A Uniting Church coeducational independent day and boarding school in Marion, South Australia
Early Learning to Year 12

Head of Preparatory School - Edition 3 - 2019

Exchange-Teachers-from-the-Netherlands

Giving back to the profession

We have welcomed a number of training teachers into the Preparatory School this term. Mrs Warren and her Year 1 class have been mentoring Ms Rebecca Martin who will be with us for four weeks this term. Mrs Dorey and her Year 6 class will host Beau Leonard for the first half of next term. Ms Mugford and 3M have been hosting Mr Frazer Goodes, an Old Scholar from the Class of 2010, who is studying at Flinders University.

As well as the local training teachers, we have an international flavour in the Preparatory School. Ms Kamei has made a regular feature of hosting student teachers from both Joetsu Education University and more recently Kyoai University in Japan. So far this year we have had two groups of students spending time with us in Japanese, ICT and general class lessons. Mr Mather and Mr Dyer have also kindly hosted these students.

Joining us from the Netherlands we have welcomed Ms Niesèt Groen who is being hosted by Mrs Daniel and her Year 5 class initially, and Ms Sarah van de Ven is being hosted by Mr Wayne and his Year 7 class. These ladies have travelled from the University of Stenden to gain an understanding of how a first class education is delivered in Australia.

Nieset-5D

Class Representatives

Every year we ask for Class Representatives from each class in the Prep School. The Prep School sees the role of Class Reps as being very important, as it is the key link between the School and the parents of each class.

This is not to downplay the importance of other parent groups such as the Friends of Westminster.

Thank you to those parents who have already volunteered for this role for their child’s class. If you are interested in undertaking the role of Class Rep, please contact your child’s class teacher.

We will be holding a Class Rep morning tea on Wednesday 6 March at 9.00 am in the Prep Staff Room. Invitations for this have been sent to those parents who have already volunteered to be Class Reps.

The morning tea will be an opportunity for you to meet the other Class Representatives and hear from others about how they are approaching the role. It will also be a chance to ask any questions you might have.

Currently our Class Representatives are:

RecM - Simonette Tainton
RecP - Louisa Swalling
RecS - Jasmin Chau
1JM - Stacey Lee and Kara Rosser
1KM - Georgie Nedelkos
2B - Ros Sayers and Karen Hobbis
2F - Louise Lawson and Anna Kowalczyk
2W - Kate Reeve
3M - Tamina Judd
3S - Rosslyn Cox
4H - Deb Judd
5D - Lee Hayes
5G - Michelle Blewitt
5M - Melissa Hersey and Sasha Ritson
6D - Louise Lawson and Sophie Richards
6H - Karen Hobbis
6L - Caroline Phegan
7C - Steph Insanally

Fair donations

Another way that parents can get involved in the life of the School is to contribute in whatever way possible to the annual School Fair. The Fair is coordinated by a group of volunteer parents that collectively form the Friends of Westminster. They are always open to hearing from parents, friends or extended family who would like to get involved. Please contact Abbie Taylor on T: 08 8276 0239 or Peter Trenorden on T: 08 8276 0234 if you would like more information.

Each year the Preparatory School staff and students help to organise a number of stalls, including the very popular Mystery Bottle and Lucky Dip stalls. To make these stalls a real success every year we need your help.

If you are able to assist us by donating a bottle or jar for the Mystery Bottle stall, donations would be very much appreciated. Bottles of jams, syrups, marinades or even bubble bath, or jars filled with sweets, pens, pencils or erasers are just a few suggestions. Items valued between $2 and $5 would be appreciated. If you are able to donate jars or bottles, we please ask that you ensure that, if not new, these bottles or jars have been thoroughly washed before filling them with goodies.

Alternatively, you may like to donate some treasures for the Lucky Dip stall. There will be lucky dips for girls and boys and items could include small toys, novelty jewellery, puzzles or stationery. It would be greatly appreciated if you could wrap these prizes and label them to indicate whether they are suitable for boys, girls or either, and an appropriate age.

Your kind donations can be left in your child’s classroom for collection.

As always, we appreciate your involvement in the life of the School. Events such as the School Fair depend on this sense of community for their success.

We hope to see you at the Fair on Saturday 23 March. It is always a great day.

New Nature Play Area

Over the Christmas break we were very lucky to have had an upgrade to our Junior Primary playground area. A small watercourse has been constructed for the children to utilise. We hope this leads to our students engaging more deeply in shared play experiences and beginning to learn first hand about sustainability and the management of our waterways. Native plants have been placed in this area and over the next few years, as they grow, we hope it helps to beautify our JP Playground. So far it has proven to be very popular!

