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 16 - 2021

Thank you Mr Haines

Mr Haines has been on leave since late last term and has decided to call to an end his long teaching career at Westminster to pursue other interests.

While his departure was unexpected and created a considerable void, we have been extremely fortunate that Mr Steve Wayne happened to be available to step in and guide the class. As a former long-serving staff member, Steve not only knew the routines, systems and staff, but he also knew the vast majority of the students in the class, having taught them previously as a class or PE teacher.

Chris has resigned from the School, however, he has expressed his regret that his Year 6 class will be finishing the year without him and he wishes them all the best. This will bring an end to a long-standing tenure at Westminster. Chris joined Westminster in February 1986 and has taught every year level from Year 4 to Year 7 during his time at the school, as well as coached numerous sports, produced and created musicals and was extensively involved in Round Square. While it is always sad to farewell a staff member who has shared so many memories at Westminster, we wish Chris, his wife Linda and their Old Scholar children Madison ('12) and Lucien ('17) every success going forward and thank them for their contribution to the school over the journey.

While the children in 6H will be saddened by this news, we are fortunate that Mr Wayne has made himself available to lead 6H for the remainder of the year.

Swimming Has Commenced

This week we commenced our swimming lessons for all students in Reception to Year 6. Students are walking across to the pool on a daily basis and doing a great job so far of managing the logistics of extra clothing and a different routine.

Children have been grouped into ability groups and the external instructors are working with them to progress their swimming ability during the next two weeks. Our lessons will culminate with the Prep School House Swimming Carnival that will be conducted on Friday 29 October. Unfortunately, while all of the children will be involved in swimming for their House, due to the confines of the pool and COVID-19 implications, we will be unable to have parents present at the carnival this year.

A Small Celebration

Earlier this week we were delighted to welcome some very special guests to the School to officially ‘open’ the newly renovated rooms that are being enjoyed by the Year 5 classes. Present to help us enjoy the event were The Honourable Corey Wingard - Minister for Infrastructure and Transport as well as for Recreation, Sport and Racing. Mr Wingard was representing the Honourable John Gardner, Minister for Education. Our Chair of Council Mr Phillip Styles ('66) spoke to the children about how fortunate they are to be able to enjoy modern, spacious learning environments. Also present were other Members of Council, the Construction partners and some Life Members of Council. The event culminated with morning tea and a cupcake for all of the children, which was thoroughly enjoyed.


Fighting Spirit

In Term 1 the Year 5 students studied a bushfire and Indigenous fire management unit as part of their studies. At the same time, HarperCollins were running an Australia-wide school competition to write a bushfire-themed poem. Winners from the competition would have their work published in a book titled “Fighting Spirit: A tribute to the bushfire-affected communities of Australia’s Black Summer” of 2019/2020. The book has images and photography, first-hand accounts and creative writing compiled in a beautifully hardbacked book to remember the struggles and suffering that many Australians endured over that summer. The Year 5 cohort included this as part of their English lessons and wrote poetry incorporating the bushfire theme.


Three of our Year 5 students wrote beautiful poems and selected lines from their poetry have been included in the book. We congratulate them on their literary talents.

Evelyn Junge (Year 5 Crown) - “My heart sinks as I round the bend, Burning embers where my house once stood” on page 72.
James Crawford (Year 5 Mace) - “Stock gone, animals left behind. Fences down, houses are destroyed” on page 165.
Smar Sidhu (Year 5 Abbey) - “Small creatures grow and make a grey land green again” on page 158.

Sara Mori
Preparatory School Teacher

Meat Sale Orders

A huge thank you to all families who have ordered meat with the School’s Sturt Grove Farm. Your orders are ready and will need to be picked up next week between 8.00 am to 4.00 pm, Monday to Thursday. Please text Farm Manager Stefan Aynesbury, M: 0434 390 466, to book a time to collect your order.

There will be another meat sale in early December in readiness for Christmas.

Our Athletes did well

Below are the highlights of our students performances at the SAPSASSA State Track and Field Championships. They were representing the South West District based on their performances for the School at District Day.

Georgia Davison (Year 4 Wesley) – 2nd in the shot put, 3rd in the 10-year-old high jump, 2nd in the 4 x 100 m
Brooke Weatherald (Year 5 Wyvern) – 3rd in the discus
Liam Evans (Year 4 Charter) – 5th in the discus
Ignatios Samaras (Year 4 Mace) – 4th in the 100 m
Jordan Tucker (Year 6 Wyvern) – 3rd in the 1500 m
Harry Davison (Year 7 Woollacott) – 4th in the high jump
Gerard McGinley (Year 7 Heaslip) – 4th in the long jump and 3rd in the discus
Adelle Parkinson-Need (Year 7 Fereday) – 4th in the 13-year-old discus
Ella Jones (Year 7 Kelly) was a member of the 4 x 100 m relay that finished 1st
Tom Mattinson (Year 6 Crown) – 1st in the 100m, 200m and 800m multi-class

Sport Students

Chess Success

Late last term, Westminster fielded two teams in the finals of the South Australian Chess League. These teams qualified via a seven-week round robin competition that involved over 70 schools and took place throughout Terms 2 and 3. In the finals we were the only school to place two teams in the top nine. This is a young and talented squad and I was very proud of both their effort and commitment.

The students involved were, Piotr Kowalczyk (Year 4 Crown), Krish Gohel (Year 5 Abbey), Max Oberdan (Year 4 Mace) and Yunshan Chai (Year 6 Abbey) were in Westminster White and they finished 6th in the state overall. Will Martin (Year 4 Wesley), Keiran Dunsmore (Year 3 Crown), Sim Xu (Year 3 Crown) and Alex Patritti (Year 3 Wyvern) formed the Westminster Green team that finished 9th overall.


