A wet beginning to the year, but many say that it is auspicious … It has been lovely to welcome the children back, all looking a little taller. Also a warm welcome to the new children and their parents. The new Head Boy and Head Girl, with other office bearers, have begun to take up their new duties, and the little ones made a good start.
At our first Assembly the Headmaster spoke to the children about the new place in our Values of Courage: this appears in our Vision Mission and Values statement as: Display self-control, inner strength and right action: Practice: Courage 1. Are my words and actions truthful? 2. Can I forgive others? 3. Do I meet challenges with resilience? 4. Do I step up to protect those in need? The accent this week is on having the courage to do what we know to be right and refraining from doing what we know is not right. Carrying this into the home gives it extra support and emphasis.
Welcome back – we hope the holidays were restful and rewarding, but we feel confident all the children will be looking forward to coming back for the new year, to seeing their friends and teachers and moving into their new grade! We have 25 “new recruits” in Lower First with Mrs. McDermott, and about 10 new students throughout other classes. A warm welcome to new students and their parents. During the Teachers’ Study Week consideration was given to the slight change in our Vision Mission and Values – the combining of Service and Care into Service and the introduction of Courage and its extended application in the daily life of the School and School community. It is interesting to consider all aspects and implications of this Value, which we will be doing during the coming weeks: physical, intellectual, moral and spiritual courage. Although it has always been there as part of our Pantheon, especially in relation to Honesty and owning up, it now takes a place of its own: Stillness, Truthfulness, Courage, Service and Respect.
Teachers were also working on aspects of Health and Safety, with modules on First Aid and Anaphylaxis (CPR to follow), and then of course their teaching content for the coming terms in this year of review by BOSTES (Board of Studies). Mrs. Sue McKinley is on Long Service Leave for the Term (enjoy !) and is replaced by a combination of Ms Lauren Russell, picking up Remedial Support, and Mrs. Kim Mann, helping among other things with the distribution of Home Readers. Mrs. McKinley will return in Term 2. Best wishes for the coming year!
What wonderful generosity in the gift-giving for the “First Seeds” and Smith Family collections. The Treasure Chest was overflowing, and I couldn’t fit all the gifts for the Smith Family into my boot! Thank you to parents and children for their contributions.
The Nativity reflected the same spirit of generosity, and was a delightful occasion, attended by a goodly number of parents and siblings. The children performed beautifully.
The Volunteers’ Thank You Morning Tea was another event demonstrating bounty and giving, and what a wonderful morning tea was prepared by Mrs. Moor. The School could not operate in the same way without the contributions and work of the parents. Schooling is a joint venture! Reflecting on thank yous – much gratitude to the P&F for the money raised by the tea towel sales which was used for some refurbishment in the Art Room. The “new look” Art Room is worth a visit with its wonderful coloured custom-built art tables and chest of drawers. These tables have made an enormous change to the appearance of the room, and somehow they draw the attention to the art on the walls. The Art Room now has a very integrated feel. Have a look!
6th Class have been placed in temporary accommodation due to the movement of classes ready for next year, and they have been much feted by their successors. Best of luck to them all. By-the-way, if you have an opportunity to look at their “Year Book”, please do. It’s a wonderful publication, beautifully put together by the class and parents.
Looking forward to seeing you all at Speech Night. Have a wonderful and safe holiday.
The end of the year really is in sight when we start moving classrooms for the following year. Many classes are moving location, but a few are staying put, and the Top House is being prepared for the "new batch"!
It's Nativity time, too, and 2nd Class are preparing an enactment with readings and carols. All are welcome to watch it this Tuesday 25th November at 8.45am in MacLaren Hall. The children traditionally bring a gift for the less privileged , as mentioned last week, and these go to the Smith Family and, if for a teenage girl, the First Seeds Foundation.
The Primary children and the JC Choir are rehearsing for Speech Night and will be travelling to Chatswood for an in situ rehearsal. And of course, there's Picnic Day ...
Throughout this busy and exciting time, the children are asked to remain mindful, and always give of their best.
