Chess & Clubs

Chess & Clubs


French classes at John Colet School


Beginner’s Class / Junior Class Tuesday 3.00pm – 3.55pm
Intermediate/Senior Class Thursday 3.00pm – 3.55pm
Classes will commence during Week 4 of Term 1, 2015.
Location The library which is  behind reception. Enter via the side door off the breezeway.
Please contact Jenyne Hanson through the school.

If you are interested in your child beginning French classes please contact me via email or on the above mobile number via sms with your contact details and your child’s class and teacher.

I will not be taking students from Lower First during Terms 1 & 2.

The beginner’s class will be for students who have done very little French or have no knowledge of the language.

If your child is in year 3, 4, 5 or 6 it is possible that I may place them in the intermediate class. Please contact me for this.

Some students from the 2014 Beginner’s class will enter the intermediate class on Thursdays. Please discuss your child’s progress with me prior to us making this decision.

Classes are $10 per lesson, & parents are invoiced at the commencement of term via email with electronic funds transfer details.

Please notify your child’s class teacher if you intend for them to start lessons.

Thank you,
Jenyne Hanson

Categories: Chess & Clubs, John Colet


Chess news

As promised last week, please find towards the end of our blog posts, the Term 1 2015 Enrolment form and details of fees and how to pay. Our first Senior Chess class was held this morning and next week Intermediate Chess will commence on Monday and on Wednesday Beginners and Transition classes will commence. I have already had strong interest in the Beginners class from Lower 1st which is wonderful.

I have created a Closed Facebook Group as another channel for communication for our chess community. You can search for it under John Colet Chess Club. I am sharing articles, links and updates there - seeking to keep Parents more engaged with the Club and their children's participation in chess. Membership is optional and members do not have to be 'Friends' or post anything themselves.
Yours in Chess,
Simone P
Chess Club Manager

"Daring ideas are like chessman moved forward. They may be beaten, but they may start a winning game." Goethe

Categories: Chess & Clubs, John Colet


Letter to Lower First parents about Chess

Dear Lower 1st Parents

I am the JCS Chess Club Manager for 2015 and I just wanted to reach out to you to let you know a bit about the Club and especially how the Beginner Chess Classes run.

I have 3 kids currently at the school, Sebastian in Year 6, Kai in year 5 and Heidi in 2nd class. Back in 2009 when Sebastian started in L1st I thought he would have enough on his plate in Lower 1st with adjusting to school and learning to read and write and so promised him he could start Chess in the following year – which he did, but – no surprise, number 2 and 3 I handled a little differently and they both started in Lower 1st.

The Beginner Class is run on a Wednesday at recess – so just about 20mins – not too taxing for short attention spans. The kids line up at top house and one of the young interns walks them to Chess with their recess in their hands. This year it is a very short distance to Chess class, which is in John Colet House 1 (right next door to the Hall). The Chess Master – Miro will be waiting for them there. Miro has a very long association with John Colet and is very accustomed to teaching to all ages and levels. And no, it is not necessary for you to be able to play chess. I’ve seen kids playing chess at After School Care and in the back of their classes during free school time. They will get enough exposure.

In the beginning they are mainly getting familiar with the pieces, what their names are, how the board is set up, how they move and how much their pieces are worth. As soon as practical the class is split into the theoretical portion and a game portion (quite funny to witness in the beginning). You would be surprised to see how attentive the children are and how quickly they catch on.

Learning the game of chess itself has been shown to have many advantages, for children and adults. And as with many things, learning from a young age can make the process a lot easier.

Why play Chess?

·         A study by Dr Peter Dauvergne of the University of Sydney has shown that teaching chess to children can:

·         Raise their intelligence quotient (IQ) scores

·         Strengthen problem solving skills, teaching how to make difficult and abstract decisions independently

·         Enhance reading, memory, language, and mathematical abilities

·         Foster critical, creative, and original thinking

·         Provide practice at making accurate and fast decisions under time pressure, a skill that can help improve exam scores at school

·         Teach how to think logically and efficiently, learning to select the ‘best’ choice from a large number of options

·         Challenge gifted children while potentially helping underachieving gifted students to learn how to study and strive for excellence

·         Demonstrate the importance of flexible planning, concentration and the consequences of decisions

·         Reach boys and girls regardless of their natural abilities or socio-economic backgrounds.

I would just say, that it may do all of those things, but that what I have been impressed with in my observation of the classes at all levels is the playful camaraderie and joy in the classroom, and the amazing sense of achievement that the children feel as they progress. To see the children at the competitions both at our school and at others, is truly inspiring. To see the Mona Vale Public School Hall – which is HUGE, full of kids shaking hands, sitting and concentrating, employing chess etiquette and generally getting a kick out of the total experience is just a wonderful reminder of what children are capable of if they are only given the right opportunities.

In this age where the temptation of screen time is so strong, I will confess that I make chess the exception to what can be some strict rules. My kids are allowed to play chess at home against the computer on My 6 year old will play the DinoChess App or Chess-wise App on devices, while in waiting rooms etc. And my older boys will take the chess set out to restaurants with us and play with us on holidays. I try to make a rule that if they ask me to play chess with them to always says yes.

