A Knight's TaleThe Westminster School Blog

Westminster Community Life

By | Lower School | No Comments

Westminster Community Life is a fellowship of parent volunteers that seeks to foster community through living out the grace of the gospel in our covenantal relationships. Its purposes include: promoting and supporting the mission and vision of the school, developing and encouraging a sense of community between students, staff and parents, encouraging and facilitating parental involvement, and assisting school staff with grade level and community wide activities. WCL volunteers are instrumental in helping with the details of school events, appreciating teachers, and organizing classroom helpers. There are a variety of Lower School volunteer opportunities that are in addition to classroom needs your teacher will make available.  Please read through the various opportunities below and click on the Sign Up Genius link to volunteer.  You may sign up for one or as many as you would like to be involved.  Sign ups, along with someone to answer questions, will also be available at the Community Life…

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Caring For Your Lower School Teachers – 2017

By | Lower School | No Comments

Dear Westminster Lower School Parents, Summer is quickly coming to an end.  Soon we will be gathering again for Meet Your Teacher Day, the first day of school and Lower School Open House!  Our faculty and staff have been praying and preparing throughout the summer for your children as they begin the 2017-2018 school year at Westminster.  As each of our families begin the school year anew, please consider ministering to our teachers through the gift of hospitality.  Are you willing to bring your child’s teacher a meal or restaurant gift card on the first day of school? This opportunity to serve the teachers is such an encouragement and practical blessing for them during one of the busiest weeks of the year! In order to ensure that every teacher and staff member receives a meal or gift card, please sign up using the Sign-Up Genius link, or email WSOMteacherapp@gmail.com with your name…

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Champions or Championships?

By | Athletics | No Comments

When I first took over leadership of the athletic program, my first thought was “What type of person do I want my children to be when they leave Westminster?” With academic rigor already the standard at our school, my goal became defining how we could use the arena of sport as another classroom. This would give our students the same unique opportunities to compete for excellence, but against non- Westminster students. The sports arena would put them in a very public position to display skill mastery, but also demonstrate character in how they respond to the thrill of victory as well as the pain of defeat. So why would any parent ever subject their child an activity that is certain to cause more pain than pleasure? Remember my first thought “Who do I want my son or daughter to be when they leave Westminster?” One of our jobs as educators…

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National Honor Society Recognition Fall 2016

By | Why Westminster? | No Comments

There are many besides these students we could honor today for their hard work, their suffering, their endurance, their character.  But today we are not afraid to honor the particular kind of excellence displayed in the National Honor Society and those recognized by the National Merit Corporation. Consider the words of the apostle Paul in his letter to the Philippians: …though I myself have reason for confidence in the flesh also. If anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless. But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing…

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Core Values Blog – Faith

By | Why Westminster? | No Comments

Faith: Westminster believes. We are biblically driven, gospel centered, grace saturated, and theologically reformed. Over the course of the coming months, we will be posting a series of blogs that focus on our core values.  As our school community continues to grow, it is essential that we remain focused on what values govern our school (Read Our Values).  It is my hope that these articles would articulate how our core values provide the fuel for our growth as a school.   As is the case with words we use often, familiarity breeds unfamiliarity.  Our first core value, faith, is among those words.  To some, faith connotes a leap in the dark, an endeavor that is not founded on a solid foundation but rather is rooted in mere aspiration.   To others, faith, consciously or subconsciously, provides the primary lens through which the world makes sense.   All people are rooted in…

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Art from the Middle Ages

By | Arts | No Comments

The 11th graders spend the year studying the Middle Ages. As they are learning the history and reading the literature of the period, in art class we are focused on the artistic achievements and genera of the Middle Ages. Two of those genera are mosaic and stain glass.  In art class the students gained information about mosaics and stain glass through examining the subject matter and techniques used in these mediums. Artwork during this period was almost always symbolic as the art was intended to reflect Christian belief and inspire Christian worship. The students chose subject matter that was symbolic to them and created a mosaic using colored glass tiles glued to clear glass and grouted. Creating a stain glass mosaic combined these two mediums in order to create a beautiful work of art.

