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

Early Learning to Year 12

Head of Senior School - Edition 6 - 2021

Welcome to Term 2

I welcome students and families to Term 2 and trust that the break was an enjoyable one. I hope that students took some time to reflect on their assessments from Term 1 and their teachers’ feedback in SEQTA, and to implement strategies to progress their performance.

Looking at the calendar for the Senior School, it looks to be a busy term ahead with a variety of activities happening.

As is the case with most holidays, there were a variety of activities involving Westminster students and staff. The holiday activities included an Outdoor Education bushwalk in the Innes National Park and I would like to thank the Outdoor Education staff, in particular Gordon Begg and Julie Engelhardt for their organising of this activity.

Our Sailing Team travelled to Goolwa to compete in the Schools State Regatta. Both teams represented Westminster very well both on and off the water. Westminster 2 finished seventh which does not reflect the quality of sailing they displayed in many of their races. Westminster 1 made it to the final against St Peters and, after beating them convincingly in the semi-final, they were not able to repeat the performance in the final and therefore finished second. Based on our results we will have one team eligible to compete in the National Schools Teams Sailing Regatta at Georges River, NSW in the upcoming holidays.

As can be seen, the opportunities for students to be engaged in a variety of learning activities does not cease at the end of a term and I know the students appreciate the extra effort staff put in to make these opportunities possible. I thank the staff for giving up part of their holidays to provide these opportunities.

Camps

During the first five weeks of this term the Year 7, 8 and 9 students will be undertaking an Outdoor Education experience. The first two weeks have seen the Year 9 students choose one of three activities from bushwalking in Innes National Park, kayaking on the Murray or mountain bike riding along part of the Mawson Trail. The Year 7 students will be going to Douglas Scrub at McLaren Flat and the Year 8 students will spend time at Mylor and also hiking along part of the Heysen Trail at Deep Creek.

Research project collaboration between Westminster and UniSA researchers

We are excited to announce a partnership between Westminster School and UniSA researchers.

We are interested in the factors that may impact the sleep of students with the broader goal of developing guidelines and policies to promote healthy sleep in school students. To help us achieve these goals, we will be undertaking an internet-based questionnaire asking students about their sleep and wellbeing.

We are also interested in obtaining a better understanding of the sleep of boarders. This is an under-researched area and at present very little information is available to inform guidelines and policies.

While our initial study has allowed us an insight into boarders’ sleep, we hope to hear more about their experience in boarding. The phase of the study will include a focus group discussion. Moderated by the researcher, a group of participants will have a discussion about sleep. The researchers will identify key themes from the student’s experience. In particular, we hope to ask students about any challenges they face, and strategies they use, to get a good nights’ sleep.

We expect that the result of this study will not only allow us a better insight into the sleeping patterns and links to wellbeing in boarding students but identify any barriers to sleep attainment in boarding and inform how we can promote good lifelong sleeping habits.

Participation in this research is open to all Westminster students between Years 7 to 12 and participation is completely voluntary. Students who elect to participate will go into a draw to win 1 of 10 $30 EFTPOS cards (five reserved for boarders and five for non-boarders).

When this study is complete a report will be provided to the School.

This project has been approved by the University of South Australia’s Human Research Ethics Committee (#203753).

More information will be available soon to students about participating in this project, including a link to the questionnaire on their SEQTA dashboard. In the meantime, if you would like to know more, please contact Andrew Junge, Director of Boarding (ajunge@westminster.sa.edu.au).

Alex Reardon ('17)
Psychology (Honours) Student - Sleep, Wellbeing and Adolescence
UniSA

Uniform

Students are permitted to wear summer uniform up until the end of Week 3 and then must wear the winter uniform from the start of Week 4. I ask families to ensure that their children have the correct items of clothing by this time.

Home Match Sport Catering

This Saturday for the first time we will be trialling food and beverage service from the first floor of our Thomas Pavilion. Hot food, bar snacks, sweet treats and beverages will be available from 8.00 am. A selection of beer, wine and spirits will be available from half-time of the 1st XVIII trial football match (approximately 3.15 pm), with catering services remaining available until 5.30 pm (last drinks at 5.00 pm).

Please note that this is a cash-less service – EFTPOS facilities will be available. Depending on feedback from the trial this weekend, we are hopeful that we will be able to continue providing this service throughout the year at our main sporting home matches.

