17 Dec

Merry Christmas to the SPW Community

From Christopher Prance, Principal

As the 2019 year is drawing to a conclusion, I write for the last time, in this our twentieth birthday year.

When the school fell silent, following the students’ dismissal last Wednesday, it almost felt eerie, as our skeleton staff went about finishing up after another successful year; since then the silence has been broken with the arrival of Inca, our building company, who have commenced work on the Millington redevelopment and plaza area.

In reflecting on the last month, there have a number of celebrations, and I would like to highlight some:

End of Year Highlights

  • Commencing on 19 November the Year 5s invited us to their PYP Exhibition which was an extraordinary showcase of the abilities of our Year 5 students after a hardworking six week Unit in which they had to demonstrate their learnings; there was plenty of evidence of that and we were all proud of the Year 5 achievements.
  • The Year 6 Farewell was a first, with so many students exiting SPW in order to start middle schooling. Although a new experience, this was an opportunity to say thanks to those students. It was pleasing to have feedback from parents who had appreciated the efforts that we went to in order to honour these students.
  • Our Early Learning Centre were once again involved in the Glenelg Christmas Pageant held on 24 November. This is an annual tradition for us and was a wonderfully joyous lead up to the coming Christmas celebrations.

  • On the following Friday, a large audience met for our annual Big Concert, held for the first time in the glorious Woodville Town Hall. This was certainly an amazing and exhilarating showcase of the musical talents of our students, and with the addition of our Community Choir, was a night to be remembered.

  • There have been a number of special transitions with ELC children able to visit their room and meet Room Leaders on 30 November. The following week Reception children joined parents in St Margaret’s Chapel for the last of their transition visits and also had the opportunity to visit their classroom and meet their 2020 teacher.
  • End of year would not be the same without the R-7 Christmas Lunch in Baddams Hall, and the ELC Brunch in the Village Square, all ably coordinated by our fabulous PFA.

  • The tradition of the SPW Carols Service, hosted by the St Peter’s Glenelg Parish, was an opportunity to get into the Christmas spirit, this time with a special rendition of the Christmas story through the eyes of some aliens which was enacted by members of our Chapel Choir. We were most grateful for the participation of these children, the support of their parents, and of course the ongoing partnership which we have with St Peter’s Glenelg and two of their clergy team, Rev’d Andrew and Rev’d Michele, who are our school Chaplains.
  • The following week members of our Chapel Choir were part of a special end of year Mary Potter Hospice Carols Celebration which provided another opportunity for our children to showcase their talents; this is a unique opportunity afforded to only one school here in Adelaide, namely SPW.
  • End of year celebrations for students are now combined with the first being the Year 3 to 7 Prize-giving Service held during school time, which enabled us to celebrate the achievements of our prize giving students. We also had two of our Year 7s to present their speeches entitled “What SPW means to me”. This year prizes were presented by Commander Sandra Coulson (Retired), and Auntie Daphne Rickett, an Aboriginal Elder who has played a significant part in assisting SPW develop its Reconciliation Action Plan.
  • The following evening our Year 7 Valedictory Service was held; this was a glorious formal occasion in Baddams Hall, where we were able to celebrate the transition of our soulful Year 7s to 11 different high schools in 2020. It is interesting to note that 28% of our Year 7s gained special entrance or scholarships to their high school of choice – a fantastic achievement.

Please allow me to identify Mark DeLaine, Michelle Lewis, Paul Mesecke, and Jenny Campbell for their extra efforts guiding the children through the myriad end of year functions; what a superb job they do.

Whilst the school formally closes on Friday 20 December, you would be aware that our Holiday Program and ELC, re-open on Monday 13 January, with the Front Office opening on Monday 20 January.

Thank you 

At this time of the year I would like to pass on my thanks to the children of St Peter’s Woodlands for continuing to be such a joy to work with, and to the staff for their ongoing hard work and commitment to the education of our children. I would also like to thank our Parents and Friends Association, led by Kimberley Hutchinson and Kate Hobart, our SPW Foundation, our SPW Old Scholars, and of course our School Council and Council Chair, Ms Tammie Pribanic.

Finally, I wish you all a holy and blessed Christmas, and trust that there will be much sunshine, laughter and time for family and friends over the Christmas and New Year period.

Christopher Prance