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Caring for Your Lower School Teacher

By | Lower School | No Comments

Dear Westminster Lower School Parents, Summer is quickly coming to an end.  Soon we will be gathering again for Meet Your Teacher Day, the first day of school, and Lower School Open House!  Our faculty and staff have been praying and preparing throughout the summer for your children as they begin the 2016-2017 school year at Westminster.  As each of our families begin the school year anew, please consider ministering to our teachers through the gift of hospitality.  Are you willing to bring your child’s teacher a meal or restaurant gift card on the first day of school?  This opportunity to serve the teachers is such an encouragement and practical blessing for them during one of the busiest weeks of the year! In order to ensure that every teacher and staff member receives a meal or gift card, please sign up at Sign-Up Genius or email wsomteacherapp@gmail.com with your name and…

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Meet Your Teacher Day Child Care Sign up

By | Lower School | No Comments

NURSERY AVAILABLE FOR MEET YOUR TEACHER DAY! Meet Your Teacher Day is an exciting day for the Westminster community and especially for your student.  It is important for you and your student to connect with his/her teacher as well as getting your student’s desk organized for the new school year.  To help make this day a little easier for mothers of preschool children, we are excited to offer a nursery available through Oak Mountain Presbyterian Church.   The cost will be $7 per child under the age of five for the two hours of Meet Your Teacher Day (9:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m.).   The nursery will be staffed with paid OMPC workers and Westminster Upper School students if needed.  A minimum number of ten children is necessary to provide this service to our families.  The deadline to register is Monday, August 1, by 12:00 noon.  If you are interested…

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Westminster Singers – Lower School Signup

By | Arts, Lower School | No Comments

Be a part of Westminster’s vocal performance group, the Westminster Singers! Join Mr. James Tate in performing everything from Broadway show tunes and Christmas songs to sacred music, spirituals, and modern choral works. If you love to sing or want to learn to love it, this is the group for you. No audition is necessary, but space is limited. Westminster Singers is an after school program. The 1-2 grade group meets every Thursday from 12:40-2:40 PM, and the 3-4 grade group meets every Wednesday from 12:40-2:40 PM. These students must bring their sack lunch (no kitchen services or microwave is available), and will be ready for pick up at the regular 2:40 carpool. In addition to rehearsing performance music, these students will have 30 minute lessons in music reading, theory, and composition. This will include sight singing, playing classroom instruments, and song writing exercises. The 5-6 graders will rehearse each…

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Coach Daryle Butler

By | Athletics | No Comments

This is the first in a series of feature articles on Westminster’s School faculty or staff. Each piece is designed to give the Westminster community a more intimate look at the individuals who invest in and touch the lives of our children. Each is an image bearer who serves a critical role at Westminster. Calm, collected and focused. That’s how Coach Daryle Butler, varsity coach of the Westminster Boy’s Basketball Team, appears on the sidelines as he stands watching and assessing his team to see if his players are implementing what they have gone over and over in practice. Although deeply passionate about the game that he loves and coaches, nothing seems to rattle this coach. Born in Independence, LA, a town in Tangipahoa Parish, Butler grew up in Roseland, a town so small that it had no high school. So, children went to high school in Amite, the city…

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Creating a Culture of Conversation in the Home: The Gift of Repentance

By | 20 Mile March, Why Westminster? | One Comment

Here is a scary fact: we have every reason to believe that the way we discuss home- work and chores in our homes is the way we will discuss drugs, alcohol, and promiscuity. Even if the magnitude of the issue may change our approach, the culture we have spent years creating will not change in a moment to suit our purposes. Every life changing issue of the teenage years will be discussed within a culture we have created while our children were still children. The Power of Repentant Conversations Conversations about drugs, alcohol, and promiscuity between teenagers and their parents often aren’t conversations at all. Commonly, the parent, nervous and insecure, rambles about consequences and values while the teenager, also nervous and insecure, waits painfully for the whole thing to end. Is it really possible to have a genuine conversation about drugs, alcohol, and promiscuity? I believe it is, but…

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Kids and Technology – Chris Kinsley

By | Why Westminster? | No Comments

Chris Kinsley, Communication Director for The Church of Brook Hills, spoke at our second Westminster Community Life Speaker Series on Thursday, January 14.  Chris spoke to parents about how to shepherd the hearts of our children in how they use technology when we sometimes can hardly keep up.  Most of us are digital immigrants, born into an analogue world but having migrated into one full of digital technology. However, our children are digital natives who have never known a world of any other kind. Chris explored these issues and questions related to our children and technology and how God’s Word guides our efforts to shepherd the hearts of our children in this area.   

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Egyptian hieroglyphics, patterns, and acrylic paint

By | Arts | No Comments

Egyptian history and culture has held our modern interest for decades. The 10th graders study this period of history in their humanities class. Meanwhile, in art class we focus on some of the artistic achievements of ancient Egyptian culture. One of these is the death mask. In art class the students gained information about Egyptian burial practices and examined the Egyptians’ use of design and color in these elaborate masks. Then came the task of each student creating a mask. The students worked in groups of three, focusing on plastering one person’s face at a time. A headdress and bib were later added to the mask using cardboard and paper-mache. The students used acrylic paint to design their headdress and bib with Egyptian hieroglyphics and patterns.

