A Uniting Church coeducational independent day and boarding school on Kaurna Country, Adelaide, South Australia

Early Learning to Year 12

Head of Preparatory School - Edition 5 - 2019

Fun Fair

The 2019 Westminster School Fair was an outstanding example of community spirit. The weather was perfect, and there were thousands of people who visited to enjoy the activities and bargains on offer. Thank you to the many, many families who very generously donated goods and services to make the day such a success. The Preparatory School stalls were very popular and I would like to make mention of a particularly generous donor. Caroline and Paul Phegan have gone to incredible lengths to purchase and supply to the School boxes of child friendly gifts that are then wrapped and become the mainstay of the lucky dip collection as well as prizes for other competitions. The Phegan family spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars to provide these donations, and they have done so year after year.

Another highlight of the Fair was the Westminster Fair Primary School Challenge which was generously sponsored by Ray White Real Estate. This event saw teams from a number of primary schools compete in a ‘commando type’ relay event.

Westminster had three teams enter into the competition. The teams had to manoeuvre their way through a number of obstacles, including an army net and a slip-and-slide in a team relay event. After two heats each of the fastest two teams raced off in the final. Our wildcard team with a mix of Year 6 and 7 students came in 6th, our Year 6 team just missed the final coming in 4th but our Year 7 team made it into the final. After a very intense race our team came through to take out the final. Congratulations to our teams and everyone involved in the event.

Records Tumble

In the last edition I mentioned what a success the Prep School Sports Day was. I made mention of the many athletes who set new school records, but I did not have available details of the previous record holders. After doing some research I would like to mention the previous record holders here.

There were nine individual School records broken. In the 12 year old Boys' Shot Put, the old record of 8.10m was held jointly by Hamish Burns (Abbey 2007) and Josh Lapsley (Charter 2006), but Simon Zefi (Mace) broke it with 8.16m. Then Patrick Hutchins (Crown) threw 8.80m which may stand for quite a few years.

In the 12 year old Boys' Long Jump, Jeremy Shepherd (Charter) jumped 4.00m to break the previous record held by Aston Woods (Mace 2015) by 7cm. In the 13 year old Boys' Shot Put, Andre Lim (Charter) threw 9.59m to break the old record of 9.43m held by Hamish Burns (Abbey/ 2008). The 10 year old Girls' Shot Put record held by Adelle Parkinson-Need (Abbey 2018) of 5.38m was first broken by Sophie Hutchins (Crown) 5.58m, but then bettered by Lara Wright (Crown) with a throw of 5.83m. In the High Jump events the crowd was treated to two records tumbling. In the 11 year old Boys' event Harry Davison (Wesley) jumped 1.34m to beat the previous record by 2cm, this was held by Hudson Perks (Charter 2015). In the 12 year old Boys' event Jack Alver (Abbey) equalled the record of 1.45m again held by Hudson Perks (2016), before his brother Tim Alver (Abbey) went on to set a new record of 1.54m. Tim Alver proved he is more than a jumper when he also set a new record for the 12 year old Boys' 100m with a time of 13.13s, eclipsing the longstanding previous record of 14.16s held by Joseph Cheek (Crown 2000). We saw another record set in the 10 year old Girls' 100m when Ella Jones (Abbey) bettered her own record (16.49s) with a time of 15.57s. One of the highlights of the day was the determination on the face of Sam McClarron (Mace) in the 12 year old Boys' 800m when he flew to the finish to set a new record time of 2.37.13, beating Jordan Hewitt’s (Wyvern 2008) record, much to the delight of the crowd.

Swimming Success

On Thursday 28 March, Westminster had 17 students of the 31 that made up the South West District swimming team compete in the State Metropolitan swimming championships. Our district came 3rd out of the 20 districts which was a great achievement. Our swimmers performed very well and many of our swimmers won individual and team medals. Congratulations to all who competed.

Our medallists are now all in the running to be selected to represent South Australia at the national championships.

