enrol details
10
October
2012

From the Stage Coordinators: 9/10/12

We trust you have had a restful and refreshing holiday and the children are looking forward to a new school term with enthusiasm and gusto.  It will be short but extremely full.

With a film crew in the school in week 2, the Primary Shakespeare Festival in week 4 and Speech Night in week 9 the children will be kept well occupied.

John Bell will also be visiting the school, 6th class debaters have reached the finals of the inter-school Debating Competition and that will be played out, there will be an intra-school Chess Competition, the Art Exhibition for the Orang-utan Project and several excursions.

Our value for the term is Always Give of your Best and there will be ample opportunity to practise this.

We are looking forward to a most enjoyable and interesting term.

Categories: Coordinators' Comments, John Colet

10
October
2012

Headmaster's Weekly Comment: 9/10/12

Welcome back to a new term.  I hope everyone had a refreshing restorative break.  Many members of staff spent part of their break on a week's meditation and study retreat at the School of Philosophy.

This term we have several highlights to look forward to.  The School's annual cycle of special events and assemblies fulfil several purposes.  They give the school a regular pulse or rhythm which is repeated every year  and contributes to the "feel" of the school.  And each has its own special significance - at the Easter Assembly, for example, we concentrate on sacrifice, redemption and forgiveness;  on Anzac Day we remember the sacrifice of our fighting men and women and experience national unity; Teachers' Day honours the teacher; Founder's Day celebrates the life and work of Leon Maclaren and connects us to the history and founding principles of the school.

This term we have the Primary Shakespeare Festival, the Christmas Celebration - including the annual Nativity Play and Carol Service - and, wrapping things up for the year, our gala Speech Night at the Concourse in Chatswood.

Each of these annual celebrations is designed to lift our sights and raise our thinking beyond the day to day.  They all exemplify some significant principle -  so at Christmas time we focus on the joy of rebirth and the promise of freedom and salvation; and on Speech Night we not only celebrate the school and individual children's achievements; we also wish our graduating 6th class a warm and heartfelt farewell and best wishes for the future, with every confidence that they will continue to display the fine qualities and strength of character which make their parents and teachers justifiably proud.


Categories: Head of School Comment, John Colet

14
September
2012

Headmaster's Weekly Comment: 14/09/12

“Often, it’s not about becoming a new person, but becoming the person you were meant to be, and already are, but don’t know how to be.”
― Heath L. Buckmaster

I rather like this quote on education.  Making a child - or anyone - into a "new person" is not only impossible, but it is also impertinent.  We can't turn ourselves into someone else.  And if we are not able (and often are not willing) to do it to ourselves; it is therefore a bit rich to try to do it to someone else.

Life, I believe, is a "come as you are party".  Children turn up with their own unique natures.  Education is not so much about teachers moulding children's character; rather it is a matter of teachers (and parents) setting a living example of the virtues and values that are dear to their heart; and also providing to the children love, discipline and the finest food for their hearts and minds and spirits, such as Shakespeare, Sanskrit, Latin, Philosophy, Scripture and Mozart.

Having done this all we can do is cheer the children on as they use as much or as little of these influences, to build their own unique character.  This means the children can grow into the people they already are.  

Headmaster with 3rd class K on school camp, before they get down to the business of raftbuilding.

Categories: Head of School Comment, John Colet

14
September
2012

From the Stage Coordinators: 14/09/12

The weather was once again kind to us for the Infant’s Sports carnival which was an exciting and entertaining event where the children, as usual, gave of their all.

The Headmaster, Mrs Mane and I were lucky enough to visit Milson Island last Wednesday where the 3rd and 4th classes were enjoying being out of the city and lapping up the challenges of an adventurous environment.  We watched some canoeing, archery, and a hilarious episode of raft building and testing.

Reports from Canberra indicate that the 5th and 6th classes are embarking in their fairly full daily schedule with enthusiasm and interest.  Over the years the staff at Parliament House, and other venues, have commented on the good manners of the children, their knowledge of how the democratic process works, and the interest and depth of their questions. 

The children have continued to work attentively and diligently even though the term is drawing to a close.

We wish you a restful and refreshing holiday and express our sincere appreciation for your continued support.

 

Categories: John Colet

07
September
2012

Infants art and the senses

Upper First Students have been exploring art through the five senses, and after the Father’s Day sugar rush last week (taste), it was the turn of the sense of smell.  A great opportunity to draw flowers and fruit still life pictures, and the children were engrossed in the process of making their own paintings on canvases.
Next week is the final sense, touch, with appliqué picture making using recycled bits and pieces on textured card. 
 

