A smooth start

One of the many benefits of choosing Westminster for your child is the capacity that we have to ensure a smooth pathway through the various stages of the educational journey. As adults, change is often the cause of considerable anxiety. For children, while we encourage resilience change can still be challenging. As our School accommodates students from three years of age in the ELC, through to the end of Year 12 when the students can be over eighteen, a lot can change in 15 years! What we aim to do is to make a conscious effort to ‘smooth out the bumps’ as students mature and move from one section of the School to another. Each stage is unique, challenging, and enjoyable, but it is often the transition points that can cause anxiety for some students.

For our youngest students, leaving their parents side and commencing in the ELC is the first challenge. To help make this smooth for both the parents and the children we have coffee mornings for the parents, and visits to the ELC for the students before they commence. Often the students start out attending the ELC two days per week, and build up over time to more days.

The move on to full time school is another big jump. We are in the process of hosting the thirty mid-year entry children who are leaving the ELC and commencing full time school for the rest of the year. We run three visit days where they get to meet and work with the teachers as well as interact with children they might never have met before. We call these two classes our Transition classes. The children enjoy all of the benefits of full time school without the pressure of a mandated curriculum. They receive specialist lessons in music, art, sport, and library, as well as tapping into the pastoral structures of the House system, Chapel, and Assembly. In short, they spend two terms having the time and support required to help them acclimatise to full time school. I have recently held one on one meetings for all thirty children that are about to commence, and I am very confident that they will thrive at school.

Exceeding in every way

The Education Standards Board is responsible for monitoring and approving the delivery of educational services in South Australia. This covers all areas from Early Childhood to Senior Schooling. Recently they have visited to inspect and monitor our Early Learning Centre. There are National Quality Standards that all providers are assessed against, which are:

  • Educational program and practice
  • Children’s health and safety
  • Physical environment
  • Staffing arrangements
  • Relationship with children
  • Collaborative partnerships with families and communities
  • Leadership and service management

We have received feedback from the Standards Board, and it came as no surprise when our ELC received the highest rating of Exceeding the National Quality Standards in all seven categories, and therefore an overall rating of Exceeding the NQS.

This is external confirmation of the wonderful work carried out by Dr Sue Farrent and the team of dedicated professionals in our ELC. Little wonder that the centre is always at or near capacity!

Welcome to ‘Game Zone’!

The place to come to discover and share great games!

From the start of Term 2, some keen members of staff have been running a daily board games club (Game Zone) in the Japanese Room during lunchtimes. We are trialling this club initially for Years 3 to 7, and so far it has been a huge success.

Participating in table-top game play with others, such as board games and jigsaw puzzles, is an excellent way to have fun at lunchtime. To add to that, experts have also concluded that these games are also great for building up social skills, communication, strategy, problem-solving, negotiation, compromise, teamwork, challenge, and creative imagination.

We are incredibly happy and proud to be able to offer this club, and we love watching the children enjoying the sharing of time together in this way. The children are even teaching the teachers new games!

Code Camp

These school holidays from Monday 16 to Wednesday 18 July, we are again hosting the special school holiday program called Code Camp, where your child can learn to code and build their very own iPhone or Android app!

Code Camp has already taught more than 35,000 students in Australia, and is a great way to spend time over the holidays as kids have lots of fun with friends, while learning important new skills such as logic, creativity, problem solving, app development, and game building in a fun and engaging way, ready to take on the digital world of the future.

Every child attending the holiday camp will build incredible games on their software platform ’Code Camp World’, and walk away with their very own app, playable via the Code Camp App store, that they can take home to share with family and friends!

There are three Code Camp options so kids will continue to learn new skills with each camp they attend.

Spark (School Grades 2-7)

Beginners + Intermediate

Fun, engaging, challenging, and are our most known Code Camp that over 12,000 students have completed. Code Camp Spark is where every student in Years 2 to 6 should start their Code Camp journey.

Ignite (School Grades 2-7)

Intermediate + Advanced

If you have completed Spark, check out Code Camp Ignite! Students build on their skills and create new apps with increasingly complex logic, more code, behaviours, and problem solving. Start with Drag and Drop and then move to Line Coding with JavaScript.

Blast 3D (School Grades 3-7)

Advanced Students Only

Brand new for 2018, your kids will immerse themselves in a 3D world of their creation! Unlock the next level of their coding adventure at Code Camp Blast 3D.

Enrol today and help your child become a coding superstar! For more information, visit codecamp.com.au or contact them at hello@codecamp.com.au.

Vacation Care

By now families would have received an outline of the Vacation Care program available for the approaching holidays. As usual, the Vacation Care team have created a very interesting array of activities and options for the children.  If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact Shane Howard on T: 8276 0390 or via Email.

Child Care Subsidy

The New Child Care Package, ‘Child Care Subsidy’, is fast approaching. From Monday 2 July 2018, the child care fee assistance your family receives will change. Your information does not automatically rollover to the new system, and you may not receive any subsidy if your assessment is not completed. If you use the Westminster ELC or Westminster OSHC after Monday 2 July 2018 can you please login now to complete your online form through myGov.

To find out specific information regarding the new subsidy/transitioning:

To get an idea of the amount of assistance you are eligible to under the Child Care Subsidy please go to: 

All other information regarding the Child Care Subsidy can be found at https://www.education.gov.au/childcarepackage

If you require any additional assistance with this please do not hesitate to get in contact with Shane Howard at the Westminster OSHC, T: 8276 0390 or via Email.

Diary Dates

  • Casuals Day - Friday 8 June
  • Public Holiday - Monday 11 June
  • Sonya Ryan, Online Safety - Monday 18 June, 7.00 pm, MMC
  • Sing Sing Sing Concert - Wednesday 20 June, 6.30 pm, MMC
  • End of Term 2 - Friday 29 June, 1.00 pm
  • Code Camp - Monday 16 to Wednesday 18 July 2018
  • Term 3 commences - Tuesday 24 July 2018

Grant Bock
Head of Preparatory School