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

Early Learning to Year 12

Head of Preparatory School - Edition 3 - 2021

The Resilience Project: Parent and Carer Information Series

For a number of years now at Westminster, we have worked closely with The Resilience Project across our whole school in order to provide opportunities for our students to develop high levels of wellbeing and understand ways of keeping mentally healthy. As part of this, we recognise the importance of supporting parents and caregivers to equip your children in these areas of their lives.

Programs offered by The Resilience Project are based on the following strategies:

Gratitude - Appreciating what you have, not begrudging what you don’t have.

Empathy - Thinking of the needs of others/kindness.

Mindfulness - Being present in the moment, not becoming distracted by unhelpful or negative thoughts. In 2021, we are pleased to be continuing our partnership with The Resilience Project. The Resilience Project delivers emotionally engaging programs and provides evidence-based, practical strategies to build resilience through their online wellbeing curriculum.

The Digital Program consists of online presentations and lessons for students, professional development for staff, and a video series for our parent and carer community.

Over the coming term, we will be sharing the Parent and Carer Program with you. The videos are 5-10 minutes long and will walk through the key pillars of Resilience: Gratitude, Empathy and Mindfulness. You will hear stories and be introduced to activities to show how these strategies can support our kids' learning and development, and also support you as parents and carers. We highly recommend you set aside just a few minutes of your day to engage with this resource.

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This program is an important part of Westminster’s effort to look after the mental health of our community. View the first presentation of the series here: Part 1: Meet Martin and learn about The Resilience Project.

We will share the remainder of the program, including research and wellbeing activities to integrate into day-to-day life, over the course of the semester.

But that is not all…

In addition to the online program above, on Monday 22 March you will have the opportunity to participate in a webinar hosted by Hugh van Cuylenburg. Hugh spoke to our School community about six years ago and was widely regarded as one of the best speakers we have had. I therefore strongly encourage you to set aside the time to join this zoom meeting at 6.30 pm on Monday 22 March.

During this presentation, Hugh will share his experiences and combine them with practical strategies that can be implemented every day to improve our overall wellbeing.

The link you will need to be part of the presentation is The Resilience Project Parent Webinar.

Morning and Afternoon Traffic and Parking

We are increasingly seeing a number of parents who are using the carpark inside Gate 4 as a drop-off/pick-up zone. This is the staff carpark and not intended for those purposes but for various reasons during the Campus Masterplan development, it is being used as such. While we see this as a temporary situation, it is essential that cars are pulled to the left, not double-parked or left unattended and the drop-off/pick-up needs to be done promptly to keep traffic flowing. As this carpark fills relatively early every school day, cars should not stop to block any empty spaces and drivers need to be mindful of blocking in cars at the end of the school day. We ask all drivers to be on high alert in and around this carpark as there is a constant stream of Music students moving between Music’s temporary arrangements, storage and the main School buildings.

We are also seeing some parents driving into the Inquiry and Innovations Hub’s Undercroft to drop-off/pick-up students. While Gate 3A is opened early each school day and stays open until about 4.30 pm to service this area, it is a designated loading/permit zone only that is locked on weekends. We respectfully ask that parents do not use this undercover space for drop-off/pick-up even if the gate is open.

To assist with making traffic flow as smooth as possible across the intense bursts of drop-off and pick-up times, the School is exploring alternative options within the campus to improve drop-off and pick-up zones.

During the first five weeks of term, Marion Council has had a strong presence from their traffic team out on Alison Avenue and surrounding streets issuing fines to those parking or stopping in the wrong zones. The Council have advised us that this presence will continue throughout the year and we ask that all parents and caregivers pay attention to the signage in these streets out of courtesy to our neighbours and to avoid an infringement.

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School Musical ‘School of Rock’

Tickets for 'School of Rock’ are now on sale - 7.00 pm on Monday 29, Tuesday 30, Wednesday 31 March. Before you book, here’s a reminder of the key points for your consideration:

  • There are just over 300 tickets available for the first two performances (Monday and Tuesday ) so you will see that the tickets are being sold in an alternate (chequerboard) seating plan – masks are not essential.
  • We ask that families select one of the first two nights only to attend (in the first instance) so that everyone gets a chance to see the show. From 9.00 am on the day of the two nominated community performances, any unsold seats can then be purchased by families who would like to see it more than once.
  • You may decide you want to see the show as a family so parents can book for their children as well, even if your child attends the ‘students and staff only’ night.
  • When you book, you will be assigned set alternate seats. On the night, families living under the same roof can close up the gap/s, as long as at least one seat is left on either side between your family and the next group.
  • Where you are sitting will determine which Murray Centre entry door you should access. The doors to be used will include the foyer doors and side doors of the Murray Centre – this is to avoid overcrowding in the foyer. On the night, there will be signs and people on hand to assist as well as the QR code check-in.
  • The ‘students and staff only’ night (Wednesday) is being classed as an Assembly, which allows for general seating and a greater capacity.
  • The Friends of Music team is drawing up a COVID-compliant plan to safely serve refreshments during the interval of all performances.