What a week – there was a different excitement every day! We began with the Confectionery Portrait of the Bard, his 450th birthday cake! - produced by the Kitchen Staff, the Art Room Staff and the children: it looked good but tasted better. We were still eating it by mid-week! Watch the Manly Daily for some copy. Monday was also the occasion of the Mufti Day competition – children from throughout the school, giving persuasive talks at Monday Assembly about a choice of a charity for the Mufti Day Funds: The Team 'Edward and Maisy' carried the day with funds going to the Westmead Children’s Hospital Liver Unit. Well done all the participants: we had an interesting range. Tuesday was a highly successful Sports’ Carnival at the Narrabeen Sport Centre – the weather was more propitious this year, and the children did well. Thanks to the organisers and the many parents who came along. Phillip House won the day, followed by Macquarie House. Wednesday was Flinders Market Day (gold coin please) and the Mufti Day on Thursday. A few interesting sights, and some very generous donations. More news later about the total. Please plan your child’s gift for the annual Smith Family gift collection to be brought to the Nativity Play and placed in the Treasure Chest. Please label your gift with gender/age. Any gifts for teenage girls will be going to The First Seeds Foundation, and the others to the Smith Family. Many thanks in advance.
Judith Donald Infants Mistress
Phillip House members showing off their winning form at our Sports Carnival!
The Primary teachers and children have been basking in the afterglow of the Shakespeare Festival – a combination of “glory” and relief!
In-School Chess Competitions were held during the week, with Saurav H being the Infants’ winner and Ryan B the Primary winner. Thank you Miro, Mrs. Berlee and Mrs. Pietschner.
Last week we also saw the introduction to the school of next year’s Lower First cohort who had a half day with Mrs. McDermott, Mrs. Tomaz, Mrs. McKinley and many of the 6th class, who were wonderful helpers. We look forward to welcoming them next year.
On Monday we will have a special Assembly presentation from children lobbying for their favourite charity to be the recipient of the proceeds of a Mufti Day on Thursday 13th.
The Sports’ Carnival is looming for Tuesday, and we hope for more clement weather than last year. Off to the Narrabeen Sports’ Centre, and may the best House win.
It is traditional at John Colet School that every year, to coincide with the performance of the Nativity Play (25th November, at 8.45 a.m.), the children bring gifts to be donated to needy children through the Smith Family.
Second hand items in very good condition are also acceptable.
These gifts should not be wrapped (they have to be checked by Smith Family helpers) but should be clearly labelled with the age of the child for whom they would be suitable.
The Treasure Chest will be placed outside the Hall, and gifts should be placed in it on the day of the Nativity.
Have you seen the new ”population” in the John Colet Garden Club area. There has been an invasion of scarecrows, and very scary too – a week before Hallowe’en! A great job, children and gardening ladies. I wonder whether the scarecrows frighten away rabbits – I have seen plenty of those around – it’s a bit like Mr. McGregor’s garden up there with Flopsy Bunnies everywhere!
The wonderful promise shown at the Primary Shakespeare rehearsals last week paid off, and the performances were absolutely outstanding. Not only that, but the children behaved so well during all the visits to the theatre to rehearse in situ. The teachers and ZoeEmanuel are to be thanked for their inexhaustible efforts and patience. There are many others to mention with gratitude – mostly parents who helped with costumes, food, makeup, hairstyling , transport. The Headmaster too was indefatigable, and was here, there and everywhere. Many thanks to all.
In-house Chess Competitions are looming up this week, in school hours. Heather Berlee and Simone Pietschner are the organisers, with Simone as Chess Chief-Elect. Infants are on Monday and Primary on Wednesday. We also have next year’s Lower First coming for a “Practice Half-Day” on Thursday.
"Give of your best" - there are plenty of opportunities this term to support this value and this is what we have seen with the Primary Shakespeare. They are certainly giving of their best. Last week we saw 'snippets' of all plays for John Bell's annual visit. Now we have been treated to full dress rehearsals of all the Primary plays. It is so encouraging to see the growth in the understanding, presentation and performance of the children: confidence and panache. And there is the sense of their absolute enjoyment. We look forward to the 'real thing' in the coming week. Break a leg!
