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

Early Learning to Year 12

Head of Preparatory School - Edition 4 - 2020

Challenging times

I am sure that all members of the Westminster Community are well and truly aware of the challenges being faced across the globe as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. While we will all deal with these challenges in our own way, in the Preparatory School we are attempting to keep things as regular as possible while planning for what might lie ahead. Our strategy has been ‘hope for the best, plan for the worst’.

Unfortunately, we have been forced to cancel or reschedule several planned activities. Assemblies and House meetings have been cancelled to avoid large numbers of students in confined spaces. The Annual School Fair has had to be cancelled which is such a shame, as many parent volunteers have already contributed hours of service. Our Sports Day has had to be postponed, as have several excursions. Co-curricular activities took a break this week but will hopefully resume soon in a modified format if necessary.

For the past many years, the Friends’ of Westminster parent group have coordinated the purchasing of a range of wonderful gifts that students could purchase to surprise Mum on Mother’s Day. Unfortunately, due to the uncertainty that surrounds asking parent helpers to come in to assist and the continuity of regular school days, it isn’t possible to offer this service with any degree of certainty this year.

It is important to keep things practical and relatable for the young people that we work with in the primary setting. This is also important for families of young children. With growing confusion and overwhelming media reports on the COVID-19 outbreak, SchoolTV has produced a short and fact-based video for parents, featuring renowned psychologist Dr Michael Carr-Gregg, that may be of some assistance in helping students to understand some strategies to face the virus. You can view the special report at https://schooltv.me/wellbeing_news/special-report-coronavirus

Staff News

Mr Page is currently enjoying some long service leave on a well-earned break. I am appreciative of Mrs Moody stepping seamlessly into the role of Deputy – Junior Primary for the two week period and to Ms Millard for returning to us to look after 2M.

We have also settled on some staffing arrangements for the second half of this year. We will again be having two Transition classes, aimed at children who turn 5 years of age in the second half of the year. These children predominantly come from our Early Learning Centre and enjoy full time school for the second half of the year before entering Reception at the beginning of 2021. The two classes will be taught by Ms Morisset and Mrs Papst.

Kangaroo Island Fundraiser Update

As part of the Year 5 HASS unit, we have been organising and participating in fundraising opportunities for Parndana School students on Kangaroo Island. We chose our recent bake sale to begin our efforts. This fundraiser allowed us to support the families who lost their homes in the bushfires earlier this year. We aim to reach a $4,000 target. Reaching this target would allow us to purchase trampolines for these families so that the children can enjoy being in the outdoors once again.

On Wednesday 11 March the Year 5 staff and students held their KI Bake Sale, with all proceeds going to this worthy cause. Students and their families were positive and enthusiastic, bringing in a wide variety of treats for others to purchase. The Preparatory School students were extremely supportive and purchased many goods from our stall. Many also donated their change to the cause. We were very proud of the mature way our Year 5 students conducted themselves when interacting with other students, serving goods, collecting money and giving change.

We were very appreciative of a personal contribution from a family with direct links to Kangaroo Island and Parndana School. To date we have raised in total $1,242. We would like to remind everyone that Term 2 Casuals Day across the campus is dedicated to this cause. It will allow us to get very close to our tally of $4,000. Thank you very much to all families who supported the bake sale. It was greatly appreciated.

Year 5 Staff and Students

SAPSASA Selection

Already this term we have had several students earn selection in the South West District team for South Australian Sports Association competitions. The following Years 6 and 7 students were selected for the South West SAPSASA Tennis and Cricket carnivals recently.

In the South West Division 1 Tennis team we were well represented by Dayna Harrison (Year 6 Mace), Georgie Burt (Year 6 Wyvern), Alex Gellert (Year 7 Heaslip), Elka Hayward (Year 7 Kelly), Lucia Rawson (Year 7 Kelly) and in the South West Division 3 team we had Millie Sposato (Year 6 Abbey).

PS07

Year 6 went to Canberra

The Year 6 classes and their teachers, along with Mrs Beck, Mrs Madex and Ms Mugford, left on Sunday 16 February for the annual camp and education tour of the national capital, Canberra. Students participated in a variety of educational programs with a focus on Australia’s history, culture, heritage and democracy. The Australian Government recognises the importance of all young Australians being able to visit the national capital as part of their Civics and Citizenship education. To assist families in meeting the cost of the excursion the Australian Government is contributing funding of $60 per student under the Parliament and Civics Education Rebate program towards those costs. This contribution is paid directly to the School upon completion of the camp.

We would like to thank the Australian Government for their support of this program.

The busy itinerary included visits to many of the places unique to Canberra. Here are some reflections by the students.

‘Our first visit was to Parliament House where we did a tour with excellent guides and participated in a role play. It was very interesting learning about the House of Representatives, where the Bill starts and how the Bill works its way up the Senate. If the Bill is passed, the Governor General signs it, making it law. Parliament House was very grand. At the end we went into this cool room with a model of Parliament House made of Lego which was awesome!’

