I am pleased to be able to share that there is some ‘normality’ emerging with each passing day. As we embark on the fourth week of the school year, we are enjoying having many classes with 100% attendance for face to face learning. Very few classes had more than one student away – for COVID or even more conventional reasons. It has meant that each day we have some students enjoying their ‘first day’ of school – so the pandemic has enabled the start of year excitement to last longer than it does most years. Hopefully, this is not just a lull and we are genuinely beginning to get back to life as we once knew it.
As more of our long-suffering families emerge from isolation, the School is approaching what we used to know to be normal. We are looking forward to choirs returning and the commencement of sporting competition against other schools in Week 5 is looking likely. While I fully expect restrictions to lessen, as things stand at the moment, we cannot have parents accompanying our youngest budding athletes onto the grounds. This means that our much-loved Running Club is unfortunately unable to welcome students from Reception to Year 2 at the moment. Hopefully, in the near future, Running Club will return to be an activity that welcomes everyone including Old Scholars, parents and students from Reception to Year 12.
What do you do with a large blank wall and a small group of highly talented young artists? You paint a mural! And that is exactly what the students in Mr Walker’s Extension Art Group set out to do on the wall in the Junior Primary. Every summer the ELC students plant sunflowers in their raised garden beds, so it was an obvious choice of subject for the wall, to reflect the stunning display that appears annually. 2021 Year 6 students Polly Gratton (Woollacott), Penny He (Wesley) and Ellie Rosser (Woollacott), along with Year 4 student Elisa Zhang (Crown) worked alongside Mr Walker to create the work over a number of weeks. The stunning product is a credit to their skills and certainly is a talking point for all who walk past the wall.
Late in 2021, Mr Walker was approached by the Girl’s Boarding House staff to create and paint a mural for the wall in their Music Rehearsal Room. The room was newly set up to provide a breakout space for students to play their instruments in small groups. The walls were bare and to give the space a greater appeal, he painted a music-related image. The result was very much applauded by staff and students alike and it is hoped that with a new, fresh space, their musical talents will blossom.
Another impact of the messy start to the year has been the unavailability of some intended campsites. Our aim of taking the Year 6 group to Canberra became increasingly difficult to envisage. As a result, we have adjusted our destinations and dates and have the pleasure of confirming the following for 2022.
Our Year 6 group will be the first in the past three years to spend a week completing outdoor education activities at Roses Gap in the beautiful Grampians. In years gone past, Westminster groups visited this site and we are very excited to be able to secure a booking for Monday 22 August returning Friday 26 August.
Finding an appropriate camp for our Year 5 cohort has presented a challenge, however, Mrs Barr is working on securing an aquatics-based camp. The dates for this camp are yet to be finalised but will probably be in Term 3 or 4.
Our Year 4 classes will be heading to Mylor Adventure Camp from Wednesday 14 to Friday 16 September. This camp proved very popular with the Year 4 children last year.
Year 3 students will have their first taste of camping with an overnight stay at Narnu Farm on Hindmarsh Island on Wednesday 26 October, returning the following day.
In another sign that we are starting to get back to what has always been, we are looking forward to welcoming back the members of the School community who give up their time to come into school and help. While we are not yet able to have the volunteers in the classroom, we are able to enlist the services of those who would like to help in the school canteen or in the Library on either a regular or occasional basis. The canteen help is from 12.30 to 1.30 pm on any suitable day of the week. The library assistance can be whatever time works for you during the week. All that is required is double vaccination, a face mask and some spare time. If you would be interested in giving some time in either of these areas please call Nicole or Kate in the Prep Office on T: 08 8276 0219 or contact Nicole via Email.
Each class teacher is also looking for a parent to be the ‘Parent Representative’ for his or her class. This person is essentially the link between the classroom/school and parent group. The role also involves coordinating the occasional parent catch-up and touching base with new families should they join the class during the year. If you are interested in filling this important role, please let your child’s class teacher know.
Congratulations to Evelyn Junge (Year 5 Crown) who has been selected for the Sport Climbing South Australia Youth Team. Climbing is a real test of strength, flexibility and bravery! The team will train throughout the year, as essentially a state squad, and will compete in the National Youth Climbing Championships in Sydney. Evelyn climbs twice each week at Adelaide Bouldering Club in Thebarton.
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.
Head of Preparatory School