John Colet
25
October
2013

How John Colet School won over John Bell

Today John Bell came to visit us, to see the children perform.  Each class put on a few minutes of their play, so we had nine short performances.  Even the Infants revived their magnificent productions to showcase their acting skills.  Afterwards he generously conducts a Q & A session with the primary children.
John Bell said to me as he was leaving: “When the little ones came skipping on I was completely won over.”
When, nearly twenty years ago he was invited to be the patron of our Shakespeare Festival it was a little hard to persuade him to come up to the school.  But we persevered and he finally came and saw the children perform.  He expressed his complete delight at the children’s performances.
But some years later, he confided to me that before that initial visit his heart sank when he realized that he was going to have to see six, nine and twelve year olds, in his words, “murder Hamlet”.  When we finally persuaded him to come, he said, he found something he could never have believed: articulate, happy children, dressed in their costumes, greeted him at the gate and then performed with commitment, clarity, gusto and good-humour.  And, he says, it is the same every year.
He is now a strong, enthusiastic advocate for John Colet School.  Just a few weeks ago, for example, at Sydney University, he was singing the school’s praises at a conference of educators.  It is a great privilege to have such a great Australian as a firm friend of the school.

Categories: Head of School Comment, John Colet

18
October
2013

On the vegetarian lunch menu this week

Avoid dehydration in the heat



Mon

SALAD ROLLS served in the breezeway

Tues

SUNSHINE THAI

Weds

PUMPKIN SOUP

Thurs

NACHOS

Fri

PASTA BOLOGNESE

Gluten, dairy and egg free and vegan options always provided.
The heat and summer is coming very fast this year so don't forget to increase your child's water consumption.
Children generally don't like chugging down glass after glass of water, so try adding some fresh mandarin pieces, cucumber slices, apple and mint or lemon for those who like it tart. This makes for a drink and a snack all in one. Not to mention it packs in more vitamins with a great taste.
And for the parent’s benefit, water helps after a heavy night and aids in detoxifying your body to reduce bloating and headaches.
Drink well
Donna Moor

Categories: Lunch menus, John Colet

18
October
2013

Naplan Results for John Colet School

...and other equally important things...

A week of great rejoicing in the halls of John Colet School!  Some outstanding results in the Naplan from children in years 3 and 5:  all the teachers are to be congratulated for their work in preparing the children; and the children themselves must be feeling pleased that their hard work is reflected in the wonderful scores they achieved.  And why not? – let’s congratulate the parents too!
Another happy event was the Introductory Day for next year’s Lower 1st intake.  The children had a settled and productive morning, and many of the parents came to the morning tea in the Staff Common Room, where Mrs Moor had laid on her usual feast.  Sixteen of the children were siblings of children already in the school, and this of course helps the event to be more relaxed.  Thank you to all involved.
While this was on, the Infants children went to an ABC concert, which was also deemed a success, and we heard reports of a group of Lower First children enthusiastically responding to a call to dance on stage!   Good show.
This next week we are highlighting CARE of the playground.  We are instituting an “emu patrol” in the grounds, which means that each grade has a designated area of the school where they pick up rubbish.   This is a five-minute weekly job, and we hope it will also serve to stop some of the littering, as well as producing a clean playground.
Week Three also brings the Phillip Market day on Tuesday 22nd and the attenuated Shakespeare performances on Friday 25th for our Festival Patron, Mr. John Bell.  The Board of Governors has also been invited to attend these, which will be held in the Hall.  Break a leg!
Summer uniform this week!

NB Primary children will need a packed lunch from Monday 28st Oct – Fri 1st Nov which is the week of the Shakespeare Festival.

Parents – come join the choir! Morning tea
On Wednesday 6th November there’s an open choir lesson for Primary from 8.40 – 9.15 am followed by a morning tea. Parents please come along, it’s a great way to see what goes into creating the beautiful singing we hear at school events such as Speech Night.

Categories: Coordinators' Comments, John Colet

18
October
2013

From the Headmaster this week...

A subtle new take on Though Shalt Not Kill

Thou shalt not kill. Exodus 20:13

This is the first of the commandments between man and man. It is pretty simple.  Its literal meaning is a ban on killing.  

But because we kill most of our food – meat, obviously, but also vegetables and grains - it needs a little interpretation. And the simplicity of this commandment takes another hit when we think of issues of the lawful taking of human life - self-defence, capital punishment or warfare.  And modern issues of euthanasia and the like also raise thorny ethical issues.

A full discussion of these issues would make this week’s Message impossibly long, however I hope we can cut things short by agreeing that respect for all life, and human life in particular, is covered by this commandment.

Leon MacLaren, the founder of the School, had a very interesting take on this commandment.  He said that one of the inner meanings of “killing” had to do with cutting someone off from themselves; creating a situation by words or actions where someone was put into a state of forgetfulness of their higher, pure Self.

