John Colet
06
September
2013

Raising baby chickens at school

Over the past two weeks, Lower First (kindergarten) have been looking after little baby chickens. It was a great learning experience for the children as they were able to see the chicks actually hatch out of their eggs. We also learnt how to take care of the chicks which involved cleaning out their cage every day and making sure they were warm enough, with enough food and water. We played with the chicks, gave them all names and lots of love. Fortunately we found homes for all 10 chicks who are now being looked after by people in our school community. Thank you to all those who are taking care of the chicks.

Miss White
Teacher

2013-kindy-student-watching-chicks-at-school

Categories: Lower First news (Kindy), John Colet

06
September
2013

Reflecting on gifts and talents

We can happily say that Grandparents’ Day was a resounding success!  The first indicator was the wonderful response – over 100 grandparents came, and were entertained by their grandchildren, served and looked after by Sixth Class and given the opportunity to see lessons in progress.  I must say that some of the children’s writing about their Grandparents which was displayed in the classrooms, was very touching, as well as portraits and photos.  Thanks to all those who contributed.
The week ahead brings more adventure:  the Primary classes will be away from Wednesday to Friday exploring life further afield – Milson Island and Bathurst.  Undoubtedly they will have opportunities both to learn and to have fun!
Generosity – our present practice:   A little reflective moment:  all the children have been blessed with gifts, talents, abilities and opportunities:  every child can dip into this cornucopia of endowments:  some have gifts, some talents, all have particular abilities and certainly all have opportunities.  The big question for all of us is what we do with them.
Marsilio Ficino, 15th century Renaissance scholar, philosopher and mentor to many of the Renaissance “greats”, states in a letter to Cosimo de’ Medici that whilst a person may have many endowments, he or she will not be truly happy until they discover what they are.  Having discovered them, they need to be used, for what is the point of a gift or talent that lies idle?  
However, real happiness follows when these abilities and opportunities are made good use of, and that always entails using them rightly for the good of all.  Using what we have been given for the benefit of all is an act of generosity.  Let us thus be generous to one another.

2013-grandparents-day-at-John-Colet-School

Grandparents and students mingle in a classroom on Grandparents Day.

Categories: Coordinators' Comments, John Colet

06
September
2013

Trying new menus while half the school's away

On the John Colet School menu this week...

 

Mon

HAWAIAN FRIED RICE

Tues

'SAUSAGE' ROLLS

Weds

CHEESY HOTDOGS

Thurs

VEGIE PIE

Fri

MIXED POTATO BAKE

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

By special request, we are having another vegetarian sausage roll day next week. Some of the ‘happy campers’ think they need a ‘last supper’ before camp food! I’ll take the compliment!
On Wednesday, we say goodbye to primary students who are heading off to camp. Have fun and remember how good you have it here at school.
Due to the reduced numbers, we will also be trying out some new menu ideas to track the logistics and quantities needed to serve the whole school. We are also trying a few new twists on old favourites.
This week, I would like to remind everyone about the importance of a healthy morning tea. A morning tea is a food break that should comprise of fruits/vegetables, low fat dips and some whole wheat/grain crackers or even bread for the very active.
The foods should be enjoyable and fun so the children will eat them. This helps control the insulin response and aids in focused learning.

Eat Well
Donna

Categories: Lunch menus, John Colet

28
August
2013

Encouraging children to be generous

A warm thank you to the parents who have been able to come to the Headmaster’s Class Breakfasts in the Staff Common Room – so far the Primary parents and next the Infants’ parents.  Thanks also to Donna for providing delicious things to help the conversation along.  These occasions have been most enjoyable and have offered a further opportunity for communication on a more personal level.
Our next big social “event” is to welcome Grandparents to the School on Wednesday 4th from 8.30 to 10.30.  The children will be serving and then performing.  The location is the Hall.
This week we welcome a second Gap Student to John Colet – this time from London.   Joy Mendes da Costa had her education at St. James’ Girls School, one of our sister schools in London.  She will be here till mid-2014.  Her interests are sports, drama and history, and we look forward to her helping teachers in all of these areas, as well as Sanskrit, Art and Singing.  In her spare time she likes to play tennis and lacrosse and read and sing.  Joy is a very experienced babysitter!  She is intending to take up studies in education next year with the hope of becoming a teacher.
The Garden Club is very close to “launch” thanks to the great and enthusiastic efforts of Alex Delien and a host of helpers, including members of staff.  We are encouraging interested children to keep to existing after school activities and wait for gardening to rotate to another day of the week, which we will do each term, so that everyone gets a chance to participate.  Best of luck!
We are moving on from Steadfastness to the practice of Generosity for the next few weeks.  Generosity includes allowing others to enjoy what is theirs – their personal talents and abilities as well as possessions; it includes not taking more than we actually need, and also of course the usual concept of giving and sharing with others what we ourselves have and enjoy.  There is much scope here!  Please encourage this quality in the children:  it is one that can bring much happiness to both giver and receiver.

