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 9 - 2022

Term 2 draws to a close

Term 2 has been a very busy one and has seen the School move closer to normal in regards to the activities that we have been able to have. Assemblies, House Meetings and Chapel returned to being face to face which emphasised that it is much more fun to physically be together.

House competitions have continued with Cross Country, Chess and Basketball being held this term. We have celebrated the Sailing and Girls’ Surfing teams being State Champions, earning the right to compete in their respective National Competitions. Big Band 1 and West Direction both achieved podium performances at the recent online Generations in Jazz Competition which involved schools from across Australia. Three students, Stella Byrne, Andrew Draper and Shalin Bigwood were selected in the Division 2 Superband at the end of the performances. We have also acknowledged many impressive individual sporting performances, the most recent being Jessica McManus winning Gold in the U18 1500m and Silver in the U18 800m and Angus Hincksman winning Gold in the Men’s Para 1500m at the Oceania Athletics Championships.

Over the past three weeks, we have been entertained by our Performing Arts students. The Year 11 and 12 Drama students performed Waiting over a three-night season with many outstanding individual performances. The Dance Allsorts concert showcased the talent of our dancers across the Senior School. I am always impressed by the creativity of the choreography of the individual group performances. Finally, we were entertained by a variety of bands across the whole school on Tuesday evening of Week 7 and the Vocal ensembles performed on Wednesday evening. I always feel grateful to work in a school with so many talented students and staff who work so well together to produce such high-quality performances.

The term has finished with the Year 11 and 12 students sitting their mid-year exams this week and there is a Careers Expo on Monday next week which will allow students to attend a variety of presentations from Universities, training organisations and industry groups. I hope the students take the opportunity to find more detail about areas in which they have an interest.

As the first semester comes to an end and reports are sent home, it is always an appropriate time for staff and students to review their performance, which often will be measured against goals that had been set at the beginning of the year.

I encourage all students to assess whether they are achieving their goals and making the most of the opportunities that Westminster has to offer in and out of the classroom. If targets have not been met then the reasons why have to be investigated. The first place to look is in the comments of the teachers, which often provide advice for improvement. Discussions with subject teachers, House Heads or other staff can also be helpful.

Once the information has been gathered it is then time for decisions to be made with respect to goals and how they are going to be achieved. Setting a long-term goal, whether it be a career, end-of-year results, or making a particular team or band, people need a target at which to aim. At this point, short-term goals will need to be set to aid in the achievement of the long-term goal. These goals should be achievable but challenging so that the achievement of the goals results in the growth of the individual and there is continued motivation to keep working towards the long-term goal.

Setting goals alone will not ensure success unless there is a strategy in place much of which is linked to persistence and hard work together with seeking help when required. Managing time effectively so that adequate time is allocated to academic study, co-curricular activities and just relaxing is critical and requires prioritising these areas of life. It is possible that the priorities of some students are not going to lead to the achievement of either their short-term or long-term goals.

Short-term sacrifices need to be made in order to achieve long-term goals. With only 13 school weeks left before Year 12 exams, the end of Secondary education is near for Year 12 students. There is still time to make significant improvement but only if a disciplined and positive attitude is maintained for the remainder of the year.

I encourage all students from Years 7 to 12 to spend some time during the holidays to reflect on their performance and honestly assess if they are working as hard as they can and are taking advantage of the opportunities that exist at Westminster and be the best you can be.


I ask that parents check that their son’s or daughter’s uniform complies with the School’s requirements. A reminder to all students that if they decided to colour their hair or have it styled in an extreme manner during the holidays they would need to have it changed before the beginning of Term 3. This also would apply to any piercings that students may have done during the holiday period. Placing band-aids or other coverings over new piercings is not allowed.

I would ask parents who have a daughter to check the length of their skirt or kilt and if they are above the knee to arrange to have the hem lowered.

I would like to wish all students a safe and enjoyable holiday.

David Wallage
Head of Senior School