John Colet
06
June
2014

D-Day anniversary, and thoughts on courage today

Today, Friday, is the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landing at Normandy which rang the death knell of the great evils of Nazism and Fascism, which had loomed like a spectre over the world for decades, and had caused the deaths of tens of millions of men, women and children.  The staggering courage of the men who landed on those beaches on this day seventy years ago is the stuff of legend and, in our cossetted and safe world, hard to conceive.  But we owe them a debt of gratitude.

One way of repaying that debt is to raise a generation of young men and women full of courage and service.  At JCS we do this by giving the children opportunities to step over their emotional barriers to right action.  A tentative child is encouraged to commit fully, a self-absorbed child, to care for others, and a timid child is encouraged to stride out on a stage in front of a hundred adults and children and recite lengthy verses in Sanskrit.

The Sanskrit Recitation is one of the many jewels in the JC Crown and the children, teachers and organisers are to be warmly congratulated on a superb event.  The Vice Consul of India Mr Harjeet Sethi was most impressed and offered enthusiastic praise for the children’s efforts.

And many thanks also to those who read my State of the School presentation, and to those who came to give their input in person last Monday.  The discussion was wide ranging, and, at times, lively, but all in the spirit of care for the children.  The notes from the meeting will be circulated next week.

An upcoming date to remember is 21st August when Dr Craig Hassed, a distinguished Australian expert on mindfulness, will give a presentation at the school.  All parents and their friends are invited. Mindfulness is one of the key features of the school and lately we have been presenting it as the following all-purpose guide for life:  first, Stillness; second, Attention; then Action.

Last week’s Puzzle: name the highest mountains on each continent:  Asia – Mt Everest; Africa – Mt Kilimanjaro; Nth America – Mt McKinley; Sth America- Aconcagua; Europe – either Mont Blanc or Mt Elbrus depending where you consider the border of Europe to be; Australia – Mt Kosciusko (or Mt Heard, likewise); Antarctica – Mt Vinson.

This week’s puzzle: What is the lowest point on the earth on dry land?

Gilbert Mane
Headmaster

Categories: Head of School Comment, John Colet

06
June
2014

On the vegetarian lunch menu this week...

Persevere and your child will thank you for it

Mon

PUPIL FREE DAY
(Queen’s Birthday)

Tue

MAC ‘N’ CHEESE
(with garlic parmesan crumbs)

Wed

SALAD WRAPS
(with cheese & peri-peri)

Thu

TOMATO or POTATO & LEEK SOUP
(with giant garlic croutons)

Fri

ROASTED VEGETABLES

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

I have been playing with the ideals of a healthy lifestyle or a balanced diet and this lead me to realise that these are the product of a varied diet. Many schools, government, hospital and workplace canteens run on a weekly rotation of the same foods. This helps for bulk ordering, staff management and learned ordering behaviours from their customers. Here at John Colet we have over a 3-week rotation of meals and menu plans for each season and over 40 different dishes. There are of course the favourites that pop up all year round but we are very lucky here to have the initiative to use current seasonal produce to our personal needs.
The simplicity of a daily, varied diet and vegetarian meal each and every school day is a wonderful start to every child’s life…even if they don’t know it yet! My son, Tom, now asks for or orders a hot meal every day at his high school and eats everything – something I could not have said in 3rd class when he ate virtually nothing. Persevere with a healthy and varied diet in your child’s life and they will thank you for it.
Eat Well,
Donna

Categories: Lunch menus, John Colet

06
June
2014

Mrs Donald and a keen inventor

From our Infants Mistress Mrs Donald

A  threefold discipline:  
•    become still,
•    focus,
•    then move into action as necessary,  from that point.  
This continues to be a practice we wish to promote.  It was certainly very obvious in the Sanskrit Recitation Competition on Thursday.  What brilliance, what self-possession, what a delight.
And not only from the performers, who were wonderful, but also from the watching children.  Their interest was palpable and demonstrated by their focus and attention, and their self-discipline.  Thank you to Mrs. Dunstan and Mrs. Childs for organising this great, annual event.
We had some visitors, several parents:  the Indian Vice-Consul, Mr Harjeet Singh Sethi and a few members of  the Indian community with an interest in Sanskrit.
This is how Anikan K and friends from 4th class spend their rainy-day Recess.  The photo shows Anikan with a “class-made” pulley, constructed entirely from the contents of his pencil case:  two rulers, a glue stick for a reel, a pencil sharpener for a conduit for the string (the string was threaded through it), the weights at the end of the string were a pen and a rubber.  Anikan is seen testing it out over the edge of the balcony!  It worked alright.

Anikan-Khandhar

Categories: Coordinators' Comments, John Colet

05
June
2014

Giving senior students a maths challenge

The Maths Challenge is an extension activity produced by the Australian Mathematics Trust where, over the past three weeks, some of our senior students have worked in small groups to find solutions to four challenging Maths Problems, each in four parts.

It takes determination, initiative and intelligence to tackle the higher-order problem solving that the Challenge demands.  The teams worked cooperatively and presented solutions to all the problems posed.  Bravo!

