John Colet
17
May
2013

From the Stage Coordinators: 20/5/13

The school is abuzz with preparations for Open Day, as teachers and their classes  work towards producing the magnificent displays of work we see each year, and also the performances for Open Day.  Mothers are here and there, too, quietly preparing for one of the year’s big events.

Another event is to take place this coming week, and that is John Colet Day.  Governors of the school are invited and the school’s namesake, John Colet, will be honoured by staff and children.  There will be some recitation and singing, and also a morning tea for the visiting Board members.  Parents are welcome, but please be warned space is limited.

Amongst the several young people currently working at the School (see last week’s Note), we have Andrea Mego (pictured) who arrived only last week from Johannesburg, South Africa and will be at the school till the end of term 4.  This visit to John Colet is a real adventure for Andrea who has never been out of South Africa before, and indeed, who enjoyed her first aeroplane flight (though not the considerable jet lag!). 

This is indeed a big adventure for her.  Andrea is a fifth generation South African of Indian origin.  She did her primary education at our sister school in Johannesburg, St. James, and in fact the current Headmaster of Erasmus School in Melbourne, Glen Miller, was her class teacher at St. James.  High School was completed at the Nirvana Secondary School.  She has joined the Donald household, and is interested in reading, interacting with children, cooking, walking and hiking.     Best of luck, Andrea!

Third and fifth classes have been doing NAPLAN tests this week and every time we walk past a class they have their heads down and are extremely quiet, attentive and hard working.  The teachers are pleased with their performance and feel that the children have certainly given of their best.

Honesty linked with the courage to own up are still very much our behaviour focus, and this seems to be going well.  We heartily encourage the children to practise this both at home, school and abroad.


Categories: Coordinators' Comments, John Colet

13
May
2013

Mother's Day portraits

Lower first have hit the jackpot this year for as well as having art with the specialist art teacher they also have an art class with Miss Marley who, as well as having her degree as a teacher has a Fine arts Degree and loves teaching art.
In the Lower First rooms you will find many fabulous works taught by Miss Marley: Georgia O’Keefe flowers, Kandinsky patterns, The very hungry caterpillar paintings to name a few. She loves working with pastels and watercolour. One of her projects was a Mother’s Day painting as a gift for the lower first Mum’s. Of course it’s hard to believe that L 1st produced these art works but she has taught them the proportions of the face, which to be honest I don’t usually teach until 2nd class. As you can see it has been highly successful.


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

13
May
2013

Ceramics in Schools

Experiencing different art disciplines

Ceramics are part of the NSW curriculum which focuses on artist’s practice and the children seeing themselves as artists and experiencing different art disciplines. We are very fortunate to have ”Ceramics In Schools “ run by two potters Sue Buckle and Krystan Taylor. They have been coming to John Colet for many years and working with the children to produce delightful art works.
The first process is making, then the work is fired, then painted and fired again. Whilst we do other clay and modelling  work we don’t have a kiln and the opportunity to produce a lifetime art work is wonderful for the children. Most importantly,  they are working with experienced ceramic artists which is invaluable.
The subject matter for the pieces relates to work they have been doing in art and perhaps H.S.I.E.  We have put it in the programme for infants children as a yearly event . We charge the parents for the costs, which all goes directly to Ceramics in Schools, because we feel that the children are receiving a quality product that they have made themselves. The children just love this special workshop.


Categories: Art classes, John Colet

10
May
2013

Debating season begins

The Forest Debating Competition began with a bang with the John Colet team winning their first debate.

Sixth class has been honing their debating skills all year and a seven member squad has been selected.  From that larger squad we picked a four person team: Sam C (1st Speaker), Daya C-H (2nd Speaker); Ellie M (3rd Speaker) and Eloise B (4th Speaker).  We debated the topic: Contact Sports do more good than harm.  We were the negative team and we were matched against the German International School.  The children worked hard to brainstorm the various issues around the topic, to allocate their arguments and prepare rebuttals, and to get their 3 minutes speeches ready.  It all paid off.

Including John Colet and the German School, the competition is against the Alexander School, Galstaun College and The Sydney Japanese School.

The next debate will be held on Wednesday 22nd May where we will be up against the Sydney Japanese School.

 

Categories: Writing & Speaking, John Colet

10
May
2013

Headmaster's Weekly Comment: 13/05/13

I am often asked about the spiritual basis of the school and I explain that we believe in God and encourage everyone to find their own unique way to Him. 

