John Colet
04
April
2014

Weekly comment from our stage coordinators

Students' rights

This week we are considering the final part of the quartet covering the Responsibilities and Rights of the School, Staff and the Students:  Responsibilities come first, as, through the exercise of our Responsibilities, we earn our Rights:

The students’ rights are:
1 To be aided in the remembrance of the Creator and His fine regulations and to be aided in their search to return to Him;
2 To be provided with an atmosphere which promotes self-discovery, peace and order;
3 To have the best available materials, such as Shakespeare, Mozart and Michelangelo, and appropriate curriculum made available to them;
4To be supported in learning and personal development;
5 To have the school rules clearly explained and justly and consistently applied.

One of the other aspects of this is the right of children to be heard, and also to have the opportunity to express themselves and their understandings as individuals in an appropriate forum.  This of course includes all aspects of the curriculum: academic, artistic, philosophical and sporting:  evidence of this is to be seen everywhere in the school.

In support of 6th Class’s training towards exercising their responsibilities as members of the community (both school and the wider world), they went this week to a Leadership Training course at Homebush.  The speakers were Mike Martin, Executive Director of the Halogen Foundation; Bob Carr, politician; Ita Buttrose, Editor; Andy Griffiths, the author and Coen Ashton, a 16-year-old suffering from cystic fibrosis who had been expected to die, but who refused to submit to this.  He had a double lung transplant, and is still leading a very useful life.

Mrs. Dunn remarked:  “All the speakers were excellent, they offered great principles of leadership and shared some of their life experiences.  A leader needs to earn respect through equity, care for others and enthusiasm.    Qualities they embraced were empathy, perseverance, integrity, influence: “big things can start small”, “embrace change” and “never give up”.”  Sounds like a useful bag of tricks!

Categories: Coordinators' Comments, John Colet

28
March
2014

Weekly comment from our stage coordinators

Having over the past two weeks considered the Responsibilities of the Staff to the Students, and those of the Students themselves, we are now ready to consider Rights:  firstly the rights of the School.

Our rights follow as a consequence of the fulfilment of our responsibilities. Having fulfilled our responsibilities, we are entitled to expect others to do likewise.

The school’s rights are:
•    Staff members have a right to be treated with respect by the students and other staff members, to be spoken to politely, courteously and truthfully by the students and other staff members and to enjoy a positive, friendly, cooperative and collegiate atmosphere at school.
•    The school has the right to expect students to care for school property and not to damage or destroy it.
•    To see that the school uniform is worn in accordance with the school uniform policy.
•    To see that the students’ behaviour enhances the school’s reputation both on and off school premises.

There are some simple behaviours around the school which will help to make the core values clear to ourselves and others, and to ensure that the above Rights are met, particularly in relation to respect and courtesy.  Children should -
1 Stand for teachers and adults when they enter a room;
2 Address teachers and adults respectfully;
3 Stand back for teachers;
4 Exhibit good table manners and consideration for others at lunch;
5 Boys stand for girls when they enter a room;
6 Leave rooms in a tidy and neat condition;
7 Enter a classroom or other parts of the buildings during recesses only with a teacher’s permission;
8 Enter the staff work room only with a teacher’s permission.

There have been some changes in lunch arrangements, and Mrs. Moor has been working to encourage the eating of more salads!  Infants:  there is a daily service of yoghurt, and milk and bread continue to be offered at the table, along with the set meal.  Primary: for children who wish to have extra salad and/or yoghurt, a side table has been set up and they may help themselves under supervision.  Bread is also available every day, along with Vegemite and honey.  The children all seem to be happy with the new arrangements.  
Last week we had a visit to follow up on the Health Department’s initiative Live Life Well @ School and Crunch@Sip.  The Department’s representative said we ticked all the boxes, and she was impressed when she walked through the lunch room to have a look at the Gardening Club’s work!

Categories: Coordinators' Comments, John Colet

28
March
2014

A perfect score by our Chess A team - tournament winners

On Wednesday, 15 students from John Colet competed at the Northern Beaches Primary Schools Chess Challenge 2014. More than 200 students from across the Northern Beaches played seven rounds of chess at Mona Vale Public School. The players from John Colet were great sportsmen and sportswomen and it was a terrific day.

And the Bonus is the result – our A Team WON, with a perfect score!!!

This is the first time John Colet has ever won this tournament and the first time I can recall a perfect score from a John Colet team.

