A Uniting Church coeducational independent day and boarding school in Marion, South Australia
Early Learning to Year 12

Head of Senior School - Edition 12 - 2019

Cultural Day

To promote and celebrate language and culture at Westminster, the Languages Faculty held a Cultural Day on Wednesday 7 August. The day consisted of a Languages Assembly, a cultural lunch and unique cultural workshops for language classes.

The Languages Assembly was led by talented language students Elizabeth Payne (Year 10 Jeffries) and Mitchell Lunn (Year 10 Jeffries). Students and staff enjoyed cultural performances, showcasing the three languages taught at Westminster – Chinese, German and Japanese. Ms Kaori Kamei and her Year 7 students performed dynamic Japanese Taiko Drumming. Chinese International Student Grace Li (Year 12 Woollacott) performed beautifully on the traditional instrument Pipa, accompanied by fellow students Kim Li (Year 10 Carter), Claire Zhang (Year 11 Jeffries), Vicki Zhang (Year 11 Clark), Yolanda Fang (Year 11 Heaslip), Betty He (Year 11 Dunstan) and Esther Zhang (Year 11 Dunstan). German Dancer Mr Reinhard Struve from the Adelaide Bavarian dance group ‘Bund der Bayern’ provided us with an interactive and fun experience of German culture.

For lunch, students and staff had the opportunity to purchase their favourite food. There was a variety of food available including Japanese teriyaki sushi rolls, Chinese spring rolls, fried rice and dumplings, and German sweets, berliners and bee sting slices. It was a wonderful event that brought the whole school community together celebrating our language and culture at Westminster. Thank you everyone for your participation!

Wendy Lampard
Head of Languages

Intercol

Last week saw the annual Winter Intercol competition against Pembroke School begin on Friday afternoon with the Girls’ Football and Badminton and end on Saturday afternoon with the 1st XVIII Football. I would like to congratulate all students who participated in the various matches and represented Westminster in a very positive manner. From what I experienced, the matches were played with not only competitive spirit, but also with a respect for the opposition players. There were several close wins, with the Girls’ Football winning by one point, Badminton by one game and a nail-biting win in Boys’ Basketball with a three-pointer from Joel Dyer (Year 12 Fricker) during the last few seconds of the game.

I was also proud of the way our students welcomed and hosted the Pembroke students at Westminster. I congratulate the students in the way they supported their peers in such an enthusiastic and respectful manner. To see so many people at Westminster during the competition certainly makes this competition between the two schools a highlight of the year.

Special mention to the winning senior teams either retaining or winning their respective trophy – these teams were Girls’ Football, Badminton, Netball, Boys’ Soccer and Boys’ Basketball.

Coping

As the Year 12 cohort begin the final phase of their studies involving completion of major assignments and preparation for the SACE Exams, I urge all the students to access help and support when they are feeling they are not coping with the tasks that lay ahead. With only seven school weeks left before the final day for Year 12, it can seem as if there is not enough time to complete all the requirements, but experience suggests that if this time is used wisely, significant progress can be made. I encourage students to listen and follow the directions of their teachers who have been through the Year 12 process many times and understand what is achievable providing you have your priorities in the correct order. Sacrifices need to be made to ensure you achieve the best possible results you can, while still maintaining a healthy balance. I would also add that establishing regular sleep patterns which allow you to obtain adequate sleep is also very important in keeping a positive frame of mind.

I came across the following advice to young people about coping with stress when visiting the ReachOut website. Below is an extract from the website; to read the complete article, please visit Building Better Coping Skills.

Positive coping strategies can help with:

  • Temporary stress relief
  • Long term stress relief
  • Tackling challenges
  • Increasing confidence
  • Increasing motivation

Why positive coping strategies are useful

Positive coping strategies are any actions you take to manage and reduce stress in your life, in a way that isn’t going to be harmful or detrimental in the long term. People who use positive strategies are not only better able to tackle challenges and bounce back from tough times, but they are also much happier.

Finding the right coping strategies

Pretty much any coping strategy which isn’t going to be harmful or ineffective in the long term is worth a try. However, you will probably find that some strategies work better for you than others in terms of how well they reduce stress and help you manage. It’s also worth noting that some strategies will work better or worse depending on the particular event/situation.

A mega list of coping strategies:

  • Turn to someone you trust. It can be a relief to share your thoughts with someone else, and it can be good to work through problems with the help of another person.
  • Write it all down. Keeping a notebook handy for you to scribble your thoughts in whenever you feel like it can be a great way of expressing yourself. You may find it helpful to write about what is worrying you, or express yourself in a more creative way.
  • Set aside regular time for yourself. Even if it’s just ten minutes of ‘you’ time, taking some space for yourself where you turn off your phone, spend time alone, exercise, meditate, or listen to music can really prepare you for tackling stress or challenges.
  • Walk away. Work out which situations you are likely to get most stressed out by. If you feel like you’re getting too angry, end the conversation, take some space, and don’t resume talking until you are calm and ready.
  • Overcome negative patterns of thinking through self-talk. Self-talk can help you see things from a more positive perspective and give a huge boost to your confidence.
  • Reduce your load. Sometimes you just have to accept that you can’t do everything. Keep track of your schedule and how you feel each day, and work out your optimal level of activity. You should be busy, entertained, and challenged, without feeling overwhelmed.
  • Consider the big picture. When you’re going through a stressful situation, ask yourself these two questions. ‘How important is this?’ and ‘will it matter in the long run?’ If you realise it doesn’t, it’s probably not worth getting too stressed out by.
  • Learn to forgive. Move on from hurt, regret and anger. Whether you are angry at yourself or someone else, it doesn’t help you to hold on to negative feelings like resentment.
  • Hone your communication skills. If you know how to communicate a problem well, it will help prevent conflict from escalating, and could help solve the cause of the stress in the first place.
  • Build your optimism. Optimism involves learning to think positively about the future - even when things go wrong. That’s not to say you pretend that everything is fine when it isn’t. Instead, it’s about looking objectively at a situation and making a conscious decision to focus on the good. It can be hard to do, but if you practice, you’re likely to get better.
  • Learn how to set goals.
  • Relax, man. Relaxation is a great way to refocus your thoughts, particularly when things are becoming a bit overwhelming.
  • Build your gratitude. Take some of your focus away from the negative things, and take five minutes each day to identify three things which you are thankful about.

I would recommend both students and parents to visit ReachOut.com Australia to access other useful information and advice.

Again I encourage all students to communicate with their families, and staff at school when they are not feeling positive. House Heads, our Head of Senior Students, the Wellbeing Team or other staff with whom you have a positive relationship will offer support, advice and encouragement.

Volleyball Fundraiser

Our Volleyballers are selling funky socks for Fathers Day! The funds raised will help the Senior School Volleyball teams go to Queensland for their end of year tournament.

Prices

1 x pair of socks = $6
1 x raffle ticket = $2
1 x pair of socks and 3 x raffle tickets = $10

Full details can be found on the poster which can be downloaded below. To purchase your pair please contact Kate Inglis, on T: 08 8276 0288 or via Email.

David Wallage
Head of Senior School