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

Early Learning to Year 12

Head of Preparatory School - Edition 18 - 2021

Year 6 Trials and Tribulations

The current Year 6 cohort have had to endure more than their fair share of adjustments throughout 2021. As well as dealing with COVID-19 concessions like the rest of society, they have had some activities that are traditionally enjoyed by the oldest students in the Preparatory School significantly altered. The most recent example of this was the Year 6 camp. For the first time in many, many years the students have been unable to travel interstate – so the usual trip to Canberra did not take place despite two attempts earlier in the year. In an effort to give the children a quality away from school experience, they headed to Wallaroo for four days of outdoor activity. Murphy’s Law intervened and the weather turned quite wintry which obviously impacted on the enjoyment of activities such as kayaking, raft building and fishing. The children and staff soldiered on, however, until a bout of gastro hit the group and we had no choice but to bring them back early.

I was incredibly impressed with how the staff on camp dealt with a very unpleasant situation – including a lack of sleep as they cared for the students. I was equally as impressed however with the students who returned home earlier than expected without a word of complaint and they were full of understanding and support of the few children who had fallen ill. The parents of the Year 6 students were extremely supportive and on behalf of the School, I would like to thank them all for being so understanding with what was a complex set of circumstances.

It is my hope that the remaining weeks that these children have in the Preparatory School remain far less complicated and that the end of year activities that the staff have planned for them go off smoothly.

PS04

Pedal Power

One of the many inspirational sights around Westminster School is seeing Ben Furness doing his bit for both the environment and his fitness by taking his three girls to school each day – the hard way. Loaded up with school bags, tog bags and very big smiles, Beatrix (Year 1 Wyvern), Harriet (Transition Wyvern) and big sister Mackenzie (Year 4 Wyvern) get a bonding ride with Dad to and from school.

International Competition Results

The International Competitions and Assessments for Schools, or ICAS for short, is an independent, skills-based assessment program. Each year families are invited to nominate their child to participate in one or more of these academic competitions. ICAS recognises and rewards student achievement in areas such as English, maths, science, spelling, writing and digital technologies. This year we have received our results in bulk, and there have been some outstanding student achievements as listed below.

Year 3

Simao Xu (Crown)

  • Mathematics High Distinction

Aarav Seshadri (Charter)

  • Spelling Distinction
  • Mathematics Distinction

Krish Grover (Charter)

  • Spelling Distinction
  • Mathematics Distinction

Jack Smith (Mace)

  • Spelling Distinction
  • Science Distinction
  • Digital Technology High Distinction

Year 4

Liam Kang (Crown)

  • Digital Technology Distinction

Jonny Tsambazis (Abbey)

  • Science Distinction

Emmerson Warren (Wesley)

  • Spelling Distinction

Anya Rose (Crown)

  • Digital Technology Distinction
  • Mathematics Distinction

Tiffany Gardner (Abbey)

  • Digital Technology Distinction

Rudra Simpi (Abbey)

  • Mathematics Distinction
  • Science Distinction
  • Spelling distinction
  • English Distinction

Katherine Ma (Mace)

  • Digital Technology Distinction
  • Science Distinction
  • Mathematics High Distinction

Piotrek Kowalczyk (Crown)

  • Digital Technology Distinction
  • Science Distinction
  • Spelling Distinction
  • English Distinction
  • Mathematics High Distinction

Year 5

Ben Adams (Wyvern)

  • Mathematics Distinction

Penny He (Wesley)

  • Digital Technology Distinction
  • English Distinction
  • Mathematics Distinction

Lakshay Madankumar (Wyvern)

  • English Distinction
  • Science Distinction
  • Digital Technology Distinction
  • Mathematics High Distinction

Chelsea Ireland (Crown) – Most High Distinctions in Prep School

  • Spelling Distinction
  • English High Distinction
  • Science High Distinction
  • Mathematics High Distinction

Year 6

Neil Anand (Wyvern)

  • Spelling Distinction
  • English Distinction
  • Mathematics High Distinction

Reception Expo

Recently Ms McCue, Ms Smyth and Mrs Papst organised an opportunity for the children in our three Reception classes to show their parents what they have been learning about at school. Given COVID complications this has had to be rescheduled a number of times, but finally, we were able to invite parents in. It was a special morning for both the students and the parents.

PS05
The children singing together with choral director Ms McCue.
PS06
Trung sharing his learning.
PS07
Maria explaining to her Mum what she has been working on.
PS08
Kloe and her Mum exploring her work.

Code Camp is Back

In the coming holidays, we will again be hosting Code Camp at Westminster. For families looking to access this enjoyable program, registration is now available via the online link below.

This season, we’ll be running:

  • Drone Camp: Tuesday 21 and Wednesday 22 December
  • YouTube Creators: Monday 20 to Wednesday 22 December
  • Spark: Monday 20 to Wednesday 22 December

Places can be booked at https://www.codecamp.com.au/westminster and the early bird code EARLYBIRD25 will provide a $25 discount if you are quick.

PS09

Piano Proteges

Many congratulations to Katherine Ma (Year 4 Mace) who was awarded first place at the International Piano Competition and Victoria Ma (Year 2 Mace) who was awarded a very Highly Commended placing. Both girls are highly talented students of Urszula Gruszewski.

PS10
Katherine performing Winter Sunset
PS11
Victoria performing Disco Fever

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

  • JP Celebration Lunch – Thursday 2 December
  • Westminster Nativity Performance – Thursday 2 December, 6.00 pm, MMC
  • Westminster Carols Night – Thursday 2 December, 7.30 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