The Fee for lessons is $5/lesson. There will be more information about how to make payments in upcoming newsletters. If you would like to read more about the Chess Club there are some historical Blog entries on the school’s website.

If you are thinking of enrolling your children for Beginner Chess Class in Term 1 can you please let me know, so that Miro and I can plan accordingly. If you definitely don’t want your child to attend than you might want to make that clear to them and their teacher, as they can sometimes tend to just follow the others – especially if their friends are heading that way. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to email me of give me a call or email me on the below email address.

Yours in Chess,

Simone P
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Categories: Lower First news (Kindy), Chess & Clubs


Bright start to the new chess year at John Colet

I am so excited about the John Colet Chess Club in 2015 and would like to extend an invitation to all the students to join.  We plan to continue to build upon our success of recent years.  With the blessing of the school, Our Chessmaster Miro Nowak, Clare J and I have big plans for the year ahead.  

There will be no increase in fees for 2015.  Beginners and Transistion classes are $5 per class and Intermediate and Seniors are $10 per class.  More information about how to pay via Trybooking or bank transfer will be in next weeks newsletter.

We have a new space, in what last year was Mrs Navidi’s classroom (Colet House 1)  Next to the teacher’s workroom.

Senior Chess Club will start back in Week 1 on Friday morning at 7.20am, that is the 30th of January

Beginners and Transistion on Wednesday the 4th  and Intermediate classes on Monday afternoon the 2nd.

Can children please bring a wallet style folder to each class to store their homework.

Unless I have personally contacted you, the children attend the following classes:

  • Any interested children from Lower 1st will commence with the ‘Beginners’ class at Wednesday recess.
  • Upper 1st children who played chess last year will remain in 'Beginners’ until week 3 at least when we shall advise of movements to the ‘Transition’ class at Wednesday lunch.
  • 2nd class children in Transition will remain there.
  • 3rd class (or any new children in the Primary classes) will attend the Intermediate class on Monday afternoon after school.
  • Children already in the Intermediate class will remain there unless they have been contacted by Miro or myself.
  • Any Infants children brand new to chess must first join the Beginners class at Wednesday recess.  

Our first Tournament of the year will be coming up in March at Mona Vale.

Happy New School Year!

Simone P
Chess Club Manager
“At the end of the game the King and the Pawn go back in the same box”
[Italian Proverb]

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Categories: Chess & Clubs, John Colet


Garden Club end of year news

Garden Whispers

Today, Friday, is the last Garden Club for 2014 at John Colet!

Last week we got into the Christmas spirit early, with Theresa 
bringing containers and seedlings, as well as some that the children 
have nurtured into life over the past few weeks.

In between water fights to cool down, we painted pots and filled 
packing boxes with seedlings. They were given a festive air with 
Christmas decorations.

And of course, the thirsty garden needed watering and worms checked 
to see how they survived the heat.

Speaking of which, we need some enthusiastic volunteers to go on the 
garden roster over the Christmas holidays to water the garden.

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Linda Zanella


Categories: Chess & Clubs, John Colet


Chess, the year in review

Hello Chess Enthusiasts!

This is the final Chess news item not only from me but also for 2014. Once again we can look back at an amazing year of achievements by the talented students of the Chess Club! John Colet was represented by 26 Chess Club members across 4 Inter-school tournaments.

To summarise our results this year:

·         Mona Vale One- Day Chess Tournament (March):

o   A team came first (out of 72 teams) with a perfect score of 21 points

o   Girls team came second in the Girls division.

·         NSW JCL Primary School Chess Tournament (Term 2 & 3)

o   Championship MW1 Division

§  A team – Equal 2nd Place!

§  B team – 5th place!

o   Intermediate MW2 Division

§  C team – 2nd Place!

o   Rookie MW4 Division

§  D team – Division Winners!

o   Rookie Junior MW7 Division

§  E Team – Equal 2nd Place!

·         Sydney Academy Chess Interschool Chess Challenge (Term 2 & 3)

o   Artarmon Heat – 3rd place (Lucas v de S – 2nd place individually)

o   Harbord Semi-Final – 4th place (Ryan B - 4th place individually)

WOW – what a performance and so much to look forward to next year!!

I wish to thank the Parents who have assisted me this year with supervising the different chess classes: Simone P, Xia C, Chandra B, Mariana P and Sara L. I would also like to thank Clare J who looks after the Chess accounts.

Thank you to the teachers who help us to keep an eye on the kids on Monday afternoons and Friday mornings!

Information about next years’ classes will be sent out early next year, but at this stage the lesson times will remain the same.

As you know, Simone Pietschner will be the Chess Co-ordinator in 2015 and she will need the help of parents in supervising the classes as well as the logistics of the competitions. Please contact her at the chess email to indicate your availability.

I want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a restful break over the Summer.

Final Chess lessons for the Year

The final chess lessons for the year will be as follows:

Intermediate class: Monday 17th November

Beginners and Transition classes: Wednesday 19th November

Seniors: Friday 21st November

There will be no chess in Week 8.

