Year 6 Adventurers

The annual Year 6 camp to Roses Gap left a chilly Adelaide on Monday 31 July with two busloads of excited children. It was a pleasant trip with a stop for recess at Tailem Bend, lunch at Bordertown, and a quick stop at Horsham before arriving just after 4.30 pm at the picturesque Roses Gap campsite, in the shadow of a towering Briggs Bluff.

After settling into dorms and the first of many fabulous meals, we had a visit from Jamie’s mobile zoo with a selection of Australian animals including lizards, a python, a sugar glider, and a dingo. Heeding their teacher’s advice about the importance of a good night’s sleep, the children settled well and were eager to go when they woke up on Tuesday morning.

Over the next three days, groups rotated through three hour sessions of abseiling down a 25m cliff, rock climbing up a 30m wall, bike riding, a bushwalk to Beehive Falls, a low ropes course, the awesome giant swing and flying fox, and finally canoeing and the challenging vertical playpen. Many of these activities definitely took children out of their comfort zone and it was pleasing to see that all were able to step up and complete the challenges.

The remainder of the week was action-packed involving activities ranging from a traditional Indigenous welcome ceremony, held around a roaring campfire listening to fascinating dreamtime stories of the local area; solving physical and mental challenges in our games night and a movie night.

The camp theme of helping each other and being a team was very evident, with many words of encouragement during activities and pats on the back when they were successfully completed. The activities at the Roses Gap camp bring the best out of our students and give them important skills that they can use at school and in life.

Special thanks to our parents Michelle Stallan, Kelly Bratkovic, and Collete Brijmohan who joined us for the week. We also welcomed our English GAP students Megan and Lois who had only just arrived in Australia. Specialist staff, Adam Thompson, Kelly Warren and Mary-anne Beck, ably supported our Year 6 teachers to help ensure that all children enjoyed the experience.

Junior Orator

On Wednesday 2 August, Westminster Preparatory School hosted the Grand Final of the IPSHA Junior Orator speaking competition. Ioanna Vaughan-Jones (Year 7 Crown), Mattias McCarthy (Year 7 Wyvern), and Taylor Daniel (Year 7 Wyvern) were successful in being part of the semi-final heats held in Term 2. From this, both Mattias and Taylor reached the Grand Final. Both boys performed outstanding prepared speeches of five minutes on the topic ‘The worst chores at home are….’. Taylor displayed wit and looked at chores with the theme of gratitude, and Mattias had a focus on humour through his speech. The boys then had 20 minutes to write and deliver a three minute impromptu speech. The competition was extremely intense and both students showed determination and a true ability to work under pressure. We are very pleased to announce that Taylor was successful in winning the overall competition, with Mattias taking home second place overall. This is one of the best overall results that Westminster has achieved in recent times. We congratulate both students on their efforts.

Sara Mori
Year 7 Teacher

Book Week Celebrations

During Week 5 students in the Preparatory School will be enjoying the best of Australian children’s literature, as we finally discover which of the shortlisted books have won first prize in the annual Children’s Book Council of Australia’s Book of the Year. Students have already been busily reading, viewing and discussing the shortlisted picture book titles appropriate to their age. This year’s Book Week theme ‘Escape to Everywhere’ has been very well received as students ponder the places and times that books can take readers. They have realised that reading books allows us to visit other countries, near and far, without booking tickets or even packing a suitcase. Some children enjoy the imaginative settings of books; others enjoy reading about the past or even travelling into the future.

To help celebrate this important week, we will have a special dress–up day on Wednesday 23 August. Students (and staff) are encouraged to come dressed as a character from a setting that they would like to ‘Escape to’. Suggestions from students have included escaping to space, a tropical island, the jungle, the land of dinosaurs, the world of fairy tales and even robot world. Students will be able to share their ideas and model their costumes during House meeting time on Wednesday. This will be a great opportunity for students to appreciate the rich diversity of Australian literature and have some fun during Book Week 2017.

We understand that the children can have some very creative ideas about what they would like to wear, but please remember that it is still a normal school day and therefore their outfits should be safe and comfortable. We hope you enjoy chatting to your children about the books they enjoy and the worlds they contain. We look forward to seeing their interpretations of ‘Escape to Everywhere’ on Wednesday 23 August.

Julia Baldwin and Vicki Porter
Preparatory School Librarians

Student Representative Council (SRC)

At a recent assembly, the Semester 2 Class Representatives were given their Badges of Office. Congratulations to Piotrek Kowalczyk (Rec JM), Leo Mather (Rec SM), Scarlett Swalling (Rec P), William Martin (Rec S), Mia Chen (1B), Evie Hamilton (1M), Henry Arnold (1S), Liyana Mawlawi (2F), Rhys McCarthy (2G), Oliver Maynard (2W), Hayden McHugh (3M), Brandon Wright (3D), Hannah Mori (3J), Sam McClarron (4LH), Michael Gough (4CH), Tigerlily Kovacic (4M), Jacob Frankel (5D), Alia Peerbaye (5C), Reilly Curran (5M), Jan McGinley (6CL), Kalan Knox (6VL), Harry Lunn (6W), Tayla Bartlett (7G), Lucy Kelly (7D), and Katarina Dinic (7M).

House Public Speaking

All students in Years 6 and 7 are expected to prepare a speech about a topic of their choice that lasts between three and four minutes. They are encouraged to rehearse this and to deliver it using clarity of expression, confidence, as well as making the topic appealing to the audience. The students then deliver their speech to their House group. Each House then nominates a finalist to represent them in the House Public Speaking Final.

