John Colet
18
February
2013

It's never too early for algebra

These are photos from our Maths lesson on Patterns and Algebra this week.  Madeleine  and Yasmine are creating AB patterns (patterns involving two variables) and recording them in their Math Journals. 
On the carpet are more complex patterns using paddle pop sticks.  Some are in 3D, showing creative thinking by the children.  An extension of this is to create patterns which can be transferred to sounds such as tapping and clapping.  These are all foundational concepts for algebra in later years.  Both 2nd class T and C did this block of work.

Lea-Ann Connell
Teacher
 

Categories: Science & Maths, John Colet

15
February
2013

Headmaster's Weekly Comment: 18/2/13

And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.

Luke 6:31

This week we are focusing on the Golden Rule.  As stated above by Jesus it is also known as the Law of Reciprocity.  In assembly I told the children that there was only one rule which we needed to follow and that, if we followed it, all other rules would be covered.

I also told them the rule had two forms: if you like it when people do or say things to you, then you should do or say that thing to other people.  If you like people praising you, then you should praise others.  If you like people being friendly, or kind, or thoughtful to you, then you should be friendly, thoughtful and kind to others.

On the other hand if there are things you don’t like, then you should stop doing or saying those things.  If you don’t like people touching, taking to fiddling with your possessions, then you should keep your own hands off.  If you find certain words hurtful, then you should refrain from speaking like that to others.

 The children appeared to be delighted with this reasonable way of going about life.  And they seemed to like the fact that this one rule would replace the thousands that seem to crowd our lives.

Categories: Head of School Comment, John Colet

15
February
2013

From the Stage Coordinators: 18/2/13

All students should be wearing the correct school uniform.  There was a two-year phasing in of the new style. For both boys and girls this means blazers, school jumpers and vests with the new school crest.  Boys’ shirts should have a school crest on the pocket, as the senior girls have on their new blouses; the new-style boys’ school caps have an embroidered eagle.  (There is a small exception:  this year’s 6th class have been given permission to see out their final year in the older blazer to save buying this expensive item for just one year.)

Please ensure that your children are correctly equipped, and that all items of clothes are clearly named in a place on the garment that is easy to find!  This makes life so much easier and hopefully leads to less loss.

Another aspect of the school uniform is to ensure that the children look neatly and properly dressed when they leave at the end of the day.  A uniform is something to be proud of, as it denotes our membership of a particular group and reflects back on that group.  After School Care is often an area where uniform may need attention at the end of the day, as the children would have been playing and relaxing.    Putting on full school uniform at that point is also a way of making sure that nothing gets left.

Respect: The behaviour focus this term is respect of one another and respect of place:  to this end we have been practising silence on entering the Assembly Hall and Lunch Room, respect for the Headmaster and teachers by giving full attention and listening.  The children’s response to this reinstated protocol has been outstanding.  This includes the new Lower First intake, who have been remarkable in their steadiness both at Assembly and at lunch, no doubt due in part to the example set by the older children.   Well done!

The Golden Rule: The Headmaster introduced the children to this Rule at Assembly this week, and the children seem to have taken this on board too!  Ask them to explain it to you.

Wonderful owl artwork by Mrs Renshaw's all boys 3rd class. 

Categories: Coordinators' Comments, John Colet

15
February
2013

From our kitchen: 18/2/13

Weekly Menu

Mon

VEGETABLE PASTA

Tues

ASIAN NOODLES

Weds

VEGETARIAN PIZZA

Thurs

TOMATO RICE

Fri

BAKED VEGETABLES

One of the great mysteries of school life is the idea of the ‘balanced lunch box’.

At John Colet, the ‘lunch box’ is broken into pre-packed ‘morning tea’ and ‘sit-down lunch’ in our dining hall.

There are currently four core items of food needed for this balance.  It is also generally advised to add one other to the earlier ‘morning tea’ meal for the active child.

Firstly, the drink; water is advised as the best choice for hydration and digestion. Milk can be added as the next best choice, as long as it is in conjunction with water. A hydrated brain means a more alert child for afternoon learning.

Secondly we come to the ‘snack’ (morning tea) – a slice of fruit or vegetable, wholegrain crackers and cheese. Items like sugary biscuits, muesli bars, chocolate covered or highly salted snacks, only sets a small child up for an insulin crash later in the day.

Thirdly, the ‘main meal’ (sit down lunch) is always fruit with a plate of food that incorporates vegetables, proteins and grains. These may be pasta, salads, sandwiches, soups or Mexican beans etc. We always try to ‘mix it up’ over the week so as not to add too much untoward pressure on you or your child.

Finally, it is recommended that you add an extra snack for the very active child or just the active days.  These are usually for the afternoon and include low sugar fruit bars, wholegrain crackers with spread or even a small packet of savoury biscuits.

All that said; always remember a ‘King’s breakfast’ is the best attack for any child’s day...or adults for that matter!

 

PLEASE REMEMBER TO PACK A PLATE, BOWL AND CUP EVERY DAY.
Also, on Fridays PISA students need to bring a packed lunch.