And further, our D team (all girls) came 2nd in the Girls’ division!


Congratulations to all our Chess teams on their playing and good sportsmanship.

Heather B
Chess Coordinator

Categories: Chess & Clubs, John Colet

28
March
2014

On the vegetarian lunch menu this week...

Mon

EGG FRIED RICE (+fruit salad yoghurt)

Tue

GNOCCHI NAPOLITANA (with crunchy garlic & parmesan crumbs)

Wed

VEGIE CHIPS & BEANS

(Photo workshop students, packed lunch!)

Thu

NACHOS AMIGOS (with cheese, sour cream, salsa)

Fri

CHEESE & SALAD SANDWICHES

(ALL PISA children – packed lunch!)

Egg-free, dairy free, gluten free and vegan options provided daily.

Last week, we tried out our new ‘Mexican meat pies’ - WOW what a winner it proved to be!…Interactive eating at its best.
There was a choice of chilli con carne, sour cream, cheese and salsa to choose from. Children were able to build and create their own masterpiece…and mess, as it turns out.
It was great to see them enjoying their food ‘just the way they like it!’

This coming week is a week of requests. We will be serving all the favourites of different children who generously help out in the kitchen even when not asked.

Eat Well
Donna

Categories: Lunch menus, John Colet

28
March
2014

Thoughts on forgiveness

Resentment is like swallowing poison and waiting for the other guy to die.  Dan Kennedy

The term is coming to an end and Anzac Day and Easter will round off the term’s events.  The themes of Anzac Day are sacrifice, patriotism and courage; Easter marks the season of forgiveness and fortitude; and of rebirth - the victory of life over death.

In considering forgiveness it occurred to me that in some ways it is the hardest of the virtues.  This is because we are only called upon to forgive when someone has done something mean or negligent to us or to our loved ones, and we (or they) have suffered a hurt.  We then feel hard done by and resentful (hence the quotation which heads up this message).  This is not an emotional state in which we are naturally inclined to find a well-spring of compassion, empathy and all-encompassing love for the perpetrator of the hurt.

Making it even worse, there is a mistaken notion that if we forgive a wrongdoer they will be let off the hook, they will get away with it, and we will be a door mat to be walked over and stepped on.

There are three points to be made here:
First, Jesus said:  “Forgive them for they know not what they do.”  It is unusual that our doer of harm has some evil plan to bring us down.  It is usually inadvertence rather than malevolence which caused them to do wrong; and if they actually are consciously bent on inflicting pain and injury, then they are in an even worse position of weakness and sickness.

Second, forgiveness is about us.  It is a means of achieving healing and wholeness, peace and healthfulness for ourselves, and only secondarily is it about the wrongdoer.

Third, if someone has indeed inflicted pain or has otherwise acted unfairly, they need to receive justice.  Like a sick man needs medicine; a drowning man needs resuscitation, or a crippled man needs therapy; so an evil man needs rigorous justice.  And if forgiveness means that justice is dispensed rigorously, but with care and understanding and compassion, it is so much more effective.

Gilbert Mane
Headmaster

Categories: Head of School Comment, John Colet

27
March
2014

P&F meeting recap

Another fast-paced and efficient meeting...

The P&F meeting on a recent Monday night continued on from the racy, pacy tone set at the first meeting. From Hot Cross Buns to a reading and reflection on the School's Mission, Vision and Values; from very funny suggestions for Gala Dinner auction to NAPLAN; from money to tea towels. So what was the upshot, you ask?

Word of mouth is a most effective way to help other families find our school before Open Day. Lets get behind the school's marketing efforts and get fliers to your preschools (contact our fab new registrar Belinda James on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), put a sticker on your car, and get the word out online with a few motivating words on kidspot.com.au or on google reviews. Lets share the good news about JC.



On the more somber matter of Workplace, Health and Safety, have you noticed anything at the school that may need a closer look for safety, or a nip and tuck for health? Christine Condos, our Bursar, would love to hear from you at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The lovely Linda Zanella has been keeping the lines open for the Walkathon on 21st March. The funds raised will be used to install fitness stations (mini play areas cum sports resource) around the school! Get your pledges in - and the grandparents' - and keep an eye out for the class parents' emails coordinating volunteers on the day.

See you at the next meeting on Monday 7th April, at 8.30am.