Categories: Science & Maths, John Colet

05
June
2014

Lower First win the Sanskrit Group Recitation Final

Lower 1st Class recited the Happy Prayer -  with gestures of animals representing all creatures incorporated into the English translation - to win the Group Recitation Finals for the Infants classes age group in our Sanskrit competition this week.  Well done to them, they concentrated so hard, it was beautiful to watch. The Primary age group was won by 3rd  Class, who recited 3 verses from the Eesha Upanishad.

lower-first-group-recitation

Categories: Lower First news (Kindy), John Colet

05
June
2014

Bold performances in our first semester

The John Colet Choir has many new members this semester.  The children have been singing repertoire including unison, fugue and part singing.  Much of the repertoire was prepared for performance at Open Day. The repertoire has been difficult and required the children to continue to develop their understanding of their voice through the exploration of vocal colours appropriate to the repertoire. 

Repertoire has included the fugue-like Jubilate (attrib. to Mozart), the two-part song Be Joyful Together (JS Bach arr. by Hal H Hopson), the two-part The heav'ns sing praises to God (Beethoven) and the challenging three-part Sing a Song of Sixpence (a setting by J Michael Diack with apologies to Handel).

Through consistent exposure to wonderful music and clear direction, the students develop a real understanding of choral techniques.

jcs-choir

Categories: Chess & Clubs, John Colet

30
May
2014

Weekly comment from our stage coordinators

Cakes, cakes, cakes  …. This week the school has been full of cakes (not that we have heard any complaints):  cakes in the Staff Room, cakes in the office, cakes in the classrooms.  This is, of course, the final echo of Open Day, and the Annual Cake Competition!
We all agree – it was a wonderful event, well organised and well run, and everyone seemed to be relaxed and enjoying themselves.   Many thanks to Lucy B and her team of tireless parents.
One of the outstanding features of the day – besides the wonderful singing, the performances and the magnificent classrooms, was the behaviour of the children.  Disciplined during the performances and beautifully behaved for the rest of the day:  this is a tribute to the teachers and parents in the inculcation of the school values and the encouragement of self-discipline.  The children have been congratulated, and very deservedly so.
A mention should be given to the departure of two wonderful teachers who have made an enormous contribution to the school over many, many years.  On Wednesday, the staff had a morning tea to say farewell and thank you to Judith Irvine and Ann Wakeford.   Judith’s experience in and knowledge of the world of music was offered to students of the school to whom she taught music and choir: always to the highest standard.  The brilliance of the present day choirs is attributable to her work, and also the work of Mrs. Sarah Mane.  Mrs. Ann Wakeford has managed the Special Education facility at John Colet, also for many years.  Her professionalism and caring approach have provided a great service to children in need of support or extension and also to their parents.   
Many thanks to both these ladies:  Miss Irvine is moving to the United Kingdom, and Mrs. Wakeford will still be “on call” as a consultant, should she be needed.
The coming week brings several events:  John Colet Day Assembly on Monday – we are expecting some members of the Board of Governors and perhaps one or two other visitors.  Also on Monday at 7.30 p.m. there will be a “State of the School” address given by the Headmaster, Mr. Gilbert Mane.
Sanskrit is “in the air”, as the Sanskrit Competition is to be held on Thursday (heats on Tuesday).  Our Guest of Honour will be the Vice-Consul for India.  We trust that he will be “blown away” by the recitations!  We always are.
Our behaviour focus is Truthfulness, and we, teachers and children, have also been practising a threefold discipline:  
•    become still,
•    focus,
•    then move into action as necessary,  from that point.  
Try it – it’s a great way to begin anything!

singing-at-open-day

Categories: Coordinators' Comments, John Colet

30
May
2014

On the vegetarian lunch menu this week...

Mon

CURRY & RICE

Tue

NACHOS AMIGOS

Wed

BEANS ON TOAST

Thu

HOT DOGS & SALAD (outdoor kitchen)

Fri

VEGETABLE RISOTTO

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

Just a very quick thank you to the ‘total stayers’ on and around fair day. Thank you to Lara Burquest for her amazing tandoori vegetable curry (totally donated) & Ray Burquest for his ‘food production line’ management and chopping skills.
Sabine Erlenwein for her very long Sunday, managing the kitchen (and me).
Let’s not forget Sasha Rundle for helping out for 3 hours even though her kids were interstate – total commitment!
Finally, thanks must go to my family who did not see me for the three weeks prior to the fair & Vic for being the fair ‘gofer’ and all-round ‘go to’ guy, the kitchen ladies who tirelessly help pre-prepare food and ignored my ‘moments’, and of course the lovely Lucy B and family who just do what they do.
Eat Well
Donna

Categories: Lunch menus, John Colet

30
May
2014

Headmaster's Weekly Comment

The Open Day was a triumph.  The organisers pulled it off superbly and the teachers, students and parents – especially the P & F organising committee under the steady hand and watchful eye of Lucy B - are to be roundly congratulated.  It was a classic John Colet event – well-organised, fun, understated and with a warm feeling of community and fellowship.
Next Monday brings further delights: first thing in the morning we have our John Colet Day Assembly where we sing the praises of the great man after whom the school is named.  This is a special assembly for our governors, members, and donors, after which they tour the school.
Immediately following this we have another information event specifically targeting those prospective parents who made enquires at the Chatswood Independent Schools Expo and the Open Day.
Then in the evening we have our first State of the School speech in which I intend to cover the topics of classes and staffing; marketing; and building works.
The aim is to keep parents informed before any decisions are made so that all interested parties can make their voices heard.   
Last week’s puzzle:  Cur gallina per viam transire maluit?  The answer, of course, is: Ut in altera parte viae ambularet.  For those who need a translation: Why did the chicken cross the road?  To get to the other side.
This week’s puzzle: Name the highest mountain on each continent.

