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

Early Learning to Year 12

Head of Senior School - Edition 8 - 2021

Resilience in the Outdoors

Friday of Week 5 saw the end to the year level camps that the students in Years 7 to 10 students were involved in as part of their learning experience at Westminster. This year, the Year 10 students undertook Westventure during Term 1, the Year 9s chose either bushwalking, kayaking or mountain biking in either Week 1 or 2 of Term 2 which was introduced for the first time this year. The Year 7s went to Douglas Scrub in Week 3 and in Week 5 the Year 8s spent time at Mylor and also hiked along part of the Heysen Trail at Deep Creek.

As most of you would be aware our Wellbeing program uses the work of the Resilience Project operated by Hugh van Cuylenburg which focuses on building resilience through Gratitude, Empathy and Mindfulness. The camps program is also focused on developing resilience through providing challenges for the students to overcome, often with the support and encouragement of others.

Within all of these camps there is time for reflection on what is good about their lives and being grateful for family and friends. Without mobile devices, students are able to be mindful and not be distracted by the technology and access to social media. They engage in meaningful conversations, learn things about others and also themselves. They even begin to appreciate the environment they are in. They also begin to feel comfortable in being in uncomfortable situations, confident in the knowledge that they have the ability to work with others to find the desired outcome. These experiences also encourage students to be more empathetic and look for ways to help others who may be finding situations difficult and then enjoy the success together. I often see this during the group 17-kilometre challenge at Westventure where, as a group of different fitness levels, they use the various abilities of each individual to complete the run together.

One unique feature of the Westminster program is the large number of qualified Westminster Old Scholars who are involved in the various camps. None of these camps would have been possible without the passion, skills, and hard work of our Outdoor Education staff. Thank you to Sam Ferguson ('10) for his expert running of Westventure and Julie Engelhardt for her exceptional organisation of the other year levels camps with the help of Gordon Begg, Rob McLean ('99) and Sam.

The students have given feedback and I know the staff are looking at ways to ensure the experiences that are provided to students achieves the desired outcomes of making our students not only appreciate the environment but to develop resilience and confidence to face the challenges that life will throw at them in the years ahead.

Parent Seminar

On Monday evening of Week 5, Lael Stone presented The Connected Parenting Workshop which offered a valuable set of tools for parents and caregivers aimed at raising children through positive connections and communication.

The 90-minute workshop provided parents/caregivers with:

  • a guide for our children to become resilient adults;
  • practical strategies to build stronger connections with your children;
  • ideas to support your children when they are frustrated or going through challenging situations;
  • simple ways to create cooperation;
  • dealing with our own triggers as a parent;
  • understanding big emotions and feelings and assisting your kids in becoming emotionally resilient.

Lael Stone is an author, TEDx speaker, counsellor and parenting educator who specialises in navigating trauma and disconnection in families. She has spent the last 17 years working with families, as well as running programs in secondary schools for teens on relationships and wellbeing. She has three grown-up children and is the co-founder of Woodline Primary School, a new innovative school focused on supporting emotional intelligence in children.

The attendance of around 200 parents was one of the largest we have had for a parent seminar.

Whole School Photo

Monday 24 May was a perfect day to take a massive photo of students and staff from ELC to Year 12. For safety reasons, the photo was taken in sections and stitched together to make the impressive, large photo you will receive as a laminated poster or board-mounted picture.

If you haven’t yet ordered your copy, you can still do so through this link: www.trybooking.com/BRGLA.

Normal price is $69.50 for this photo but if you place your order by COB Monday 31 May, you will receive the special 60th Anniversary Year price of $49.50.

Westminster Shop and Qkr! App

As of Tuesday 1 June, the Qkr! app, currently used for canteen ordering, can be used to order your uniform requirements through the Westminster (Uniform) Shop.

If you are familiar with the Qkr! app, you will see on access that it has been extended to allow you to place a uniform order and pay for it.

When an order is placed:

  • orders for Preparatory School students will be delivered to their classroom
  • orders for Senior School students will need to be collected from the West Shop
  • same-day delivery will be possible if an order is placed by 9.30 am on a school day (this information is also on the app)

Additionally:

  • all School bus tickets can be purchased on the app
  • all uniform items can be purchased through the app, including co-curricular sport, supporter merchandise, stationery and hair accessories.

The West Shop staff, led by Sue Weber, will be pleased to assist you should you have any queries in regards to using Qkr! for uniform purchases (see Westminster Shop article for contact details and Shop hours).

If you are unfamiliar with how to install Qkr! on your device, please download the Qkr! easy set-up guide below.

David Wallage
Head of Senior School