Welcome to Term 2! It is great to be able to teach face to face and have so many students back. The feeling around the school last Monday was one similar to what we have come to expect of the first day of the term, with students excited about catching up with friends. There are some students who have returned from interstate and have been in self-isolation but will return to school next week. Unfortunately, there are some students who have been restricted in returning due to government travel restrictions, particularly those from the Northern Territory and overseas.
It has been a time for students to reflect on the importance of being part of a group and that schools are not only places of academic learning but are also important places for socialisation and for being able to gain a sense of belonging. Talking with many students over the past two weeks, I have been impressed by the way that they have used technology to connect with friends in a genuine and thoughtful manner. There have also been examples where technology has been able to provide fun and entertainment to others. This has been very affirming because at times I have had to deal with students using technology to make life uncomfortable for others.
Talking to some of the Senior students it is clear that they are missing many of their co-curricular activities and I am hopeful that some of these will begin again as the government begins to relax some of the restrictions that have been in place over the past six to eight weeks.
On Wednesday of this week, I had a call from SAPOL alerting me to an incident that happened on the 3.45 pm Seaford train. It appears that there was a group of young boys who were harassing students from Sacred Heart Middle School and when Westminster students boarded the train it may have been possible that one or two of them were also harassed. The harassment was in the form of threatening physical violence, trying to take phones and also bikes from other passengers. It is my information that this group finally left the train at Christies Beach. I have asked students who travelled on this train to provide any information to me so I can pass it on to SAPOL in the hopes that they can attempt to identify the group and take action. SAPOL made it clear that from the feedback they have already received, the way in which both the Sacred Heart and Westminster students reacted and supported each other was to be congratulated.
If your child was present at this incident and you feel they have been impacted by what they experienced, please let me or their Head of House (or in the case of Year 7 and 8 students their Head of Year) know so that we can follow up and provide extra support where needed. We will have a staff presence at Marion Station over the next few afternoons and also on the train to provide support for the students.
Next week will be the last opportunity for students to wear their Summer Uniform. At the beginning of Week 4 all students must be in Winter Uniform. This will require all students to wear their blazer to and from School each day.
The exception to the above is students who have Physical Education, Dance or Outdoor Education practical lessons, who may wear School Sports Uniform with either the rugby top, tracksuit jacket and pants. It is hoped that for girls the school leggings will be available from the Westminster Shop very soon and they will also be able to be worn. Wearing the School Sports Uniform throughout the day reduces the need for students to be grouped together in change rooms and to allow us to practice physical distancing.
Please be advised that the new rugby top and tracksuit pants are currently sold out at the Westminster Shop. It is unlikely there will be any new supplies in the Shop until Term 3.
There are some boys who I have asked to get their hair cut as it does not comply with the uniform policy and I look forward to seeing a change by Monday of next week.
As always please do not hesitate to contact the School should you have any concerns regarding your son or daughter, so that we can support them appropriately. Heads of Year, Heads of House and the Wellbeing Team are available to talk through any concerns you may have.
The Australian Government recently launched the COVIDSafe App as part of their strategy to ensure that any cases of Coronavirus are dealt with swiftly, reducing the number of cases and fatalities across the country. While South Australia is leading the way in our efforts to reduce the 'COVID Curve', we would strongly encourage all families and members of the community to download this important resource. You can find out more information about the COVIDSafe App at www.health.gov.au/resources/apps-and-tools/covidsafe-app
With some additional measures in place to help with traffic movement in and out of the School gates into Alison Ave, the City of Marion has changed the parking arrangements on the eastern side of Alison Ave between Andrew and Orkney Aves.
This is now a NO PARKING zone, between 8.00 to 9.00 am and 3.00 to 4.00 pm on school days. These signs mean within these times on these days you are able to drop-off or pick-up to a maximum of two minutes and must stay in or within 3ms of your car. Since the beginning of Term 2, the City of Marion Ranger has been maintaining a presence along Alison Ave and has advised that a number of warnings have been issued. As of Monday 11 May, the warnings will stop and fines will be the norm if you disobey the signs in this stretch of roadway. Of course, we ask that at all times you observe the street signs in our neighbouring streets to avoid being penalised.
Another area of apparent congestion is the staff carpark that sits on the right-hand side of Barry’s Lane, through Gate 4. We finding increasingly that there are a number of cars waiting in the traffic lanes at the end of school, effectively stopping vehicles from being able to leave the carpark. Respectfully, we remind our community that this is not a ‘kiss and drop’ zone for cars to sit and wait for student pick-up.
Head of Senior School