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The Power of a Strong Community

By | 20 Mile March | No Comments

A New Take on Addiction When I hear that a school or church is going to discuss drugs, alcohol, or promiscuity, I assume they are going to use a Scared Straight! approach. I have visions of prisoners screaming at me from their cells and those poor cocaine-addicted rats in that advertisement some of us saw as kids. If you are not old enough to have seen it, a recent article in the Huffington Post describes it concisely: Put a rat in a cage, alone, with two water bottles. One is just water. The other is water laced with heroin or cocaine. Almost every time you run this experiment, the rat will become obsessed with the drugged water, and keep coming back for more and more, until it kills itself. Successful as the campaign may have been, recent research has called the findings of the foundational experiment into question.  As Johann…

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“The Brain, Learning, and Gospel Hope” – Ken Jones

By | Academics, Why Westminster? | No Comments

Ken Jones, OMPC Pastor for Shepherding and Westminster Upper School Bible teacher, spoke at our first Westminster Community Life Speaker Series on Thursday, October 1.  Ken spoke to parents about “The Brain, Learning, and Gospel Hope” and shared practical ways to support children in gaining the most out of their school experiences.  Ken gave helpful information looking at the brain sciences, promising educational methods, and the power of the gospel to help young people learn better.  Listen Here

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Art Club Guest

By | Arts | No Comments

   Yesterday in Art Club, local artist, Melanie O’Keefe spoke to the students about her artwork and artistic process. Mrs. O’Keefe’s style of painting is photorealism, as she paints her subject in extreme detail. She shared with the students the process she uses to achieve incredibly realistic work and was an inspiration to many as she shared she was never “formally” trained as an artist. She also encouraged the students to find a style they enjoy and pursue it. 

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Going Public with Private Matters

By | 20 Mile March | 5 Comments

Whether we like it or not, our zip code has been awakened to the reality of a growing drug culture. And while it hasn’t made the headlines, teenagers are still struggling with alcohol use and sexual promiscuity too. I cannot imagine that anyone who works with teenagers was surprised last year to find that young people in our area were experimenting with drugs, or even that more than a few were developing what could be considered a habit or even an addiction. We may have been disappointed or angry, but not surprised. If you have a child in high school, you know that kids make mistakes. However, while we’ve had the knowledge, we haven’t been having this kind of conversation. Sure, we’ve had lots of individual conversations before last year as parents, churches, and schools dealt with issues on an individual basis. But these were private; now the conversation is…

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First Meeting of the 2015 Art Club

By | Arts | No Comments

The Art Club got off to a great start this past Monday! Our visiting artist, Amy Grimes, is a well-known and loved artist here in Birmingham. She shared with the students how she creates her paintings: the things that inspire her, guide her and the materials she uses. Mrs. Grimes did a beautiful job of communicating to the students how her artwork flows out of her relationship with Christ and how being an artist has taught her much about courage. Her talk inspired many as she encouraged us to look at our artwork as “a beautiful experiment”.

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Meet your Lower School Teacher

By | Lower School | No Comments

Meet Your Teacher Day is an exciting day for the whole Westminster Community and especially for your student.  It is important for you and your student to connect with their teacher as well as getting your student’s desk organized for the new year.  To help make this day a little easier for moms with preschool children, we are excited to have the nursery available through OMPC.  The cost will be $5 per child under the age of 5 for the 2 hours of Meet Your Teacher Day (9am to 11:00am).   The $5 cost is a flat rate per child whether they are in the nursery the entire time or not.  The nursery will be staffed with paid OMPC workers with some WSOM students helping out if necessary.  We need a minimum of 10 children signed up to finalize. The deadline to sign up is Monday, August 3 by noon.  If…

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Caring for your Lower School Teachers

By | Lower School | No Comments

Summer is quickly coming to an end.  Soon we will be gathering again for Meet Your Teacher Day, the first day of school, and Lower School Open House!  Our faculty and staff have been praying and preparing throughout the summer for your children as they begin the 2015-2016 school year at Westminster.  As each of our families begin the school year anew, please consider ministering to our teachers through the gift of hospitality.  Are you willing to bring your child’s teacher a meal or restaurant gift card on the first day of school?  This opportunity to serve the teachers is such an encouragement and practical blessing for them during one of the busiest weeks of the year! In order to ensure that every teacher and staff member receives a meal or gift card, please sign up at Sign-Up Genius, www.SignUpGenius.com/go/10C0544A8A92FA1FF2-meals, or email wsomteacherapp@gmail.com with your name and the name of…

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