As we approach the end of the term, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all families with students from the Early Learning Centre through to Year 7 for their unwavering support throughout 2018. The students have individually and collectively achieved so much both in and out of the classroom, I can understand their desire for a bit of down time in the near future. For now though, we are seeking to maintain a productive pace right through until the end of term.
Future Problem Solving is an international educational program, focusing on the development of critical, creative and futuristic thinking skills. The program challenges students to apply their thinking skills to significant issues facing the world today and in the future. The program equips students with knowledge, skills and understanding about problem-solving with the aim to promote positive futures for our society.
The Year 5/6 Future Problem Solving team attended the National Finals in Melbourne earlier this term. Students competed against schools from across Australia with the aim to reach the international finals to be conducted in Boston, Massachusetts.
Jeffery Wang (Year 5 Mace), Charlotte Burt (Year 6 Wyvern), Nikolas Damato (Year 6 Wyvern), and Ruby Leong-Moore (Year 6 Wyvern) competed in the Global Issues Booklet Competition, where they solved a futuristic problem about the challenges of cloud storage. Unfortunately, the team did not make the international finals, however they gained valuable skills from this experience for the competition next year.
Jacob Frankel (Year 6 Wyvern) and Jack White (Year 6 Abbey) were members of the Magic Competition, where they worked with students from other schools on the cloud storage problem. Jacob and Jack were very successful, coming first and second respectively.
The team then came together for the Action Plan skits, where the students created a skit from the Action Plan they wrote during the competition. They had to create the props and the script, plus incorporate a spontaneous prop and quote during their performance. The team’s amazing performance, which incorporated humour, singing and some creative props, achieved them a second place in the Action Plan competition.
During their time in Melbourne, the students sampled the culture of Lygon Street for lunch and dinner. The students enjoyed time at Clip ‘n’ Climb, where they attempted many climbing challenges. They also enjoyed working out a mystery in the Escape Room.
The FPS National Final in Melbourne was a great experience for the team. Congratulations to the Year 5/6 Future Problem Solving team for their success in the FPS program.
The breadth of activities that Westminster students participate in never ceases to impress me. Adam Lee (Year 4 Abbey) competed in the Annual Abacus Mental Arithmetic Championship in Adelaide this past July and Adam was competing at the International Level. Impressively he won in his category with a score of 96%.
As a result he will be representing Australia at the 2019 International Abacus Championship next April in Amsterdam. This will be an opportunity for Adam to match his Abacus and Mental Maths skills against those of his peers from other countries. It will also be a tremendous learning experience for him. Congratulations to Adam on being a part of the Australian team.
Recently the Year 7 Japanese students were treated with an excursion to explore some Japanese establishments in Adelaide. Sushi is a favourite dish for many students and a picnic lunch in the Osmond Garden on South Terrace was a great way to start, as they savoured their food from Sushi Train, with some lessons on how to hold chopsticks properly and saying いただきます (itadakimasu) before eating to show their appreciation. After lunch it was time to enjoy the beautiful and tranquil Himeji Garden. The students learnt about two different classic garden styles, ‘senzui’ that displays the beauty of lakes and mountains, and ‘kare senzui’ the rock and pebbles garden.
Then it was time to visit Daiso, the Japanese ‘$2.80’ shop where they walked through aisles browsing some fascinating Japanese products and making hard decisions. Pocky sticks and soft air clays were very popular among the students! It was a lovely way to conclude the Japanese program at the end of the year and many ありがとう (Arigatous) were exchanged for all the hard work they had put in.