Monday 29 and Tuesday 30 March, 7.00 pm (set seating) – parents, families, friends – please book through this link: https://www.trybooking.com/BOXHX

Wednesday 31 March, 7.00 pm (general seating) – school students and staff only – please book through this link: https://www.trybooking.com/BPDBH

Prepare yourself for a night of great entertainment!

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What A Voice!

I am delighted to advise that Max Junge (Year 6 Crown) has been selected to receive the Singing Grade 4 Prize. This prize has been awarded based on Max’s outstanding achievement in 2020 and will be formally announced at the upcoming Australian Music Examination Board (SA & NT) awards ceremony.

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…and a Strings Star!

Congratulations to William Russo (Year 5 Wyvern) who has won the 2020 AMEB Grade 2 String Performance AUSTA (Australian Strings Association) prize. William has been recognised for his hard work after starting his strings journey in our Year 3 string program. According to his proud parents, it also reflects the opportunities and the quality of the teaching program available to him. William and Max will be recognised formally at the ceremony at Elder Hall in March.

Year 6 Camp Change

As much as we would like to return to normality (and South Australia is the envy of the world in terms of the COVID-19 implications), we are still living in uncertain times.

Consequently, the decision has been made to err on the side of caution and not travel with our Year 6 cohort to Canberra in March. Instead, we are attempting to reschedule the Year 6 Camp to a date in the second half of the year.

Travelling to Canberra as an individual may appear to be straightforward at the moment. However, travelling with a group of 70 is considerably more complex, particularly if any snap decisions about borders and health requirements are enacted.

I can only apologise to students and families for the inconvenience and disappointment that this will undoubtedly cause. Please know that this difficult decision has been made now so that if and when we are clear to take the Year 6 students on camp, we can be far more confident that it will be the experience we want our students to have.

Welcome Tiffany

Since our last eNews, we are delighted to have welcomed Tiffany Gardner to Year 4 and Abbey House.

Swimming Success

Recently our strongest swimmers represented Westminster at the SAPSASA South West District Swimming championships. This carnival serves the dual purpose of finding the best swimmers in the District to represent South West at the State Championships and determining which school in this district is the strongest school in the pool. Congratulations to the students below who based on their performances have been selected to represent our District at the State Championships to be held later this month at Marion Swimming Pool Leisure Complex.

  • Matilda Lamprell (Year 7 Dunstan) – Open 100m Freestyle and Relay
  • Jordan Tucker (Year 6 Wyvern) – 11 Year 50m Freestyle, Backstroke, Breaststroke and Relay
  • Sophia Hallam (Year 5 Wesley) – 11 Year 50m Freestyle, Backstroke, Breaststroke and Relay
  • Gerard McGinley (Year 7 Heaslip) – 12 Year 50m Freestyle, Backstroke, Butterfly and Relay
  • Axel Tucker (Year 7 Clark) – 12 Year 50m Freestyle, Backstroke and Relay
  • Poppy Doyle (Year 7 Jeffries) – 12 Year 50m Freestyle, Backstroke, Breaststroke, Butterfly and Relay
  • Kate Cao (Year 6 Abbey) – 12 Year 50m Backstroke
  • Eden Moriarty (Year 5 Charter) – 10 Year Backstroke
  • Hudson Hersey (Year 7 Heaslip) – 13 Year Breaststroke
  • Maggie Taplin (Year 7 Jeffries) – 13 Year Breaststroke
  • Aidan Williams (Year 5 Abbey) – 11 Year Butterfly and Relay
  • Jessica Jongejan (Year 5 Crown) – 11 Year Butterfly and Relay
  • Oliver Maynard (Year 6 Charter) – 12 Year Butterfly and Relay
  • Quinn Hammersley (Year 7 Dunstan) – 13 Year Freestyle, Butterfly and Relay
  • Curtis Broadbridge (Year 5 Crown) – 10 Year Freestyle Relay
  • Caleb Dyer (Year 4 Crown) – 10 Year Freestyle Relay
  • Georgia Davison (Year 4 Wesley) – 10 Year Freestyle Relay
  • Ella Lunn (Year 6 Wesley) – 11 Year Relay
  • Talulah Kovacic (Year 7 Forder) – 12 Year Relay
  • Astin Rouvray (Year 7 Kelly) – 13 Year Relay
  • Charlie Burns (Year 7 Carter) – 13 Year Relay

Code Camp

Get creative with technology at Westminster these Autumn school holidays.

On top of five coding classes to suit all skill levels, Code Camp have launched a range of new camps, where students can learn to DJ, produce YouTube style videos and create stop-motion animation short films. Westminster will be hosting Code Camp on Monday 12 to Wednesday 14 April. For more information and to find out what is on offer head to the Code Camp website.

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Diary Dates

  • Adelaide Cup Day Public Holiday - Monday 8 March
  • JP Sports Day - Friday 12 March
  • Parent/Teacher Interviews - Week 8, commencing Monday 15 March
  • WestFest Community Event - Sunday 21 March, commencing at 4.00 pm
  • Resilience Project: Parent Webinar - Monday 22 March, 6.30 pm
  • Year 3-6 Field Events - Tuesday 23 March
  • Year 3-6 Sports Day - Wednesday 24 March
  • End of Term 1 - Thursday 1 April, finishing at 1.00 pm

Grant Bock
Head of Preparatory School