John Colet
10
August
2012

6th class shakes up Shakespeare

Their performances aren’t until the end of October, but our senior students are well underway with rehearsals for their Shakespeare Festival.
6th class students have been learning their lines since just before the holidays.  They’re now rehearsing script free, four to five hours a week during class time. 
This year, they are doing a 90 minute version of Twelfth Night, with each student having around 60 lines each.  This, their final Festival, will showcase all the skills they’ve developed over seven years of Shakespeare productions. 
By this stage, the students are making a lot of the decisions themselves: who plays what part, what the theme should be, what music to use, what props and costumes.   Two girls are even choreographing the dance routines.

Class teacher Diane Renshaw and specialist drama teacher Zoe Emanuel are focusing on getting everyone really engaging with their lines, and aiding the story telling through inflections, mannerisms, timing and actions.  For example, the 70s theme requires looser, less classical gestures, and a somewhat more modern tone to the original lines. 
The photos below show a typical rehearsal up the front of the classroom at this stage of the production timeline.

   

Categories: Shakespeare & Drama, John Colet

10
August
2012

Write a book in a Day

Some of our senior students attended a ‘write a book in a day’ session.  Judging by 5th class student India Parson’s report, the day was an enormous success...

“Write a book in a Day” was the most extraordinary day in my life. 

I’ve always wanted a chance to be an author and then there was the chance and I grabbed it.  And I am so glad that I did because it was the most fun being there, with your friends and doing something you love.  And to achieve the book and get it printed is just the best feeling in the world and I want to do it again and again and AGAIN!


Categories: Writing & Speaking, John Colet

10
August
2012

Our place in Space

How big is the solar system?   4th class travelled to the oval for science recently to investigate the size of our solar system.  The necessary tools were balls of different sizes (a hula hoop was the sun) marker flags and a trundle wheel to measure the distance between the ‘planets’. In our model it was 89.94m from the sun to Neptune.
By Ryan Berlee, 4th class
 

Categories: Science & Maths, John Colet

10
August
2012

Headmaster's Weekly Comment: 13/8/12

When I took up the job as Headmaster in 1989, I had a vision for the school which included establishing it squarely in the fine tradition of education in the English speaking world; a tradition that has always had at its heart the rigorous teaching of classical languages.
There is an erroneous idea floating about in education that what the children learn should be “relevant”.  I have mentioned before that the idea of relevance is a red herring, simply because, in a world where the audio cassette is a museum piece, and the CD and the video store are on their way out as well, no one knows what the world will look like in ten or twenty years.
The things a child needs to learn which will be relevant are things which don’t change like the ability to think and attend; honesty, resilience and compassion.  I was recently asked to deliver an after dinner speech at the Classical languages Teachers Association.  In it I listed some reasons for teaching Sanskrit and Latin, which make these subjects very relevant:




Categories: Head of School Comment, John Colet

10
August
2012

From the Stage Coordinators:13/8/12

The gods were definitely on our side on sports day and everyone was commenting on the benign weather which helped to make the day such a pleasant and successful one.
Another aspect that contributed to the success of the event was the attitude of the children.  At Assembly on Monday the Headmaster asked the children about good sportsmanship and many of them spoke of courage, honouring each other’s performance, cheering each other’s houses and giving full support to those children who are not quite so sporty.  The event is an end in itself and can be enjoyed by all, winners, losers and spectators. 
This is an ethos which will hold the children in good stead as they get older and it should be totally encouraged.  An enormous amount of work goes into the organisation of this and a “technological first” should be noted – Mrs Layton recorded results directly onto the computer! Many thanks to Mrs Dunn and Mrs Layton.
The next major event is the Infant’s Shakespeare festival beginning this week with full dress rehearsals staged for the Primary.

Categories: Coordinators' Comments, John Colet

03
August
2012

From the Stage Coordinators: 3/08/12

Last Monday in Assembly the children were asked how the secret service was going.  They gave many observations of kindness and generosity to their fellow class mates, and others.  It’s very encouraging to see the children look after and care for each other.  We will continue this practice for another week or two because the children are enjoying it, and it obviously makes them happy.