One example of this form of “killing” which he gave was, as he termed it, “holding someone’s past against them”. By which he meant holding onto resentment or maintaining a grudge because of someone’s past misdeeds.  He was very clear that forgiveness meant giving someone the space to change, and that this was like bestowing life on them.


Categories: Head of School Comment, John Colet

11
October
2013

New chapter for our Registrar

As John Colet School has grown, we face new challenges born of bigger classes, more buildings and expanded staff.  And the gradual retirement of those stalwarts who founded the school.

In the first years of the school a mighty work was done getting the show on the road with premises, council approvals, and, more importantly, establishing and embedding the ethos and character of the school.  Many people were involved, some of whom still are.

One of these giants is Lynne Werner, our registrar. She has been with the school for nearly twenty-five years, initially working, largely unaided, in a dizzying array of administrative areas.  This included helping me when I first started as headmaster, for which I am personally deeply grateful.

Lynne has always brought a calm, steady, benign energy to everything she set her hand to.  She has been a lynchpin among the office staff.  One area of particular note to the children is her eternal vigilance.  She always has her eyes open as she roamed the school and she was a major source of nominations for Headmaster’s Awards, as she saw a kind act, or an example of courage.

It is therefore with some sadness that I have to let you know that Lynne has decided to put down the mantle and retire with her husband to the North Coast.  We all wish her and Joachim all the best, and are highly appreciative of the fact that she has left her son Karl behind to continue to keep the school ship shape.

Categories: Head of School Comment, John Colet

11
October
2013

Straight to work now school's back

The children settled in very quickly, and in spite of the heat – up and down – everyone applied themselves and got straight down to work.  Shakespeare resounds around the school, and we are all looking forward to the Primary performances in a few weeks:  don’t forget to buy your tickets early (they go on sale on 14th October), and please do encourage as many relatives and friends as you can to come along!  It is so rewarding for the children to see a full audience, and of course it is a wonderful showcase for the school.  This year the Infants’ children will be treated to performances at school – this simplifies things for everyone.
Thursday will see an Introductory Day for next year’s Lower First, and Mrs. Tefay and Mrs. Connell, next year’s L1st teachers, confess to being very excited about meeting their new charges (although they surrender their present ones with regret!).  The parents of this new intake are invited to a morning tea with the Headmaster and Mrs. Donald in the Staff Common Room.      Meanwhile, Lower 1st, Upper 1st and 2nd Class will be treated to an ABC Concert in Ultimo, and will be away for the morning.
Upper 1st parents are also reminded about a class morning tea with the Headmaster on Tuesday 15th, also to be held in the Staff Common Room.
Our focus for the practice of CARE this week is once again school uniform.
There is a changeover period from winter to summer uniform for the first two weeks of term:  full uniform please – one or the other.  It is very nice to see all children arrive at school in full uniform:  polished shoes, the right socks, shoelaces done up and shirts tucked in:  hats of course!   The same applies when leaving school, although realistically by then the shoes are not quite so shiny!

Categories: Coordinators' Comments, John Colet

11
October
2013

On the vegetarian lunch menu this week

 

Mon

ROASTED VEGETABLES & BEANS

Tues

CHEESY RICE

Weds

SAUSAGE ROLLS

Thurs

SQUIGGLY NOODLES

Fri

POTATO & LEEK SOUP

Gluten, egg and dairy free and vegan options always provided.

Categories: Lunch menus, John Colet

08
October
2013

Welcome back to a busy term 4

Northern Beaches Independent School - always busy

Welcome back to school for the last term of 2013! It’s a big term filled with a panorama of preparation and rehearsals for the year-end events, including the Primary Shakespeare Festival, a Nativity performance, Speech night preparation, the school Chess Competition, events marking the graduation of 6th class and other delights such as the Picnic Day.
A few exciting things have happened over the holidays, including the establishment of garden beds for the new Gardening Club (thanks to Ms Delien supported by some funding from the P&F); the move by some of the Administration to premises in Ralston Avenue (just round the block), the imminent relocation of Reception to a new spot in the old Admin Building, and the freeing up of Shakespeare 1 – back to a potential teaching space. And all the while the grass is growing in the part of the Eora playground that has been newly turfed!

“Always give of your best” is the aspect of our Values that we will give attention to this term, and we have distilled this to the word “CARE” for the children to remember easily. This is reflected in the following questions:
• Am I giving full attention?
• Is it beautiful?
• Is it well presented?
• Is it pleasing to others?
Teachers will take this up in the classroom and perhaps this could also be taken up at home!
Care of uniform and the presentation of ourselves as members of John Colet School will be an early focus, moving on to care of each other, our possessions, care in our speech and actions, care in our work, and care for our environment, both natural and man-made.
Good wishes and hopes for a productive and rewarding term!