Girls Footy – a great start

Following on from the enjoyment that the Senior School girls have been having playing Australian Rules Football over the Winter, we have entered a team in the Primary School competition and they had their first match last week. It was an impressive outing as they defeated Pembroke – Westminster 15.8 (98) to Pembroke 0.2 (2). Hopefully, it wasn’t beginners’ luck!

State Champion Success

During the recent holidays Iyla Wilson (Year 6 Wyvern) was a very busy young lady. She competed in the SA State Championships for Ice Skating and the SA State Championships for Gymnastics. Not only did she compete – but she achieved impressive results in both disciplines.



Iyla’s gymnastics is going strong! After being selected to compete at the WAG (Women’s Artistic Gymnastics) Invitational Competition, we were pleasantly surprised with her performance placing 3rd on Vault.

Iyla then went on to compete at the SA WAG State Championships and despite competing against an exceptionally large and very strong field of over 60 competitors, she placed 4th on vault in the State and 10th for the All Rounder in the State.


Ice Skating

Iyla successfully “qualified” to compete in the SA State Ice Skating Championships through rigorous training and by meeting the compulsory benchmark scores that are required to attend the event. Due to COVID, the event ran very differently from previous years as it was held completely online! While her family were thrilled at her almost flawless performance, they now wait with anticipation until they receive the final results from the Ice Skating Australia Association.

Lots of fun at Willow Creek

Camp Report - Day 1

The Year 5 cohort were full of cheer and excitement as we were able to attend school camp once again, this time to Willow Creek Adventure Camp on the Fleurieu Peninsula. The camp is a working farm as well as hosting adventure themed camps and activities. After a smooth bus-ride and a chance to unpack, we had the opportunity to explore the camp as we went on a bush walk around the property. Following this we had a few hours to play with their many outdoor activities and games. After a delicious dinner we stoked up the campfire and managed to roast marshmallows, sing campfire songs and enjoy the spectacular stars on a perfect night. A perfect start to camp life!

Day 2

We awoke at 7 o’clock on Wednesday and indulged in a variety of cereal and toast for breakfast, before venturing out into the field in two groups to participate in Orienteering or Mountain Bike Riding. For the orienteering activity we were placed in teams and given a map and a list of checkpoints. It was fun navigating our way around the countryside and finding our way back to the campsite. Mountain biking proved to be highly adventurous and several students showed great courage and resilience in learning to ride a bike or ride around an unfamiliar environment.

In the late afternoon we used our team engineering skills to participate in the billy-cart-building activities. We were allocated some pieces of wood, nails, screws, string and bolts, and we had to put a billy-cart together. We then raced them down the hill and took them apart as quickly as we could.

We had dinner while the teachers set up a roaring campfire outside. We then sang campfire songs with Ms Wandel and roasted marshmallows.

Day 3

Despite the cooler mornings, Thursday brought the most perfect weather for hitting Middleton Beach for a day of surfing and Beach Olympics. After a short bus ride from our base camp, we divided into two groups. The people in the surfing group were allocated a wetsuit and a surfboard and given a great lesson on dry land of how to stand and balance. It all seemed very straightforward in this context, however the water and waves added an extra challenge and many of us spent the next two hours in a washing machine of tumbles and laughter as we channelled our inner Mick Fanning.

After lunch we swapped groups and spent an afternoon of fun undertaking various Beach Olympic games. Creativity and teamwork were paramount to achieve the various challenges and we all had a brilliant time. After returning to the campsite, we all showered and spent the remaining daylight hours playing outside. The evening saw the conclusion of Mr Page’s Quiz Night where despite the intense competition, the mental and physical contests had us all united in fits of laughter.

Day 4

Our final morning required the usual sorting of showering, sleeping bags and seeking lost socks before we packed and boarded the bus to the tranquil Encounter Lakes. Again, we divided into two groups with one group kayaking and the remaining group raft-building. Both activities were so much fun!

It was a calm bus ride back to school where we unpacked and met our parents to go home. We would like to thank the three Year 5 Teachers, Mr Galanis, Mrs Mori and Mrs Daniel for organising the camp, as well as Mrs Beck, Mrs Wandel and Mr Page for accompanying and looking after us.

Reflections 2020

Reflections 2020, our annual School publication, will be distributed in the coming week. Our usual procedure is that this will be sent home with the youngest student in each family from ELC to Year 12, to families who were at Westminster last year. If you do not receive your copy as expected, please either speak to the Preparatory School or Senior School Office or contact the School via E: ws@westminster.sa.edu.au

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

  • Aquatics Lessons begin – Monday 18 October
  • Year 12 Students Last Day – Friday 22 October
  • Prep Showcase (MMC) – Tuesday 26 October, 6.00 pm
  • Twilight Concert – Wednesday 27 October, 6.00 to 7.00 pm
  • Open Day Tours – Friday 29 October
  • Prep Swimming Carnival – Friday 29 October
  • Year 6 Camp – Monday 8 November
  • 2022 Reception Orientation visits – Thursday 11 and Thursday 18 November
  • JP Celebration Lunch – Thursday 2 December
  • Westminster Nativity Performance – Thursday 2 December, 6.00 pm, MMC
  • Westminster Carols Night – Thursday 2 December, 7.00 pm, Thomas Pavilion
  • Preparatory School Orientation Day – Friday 3 December
  • ELC Graduation – Friday 3 December
  • Certificate Ceremony – Tuesday 7 December, 2.00 pm
  • End of Term 4 – Wednesday 8 December, 1.00 pm
  • Code Camp (School Holidays) - Monday 13 to Wednesday 15 December

Grant Bock
Head of Preparatory School