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 15 - 2019

The final run home

We hope that the break provided families and students with the opportunity to recharge their batteries for the final run home this term. Term 4 is always an incredibly busy term and already we have seen our students involved in Japan Tours, Future Problem Solving Finals, Swimming and Co-Curricular Dance Performances and we haven’t even finished Week 2! Please pay particular notice to the key term dates at the end of this article.

Japan Tour

The 2019 Prep School Japan proved to be the trip of a lifetime for the 25 participating students. During Week 10 and the first week of holidays these students accompanied by Ms Kaori Kamei, Mr Daniel Mather, Mrs Kristy Moody and Mr Danny Page headed overseas to experience Japanese culture and language.

We visited our associated Japanese schools, Kyoai Primary, Joetsu Primary and University and Tamagawa Academy. The students gained valuable experience in attending classes and interacting with Japanese students and staff. The tour also provided an abundance of cultural experience; staying in a traditional ryokan accommodation where we slept on tatami floor, catching trains in the morning rush-hour, dressing up as Samurai warriors, singing our heart out at karaoke, visiting Takada Castle and Asakusa Temple, and cooking our own meal at a Teppanyaki restaurant.

We completed our Japanese journey with two fun-filled days at Tokyo Disneyland and Disney Sea where we utilised the Fast Pass to enjoy the rides, including the classic Space Mountain to the new attraction Soaring.

Year 3 Camp

In Week 10 last term a group of very excited Year 3 children headed off for their first school camp. Accompanied by their class teachers, Ms Sullivan, Mr Leith and myself, as well as Mrs Job and Mrs Benwell, the group headed to Aldinga Holiday Park. The camp activities were run by Active Education and followed an indigenous theme. On our two day adventure the children were involved in different cultural activities that meant we learnt more about the Kaurna people. Uncle Tumera explained about paintings and decorations, we learnt different words and greetings from the Kaurna language and all the children tested out Wadli (hut) building skills. Some Wadli’s provided more shelter from the storms than others! The bush tucker walk was a highlight and we learnt what types of plants we could eat for different purposes. Our camp leaders also set up activities that tested the accuracy of our throwing skills. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the camp and returned to school tired but full from our adventures. Many thanks to the children who were great ambassadors for our School. Thanks also to my fellow teachers who helped to make this a very positive experience for all the children.

Julie Mugford
Year 3 Teacher


Future Problem Solving

The Future Problem Solving students had great success at the national finals in Brisbane last weekend. We had three teams (two junior and one middle team) participate in the competition. The students involved in this exciting event were Jeffery Wang (Year 6 Mace), Michael Pope (Year 6 Charter), Eva Bratkovic (Year 6 Wesley), Rhea Dinesh (Year 6 Charter), Joshua Bund (Year 6 Mace), Michael Gough (Year 6 Crown), Olivia Fok (Year 6 Mace), Diya Patel (Year 6 Wesley), Georgie Burt (Year 5 Wyvern), Jacob Frankel (Year 7 Wyvern), Charlotte Burt (Year 7 Wyvern), Summer Wong (Year 7 Crown), Ruby Leong-Moore (Year 7 Wyvern), Nikolas Damato (Year 7 Wyvern) and Jack White (Year 7 Abbey). We are excited to announce the following results:

Scenario Writing

  • Summer Wong – 3rd Middle Division
  • Diya Patel – 6th Junior Division
  • Jacob Frankel – 2nd Middle/Senior Division
  • Jack White – 3rd Middle/Senior Division
  • Georgie Burt – 3rd Junior Division
  • Diya Patel, Olivia Fok, Michael Gough, Joshua Bund and Georgie Burt – 3rd Junior Team Division
  • Jeffery Wang, Michael Pope, Eva Bratkovic and Rhea Dinesh – 4th Junior Team Division

Magic Team Competition

  • Jacob Frankel – 2nd Middle/Senior Division
  • Jack White – 3rd Middle/Senior Division
  • Georgie Burt – 3rd Junior Division

Action Plan Skit Competition

  • Diya Patel, Olivia Fok, Michael Gough, Joshua Bund and Georgie Burt – 3rd Junior Team Division

Global Issues Problem Solving Competition

  • Jeffery Wang, Michael Pope, Eva Bratkovic and Rhea Dinesh – 4th Junior Team Division

A big thank you to Jess Gatford (’17) for volunteering her time to help the Preparatory School teams this year, Mr Farley Briggs and Mr Steve Wayne for mentoring the Scenario Writers and Mr Stuart Burns for supporting the teams at the finals.

