John Colet
14
February
2014

Lower First children settling in well

A report from our two Lower First (kindy) teachers

Lower First have settled in very well, with ease and enthusiasm.  They have been most attentive in learning a few simple behaviours which have enabled them to self-regulate and participate fully in the experience of school life.  For example they can pack their bags and line up successfully on our ‘lining-up ladder’.  This painted ladder allows the children to arrange themselves into a line without a fuss.  On the floor for learning time the children have participated in ‘Positive Behaviour Support’ lessons.  In these lessons children are taught appropriate and safe ways of interacting with others through modelling, role play and discussion.

The children are well engaged throughout the day with a balance of activities which are presented in a fun, yet rigorous manner.  They have completed work in all areas of the new Australian Curriculum and are well on their way to beginning to write their first sentences and are showing signs of readiness for number processes.  As we endeavour to offer the finest of things to the children they have also been exposed to fine music, art, artists and philosophy.

Teachers of Lower First 2014
Robyn Tefay and Lea-Ann Connell

Categories: Lower First news (Kindy), John Colet

14
February
2014

Student leaders active in their roles

From the Stage Coordinators, Mrs McKendrick and Mrs Donald

A busy week ahead, from the Primary children’s point of view, the most important event is the Swimming Carnival on Wednesday at 10.45 at the Killarney Swim Centre!  The House Captains are very excited about the prospect – this is the first major event of their tenure.  They and their assistants had a meeting with their respective houses to encourage them to show good sportsmanship and do their best.   We hope to see many parents there – it is always a wonderful and exciting event.
Also next week is the Reception given by the Board of Governors – we also encourage you to come to this to help welcome new parents and to meet members of the Board.  This is in the MacLaren Hall from 7.30 to 9.00 p.m. and refreshments will be served:  this is another occasion where Head Boy, Head Girl and House Captains can demonstrate their leadership and also have the opportunity to serve the school.
Sunday 23rd is the Phillip House Working Bee – a wonderful day to get out of bed early and spend time with friends!
Respect – our term’s focus in the practice of the School Values - this week concentrates on the question:  “Is this action considerate of the happiness and comfort of others?”

Categories: Coordinators' Comments, John Colet

14
February
2014

What makes a human being unique?

Headmaster's weekly comment

Our School Creed encourages us to “learn about God, Man the Universe, and our relationship to them”.  Last week I discussed the first of these, God.  Now it is Man’s turn.

“Man” of course means all of humanity – men, women, boys and girls. And the question here is, apart from biology and physiology and genetics, what is it which makes us human?  What is a human being? What makes a human being unique?  As Psalm 8 asks: What is man that thou art mindful of him? 

Is it the power of reason, humour, enthusiasm, an opposable thumb, magnanimity, an upright spine, marriage, creativity and innovation, a capacity for self-sacrificial love, a sense of the divine, the ability to delay our gratification?  All of the above?

Terry Pratchett tells us that man lives “where the falling angel meets the rising ape”, indicating that we have characteristics of both, and the potential to move in either direction.  To save us, and those around us, from beastly behaviour we are given simple rules and ethical and moral standards.  Following these – love thy neighbor, live honestly, treat others with care and respect – we can manifest the “better angels of our nature” (Abraham Lincoln).

At John Colet School we endeavour to present the children with a large view of their own humanity and instil a sense of gratitude for the gifts inherent in human nature.  We also try to communicate a sense of responsibility to others, which finds expression in the school values, particularly Care, Service and Respect.



Categories: Head of School Comment, John Colet

07
February
2014

More on "Respect"

At Assembly the Headmaster is talking to the children each week about some aspect of this Creed, and naturally, he began with God, giving a simple and delightful exposition.  This Creed is designed to set the children to thinking about their lives in a larger context.
Our practice of Respect follows on very readily from these considerations.  This week we have been looking at Unity, as described last week, and now we will examine and practise the second aspect which is “Is this action safe for myself and others?”
The children have been looking very smart in their uniforms, especially 5th Class, who are now in the senior uniform.  Congratulations to the children, especially in having their sunhats for play!

Categories: Coordinators' Comments, John Colet

07
February
2014

‘Cooked’ v. ‘Raw’

On the vegetarian school menu this week...


Mon

MOROCCAN RICE AND 'MINCE'
(with minted yoghurt)
Tue

CHEESE & SALAD WRAPS
(with mild peri-peri mayo)
Wed SOY VEGETABLE STIR-FRY
Thu

SQUIGGLY NOODLES
(with vegie strips)
Fri

PUMPKIN OR TOMATO SOUP
(with garlic croutons)
Vegan, dairy free, gluten free and egg free options available.