Categories: Art classes, John Colet

07
September
2012

From the Stage Coordinators: 7/09/12

There is an air of excitement around the school as the Primary children prepare to go on their yearly excursions to Milson Island and Canberra. 

Three days at Milson Island, engaging in outdoor activities, does wonders for the children.  There is also a great communal spirit as the children bunk together, eat together and engage in group activities.  These situations build and strengthen friendships in the children, develop their character, and help them work with, and care for, others.  They are also given the opportunity to engage in adventurous challenges within the context of a safe environment.

Canberra is quite a different excursion where the children learn about our government and the value of a democracy.  When I have been to Canberra with the 5th and 6th Class I have always been impressed by their maturity, helpfulness and general consideration for others.  We place a great deal of emphasis on the building of character in the children and this usually becomes very evident during the Canberra excursion.

The Infants are looking forward to their Sports Carnival next week – this is always a delightful experience for one and all.  We hope that the weather stays kind and look forward to the day.

Categories: Coordinators' Comments, John Colet

07
September
2012

Headmaster's Weekly Comment: 7/09/12

One of the issues I raised in the TEDxParramatta talk was the four things needed for education are: a teacher; a pupil; knowledge; and a flow or interaction usually involving language and speech. The teacher can be a paid, trained, skillful professional; or it can be…. anyone or anything. 

For example, I was in a carparking area a few months ago and a kind lady offered me a parking ticket which still had some time on it.  I was grateful and expressed my thanks.  When she had gone I felt I had “gushed”, because of a slightly uncomfortable feeling of reluctance to accept other people’s generosity.  It was a small thing but I found it instructive.  That lady - and the situation – without knowing it, was my teacher.

But for a teacher’s lesson to work, it does require a willing pupil who is ready to learn.  Shantananda Saraswati says that no one can learn anything without respecting the teacher.  That respect, in the form of a willing ear listening to what the teacher has to impart, is crucial. 

Hence our emphasis on respect, as one of our five core values.  The teachers try to model this by respecting each other and respecting the children.  And we ask the children to enact this by standing when adults come into the room, addressing adults politely and fully, and so on.  All this creates a respectful atmosphere where the knowledge can flow easily.

On another note:  the P & F stalwarts have worked long and hard to put together a Trivia Night which is a fundraiser and which is also fun and sociable.  Sadly Mrs Mane and I were already booked to go to Brisbane to see relatives, but I would love to hear how mightily successful this event was on all fronts!

Headmaster’s TED talk online
To view the talk by Mr Mane at the recent TEDxParramatta conference, click this link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yzih5tNiG18&feature=plcp
The link is also on our school website under the ‘Latest News’ menu item.

 

Categories: Head of School Comment, 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

03
September
2012

5th class maths and science

5th class have been working on Geometric Patterns as well as 3D shapes in maths lessons recently. Resource maths books purchased using P & F funds helped to provide creative ideas for running these maths lessons. One lesson involved constructing geometric patterns of octagons and hexagons with a challenge of finding the way to make a certain number of shapes with the least number of toothpicks. Other lessons involved constructing 3D shapes from plasticine, drawing them and then transferring shapes to isometric views.

In science lessons we have been planting seeds in half-egg-shells to investigate whether the roots of the plants will break the egg-shells. So far none have broken through but it is early days! The class is waiting with bated breath for the first egg-shell to break. Will it be a carrot striving to break through? Or perhaps a radish or basil? Or even the mysterious borage plant? Time will tell ….  All resources were purchased from P & F funds with Mrs Moor using the cracked eggs to make staff lunches so nothing went to waste!


Categories: Science & Maths, John Colet

03
September
2012

Father's Day treats

Upper First students decorated iced biscuits with their Dads' faces for a Father's Day gift this year, rounding out their study of art through the five senses. And yes, they certainly tasted good.  The biscuits were sent home in little bags attached to handmade cards depicting Dad's face, this time rendered in fruit.  In doing their cards, the children learnt about  the artwork of Giuseppe Arcimboldo, an Italian artist from the 1500s who composed portraits from fruits and
vegetables.
 

Categories: Art classes, John Colet

29
August
2012

From the Stage Coordinators: 31/08/12

With the Infant’s Shakespeare Festival only just brought to a glorious conclusion the Primary is now starting to gain momentum, and the Bard’s words can again be heard reverberating throughout the school.  It’s amazing how the children get better from year to year.  They look as if they have reached the peak of what children their age can do, and then go on to excel themselves.