With love, from the P&F Committee 2014




Categories: P&F, John Colet

21
March
2014

Sports reports from Pisa sport

Senior Girls Pisa
5th and 6th class girls played softball against Oxford Falls Grammar School.  Unfortunately we lost 14 – 5 but we still played really well.  The girl of the game was Lone because of her excellent batting.  It was a great game and everyone played well.
Raveena and Tally

Senior Boys played cricket against against Oxford Falls.  We played very well but unfortunately for Oxford Falls, WE WON!!!  The score was 54 – 43.  The man of the match was Jarod for his fantastic batting.
Lucas and Xavier

Junior Boys played Pittwater House in T ball.  Unfortunately we lost 25 – 21.  The man of the match was William W because he got a few home runs whereas most of us didn’t.  We all played really well, and are looking forward to next week’s match.
Leo (captain)

Junior Girls versed Pittwater House in T ball. The score was 11-16, we lost but we were pleased we didn’t get thrashed!  The girls of the game were Ashwani and Mi Mi.  They both were enthusiastic and showed great determination.
Samsara and Mi Mi

Categories: John Colet

21
March
2014

Weekly comment from our stage coordinators

This week we are following on from last week by setting out the responsibilities of the children at John Colet School, as enunciated in our Discipline Policy.  Once again, these are based on the School values:   Speak the Truth,  Always give of your best,  Serve all and everything  and  Work together with love, honour and respect for one another.

The students’ responsibilities are:
1    To be truthful in speech and action and to conduct themselves in an open-hearted, generous and dignified manner.  To deal with others fairly, politely and with respect.  To treat others as one would like to be treated:  with understanding and sympathy, and to refrain from treating others in a way in which one would not like to be treated.
2    To respect the authority of the teachers and staff.  To be well behaved in class and not disturb others.  To keep up to date with class work and homework.  To attend school regularly and to be punctual for school and classes.  To present all work with the greatest care.   
3    To care for the school environment, to keep it neat and clean.  To respect the property of the school and others;  not to steal, damage or destroy it; to ask permission before using it; and to take proper care of it.  
4    To behave at school and in public so that the community will respect the school.  To wear the proper school uniform neatly and correctly.               

Next week we will look at the rights that follow on from the exercise of the responsibilities.
Miss Cipollone and Mrs Dawson with the help of Miss Jackson, have put into the playground and organised the care thereof, the sport equipment that came from the Government’s Live Life Well at School initiative.  Many thanks to them for hoops, ropes, various balls and a cricket set.  5th Class have been tasked with keeping it orderly!  Everyone has benefited.

Following on from this, we look forward to a great outcome from the Walkathon, remembering that the funds raised will be used to introduce fitness stations in the playground.  Many thanks to the organisers.

Also, 6th Class, by popular demand, has this term begun a Sewing Club during lunch break on Tuesdays, with Mrs. Layton and me.  They have started by knitting a scarf and almost all of them have started on tapestry inserts for cushions.  Look forward to some splendid results!  

The girls (alack no boys this year) are thoroughly enjoying it and are very keen.  Actual hand sewing such as sewing on buttons, seams, edging etc  will follow!  We hope to produce a few competent needlecrafters!

Mrs Donald
Infants Mistress

 

Tally H with Mrs Donald at sewing club.

Categories: Coordinators' Comments, John Colet

21
March
2014

How do we teach emotional resilience?

Last week we began looking at the interesting topic of emotional resilience – what is it, how can we teach it, and what would we like to see as a result.

We started by defining emotional resilience.  In addition to the list of characteristics outlined last week an emotionally resilient person would, most crucially have a sense of self-worth, a keen sense of his or her own dignity, and they would therefore be able to discriminate the harmful from the harmless, the valuable from the cheap and tawdry, the fine from the coarse.  And then they would be able to choose that which is fine and noble and dignified over that which is vicious, mean and valueless.

The next question is: how do teachers go about teaching this? The key element here is that to teach anything, a teacher has to understand the subject.  The teachers have to be emotionally mature and resilient themselves in order to communicate and model these behaviours.  So the good character of the teacher is a decisive factor.

Some reference to recognised authority can also help.  The children can learn of the patience of the Buddha, the forbearance of Christ, the rigour and courage of Moses; and also the intellectual focus and perseverance of Einstein and Newton; the fortitude of Churchill; the devotion to duty of the Queen; the moral courage of Martin Luther King; the compassion of Mother Teresa.  

