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

Early Learning to Year 12

Head of Senior School - Edition 14 - 2018

End of Term

When I look back on Term 3 and reflect on what the staff and students have achieved, it is certainly true that Westminster works very hard at providing a broad range of opportunities for our students to develop their talents and follow their passions. I'm sure both staff and students are looking forward to the holidays, to have a break before commencing the final term for 2018.

The Green and White Formal saw over 400 students and staff enjoy a wonderful evening. It was a credit to the students who were involved in the planning of the event.

The Music Department enjoyed a week of having a three professional musicians on campus, working with students from across the whole school, and we were all entertained on the Friday evening at Music Night. It was clear that that all the musicians had formed a positive relationship with the students, and had challenged them to be better. While on the topic of Performing Arts, the Year 11 Drama students gave excellent performances in The Girl Who was a Hundred Girls. In addition to this, audiences were entertained by the dancers in the SACE Dance Concert, which was preceded by the Australian Made Concert, choreographed by our Stage 2 Dance students.

From a sporting perspective, the annual Intercol against Pembroke was an event that showed the intensity of school spirit that exists within the school. I was very proud of the way that our students competed and supported each other in a positive and honourable manner. Often it is not until after events such as these have finished that we see what it means to our Year 12 students to be a part of Westminster.

There have been numerous fundraising events this term, often associated with food! These have been run by students through their Houses, Tutor Groups, or as individuals passionate about a disadvantaged group. Most notably, there were two major events, the first of these being the Whole School Walkathon to raise funds for the Hutt Street Centre. Secondly, the Year 8 Gala Day helped to support the Harris Family Seeds of Hope Foundation and raised over $5,000 during one lunchtime. The collaboration, leadership, and confidence displayed on this day was exceptional.

In addition to these events, our students have also conducted themselves extremely well in other sporting competitions, debating, Future Problem Solving, Outdoor Education expeditions, and of course the day to day academic pursuits - in particular, the Year 12 students who are getting very close to their last day of classes and completing all their class work and non-exam assessments.

Throughout Term 3, Year 11s have been running Chapel services. This approach began several years ago and allows each Year 11 House Tutor group to present the three Chapel services for a week. They decide on the theme and then plan a service which provides an opportunity for the rest of the school to reflect and become more aware of the issues that are important to them.

All of these events and many others provide opportunities for students to not only develop their individual talents but also to provide learning opportunities such as planning, promoting, working in teams or groups, managing time, and thinking creatively, to name a few. They also provide balance to the academic program and can often enhance a sense of engagement within the school community.

I thank all staff and students for the contribution they made to make Term 3 enjoyable and successful.

Year 12 Students

This is not really a holiday period for Year 12 students – they will get their opportunity to relax after exams and final assignments are completed.

My advice to Year 12 students is to schedule around 15 hours of study per examined subject over this period - including Revision Courses, if you are attending any. If you are taking holiday courses, keep concentration levels up during these by taking notes and clarifying everything in your mind. Complete final drafts of major assignments that are still due in Term 4, rather than leaving it for when you are back at school.

Plan your days and meet the objectives you set for each day. Think about going to a University library or some other location if TV, friends, or family members are proving a distraction. Keep a list of things that need clarification from your teachers in the last term.

When Term 4 starts, you will only have eight days on campus before your last day, and on these days most subjects will be revising and any remaining major assignments will be due. The responsibility falls very much on you to respond seriously to this time and make the most of your opportunities. This is a time when you can really make a lot of headway. Conversely, if you waste this precious time, others are gaining headway on you.

I wish all students and their families an enjoyable holiday and look forward to seeing you all back next term.

David Wallage
Head of Senior School