Yours strategically (for the last time!!),

Heather B
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Categories: Chess & Clubs, John Colet


Chess Competition shows depth of talent

Hello Chess Enthusiasts!

This week many John Colet students competed in the Infants and Primary Chess Competitions. What a magnificent and enthusiastic turn-out. The children were fantastic and they all had so much fun playing chess.

On Monday, 29 Infants students gathered to play 5 rounds of chess and by the final round we had a winner!

Infants Chess Champion: Saurav H
2nd Place: Eshaan H
3rd Place: Ramakrishna B
4th Place: Jamie A
5th Place: Arne B
6th Place: Elston C

Then, on Wednesday, 34 Primary students played 5 rounds of chess and again, by the final round we had a winner!

Primary Chess Champion: Ryan B
2nd Place: Jarod C
3rd Place: Xavier S
4th Place: Daniel Sj
5th Place: Brigitte S
6th Place: Thomas J

Special thanks to Miro Nowak, our fantastic Chess tutor, who kept a watchful eye over all the games.

I would also like to thank Judith Donald and Mary McKendrick for presenting the trophies, and to Simone Pietschner who assisted me with both of the tournaments.

Most Improved Chess Player & Chess Player of the Year
Early each Friday morning, the Senior Chess players compete against each other and their results are recorded. Considering that many of the students have each played almost 40 games over the course of the year it is both wonderful and astounding that the results are very close. It gives Miro and I great pleasure to announce:

Most Improved Chess Player:
This accolade is awarded to the Senior Chess Club Member who has the greatest improvement in their ranking over the entire year.

1st Place: Lucas v de S
2nd Place: Kai P
3rd Place: Sean G

Chess Player of the Year:
This accolade is awarded to the Senior Chess Club Member who finishes the year with the highest ranking.

1st Place: Ryan B
2nd Place: Xavier S
3rd Place: Dominic S


Yours strategically,
Heather B & Simone P
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Categories: Chess & Clubs, John Colet


Christmas Concert

John Colet is proud to announce a showcase of all our students who learn a musical instrument here at John Colet. The Christmas Concert will be on Friday 21 November at 6pm. All students perform a short piece on the piano, violin, or cello. This is a great opportunity to see our wonderful musicians in full swing. All parents and students welcome.

young school student playing piano

Photo credit:  Arnie Hollyman

Pictured above is Edward T, 2nd class M, performing at our concert earlier this year. 

Categories: Chess & Clubs, John Colet


Game on in chess

Hello Chess Enthusiasts!
John Colet Chess Competition

The Annual Primary and Infants Chess competitions will be taking place in November (just after Shakespeare week).

o   Infants Competition: Mon 3rd Nov. 2014, 9.30-12.30

o   Primary Competition: Wed 5th Nov. 2014, 9.30-12.30

Numbers for each competition will be capped at 40. Children in the Chess Club will have the first opportunity to enrol and then the remaining spots will be open to any student from Upper First to Year 6.

The competition will consist of 5-6 rounds and run on the ‘Swiss Formula’ system. This means that each child will play every round as there no knock-out rounds.

The children can nominate themselves by informing their class teacher as soon as possible. The entries will be capped, so it will be first-in, first-served!

Chess Fees

The fees for this term are now due. To pay for the chess classes, please click here

Even better - you no longer need to fill in a form!!

2015 Chess Co-ordinator

This is my final year as Chess Co-ordinator and it has been an absolute privilege to organise this amazing chess club for the last 3½ years. I am delighted to announce that from next year, Simone Pietschner will be taking over as Co-ordinator and Clare Jeffries will continue as Treasurer.

If you have any questions, please contact us.

Yours strategically,

Heather B & Simone P
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Categories: Chess & Clubs, John Colet


Teasing seedlings

Hello and welcome to the last garden club note for term 3. 
The weather has certainly kept us on our toes this term, but the garden club have rallied! 

Last week we planted some seedlings around the teepee. Theresa showed us all how to gently 'tease' the enmeshed roots to separate the seedlings. Many had been pot -bound.

Cassie became our expert 'teaser' before the small plants were dunked in the wheelbarrow in a pungent solution of blood and bone, and seaweed. Some of us went home ponging a bit, too!

The kids really enjoyed it, and today we have more seedlings to plant and hopefully time to plant some seeds and nurture them over the break.

Garden Club will continue next term on Fridays, as that is the best day for Theresa. She is a wonderful teacher and knows a lot about organic gardening!

Next year we can look at having Garden Club on a different day.

Classes are open to book on Here is the link.

Please come along and support the garden club. It was set up for the children and the school and is at the same low price of $10 per child this term.

I am also looking for a few garden helpers to help Theresa this term, as Carlo and I have to head off to sport on Friday afternoons and won't be able to stay every Friday.

Please email me if you can come along for one or more Fridays. It all helps!

We are looking to expand the garden with a bush tucker garden and perhaps some fruit trees. It would be great if this can be organised to coincide with the next Sunday working bee. Any suggestions and help please contact me.

Linda Zanella

Categories: Chess & Clubs, John Colet

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