Welcome to Term 2 which began in an exciting manner with the ‘soft’ openings of the Year 12 Centre on Monday last week and the Forder Centre on Tuesday. Both buildings further add to providing students and staff with outstanding facilities in which to learn and socialise. It has not taken the students long to take advantage of what each building has to offer and have felt comfortable in each space from the beginning.
Seeing students and staff interacting in the Dining area and Café is exactly one of the aims of providing such a space as the Forder Centre. The Martin Library has provided a variety of learning spaces for students to work in groups and independently. The Music and Drama students are enjoying the new rooms and also the views from the top floor.
The Year 12s have waited patiently for the furniture to arrive and are now making full use of the different areas within the Year 12 Centre. It is also great to have all the Heads of House in the same location, providing a central space for day to day pastoral care for our Senior School students.
Term 2 promises to be an exciting one with live performances for Music, Dance and Drama along with a very busy winter Sport program.
Westventure Camp 5 returned last Saturday 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's 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 and have 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 is also an Old Scholar and took over from Mr Rob McLean ('99) as Head of Westventure the program and ensured this was a high-quality experience for each of the students.
This year has been particularly difficult for Sam and his staff as they have had to work around a late start and a compressed time schedule including a camp beginning in the second week of the holidays. In addition to this, there have been multiple RATs administered at each camp, with some students having to return home after testing positive or arriving late after coming out of isolation, which would normally not happen. The fact that we got through all five camps and with students experiencing what Westventure has to offer is a credit to Sam’s leadership, flexibility and resilience and I am extremely grateful for what he and his team have done to ensure the programme went ahead.
As this weekend is the first exeat for Term 2 I have reminded students that they will be required to wear winter uniform from Monday 18 May.
Unfortunately, the Westminster Shop is experiencing difficulties in getting items from the suppliers which has caused delays on the boy's formal uniform. Due to the special dye on both the trousers and shirts, manufacturing of the material has been delayed and there are also significant delays with freight.
Senior Boys long sleeve shirts are out of stock in sizes 14, 16, 18, 20 and 22 and may not be in the Shop until the end of May.
If your child is waiting for items of clothing to become available, please let me know via Email so I can make allowances and advise staff.
Since the beginning of term, we have had a number of students and staff test positive to COVID. Unfortunately, there have been days when some students at school do not look well and later test positive. I ask that for the wellbeing of other students and staff, that you keep your child at home when they are showing symptoms associated with COVID and even the flu as it allows us to maintain a full staff and provide uninterrupted teaching.
As mentioned in the Principal’s email at the end of last term, we are introducing a new app called Bus Minder, which will allow buses to be tracked and provide a new way of purchasing trip tickets.
It is planned we will do a trial run starting next week and this will be on Bus Route E (southern trip to McLaren Vale/Willunga). Consequently, we have been recording names over the past week of students across all services. We will then directly contact those families who will need to know more about Bus Minder and how it works, starting next week with Bus Route E. Once we are satisfied that we understand Bus Minder’s operation and how it will benefit families, we will continue with the rollout for other bus routes, planning to have all services up and running on Bus Minder by the end of Term 2. While this will involve a new ticketing system, all current bus tickets purchased remain valid.
If your child has not been using a bus service over the past week but typically would at some stage during the term, please contact our Community and Communications Manager, Peter Trenorden (’77), E: email@example.com so that we can ensure you receive your information about Bus Minder.
As you would be aware, we are using a software program, Consent2Go to manage the planning of excursions including gaining consent from parents. When checking the medical information before excursions we have found that some students have anaphylaxis but the health plan has not been uploaded into Consenrt2Go. It is important that any health plan a student has is uploaded to Consent2Go as it allows us to provide the best possible care for our students. Some families would have given the school a hard copy of the plan but these are not uploaded. To ensure we have accurate medical information for your child/children I ask that you upload any health care plans for anaphylaxis, asthma etc. to Consent2Go as a matter of urgency.
Head of Senior School