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

Early Learning to Year 12

Head of Preparatory School - Edition 16 - 2018

Since the last edition of eNews, the students of the Preparatory School have been incredibly busy, both in and out of the classroom. For Primary aged students we are incredibly fortunate to be able to access some amazing facilities. As well as completing the PAT online assessments in order to measure academic growth in each and every student, the children have been frequenting the Michael Murray Centre for Performing Arts and the Sports and Swimming Centre regularly.

Swimming was the winner

For the past two weeks students from Reception to Year 7 have been attending swimming and aquatics lessons. These sessions are aimed at helping the students improve their water confidence, their survival skills, or their stroke correction, depending on their level of ability. After daily lessons, and a logistical challenge for families to have bathers at school every day, without adding to the lost property collection at school, the conclusion to all of this time in the water were the swimming carnivals.

The first carnival was for students in Years 3, 4 and 5. The second was for students in Years 6 and 7. All students were involved in a range of novelty events and the opportunity to compete in each of the four individual strokes. The carnivals are an outstanding example of the students encouraging each other with friendly House competition. The students who are outstanding swimmers have their chance to shine, while those who find swimming a struggle receive a great deal of collegial encouragement.

Mr Thompson organised his first carnival with his usual calm approach, and he was ably assisted by Mr Dickson, Ms Riley and Mr McLachlan as chief judge.

The individual awards were as follows:

Year 3 Girls

  1. Lara Wright (Crown)
  2. Kate Cao (Abbey)
  3. Ella Lunn (Wesley), Claire Koukourou (Charter)

Year 3 Boys

  1. Oliver Maynard (Charter)
  2. Jordan Tucker (Wyvern)
  3. Jed Papst (Wesley)

Year 4 Girls

  1. Poppy Doyle (Crown)
  2. Maggie Taplin (Crown)
  3. Talulah Kovacic (Wyvern), Lexie Curran (Crown), Isla Begg (Crown), Charlie Burns (Wesley)

Year 4 Boys

  1. Jack Green (Charter)
  2. Axel Tucker (Wyvern)
  3. Gerard McGinley (Mace)

Year 5 Girls

  1. Harriet Robertson (Mace)
  2. Olivia Fok (Mace)
  3. Tigerlily Kovacic (Wyvern)

Year 5 Boys

  1. Zachary Tucker (Wyvern)
  2. Jack Alver (Abbey)
  3. Tim Alver (Abbey)

Year 6 Girls

  1. Isabella Maynard (Charter)
  2. Erin Shepherd (Mace)
  3. Milly Derbyshire (Wesley)

Year 6 Boys

  1. Freddy Ramly-Peck (Crown)
  2. Artem Levchenko (Mace)
  3. Kobi Rees (Abbey)

Year 7 Girls

  1. Katie Natt (Crown)
  2. Joyce Yap (Mace)
  3. Ella Williams (Abbey)

Year 7 Boys

  1. Austin Doley (Wyvern)
  2. Gjsovaun Brijmohan (Abbey)
  3. Billy Hayes (Charter)

The overall results saw Mace finish in front for the second consecutive year, followed closely by Crown who are on the rise. Third place went to Wyvern followed by Abbey, Charter and Wesley.

Music Made Us Smile

The past fortnight has seen the Prep School students frequenting the Murray Centre stage. The Co-curricular Dance evening was a wonderful celebration of all of the dance groups for Year 2 to Year 12. It was amazing how well the students remembered their role and the level of complexity became more and more impressive as the ages of the performers grew. It was a very impressive collation of performances.

The next significant performance came just two nights later when the students from Years 3, 4 and 5 combined to perform ‘The Menagerie’. This was a combination of song, dance and poetry all with an animal theme interwoven. It was highly entertaining and a credit to the students, the class teachers and Mr Haines who directed the evening.

The Preparatory School Musical Showcase the following week saw co-curricular music groups and ensembles performing for an appreciative audience. This ranged from Year 2 students in the Junior Choir through to our Year 7 students who were in a range of choirs and groups. In each of these significant evenings, the audience members couldn’t help but head home full of admiration, and the performers full of adrenaline.

My other role

Recently I have received the significant honour of being appointed as National President of the Independent Primary School Heads Association of Australia (IPSHA). IPSHA has branches in each state, and is a collegial association with members from independent schools from right across the country and even some from New Zealand and South East Asia. As a part of this role I am also now on the National Executive of The Australian Primary Principals Association (APPA). APPA is a collective national voice for primary principals from the Government, Independent and Catholic sectors. While these responsibilities do require me to be out of the school for periods of time for meetings and at conferences, I do so with the comfort of knowing that the Preparatory School staff are collectively outstanding and that the leadership of Mr Page, Mr Burns and Ms Darrell can keep things running smoothly even when I am absent. The upside is that I am able to carry the name of Westminster to the national stage in a variety of forums as well as bring back first-hand knowledge of national directions in education. I am appreciative of the support from our Chair of Council Mr Styles and our Principal Mr Shepherd for their encouragement when I was nominated for the role.

Musicians of Note

Congratulations to two of our very talented pianists who recently competed in the American International Piano Competition.

Barad Abdollahpour (Year 3 Wesley) was awarded first place and has been invited to perform at Carnegie Hall, New York.

Kate Cao (Year 3 Abbey) attained a High Distinction Performance award and received a second place.

Barad and Kate competed against students from six continents of the world. A wonderful achievement. Both of these talented students are under the tutelage of Ursula Gruszewski.


Following recent District trials, I have been advised that Westminster will be very well represented in the South West District Cricket team that will compete at the State Primary School Championships in November. Congratulations to Kalan Knox (Year 7 Wyvern), Billy Hayes (Year 7 Charter), Charlie Sanderson (Year 7 Charter), Gjsovaun Brijmohan (Year 7 Abbey), and Samuel Hutt (Year 7 Abbey) on being selected for the South West District SAPSASA Cricket team which will play against teams from around the state.

Reflections 2017

After some significant delays, last year’s School book ‘Reflections’ is now being printed and is expected to be ready for distribution towards the end of November. A copy will be sent home via the youngest child in a family. If the ’youngest child’ is no longer at Westminster then other arrangements will be made for collection or delivery. Our ‘Reflections’ editor extends apologies for the lateness of this publication.

Diary Dates

  • Yea r 2 Excursion to Noarlunga – Wednesday 14 November
  • 2019 Reception Orientation begins – Thursday 15 November
  • Year 4 Camp - Monday 19 to Wednesday 21 November
  • Year 3 Strings and Year 5 Band Concert – Tuesday 20 November
  • Casuals Day – Friday 30 November
  • Prep Instrumental Concerts begin - Monday 26 November
  • Year 7 Disco - Monday 3 December
  • Nativity & Carols evening – Thursday 6 December, 6.00 pm
  • Prep School Certificate Ceremony – Tuesday 11 December, 2.00 pm
  • Last day of Term 4 – Wednesday 12 December dismissal at 1.00 pm

Grant Bock
Head of Preparatory School