Categories: Coordinators' Comments, John Colet

28
August
2013

Gorgeous seahorses in art

Take a plain paper plate...

Intricate and detailed pattern work and vibrant use of colour (watercolours and texta) is transforning plain paper plates into magical seahorses this week in art classes. 
This will be a two-lesson project as the 4th class students are encouraged to take their time.  They will also be making an enchanted clam shell to go with their seahorse.
 

Above are seahorse plates by Hamish and Lara, both 4th class D

Categories: Art classes, John Colet

28
August
2013

Getting children to eat vegetables

Persistence is crucial!

On the Lunch menu this week...

Mon

NACHOS/BURITTOS

Tues

SAUCY PASTA

Weds

PUMPKIN SOUP (with cheesy soldiers)

Thurs

SOY NOODLES
Fri

GNOCCHI FLORENTINE

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

We are currently in the middle of ‘Fruit and Veg Month 2013’, which runs from 26th of August – 20th September 2013.
I would like to take this opportunity to promote the healthy eating of vegetables that we do daily at John Colet School. I write these blogs to help teach students and their families about the benefits of fruits, vegetables and their nutritional value in everyday living.
Our aim is to get children excited about eating these food groups.

We try ‘variations on a theme’ to see if there is something we can get them to love, eat and enjoy. A great example of this is the current nacho recipe that took an entire year to perfect to the students’ exacting tastes and has now become one of their favourites.
It seems that persistence pays, so try something different and add in more vegetables and fruits to every meal. The rewards are well worth it!

Eat well
Donna Moor

Categories: Lunch menus, John Colet

27
August
2013

What does the Second Commandment mean?

It requires us to put our thinking caps on

Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image. Exodus 20:4-6

The second commandment forbids the making of “graven images”.  It goes on at some length to specify that these forbidden images are of any living thing, and that God is a jealous God and will punish the wicked and reward the good.  All good Old Testament stuff!

Obviously we need to put our thinking caps on for this one because at school we are forever making images of living things.  Why, in the lunchroom there were several rather fetching drawings of the Headmaster!  

The clue to the subtle meaning of this commandment is in verse 5 where it stipulates: thou shalt not bow down thyself to them nor serve them. It is the worship of these images which is the problem rather than the image itself.  This commandment forbids us to waste our time worshipping gods which are false.

And what might these false gods be?  Money, Power, Possessions, Self-interest, a sort of greedy drive to succeed which likes to see the other chap fail?  It is the worship of these “images” which enslaves us, and which God, jealous of our freedom, forbids.

Categories: Head of School Comment, John Colet

23
August
2013

Thinking about the First Commandment

Every so often I like to use this weekly message to run through the Ten Commandments.  There are several reasons for this.  First, we like the children to be familiar with them so I have been discussing them in Assembly.  Secondly, they and similar pronouncements from the Bible form the basis of our moral and ethical outlook.  Even those who don’t have a heartfelt connection with religion or the Bible would be keen that people refrain from stealing and lying and killing; that they respect their parents, take regular well-earned rest breaks from their labours and so on.

And thirdly, perhaps my favourite reason, is that in common with most of the Bible, study of these commandments requires us to think and use our intelligence.

Takes the first commandment.  Many say that this is the most important one – if you get this one right then all the rest follow naturally:

I am the lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.  Exodus 20:2-3

I once asked 6th class which God we’re dealing with here; which aspect of God are we being asked to put first?  After a bit of discussion we concluded that it was the God of freedom, the one who brings us out of our house of bondage.

We than had a conversation about what binds us – jealously, anger, frustration, fear, embarrassment; and what sets us free – forgiveness, understanding, compassion, courage and so on.  Our conclusion was that this commandment is asking us to put before all other options those things which set us free.  When we are free of hatred, and anxiety, and ignorance, we can move forward bravely, confidently and generously.

