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Planning for Westminster School began in the late 1950s. People of vision were convinced that Church schools were desirable and there was an urgent need for a second day and boarding Methodist boys’ school in Adelaide.
In 1957, land in the south western Adelaide suburb of Marion was purchased and funds continued to be raised over the subsequent years.
On 19 June 1960 the Foundation Stone was laid, marking the construction of the first buildings of Westminster.
The School opened on 7 February 1961, comprising 143 boys – 86 in Years 1 to 7 and 57 in Year 8. One building was used for classrooms, offices and a common room for staff. Twenty-eight boarders lived off campus for the first year at Shaftesbury House in Adelaide. An oval was also prepared and many trees and shrubs planted. The Headmaster’s residence and sports change rooms completed the first wave of buildings to be erected.
After 17 years as a boys’ school, coeducation was introduced in 1978 across all year levels, requiring the first accommodating changes to be made to the School’s infrastructure. In 1993, girls commenced boarding at Westminster by taking up residence in self-contained home units at the southern end of the School grounds.
Westminster has steadily grown into a leading coeducational school, offering an extensive curriculum that encourages all students to achieve more than they thought possible.
Academically, Westminster students always achieve excellent results. Our Year 12 cohort achieves results that are consistently amongst the best in the state.
Today, with a balanced number of boys and girls comprising around 1200 students, the School has grown to a 23 hectare (57 acres) campus with separate areas for an Early Learning Centre, Junior Primary (Reception to Year 2), Middle and Senior Primary (Years 3 to 7) and Senior School (Years 8 to 12). There are four main ovals in the ‘green space’ of Westminster’s grounds, which also includes three soccer pitches and numerous tennis, netball, and basketball courts.
Two large venues of note, which have had a significant impact on Westminster life, are the superb Sports and Swimming Centre, opened in 2003, and our exceptional 1000-seat Performing Arts theatre opened in 1988 and still considered to be one of the best of its type in Australia. In 2013, the new Boarding Precinct opened to incorporate the Girls’ Boarding House, the new Boys’ Boarding House, and the new Coeducational Recreation Centre. The School also owns ‘Glenroy’, a 68-hectare property on the banks of Lake Alexandrina, and the Westventure campsite at Point Sturt, both of which are used extensively in our Outdoor Education program.
Even from its earliest years, Westminster has always had a strong international focus to ensure our students have the opportunity to appreciate the world in which we live. Westminster is a member of Round Square, an international association of schools.
In 2011, Westminster celebrated its Jubilee of 50 Years, which was captured in the School’s history book ‘A Venture in Faith’ by renowned historian Rob Linn. While the School community enjoyed the year-long celebration to acknowledge milestones and historic events, we are looking forward to what the future holds in terms of advancing learning and student care. Building on the expectations of our students and families, the support of dedicated staff and the strength of a wonderful community, both past and present, Westminster will never be at a standstill while it remains at the forefront of education and student wellbeing.