Chess & Clubs

Chess & Clubs


Interschool Chess Challenge at Artarmon Public School - John Colet does well!

Primary Schools Chess Competition

Hello Chess Enthusiasts!
Some more chess success to share!

Interschool Chess Challenge – Artarmon Public School
Yesterday, 19 students from the Senior Chess class competed at Artarmon in an individual-based tournament but the 4 highest scores from each school were added together. The children played 7 games of chess.

As a result, John Colet School came 2nd out of 16 schools.  The first placed school (Willoughby) only beat us by ½ point!!
Congratulations to all the children but especially our top scorers who helped the school achieve such a fantastic result!
Jarod C = 6 points (overall 2nd place out of 162 students)
Nathan C = 6 points
Yasha B = 5.5 points
Ryan B = 5 points
Xavier S = 5 points

Primary Schools Chess Competition
The John Colet A team (Ryan B, Jarod C, Sean B, Yasha B) will be playing in the first round of the Zone finals this afternoon.  They play against Lane Cove A (Lower North Shore Division winners).
Please join me in wishing them good luck!

Categories: Chess & Clubs, John Colet


Manly-Warringah Zone Primary School Chess Competition results

Terrific chess competition results for John Colet School

I have the most exciting news to report about our five fantastic teams who competed in the Primary Schools Chess Competition on Fridays after school during Term 2 and early this term.  This is a state-wide competition divided up into country and metropolitan zones.  The region of Manly-Warringah is one of the largest and for the first time we had 5 teams competing.

The final standings are as follows:

John Colet A (Championship Division MW1) – DIVISION WINNERS!
Ryan B, Jarod C, Sean B, Yasha B
-    This was a nail-biting finish as this division consists of the very best chess teams across the Northern Beaches.  There were only 2.5 points that separated 1st and 3rd, so a very tight competition.
-    This team now progresses to the Zone finals as we compete against the best of the Metropolitan North Region

John Colet B (Intermediate Division Team MW2) – DIVISION WINNERS!
Xavier S, Nathan C, Dominic S, Samuel L, reserve = Brigitte S
-    This team was strong and steady from the first week.  Their consistency won out over 2 other strong teams.
John Colet C (Intermediate Division Team MW3) – 3rd PLACE!
Rex F, Brigitte S, Lucas v de S, Scout H, reserve = Patrick H
-    This was a competitive draw with many ‘A’ & ‘B’ teams. There were only 4 points that separated 1st and 3rd.

John Colet D (Rookie Division MW6) – DIVISION WINNERS!
Harry P, MiMi P, Kai P, Liam McW
-    This team was very young for this division but were so convincing that they won 25 out of a possible 28 points!  A particularly thrilling result from these youngsters!

John Colet E (Junior Rookie Division MW7) – 4th PLACE!
Thomas J, Sean G, Luke B, Ramakrishna B, Aidan H
-    This was the largest division with 10 teams and the competition only finished last Friday.  To have this success at such a young age is very exciting for the Chess Club.

A massive CONGRATULATIONS to all of these students.

I would like to thank Miro for his dedicated coaching of the children and to all the parents who assisted in supervising, catering, transporting and helping each Friday afternoon.

Yours strategically,
Heather B
Chess Club Co-ordinator

Categories: Chess & Clubs, John Colet


Getting ready for Ryde Eisteddfod

Update from Choir Director Michaela Miles

The John Colet Choir has started learning a new piece for the Ryde Eisteddfod. “Myoon-Myoon” is a mysterious Australian piece, written in 1996 by Stephen Leek, about Uluru.  Tempo changes make it quite tricky, but Choir Director Michaela Miles says they are certainly up to the challenge.

“They are very good at listening to music and are quite quick at memorising their parts,” she said. 

They will also perform “Amazing Grace” at the eisteddfod, which Mrs Miles says is unusual for a primary choir to sing in three parts, as JCS choir does.

Mrs Miles says all our choirs display great focus and discipline when they perform, and in preparation for Ryde she will be continuing that focus, while “developing animation and lifting their faces while looking, like glue, at me.”