Categories: Head of School Comment, John Colet

28
May
2014

6th class debating and reciting

6th class students are taking part in our annual inter-school debating competition.  Teams are selected for each debate, and some class time and some lunchtimes are devoted to team preparations.  The Headmaster, Mr Mane (a former lawyer!), takes the lead role in coaching the debaters, and while it's hard work and involves quite a bit of extra homework, the students seem to really enjoy it.

The season is underway and John Colet won their opening debate taking the affirmative that co-education is better.  They were against another co-ed school, The German International School.

6th class also almost stole the show at our Open Day concert, with their brilliant recitation of Banjo Patterson's "A Bush Christening."  Some of them are pictured below waiting to go on stage.  Also pictured are Lucas, Ryan, Eleanor and Sean during the debate.

a-bush-christening-smaller debating-photo

Categories: Writing & Speaking, John Colet

28
May
2014

Fair Fun for the littlest ones

The focus is on "Life at Big School" at our Open Day, so our Fair entertainment is, for the most part, geared to pre-schoolers and younger students.   Parents enjoy looking through our Infants classrooms and meeting the teachers, while younger students make the most of the animals.

lowerfirstatopenday  lowerfirstopenday2 lowerfirstopenday5 lowerfirstopenday3 lowerfirstopenday4

Categories: Lower First news (Kindy), John Colet

26
May
2014

6th class recitation at Open Day

Our 6th class students did a FANTASTIC rendition of Banjo Patterson's "A Bush Christening" at our Open Day on the weekend.  Here they some of them waiting to go on stage.

a-bush-christening2

Categories: Writing & Speaking, John Colet

23
May
2014

On the vegetarian lunch menu this week...

Mon

PUPIL FREE DAY

Tue

SPAGHETTI BOLOGNESE

Wed

PIZZA PUFFS

Thu

PHAD THAI or SQUIGGLY NOODLES

Fri

FRIED RICE (with Asian greens)

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

 

It looks like the weather forecast for the weekend is warm and sunny which is absolutely perfect for the school fair!

I would like to thank all of the people who have helped me in preparing for the fair thus far and will be doing so over the weekend. Without you, it would be an impossible task!

Please come to the School Hall on Sunday and try some of the most amazing vegetarian food and curries you have ever tasted. I look forward to seeing you.

Eat Well

Donna

Categories: Lunch menus, John Colet

23
May
2014

Weekly comment from our stage coordinators

Introducing our Gap students

We look pretty set for Open Day:  stalls and stands are going up, classrooms are almost ready and rich with wonderful work, and the forecast for Sunday seems propitious for a wonderful day.  Now we need the people …..Please be very mindful where you park.  We have informed close neighbours of the event, but respecting the access to their homes is paramount.

We have been very lucky this term to have had the assistance of two “bright young things” from the U.K.:   Joy Mendes da Costa has already been with us since mid-year 2013 and has made herself almost indispensable!  Joy went to St. James School in London, our “mother school”, and when she leaves Australia early next month, she will firstly be going to Geneva to undertake an intensive 3-week French language course.  After that she will be a volunteer pancake maker at “Art in Action”, a large and very successful annual event staged by the School of Philosophy (School of Economic Science in England) to host a wide range of artists who demonstrate their art and sell their wares.  This event attracts around 45,000 from the U.K. and Europe.   She’ll be an expert pancake maker by the end of it!   Joy will then will go to the University of York to complete a four-year course in Education.
Olivia Jones came at the beginning of Term 2, fresh from a month of volunteering at a school in Thailand, and before that, from four months as a nanny in the Cinque Terre, Italy.  Olivia went to Bury Grammar School in Greater Manchester.   In October this year she will begin her studies of Psychology at the University of Bristol.

They have immensely enjoyed their time in Australia, and our wonderful climate, the huge variety of landscapes so different from their own, and the richness and extent of what Sydney has to offer its residents and visitors.  They found Australians to be open, friendly, generous and hospitable, and we won’t be too surprised if they return.

We mustn’t fail to mention that we have also been blessed with the presence this term of two Education students from Notre Dame University who are here for Professional Experience:  Taylor Carmichael and Kristen Wilde.  They too have been of great support and help, and hopefully are learning new skills on the job.  Taylor and Kristen will be with us till the end of Term 2. Good wishes to all for Open Day:  especially the teachers, the children performing and the P&F organisers.

 

 

2014 Gap students at John Colet School

Categories: Coordinators' Comments, John Colet

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