Headmaster's Comments - John Colet School

Head of School Comment

22
November
2019

Head of school's Comment

This week in Assembly our Head Boy and Girl, together with our House Captains, spoke to our students about their roles and the effect of their service on their personal development. All six students spoke with great confidence and clarity, giving practical examples of their different experiences throughout the year. They have provided a wonderful model to our younger students of leadership, yet also of the everyday practice of living our values.
 
The fine examples provided by our 6th Class were continued, as our 5th Class students gave speeches to the Primary for next year’s leadership positions. They were given a short time to prepare their speech in the morning, which was a quote from the founder of our school, Mr Leon MacLaren; “Service is the finest and noblest work that someone can undertake”. There was very little to separate the children and it was inspiring to see such a depth of maturity and passion.

Julian Wilcock
Headmaster

You can read excerpts of some of the Speeches here.  More will be posted next week.

Categories: Head of School Comment, John Colet

15
November
2019

Head of school's Comment

We continue to focus on the value of Service this term. Next week we will begin looking at the question; “Does this action benefit everyone?” We will be exploring how our actions can be for the benefit of the widest audience. Starting with ourselves and expanding to our family, school, community, country, planet and beyond. Our actions while individual, should be directed towards the widest possible benefit for all.

We would like to take this opportunity to give thanks to the RFS for the great service they have done and continue to do in the control of the recent bush fires. Thank you to all those who have been able to volunteer their service and to the employers who have supported their service.

We would like to take this opportunity to give thanks to the RFS for the great service they have done and continue to do in the control of the recent bush fires. Thank you to all those who have been able to volunteer their service and to the employers who have supported their service.

Julian Wilcock
Headmaster

Categories: Head of School Comment, John Colet

08
November
2019

Head of school's Comment

This week we welcomed our 2020 Lower 1st students for their introductory morning. There were a few nerves upon separation (by both children and parents!). However, overall they settled in very quickly to meeting their teachers and getting to know their new school. Our current 5th Class had the opportunity of meeting their young buddies who they will be supporting next year. It was heartening to see the care and attention with which they approached their new responsibility.
 
Our Buddy Program is a wonderful way in which to support our younger students. It helps in forming connections between our junior and senior students, as well as enabling our 6th Class the opportunity to give back in the same way they benefitted from so many years ago. It will not be long now until our 6th Class move into Secondary School and perhaps get buddies again to support their transition. It may feel a bit strange for them to once again hear; “Look, they’re so cute!”

Julian Wilcock
Headmaster

Categories: Head of School Comment, John Colet

01
November
2019

Head of school's Comment

We have had two wonderful examples of service that we have been able to share and discuss with the children recently. The first was the Diwali celebration last Saturday. This wonderful event, with over 300 attendees, was a spectacular success. This was wholly driven by our parent community, and led by the incoming P&F President for 2020, Mrs Hyams-Young. The second, was our Primary Shakespeare Festival and the parents who worked tirelessly behind the scenes on props, costumes, and makeup. Without the contribution and service given by our parents, these two events would not be possible.
 
We give thanks to those parents who have given their time and energy with these two occasions, as well as events throughout the year, along with helping with reading, excursions, projects or as class representatives. The greater the parent involvement, the richer our school and we encourage you to continue to be involved. 

Julian Wilcock
Headmaster

rehearsal 23 web

Above:  Third class student Nathan shining brightly in Macbeth

Categories: Head of School Comment, John Colet

29
October
2019

Head of school's Comment

At our assembly last week, we began our exploration of the value of Service. We began with a reading regarding work and that work is love made visible. If we start from a position that ‘work’ is a negative, we immediately begrudge the task and often produce a poor result. The work itself when done with distaste will only result in a poor result. Having pride in one’s work and putting our best into any task that is before us.
 
The quality of our lives is built on the work of those that have come before us, as our work serves those that are to come. We explored this in our reading this week and we have included an excerpt below.
 
A hundred times every day I remind myself that my inner and outer life are based on the labours of other men, living and dead, and that I must exert myself in order to give in the same measure as I have received and am still receiving. – Albert Einstein 
 

Julian Wilcock
Headmaster

Categories: Head of School Comment, John Colet

18
October
2019

Head of school's Comment

Before our students started back at school, our staff were busy getting the class ready for Term 4. There was time put aside for classroom organisation, curriculum development and our yearly training in CPR.
 