But, we sometimes tell the children that God is everywhere; that He is in the trees, in our thoughts, in the chair and the table, and in our hearts.  And this doesn’t sound wholly like the Judeao-Christian God, who seems located outside ourselves, watching over us and whom we are encouraged to worship and revere.

So, this is how I see it.  God can be seen in two ways.

There is a self-conscious creative, all-powerful, loving entity, called by many different names, but for our purposes we can call Him “God”.  He creates, He preserves and He destroys; and as created beings we would do well to discover His rules, and live by them.  These rules are usually fairly simple and practical: revere and worship Him; and love and care for your fellow creatures.  They lead to a happy, purposeful life.

But there is a second way of considering God.  And the Eastern wisdom seems to have delved into this area in detail.  They take “God” to be a synonym of “Reality”, everything we can see or feel; and also as that which is watching from the inside. This God can be found everywhere and in everything.  The trick here is to be inwardly quiet, to be present and attentive and really connect with what is going on inside and outside; to connect with reality, and therefore to connect with “Reality”. 

The pay-off is to realize yourself to be a part of that Reality, to be powerful, intelligent and full of love. Hence our continuous encouragement to the children to be still.  Then, in the words of the Psalm we can “be still and know that I am God.”


 

Categories: Head of School Comment, John Colet

10
May
2013

John Colet School students observe the eclipse

Our primary students were thrilled to observe the partial solar eclipse on Friday 10th May.  School parent Marissa Nerwich set up her telescope on the school lawn, and projected an image of the eclipse onto a screen. Everyone also had a turn looking at the eclipse wearing safety glasses.

Mrs Nerwich, who works as a guide at Sydney Observatory, explained that the eclipse would be a full annular one when viewed from Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory, but that 39% of the sun would be obscured from our perspective in Sydney.


Categories: Science & Maths, John Colet

10
May
2013

From the Stage Coordinators

Honesty in focus

Honesty is our focus.  From our Assembly on Monday, it is apparent that the issue of courage, related  to owning up and “ telling the full story”,  is very clear to the children because they were able themselves to speak about this.  Please do encourage this at home.  It stands a person in very good stead to learn this lesson early in life.  It’s always very refreshing when a person can admit a mistake!

In case you have noticed an influx of young faces around the school – here is an explanation!

We currently have four Trainee Teachers working at the school:  with Miss Marley we have Ellen Murphy, with Miss White Christian Pikhart, with Mrs. McDermott we have James Foley and Mrs. Renshaw has Cat Ellis on Fridays.  We would also like to announce the arrival of a Gap Student from South Africa, Andrea Mego, who will be at John Colet till the end of this year.

On Wednesday we had an evening talk at the school, given by Miss Anisha Ramlaul.  This is her second visit to Australia – she came last year – to raise the profile of her growing school – St. James’ – in Durban South Africa, and also to raise some funds!  She is the Headmistress of that school.

She showed two delightful and informative DVD’s, showcasing the students and their activities.  The response from the audience was very promising in terms of funding possibilities, and we hope for a happy outcome.  We wish Anisha well in her enterprise!  Anyone interested in contributing to this cause should speak to the Headmaster, or to Katrina Beissel (P&F).

Anisha Ramlaul with Mr Mane

Categories: Coordinators' Comments, John Colet

10
May
2013

From our kitchen: 13/5/13

Great food just one way we can invest in our children

Mon

MINESTRONE SOUP (with garlic croutons)

Tues

SAUSAGE ROLLS

Weds

TEX-MEX (with rice and chips)

Thurs

CHEESY QUICHE

Fri

SQUIGGLY NOODLES

Dairy, egg, lactose, gluten and wheat free and vegan options provided daily.

Click Continue Reading for Donna's comment...

Categories: John Colet

08
May
2013

5 year olds learning Shakespeare, no drama!

This week in drama classes, our infants students start learning their lines in earnest as they start rehearsing for their Shakespeare Festival  in August. 
Their first term drama classes focused on expression, vocal clarity, gesture and making interesting shapes with their bodies. 
"We've been doing exercises to get them connecting with the language," says drama teacher Zoe Emanuel. 
"And because they say quite a few lines in unison,  team work and acting in chorus has also been part of the mix."
Our Lower First students (Kindergarten) will present "All the world's a Stage", Upper Firsts will be doing "The Tempest" and 2nd classes will do "Macbeth".
The  Primary students have their Shakespeare Festival later in the year.

