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

Early Learning to Year 12

Head of Senior School - Edition 3 - 2021

The Resilience Project: Parent and Carer Information Series

For a number of years now at Westminster, we have worked closely with The Resilience Project across our whole school in order to provide opportunities for our students to develop high levels of wellbeing and understand ways of keeping mentally healthy. As part of this, we recognise the importance of supporting parents and caregivers to equip your children in these areas of their lives.

Programs offered by The Resilience Project are based on the following strategies:

Gratitude - Appreciating what you have, not begrudging what you don’t have.

Empathy - Thinking of the needs of others/kindness.

Mindfulness - Being present in the moment, not becoming distracted by unhelpful or negative thoughts. In 2021, we are pleased to be continuing our partnership with The Resilience Project. The Resilience Project delivers emotionally engaging programs and provides evidence-based, practical strategies to build resilience through their online wellbeing curriculum.

The Digital Program consists of online presentations and lessons for students, professional development for staff, and a video series for our parent and carer community.

Over the coming term, we will be sharing the Parent and Carer Program with you. The videos are 5-10 minutes long and will walk through the key pillars of Resilience: Gratitude, Empathy and Mindfulness. You will hear stories and be introduced to activities to show how these strategies can support our kids' learning and development, and also support you as parents and carers. We highly recommend you set aside just a few minutes of your day to engage with this resource.

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This program is an important part of Westminster’s effort to look after the mental health of our community. View the first presentation of the series here: Part 1: Meet Martin and learn about The Resilience Project.

We will share the remainder of the program, including research and wellbeing activities to integrate into day-to-day life, over the course of the semester.

But that is not all…

In addition to the online program above, on Monday 22 March you will have the opportunity to participate in a webinar hosted by Hugh van Cuylenburg. Hugh spoke to our School community about six years ago and was widely regarded as one of the best speakers we have had. I therefore strongly encourage you to set aside the time to join this zoom meeting at 6.30 pm on Monday 22 March.

During this presentation, Hugh will share his experiences and combine them with practical strategies that can be implemented every day to improve our overall wellbeing.

The link you will need to be part of the presentation is The Resilience Project Parent Webinar.

Morning and Afternoon Traffic and Parking

We are increasingly seeing a number of parents who are using the carpark inside Gate 4 as a drop-off/pick-up zone. This is the staff carpark and not intended for those purposes but for various reasons during the Campus Masterplan development, it is being used as such. While we see this as a temporary situation, it is essential that cars are pulled to the left, not double-parked or left unattended and the drop-off/pick-up needs to be done promptly to keep traffic flowing. As this carpark fills relatively early every school day, cars should not stop to block any empty spaces and drivers need to be mindful of blocking in cars at the end of the school day. We ask all drivers to be on high alert in and around this carpark as there is a constant stream of Music students moving between Music’s temporary arrangements, storage and the main School buildings.

We are also seeing some parents driving into the Inquiry and Innovations Hub’s Undercroft to drop-off/pick-up students. While Gate 3A is opened early each school day and stays open until about 4.30 pm to service this area, it is a designated loading/permit zone only that is locked on weekends. We respectfully ask that parents do not use this undercover space for drop-off/pick-up even if the gate is open.

To assist with making traffic flow as smooth as possible across the intense bursts of drop-off and pick-up times, the School is exploring alternative options within the campus to improve drop-off and pick-up zones.

During the first five weeks of term, Marion Council has had a strong presence from their traffic team out on Alison Avenue and surrounding streets issuing fines to those parking or stopping in the wrong zones. The Council have advised us that this presence will continue throughout the year and we ask that all parents and caregivers pay attention to the signage in these streets out of courtesy to our neighbours and to avoid an infringement.

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School Musical ‘School of Rock’

Tickets for 'School of Rock’ are now on sale - 7.00 pm on Monday 29, Tuesday 30, Wednesday 31 March. Before you book, here’s a reminder of the key points for your consideration:

  • There are just over 300 tickets available for the first two performances (Monday and Tuesday ) so you will see that the tickets are being sold in an alternate (chequerboard) seating plan – masks are not essential.
  • We ask that families select one of the first two nights only to attend (in the first instance) so that everyone gets a chance to see the show. From 9.00 am on the day of the two nominated community performances, any unsold seats can then be purchased by families who would like to see it more than once.
  • You may decide you want to see the show as a family so parents can book for their children as well, even if your child attends the ‘students and staff only’ night.
  • When you book, you will be assigned set alternate seats. On the night, families living under the same roof can close up the gap/s, as long as at least one seat is left on either side between your family and the next group.
  • Where you are sitting will determine which Murray Centre entry door you should access. The doors to be used will include the foyer doors and side doors of the Murray Centre – this is to avoid overcrowding in the foyer. On the night, there will be signs and people on hand to assist as well as the QR code check-in.
  • The ‘students and staff only’ night (Wednesday) is being classed as an Assembly, which allows for general seating and a greater capacity.
  • The Friends of Music team is drawing up a COVID-compliant plan to safely serve refreshments during the interval of all performances.