There are a few different trains of thought on the topic of cooked versus raw food. Generally the raw movement maintains that all of the nutrients are retained to support optimal health. There is no doubt that eating raw food is necessary for good health but there are certain vegetables that do require cooking simply because it easier for the body to digest and absorb the nutrients.


Why? You may ask…Heat facilitates the releases of antioxidants by breaking down cell walls allowing for optimal absorption. My favourite is that of the antioxidant lycopene, found in tomatoes. It is absorbed more easily from cooked tomatoes. The humble potato when cooked, release phytonutrients and improves the digestibility of the starches.

As always, a healthy balance and moderation is the key to great health.

Eat Well
Donna Moor


Categories: Lunch menus, John Colet

07
February
2014

Following our own inclinations to learn about God

Headmaster's weekly comment

In assembly the children recite the school creed:

We are here to learn about God, Man, the Universe and our relationship to them; by which means we may fulfil our bond to remember the Creator, to abide by the fine regulations of the Creation, and to return to the Absolute.

This is a formulation put together many years ago by Leon MacLaren, the founder of the school, and, as such has some archaisms.  But it is part of the tradition of the school, so we say it as formulated, and then we apply our faculties of reason to discover its meaning and to make it practical.

The first thing we are here to learn about is God.

Most people think of God as an all-powerful, creative and intelligent Supreme Being, much like the universal Father prayed to in The Lord’s Prayer.  This appeals to those of us of a devotional nature who use prayer and worship to discover His nature and purpose.

For others less inclined to devotion, and of a more contemplative nature, God can be met as the still small voice within.  The voice of conscience; the guiding light which tells us what to do and what not to do; the ultimate Self within who watches all our physical, mental, and emotional ups and downs and is unaffected by them.

For others, the way to God is through service to others.  And these people, more inclined to action than devotion or contemplation, love their neighbour as themselves. They look after those in need, they feed the hungry, and they comfort the afflicted.

By any of these means we can follow our own individual inclinations and learn about God.

Categories: Head of School Comment, John Colet

31
January
2014

Multifaith education gets children thinking

The sun, with all those planets revolving round it and depending on it, can still ripen a bunch of grapes as if it had nothing else in the universe to do.
GALILEO GALILEI (1564-1642)

I was prompted this week to think about the relationship of Science, Philosophy and Religion when, in a 3rd class Scripture lesson, I was asked how the dinosaurs fit in with the account of the Creation in Genesis.  

And, as if that weren’t enough, in 4th class we started Buddhism by discussing the nature of Suffering, and the Buddha’s desire to bring Suffering to an end.  One girl then asked if it was even possible to end Suffering.  Wasn’t it just a natural and inevitable part of life?  And one of the boys then suggested that Suffering was not just natural, but necessary and useful to give us a full experience of life.

These are deep questions and the fact that seven and eight year olds discuss them freely shows how natural such enquiry is to human nature.  While we call it the Scientific Method, the examination of data, the formulation of hypotheses, and robust disputation are necessary for all disciplines which like Science, Philosophy and Theology aim to uncover the nature of reality. In this ongoing project, fundamentalism and slavish adherence to orthodoxy are barriers to understanding rather than a bridge.

The aim of all these fields of study is the discovery of truth.  They may come at it from different angles but, as a Japanese girl once told me, “There are many paths up the mountain, but only one view from the top.”

Categories: Head of School Comment, John Colet

31
January
2014

On the vegetarian lunch menu this week...

Sneaking vegetables and pulses into lunches



Mon

POTATO AND CHICKPEA CURRY

Tue

SAVOURY RICE

Wed

BAKED BEANS ON TOAST

Thu

CHILLI AND RICE

Fri

SPICY TOMATO GNOCCHI

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


One of the many goals in the school kitchen is to maximise the food’s nutrients while presenting it in a child-friendly manner.
We try to incorporate cooked and raw foods in each meal to ensure they retain all their goodness. Fruits, vegetables & legumes make up the core lunch foods. When we cook our vegetables and pulses they are steamed or totally incorporated into a ‘one-pot meal’, which retains their goodness and flavour. For many vegetables and all legumes, the cooking process makes them easier to digest and absorb the nutrients.
Our seasonal fruits and raw vegetables are chosen for their highest nutrient value and freshness.