Categories: Coordinators' Comments, John Colet

03
August
2012

Headmaster's Weekly Comment: 3/08/12

Imagine there is someone knowledgeable and willing to help you, available to you right here and now.
Resting quietly, feel their wisdom and love.
Feel that they are fully open to help anyone who asks.
What question or questions would you put to him or her?...



Categories: Head of School Comment, John Colet

03
August
2012

Down to the details

Lower Firsts get ready for Shakespeare

Our youngest pupils were snapped this week rehearsing in the lead up to their Shakespeare Festival.   

Now that they’ve nailed their lines, specialist drama teacher Zoe Emanuel is focusing the children on details such as cues, entrances, exits, blocking and gestures.

The Infants Shakespeare Festival is on at the school from the 20th to 24th August.

Here, some of the Lower First students rehearse Speak the Speech - snippets of five Shakespeare plays including Romeo and Juliet, Henry V, Midsummer’s Night Dream and the witches’ scene from Macbeth.
   

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

01
August
2012

Team building - what the younger children will learn this term

The skill games will also develop Audio Processing and Hand-eye co-ordination. 

Equipment to be used: Balls of all sizes, Cones, Mats, Skittles, hoops, Kanga Cricket set, bean bags etc. All children to have the correct sports uniform with sand shoes, hats & bottles of water each.

Aim: To Introduce basic skills of team building activities, in a safe way, including listening, communication, passes, catching, spacial awareness, awareness of how to interact with others, ball, bat games and co-ordination skills.

Objectives: To teach basic ball skills through the idea that ball games are on the whole, team games; introduce basic rules relating to skills; relate skills/rules to simple small-sided conditioned games; and assess pupils on skills and rules

These skills will also incorporate the PDHPE Syllabus for Early Stage 1 and will encompass understanding of communicating, decision-making, interacting, moving and problem solving.

Skills to be taught: ball skills, passing, controlling, dribbling, shooting, hitting when in batting games, footwork, balancing, weight distribution, communication in team activities and understanding of sport.

Each lesson will consist of a warm up & stretch, exercise, game situation and warm down and discussion.

Categories: John Colet

01
August
2012

Tears in the Jungle support

Our students are working on art projects to support Northern Beaches boys Daniel and William Clarke in their bid to raise $1M for orangutan habitat protection through the Tears in the Jungle fund.
Students will be busy creating in art classes for the next 4 weeks – this week they practised drawing the shapes and forms of an orang’s body...

Categories: Art classes, John Colet

27
July
2012

From the Stage Coordinators: 27/7/12

Teachers’ Day Assembly was beautiful and the usual abundance of flowers demonstrated the parents’ generosity and gratitude. In the assembly the Headmaster pointed out that everyone has teachers, even the teachers themselves!  We can all learn from each other and it’s very good to acknowledge this.

We trust that the “Secret Service” is going well, but as it’s a secret we really don’t know!  However, we can surmise from the general atmosphere in the classrooms and the kindness and helpfulness of the children that it is going well.

Categories: Coordinators' Comments, John Colet

27
July
2012

Headmaster's Weekly Comment:27/7/12

Last week I spoke how finding unity is as easy as playing the game of comparing our
best with another’s best.  This works with religions and cultures and it can work with
politics and social issues as well.  You could try it, if you care to. 
The question then becomes how to teach this to children.  There are quite a lot of ways...

Categories: Head of School Comment, John Colet

25
July
2012

Recorder music lessons

As part of our music training at John Colet,  3rd and 4th classes learn to play a musical instrument and learn to read music notation.  The classes are during school hours, in their class music lesson. Mrs Tomicki is pictured taking children from 3rd class K.

Categories: John Colet

23
July
2012

2nd classes visit Wesley Gardens

Both 2nd class W and K visited our neighbours at Wesley Gardens Aged Care at afternoon tea time on Monday to give small bunches of flowers to residents there.   The flowers had been brought to school for our annual Teachers Day celebration, a special assembly to honour teachers and learning.

Categories: John Colet

23
July
2012

What Primary children will learn this term in Rugby

Equipment to be used for the term; Rugby balls, cones, bibs.  All children to have the correct sports uniform with sand shoes, Football boots, long socks, hats (not be worn during games situations for safety reasons) & bottles of water each.

Aim: To introduce specific skills in a safe environment and in an enjoyable atmosphere.

Each week will start with a warm up and end with warm down.

Categories: John Colet

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