The week started off with a “new Headmaster” – Mr. William W, presiding at Assembly, suitably kitted out and quite looking the part. His parents acquired this privilege for him at the “Auction of Promises” at the Alice and Wonderland dinner. He did an amazing job, and the children too responded admirably. William had various other duties during the day, including lunch with the Head Boy and Head Girl.
We had our annual visit from Mr. John Bell, who is the Patron of our Shakespeare Festival. He is retiring as CEO of the Bell Shakespeare Company, (after 25 years), but will be taking on other things, including some work with the Sydney Opera Company. He has also agreed to continue to be our Patron! The children did a great job with their “mini performances”: the Festival is in Week 4, so buy your tickets. You can read a selection of the children's Q & A with Mr Bell here.
A busy week, because the whole Infants School went to an ABC Concert. The children were prepared as usual by Mrs. Tefay; the music was excellent, but the programme was a little less interactive than usual. Third Class had an outing to the Imax to see a film on Ancient Egypt, followed by a picnic at Darling Harbour.
Week three is the beginning of complete change to summer uniform. The first two weeks are a period where winter/summer uniform is optional (so has the weather been this week!). Girls’ hair must be tied back – we have had some head lice already, and children should leave the school in full uniform, which means laces done up and shirts tucked in. Uniform guidelines can be found here, or look in your child's school diary for the the photo guide. No flouro shoelaces on sports shoes please.
“Give of your best” – there are plenty of opportunities this term to support this value.
A smooth start to Term 4, which is always a busy one, somewhat taken over for the Primary by Shakespeare. Swimming has also come back into the timetable for the term.
On Thursday evening Malcolm Smith delivered a very successful talk on “Mindfulness” to about 40 people, not all parents of John Colet School – we opened it up to a wider community. What Mr. Smith offered was very much in line with our approach.
The coming week marks a visit by Roger Rogerson, artist, who will be working with 6th class on their Shakespeare mural on one of the panels outside Colet House – the first of many! We have the annual visit of our Shakespeare Festival Patron, Mr. John Bell, on Tuesday, 14th October. He will be treated to “potted” versions of all the plays, and we traditionally have a Q&A session with the older children afterwards. The entire Infants School will be going to the ABC in Ultimo to hear a concert programme, for which Mrs. Tefay has been preparing them in Singing lessons.
Mrs. McKendrick will be on Long Service Leave from Wednesday 15th October, to Tuesday 21st. Any urgent matters should be referred to Mrs. Donald or to the Headmaster.
The “new face about town” is Adam Black, pictured below, who is here for the term as a gap student, and is already proving invaluable, as he is accompanying the Infants swimming groups to the pool and is the only one on the staff, as a male, who is able to enter the boys’ change rooms!!
Adam completed his High School Education at St. James’ School for Boys, at Ashford, Middlesex, a large and well provided campus. He studied Classical Civilisation, Ancient History and History for his A Levels, and wishes to pursue these subjects at University next year. He is interested in Rugby, Football and Athletics. His older sister, Alena, attended Melbourne University in 2012, and it was she who persuaded Adam that the Antipodes was the place for a gap “year”. Adam will move on to the Ficino School in Auckland in the first term of 2015. Best wishes for a happy and productive stay, Adam!
Welcome back to school, after what we hope was a wonderful Spring break! The teachers are refreshed and ready to go!
School uniform is optional summer/winter for the first two weeks and thereafter summer only.
Exciting news is that the P&F-sponsored fitness equipment has been installed and is looking wonderful: there are “chin ups”, “push ups”, climbing ladders, “leap frogs” and a hurdle, all cushioned with eucalyptus soft fall. Many thanks to the Parents and Friends for providing this new interest in the playground, which fits in with our Crunch and Sip/LiveLifeWell@School programme.
Another Gap Student has arrived – Adam Black, who is staying at the Laytons: more about him in the next edition.
And news just in, Brigitte S and Ryan B in 6th class were awarded Distinctions in the Sanskrit International Examination administered by the St James School in London. Congratulations to them both on their terrific results.
