A basic aspect of the John Colet School philosophy of education is that children need physical, mental, emotional and spiritual input every day. And that they should be given the best. What does this mean in practice?
We try to provide:
- the best food and physical activities;
- the most useful interesting subject content, as well as thought provoking discussion;
- exposure to the richest literature, art and music; and the finest moral and ethical principles;
- a daily experience of peace and stillness, and input from the great teachers of mankind.
The children have a freshly prepared, cooked vegetarian sit-down lunch every day.
The sport program for infants involves games and skills and, in Summer, swimming. Beginning in 3rd class the children play a range of sports each term in a competition against local schools.
All children have training in the lead up to the annual swimming carnival and sports carnival.
The school teaches the six Key Learning Areas of the NSW curriculum mandated by the NSW Board of Studies: English; Mathematics; Human Society in its Environment; Science and Technology; Creative Arts and Personal Development, Health & Physical Education. John Colet School excels in public examinations (see www.myschool.edu.au ).
One of the founding principles of the school is to preserve simple effective traditional methods of education such as learning times tables, spelling and grammar by heart. At the same time open-ended, enquiry based learning is a core part of the curriculum as well. The aim being that the children receive the core NSW curriculum in an effective and creative way.
In addition our Classical and Modern Languages program includes: Sanskrit, Latin and French.
Emotional and Cultural
The aim of emotional and cultural education is to enrich the children and give them a sense of wonder, beauty and an expansive view of themselves and the world. At John Colet School every child performs in our annual Shakespeare Festivals. There is a Music program, and the children sing several times a week and the repertoire includes choral pieces such as Handel’s Messiah. There is a rich and varied Art program.
Every child has a weekly Philosophy class in which large questions are discussed: Who am I? Does life have a purpose? Is there a Creator? How should we live?
Spiritual and Character Building
The school was founded by men and women who had found that simple techniques of self-awareness had revolutionised their lives. They wanted to give children the same benefit. The school’s daily curriculum includes regular moments of stillness between lessons in order to recharge the minds and clear the air for the next lesson.
We also have Scripture classes in which we draw on a range of traditions from East and West. These are used to introduce the great pillars of civilisation such as the Ten Commandments and The Beatitudes as well as similar principles from the East. And these lessons are a springboard to open-ended discussion on the ethical and moral principles by which a reasonable human being should live.
In Assembly and at other times we say prayers from a range of traditions and sing hymns.
At the age of ten children can, if they wish, be introduced to a formal system of meditation and they then meditate for a few minutes in the morning and afternoon at school.
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