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17
August
2012

Excursion to Casula Powerhouse

On Wednesday 15th August, 5th and 6th class went on an excursion to Casula Powerhouse Museum.  We learnt that many different plants can be weeds when they grow in the wrong place, and we learnt how you can create art with them.
We also did a worksheet about maps and learnt about the different types of symbols on
maps.
As well as all that, we learnt about the history of the Casula Powerhouse Museum , and that a lot of people died there when it was a power house. They told us stories about how people know there are ghosts there.
Overall we had lots of fun and learnt a lot.
Eloise and Ellie, 5th class

Categories: Writing & Speaking, John Colet

17
August
2012

From the Stage Coordinators: 17/08/12

The big event this coming week is the Infants Shakespeare Festival, which is the culmination of many hours of work by teachers, children and of course wonderfully helpful parents.
Everyone is very excited, and the dress rehearsals put on for the Primary School, went very well.  The Primary children were delighted.
The venue, despite early reservations, has proved to be excellent for an Infants performance, being contained and somewhat intimate, and the young voices were more easily heard.
Teachers have voted to keep the “Secret Service” practice going for another while, as it has been so very successful, and they have noticed an increase of kindness amongst the children.


Categories: Coordinators' Comments, John Colet

17
August
2012

Headmaster's Weekly Comment: 17/08/12

Well, the Infants’ Shakespeare is upon us!  This week the children have given two dress rehearsals for the Primary children (and the Headmaster), and I can report that they are excellent.  The fire has skewed all of the school’s activities around, not least the infants Shakespeare Festival; and it is minor miracle that we have been able to bring it off at all...
The teachers have worked extremely hard with wonderful support from devoted parents.  They are all to be warmly congratulated.
And of course the children have really stepped up and are living examples of those core school values of giving their best, caring for others, serving themselves, their classmates and the audience and, with Shakespeare’s words in their mouths, really telling the truth. 
Because Shakespeare is not only vastly entertaining, he is not only a poet for the ages whose appeal never dims, he not only encapsulates the full range of human experience on every level; but he is also a font of limitless wisdom:
All the world’s a stage.
Hold a mirror up to nature.
The quality of mercy is not strained, it droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven.

These are just some of the lines from next week’s plays.  With these words learnt by heart and etched in their memories the children develop a broad vocabulary of timeless wisdom.

As one of the children said many years ago:  Break an egg!






Categories: John Colet

10
August
2012

Infants' art for Tears in the Jungle campaign

Our youngest students are really getting in to helping Daniel and William Clarke in their bid
to raise $1million for buying land for protected orangutan habitat.
The photos below show how their canvases are coming along. 

Categories: Lower First news (Kindy), Art classes, John Colet

10
August
2012

6th class shakes up Shakespeare

Their performances aren’t until the end of October, but our senior students are well underway with rehearsals for their Shakespeare Festival.
6th class students have been learning their lines since just before the holidays.  They’re now rehearsing script free, four to five hours a week during class time. 
This year, they are doing a 90 minute version of Twelfth Night, with each student having around 60 lines each.  This, their final Festival, will showcase all the skills they’ve developed over seven years of Shakespeare productions. 
By this stage, the students are making a lot of the decisions themselves: who plays what part, what the theme should be, what music to use, what props and costumes.   Two girls are even choreographing the dance routines.

Class teacher Diane Renshaw and specialist drama teacher Zoe Emanuel are focusing on getting everyone really engaging with their lines, and aiding the story telling through inflections, mannerisms, timing and actions.  For example, the 70s theme requires looser, less classical gestures, and a somewhat more modern tone to the original lines. 
The photos below show a typical rehearsal up the front of the classroom at this stage of the production timeline.

   

Categories: Shakespeare & Drama, John Colet

10
August
2012

Write a book in a Day

Some of our senior students attended a ‘write a book in a day’ session.  Judging by 5th class student India Parson’s report, the day was an enormous success...

“Write a book in a Day” was the most extraordinary day in my life. 

I’ve always wanted a chance to be an author and then there was the chance and I grabbed it.  And I am so glad that I did because it was the most fun being there, with your friends and doing something you love.  And to achieve the book and get it printed is just the best feeling in the world and I want to do it again and again and AGAIN!