Meanwhile our 3rd and 4th class choir is also learning a new Australian work, inspired by the Jabberwocky recital at Open Day.  It is “Songs for Snark-Hunters” by Martin Wesley-Smith, all about the hope, fear and anguish of going on a snark hunt. Or will they find a boojum?

Mrs Miles takes the John Colet Choir, which is open to 4th, 5th and 6th class students by audition, on Wednesday afternoons after school and Thursday mornings from 10.50am -11.30.

She takes the 3rd and 4th class choir on Wednesday and Thursday mornings from 8.40 – 9.25am, and 5th and 6th class choir on Wednesday and Thursday mornings from 9.45am-10.30.

“I give students copies of the music to look at, we go through it together and work out the long and short notes.  There is quite a lot of music reading, and [even if they don’t learn an instrument] they get very good at following a melody and musical phrases.  They are also all very familiar with music with more than one part.”

Categories: Chess & Clubs, John Colet


Our results at Mona Vale Chess Competition

Hello Chess Enthusiasts!
On Wed 27 March, 24 students from John Colet competed at the Northern Beaches Primary Schools Chess Challenge 2013.  Altogether, there were 264 students (88 teams) representing 17 schools!!
The John Colet children were magnificent - wonderfully behaved, great sportsmen and sportswomen.  What a great day.
I believe the final points ended up as follows:

Team D – (Yasha B, Daya C-H, Scout H) – 10.5 points - congratulations on 7th place!!
Team B – (Xavier S, Nathan C, Rex F) – 9.5 points

Team A – (Jarod C, Ryan B, Sean B) - 8 points
Team C – (Dominic S, Justin T, Lucas v de S) - 8 points
Team G – (Mi Mi P, Thomas J, Sean G) - 8 points

Team E – (Brigitte S, Ashleigh E, Maisy T) – 7.5 points
Team F – (Samuel L, Harry P, William W) – 7.5 points
Team H – (Kai P, Michael T, Luke B) -  6 Points
Fabulous effort.

Lessons Next Term-
Term 2 lessons will commence the first week back from school holidays.  That is:
Monday lessons on 6th May (second week back)
Wednesday lessons on 1st May (first week back)
Friday lessons on 3rd May.
Yours strategically,
Heather B

Categories: Chess & Clubs, John Colet


Great end-game for the chess year

This is the final Chess news item for 2012 and what a brilliant year the Chess Club has had!  Many senior chess players who were in Yr 6 left last year and there were some big shoes to fill.

John Colet was represented by 30 Chess Club members across 5 Inter-school tournaments.  In many instances, we had a team finish in the Top 4.  There is such amazing depth to the chess club and there is so much to look forward to in future years.

I wish to thank the Parents who assist me each week in supervising the different chess classes: Marina S, Simone P, Alexandra D, Leslie D and Heike F. 

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

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

Now for the exciting part – the End of Year Announcements:

John Colet Chess Competition

In the past fortnight, the school hosted the Annual Primary and Infants Chess competitions.  What a magnificent and enthusiastic turn-out.  The children were fantastic and they all had so much fun playing chess.

Last Thursday, 35 Primary students played 6 rounds of chess and by the final round we had a winner:

Primary Chess Champion:  Ryan B
Runner-Up:  Jarod C
3rd:  Xavier S
4th:  Daya C-H

Last week, 50 Infants students gathered to play 5 rounds of chess and in a tight finish the results were:

Infants Chess Champion:  Nathan C
Runner-Up:  Thomas J
3rd:  Kai P
4th:  Sean G

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

Chess Player of the Year
This accolade is awarded to the Chess Club Member who finishes the year with the highest ranking.  Early each Friday morning, the Senior Chess players compete against each other and their results are recorded.  Considering that many of the students have played in excess of 50 games over the course of the year it is both wonderful and astounding that the results are very close. We have such a strong team of Senior players.  It gives Miro and I great pleasure to announce:

Chess Player of the Year:  Jarod C
Runner Up:  Brigitte S
3rd:  Ryan B
Yours strategically,
Heather B
Chess Coordinator

Some pics from the Infants chess tournament...

Categories: Chess & Clubs, John Colet


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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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