Tanya Madex
Prep Stretch Coordinator

Resource Rhymes

The Year 2 students at Westminster School are passionate about making a positive difference in our world. Across the year, the students learnt about sustainability and each person came up with a way of making change, which they presented to our School community at a Parent Expo. To support these enthusiastic learnings, and to tie in with our English unit on poetry writing, the Year 2 classes each created a rap to promote sustainable living. These presentations were entered into the Marion Council’s Resource Rhymes competition. You may remember reading about this in an earlier edition of our newsletter. We thank all who voted and we are pleased to announce that the Year 2F submission 'Ban the Wrap Rap' won first prize in the younger students’ category in both the Expert's pick and People's Choice. The Year 2W entry 'RRRs' has won second prize in the younger students’ category in both the Expert's pick and People's Choice!

The organiser and judges from the Marion Council’s Resource Rhymes competition will be visiting the School to formally congratulate the students in our Week 3 Assembly. To acknowledge the hard work of the students, the Council have generously gifted a rainwater tank, which will be placed in the Sturt Grove Farm.

We would like to thank the Resource Rhymes team for helping us to share our passionate messages with the wider community. We also wish to acknowledge the hard work, creativity and talent of our incredible students. We hope you continue taking positive action to care for our incredible planet.

Meg Fitzgerald, Sue Whiffen and Luke Burns
Year 2 Teachers

Term Dates

Term Dates for 2021 have now been published and can be found on our Term Dates page.

Health Centre


With the change of season, this time of year often sees a spike of influenza within the general community so we will see the occasional confirmed case of influenza.

It is important to recognise the symptoms, should your child become unwell.

Our Health Centre staff have prepared an information page to help families understand these symptoms and the treatment of influenza at home.

Please note that this page is intended to provide general information around uncomplicated cases of influenza. If at any stage, the health of child continues to deteriorate, even if after initially consulting a GP, please seek urgent medical assistance.

Links to helpful sites are contained within the page but they are extracted here for your immediate access – just search for ‘influenza’ to find a number of useful references:

Gastric Symptoms

Since the beginning of Term 4, we have seen a number of students come to School who have been unwell with gastric symptoms.

If your child is unwell, please do not send him or her to School where they may spread their illness.

Typically, a child can be contagious until their gastric symptoms have settled. Typically, we suggest that school attendance does not resume for 24 hours following the last symptoms (ie vomiting and/or diarrhoea).

Health guidelines also recommend that swimming in a public pool doesn’t happen for two weeks following symptoms due to some additional complications that may come from swallowing pool water.

Thank you for your assistance.

Traffic and Parking

Since the beginning of Term 4, there have been a few reports about traffic and parking issues in and around the School grounds. Safety of all pedestrians and road users is of paramount importance and we know the majority of families are very respectful of each other and our local residents. Notwithstanding, it is timely after the break to highlight those hotspots that can flare up during peak traffic times.

Alison Avenue

The City of Marion’s Stormwater Project continues to dominate the section of Alison Ave between Andrew and Orkney Aves. We appreciate it is an inconvenience to anyone who is regularly in that space but the City of Marion team has been very cooperative and understanding of the school traffic highs and lows. Consequently, they are trying to reopen the roadways during the morning drop off and afternoon pick up, as well as accommodate the bus movements that take place at these times. However, it will not be possible for the council to be this flexible every day so we ask that you work with whatever arrangements are in place. The next two weeks will see the actual intersection of Orkney and Alison be closed off, which will present another set of challenges for road users. Work on Alison Ave in the zone from Farne Tce to Orkney Ave will continue in waves until early December.