Categories: Lower First news (Kindy), Shakespeare & Drama, John Colet

08
May
2013

Rainforest artwork

5th class has a colourful rainforest on their back wall.  They have been studying the biome Tropical Rainforests in HSIE and have compared the Daintree and the Amazon.  Besides discovering why rainforests are so valuable and essential for the health of the planet,  they have researched an animal from one of the forests, written an information report on it, and with the help of Mrs Allcorn during Art classes, created a rainforest and placed their animals in the appropriate layer of the forest.  See if you can find all 22 animals when you have a look on Open Day on Sunday 26th May. 





See more on our Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/JohnColetSchoolSydneyArtDept/photos_stream

Categories: Science & Maths, Art classes, John Colet

08
May
2013

6th class explores expressionism

Looking at the works of artists such as Paul Nash The Battle of Germany 1944, Christopher Nevinson The Machine Gun 1915 and Paul Cezanne Houses in Provence 1879, our 6th class students have been learning about expressionism in Art.
Then they put the theory into practice sketching a still life of bottles.



See more on our Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/JohnColetSchoolSydneyArtDept/photos_stream

Categories: Art classes, John Colet

03
May
2013

Year 2 learning about biomes in HSIE

John Colet's 2nd class C have completed a school holiday project for HSIE.  They have studied various biomes over the past term.  They have created an insect or animal from a biome – desert, rainforest or savannah.  The children then described the biome where the animal or insect would be found. Work below is by Dylan, May and Oliver.

 

Categories: Writing & Speaking, Science & Maths, John Colet

03
May
2013

Headmaster's Weekly Comment: 6/5/13

"Up and "Down" thinking in teaching

I recently heard a rather neat piece of advice about responding to the various, sometimes challenging events of life. The question posed was whether we approach these situations with “what if down” thinking; or “what if up” thinking.

In the “what if down” scenario the event is met with feeling of impending doom.  What if everything goes wrong; what if I fail; what if everyone hates me or holds me in contempt; what if I appear weak or incompetent; and, in the context of parenting or teaching, what if this event affects my child or children badly.

In “what if up” thinking the script runs as follows: what if this is a great opportunity to learn; what if I emerge stronger and more resilient; what if new horizons open; what if I discover inner powers I didn’t know I had; and, again in the context of the family and school, what if this is exactly the lesson my child was supposed to learn; what if I believe in their strength, rather than their fragility.

Having applied this form of thinking (without having the snappy name for it) for many years I find it works.  What if up thinking is especially efficient because it is not an unrealistic la-la land approach, but can encompass the pitfalls by meeting them intelligently and rationally, but also optimistically with an up-beat energy.

 

Categories: Head of School Comment, John Colet

03
May
2013

Mother's Day ideas from our kitchen

On the school lunch menu this week...

Mon

NACHOS/BURRITOS

Tues

PIZZA

Weds

ROAST VEGETABLES

Thurs

SAUCY PASTA

Fri

EGG FRIED RICE

 A hot, freshly prepared vegetarian lunch is provided for John Colet School students daily in our dining hall. Dairy, egg, lactose, gluten and wheat free and vegan options available.

Mother’s Day is quickly coming upon us and sometimes we are too far away from our Mums or just uninspired for thoughts of which gifts to purchase.
One of my favourite presents over the past 10 years has been the gift of food.
You can make some preserves, candies, or chocolates by hand and wrap them beautifully as a gift from the heart instead of from the pocket. Having your children help you with this task allows for generational giving to increase the devotion we are trying to show our Mothers on this special day.
If you find yourself ‘unable’ to master the kitchen then think of a gift box of fresh fruits or vegetables from an organic market or even online. It is a wonderful gift. Just Google ‘veggie or fruit gift boxes’ and you would be amazed at what is available.
And don’t forget breakfast can be served in bed. In fact, it should be mandatory!

Happy Mother’s Day to all on the 12th.
Eat well,
Donna Moor

Categories: Lunch menus, John Colet

03
May
2013

John Colet School "Garden Dreaming"

Inspired by the work of Emily Kame Kngwarray

The Infants children spent ten minutes contour drawing Australian native plants from the John Colet School garden.  We then looked at the work of Emily Kngwarray, in particular the artwork "Big Yam Dreaming"  - 1995.  We learnt about how this work tells about the growth of the finger yam at Alalgura, Emily's country.
The children went for a walk in the garden and looked at the way plants grow and twist around themselves.
They then did a design, in white on black, based on their contour drawings - incorporating their understanding of patterns made by the plants.
Annette Gadsby
Art Teacher


Categories: Art classes, John Colet

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