They did swimmingly!

Westminster entered a strong team to compete in the South West SAPSASA District swimming recently. Twenty of our athletes ranging from Years 4 to 7 competed in the four disciplines and performed admirably on the day. A special mention to Jack Green (Year 4 Charter) and Maggie Taplin (Year 4 Crown) who swam for the first time competitively for the School.

Twelve members of our team are now off to represent Westminster and the South West District at State Day later in the term after winning their individual events or being chosen in a relay and we wish them all the best.

Congratulations to Milly Derbyshire (Year 6 Wesley), Katie Natt (Year 7 Crown), Jan McGinley (Year 7 Mace), Jeremy Shepherd (Year 5 Charter), Isabella Maynard (Year 6 Charter), Austin Doley (Year 7 Wyvern), Jack Green (Year 4 Charter), Michael Gough (Year 5 Crown), Gjsovaun Brijmohan (Year 7 Abbey), Erin Shepherd (Year 6 Mace), Harry Lunn (Year 7 Wesley) and Harriet Robertson (Year 5 Mace).

Visit to the National Capital

The Year 7 Camp to Canberra took place this term. During this trip, the students experienced a number of cultural, political, historical and personal activities that enhanced their learning and reinforced the curriculum.

After an extremely early start on Monday morning, the Year 7 students did a great job while on route to Canberra with some of the passengers stopping to express their positive feelings about the way the students behaved on the flight.

The first stop was Government House and we were initially advised that we were probably not allowed into the House as they were preparing to swear in the new leader of the National Party.

The security team whisked the group in very quickly after the Governor of Victoria arrived to act as the Governor-General’s representative. The Westminster students then were allowed to see something that very few school groups have seen – the swearing in of a minister. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, along with other cabinet ministers were present and only 10 metres away from our students.

Other activities included learning about the election process at the Australian Electoral Commission which was excellent and a visit to the National Film and Sound Archive. Here the students heard about both the conservation and restoration efforts to preserve Australia’s moving image and sound history. They were privileged to see the 1906 version of the Ned Kelly story.

We then headed to the Botanic Gardens where we started to bring together the ideas from the book ‘Mechanica’; Science, Art, Wellbeing@West, mindfulness, and Design Technology. The students were encouraged to sketch things from nature; leaves, nuts, berries, etc and to use them to create new species. This was an outstanding session where the students engaged fully with the task and were pleased with their results.

The visit to Parliament House started with the Parliamentary Education Office and students experienced first-hand how a Bill is debated in the House of Representatives. This was followed with some time observing the actual House of Representatives where both sides of the chamber were in full flight. The group was also very fortunate to have an audience with Ms Nicolle Flint who is the federal member for Boothby in the Australian House of Representatives. Nicolle was very generous with her time and fielded many questions from the students. She also made a point of visiting the children again once they were back at school when she returned to Adelaide.

The visit to the Australian Institute of Sport was a highlight for many. During the three hours they toured at the AIS, they enjoyed a rotation of activities using the AIS equipment and played in the interactive space. This was followed by time at the National Portrait Gallery where they were able to observe, draw and think about the various artworks.

The group also spent an evening at Questacon, a highlight for many, where the students were given the opportunity to explore science ideas.

On the final day they spent a memorable time at the Australian War Memorial, touring the galleries and the roll of honour. This part of the trip was extremely moving and the students received great feedback for their respectful behaviour during the visit.

We congratulate the students on their exemplary behaviour on the camp. They were consistently respectful of the public and many individuals and organisations commented on their outstanding manners at various venues.

New Child Care Subsidy

I provided this information via email Thursday 15 March to all current ELC and OSHC families – it is provided in the eNews as a general reminder:

A new national Child Care Package comes into effect on Monday 2 July 2018 that will apply to families with children enrolled at our Early Learning Centre or using our Out of School Hours Care facilities.

In the new package, the existing Child Care Benefit (CCB) and Child Care Rebate (CCR) will be replaced by a new Child Care Subsidy (CCS).

The Child Care Subsidy that families receive will be based on:

  • the combined family income
  • the level of ‘approved’ activity they undertake
  • the type of child care service they use.

If you are receiving the CCB and/or CCR, you will be contacted by the Department of Human Services at some stage within the next three months to be assessed for the new CCS. We understand that the CCS will be paid direct to Westminster School as your chosen accredited service provider, which will mean a significant shift for families who have been receiving the previous rebate/s direct. You must ensure your Customer Reference Number (as issued through my.gov.au) is formally recorded with our ELC and/or OSHC so that you have the appropriate rebate for your family applied to your account with us. Your family details must also be kept updated via my.gov.au as there is expected to be a more rigorous assessment process implemented for the CCS.    

Grandparents who are the primary carer for a child will need to provide evidence to show that they are the principal carer.

There will also be a requirement to record drop off and collection times for each child, which will be handled by a new kiosk facility to be installed in our ELC and OSHC. 

Below are some useful sites and contacts to assist with determining what the changes in the new Child Care Package will mean to your family.

Even though these changes may affect eligible families in different ways, we will continue to provide the best in early learning and out of school hours care for your son or daughter.

References

  • For further information about the CCS , visit New Child Care Package.
  • Families can review their details on my.gov.au for accuracy (the primary portal for child care support); for further queries, please visit the NCCP link above or call the Department of Human Services (T: 136150, 8.00 am – 8.00 pm AEST).
  • As a guide to your family’s subsidy, please visit Family Child Care Subsidy Estimator.

Horse Pride

Congratulations to Claudia Richards (Year 5 Wesley) who along with her beautiful horse ‘Whinny’ represented Westminster School at the Trinity College Interschool Equestrian Gymkhana. This was one of her first competitions where she has ridden on her own, and she placed second and third in the Topsy ring and represented Westminster School in the Grand Parade.

We do not have many competitive riders at the School so it is encouraging to see a keen young rider in the Preparatory School flying the flag for Westminster.

Diary Dates

  • JP Sports Day – Friday 9 March
  • Prep Sports Day Field Events – Wednesday 14 March
  • Prep Sports Day – Friday 16 March
  • Parent/Teacher Interviews commence – Monday 19 March
  • Tenebrae Service – Sunday 25 March, 7.00 pm, Chapel
  • Good Friday – Friday 30 March
  • Easter Monday – Monday 2 April
  • Westminster School Fun Fair – Saturday 7 April, Prep School Oval
  • End of Term – Friday 13 April, 1.00 pm dismissal
  • Start of Term 2 – Tuesday 1 May, 8.45 am

Grant Bock
Head of Preparatory School