‘Everyone loved the Royal Australian Mint and all the money. We all enjoyed looking at the first coins in Australia, like the Holy dollar and the dump. Next, we looked at how coins get the pattern on them and lots of barrels filled with little gold discs with no pattern on them. My favourite part was watching Titan the robot picking up and dumping all the coins into a machine. At the end many of us stamped our own coins and bought Qantas coins.’

‘At the Australian Institute of Sport, we had a tour of the amazing facilities. After our tour we went to the Sportex which was filled with tonnes of cool games about sport, like the wheel chair race! To finish an exhausting day we played hockey, soccer, handball and frisbee. I loved hockey the best, it was great hitting the ball with the hockey sticks.’

‘At the CSIRO Deep Space Communication Centre, we all learnt about space and how the satellites work in space and what they use them for. We also learnt all about how test rockets and saw many that didn’t go to plan, which was very funny. The tour guide was excellent she explained things well. In the front of the museum part, there was a real moon rock picked up by Buzz Aldrin.’

‘At the National Election Education Centre in Old Parliament House we learnt about the history of democracy and how to vote for the House of Representatives. The candidates were Apple, Peach, Banana and Orange, unfortunately Apple won.’

‘Questacon was a favourite. We got to solve puzzles and learn about how things work, like how thunder is made in the clouds. We saw a cool science show with lots of experiments. The shop was very popular.’

PS08

‘Another highlight was the Australian War Memorial where we did the ‘Strange but True’ tour and visited the Discovery zone. It was extraordinary to hear all the amazing stories about the people that fought and sacrificed their lives. A very special place.’

PS09

‘At the CSIRO Discovery Centre, it was about all sorts of things like energy and robots. When we arrived, we played a game with the answers hidden all over the Discovery Centre.’

‘At the National Gallery we saw the Matisse and Picasso exhibition as well as ‘Blue Poles’, apparently it was painted while the artist was on a trapeze rope sort of thing!’

‘Our destination was the High Court of Australia, a very prestigious place. Overall the trip was fantastic, and it was amazing how much we squeezed into four days. A big thank you to all the teachers that helped to make it happen.’

Year 6 students

Recycling Efforts

PS05

Please join us this year to make a difference to our environment and those in need. We are passionate about recycling and this year Mrs Cassie Schreuder and 4S, together with Mrs Sara Mori and 5M are helping us to lead the students in collecting bread tags, oral waste and used batteries.

Bread tags are being recycled to help pay for wheelchairs for the needy in South Africa. This has been happening since 2006.

PS06

Collection of used batteries

Batteries contain heavy metals such as Mercury, Lead and Nickel. Over time, batteries in landfill will leak these metals. This can contaminate the soil and have a huge impact on our environment. Please help the environment by bringing in your used batteries.

PS07

Oral Care Waste collection

This cause encourages students to be actively recycling. TerraCycle is a non-profit organisation that runs many recycling programs to encourage student participation. The recycled goods from this will be used in new and innovative ways to make products such as benches.

Program accepted waste: Any brand of used toothpaste tubes, non-electric toothbrushes, floss containers, interdental brushes and electric toothbrush heads.

You can help! We are now collecting oral waste and used batteries to be recycled and bread tags to support the charity who purchase wheelchairs for those in need in South Africa.

You can help by bringing your collection of bread tags, used batteries and oral waste to the various collection points.

PS08

We have Bread Tag and Used Battery containers for collection in the Junior Primary (Ms Sullivan’s room), in the Prep Vandepeer courtyard, in the Tuckshop and in Classroom 4S. Oral Care waste can be brought to Mrs Mori’s Year 5 classroom.

We are going to share our progress with the Marion Council recycling group, and we hope to have someone come in later in the year to show the students what we have achieved.

We hope you will join us in our recycling ventures and can feel as good as we do about helping our environment and the planet we live on.

Years 4 and 5 students

April OSHC Vacation Care Program

Parents will have recently received information about the April OSHC Vacation Care program which runs weekdays after the Easter break from Tuesday 14 to Monday 27 April. At this stage we are planning for the Vacation Care program to operate. However, if there are changes to this in the coming weeks we will advise parents. If you are considering Vacation Care bookings for your child(ren) in the upcoming holidays, please book by Wednesday 1 April. This enables us to have the correct level of staffing during the program. If you have any queries please contact Joel Steer at OSHC, T: 08 8276 0390 or via Email.

Diary Dates

  • Parent/Teacher Interviews – Week 8, commencing Monday 16 March
  • Prep Sports Days - Postponed
  • SAPSASA Swimming Championships - Postponed
  • Westminster School Fun Fair – Cancelled for 2020
  • Tenebrae Service – Cancelled for 2020
  • End of Term – 1.00 pm finish, Thursday 9 April
  • Vacation Care - Tuesday 14 to Monday 27 April, will still be operating at this stage
  • Code Camp - Cancelled
  • Start of Term 2 – 8.45 am, Tuesday 28 April

Grant Bock
Head of Preparatory School