Chinese Language and Culture Excursion - Student Reflections

During Week 10 of Term 1, the Year 8 Chinese students enjoyed an excursion to Norwood cinemas to watch a Chinese movie, followed by a delicious lunch at Eastern Garden Chinese restaurant. It was an opportunity for us to expand our knowledge and vocabulary leant over the last two years during our lessons. We were able to experience Chinese culture at its best and enjoy a variety of new dishes. Overall, the Chinese excursion was a great experience that all of the Year 8s thoroughly appreciated. We are very lucky to have Ms Lampard and Ms Zhou who organised the day. - Eliza Maloney (Year 8)

The Chinese excursion was a great experience as we got to watch a movie in Chinese. This allowed us to interpret and understand the Chinese language in a different context, advancing our Chinese vocabulary and furthering our knowledge of Chinese culture. It was really cool because I was familiar with some of the Chinese characters and could understand bits and pieces of the movie, which felt very rewarding because after studying Chinese at school, I am now able to benefit from it in different aspects of life. After the movie, we had a traditional Chinese lunch and ate lots of yummy food. We tried a variety of different traditional Chinese dishes and used chopsticks to eat our food, demonstrating our willingness to embrace the Chinese culture and develop an appreciation for intercultural differences. Overall it was a great day, and everyone had an awesome time. - Kayla Graham (Year 11)

I really enjoyed the excursion! I got to use my knowledge in understanding what we have learnt in Chinese class when we watched the Chinese movie. Then we experienced the traditional Chinese meal and the food was amazing. I really enjoyed the overall excursion. Thanks so much. - Harriet Robertson (Year 8)

The Chinese excursion held on Wednesday was a great reminder of the China Tour. I found it so much fun to use chopsticks. I was so excited I was able to understand so much Chinese language in the movie. The excursion was a great Chinese learning experience. - Corinna Lecons (Year 12)

It was a cool experience to watch the movie because it was all in Chinese. I understood the characters we learned like 我, 你, 和, 你好, etc. The movie had a really good storyline, and I really loved the plot twists. It reminded me of how China has heaps of amazing technologies. I really enjoyed the food too. I haven't been to such a nice Chinese restaurant before. I loved the spinning table in the middle because it was sufficient and easy to share the food around for everyone. The food was very tasty, and I enjoyed eating something different. Overall, I really enjoyed the excursion and I found it was a very fun day. - Lucia Rawson (Year 8)

This term I really enjoyed going on the Chinese Excursion. It was very interesting to go to a Chinese restaurant and try different foods from a different culture. My favourite part was the movie as it was a very fun experience. I loved being with my friends and trying foods that I have never had before. In the movie, I found it really cool to understand what the characters were saying as I had learnt that in Chinese class. Overall, the excursion was very interesting, and I really enjoyed it. Thank you. Xiexie! - Ella Green (Year 8)

I think the movie really helped with our Chinese learning. The movie "Boonie Bear" was a fun and creative movie. I noticed and recognised some of the Chinese characters that we have learnt in class. The story has taught me lots of things, not only the Chinese language but also the Chinese culture. It was a great movie to watch. The food was also really good. It gave me an opportunity to try some different foods. It was a great experience to go to a Chinese restaurant. Overall, I loved the excursion as it gave me a different look at learning Chinese at school. - Alice Mengersen (Year 8)

This excursion was very enjoyable and lots of fun. it was a great experience and very delicious food. Chinese is very fun, and I enjoy it a lot. Thank you to all the Chinese teachers. - Harry White (Year 8)

The Chinese excursion was lots of fun. The movie was really good, and we were able to understand a few of the words that were said. The food was really tasty, and it showed us more about what traditional Chinese food was like. This excursion was heaps of fun overall and I am really happy we got to do it. - Josh Bund (Year 8)

60th Anniversary Whole School Photo

Every five years since the early ‘90s, we have had a ‘whole School photo’ taken to capture our entire student and staff cohort as a moment in time in the life of the School. Many students, families, staff and Old Scholars, who have previously been involved, will remember that it is a massive logistical exercise to organise. However, we feel that the effort is worth it. With this year marking the School’s 60th Anniversary, we are keen to take full advantage of it being the most appropriate time in the five-year cycle.

An email will be sent to all parents and caregivers to outline full details but here are some key pieces of information to share in the lead-up to our day:

  • The scheduled day is Monday 24 May and it happens mainly in the morning – Tuesday 25 May is held in reserve if Monday’s weather is extreme and creates any concerns around safety.
  • All students from Early Learning to Year 12 take part.
  • Students from Reception to Year 12 are asked to wear formal School (winter) uniform for that day, meaning that Junior Primary students, normally in PE gear, will have their PE lessons structured so that it will not be necessary for them to change.
  • ELC students come to School as usual in their ELC uniform.
  • The photo is taken in sections and stitched together in production, meaning that we stagger the shoot to suit year levels.
  • The end result is a large laminated poster that has every student and staff member in the photo captioned. Students and staff unable to attend on the day due to illness will be marked as absent in the caption.
  • This year, being our 60th Anniversary Photo, the large format photo can be purchased as an earlybird special for a subsidised $49.50 each, delivered in the following weeks to the School for distribution. You will be sent an email with a link to a trybooking site to allow you to purchase at this earlybird price. If you have more than one child at Westminster you can order multiple copies as required. Beyond the earlybird date, the photo will revert to the normal price of $69.50. There will also be an option to have it mounted onto a board. All of these details will be outlined in the forthcoming email.

So, at this stage, please mark in your dairies that Monday 24 May is the day when we ask that your son or daughter come dressed ‘photo ready’ in their full School uniform.

It is a memorable event and the result is always impressive. This year, as we celebrate 60 Years of Westminster, it will make a great anniversary souvenir for your child’s or children’s time at the School.

David Wallage
Head of Senior School