The annual Japanese Language Teachers Association of SA (JLTASA) Year 4/5 Obento MasterChef event was held last week at Sheidow Park Primary. This is a popular event with many students wanting to take part. Students had to go through an audition process and the following eight students were chosen to represent Westminster: Adelle Parkinson-Need (Year 4 Abbey), Maggie Taplin (Year 4 Crown), Poppy Doyle (Year 4 Crown), Abby Horwood (Year 4 Wyvern), Jack Elms (Year 5 Wyvern), Sara Zeitouneh (Year 5 Wyvern), Olivia Fok (Year 5 Mace) and Jeffery Wang. The students were asked to work in pairs and create a Japanese style Obento lunch box with a variety of ingredients in just 25 minutes. Their Obento boxes were then judged on creativity and balanced nutrition. The Year 4 teams went first; Adelle and Maggie were awarded with Highly Commended certificates. The Year 5 students also did extremely well, with Jeffery and Jack coming in first place in their section, and Sara and Olivia also receiving Highly Commended certificates. They were then treated with the best rewards - tasting their own creations!
Reilly Curran (Year 6 Crown) asked her teacher if she could organise a Harry Potter Day, and then went to work. She magically transformed Mr Wayne’s classroom into Hogwarts for a day. Arriving at 7.15 am, with the help of her sister Lexie (Year 4 Crown), Mum Sarah, her Poppy Paul and Nanny Julie she brought her masterful plan to fruition.
Students in 6W entered through the magical platform 9 ¾ greeted by decorative broomsticks, Golden Snitches and the evil Dementors. The sorting hat placed the class into their houses, Slytherin, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff and Gryffindor. Shortly after this the fun started. Plenty of house points were awarded for excellent behaviour and school work, but taken away for unkind acts.
Each student had to make and decorate their own individual wand and complete an English writing activity using Harry Potter characters. Decorated owl cakes were devoured at recess and a class lunch provided more energy! A Harry Potter kahoot quiz organised by Aidan Nixon-Burns (Year 6 Crown) was run and houses competed against each other for extra house points.
A scavenger hunt, elephant toothpaste experiment and a Harry Potter movie completed an action packed day. The biggest thanks we can give goes to Reilly for her imagination, creativity and outstanding organisation. She was ably assisted by fellow wizards and witches Sophie Bradley (Year 6 Charter), Lily Power (Year 6 Mace), Nicholas Averay (Year 6 Abbey) and Aidan Nixon-Burns.
This year we have decided to allow students to continue with their borrowing of books throughout the summer holidays. It has normally been the time of year to have all resources back in the Library to consolidate our collections. However, for a few years now, offering holiday borrowing has been considered and, after hearing Texan teacher and author Donalyn Miller speak and reading her latest book ‘Game Changer’, the decision was made. Why would we want to have thousands of books locked away in the Library when we have students who love reading and want to continue reading during the holidays?
During their last Library lesson of the year, students will be able to extend any currently borrowed books and also borrow new titles. Students with any overdue books will not be permitted to borrow extra ones.
To further promote reading, we will be offering two days when the Haslam Library will be open for two hours to allow students to return any books, browse the shelves and borrow more books. These times will be;
Tuesday 8 January – 1.00 to 3.00 pm
Monday 21 January – 10.00 am to 12 noon
Please remember that many of our titles make excellent adult reads, so please feel free to come and browse as well. The holidays may be a good opportunity to choose a book with your child that you will enjoy reading together.
Thank you to all for supporting your children with their reading and returning of books. May your holidays be happy and relaxing, with some time for reading for the whole family.
Last year’s ‘Reflections’ is at long last being distributed with one copy being sent home with the ‘youngest student’ sibling (Reception upwards). This process will continue through this week and into early next. Students are either being given copies in their classroom (Prep) or if Year 8 and up, asked to collect from the Senior School Office. If you haven’t seen your copy at home by early next week, please check with your son or daughter. Student collection from the Senior School Office will still be possible next week before the end of term and then family collection until Thursday 20 December. The same applies to both our Class of 2017 and 2018 graduates, with some being posted to more distant home addresses. If you have any concerns, please contact Communications Manager Peter Trenorden (’77), via Email or T: 08 8276 0234.
Head of Preparatory School