10 year old boys

Oliver Maynard (Charter) - Gold in Butterfly
Gerard McGinley (Mace) - Silver in Backstroke, Gold in 4 x 50m relay
Axel Tucker (Wyvern) - Gold in Breastroke, Gold in 4 x 50m relay

10 year old girls

Poppy Doyle (Crown) - Bronze in Breaststroke and Butterfly
Lara Wright-(Crown) - Bronze in Backstroke

11 year old boys

Jack Green (Charter) - Bronze 4 x 50m Relay
Sam McClarron (Mace) - Bronze 4 x 50m Relay

12 year old boys

Tim Alver (Abbey)
Jack Alver (Abbey)
Jeremy Shepherd (Charter)

12 year old girls

Eliza Maloney (Abbey) - Gold Breaststroke
Harriet Robertson (Mace)
Juliet Tainton (Crown)

13 year old boys

Freddy Ramly-Peck (Crown)
Jack White (Abbey)

13 year old girls

Lily Doyle (Crown)
Isabella Maynard (Charter) - Silver in Backstroke

Mascot Anabelle

Anabelle Ramsey (Reception Wyvern) was lucky enough to be selected as a mascot for the Adelaide Crows and to run out with the team for their Round 1 game against Hawthorn at Adelaide Oval. She was very excited to run out with Alex Keath (#42), and then after her duties, got to watch the game with her family. She was excited that Miss Riley and Miss Pannunzio came to watch her also! Unfortunately, the Crows lost, but nothing could wipe the smile off Anabelle’s face after a great day!

What a wonderful Pancake Day!

On Tuesday 5 March our Prep School celebrated Pancake Day with such joy! It began with the sun shining over the Vandepeer Courtyard with our wonderful School leaders using their creative decorating skills so that the courtyard was emblazoned in yellow.

A wonderful team of hardworking mums and grandads slaved over the BBQ to cook over 800 pancakes. A day like this simply would not happen without the generosity of our wonderful community. Thanks must go to these amazing people!

Reception children were the first to receive their pancakes, with the mix generously donated by our catering company, Cater Care. Thanks must go to them too!

Following the Receptions our Years 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 students devoured their pancakes, which were served by our fabulous Year 7 leaders. Their manners were impeccable as they said please and thank you.

Everyone then moved out onto the oval for the very serious Pancake Day races. Years 3 – 5 raced first but the Year 6 students were so keen that they started running and so we have no idea who won the first race! However, eventually the Years 6 and 7 students and staff reps ran and flipped very well with Wyvern coming out winners this year. Congratulations.

There is a more serious side to Pancake Day. The money we raised will go to Uniting Care where they use it to assist families and children who struggle to make ends meet. Our Pancake Day raised nearly $2,000 for Uniting Care – an amazing effort! Of course, Pancake Day signals the beginning of Lent in the Christian Church calendar. Lent is the season in which Christians prepare for the death and resurrection of Jesus at Easter. It is traditionally a time where Christians fast, give alms and pray more often. In Chapel services in this season of Lent, I will be asking the students to focus their Lenten journey by noticing the small, yet wonderful things in their lives. Lent is the perfect time to be grateful for all those small moments of awesome in our lives. It is also a time to simplify our lives, to pare things down and to spend some time doing the things we really love.

Looking to make a difference

Several of our Year 6 and 7 students have recently joined the Westminster School Round Square Committee. Round Square schools are characterised by a shared belief in an approach to education built around six themes, or IDEALS, drawn from the theories of the educationalist Kurt Hahn. These themes are Internationalism, Democracy, Environmentalism, Adventure, Leadership and Service. These students attend regular meetings in the Senior School.

One of the initiatives that has come out of these meetings, led by Michael Pope (Year 6 Charter), is to organise a collection of non-perishable food items that we would then donate to FoodBank SA. If your child could please bring in one or two items to donate, that would be wonderful. This week’s focus in Chapel services has been ‘Gratitude’ so we thought it would be a fantastic way for the students to act on their gratitude for the meals they are provided every day. The fact that some families in our community do not have enough food is a reminder of how lucky we are.

