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

Early Learning to Year 12

Head of Senior School - Edition 17 - 2021

Twilight Concert

Last Wednesday evening we were entertained by the curriculum musicians and dancers from Years 7 to 10. It was enjoyable to see the growth in confidence and standard of performance as the different year levels performed. I congratulate all the students and their teachers, Kellie Lenger, Chris Gould, Mike Degenhart, Jane Edwards, Carolyn Obst and Sophie Wilson. It is great to see all the students and staff having so much fun performing.

Year 7 FUSS

At this week’s assembly, Year 7 students talked about their FUSS projects. Indie Danger, Jordan Lucas and Austin Hocking are planning an experiment to see how much energy can be generated by riding an exercise bike. ‘If our experiment is successful, we will be able to produce results that can state how much money can be saved by using human power. If we could then find a way to store the power after a workout or something the results could show that more and more money for electricity could be saved if you did a workout about once every week.’. They have invited students to go to the Inquiry and Innovation Hub and ride a bike so they can measure out how much energy can be generated.

Adelle Parkinson-Need, Janet Wang, Naite Johnson, Armaan Shah, Charlie Bradford and Lucas Heazlewood created a video reflecting the fifteenth Global Goal for Sustainable Development - Life on Land, for their FUSS project.

Adelle and Janet presented to their peers, ‘We were brainstorming ideas on what we could do to help birds in the Westminster area. Then a lightbulb idea popped into our heads. We could raise awareness and motivate people to stop littering and to pick up rubbish. Because birds and other animals, sometimes mistake rubbish as food and we want to prevent this from happening so then we can have a safer and cleaner environment for ourselves and the wildlife around us.’

They encouraged the student population to pick up rubbish around the school and offered entry into a raffle with the price of a ticket being fifteen pieces of rubbish!

It was pleasing to see Year 7 students being confident and passionate enough to speak to the other students about what they are interested in and the imaginative ways they have used to get their ideas across to others.

Round Square International Conference 2021 'Blue Skies and Brave Conversations'

In Week 10 of Term 3, several of our senior students and staff members attended the Round Square International Conference online. This year’s theme was ‘Blue Skies and Brave Conversations’.

Although the original plan was to have the conference hosted in person in the UK, current travel restrictions meant Round Square Headquarters came up with an innovative and engaging alternative of holding a virtual conference, using the platform Gather.

The video game set-up was not only appealing to all of us, but allowed many opportunities for us to ‘mingle’ virtually with student and adult delegates from around the globe!

With Global Learning being such an important part of our education here at Westminster, this was a wonderful opportunity to listen to a variety of Keynote speakers such as Australian Slam Poet, Solli Raphael, UK Paralympian, Ade Adepitan, South African ‘Skinfluencer’, Ofentse Lekwane and US Founder of ‘Because I said I would’, Alex Sheen, just to name a few. Other opportunities were given each day to participate in activities and discussions about Identity and Inclusion, Climate Action and Ethical Leadership.

This year, Westminster also submitted our ‘Reconciliation Dance’ to the Main Stage, so Round Square schools around the world could see a taste of the amazing talent here at Westminster. Thanks to Miss Sophie Wilson, her dancers and helpers for putting that together.

Round Square is an incredible part of what makes Westminster what it is and although we are unable to offer our usual amount of trips, exchanges and activities at the moment, there are still many ways we can keep the Round Square connection alive.

Julia Chukwuani
Round Square and Exchanges Co-ordinator

Online Behaviour

From time to time I have to talk with students regarding their inappropriate use and behaviour when they are online. This can include online bullying, sexting and inappropriate content. Much of the behaviour occurs outside of the normal school day but as a school, we are prepared to become involved and deal with such behaviour. Depending on the situation this could be notifying parents and providing support for behavioural change to instituting sanctions for inappropriate behaviour.

There are many online resources providing information including free webinars to students, schools and parents to help teenagers be safe online. One resource is the eSafety Commissioner. I have found this site to be very informative with evidence-based advice and strategies. I would recommend all parents visit the site and look at what advice is provided by the eSafety Commissioner.

I welcome any contact with parents who may want support in ensuring their child acts in a safe manner when online.

Traffic

A reminder for all parents and visitors to Westminster to please be mindful of parking and traffic arrangements along Alison Avenue and in the surrounding streets. The City of Marion has recently been patrolling along Alison Avenue at drop-off and pick-up times to ensure vehicles are not being inappropriately parked, according to the signage in force, so please ensure you are familiar with where you are allowed to stop and park.

David Wallage
Head of Senior School