Categories: Writing & Speaking, John Colet

10
August
2012

Our place in Space

How big is the solar system?   4th class travelled to the oval for science recently to investigate the size of our solar system.  The necessary tools were balls of different sizes (a hula hoop was the sun) marker flags and a trundle wheel to measure the distance between the ‘planets’. In our model it was 89.94m from the sun to Neptune.
By Ryan Berlee, 4th class
 

Categories: Science & Maths, John Colet

10
August
2012

Headmaster's Weekly Comment: 13/8/12

When I took up the job as Headmaster in 1989, I had a vision for the school which included establishing it squarely in the fine tradition of education in the English speaking world; a tradition that has always had at its heart the rigorous teaching of classical languages.
There is an erroneous idea floating about in education that what the children learn should be “relevant”.  I have mentioned before that the idea of relevance is a red herring, simply because, in a world where the audio cassette is a museum piece, and the CD and the video store are on their way out as well, no one knows what the world will look like in ten or twenty years.
The things a child needs to learn which will be relevant are things which don’t change like the ability to think and attend; honesty, resilience and compassion.  I was recently asked to deliver an after dinner speech at the Classical languages Teachers Association.  In it I listed some reasons for teaching Sanskrit and Latin, which make these subjects very relevant:




Categories: Head of School Comment, John Colet

10
August
2012

From the Stage Coordinators:13/8/12

The gods were definitely on our side on sports day and everyone was commenting on the benign weather which helped to make the day such a pleasant and successful one.
Another aspect that contributed to the success of the event was the attitude of the children.  At Assembly on Monday the Headmaster asked the children about good sportsmanship and many of them spoke of courage, honouring each other’s performance, cheering each other’s houses and giving full support to those children who are not quite so sporty.  The event is an end in itself and can be enjoyed by all, winners, losers and spectators. 
This is an ethos which will hold the children in good stead as they get older and it should be totally encouraged.  An enormous amount of work goes into the organisation of this and a “technological first” should be noted – Mrs Layton recorded results directly onto the computer! Many thanks to Mrs Dunn and Mrs Layton.
The next major event is the Infant’s Shakespeare festival beginning this week with full dress rehearsals staged for the Primary.

Categories: Coordinators' Comments, John Colet

03
August
2012

From the Stage Coordinators: 3/08/12

Last Monday in Assembly the children were asked how the secret service was going.  They gave many observations of kindness and generosity to their fellow class mates, and others.  It’s very encouraging to see the children look after and care for each other.  We will continue this practice for another week or two because the children are enjoying it, and it obviously makes them happy.

Categories: Coordinators' Comments, John Colet

03
August
2012

Headmaster's Weekly Comment: 3/08/12

Imagine there is someone knowledgeable and willing to help you, available to you right here and now.
Resting quietly, feel their wisdom and love.
Feel that they are fully open to help anyone who asks.
What question or questions would you put to him or her?...



Categories: Head of School Comment, John Colet

03
August
2012

Down to the details

Lower Firsts get ready for Shakespeare

Our youngest pupils were snapped this week rehearsing in the lead up to their Shakespeare Festival.   

Now that they’ve nailed their lines, specialist drama teacher Zoe Emanuel is focusing the children on details such as cues, entrances, exits, blocking and gestures.

The Infants Shakespeare Festival is on at the school from the 20th to 24th August.

Here, some of the Lower First students rehearse Speak the Speech - snippets of five Shakespeare plays including Romeo and Juliet, Henry V, Midsummer’s Night Dream and the witches’ scene from Macbeth.
   

Categories: Lower First news (Kindy), Shakespeare & Drama, John Colet

01
August
2012

Team building - what the younger children will learn this term

The skill games will also develop Audio Processing and Hand-eye co-ordination. 

Equipment to be used: Balls of all sizes, Cones, Mats, Skittles, hoops, Kanga Cricket set, bean bags etc. All children to have the correct sports uniform with sand shoes, hats & bottles of water each.

Aim: To Introduce basic skills of team building activities, in a safe way, including listening, communication, passes, catching, spacial awareness, awareness of how to interact with others, ball, bat games and co-ordination skills.

Objectives: To teach basic ball skills through the idea that ball games are on the whole, team games; introduce basic rules relating to skills; relate skills/rules to simple small-sided conditioned games; and assess pupils on skills and rules

These skills will also incorporate the PDHPE Syllabus for Early Stage 1 and will encompass understanding of communicating, decision-making, interacting, moving and problem solving.

Skills to be taught: ball skills, passing, controlling, dribbling, shooting, hitting when in batting games, footwork, balancing, weight distribution, communication in team activities and understanding of sport.

Each lesson will consist of a warm up & stretch, exercise, game situation and warm down and discussion.

Categories: John Colet

01
August
2012

Tears in the Jungle support

Our students are working on art projects to support Northern Beaches boys Daniel and William Clarke in their bid to raise $1M for orangutan habitat protection through the Tears in the Jungle fund.
Students will be busy creating in art classes for the next 4 weeks – this week they practised drawing the shapes and forms of an orang’s body...

Categories: Art classes, John Colet

27
July
2012

From the Stage Coordinators: 27/7/12

Teachers’ Day Assembly was beautiful and the usual abundance of flowers demonstrated the parents’ generosity and gratitude. In the assembly the Headmaster pointed out that everyone has teachers, even the teachers themselves!  We can all learn from each other and it’s very good to acknowledge this.

We trust that the “Secret Service” is going well, but as it’s a secret we really don’t know!  However, we can surmise from the general atmosphere in the classrooms and the kindness and helpfulness of the children that it is going well.

Categories: Coordinators' Comments, John Colet

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