A Uniting Church coeducational independent day and boarding school on Kaurna Country, Adelaide, South Australia

Early Learning to Year 12

Head of Senior School - Edition 14 - 2019

Student Leadership

On Friday the 2020 School Captain and Vice Captain are announced at the whole school assembly. The process that the Senior School follows is to ask our current Year 11 students to nominate to be a School Leader, and then students and teaching staff vote for School Captain and School Vice Captain. They also select another twelve students for School Leader positions.

During the first week next term, each House will elect their House Captain and House Vice Captain, after which School Leaders will be determined based on the voting results. As with any election, there will some students who will be disappointed that they did not achieve one of the positions, however there are many other leadership positions available within the Senior School. I would remind all students that there are always times when leadership skills have to be applied and as such we all have the opportunity to show leadership.

During Terms 2 and 3 the Year 11 students have each led a week of Chapel Services, with each House preparing and presenting three services for the week. We have been doing House Chapels for several years, and each year the quality of the message improves. Each Year 11 Tutor group chooses a theme and then addresses it in a Christian values context using bible readings, prayer, video clips and music. This is one way the older students are showing leadership and providing a positive role model to the younger students, and are setting a standard which future years will aspire to when they are in Year 11.

I would like to publicly thank all the Year 11 students, Year 11 Tutors, House Heads and School Chaplain, Rev Phil Hoffmann for their involvement in these services.

Lion Dance Incursion

The Lion Dance has been part of Chinese culture for thousands of years. It is performed in Adelaide for many occasions, such as Chinese New Year Street Party and the OzAsia Festival. Our Chinese teachers recently had the opportunity to bring a Lion Dance Troupe to Westminster, to give our Year 7 and 8 Chinese students an immersive cultural experience and allow them to practice their Chinese language skills. Our students not only watched the Lion Dance performance, but also participated in a variety of workshops to learn the Lion Dance tricks.

Here are some reflections from our Year 7 students:

"I loved the Lion Dancing workshop. It was a really fun day with lots of activities to do. I really liked playing the instruments and putting on the lions. I would love to do this again!" - Sienna Jones

"I think that the Lion Dance was a lot of fun, because we got to learn about how the Lion Dance is performed, and all the other things like the drums and the clown. I found it is very cool to learn and I love eating the dumplings we got for lunch. My favourite thing was to dance in the lion costume. Really cool." - Braydan Gayler

"I loved the Lion Dance workshop. All the movements of the lion and clowns were fun and the drumming was AWESOME!" - Leo Cretan

"I really enjoyed learning how to dance and move like one of the clowns in Lion Dance. It was a new experience for all of us but it ended up being great fun. I also really enjoyed learning the lion dance movements." - Summer Wong

"I really liked the lions and drumming. It was really interesting to understand Chinese culture." - Isaac Noori

"I think the whole performance was very interesting and fun to experience. The drumming was very fun to learn because the beat was catchy and fun to dance to." - Nisha Sanap

Jing Zhou
Chinese Teacher

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 per examined subject over this period - including Revision Courses, if you are attending any. If you are taking 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.

Term 3

When I reflect on what has happened in Term 3, I come to the conclusion that we could not have done much more.

There have been subject information evenings, House Dinners, House and Co-curricular photographs and student seminars on safe driving and mental health. From an entertainment perspective we had the Year 11 Play, two Dance events, Music Week/Night and Big Band Bonanza. We competed in a wide range of winter sports which culminated in the Intercol competitions against Pembroke, our musicians performed successfully in the ABODA SA Band Festival and our athletes have competed in inter-school athletics events. The Outdoor Education department ran several expeditions ranging from mountain biking, rock climbing and bushwalking in various parts of the state. The Show Teams prepared steers, sheep and goats to be judged at the Royal Adelaide Show with success, while the F1 team won their division allowing them to be involved in the National competition.

The Year 12 students went to their last Green and White and the School Leaders prepared five breakfasts for students and staff.

Lunchtimes have been filled with concerts in the Cloisters, inter-House canoe polo, rehearsals in dance, drama and music, and various fundraising events. The International students provided lunch for much of the Senior School, and the Year 8 Gala Day raised in excess of $5,000 in one afternoon.

In addition to the above there have been many opportunities for students to further their learning by hearing guest speakers on a range of topics, and the chance to go on excursions to a variety of venues.

I’m sure I have missed other activities but none of what happens in the Senior School would have been possible without the support, organisation and passion of staff and their willingness to work with the students to make ideas become reality.

I thank staff and students for ensuring Westminster is never a boring place and there are opportunities for everyone to find an activity develop their passion.

I wish students and families an enjoyable holiday and look forward to seeing the students back for Term 4.

David Wallage
Head of Senior School