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

Early Learning to Year 12

Head of Senior School - Edition 13 - 2020

Social Media

Like many others, I have been made aware of a graphic posting on a variety of social media platforms including Tik Tok and Instagram. While I did not want to draw undue attention to the actual post, I would encourage parents to be watchful of their children in case they have viewed the post and it has caused them to become upset. If this has been the case in your family then please don't hesitate to contact the School for support and guidance. Alternatively, there are a number of organisations that may also help with support and these include:

  • Kids Helpline - 1800 55 1800 Phone support is there all day, every day. Online support is open from 8.00 am to midnight every day (AEST), https://kidshelpline.com.au
  • eHeadspace - 1800 650 890, Open 9.00 am to 1.00 am daily (AEST), https://www.headspace.com
  • Lifeline - 13 11 14, Phone support all day, every day. Online support is available from 7.00 pm to 4.00 am daily (AEST), https://www.lifeline.org.au
  • Beyondblue - 1300 224 636, Phone support all day, every day. Online support is available from 3.00 pm to midnight every day, https://www.beyondblue.org.au

For more general information on keeping young people safe while using the internet, I can recommend the esafety website (https://www.esafety.gov.au) which is operated by the Federal Government and provides many resources for young people and also parents. I believe the website can help in starting conversations around using safe strategies while online. Due to COVID-19, we have unfortunately not been able to invite guest presenters into the school to talk to year level groups about safe internet use this year, however, there are always ongoing conversations within the School around this matter. One other resource is Susan McLean who has visited the school on several occasions to talk to students, staff and parents on the matter. Susan has a website with many useful resources that you can access here: http://www.cybersafetysolutions.com.au

Again, I would encourage any parent who would like information or support on how to keep their children safe when online to contact the School as we are more than willing to help in this area.

Year 11 and 12 Play

Last week I had the privilege of attending the Year 11 and 12 Drama production ‘Four Pay Days’ and found it to be a compelling and thought-provoking play. The quality of the performances from the students was outstanding and they should be congratulated on the time and effort they put in to achieve the quality of performance that they showed on each of the performance nights. Due to COVID-19, we were not able to have a standalone Year 12 play during Term 2 and the decision was made to combine the two year levels and assess each of the students on their performance in this play.

Our Head of Drama, Mr John Doherty, wrote the play to ensure that each student was given an opportunity to show their considerable talents. To be able to write a play focussing on contemporary social concerns using the current situation that exists not only in Australia but around the world with regards to homelessness is a credit to John's talent and I thank him for taking the time to ensure that each student was catered for in the production. I acknowledge that there were also Year 10 students involved in this production and thank them for their support of the Year 11 and 12 Drama students.

As this was the last play for the Year 12 students I would like to acknowledge and thank them for the entertainment they have provided over the years with their involvement in Drama at Westminster.

Year 8 Gala

Wednesday last week saw the Year 8 students run their Gala Day to raise funds for the Harris Family Seeds of Hope Foundation, which supports children in two orphanages. This year the students had to think more creatively around the types of activities they would run to raise money as the selling of food was limited due to new regulations around COVID-19. I was blown away by the effort that many students put in and also by the way that the rest of the school supported the students - both by spending their money and also by attending each of the stalls to provide encouragement. This event has certainly become a highlight of the Senior School calendar.

I would like to thank our Head of Year 8, Kate Johns and the team of Year 8 Tutors who supported and guided the students during the lead up to the day and gave ongoing encouragement on the day. The total amount of funds raised was over $3000, which is a great effort.

Sports Day

On Monday and Tuesday of Week 10, the Senior School will hold the Inter-House Athletics competition which we were not able to run at the end of Term 1. This event will start on Monday afternoon and will then continue for all of Tuesday. I look forward to seeing the competition between the Houses and watching students compete and support each other throughout the day-and-a-half of competition.

David Wallage
Head of Senior School