Chess & Clubs

Chess & Clubs

28
November
2012

Fun with problems!

Many of our primary aged students have enrolled in problem solving classes after school each week.   The children certainly don’t seem to mind staying late at school, even on a Friday,  because the problems are fun to solve, yet still challenge  the children to think and use different methods to come up with answers.   

For example, they’ve designed the best possible zoo (where all the animals can get to the lake, but not all of them need to access the savannah, for example) and another, set out below, challenged the children to find the most efficient way for a farmer to transport some troublesome produce... 

Problem: a farmer has to row across a river to deliver a chicken, a sack of wheat and a fox to the other side.  The fox and the chicken can’t travel or be left together, because the fox will eat the chicken.  The chicken and the wheat can’t travel or be left together, because the chicken will eat the wheat.  There is only room in the rowboat for the farmer to row two ‘items’ across at once.  How can the farmer use the boat to transport the wheat, the fox and the chicken safely across?   (Answers involving stowing the chicken up a tree on the far side, or tying the fox into the empty wheat sack, while inventive, are not part of the actual answer!)

Categories: Chess & Clubs, Science & Maths, John Colet

26
November
2012

Toga party for youngest Latin lovers

Some of our Infants students manage to squeeze a Latin lesson into their busy school week and this week they had their Christmas party.  It was togas, grapes, silver goblets and laurel leaves all round...


Categories: Chess & Clubs, John Colet

16
November
2012

Primary Chess Competition

Our primary aged students had their all-day school chess competition this week.  Open to all students in the age group whether or not they belong to chess club.    Next week, the infants get their turn.

  
   

Categories: Chess & Clubs, John Colet

09
November
2012

Indoor Football Tournament at the German School

Last Saturday Jarod, Ben, Xavier, Dominic and I went to the German International School to play in the indoor football tournament.  We played 4 games of soccer and won all 4 games.  Our 4th game was the grand final for year 3 and 4 teams.  We won the Grand Final 3 – 0 against Sydney Japanese School.  The man of the tournament for our team was ... everyone!  Our 6th class boys came third equal in their tournament.

-      by Ryan, 4th class

Thanks to the German International School for organising such a fun event. 

Categories: Chess & Clubs, John Colet

24
October
2012

Hark the Herald Angels Sing!

Term 4 Primary Choir Update

The Primary Choir worked very hard throughout term 3 and learnt all their music for the Speech Night concert – huge round of applause! It’s a rich program of beautiful music by Mozart including a duet from the Magic Flute and two choruses from his one act comic opera Bastien and Bastienna with a finale in three parts featuring a solo from this year’s Head Chorister Luke McCrostie as Colas the wizard.

Learning all the parts in term 3 has meant that we can pace ourselves until after the Primary Shakespeare festival. Then we start a refining and polishing exercise. This is a process of working on the all important details such as dynamics (louds and softs), pronunciation, expression, tone quality, phrasing, clear entries, clean finishes etc etc. This requires finer listening and attention.

When you listen to the final performance on the night, it’s this attention to detail that transforms a good work-a-day performance into an excellent, uplifting experience with a certain je ne sais quoi. For the children, it becomes a hugely rewarding experience to have worked hard together and presented their best. Any perceived imperfections are just the joy of live music and can and do happen to any musician professional or amateur.

One of the many highlights of Speech Night is at the end where everyone – parents and children join together to sing a Christmas carol and the National Anthem. The carol is a shared piece with everyone singing the first and last verses and the Infants Choir singing a verse on their own and likewise the Primary Choir who learn their section in two parts and also a descant for the grand finale of the last verse. This year it’s “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” but don’t worry if you don’t know the words, they will be in the program!

Pictured is Primary Choir Director, Sarah Mane, working on the behind-the-scenes details for the school's grand finale performance of the year.



Categories: Chess & Clubs, John Colet

03
September
2012

Ancient secrets of mental calculation revealed

If you know a quick way to square any number that ends in five, perhaps you’ve had some lessons in Vedic Mathematics.

John Colet School is running an enrichment course in Vedic Mathematics for children from 3rd - 6th classes.  The course focuses on extending students laterally through an alternative system of maths that has its origins in ancient India. 

The exercises and skills taught are not intended to replace students’ understanding of mainstream maths, but rather to enhance mental calculation and creative capacities.

The classes are being run as an extracurricular activity after school.  A common response from children taking part is: “Why were we not shown this before?”

 


Categories: Chess & Clubs, Science & Maths, John Colet

24
August
2012

Chess success

Hello Chess Enthusiasts,
I have some wonderful news to report.  Yesterday (Thursday 23/8) Brigitte S, Ashleigh E and Mi Mi P came 2nd in the Rookie division of the NSW Interschool Girls Teams Chess Challenge 2012!
A huge CONGRATULATIONS to these Girls!
Many thanks to Marina B for transporting the girls to and from Strathfield for the competition.
-          Heather B, Chess Coordinator

Categories: Chess & Clubs, John Colet

22
August
2012

What the Primary Choir is up to - Part 1

Speech Night preparations have begun in earnest by the Primary Choir. So soon?.... I hear you ask!  Each year all the choirs perform twice. The Infants Choir at Open Day and at the Christmas Celebration concert and nativity play. The Primary Choir and John Colet Choir both perform at Open Day and at Speech Night in December. We start the preparations for Open Day at the beginning of the year and for Speech Night at the beginning of term 3.

The first step is to learn all the notes and parts; just like learning lines for a play but it’s a musical part with notes. We take care at this crucial stage to ensure the notes are learnt accurately because music is so powerful that if notes are learnt incorrectly, they get in so deeply and quickly that it’s very difficult to fix it up at later rehearsals. The note learning stage is the foundation of the performance you hear and see on stage but it’s not that exciting to do. The primary children have been excellent in rehearsals. They bring a book or their Shakespeare script with them and if their part is not being taught, they read quietly or learn their play lines while they wait their turn – a win win!

We aim to have all the notes and parts learnt by the end of term 3. This allows them to be completely absorbed in their Shakespeare play for the first half of term 4 without the stress (on the teacher’s side) of also trying to learn Speech Night parts. Once the Primary Shakespeare Festival is over at the end of week 4, the rest of the term’s choir rehearsals are given over to consolidating, refining and polishing for Speech Night since all the parts have been learnt. The performance always includes solo items by the Head Chorister and often other children too.

The Speech Night concert program aims to expose the children to some of the finest and greatest choral music. We rotate around a four year program of Purcell, Vivaldi, Handel and Mozart. Last year was Handel’s Messiah and this year is an all Mozart program.

Look out for the next blog post on the Primary Choir with more details on the program itself.
- Mrs Mane

 

Categories: Chess & Clubs, John Colet

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