Each staff day, we also set aside time for a staff philosophical discussion. The conversation on this occasion was on wellbeing, and how we could each further develop attitudes of friendliness, compassion, sympathetic joy and equanimity. We looked at how these would be evident in our relationships amongst staff, students and the wider community.  It was an insightful discussion and a wonderful way to begin the term.

Julian Wilcock
Headmaster

Categories: Head of School Comment, John Colet

27
September
2019

Head of school's Comment

This term our core value in focus has been Courage, particularly in developing self-control, inner strength and understanding the role of forgiveness.
 
We take this a step further next term as we delve into one of our other core values, Service. Words need to be translated into action, preferably spontaneous, thoughtful, independent action by our students. We will remind the children at our assembly on Friday to look for opportunities during the holidays. If you do witness any such examples over the break, please do let us know as it’s always good to be able to share with the whole school when we return.
 
Have a wonderful holiday with your family and we look forward to welcoming you back on the 15th of October.
 
Julian Wilcock
Headmaster

Categories: Head of School Comment, John Colet

20
September
2019

Head of school's Comment

The adverse weather didn’t deter us from having a wonderful three days with our 3rd and 4th Class students at camp on Milson Island. It has been a great opportunity for them to build deeper friendships, push themselves in personal and group challenges and to work more independently. Both the camp staff and I have been extremely impressed with our student’s engagement, respect and behaviour. They have been true ambassadors of our school.
 
Next week sees another opportunity for our students to extend and challenge themselves at our school Athletics Carnival. It is a wonderful day with a range of sporting activities to test personal limits, as well as enjoy fun individual and group games. You are welcome to come for the entire day and are encouraged to join the annual parent race.
 

Julian Wilcock
Headmaster

Categories: Head of School Comment, John Colet

13
September
2019

Head of school's Comment

We are fortunate to have at John Colet School, students who ‘most of the time’ exhibit behaviour of strong character, respectfulness and resilience. It is an aspect that is often commented on by visitors to our school and should be something that we are very proud of. This is achieved by having a collective understanding of our responsibilities and how we relate to each other with support and kindness.

It is important to remember that this is a central aspect of what primary education is all about. Our students are continually learning how ‘to be’ and are all at different stages of self-awareness, maturity and confidence. Disagreements will occur, friendships will rise and wane and sometimes frustrations will boil over. Our practice of stillness and mindfulness is very helpful during these situations, as is the collective understanding within the school of what is right and fair.

Julian Wilcock
Head of School

Categories: Head of School Comment, John Colet

06
September
2019

Head of school's Comment

Do I meet challenges with resilience? That is the question we are asking our children to explore over the next few weeks. Your ability to succeed when faced with a difficult challenge lies in your mental attitude. Creating these challenges in a safe and supportive environment is what school and learning are all about. This can be as simple as a new maths problem or as daunting as stepping onto the stage at Glen Street Theatre for the first time. Resilience isn’t about not experiencing difficult emotions or sweeping things under the carpet, it’s about choosing to harness your inner strengths to help you cope when times are tough.
 
In just a few weeks our 3rd and 4th Class students will participate in camp on Milson Island.  This camp runs over three days and is a wonderful opportunity for the children to step out of the school environment and operate with greater independence in a new environment, with fresh challenges. This is especially true for our 3rd Class students, many of whom will be away from their parents for the first time. It is natural to be nervous without the comfort of knowing your family is nearby, yet personally affirming when they can persevere, trust in themselves and show greater self-sufficiency. Meeting this new experience with a positive attitude is a wonderful way of building courage. This year I will be joining the Milson Island Camp and I am looking forward to being a part of this great learning opportunity.

Julian Wilcock
Headmaster

Categories: Head of School Comment, John Colet

30
August
2019

Head of school's Comment

Over the past few weeks, within our School Value of Courage, we have been exploring forgiveness. There have been some thoughtful discussions prompted by a variety of readings, real-life stories and questions such as; 
Why is forgiving important?
How does it feel when someone forgives you?
What is real forgiveness?
Should you forgive and forget?
How is asking for forgiveness different from apologising?
Should you always forgive?
Who deserves to be forgiven?
Where does justice fit into forgiveness?
Who benefits when you forgive?
How does forgiveness relate to happiness?
 