And the final factor is practical application.  The teacher should require the children to actually practise emotional resilience when it counts, when they are challenged by the ups and downs of life.
And then what?  Then we trust that they will become strong, compassionate, young men and women with a sense of fair play, and the courage to speak up when needed.  They will have impulse control because they will be in charge of themselves; conflict resolution because they will be able to empathise with others; and the ability to build valuable relationships because they value themselves.

Answer to last week’s puzzle:  1. San Francisco;  2.  Agra;  3.  Washington DC;  4.  Florence.

Next puzzle:  a. Who was known as the father of taxonomy, and b.  What is his connection to Australia’s history?

Gilbert Mane
Headmaster

Categories: Head of School Comment, John Colet

21
March
2014

More on our NAPLAN results

I should like to bring to the school community’s attention the fact that John Colet has been ranked the 15th primary school in NSW (out of over 1200) based on the 2013 NAPLAN results. Among the fourteen schools ahead of us were Sydney Grammar Edgecliff and St Ives, Abbottsleigh, Mosman Prep, St Aloysius and four Government schools with OC classes. See:
http://bettereducation.com.au/school/Primary/nsw/nsw_top_primary_schools.aspx?yr=2013

Special congratulations to the teachers and children of this year’s 4th and 6th classes who sat the test last year.

The NAPLAN (National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy) is a basic skills test mandated by the Government which started in 2009 and which all Australian school children sit in 3rd and 5th class and in years 7 and 9.  This national testing replaced the NSW State mandated Basic Skills Test which ran for many years.  The children of John Colet School have done consistently well under both of these testing systems.  We have always been among the top 100 primary schools in NSW, and usually in the top 50.

Congratulations are due to all the teachers and children for the consistency of results and for the intelligent approach to this testing system.  We prepare the children, of course, but we studiously avoid giving these tests unreasonable focus.  We don’t cease all other operations just to get a good NAPLAN mark.  And we are especially proud of those children who don’t find that school work comes easily, and who do their best in these tests.

When we receive the NAPLAN results we do analyse them and look for areas where we can improve.  For example in 2012 while all other areas (Numeracy, Reading, Grammar etc) maintained the high standards we are used to, the children’s Writing result was somewhat below par (for JCS).  
We clearly needed to find out why and rectify the gap.  As a result we arranged for some in-service help on Writing over the 2012/13 Summer break.  The result was immediate, and showed in the excellent 2013 result.


Gilbert Mane
Headmaster

Categories: John Colet

21
March
2014

On the vegetarian lunch menu this week...

Donna's top five tips for healthy eating...

Mon

HOT 'DOGS' (with cheese, sauce & mustard)

Tue

PASTA ALLA NORMA(with green salad)

Wed

SUNSHINE THAI

Thu

CHEESY TOMATO RICE (with carrot salad)

Fri

VEGETABLE & SPINACH FRITATTA (ALL PISA children – packed lunch!)

Vegan, dairy free, egg free and gluten free options always available.

When we approach good health in the correct way it can be very easy to achieve. We all need to occasionally take stock of our nutrition, exercise, fruit and vegetable intake, sleep patterns, mental and emotional states to reap great health benefits. More importantly, we should be demonstrating this to our children from an early age. They may be fussy eaters, over eaters or even under eaters, but they do watch and learn from their environment and will display this in their young adult life.

My five main vitamin and mineral groups that will help all of us on a path to vitality and longevity are:

1.    Zinc – feeds the hormones and mental attitude.

2.    Magnesium – helps the muscles contract and relax, helps produce proteins and aids in the transport of energy to the cells.

3.    Vitamin C, Echinacea and Garlic – these are a great combination if you are prone to infection.

4.    Iron and Calcium – Ironically should not be mixed with dairy as it will cancel out up to 50% of your iron intake from foods. However, they are fantastic individually for strong bones and strength.

5.    Vitamin B, B6 with Zinc – this combination will increase your sense of humour and physical drive.

Eat Well
Donna


Categories: Lunch menus, John Colet

14
March
2014

Sports reports from Pisa sport

On Friday 14th March the Junior Girls Pisa team played T ball against Oxford Falls. Unfortunately we lost, the score was 7 – 15. Our girls of the game are: Ella K, Samsara C, Yasmine H, Ashwani D and Caly H. Samsara was hurt but was brave, Yasmine, Ashwani, Ella and Caly all improved a lot.
Mi Mi

5th and 6th class Pisa Girls played softball against Pittwater House. There was some confusion about the score, but the official score ended up as 11 – 7 to Pittwater House. It was a great game and everyone played well, Jaanavi K was the girl of the game because of her keenness to keep playing.
Tally, Captain



Junior Boys Pisa team played Oxford Falls in T ball. Unfortunately we lost 13 – 11. The man of the match was Harry P because he did really good batting and fielding and he stopped two home runs by the opposition. We all played exceptionally well and are looking forward to next week’s match.
Leo


5th and 6th class Pisa Boys played cricket against Pittwater House. We played very well, but unfortunately we lost 29 – 34. Our man of the match was Rushil for his great batting. Hopefully we will win next time.
Lucas and Xavier

Categories: John Colet

14
March
2014

On the vegetarian lunch menu this week...

