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

Early Learning to Year 12

Head of Senior School - Edition 14 - 2020

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. This is particularly true given the constraints that have been imposed around COVID-19. When we see what is happening interstate, it is important to reflect on how fortunate we have been in being able to undertake many of the activities that we would normally do in Term 3 in a normal year. I'm sure both staff and students are looking forward to the holidays, to have a break before commencing the final term for 2020.

The Green and White Formal last weekend saw Year 11 and 12 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 has been able to have a number of performances this term with the Music Nights allowing the students to show their talents and entertain without outside artists. While on the topic of Performing Arts, the Year 11 and 12 Drama students gave excellent performances in “Four Pay Days” and last week we were entertained by the dancers in the SACE Dance Concert and Australian Made Concert, which was 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 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. These have been run by students through their Houses, Tutor Groups or as individuals passionate about a disadvantaged group. The Year 8 Gala Day helped to support the Harris Family Seeds of Hope Foundation and raised in excess of $3,500 during one lunchtime which was an amazing effort given some restriction around the types of stalls they could have this year. 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, their 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 classwork 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 a Chapel service to their peers. They decide a 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 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 the sense of engagement with the School community.

The unique circumstances of 2020 have required the staff and students to be creative and resilient to provide activities to bring the community together and engage in activities which create the sense of community that is synonymous to Westminster. The opening of the new Inquiry and Innovation Hub was a particularly special moment and the positive reaction of the students as they walked through the building for the first time was all we could have hoped for and more. The students look very comfortable in the building and many have found a place to study quietly and also to work collaboratively in the various locations that exist.

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

Year 12 Students

The upcoming term break 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, personal electronic devices, 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.

Uniform

I would like to take this time to remind students to ensure that they return for Term 4 wearing their uniform correctly and that they are also complying with guidelines around jewellery and hairstyles.

Year 7 SAPSASA Representatives

In recent weeks our young Year 7 athletes have enjoyed some wonderful success at Soccer, Netball and Football SAPSASA competitions. Our Westminster students represented their school and their regions beautifully with wonderful sportsmanship and really great performances on the court and the field.

In SAPSASA Soccer, our Year 7 Westminster reps were Seven Ding and Zachary Tucker (along with his younger brother Axel in Year 6). The boys played really well and represented our school and their region proudly. Our boys scored plenty of goals. The South West side won one game and drew another.

Our wonderful Westminster footballers also played really well in their SAPSASA Football competition. Jack Alver, Tim Alver, Lucas Doe and Patrick Hutchins (along with wonderful Year 6 footballer Charlie Bradford) all played great footy and did our school proud. They helped their team come third in the competition.

In SAPSASA Netball our Westminster girls made up half the team. Sophia Edwards, Milla Liptak, Eliza Maloney, Jazz McKay, Harriet Robertson and Amahli Siebum played some wonderful netball for the South West Region, losing only one game to Airport which saw them come second in the competition. A wonderful effort. These girls played three games of SAPSASA Knockout on Monday, followed by nine games of SAPSASA comp and rounded out the week with a great win on Saturday against Pembroke. A big week.

The competition continued for them when they played in the finals of the Knockout competition on Thursday 24 September at Priceline Stadium. Unfortunately, despite their hard work, they unfortunately lost the Grand Final match by five points. They were joined by other Year 7 netballers Eva Bratkovic, Tahli Charles and Emily Mableson as well as two wonderful Year 6 netballers, Adelle Parkinson-Need and Millie Sposato.

Traffic Management

We all know how busy Alison Ave can be around school drop-off and pickup. We respectfully ask that all care is taken when travelling along Alison Ave and entering/exiting out of Gates 1, 2 and 4. The speed limit is clearly signed within the School grounds as a maximum of 10 km and coming into and out of the grounds has to be done at a reduced speed. Outside, the School zone effectively runs from the Prep crossing south to the roundabout at Shetland Ave. It is a large zone that requires all drivers to be mindful and watchful of pedestrians (students and passers-by) and all other road users (parents, local drivers and cyclists). We sincerely thank you for your understanding and effort to be vigilant, courteous, alert and safe at all times in our School zones.

Parent Survey

ISV, the survey research company, still has the School Satisfaction Survey open and is asking parents to please respond in order to build the best picture possible as to what our parent community feels about Westminster School. A reminder will be emailed to all parents before the end of Term 3, asking that you do set aside a few minutes to complete the survey, even if in the school holidays. As individual responses are completely confidential, we are unaware who has responded or not so please accept our apologies if you receive a reminder, even though you may have previously submitted a response.

David Wallage
Head of Senior School