Categories: Head of School Comment, John Colet

23
August
2013

This week's Pisa sports round results for John Colet School

Junior Boys rugby team breaks a long drought!

Junior Girls
On Friday the Junior Girls Soccer team versed Covenant Christian School and we won 2-0.  All the girls played their hardest but the Girls of the Game were Alexa and Amelia; Alexa because she kept on going even though she’d hurt her ankle and Amelia because she defended the goals as hard as she could and never gave up.
Scout (Captain)

Junior Boys
On Friday 3rd and 4th class Boys played Pittwater House.  We won 9 – 4 and it was the first win for 3rd/4th Boys rugby in 10 years. The Man of the Match was everyone!.  Yay!
By Hamish (Captain) and Ethan (Vice Capt)

Senior Girls
The Senior Girls played soccer against Galstaun College and drew 0-0.  
By Daya C-H

Senior Boys
On Friday, 5th and 6th class Boys played Galstaun College.  Everyone played extremely well and always had a go at tackling.  We won 9 – 1.  The Men of the Match are: 5th class – Rex F and for 6th class, Liam T-D.  All the boys are going to go back and think about the game and train hard.
-By   Josh B (Captain)

Categories: John Colet

23
August
2013

More Primary School Chess Competition results

John Colet A battles Lane Cove A

As reported last week, John Colet School came 2nd at the 2013 Interschool Chess Challenge held at Artarmon.  It has been confirmed that John Colet will advance to the Semi – Finals.  The top 5 performers at the tournament - Jarod C, Nathan r, Yasha B, Ryan B and Xavier S will compete at Fairfield on Monday 9 September.  Please join me in wishing them good luck! 

Primary Schools Chess Competition
In more finals action, last Friday afternoon the John Colet A team (Ryan B, Jarod C, Sean B, Yasha B) each played 2 games against Lane Cove A (Lower North Shore Division winners).  The boys were valiant competitors winning 3 games but Lane Cove was slightly stronger on the day winning with 5 games.  Congratulations to these boys on their success and their gamesmanship!  We now look forward to the 2014 competition!!

Categories: Chess & Clubs, John Colet

23
August
2013

John Colet sees Storm Boy at Sydney Theatre Company

Excursions and Incursions for all...

The past week was studded with events and achievements, which made it a happy one in spite of the very cold weather, and the sudden return of winter.
Congratulations to the Chess cohort!  John Colet will be represented by a team at the semi-finals of the Inter-Schools Chess Challenge – an outstanding achievement for a school of relatively small size!  Well done Miro, Heather B and the children and helpers.  We look forward to a happy outcome – win or lose!
There were three events – one  was an excursion by the Primary children to see the show “Storm Boy”, based on the famous Australian novel of the same name by Colin Thiele.  This was much enjoyed by one and all, and apparently had some great puppeteering in it.  The Infants too had puppets on Wednesday, this time shadow puppets: a one-person show called The Owl's Apprentice, and very delightful.
Supporting our child protection instruction, three Police officers came to John Colet on Wednesday morning to talk to each of the Infants grades about “Keeping Safe”:  they covered getting lost and Stranger Danger, and the talks were very interactive, reinforcing what many of the children already knew.
Our practice of Steadfastness is being remembered by staff and children alike:  it very much links with self-discipline, stillness, reliability  and self-respect.
Two important items:
1.    GRANDPARENTS’ DAY:  An invitation has been sent out to all families for Grandparents Day on 4th September, including a programme.  If your child has no available grandparents and wishes to invite an Honorary Grandparent or two, please feel free.  Please understand that it is vital that you register this attendance with the School Receptionist – we need this information in advance for catering purposes.  Your co-operation would be much appreciated by the Catering Department!
2. AFTER SCHOOL ACTIVITIES:   Please note that if your children are attending after school activities other than After School Care, such as Pisa training, Mandarin, Music lessons, French, and soon Gardening Club etc., if you are not there to collect them, they will be sent to After School Care as a routine matter of protection and safety. Please understand that we cannot have them running about without supervision whilst waiting for you.  The office staff goes by 4 p.m. and teachers will generally be working in their classrooms.  Many thanks.
Jenny-Ellis-from-little-wing-puppets-the owls-apprentice
Pictured above is Jenny Ellis of Little Wing Puppets, with the star of her show, The Owl's Apprentice

Categories: Coordinators' Comments, John Colet

23
August
2013

Five simple ways to a healthier lifestyle

On the lunch menu this week

 

Mon

SWEET POTATO MAC ‘N’ CHEESE

Tues

CORN & VEGIE FRIED RICE

Weds

EGG SALAD ROLLS

Thurs

VEGETABLE CURRY & RICE

Fri

SQUIGGLY VEGIE NOODLES

Vegan, dairy, gluten and egg free options provided daily.