Monday 29 and Tuesday 30 March, 7.00 pm (set seating) – parents, families, friends – please book through this link: https://www.trybooking.com/BOXHX

Wednesday 31 March, 7.00 pm (general seating) – school students and staff only – please book through this link: https://www.trybooking.com/BPDBH

Prepare yourself for a night of great entertainment!

Road Awareness Program

On Tuesday this week the Year 11 students heard a presentation by the Metropolitan Fire Service on Road Awareness. Westminster has been involved with this program since its inception. The program involved a presentation from an officer from the MFS and focused on decision making with respect to improving safety on the roads. The presentation ended with Sam, a crash survivor speaking to the students about how her life has changed as a result of the accident in which she was involved.

I believe that this program can have a significant positive impact on the students due to the manner of the presentation and the repeated message that we are in control of our decisions when we are either a pedestrian, passenger or driver and that in all of the situations we need to concentrate on what is happening around us and being distracted by technology or being influenced by others can lead us to make poor decisions.

I would encourage parents of a Year 11 student to ask questions about the presentation and begin a conversation about being safe on the roads. It may also mean reflecting on our driving habits and the role model we are presenting. If you want further information about the program, please visit MFS Road Awareness Program.

Below are some of the comments from students:

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Student Achievements

We are always keen to acknowledge the achievement of our students and I would encourage parents to notify the school of any achievement of your son or daughter, particularly outside of school.

In a previous eNews there was mention of Westminster students who were involved with Pelican Productions theatre camp during the summer holidays. Some of our students were acknowledged with various awards:

Lily Laan (Year 7 Clark) - Spirit of Performance Award
Jack Keukenmeester (Year 8 Fricker) - Most Outstanding Music Theatre Performance Award
Ella Burgess (Year 8 Forder) - Director’s Award
Stella Byrne (Year 10 Dunstan) - Director’s Award at the Spotlight Camp

Sports Day

I would like to remind parents that the Senior Sports Day begins on the afternoon of Thursday 25 March and continues on Friday 26 March. This event is one of the highlights of the year and provides an opportunity for students to support each other in a wide variety of events over the two days. As it is an outdoor event, parents are welcome to attend and once the program of events is finalised it will be emailed to all parents. The Houses will begin working towards filling all the events across all the year levels. It is great to see the interaction between the students and how they support each other, even if they not in the same House. Once each House has organised their team your child will be able to tell you the time they will be competing.

Chinese New Year Celebrations

Our staff and students have once again embraced a range of activities to celebrate Chinese Lunar New Year. Chinese students and International Students joined forces together and hosted a special lunch event on Friday of Week 5. Traditional Chinese New Year food such as fried dumplings and spring rolls were well received by all. Chinese fortune cookies and lucky lollies were also very popular!

Leading up to the event, we held a Kahoot Chinese quiz for all students from Year 7 to 12 and all staff, the top 10 student winners and top 5 staff winners were awarded a redeemable food voucher for free dumplings. Congratulations to these students and staff!

During the Chinese New Year period, students studying Chinese language have also participated in a variety of activities. They discovered the origin of the Chinese New Year story, sang Chinese celebration songs and learned special new year greetings. In addition, students were excited to learn many lunar new year folk arts and crafts, such as making red packets and lantern making, etc.

It was wonderful to celebrate and share this special event of Chinese culture with the school community. The benefits of having diverse background students are not only enriching the community, but also cultivating cultural intelligence and, hence raising global citizens.

Thanks to everyone for your participation and involvement. Welcome to the Year of the OX!

新年快乐,恭喜发财!

Wendy Lampard, Ruifang Huang, Jing Zhou
Language Faculty

Road Raise

Our Head of Senior Students, Tony Ritson ('93), has once again taken up the challenge to ride from Adelaide from Melbourne! Tony is participating in Road Raise for CanTeen, and will cycle a total of 1100 kms in seven days, travelling along the Great Ocean Road, to raise vital funds and awareness to support young people who have been impacted by cancer.

Tony would love your support with his fundraising efforts and you can donate to him below.

David Wallage
Head of Senior School