Westventure Camp 4 returned at the end of Week 8 and marked the end of the Westventure experience for Year 10 students. Westventure is an essential part of a Westminster education and has been experienced by students for almost as long as Westminster has existed. The benefits to students experiencing life outside of their comfort zone and working through problems with others to achieve a solution is invaluable and one which today employers are looking for in prospective employees.
The encouragement that each student receives from their peers and the instructors allows them to achieve things they would have normally considered not possible. A strength of our program is that all the instructors are Old Scholars who have each been through the Westventure experience and understand the philosophy and benefits of the program. A very big thank you to Mr Sam Ferguson ('10) who took over from Mr Rob McLean ('99) as Head of Westventure, for his leadership of the program and ensuring there was a high quality experience for each of the students.
This term has been an interesting one to say the least and has required a high degree of resilience from the students and staff as they have worked through the increasing impacts of the COVID-19 virus. It has meant teachers working to change their delivery from one which is in the classroom to one that is online. This has certainly been a challenge as we continued to run classes at school while having an increasing number of students at home.
The students have missed out on some of the usual Term 1 events such as Sports Day which brings students in each of the Houses together. It is also an opportunity for the Student Leaders to show their leadership. I would like to commend the Student Leadership Team and the Year 12 students in general for the way they have shown leadership during this time and look for alternative activities to initiate. We are planning to reschedule this event later in the year along with other events that have been postponed.
One of the real positive experiences this term was the number of Year 12 students who shaved their heads to raise money for Cancer Research. The total they have raised is currently in excess of $17,000. To achieve this total when it is not possible to have assemblies or House meetings to promote the event is a credit not only to the students who shaved their heads, but also the Westminster Community to show their support.
The Year 7 and 8 students have fitted in very well and I have been impressed by their friendly and cheerful manner. The work by Head of Year 7, Mrs Jane Edwards and Head of Year 8, Mrs Kate Johns and the Year 7 and 8 Class teachers has been critical for such a smooth start to life in secondary school.
I wish all students and families a safe and healthy break.
Head of Senior School