Welcome Back

I would like to welcome all students back to Term 3 and hope that it is a rewarding and enjoyable term, where you achieve the goals you have set for yourself over the holidays.  Also a special welcome to the students and their families who have joined the Senior School at the start of this term.

Holiday Activities

As always, the holidays provided several opportunities for students to engage in other activities.  Two of these activities were trips to the snowfields - the Telemark Ski Trip for students interested in Cross Country skiing and the Downhill Ski Trip.  Both of these trips have been running for many years and are always well supported by students wanting to be involved.  There was also an expedition to Edeowie Gorge in the Flinders Ranges at the beginning of the holidays for many students undertaking their Duke of Edinburgh's International Silver and Gold Awards.  Thank you to Mr Gordon Begg, Mr Rob McLean ('99) and Mr Tony Ritson ('93), and the instructors for their organisation of these trips.

Also during this time, the UK Cricket Tour continued and the boys and staff enjoyed excellent weather and some good performances on the field.  I’m sure there will be a full report later on the Tour later in the term, however I would like to acknowledge the time and effort the Mr David Tiller, Mr Trevor Orman and Mr Terry McDevitt gave to organise the tour and the supervision of the boys whilst on tour.

We also had our Sailing Team compete in the National Schools Sailing Regatta Blairgowrie on the Mornington Peninsula as representatives of South Australia, given our first placing in the State Regatta in the previous holidays. The team performed at a high level and were successful in winning the regatta to make Westminster the National School Sailing Champions. I would like to congratulate all the students and thank staff member Mr Phil Rawlings for his organisation and support of the team during this regatta and all season.  The team will now travel to New Zealand next holidays to complete in the 2018 Pacific Rim Inter-Schools Team Sailing Championships, which will incorporate the 2018 Interdominion Schools Team Sailing Championships.

Year 12 Students

To the Year 12 students this is a term which much of the content of courses are being completed and major assessment tasks are either being submitted or close to final draft stage to be completed early in Term 4.  From experience it is also a term where students seem to catch any ‘bug’ that is going around and I strongly encourage students to maintain a healthy lifestyle involving a balanced approach to study and exercise as well as a sensible approach to their social lives.

Maintaining a regular and structured pattern of sleep is very important and it is the one area which concerns me with some students who seem to lack an adequate amount of sleep during the week and in particular on the weekends.  While some of this can be attributed to the pressure of completing academic study, much is due to the need to be connected via social media very late at night or into the early hours of the morning or the late nights/early mornings during the weekend.

I would encourage all students to be disciplined with the amount of time they are ‘online’ and if you need support, engage your parents in helping you to ‘disconnect’ and stay ‘disconnected’ until the next day.  Regular sleep patterns is the secret and believing that having a long sleep in on a Sunday because of a very late Saturday night will compensate is not a sensible approach, not to mention the hours that have not been allocated to study for some part of Sunday.  It is clear on a Monday morning those students who have had a lack of sleep over the weekend, not to mention the work they have not completed and this can cause an increase in their stress levels as the term progresses.

If students need help with managing the demands of their academic, co-curricular and social lives, I would encourage you to talk with your parents, House Heads, the Wellbeing staff and, for the Year 12 students, Mr Ritson. Our experience is those students who achieve the correct balance between these are those who will achieve their goals at the end of the year.

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!

David Wallage
Head of Senior School