Categories: Coordinators' Comments, John Colet

08
October
2013

On the vegetarian lunch menu this week

Could you keep up in our kitchen?

Mon

PUBLIC HOLIDAY

Tues

CURRY

Weds

MEXICAN

Thurs

SAUCY PASTA

Fri

EGG & VEGIE FRIED RICE

Gluten, dairy, egg free and vegan options always provided

EXPRESSIONS OF INTEREST FOR NEXT YEAR
It is that time of year when we ask Mums and Dads to give us an expression of interest in working in the kitchen next year. Each year families leave the school and some vacancies open. It is busy and hard work but it is a very rewarding position where you get to invest in your children’s health and respect the work that all the staff at John Colet does for each and every student here.
It is a paid position, 5 hours per day (within school hours). If you have any interest in working in this busy but very entertaining environment please email me on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Eat well
Donna Moor

Categories: Lunch menus, John Colet

08
October
2013

John Bell visit one of many term 4 highlights

John Bell to Visit Northern Beaches Independent School

Welcome back to Term 4. I trust everyone had a restful, enjoyable break. Term 4 has some wonderful highlights including the primary Shakespeare Festival, which also involves a visit from John Bell of the Bell Shakespeare Company. Later in November we have the Christmas Celebration including the Nativity Play performed by 2nd Class. And there is Speech Night which includes singing, speeches by various luminaries, including my personal favourites - the Head Boy and Girl; and of course prizes for academic, sporting and personal achievement. And it also marks the graduation of this year's 6th Class. This is always a poignant moment when we say goodbye to another cohort of fine young men and women, as they set out on the next stage of life's journey.

In that apparent movement through the milestones of life it is good to acknowledge the things that don't change - friendship, family and the timeless values which we are always working to set before the children.

One of the most important values is expressed beautifully in the 5th commandment: Honour thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.

Honouring one's parents is a paramount human duty. It is the first circle of love, from which a child's sphere can expand to encompass and love, their teachers, friends, colleagues, co-religionists, fellow countrymen, and, ultimately, all of humanity and, in deed, nature.

There is an esoteric interpretation of this commandment. It is based on its placement among the the first five commandments which are those between Man and God; rather than in the second group of five - those between Man and Man. According to this interpretation Father represents God, the limitless pure consciousness; and Mother stands for Nature, the whole Universe including its laws and powers and universal principles like Love and Justice and so on. Thus the 4th commandment enjoins us to honour both God and Nature, with the promise of a long life in the land God gave us. A realm of the Divine, where such values as compassion, care, courage and unity are the common birthright of all it's inhabitants.

Categories: Head of School Comment, John Colet

13
September
2013

Always have a 'Plan B' in the kitchen!

On the vegetarian menu this week...

 

Mon

HAWAIAN RICE

Tues

GNOCCHI

Weds

SUNSHINE THAI AND RICE

Thurs

PASTA BOLOGNESE

Fri

NACHOS


Welcome to the last week of term 3. Last week we had a few problems with our combi-oven, so if your child came home and told you they had something other than the menu – they were right. As in any working kitchen we sometimes are held to ransom by dysfunctional appliances. In saying this we always have up to 3 exchange choices in stock at anytime to make sure your children are always served a wonderful meal, these meals also double in case of emergencies or sickness. So please remember we write a ‘menu plan’ every week and your children will receive a meal every day.
The garlic bread and hot dogs were a smashing success with all of the children. There are some really great attempts at all of the lunches by all of the children. We also see so many of them releasing their ‘fussy’ - great job to every student.
Eat well
Donna Moor

Categories: Lunch menus, John Colet

13
September
2013

On the 4th Commandment

A day of rest...

Remember the Sabbath Day, to keep it holy. Exodus 20:8-11; Deut 5:12-15

The fourth commandment mandates a day of rest.  It lists in some detail everyone who is to benefit from this welcome break from all our labours including servants, children, guests, strangers and even animals.

There are two versions of the Ten Commandments in the Bible – one in Exodus Chapter 20, and the other in Deuteronomy Chapter 5.  They are practically identical except for this commandment.  When it comes to the rationale for this day of rest Exodus tells us it is because God rested on the seventh day from all His labours; and Deuteronomy tells us it is because we were slaves in Egypt, and presumably were worked mercilessly, and we were rescued by God, and should therefore should reserve a day in the week when we express our gratitude.

Whatever the reason, reserving regular time in our busy lives for rest, relaxation, and for contemplation of higher matters is essential to our well-being.  At school we have our regular pausing between lessons as a way of making this a vital part of our day.  Our experience over the years is that this gives the children a sense of confidence and self-assurance.

