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

Early Learning to Year 12

Head of Preparatory School - Edition 14 - 2021

Poetry Recital

This term our Year 4 and 5 students have explored various styles of poetry as part of their English studies. As a culmination of this, the students performed a set poem as part of their studies and finalists from each year level were selected to represent Westminster School in the Independent Primary School Heads Association (IPSHA) Poetry Recital Competition. The students had to memorise a set poem; Year 4 students celebrated “Wild Strawberries” by Shel Silverstein and Year 5 students performed “A Prayer for the 21st Century” by John Marsden. Margaret Gough (Year 4 Crown) also presented “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost and Ben Adams (Year 5 Wyvern) presented “If You Can’t Go Over or Under, Go Round” by Joseph Morris.

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Both students did extremely well and delivered memorable poems, receiving participation awards for their efforts. We congratulate both students on their fantastic efforts.

Sara Mori and Jess Sullivan
Class Teachers

Love of Languages

In the Prep School, there are currently two languages other than English that the children learn. The students in Reception to Year 3 learn Mandarin with Ms Le, and those children in Year 4-6 learn Japanese with Ms Kamei. All children have two lessons per week learning about the culture, traditions and language of one of our Asian neighbours.

At an assembly recently, we were able to showcase what was happening in our classes and provide the students with some opportunities to experience other cultures. The theme of the Assembly was “Love of Languages”. The students from Mr Jury’s Year 4 class were able to demonstrate their taiko Japanese drumming skills which they have been learning as their Wellbeing activity this year. They played a traditional song called Taiko Bayashi (drum song) which required them to switch positions after each line to imitate the rice farming cycle.

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The Reception students sang a song in Chinese about their families. Some Year 3 students used the language knowledge they gained from class and presented a self-introduction in Chinese.

“Our Worlds” - Concert and Come ‘n’ Try

Book Week this year had a theme of “Old Words, New Words, Other Words”, and our Prep School students enjoyed an “Other World” concert during lunch and joined in the “Come ‘n’ Try Our World” activity. Ms Kamei performed several taiko and shinobue bamboo flute songs, whereas Ms Le played a Chinese instrument “Guzheng,” also known as Chinese zither with more than 2000 thousand years of history. We also connected our worlds together by singing “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’, in at least three languages (but it could have been more!). Our students were able to try the taiko drums (including the 20-second drum rolls which made many students wince) and Jianzi, a Chinese national sports kicking a shuttlecock.

Please watch your speed

Recently we have had a few sightings of parents driving into the school speeds well beyond the point of safety. This is just a friendly reminder that the speed limit is 10km on school grounds. It is particularly important during drop-off and pick-up times as there are many children walking around on campus. We would hate for an accident to happen, so please remember to adhere to the 10km limit at all times.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Max

Musical Talents Shine

Westminster students have represented the School in an outstanding fashion at the recent Adelaide Eisteddfod competitions. Max Junge (Year 6 Crown), accompanied by Ms Gould, competed in two sections of the Adelaide Vocal Eisteddfod.

  • 9-12 years Voice Solo, Boy or Girl Own Choice in English
  • 9-12 years Voice Solo, Boy or Girl, Folk Song in English

Max sang beautifully and took out first place in both sections. A great achievement for him.

Piano Prowess

In Adelaide Eisteddfod Piano Division, congratulations must go to our very talented Year 2 piano duet. Frank Li (Year 2 Crown) and Max Ma (Year 2 Mace) were awarded 1st Prize in the Adelaide Eisteddfod Piano Division. They were in the Grade 3 Solo section and later this month they will compete in another two different section competitions. The boys should be very proud of their achievement and we look forward to enjoying their talents for many years to come.

Book Week

Week 6 saw much excitement in the Haslam Library as staff and students celebrated the Children’s Book Council of Australia’s Book Week with the theme, ‘Old Worlds, New Worlds, Other Worlds’.

Students had already read six shortlisted books from one of the categories including Early Childhood, Picture Book and Non-Fiction. Their votes were cast and counted. At Westminster, the Junior Primary students winning book was ‘Anemone is not the enemy’ written and illustrated by Anna McGregor, and for Year 3-6 students, the top choice was ‘Not Cute’ written and illustrated by Phillip Bunting. Would the official Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) judges select the same winners?

Book Week provided students with the opportunity to finally compare their own choice and the Westminster winning books with the books chosen by the CBCA judges. Students were excited, amazed, and sometimes dismayed, with the judges’ choices with ‘No Never!’ written by Libby Hathorn and Lisa Hathorn-Jarman and illustrated by Mel Pearce awarded best Early Childhood picture book. ‘How to make a Bird’ written by Meg McKinlay and illustrated by Matt Ottley won the coveted Picture Book category. More discussions took place about the winning books based on many questions of ‘why’ and ‘why not’ as students continued to appreciate the work of some of our talented Australian authors and illustrators.

Thank you to some Junior Primary classes for creating wonderful displays based on one of the books. Also, a big thank you to library assistants, Miss Plenty for ensuring all student votes were perfectly displayed and to Miss Sears for designing our "Three Different World" backdrops for the library window boxes.

Below are some photos of the displays that the children have been enjoying.

During the week, students enjoyed lunchtime activities including from an ‘Other World’, ‘pin the horn on the unicorn’. Friday was probably the most exciting day for everyone with staff and students dressing up either in the Book Week theme or as one of their favourite book characters. Here are some examples beginning with a staff morning briefing and some very creative staff members.

For information about the Children’s Book Council of Australia please take a look at their website; https://cbca.org.au/

PRC STEM winners

During Term 2, students in Years 5 and 6 entered a Premier’s Reading Challenge (PRC) competition which involved reading a Science/Technology/Engineering/Maths (STEM) related book from the PRC. The experience of entering the competition was a positive way to continue promoting reading as well as creative and critical thinking.

Year 5 students were asked to design an invention based on something from the book they read. This was set as a homework task. Similarly, the Year 6 homework task to fit the competition criteria was to design a poster that highlighted the STEM features of their chosen book. Some students read more than one book on their topic to extend their knowledge further.

During last week’s assembly, Mr Mark A. Williams, Manager of Premier’s Challenges shared some exciting news. After receiving over 2000 entries, Westminster students had, once again, been recognised for their efforts.

In the Year 5 competition, Harry Judd (Year 5 Wesley) was awarded a runner-up prize for his invention of a ‘3D Bug Printer’. In a Space related sub-category Sophie Gayler (Year 5 Wyvern) also received a runner-up prize for her invention, ‘The Life Wanderer’.

In the Year 6-9 category, Westminster had another four prize winners. Ellie Rosser (Year 6 Abbey) was awarded a runner-up Prize for her creative poster about ‘Aurora Borealis’, and Annie Wang (Year 6 Charter) was presented with a winning prize for her information-packed poster about grizzly bears. In the Space related sub-category, Westminster had yet another runner-up with Sterling Gianni’s (Year 6 Charter) poster about the solar system. The judges chose Thinus Janse van Rensburg’s (Year 6 Charter) eye-catching poster about Space as the winning entry.

Congratulations to all students who entered the competition and were rewarded with a participation certificate. A special congratulations to our runners-up and winners. They received an array of prizes ranging from books, hats, gift cards and entry passes to the Adelaide Zoo from various sponsors including Inspiring South Australia, SmartSat, SASTA and of course, the Premier’s Reading Challenge and Government of SA Department for Education.

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 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

  • Summer Uniform becomes an option - Monday 13 September
  • 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