Eat Well
Donna

Categories: Lunch menus, John Colet

31
January
2014

Respect - a core school value

From the Stage Coordinators, Mrs McKendrick and Mrs Donald

In the Vision, Mission and Values document of John Colet School, the practice of Respect, which is our practice this term, asks certain questions which are aimed at directing and guiding actions:
Work together with love, honour and respect for one another.
Practice:       Respect
1.    Does the action unify?
2.    Is this safe for myself and others?
3.    Is it considerate of the happiness and comfort of others?
4.    Is it honourable, respectful and dignified?
5.    Does this action reflect well on my nation, school, family and myself?
These are very worthwhile considerations at any age or stage of life, and if we all asked ourselves these questions in the moments before actions and decisions – what a different place the world would be!  Our responsibility is to put these considerations before the children, and help and encourage them to apply them to their actions.
We will begin with the first question:  Does the action unify?
•    Is it to the benefit of all involved?
•    Will it bring us together?
•    Does it exclude anyone?
Home support on these questions is very valuable.  Copy them and pin them up on the fridge!
Our first event on the Calendar is the Primary Swimming Carnival in February: more information will be forthcoming.
Lower First had a wonderful start to their school life.  They all seemed very happy, settled and mature. 
In fact everyone has got off to a good, steady start and we are looking forward to a very rewarding and productive year.


John Colet Head Girl Jaanvi Khandhar with some of our Lower First students on their first day.

Categories: Coordinators' Comments, John Colet

24
January
2014

School kitchen ready for lunchtimes

On the vegetarian school menu this week...



Mon

AUSTRALIA DAY HOLIDAY

Tue

CHEESY HOT DOGS

Wed

TOMATO & VEGETABLE PASTA

Thu

NACHOS AMIGOS
(with cheese, salsa & sour cream sides)

Fri

ASIAN FRIED RICE

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

Welcome back to this wonderful New Year. As we settle back into our routine of school and early mornings it helpful to remember that many parts of your child’s life have shifted from these patterns. Children can and do forget many simple factors such as how to get ready on time for school. It is our responsibility as parents to remember these are great changes in their life, even if it seems minor to us. Basically it is resilience training, something we are losing with the micro-managing of today’s kids. Resilient children will understand things like how to catch the next bus if they miss their normal bus or something as simple as disappointment if they lose a game.

In the kitchen, resilience comes from accepting and eating what is given to you for lunch, tasting foods, which generally may not be the same as ‘Mum cooks it’ or waiting for another person to pass you the food.

Please help your children by encouraging them to eat, try and accept their lunches and you have helped them on a healthy path to great nutrition. So if they complain to you about their lunches it is generally because it is unfamiliar or not exactly like yours, and even worse there may be a visible vegetable! Remember – a little neglect and a few ‘no’s’ go a long way…it is teaching them resilience, respect, acceptance and thankfulness.

Resilient children make for very happy, balanced adults.



Eat Well

Donna

Categories: Lunch menus, John Colet

24
January
2014

Headmaster's welcome to the 2014 Academic Year

Welcome back to the new academic year. 

I hope everyone had a refreshing and enjoyable break. We especially welcome our new Lower 1st cohort; and we have new members of staff as well, which always enlivens the school, bringing fresh perspectives to the classroom.  The new class teachers are Miss Kate Iacona, with Upper 1st; and Miss Christianne Jackson and Mrs Alison Tomicki looking after 3rd class.

During the Summer Teachers’ study days we concentrated on Mathematics, Computers and Technology, as well as planning and preparing for the year in other ways.

We also spent some time focusing on the fundamental principles of education, on the school’s Vision, Mission and Values, and the core reasons we teach certain special subjects like Sanskrit and Shakespeare.  It is our consistent and practical experience that teaching children these demanding subjects increases their mental strength, problem solving ability, and also gives them confidence that they live in an well-ordered world where there are dependable principles and rules.

This is, of course also true of the other core curriculum subjects such as Mathematics – which tells us that the universe is orderly and lawful; English, which gives us the tools to think and communicate accurately, beautifully and helpfully; History, which tells us our place in the flow of time; and Geography which gives a sense of place; and Science which opens our inner ear to the sound that the universe makes as it goes about its lawful revolutions.

And the teachers are looking forward to the challenge of opening the hearts and minds of the children to this large vision every day.


Categories: Head of School Comment, John Colet

29
November
2013

Headmaster's end of year message

This is the final weekly message for 2013.  It seems to have come around astonishingly quickly.