On another note, welcome back to our primary children who have been away at Milson Island camp, and Bathurst panning for gold.  And also – Come One! Come All! To our fabulous open air film night on Saturday night.  A great time is virtually guaranteed.

Categories: Head of School Comment, John Colet

13
September
2013

Infants enjoy a quiet week

and a Roman Banquet

Week 9 has been quiet at John Colet School, as the whole Primary Department has been off on excursions, and the weather has been very kind:  we expect to hear more about their adventures and hopefully see some photos.

A very successful and delicious Roman breakfast was held for one of the Latin classes, who dressed in tunics and togas for the event:  the menu included “wine”, fresh and dried fruit, cheese and eggs, olives of course, baked “dormice” – a real Roman favourite, and a generous supply of Roman marching biscuits – not unlike our ANZAC biscuits – which the children had made themselves the day before.  No drunken and disorderly behaviour was reported, and the Romans returned to class well satisfied, distributing Roman marching biscuits to all and sundry!

This coming week we are expecting a two-day visit from Mrs. Monique Miotto from our sister school in Melbourne – the Erasmus School.  She is Head of Learning and looks after the curriculum.

A third gap student has joined us from England for six months – Mr. Sam Bodington.   Sam’s father, Peter Bodington, lived in Australia for twelve years as a young man, but Sam will only be here for six months.  Sam went to St. James’ School in London until the end of Year 10 and then transferred to Brockwood Park in Hampshire for his two final years of schooling.  Brockwood Park is a small school of 60, run by Krishnamurti followers.  Sam has a particular attraction to Drama and Literature: and his visit has been most timely, with the Primary Shakespeare Festival coming up mid-next term.

Generosity continues as the theme until the end of the week.  This virtue gives endless opportunity for practice, both at home and abroad.


Making Roman marching biscuits for the Roman breakfast.

Categories: Coordinators' Comments, John Colet

06
September
2013

Pisa Sports Reports for John Colet School

Senior Girls
On Friday 6th September, 5th and 6th class Pisa Girls played soccer against St Lukes.  The score was 1 – 1. This game was 6th class’s last game EVER.  And we tied! Yay!!  I think we played awesomely for our last game.  We had great sportsmanship.  We looked out for each other.  I think it was an amazing game.  
Girls of the Game for 5th class are:  All of them because every single one of them played the best that they could.
Girls of the Game for 6th class are: All of them because every single one of them played the best that they could.
By Chloe T

Junior Girls
The Junior Girls Pisa Soccer team played soccer against Oxford Falls Grammar School and we won 6-0. It was a very suspenseful game because we were all thinking “If we win this we win the whole term and come first.”  The whole team played so well and everyone tried their hardest, so that the Girls of the Game were:EVERYONE!
By Scout H

Senior Boys
The Senior Boys played rugby against Galstaun College and won 2 – Nil.

Junior Boys
The Junior Boys played rugby against Christian Covenant School and lost 6 – 3.  The team has improved tremendously over the season.

Coaches’ Notes
This year the Junior Girls Teams have been joint winners in the T Ball, won the netball outright and we believe they have won the soccer round as well, though that’s not been confirmed yet.  
Also, the recent win by the Junior Boys in rugby ended a four year losing streak, not a 10 year one as reported.
Mr Roslin

Categories: Chess & Clubs, John Colet

06
September
2013

The meaning behind the Third Commandment

Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.  Exodus 20:7

This third commandment means that the name of God should not be pronounced lightly, deceitfully or frivolously.  So, for example, swearing an oath on the Bible, and then giving false testimony, carries an extra degree of turpitude.

Jews have a strict prohibition on pronouncing the four letter name of God represented in English as YHWH.  Only the High Priest was allowed to pronounce it in the inner sanctum of the Temple in Jerusalem on the Day of Atonement, and its accurate pronunciation has now been lost in the mists of time.

But, as you may have suspected, there is also a subtle meaning to this commandment.  In the Bible and indeed in Sanskrit one of the names of God is I AM – Aham in Sanskrit.  And this is not just God’s name, but everyone’s name.  Everyone when speaking of themselves, says “I am …”  and then adds an attribute. 

We know only too well that we all have strengths and weaknesses, but one meaning of this commandment is that we should take care when describing ourselves, to reflect the beauty, majesty, power, intelligence and strength that, along with our failings, are part of our inherent nature.  This commandment, therefore, reminds us to acknowledge the dignity and stature we all share by reason of our humanity; and that we should be careful how we speak about ourselves, and, by extension, others.

Speaking of natural dignity, beauty, intelligence and strength, we were honoured last Wednesday by a veritable inundation of Grandparents, for a wonderful celebration of family warmth and love.  It was a great day and a credit to everyone involved.

Categories: Head of School Comment, John Colet

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