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

Early Learning to Year 12

Head of Preparatory School - Edition 5 - 2020

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Adjusting to a new approach

I would like to express my appreciation to Prep School families and members of the wider Westminster community who have been so supportive of the attempts made by the staff and students to keep life as ‘normal’ as possible in these extremely challenging times.

The staff at school, both teaching and non-teaching, are doing their very best to help the children move forward with their learning – a task made infinitely more challenging by the fact that half of the children are not physically at school. While helping children at school at the same time as preparing online resources and activities has been difficult, I can only express my admiration for the staff who have risen to the challenge incredibly well.

Learning from home for a primary school aged student is rarely a straight forward exercise. Some do not have immediate access to a device, and while activities to consolidate existing understandings are one thing – introducing a new concept without face to face contact is not always easy. The younger the students, the more difficult this challenge becomes.

Please be assured that the Prep School staff are doing everything they can to ensure that every child is catered for, and that the support of Prep School families is greatly appreciated.

Pictured above is an example of our at home students ‘taking learning on the road’.

Prep School Physical Education – Help at Home

The Health/Physical Education team have been delighted by the number of videos and photos that they have received of the students being active at home. With the future of Physical Education likely to be predominantly home based for the time being, the Prep PE staff would like to offer our students the opportunity to collect some gear to take home so that they can keep active and work on those very important hand skills. We understand many families will already have equipment, so this is an offer for those who don’t.

If it is helpful, students can borrow the following:

Reception to Year 2 - a skipping rope and tennis ball
Year 3 to 6 – a basketball or netball

If students would like to collect this equipment from the PE staff before the end of term we will be happy to loan these out to you. If you are isolating and unable to collect from School then PE staff are happy to drop this equipment off to you at home. If this is preferred can you please contact Tim Weatherald via Email and he will arrange this. All equipment will be sanitised before sending it home.

We will incorporate the use of this equipment as part of our online teaching program. When we return to school and some normality, we will ask for this equipment to be returned.

Staff News

Ms Julie Mugford will return to her Year 3 classroom from the beginning of next term. Also returning to Year 3 will be Mr Craig Leith and to Year 5 Mr Michael Genikas, both gentleman having enjoyed a term of long service leave and are looking forward to a return to school. I am sure they will be surprised at how much the teaching and learning landscape has changed during their time away.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank most sincerely the fine efforts of Mrs Georgie Papst, Ms Alex Bachmatiuk and Mrs Deborah Cope who have been with us covering staff on leave during Term 1. They have been with us through a particularly tumultuous time and their contribution to Westminster have been outstanding.

Mrs Papst will return in Semester 2 to take charge of one of our Transition classes, and Mrs Cope will be here teaching 6H in Term 3 when Mr Haines takes some long service leave.

Parent Workshop – calling for participants

Childhood anxiety has been looming as a significant issue in Australia. Even prior to the recent crises besetting us, Australian principals have seen a marked increase in children exhibiting anxiety symptoms.

https://7news.com.au/lifestyle/parenting/survey-reveals-increasing-anxiety-among-school-children-c-715003?inf_contact_key=7448364d16c9eaf01110bf43cd2d5d95

The No Scaredy Cats program has received positive feedback from schools, and recently, they have been working in conjunction with the psychology department at Monash University to design a study on the No Scaredy Cats program in an online mode.

If you are the parent of an 8 to 12 year old student and would like to participate in an online Parentshop program commencing in May, please click on the link below and read on. There is a parent workshop form available via the link where you can register your interest in participating. They are looking at attracting 160 parents from across the nation. The cut-off date for enrolment is Friday 24 April as Monash need to send questionnaires and participants need to be sent a workbook. https://www.parentshop.com.au/noscaredycatsparentworkshop/

The facilitator Michael Hawton is happy to answer any questions that you may have and can be contacted on T: 02 6680 8910.

Recycling Efforts

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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.

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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.

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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

Diary Dates

  • Westminster School Fun Fair – Cancelled for 2020
  • Tenebrae Service – Cancelled for 2020
  • 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