This week we had the school’s Christmas Celebration including a Nativity Play beautifully performed by 2nd class.  At this festive time of the year I would like to echo the words spoken by the angels: Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men.

This sets out the simple message of all great philosophies and religions.  We only need to get two relationships right:  First, our relationship to the limitless, to God, the Universal Principal, the Creator, or whatever name you care to use.  And, secondly, our relationship to the limited, to the world, to our fellow men, to the created world.

Jesus gives us one way of doing this, and promises eternal life if we can step up to the plate:  First, love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength; and, secondly, love your neighbour as yourself.

An Islamic sage once pointed out that the second injunction is more important than the first.  He noted that God remains unharmed if we fall short with our love for Him; but, he said, we can do harm to our fellow creatures if we fail to love and treat them as we would love and treat ourselves.

In this spirit, Mrs Mane and I wish all of you everything we would love for ourselves: family warmth, good friendships, robust health, prosperity; and a happy Christmas and a peaceful, abundant New Year.

Categories: Head of School Comment, John Colet

22
November
2013

The things we hear in the lunch room!

On the vegetarian lunch menu this week...



Mon

SPORTS CARNIVAL (PACKED LUNCH)    

Tues

'SAUSAGE' ROLLS

Weds

VEGETABLE NOODLES

Thurs

'HOT DOGS' (BENEFACTORS LUNCH)

Fri

PICNIC DAY (PACKED LUNCH)

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

Welcome to the final ‘eating week’ of school. It has been wonderful to watch the children learn new flavours and try new food groups.


Some of my favourite quotes throughout the year;

·         “I’m gluten free, except for bread.”

·         “I’m only gluten and dairy free when I don’t like what’s on the table.”

·         “I’m allergic to carrot…in my noodles.”

·         Tomato free…”I like my pizza with a little tomato and cheese please.”

·         “I hate roast potatoes, but I love your chips.” (Same thing)

·         “I love your nachos, thanks for leaving out the beans…I don’t like beans.”

It has been my pleasure to serve.

Eat well
Donna

Categories: Lunch menus, John Colet

15
November
2013

Keep calm and carry on to Christmas

Mon

SAUCY PASTA          

Tues

NACHO/BURITTO

Weds

VEGETABLE DHAL (GUEST CHEF)

Thurs

ROASTED VEGETABLES

Fri

EGG FRIED RICE

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


There are only about 2 weeks left before the summer holidays are upon us, so don’t forget the importance of sleep and water for you and particularly your children. We cannot ‘catch up’ on sleep as many people think. Once it is lost, it’s lost forever. So as the Christmas and the end of year parties start, remember to drink that H2O to help rid your body of over indulgence and get the kids to bed near their regular bedtime. You will be the better for it as their mood and energy levels will be calmer and steady.




If you would like to help out in the kitchen next year, even if it is ‘on call’ for those just in case days, share a shift or have a regular working day please don’t hesitate to contact me on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. We have only 1 more position to fill, so don’t delay.



Eat well
Donna

Categories: Lunch menus, John Colet

15
November
2013

End of year parties and excursions

From the Stage Coordinators

The weather was against us! – no Sports Carnival on Tuesday, but the new date of 25th November was easily arranged although the calendar is a bit of a “minefield” of end-of-year parties, excursions and other exciting events.  Sixth Class is rolling towards the end of their John Colet careers, and are making this doubly memorable with a series of happenings.  Rehearsals for Speech Night are underway, and of course there is the Nativity by Second Class coming up the day after the Carnival.

Mufti Day was bright occasion at school, and most of the children came to school sporting “something black” to signify that we were collecting the “gold coin” penalty money for a group of disadvantaged girls at Warwick Farm who are devoting themselves to working for charitable causes.  Callum T and his family made a presentation at the Monday Assembly, explaining all about it.   $415.75 was collected, and will be handed to Callum to pass on.  Thank you to all who participated!  A great initiative, Callum.

The Nativity is traditionally accompanied by gift giving on the part of the children, with suitable items going to the needy and underprivileged.   These will be collected in the large Treasure Chest that will be placed outside the Maclaren Hall. We hope to receive some gifts for 15-year-old girls, suitable to the Warwick Farm group.

We are all working towards bringing the final term of 2013 to a fulfilling, successful and peaceful end – this to be done by a careful adherence to our school values – Stillness, Truthfulness, Care, Service, Respect.

Categories: Coordinators' Comments, John Colet

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