FoodBank would welcome any of the following items: pasta, rice, pasta sauces, canned fruit, canned veggies, canned soups, baked beans, jams & spreads, long life milk and breakfast cereal.

For more information on FoodBank and their work, please visit their website: https://www.foodbanksa.org.au/

If your child could bring his or her donation and place it with the collection in his or her classroom, then our Round Square students will collect those from the classrooms near the end of the term and bring them to the Chapel from where they will be collected by FoodBank.

Thank you for your support of this initiative. It is an important part of the application of our School theme this year: An Attitude of Gratefulness = Gratitude.

Jane Edwards
Preparatory School Teacher

Roll on Winter Sport

The Westminster School Year 6/7 football side recently competed for the South West District shield. This was a competition between all the schools in our district and doubled as a selection trial for the South West representative side. This team will represent South West in the State SAPSASA Football Carnival in June.

The format of the day was round robin matches across three pools. We were drawn against Paringa Park, Our Lady of Grace (OLOG) and Seacliff. We were able to bring all of our players and many of our Year 6 students combined with Our Lady of Grace to help them make up numbers. This meant that Westminster vs OLOG was a tense affair as friends competed against each other.

All players represented themselves, their teams and the School with outstanding performances. The students who combined with players from Our Lady of Grace finished fifth overall and played some excellent football. The students who played as the Westminster side ended up winning the whole carnival, being undefeated in all matches.

We had seven players make the next phase of the selection process and we wish them well for the trial on Wednesday 10 April.

Congratulations to Tim Alver (Year 6 Abbey), Nikolas Damato (Year 7 Wyvern), Will Young (Year 7 Wyvern), Andre Lim (Year 7 Charter), Aidan Nixon-Burns (Year 7 Crown), Samuel Williams (Year 7 Crown) and Kobi Rees (Year 7 Abbey).


On Monday 1 April, the Year 6/7 A Netball team participated in the SAPSASA Netball carnival, hosted by Westminster. The girls played five matches, and had convincing wins in all games against Brighton, Glenelg, St Peters Woodlands, Paringa Park and Warradale. There were some fabulous passages of play in attack and strong one-on-one defensive pressure, resulting in many intercepts. Congratulations to Reilly Curran (Year 7 Crown), Sienna Jones (Year 7 Mace), Paige Taylor (Year 7 Abbey), Charlotte Burt (Year 7 Wyvern), Eliza Maloney (Year 6 Abbey) and Jazz McKay (Year 6 Wesley), who have been selected to trial for the South West District Netball team.


Alison Ave Closure Monday 8 April

Alison Ave will be closed to vehicles on Monday 8 April from 7.00 am to 4.00 pm, due to SA Power Networks having to prepare for the installation of a new transformer needed for the Inquiry and Innovation Hub. The closure will occur just outside Gate 3a on Alison Ave, meaning signed detours will be set up to take northbound traffic around the roundabout into Shetland Ave to Oakleigh Ave and back along Orkney Ave to rejoin Alison Ave. The reverse applies to southbound traffic. Gates 1, 2 (Main) and 4 are unaffected and will remain open as usual. For students coming by foot or bike from south of the roundabout along Alison Ave, we expect the western footpath to be closed, at least. Entering and exiting the School grounds through Gate 4 would be the best option.

Code Camp Autumn School Holidays

During the approaching 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:


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.

Bookings can be made via this link: www.codecamp.com.au/westminster

Diary Dates

  • Tenebrae Service - Sunday 7 April, 7.00 pm, Chapel
  • End of Term - Friday 12 April, 1.00 pm finish
  • Start of Term 2 - Tuesday 30 April, 8.45 am

Grant Bock
Head of Preparatory School