The second half of the year has started wonderfully well in the Preparatory School. We were all very excited to be able to welcome many new students at the start of the term. We had nineteen new students joining us in classes from Reception to Year 7, which must be a record number. 

The Westminster Community is renowned for helping families settle in, and I am sure that this is already happening for these new families. Joining us we have Sonny Sposato (Reception Abbey), Tristan Tosse (Year 1 Wesley), Ruby Sykes (Year 1 Mace), Jessica Jongejan (Year 2 Crown), Michelle Famuyide (Year 2 Wyvern), Theo Fox (Year 3 Abbey), Megha Wijewardane (Year 3 Wyvern), Dayna Harrison (Year 4 Mace), Skye Hayes (Year 4 Charter), Millie Sposato (Year 4 Abbey), Pun Akaraphon (Year 5 Crown), Aaron Chipman (Year 5 Mace), Summer Hayes (Year 5 Charter), Sydney Nattawat (Year 5 Crown), Eva Tosse (Year 5 Wesley), Madi Sykes (Year 6 Mace), Emma Sykes (Year 7 Mace), Billy Hayes (Year 7 Charter), and Reiley Kohler (Year 7 Charter).

Brand New Classes!

It was with great excitement and unusually few tears that we welcomed our two Transition classes into full time school at the beginning of this term. Their teachers, Ms Pladson and Ms Smyth were delighted with how settled the children were from the very first day.  This is due in no small part to the excellent preparation that they have had during their time in the Early Learning Centre and the Orientation process conducted by staff at the end of last term.

Back Row: Alfie Hamilton (Mace), Rachel Law (Charter), Alexander Brown (Abbey), Frank Li (Crown)
3rd Row: Jana Chahadi (Wesley), Sarina Setayesh (Mace), Derek Yu (Crown)
2nd Row: Daisy Doyle (Crown), Haohao Shen (Abbey), Hannah Koukourou (Charter), Lindsay Li (Wyvern)
Front Row: Mason Kavanagh (Charter), Charlotte Williams-Cox (Wyvern), Deon Startari (Wyvern)


Back Row: Reya Thorpe (Wesley), Aidan Rowland (Wesley)
2nd Row: Piper Browne (Abbey), Will Stratford (Charter), Allen Wu (Wyvern), Livvy Fisher (Wyvern),
Charlotte Headlam (Abbey), Asher Macrow (Mace)
Front Row: Jeremiah Lam (Crown), Maddie Huang (Crown), Nuala Shenfine (Charter),
Max Ma (Mace), XinXin Gibson (Mace)

Staffing changes

This term we have welcomed Mrs Sharyn Darrell to the Preparatory School staff. Sharyn has joined us as Deputy of Middle Primary looking after all students and staff in the Year 3 to 5 range. Mrs Valeska Laity filled this role so capably for the first half of the year, and she has now returned to her Year 6 class.

Mrs Darrell began her teaching career 18 years ago and has taught overseas, as well as being a teacher and educational leader at a number of primary schools in South Australia, including regional areas and metropolitan Adelaide. In her first few days at Westminster, Sharyn has noticed the commitment that the School has to developing students as lifelong learners who participate as active citizens in an ever changing world. This is something that she is very passionate about, as both an educator and parent of two primary school aged children.

Sharyn is excited at the opportunity to be a part of Westminster and getting to know staff, students and parents.

Farewell Mr Bode

Sadly for us, but happily for him – Mr Jace Bode has won a position at the Australian Football League Players' Association as their Regional Manager, based out of South Australia. The role will oversee all the programs that the clubs have in place, working with the players on their individual development plans and helping with transition for players both entering and exiting the AFL system. While this is very sudden, we do not want to stand in the way and hinder his start in this exciting venture. As a result, he will need to leave us to start with the AFL on Monday 6 August.

This has meant that we have had to restructure things in the Physical Education area. Fortunately, we have very experienced staff remaining. Mr Adam Thompson has kindly agreed to take on the position of Head of Sport for the remainder of this year while we advertise for a permanent replacement. Mr Jacob Dickson, who some may know from his work in the Senior School, will join us to teach Physical Education and we have Ms Sally Riley continuing as a part of the team. We wish Jace, Natalie, and their family every success in this new direction and thank him for his contribution to Westminster School.

Rest in Peace

It was with incredible sadness that the Westminster Community had to come to terms with the recent loss of Ms Maddy Ryan. Maddy very suddenly passed away at the end of last term. Maddy commenced work at Westminster in our Early Learning Centre in 2014. She was a dedicated and caring staff member who was a really important part of our preschool staff team. Most importantly she had such a positive influence on the hundreds of children that have passed through our preschool over the past five years.

We miss Maddy terribly and I am sure that the thoughts of the entire School community are with her family and friends who are coming to terms with their loss.


Karate Champ!

Congratulations to Piotrek Kowalczyk (Year 1 Crown) who has managed an incredible achievement, made all the more meritorious by his young age!

Piotrek represented Australia at the 2018 Tang Soo Do International Karate Championship Junior Divisionin Orlando, Florida, on Friday 20 and Saturday 21 July. Not only did he attend and compete, but at these Championships, Piotrek became:

- Gold Medallist in Combat/Sparring Category
- Silver Medallist in Individual Hyung Category (Traditional Form)
- Bronze Medallist in Board Breaking Category

His parents Adam and Anna are understandably very proud to support his talents and passion in this specialised field. Despite the need to travel all around the world they tell me it is well worth it.


Gymnastic Prowess

Congratulations to Ruby Insanally (Year 4  Abbey) who recently competed in Melbourne at the National Gymnastics Competition against many athletes from across Australia and New Zealand. Ruby came 13th in her individual routine, and 9th in her synchronized routine. She should be very proud of her efforts and achievements. I am sure she is already looking forward to competing again next year. Her next competition will be Club Championships on the Gold Coast in September.

Train Timetable Change

After much lobbying by parents, the School and the general community, a 23 July update to the Seaford line timetable sees the 8.08 am Seaford service stopping at all stations to Woodlands Park when it then becomes an express to the city.

We now have a (more or less reinstated) service stopping at Marion at 8.38 am as from Term 3. Thank you to all who took up the cause!

Diary Dates

  • Science Week - Week 4
  • Science Incursion R-7 – Monday 13 August
  • Parent/Student/Teacher Interview Weeks – Weeks 5 and 6, Monday 20 to Friday 31 August
  • Book Week – Week 5, Monday 20 to Friday 24 August
  • Prep School Photos – Monday 27 and Tuesday 28 August
  • Fathers’ Day Breakfasts – Charter, Crown and Wesley, Wednesday 29 August
  • Fathers’ Day Breakfasts – Abbey, Mace and Wyvern, Thursday 30 August
  • Grandparents’ & Special Friends’ Day – Friday 31 August
  • Westminster Show Day – Monday 3 September (student free day)
  • Westminster School Open Day – Friday 7 September
  • End of Term 3 – Friday 28 September, finishing at 1.00pm
Grant Bock
Head of Preparatory School