Danny Page
Deputy - Junior Primary

Sports Days

Mr Weatherald (Prep School Head of PE) and the PE Department are very busily planning the series of Sports Days that signal the action-packed friendly rivalry on the athletic fields. The series of events kick off with the Junior Primary Sports morning on Friday 8 March. The Junior Primary will hold a tabloid style event that will run through until lunchtime. The ELC children also participate for a flat race, and the morning is a lot of fun for all.

On Wednesday 13 March the students from Years 3 to 7 spend the afternoon rotating through various field events like long jump, shot put and discus in an effort to earn points for their House.

On Friday 15 March the main Sports Day will be held, which is always a fantastic community event.

Parents are warmly welcomed to attend any of these days, but please leave your pet dogs at home as they can be very distracting for the students.

Butterfly Garden

At the beginning of this term we not only saw the return to Westminster School of our students, but also the unexpected, but very welcome arrival of the Monarch Butterflies. At their arrival, small eggs began appearing on the leaves of the Swan Bush in the Year 2 Butterfly Garden. Four days later, Wanderer Caterpillars appeared and rapidly began devouring the bush. To the delight of our students and their parents, butterfly and caterpillar numbers grew across the first two weeks. The Swan Bush, which we call chocolate for butterflies, is now a mere skeleton of what it once was. Wanderer caterpillars are fully grown at around two weeks, so we encourage you to keep a close eye on and around the butterfly garden.

Meg Fitzgerald
Preparatory School Teacher

SEQTA

As you would expect when implementing any new system, we have experienced a few teething problems during the roll out of SEQTA to parents/guardians, however it would now appear that most people have been able to access the system. We have had 1754 parents and guardians access the system since its launch, which is a great result.

When the SEQTA app email is sent there is a period of one week to scan the code within the email to access and activate the account. If you have not used the SEQTA engage app and wish to do so you will need to email WSSEQTA@westminster.sa.edu.au to request the email to be resent with a new QR code.

State Coaches

We are indeed privileged to have not one, but two, state football coaches on staff in the Prep School. Mr Burns will again this year take charge of the South Australian 12 & Under Football team made up from players from across the state. They will compete in the national carnival to be held in Western Australia in August. Ms Riley will, for the second year, be the coach of the South Australian Under 15 Girls’ Football team. They will compete in the national carnival to be held in Tasmania. I am sure that both coaches will do their state and the School proud.

Code Camp Autumn School Holidays: Early Bird Discount

During the next school holidays Code Camp are returning to Westminster School to teach your child to code, or continue them on their coding journey!

Code Camp has already taught more than 50,000 students in Australia. It is a great way to spend time over the holidays, as children have lots of fun with friends while learning important new skills, such as logic, creativity, problem-solving, app development and game building, in a fun and engaging way, ready to take on the digital world of the future.

These school holidays from Monday 15 to Wednesday 17 April, Westminster School will be hosting the following options or levels:

Spark

Years 2 to 6, New Students

Fun, engaging and challenging - our most well-known Code Camp. Code Camp Spark is where every student in Years 2 to 6 should start their Code Camp journey.

2D Game Makers

Years 2 to 6, Returning Students

If you have completed Spark check out Code Camp 2D Game Makers! Students build on their skills and create new apps with increasingly complex logic, more code, behaviours and problem solving. Start with Drag & Drop and then move to Line Coding with JavaScript.

Augmented Reality Creators

Years 3 to 7, Returning Students

Already attended the Beginners camps? Then it’s time to learn the fundamentals of Augmented Reality. We're not saying your children will be fully-fledged AR experts by the end of this camp, but they'll be well on their way! Thinking outside the box is a key skill programmers need and a great life skill in general. This camp will teach your children to be creative and to solve problems.

Book now to take advantage of our $20 Early Bird discount! Bookings can be made via this link: www.codecamp.com.au/westminster

Diary Dates

  • JP Sports Day – Friday 8 March
  • Adelaide Cup Public Holiday – Monday 11 March
  • Prep Sports Day Field Events – Wednesday 13 March
  • Prep Sports Day – Friday 15 March
  • Parent/Teacher Interviews – Week 8, commencing Monday 18 March
  • Westminster School Fun Fair – Saturday 23 March, Prep School Oval
  • Tenebrae Service – Sunday 7 April, 7.00 pm, Sir Shirley Jeffries Chapel
  • End of Term 1 – Friday 12 April, 1.00 pm
  • Start of Term 2 – Tuesday 30 April, 8.45 am

Grant Bock
Head of Preparatory School