Also, at the present time, there is  much practice around the school in the sporting area as the Infants prepare for their carnival, which is always such a delight, and so good for the children in terms of building fortitude, courage, sportsmanship and much more.  Mrs Dunn took our best sports children to the IPSHA Athletics Carnival last Tuesday and they certainly made a valiant effort - a good time was had by all, particularly Mrs Dunn!

We very much appreciate your co-operation in the area of uniform and understand that it’s not always easy, particularly with hats and caps.  The standard of uniform has been good over the term and we wish to thank you for your co-operation and continued efforts.

The children are still practicing “service” and the school has a harmonious feel about it – the children certainly seem very happy.


 

Categories: Coordinators' Comments, John Colet

29
August
2012

Floating on a sea of stories

A student recount about a school incursion

Last week a lady came and told us stories from Japan.  They were like legends.  She used puppets and props.  She told three stories: The Crane Fairy, The Piece of Straw and The Boy in a Peach.
My favourite story was The Crane Fairy.  Once upon a time an old man and an old woman who made boats and sails, found a crane-bird in a net. They rescued it and nursed it back to health. It flew away. Then, disguised as a girl, came back and made sails.
The girl said "do not look in my room when I am making sails!" But one day they looked! OH NO! There was the crane, it was using its feathers to make sails, then she flew away.
By Amelia O
Upper First C



Categories: Writing & Speaking, John Colet

29
August
2012

Playground snaps

A small group of second class boys in their ‘playground hideout’. The imagination can certainly run wild in a semi-bush playground and the Year 2 boys have taken advantage of all the wonderful fallen branches, twigs and rocks that are in abundance - some budding architects/engineers there I’m sure.
- Leisa Brown - Teacher’s aide

Categories: John Colet

28
August
2012

Headmaster's Weekly Comment: 31/08/12

From the Archive...

In the Sydney Morning Herald on Monday Dr Timothy Hawkes, the Headmaster of The Kings School, listed ten which things which he felt were not covered adequately by the standard curriculum. How to:

Live in a community and forge good relationships;


Communicate well;

Know yourself and what you believe;

Handle intimacy and sex;

Control emotions and impulses;

Manage financial matters;

Do practical things, to clean, cook, make and mend;

Be good mannered and know etiquette;

Accept responsibility;

Be resilient and deal with grief and loss. 

I think this is a good list and, while all need family input and some are more appropriate for high school, I feel that John Colet School addresses many of them. But it did occur to me that, as in school so in life, you can’t pass a test you haven’t studied for. All the lessons in the world on kindness, for example, won’t get a jot of compassion out of someone who hasn’t worked to make it a natural part of their dealings with others. Making a virtue natural means hearing about it, seeing others live it and then, most importantly, practising it until it becomes natural. In this way the above list can become a practical guide for life rather than an unrealistic pipedream. We as parents and teachers help enormously when, for example, we model and encourage the children to control impulses, accept responsibility and be resilient.

As the Headmaster has been away sick this week, this 2008 comment is from the archive.

Also, because of illness and last minute timetabling difficulties, our final round debate with Alexander School has been postponed.

Categories: Head of School Comment, John Colet

24
August
2012

Debating - the final is nigh

In 6th class a team of debaters – usually between eight and ten children – is selected and we then debate against several local schools.  Each of the team members gets to be in at least one debate where we brainstorm the topic, decide on who is going to be 1st, 2nd or 3rd speaker; prepare their three minute speech and then deliver it before an audience of children and teachers.

There are four preliminary debates and then a final between the two schools with the most wins.  This year John Colet is in the final against the Alexander School.
This final will be held next Wednesday at the German School.

The topic of the final debate is:  Wisdom is better than strength.  And we are the negative team.  This is a very challenging argument and has required us to delve deep into what we mean by “wisdom” and “strength”. 

We found it helpful to go back to the source of the phrase in Ecclesiastes 19:16:  Wisdom is better than strength: nevertheless the poor man's wisdom is despised, and his words are not heard.

We have had extremely lively and creative brainstorming sessions and the children are busily preparing their arguments, examples and rebuttals of arguments we think the other team will raise.  Wish us luck – break an egg indeed!
- Mr Mane

Categories: Writing & Speaking, John Colet

<<  63 64 65 66 67 [6869 70  >>