This year the Year 6 finalists were Michelle Liew (Abbey), Katie Natt (Crown), Jan McGinley (Mace), Charlie Sanderson (Charter), Kalan Knox (Wyvern) and Daniel Ferencz (Wesley).  The Year 7 finalists were Ayesha Peerbaye (Wesley), Ioanna Vaughan-Jones (Crown), Bobby Zhou (Charter), Taylor Daniel (Wyvern), Holly Barnett (Abbey) and Todd Fogarty (Mace).

The topics were many and varied.  We heard about pets, trips to faraway places, surf lifesaving, babies, medical issues, the outback, and popular culture.

Mrs Rachel Abercrombie, a Senior School teacher of English, and Mrs Sherri Michael, the Senior School LRC Coordinator, adjudicated in their first House Talk final.  In the Year 6 competition the Honourable Mention went to Michelle Liew for her talk on Inventions, and Kalan Knox was declared the winner with his entertaining speech about the subtleties of AFL commentary. In the Year 7 competition Ioanna Vaughan-Jones was awarded an Honourable Mention for her description of life as a water molecule and Taylor Daniel was the winner by presenting a well-structured talk about oxymorons.

The overall House results for this competition will be calculated after the final of the Year 5 competition later in the year.

ICAS Science and Spelling Competitions

The International Competitions for Australian Schools (ICAS) are held annually through the University of NSW in many subject areas.

50 students elected to be involved in the ICAS Science Competition from Years 3 to 7. Westminster students were awarded one High Distinction, 11 Distinction, 11 Credit, three Merit, and 24 Participation certificates.

Students awarded Distinctions were Harry Davison (Year 3 Wesley), Gerard McGinley (Year 3 Mace), Yajat Singh (Year 4 Wyvern), Jeffery Wang (Year 4 Mace), Sebastian Ireland (Year 5 Crown), Andre Lim (Year 5 Charter), Megha Sannigrahi (Year 5 Charter), Nicholas Laity (Year 6 Wesley), Imogen Beattie (Year 7 Crown), Sasha Coorey (Year 7 Charter) and Phoenix Pereira (Year 7 Charter).

The student awarded a High Distinction was Diya Patel (Year 4 Wesley).

38 students elected to be involved in the ICAS Spelling Competition from Years 3 to 7. Westminster Preparatory students were awarded one High Distinction, five Distinction, 15 Credit, four Merit, and 13 Participation certificates.

Students awarded Distinctions were Gerard McGinley (Year 3 Mace), Adam Lee (Year 3 Abbey), Jasmine Gayler (Year 3 Wyvern), Nicholas Laity (Year 6 Wesley), and Veda Muthineni (Year 6 Charter).

The student awarded a High Distinction was Sebastian Ireland (Year 5 Crown).

Congratulations to all involved.

Father’s Day Breakfast & Grandparents’/VIP Day

A reminder that these two special events on the Preparatory School calendar are fast approaching.  Can you please ensure that if you wish to attend the Father’s Day breakfast, you have returned your completed reply slip (emailed earlier in the term) together with money to the Prep School Office or your child’s Class teacher, no later than Friday 18 August.

Grandparents’/VIP Day invitations have now been emailed or posted to Grandparents/Special Friends, with RSVPs due by Friday 1 September.

Father’s Day Breakfasts will be held on Wednesday August 30 and Thursday August 31 followed very closely by Grandparents/VIP Day on Friday September 8. The Parents’ Club assist us greatly by hosting both events. While CaterCare Catering supply all of the food and equipment, a large number of volunteers are required to help set up, serve, clear, and generally assist on each day. If anyone would be available to assist the Parents' Club on any of these days, Mrs Kelly Roberts can provide more details and would be delighted to hear from you.  She can be contacted on M: 0419 829 791.

Westminster Community Directory

We have updated the Westminster Community Directories (Preparatory and Senior) for Semester 2.

If you wish to download the updated version, both School directories can be found through this link: on the right hand side of the page.

To access the directories you will be required to login to the family portal. It is very straightforward but if you have issues with this, please go to the family portal FAQ and follow the instructions:

Reflections 2016

The 2016 year book Reflections will be distributed over the coming two weeks to families from Reception to Year 12 in 2016. Each family will receive a courtesy copy via their youngest child (Reception to Year 12) still at Westminster. Local students who have left without a younger brother or sister still at Westminster (eg Class of 2016) will be advised when the magazine is ready to collect from the Senior School Office. If no longer local, these will be posted.

If any ELC families would like to purchase a copy, then please advise ELC Receptionist Penny Johnson.

If you do not receive a copy and should have, please contact Communications Manager Peter Trenorden (’77), via Email.

Diary Dates

  • Bookweek - Monday 21 to Friday 25 August
  • Interview Week - Monday 21 to Friday 25 August
  • Prep School Photos – Monday 28 and Tuesday 29 August
  • Father’s Day Breakfasts - Wednesday 30 and Thursday 31 August
  • Whole School Open Day – Friday 1 September
  • Show Day School Closure – Monday 4 September
  • Grandparents’ and Special Friends Day – Friday 8 September
  • Term 3 concludes – Friday 29 September at 1.00 pm

Stuart Burns
Acting Head of Preparatory School