You are well on your way to a healthy life with a balance of good food and physical activity. Easy to say, sometimes hard to stomach!

A busy life of work and family can sometimes make it hard or even seemingly impossible to find time for physical activity. We can also slip into ‘easy prepare’ foods, take-away and then spending what little time we have in front of a TV or computer.

Let’s try to curb these bad behaviours and set good examples to our children and stand up for their health…and yours.

Short term goals like a little weight loss, eat 1 more cooked meal at home per week, reduce the quantity of morning and afternoon teas, 1 more exercise class or morning walk per day will make a huge difference to yours and your children’s life.

Here are 5 simple ways for your family to lead a healthy lifestyle and get back on track:

1. Get active each day

2. Choose water as a drink

3. Eat more fruits and vegetables 

4. Switch off the screen!!

5. Eat fewer snacks and make healthier alternatives. 

Eat well

Donna Moor

Categories: Lunch menus, John Colet

21
August
2013

Grandparents Day art

Our First Classes have been busy making cards to give to their Grandparents on Grandparents day. They will be able to post their beautiful cards to Grandparents overseas.  Some have never met their Grandparents but talked to them on skype. Some Grandparents drop the children to school or pick them up. Some children love that their Grandparents read them books, play with them and spoil them. They love their Grandparents because their Grandparents love them. One boy received a picture of a grizzly bear by phone, another received a message in a bottle from the North pole (by mail). Grandparents Day is a Special Day.
John Colet School has a special Grandparents Day celebration in September.

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

16
August
2013

Interschool Chess Challenge at Artarmon Public School - John Colet does well!

Primary Schools Chess Competition

Hello Chess Enthusiasts!
Some more chess success to share!

Interschool Chess Challenge – Artarmon Public School
Yesterday, 19 students from the Senior Chess class competed at Artarmon in an individual-based tournament but the 4 highest scores from each school were added together. The children played 7 games of chess.

As a result, John Colet School came 2nd out of 16 schools.  The first placed school (Willoughby) only beat us by ½ point!!
Congratulations to all the children but especially our top scorers who helped the school achieve such a fantastic result!
Jarod C = 6 points (overall 2nd place out of 162 students)
Nathan C = 6 points
Yasha B = 5.5 points
Ryan B = 5 points
Xavier S = 5 points

Primary Schools Chess Competition
The John Colet A team (Ryan B, Jarod C, Sean B, Yasha B) will be playing in the first round of the Zone finals this afternoon.  They play against Lane Cove A (Lower North Shore Division winners).
Please join me in wishing them good luck!

Categories: Chess & Clubs, John Colet

16
August
2013

Chess and debating at John Colet School

Forest District Debating Competition and Chess

There are several extra things we do at John Colet, some of which are well known to the participants; but others in the school community may not be fully aware of them. Our chess program is one of these. A very high proportion of students play chess each week and the teacher Miro, and co-ordinator, Heather B, perform prodigies to keep the very successful show on the road. This year three of our five teams won their competitions, including our Championship team winning the Manly-Warringah Zone. They will now play off against the winners of the Upper North Shore, Lower North Shore, Ryde and Central Coast zones to decide the winner of the Sydney North District. Regardless of winning or losing however, the children benefit from the mental training, the power of concentration and all the other manifold advantages to playing chess. The school has also been part of the Forest District Debating Competition for many years. There are four other local schools in this competition. Sixth class does some preliminary training and practice in term one, and then a team of eight or so students is formed. There are four preliminary debates and a final between the two top teams. Some of the topics this year were: Contact sports do more good than harm; everyone should play a musical instrument; and new is best. We didn’t make the final this year, but the confidence, research skills and team work which debating inculcates, are prize enough.

Categories: Head of School Comment, John Colet

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