The term has come to an end – and a busy and successful one it has been.
5th and 6th Class had a wonderful trip to Canberra, particularly memorable for 6th Class. Both Upper 1st and 2nd classes had great outings too: U1st to the Environmental Centre at Narrabeen, and 2nd Class to Bradley’s Head, Sydney Harbour National Park, looking at “shelter”.
Primary Shakespeare is well under way, and before we know where we are, we will be watching the plays at the Glen Street Theatre.
Today there was a special Assembly for Founder’s Day and Mr. Mane spoke about Leon MacLaren and his vision for schools such as ours. The Head Boy and Head Girl gave speeches to the assembled teachers and children about what makes John Colet School special. The Headmaster also emphasised the need for the children to honour their parents, and to find ways of expressing that honour.
Uniform next term – optional winter or summer uniform for the first two weeks, dependent on the weather, and then from week 3 onwards, summer uniform only.
Many thanks to all the parents and friends of the School who have worked in so many ways to help with and enhance the busy life of the School. Happy holidays!
Week 10 and the end of term in sight. When we have school photos taken and the staff are being photographed, one thing the cameraman always says to make the teachers smile is …”School Holidays” – we all say it and cannot help a smile. Any parents feel the same?
A most wonderful Gala Dinner was held on Saturday last – what a splendid occasion, and there was obviously much behind-the-scenes work, as the event ran very smoothly, under the amusing guidance of John Brogden – who was a wonderful M.C. It is hard to imagine that 30 years have gone by since that first day, pictured below...
One of those little lads is now on the Board!
The weather was very kind to the 3rd and 4th Class children who had a marvellous time at Milson Island, and 5th and 6th class children are gearing up for their visit to Canberra next week.
Mrs. Carolyn Lambert made a guest appearance at Monday’s Assembly with prizes for the winners of the “Guess the Teacher” tea towel competition and we had a few laughs at the wonderful drawings the children did of the teachers. The Strings Ensemble also appeared and played several pieces for the assembled teachers and children: the improvement since their last appearance was quite noticeable.
If any parents from JCS wish to enrol in a School of Philosophy Course, see the ladies in the JCS office and fill in the form and ask the school to fax it to SOP. For more information click the link below. School of Philosophy Courses
Of course the Talk of the Town at present is the forthcoming Gala Dinner: there is a certain buzz about the school today– hope you will all be there!
Excellent news on the academic front: John Colet children did extremely well in the Naplan, scoring well above the State Average in all tests. We did particularly well in Reading – in one of the classes the children ALL SCORED above the top of the scale!
As well as these outstanding Naplan results, 6th class entered four children in the Australian Mathematics Trust’s Maths Competition with the following wonderful results: • Ryan B and Lucas V de S both scored High Distinctions and won prizes • Xavier S scored a High Distinction • Sean B received a Distinction
How about that! Congratulations to all these children who have represented the School so well in the public domain.
Staff news: Mrs. Ann Wakeford has agreed to work with the Special Education Department till the end of the year as an outside provider, to replace Mrs. Little who left our employ a few weeks back. Mrs. Wakeford brings back to us all her expertise and experience, and we are delighted that she has been able to do this. Olivia Buchanan has just arrived from the U.K. and will spend ten months at John Colet as a gap student. She has just graduated from our sister school, St. James’ in London. She has “connections” with us as her aunt and uncle have both been here as student teachers some years ago – Ellen and Richard Fletcher. Olivia has agreed to plunge in and will be going to Milson Island with Mrs. Renshaw, Mrs. Navidi, Miss Jackson, Miss Cipollone and 3rd and 4th classes next week.
Future Directions Address Parents are encouraged to attend a meeting at John Colet School on Wednesday 17th September at 7pm to hear short presentations by members of the Board of Governors and the Headmaster on school matters including fees, finances and building works.
Milson Island camp 3rd and 4th classes depart for Milson Island camp on Wednesday. Please arrive at school at 8am sharp as it's a tight schedule to meet the ferry. Children are to bring morning tea in a paper bag (not in luggage) to eat before the ferry trip.