A Uniting Church coeducational independent day and boarding school on Kaurna Country, Adelaide, South Australia

Early Learning to Year 12

Head of Senior School - Edition 5 - 2022

End of Term

This term has been an interesting one to say the least and has required a high degree of resilience from students and staff as they have worked through the continuing impacts of the COVID-19 virus. We started the year with the Year 7, 8 and 12 students at school being taught face to face and the remaining year levels being taught online. By Week 3, we welcomed everyone back and it was good to see all face to face teaching. As the term has progressed, we have seen both students and staff isolating at home and we have had situations where the students are at school but the teacher at home and when able, teaching online from home!

Such situations have required a high level of resilience from both the students and staff to ensure learning has been continuous throughout the term. I think it is fair to say that as we are nearing the holiday period, students and staff are looking forward to the break.

We have had to postpone some of the usual Term 1 events such as Swimming Carnival and Sports Day which bring students in each of the Houses together. These events are 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 looked for alternative activities to initiate House spirit. The frisbee and Mario Kart interhouse competitions have been two initiatives that have provided those opportunities for students to engage in their House. We are planning to reschedule Swimming and Athletics in Term 3.

The Year 7 students have fitted in very well and I have been impressed by their friendly and cheerful manner. The work by Head of Year 7, Mr Jon Dyer, and Year 7 Class teachers has been critical for such a smooth start to life in secondary school.

Westventure has been a challenge this year with the late start to the camps and then managing COVID on each of the camps. The extra work for the staff is very much appreciated, particularly when they are also managing the testing regime for students and staff and working with a shorter turnaround time between camps. The feedback from many of the students is that they have gained personally from the experience. A very big thank you goes to our Head of Westventure, Sam Ferguson for his leadership of the camp and also to his team of instructors for their energy and enthusiasm. We have one more camp to go which leaves during the second week of the holidays.

Next term will be an exciting one as we move into the new Forder Centre and the new Year 12 Centre, with the old Fricker Centre being demolished during the holidays. Both of these buildings will further improve the environment within the Senior School.

I extend a very warm thank you to the staff of the Senior School including all the support staff who have worked tirelessly to ensure we continued to operate and provide quality experiences for the students. I also want to thank all the students for the way they continued to cope with the ongoing uncertainty they experienced during the term around the COVID guidelines.

I wish all students and families a safe and healthy break.

Change to Final Day of Term

As communicated by Principal Simon Shepherd by email yesterday, Term 1 will now finish on Wednesday 13 April, rather than at lunchtime on Thursday. The Wednesday will run as normal to the end of the day and will include any scheduled co-curricular activities unless specifically advised differently. The ELC and OSHC will also operate as a normal day on Wednesday and will now begin their holiday programs on Thursday, resuming these after Easter on Tuesday 19 April.

New Forder Centre – a Cashless Venue for Dining, Canteen and Café

As from Term 2, the new Forder Centre will be home to the School Dining Hall, Senior School canteen and community café.

These new facilities will operate as cashless in line with the School’s response to COVID, and that of other educational settings and many retail outlets, to avoid unnecessary handling of cash.

Currently, nearly 90% of transactions through the Senior School canteen are cashless.

All Senior School students will need to have at least a debit card to pay for their purchases in these new facilities (a separate system will apply to Boarding student meals).

The WestShop will also follow suit to become fully cashless, but the Preparatory School canteen will continue to operate with cash as an option.

Amendment to Policy - Child Safety and Wellbeing Policy

The School has recently made changes to our Child Safety and Wellbeing Policy. You can view the policy in full on our Governance & Policies page on our website.

David Wallage
Head of Senior School