RECIPE – RISOTTO VEDURA (VEGETABLE RISOTTO)

Mon

ROASTED VEGETABLE SOUP
(with giant garlic croutons)
Tue

RISOTTO VEDURA
Wed

PIZZA MARGARITA
Thu

ZUCCHINI BEANS ON TOAST
Fri

MEXICAN ‘MEAT’ PIES
(ALL PISA children – packed lunch!)

Egg free, dairy free, gluten free and vegan options always available.

 

RECIPE – RISOTTO VEDURA (VEGETABLE RISOTTO)
Serves 4
300grs Arborio rice
700mls good vegetable stock (hot)
500mls pasta sauce (hot) - (school pasta sauce has 7 vegetables blended in it)
1 onion finely diced
2 cups of any diced vegetables your children will eat
1 cup of cooked white beans
½ cup Parmesan cheese, Reggiano preferably (optional)
1 knob of butter (optional)
½ cup fine garlic bread crumbs to top

•    Lightly fry the onions in a pot until soft but not coloured, add rice and stir to coat.
•    Add 1/3 of the stock and boil down.
•    Add another 1/3 of stock, pasta sauces and all the vegetables. Stir until boiled down.
•    Continue adding stock until rice is just before cooked. Stirring constantly (12-15 mins).
•    Remove from heat. Add beans, butter and cheese.
•    Rest for 1 min.
•    Serve topped with crunchy garlic crumbs
If you want to reduce the fat content a little exchange Parmesan to cottage cheese and leave out the butter…I do a combination. But the original is delicious for a great occasion.
You can also cook this in the oven and leave out all fat entirely. Simply add all ingredients and place in oven for 30 mins, rest 5 mins. Do not stir.

Eat well,

Donna

Categories: Lunch menus, John Colet

14
March
2014

Weekly comment from our stage coordinators

During this term at Staff Meetings the Mistresses and the Teachers have been reading through some of the School’s Policies – partly to refresh ourselves on their content, and also to see if they need updating in any way.  One of the things that has stood out for us is the Discipline Policy (you can read it on our Website) which, amongst other things, sets out the Responsibilities and Rights of the school and staff, and also of the children.  Responsibilities come first because when you exercise your responsibilities properly, you earn certain rights.  This week we will concentrate on the Responsibilities of the School and Staff, and next week on the Responsibilities of the Students.  Thereafter we will look at the Rights.

These Responsibilities are based on the School’s core values – Speak the Truth, Always give of your best, Serve all and everything, and  Work together with love, honour and respect for one another.

School and Staff Responsibilities:
1.    To aid the children in remembering the Creator, to live by the fine regulations of Creation, and to discover and unite with God.
2.    To provide an atmosphere which promotes self-discovery, peace and order;
3.    To expose the children to the best available materials, such as Shakespeare, Mozart and Michelangelo, and appropriate curriculum to meet the needs of each student;
4.    To support children in achieving success in learning.
5.    To develop a set of rules which are just, clear and consistently applied.
6.    To comply with all school policies and procedures and any relevant legislation.
As always, consistency at home and school make for a secure and conflict-free environment for children.

Categories: Coordinators' Comments, John Colet

14
March
2014

Teaching history to very young children

Upper First has been learning about past and present times. As part of this unit we have been exploring past and present modes of transport.
Mr Rundle (Saskia and Michael T’s Grandfather) kindly offered to bring in his 1927 Franklin car as well as a number of artefacts some dating back millions of years. The children thoroughly enjoyed this experience, engaging in discussion and exploring the inside of the vehicle.
Mr Rundle has been travelling around Australia in this car supporting Care Flight, raising some much needed funds.
A huge thanks goes to Mr Rundle and Mrs T for organising this wonderful experience for us.

 

Categories: John Colet

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