Welcome to Term 2

I welcome students and families to Term 2 and trust that the break was an enjoyable one. Hopefully students took some time to reflect on their reports, and for the Year 11 and 12 students, their teachers’ comments and implemented strategies to improve their performance.

Looking at the calendar for the Senior School, it looks to be a busy term, particularly with it being nine weeks in length. As is the case with most holidays, there were a variety of activities involving Westminster students and staff.

During the holidays, the Music Department travelled to Japan to perform in a range of venues and to enjoy the experience of being in another country. The feedback from the staff and students has been very positive, and it’s clear that a good time was had by both students and staff. One of the highlights was our students taking part in an ANZAC Day Service, which was appreciated by those present. A very big thank you to Mike Degenhart, Chris Gould, and Darren McLachlan for all their organisation and support of the students.

Other holiday activities included two Outdoor Education events, which were a bushwalk in the Innes National Park and Scuba Diving course. Thank you to the Outdoor Education staff, in particular Gordon Begg and Julie Engelhardt, for their organisation of these activities. We also had a number of students presented with their Gold Duke of Edinburgh's International Award from His Royal Highness The Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex KG GCVO, during his recent visit to Australia.

Our Sailing Team travelled to Goolwa to compete in the Schools State Regatta and repeated their performance from the previous year by winning the State title. In fact, Westminster came in first and second!  This will now mean that our team will compete in the National Regatta, which will be held at the Blairgowrie Yacht Squadron, Victoria, during the next holidays. Thank you to Mike Martens for overseeing the team.

As can be seen, the opportunities for students to be engaged in a variety of learning activities does not cease at the end of term, and I know the students appreciate the extra effort staff put in to make these opportunities possible.  I thank the staff for giving up part of their holidays to provide these opportunities.

Staffing

We welcome back Carolyn Obst, Tanya Jones, and Heather Quinn who enjoyed Long Service Leave during Term 1.

This term we welcome Kendra Pratt, who is taking Nick Finos’ classes as he continues to undergo treatment with the hope of being back at the beginning of Term 3. Whitney Goldsmith has accepted a contract to cover Julie Engelhardt’s mathematics lessons while she is recovering from shoulder surgery, and will then take Matthew Stone’s mathematics classes in the last week of this term and the first two weeks of Term 3. Jenny Cheesman is on Long Service leave for Term 2 and Jacob Dickson will extend his time with us and continue to take her classes.

Parent Seminars

In addition to the Michael Carr-Gregg parent seminar this week, there will be two other free parent seminars this term to help parents support their children.  I recommend each of these sessions to parents as all the presenters are knowledgeable in their area and provide good advice on how to keep young people safe.

Monday 21 May – Martin Heppell from the Resilience Project

The Resilience Project delivers emotionally engaging programs to schools, sports clubs and businesses, providing practical, evidence-based, positive mental health strategies to build resilience and happiness.  After finishing high school in Melbourne, Martin spent three years in the AFL system, playing football for St Kilda and Melbourne, and then for Norwood in the SANFL. Subsequent years were then spent travelling the world backpacking for nearly three years, and upon return to Australia, Martin studied primary teaching

After completing his degree at Melbourne University, he commenced teaching at Auburn Primary. After four years, Martin was appointed as the Assistant Principal at Auburn Primary where he held that role for another four years focusing on student wellbeing, educational leadership and cultural change. To book tickets for this session, please click here: https://www.trybooking.com/VQEL. For more information on the Resilience Project, please visit https://theresilienceproject.com.au/

Monday 18 June – Sonya Ryan from the Carly Ryan Foundation: Online Safety Session

The Carly Ryan Foundation is a non-profit harm prevention charity, established after the murder of 15-year-old South Australian Carly Ryan by an online predator, to promote internet safety and help prevent crimes against children and young people. Sonya will deliver a session for parents on online safety. To book tickets for this session, please click here: https://www.trybooking.com/VDLA. For more information on the Carly Ryan Foundation, please visit http://www.carlyryanfoundation.com/

Martin and Sonya will also be presenting to students as part of our Student Wellbeing program, to provide support and strategies for students to make safe choices and manage their wellbeing.

Jeffries House Fundraiser

Jeffries House are holding a movie fundraiser for Canteen at the Capri Theatre on Sunday 27 May. We are screening ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ at 6.30 pm. Tickets are $15 for concession and $20 for adults, and can be purchased online at https://www.trybooking.com/VQRH There will also be some stalls on the night to further support Canteen.

B Part of Something Bigger in 2018

B Part of It, a study into Meningococcal B vaccine herd immunity is continuing across South Australia this year, with school visits having commenced from Sunday 1 April 2018.

Last year, almost 35,000 students across SA participated in the study receiving their swabs, with half the students receiving their vaccinations as part of the first phase in 2017. Now, to ensure that all students in the study receive the Meningococcal B vaccine and that the study is successful, it is important that all students who participated in 2017 stay involved in Phase Two of the study in 2018.

Our vaccinations for Year 11 and 12 students will be held on Monday 28 May this year.

Phase Two will ensure all students receive the required throat swab and two doses of vaccine (if the student did not already receive the vaccine in 2017) to complete their involvement in the study.

Whether your child receives a throat swab and/or vaccine in Phase Two will be determined on the group they were in last year.

If you have any questions, we encourage you to visit www.bpartofit.com.au, or you can contact the immunisation provider via the Senior School Office.

Seaford Line Timetable Change

We are still in communication with the Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Local Government Hon Stephan Knoll MP and Member for Gibson Hon Corey Wingard MP, as well as the Metro Area Manager for our region. There has been some media coverage around this matter and as we have yet to receive satisfactory responses we will continue to air our concerns. If you are affected by the timetable changes, please do not hesitate to lodge your own concerns to the two minsters. According to the Office for the Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Local Government, no complaints have been received about Marion Station services. Speaking from the School’s perspective alone, this cannot be correct! Consequently, even if you have lodged your concerns, we would suggest re-lodging and making sure you have clearly mentioned Marion Station within your concerns. Please do not hesitate to contact our Communications Manager, Peter Trenorden (’77), via Email should you wish to follow this up.  

Campus Carpark Update

At the end of the Senior School’s old change rooms (between the Music Centre and Sports and Swimming Centre), there are four stand-alone carparks. These are now to be used for Westminster School fleet vehicles only. New signs will be placed next week on all four parks to indicate as such. Being fleet vehicles, movement in and out of these parks will be frequent on any given day and night so even if a park is empty, we appreciate you not using these parks for general parking.

David Wallage
Head of Senior School