Welcome to all new students and their families to the Senior School and welcome back to all returning students and their families. The year has begun very smoothly, which was the result of the amount of work and preparation that a large number of staff put in during the holidays.
During the last weekend of the holidays the School Leaders along with our Head of Senior Students, Mr Tony Ritson ('93), went to Victor Harbor to set their vision and goals for 2019. I would also like to thank Head of Wellbeing, Liz Collins and School Chaplain Rev Phil Hoffmann for their involvement in the camp. This camp provides an opportunity for the School Captain, Brodie Eckert and Vice Captain, Maddi Tape to work with the House Captains, Vice Captains and School Leaders to set the direction for 2019 and plan to achieve their goals. After listening to Brodie’s speech at the recent School Leaders Induction Assembly, it is clear that there is a real sense of purpose amongst the group and a desire to be inclusive with their leadership style. This year the Leaders Induction included all leaders from both the Preparatory and Senior School, with students from Year 3 to 12 present. It was an excellent way to begin the school year and remind us all that we are one school.
The first Westventure Camp left on Monday 28 January and the students had many new experiences under the guidance of Mr Rob McLean ('99) and his team of instructors, all of whom are Westminster Old Scholars and understand the philosophy of Westventure. The aim of Westventure is to provide opportunities for students to work in teams to achieve common goals, while at the same time encouraging all students to develop greater independence and a willingness to try new activities. There is also a large element of self-reflection throughout the camp, which allows students to review their goals and aspirations.
For several years the Senior School have been using an online Learning Management System called ‘Desire to Learn’ to deliver the curriculum and also allow parents to have access to teachers’ mark books and monitor the progress of their children. We have recently replaced this with a new program called SEQTA, which provides the online learning facility as well as a facility to record attendance, pastoral notes, communication to parents and much more. The view you will see as parents will be what your child sees, which is an improvement on the previous program. We hope this will provide more timely information to parents.
Student individual portraits were taken on Tuesday 5 February by Event Photographers. Students who were absent on that day will have a catch-up day on Tuesday 12 February 2019. House photographs will be taken in Week 3 of Term 3 (Monday 5 to Friday 9 August) in Winter Uniform. In Week 6 of Term 3 (Tuesday 27 August) sibling photos will also be taken, for those who elect to have one. These photos will then be distributed to families.
There are numerous ways that communication between school and home can occur. The student School Diary, email, phone and interviews are all available to parents to make contact with teachers to discuss the progress of their child.
For Year 8 students, the first point of contact should be the Year 8 Class Teacher who is the person who will see the students in their class at the beginning of each day as a minimum. The Head of Year 8, Mrs Kate Johns, who oversees the progress of all Year 8 students, also welcomes contact from parents.
For students in Years 9 to 11, the Head of House should be the person who is contacted in the first instance as they oversee the progress of the students in their House. Parents are also able to contact subject teachers to discuss the progress of their child in a particular subject.
I also welcome contact with parents and can be contacted on T: 08 8276 0204 or via Email. If you have any concerns or you are not sure about something happening at school, please do not hesitate to contact any of the above people sooner rather than later.
For general enquiries the Senior School Office can be contacted on T: 08 8276 0251.
I remind parents that we like to acknowledge the achievements of our students, and while we know a great deal about our students, we are not always up to date with all they do outside of school. I encourage parents to let me know of any of your son or daughter’s success or achievements in activities outside the school, so that we can acknowledge them at an Assembly and in the eNews.
Head of Senior School