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

Early Learning to Year 12

Head of Senior School - Edition 17 - 2018

Visual Arts and Creative Arts Exhibition

I would like to congratulate all the students who exhibited their work at the Visual Arts and Creative Arts Exhibition which opened Friday 16 December. The variety of work which included paintings, sculpture, graphic design, and photography showcased the talents of many of our students, and in particular the Year 12 students whose work was moderated earlier in the week.

In addition to this work, I enjoyed the results of the efforts of our Fashion Design students who produced a variety of garments which emphasised their creativity. It was also pleasing to see the teamwork between designer and model in several cases to ensure the clothing was presented the way the designer intended.

As a person who lacks artistic creativity, I am amazed by the results of the work of our students but such talent still needs to be guided, encouraged and developed by teachers. We are very lucky to have staff who not only have experience in exhibiting their own work but a passion to pass their knowledge onto their students. I would like to thank the staff for their efforts in creating an environment that encourages students to take risks and attempt new techniques, and then have the confidence to show their work in a public setting.

Farewell to Year 12

Tuesday this week saw the end of SACE Exams for students studying Stage 2 subjects, and on Thursday we have our annual Speech Day and the Valedictory Service and Dinner.

While Speech Day is a celebration of the achievements of many of the students for 2018 it is also a time for the Year 12 students to reflect on their time at Westminster. The two events which are specifically for Year 12 students and their families are the Valedictory Service and Dinner.

The Valedictory Service in the Michael Murray Centre is the last formal occasion for Year 12 students and their families at Westminster. Each student is presented a bible by the Principal and is given a letter from their parents as they are farewelled by their Head of House. The Service is followed by the Valedictory Dinner at the Morphettville Racecourse which will involve roughly 500 guests comprising students, parents and staff. This is an event where final farewells are said and the students wear their uniform for the last time. They officially become Westminster Old Scholars after the dinner.

This is an important day in the life of Westminster, and in particular for the Class of 2018, some of whom have spent all of their pre-school, primary and secondary education at Westminster. As I reflect on this group of students, there is no doubt that they are a diverse group of individuals with an amazing variety of talents which they have been eager to share with the rest of the School Community. I have appreciated the way they have led the school and provided examples of positive and caring behaviour to each other and younger year groups. One example of this has been the way they have supported each other and encouraged the school to give generously for causes to which they have a personal connection with and resulted in record funds being raised on Casuals Days in particular.

Often the ATAR is seen by many as the measure of how successful a student has been during their final year of school, and whilst it does allow students to obtain direct entry into University courses of their choice, it does not measure everything that a student learns and achieves during their schooling and the qualities they develop. The ability to take risks, to show support for one another, to be part of a team and to work collaboratively and engage confidently with others cannot necessarily be measured by a score, but are very important in today’s ever-changing world. In my experience, these qualities are what characterises a Westminster Old Scholar and are sought after by employers.

I wish all Year 12 students the best for their results and their futures whatever they may do and wherever they may travel.

Westminster's War on Waste

We are calling for items that we can recycle as part of Westminster’s “War on Waste” project.

This project is part of the Years 8 to 10 classes week of STEAM activities with a focus on reducing, reusing and recycling. The students will be making everything from superhero capes for children in hospitals, musical instruments from a variety of rubbish items and creating original artworks.

Can you please send any of the following items in with your children over the next week – a good chance to have a spring clean!

Items can be left at Main Reception or at the Prep School Office.

Card, various sizes and thickness
Kitchen roll tubes
Glass jars
Glass and plastic bottles (with lids)
Pipes, plastic smooth and with ridges
Bottle caps
Material old duvet covers, sheets, costumes, furry material, scrunchy material
Interesting items to use as plant pots e.g. gum boots,
Vases, plant pots
Spare seeds
Wooden boxes (small)
Packets of glitter and things that sparkle for sensory objects

Michelle Payne
Senior School Teacher

Remembrance Day

Staff Members Nick Finos and Kat Elliott attended the Marion City Council Remembrance Day ceremony at Edwardstown Soldiers’ Memorial Recreation Ground with students Sacha Mutze and Lakara Stallan. Sacha and Lakara presented talks on recent research they had conducted, and spoke with Member for Badcoe, Jayne Stinson about their work. Sacha had researched Sister Gladys Saltmarsh, a woman who served in World War I as a nurse, and Lakara researched Sergeant Douglas Grant, a remarkable Aboriginal man who overcame obstacles of racism, fought in the Great War and was awarded the Victory Medal and the British War Medal.

It was also pleasing to see students representing Westminster School at a number of other ceremonies. Our Principal, Simon Shepherd, joined students at Marion RSL to lay a wreath on behalf of the School, while some of our Senior students laid a wreath at the War Memorial on North Terrace.

David Wallage
Head of Senior School