These questions are addressed in different ways and degrees depending on the age of the students, however, the goal, like much of philosophy is in the exploration rather than a definitive right or wrong answer.

Julian Wilcock
Headmaster

Categories: Head of School Comment, John Colet

23
August
2019

Head of school's Comment

It was wonderful to see the children dressed up for our Book Week Parade on Monday. The children (and parents) really outdid themselves this year with some creations inspired from both new and classic literature.
 
It has been a great deal quieter over the past few days with our 5th and 6th Class students at camp. They have had a wonderful experience together and have managed to enjoy some real winter weather before we head into Spring. We look forward to having them back with us on Monday.
 
As we come towards the half way mark in Term 3, we have a lot to look forward to. Next Wednesday, we have our 6th Class Market Day fundraising with a crazy socks day, Grandparents’ Day on the 4th September, P&F Movie night on the 7th and a Science Week visiting show on the 9th . Later in the month our 3rd and 4th Classes are off to camp at Milsons Island, our Athletic Carnival is on the 24th, followed soon after by our Infants Concert.  

Julian Wilcock
Headmaster

Categories: Head of School Comment, John Colet

16
August
2019

Head of school's Comment

Within the Value of Courage that we are focussing on this term, we are looking at forgiveness. The courage to forgive others and also ourselves requires self-control, inner strength and understanding of what is right. It is this concept within Courage that promotes a growth mindset, resilience and a willingness to learn from our errors.
 
Forgiving is not the same as forgetting. In fact, it is more closely aligned to remembering for it to be useful. It does not mean that you are saying what happened was okay, it does however, mean that you have let go of the anger or guilt towards someone, or towards yourself.
 
As we go through life we all make mistakes. We shouldn’t spend our time in regret, thinking of what could have been. Instead, the focus needs to be on the present and ensuring that we have learnt from past mistakes. This is what learning is all about, the confidence to take risks, have slipups, learn from them, forgive yourself and others, and move on.
 
Forgiveness is like the fragrance a flower gives after it’s been stepped on – Anon

Julian Wilcock
Headmaster

Categories: Head of School Comment, John Colet

09
August
2019

Head of school's Comment

On Monday at 8:30am we will have the unveiling of the John Colet Statue. Having a representation of the person the school is named after, allows our students to make a connection to his legacy and also the values he inspired in our school.
 
Our resident international artist, Mr Philip Garrett, is returning to England next week. We would like to take this opportunity to thank Mr Garrett for the fine sculpture he has produced as well as the lessons he has undertaken with our students. He has worked passionately to combine both the historical records of the man, art of the period, as well as factoring in the current context of our school.
 
We would also like to take this opportunity to thank the Moran family, who originally presented the idea of a sculpture to the school and have been supporting Mr Garrett while in Australia. A project of this magnitude is not possible without the kind donations of both time and money from our parents and friends, for this we thank you.

Julian Wilcock
Headmaster

Categories: Head of School Comment, John Colet

02
August
2019

Head of school's Comment

The school community celebrated Teacher’s Day this week. Each child prepared a piece of writing on someone who has or continues to have a significant influence on their life. One child was selected to represent each year to speak at assembly, and it was wonderful to hear such a wide range of examples.
 
Mrs Renshaw and I also had the opportunity to visit Lower 1st later in the day and read each of the children’s pieces. We were both blown away by the level of writing that has been developed in such a short time. However, the most striking element was the heartfelt examples of friends, teachers and family that were given as significant teachers in their lives.
 
Teachers can be in your class, part of your family, a friend or someone in the wider community that inspires you. The teacher is always whoever or whatever is in front of you at any given time. Our students are also learning to be their own teacher, pausing, considering what would a wise person do, brings them closer to independently choosing the right path.
 
Teachers open the door, but you must enter by yourself – Chinese proverb

Julian Wilcock
Headmaster

Click here to read a 7-year-old's thoughts on Stillness.

Click here to read some of Lower 1st B's thoughts on Teachers Day

Categories: Head of School Comment, John Colet

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