirements.

Code Camp Next Holidays

While the end of term is still a little way off, planning has commenced for the return of Code Camp during the next break.

Interested parents are invited to use the code WESTMINSTER25 which will provide you with a $25 discount if you register between Tuesday 24 and Sunday 29 August. Parents are able to start booking in via: https://www.codecamp.com.au/westminster.

We will be running the following camps:

  • Spark: Monday 27 to Wednesday 29 September
  • DJ Camp: Tuesday 28 to Wednesday 29 September
  • Animation Camp: Monday 27 to Tuesday 28 September

Prep School Office - Enquiries and Absentees

For any general enquiries, please contact the Prep School Office via email PSO@westminster.sa.edu.au or by phone on T: 08 8276 0219.

To advise the Prep Office of an absentee or a late arrival, please use the Prep School voicemail line which is T: 08 8276 0255. This line is available 24 hours and is checked every morning.

Christmas Closure Dates

While it seems a long way off, some families may be planning for their Christmas vacation (probably somewhere local). To assist with these ponderings, I can confirm that at a recent meeting it was decided that while the school year concludes at 1.00 pm on Wednesday 9 December and returns on Monday 31 January, dates vary a little for our Early Learning Centre and Vacation Care services. ELC and Vacation Care dates are as follows:

  • ELC - final day on Friday 10 December – commences again Monday 17 January 2022.
  • Vacation Care - final day on Friday 17 December – commences again Monday 10 January 2022.

Diary Dates

  • Early Learning Centre Photos – Tuesday 31 and Thursday 2 September
  • Pupil Free Day (Compliance Day) – Monday 6 September
  • Year 4 Camp – Wednesday 8 to Friday 10 September
  • School Open Day - Friday 10 September
  • 2021 Music Night – Friday 10 September, 7.30 pm
  • Year 5 Camp – Tuesday 14 to Friday 17 September
  • Year 3 Camp – Wednesday 22 to Friday 24 September
  • End of term (1.00 pm dismissal) – Friday 24 September
  • Code Camp (School Holidays) - Monday 27 to Wednesday 29 September

Grant Bock
Head of Preparatory School