Please also remember that most of this section is a long school zone, which means speed should not exceed 25 km/hr when children are present. There is always a lot of student movement in this area before and after school so please note the signs that clearly define the school zone and speed limit.

Local Residents

We have received complaints from our neighbours that bins placed out on the roadway on Thursdays (local rubbish collection day) are still being moved to allow carparking. This means that some bins have not been emptied as they can’t be reached by the trucks. We have also received reports of cars blocking driveways, overparking yellow lines and waiting across corners, which can make it very difficult for other road users. Our local streets handle a lot of traffic from the School so we ask that families are mindful of any local arrangements when considering where to park or stop.


Families who use the rail line roadway, accessed through Gate 1, will note that we have marked a southern side section of roadway between the ELC playground and the rail line as a no parking zone. This is to avoid the roadway being reduced to one lane when traffic is trying to travel in both directions. Parking is allowed along the northern side of the rail line where parents can substantially pull off the roadway. Temporary markers are in place but permanent signage and road markings will be installed during the term. Thank you for helping us make this hotspot zone safer for all, particularly with so many young ELC and JP students in this area.


World Cube Championships

During the July holidays Gerard McGinley competed in the 10th WCA Cubing World Championships in Melbourne. He qualified in three of the 18 disciplines. There were 52 countries from across the world represented and over 900 competitors. Gerard performed very well in his events whilst establishing some impressive personal best times.

  • 3x3x3 Cube event - Finished 533/891 competitors, with a PB average of 17.40 seconds.
  • 2x2x2 Cube event - Finished 234/682 competitors, with a PB average of 4.54 seconds.
  • Pyraminx Event (tetrahedron) - Finished 213/495 competitors, with an average of 8.30 seconds.

Gerard is confident of further improving on his personal best times through hard work and determination. Congratulations Gerard on these terrific results.

Education Perfect

Recently some of our students participated in the 2019 Education Perfect Languages Championships. This annual World Series is designed to extend, motivate and inspire students towards academic success. We had two students nominated for awards this year with Seb Ireland (Year 7 Crown) being successful in achieving a Bronze Award and Nikolas Damato (Year 7 Wyvern) achieving a Credit Award. Congratulations to both Seb and Nikolas on their impressive results.

Graphic Novels

On Wednesday 16 October the Year 6 students began their English/Library unit of study on graphic novels and illustrations with a workshop by Adelaide’s graphic novel artist, Georgina Chadderton of Greenlight Comics. Students were both educated and entertained on what makes a graphic novel and how to illustrate in this style of artwork. Georgina gave the students a background understanding of graphic novels and exposed many to a new style of literature. The students then collaborated with the artist to create their own comic style of illustration. This formed the introduction to their unit of work and was a very creative way to engage the students. The Year 6 students will use their new knowledge in class to create their own graphic writing and illustrations.

Sara Mori

Diary Dates

  • Water Safety and Aquatic Lessons – Monday 21 to Thursday 31 October (Weeks 2 and 3)
  • Preparatory School Music Showcase – 7.00 pm, 29 October
  • Years 3/4/5 Swimming Carnival - Friday 1 November
  • Westminster Ball - Saturday 2 November, Adelaide Oval
  • Years 6/7 Swimming Carnival - Monday 4 November
  • 2020 Reception Parent Information Session - 9.00 to 9.45 am, Thursday 21 November, Dining Hall
  • Reception Orientation Visit - Thursday 28 November
  • Prep Casuals Day – Friday 29 November
  • JP Celebration Lunch - Thursday 5 December
  • Westminster Nativity and Carols Night – 6.00 pm, Thursday 5 December, MMC
  • Preparatory Orientation Day – Friday 6 December
  • ELC Graduation – Friday 6 December
  • Certificate Ceremony – 2.00 pm, Tuesday 10 December
  • End of Term 4 – Wednesday 11 December (dismissal at 1.00 pm)
  • Christmas Lights Begin - Thursday 12 December