Donna Moor
Chef


Categories: Lunch menus, John Colet

08
February
2013

Headmaster's Weekly Comment: 11/2/13

Sometimes people ask if we teach Creationism or Darwinian Evolution.  The school doesn’t really teach either:  We don’t teach Evolution – the theory that species come into existence, change and disappear by a process of mutation and natural selection - because it is not in the primary school syllabus;  and we don’t teach Creationism – that God created the heaven, the earth and  its creatures in six periods of twenty-four hours, because we take these grand, mystic stories in the Bible to be allegories rather than literally true.

The idea that Science and Religion are somehow at odds is mostly spurious.  In the context we are considering, this is because Darwinian Evolution doesn’t seek to address the existence of a Creator, who may or may not have embedded this mechanism of adaptation into His creatures.  And Scripture mostly seeks to ask Why questions, rather than the How questions of Science.

In fact science tends to abdicate both the fields of philosophy and religion.  Philosophy involves the metaphysical enquiry into existence, consciousness and the ultimate causes of things, and religion delves into the realm of spiritual and moral questions and of the nature of God and how life should be lived.  To illustrate, while science tells us in detail how the internal combustion engine works, it is silent on the character of Henry Ford, or  whether a car should be used in a drive by shooting or to transport a sick child to hospital.  

Darwinian evolution gives a beautiful, elegant and useful hypothesis on the Mechanism of the adaptation of species, while religion enquires into the nature of, and our relationship with, the Mechanic. 


Categories: Head of School Comment, John Colet

08
February
2013

From the Stage Coordinators: 11/2/13

The children are to be congratulated on their steadiness and the way in which they have settled down to work. The school has a very settled feel about it and the children are enjoying having lunch in MacLaren Hall each day.

This week we will continue on the theme of Care – Always give of your best.  Teachers are focusing on shirts tucked in, shoelaces done and uniform worn correctly to leave the school.

 We look forward to the Primary Swimming Carnival on Wednesday 20th February. It will begin at 11.30am and is due to end at 2.30pm. The way in which the children swim one race after another is quite amazing.

We hope to see many parents at the annual Board of Governors Reception this Friday evening 15th February.  The short presentations are a good way of learning more about the school’s administration and plans.

 

Categories: Coordinators' Comments, John Colet

08
February
2013

Art with birds

3rd and 4th year art classes have begun a section of work on birds.  They’ve started by looking at the form and shape of birds, incorporated pattern and texture in their line drawings, and focused on ‘tickling’ the page with the pencil rather than pressing too heavily.

Categories: Art classes, John Colet

01
February
2013

Lower First students meet their buddies

5th and 6th class students spent time with their buddies in Lower First this week.  The peer support program is a structured way to help our new intake settle in to the school.  The buddies meet weekly and everyone thoroughly enjoys the sessions.

 






Categories: Lower First news (Kindy), John Colet

01
February
2013

From the Stage Coordinators: 4/2/2013

What a wonderful start to the year – to have Colet House open and up and running after being out of action most of last year.  A big thank you to all who pushed to have it ready for the start of the year:  it now offers a refurbished and dynamic kitchen under the leadership of Donna Moor (let’s get out priorities right!);  a restyled hall spaciously housing us for assemblies, singing and lunch; three bright classrooms and the staff work room and common room, as well as offices for the Mistresses (that’s where you will find us).

Another warm welcome to new staff:  Mrs. Judith Navidi for 3rd class, Miss Simona Cipollone for Upper 1st, and Miss Sarah Marley for one of the new Lower 1st classes.

The new recruits have settled into various classes, and in particular the new Lower 1st  children seem to have taken to school like ducks to water, with minimal fuss and tears!  Seventeen of them have siblings at John Colet, and all of them seem to have been well prepared:  holiday get-togethers no doubt helped.

 

We would like to remind you that there will be a Board of Governors Reception for parents and staff at 7.30 p.m. in the Hall on Friday 15th February ;  this incorporates the P&F AGM and re-elections!  Last year’s P&F was large and very supportive, and we hope this continues.

So welcome back to all and we look forward to a happy, fulfilled and very productive year!


Some of our new Lower First students at lunch in the dining hall. 

 

Categories: Coordinators' Comments, John Colet

01
February
2013

Headmaster's Weekly Comment: 4/2/2013

Welcome back everyone to the new academic year.  Aside from welcoming a new cohort of beautiful Lower 1st children, we also have over a dozen new children in other classes who are settling in nicely to their new school.  And we have new members of staff as well, which always enlivens the school, bringing fresh perspectives to the classroom.  And lastly we have our newly rebuilt Colet House.

Over the Summer the teachers met in December and January for a total of seven days.  We planned the year, and also had some very stimulating in-service days on Mathematics, Gifted and Talented issues and Creative Writing; we also covered the basic areas of child protection and student welfare.

I would like to start the year by making school’s basic Philosophy very practical.  We do believe in a higher power that is ever present, accessible and helpful. But remembering to be quietly present and to connect with that higher power in the hurley burley of everyday life sometimes presents a challenge. 

So the staff have been reminded that all problems can be solved and all challenges faced best by being present and giving loving intelligent attention to the issue.  And we have instituted a simple practice: from now on, at 11.00 am every day, the whole school including teachers, children, office and lunch staff and anyone else on the premises will be invited to be silent and still and peaceful for just a few moments.

 

 

Categories: Head of School Comment, John Colet

30
November
2012

3rd class volcanoes

This term, 3rd Class have been extremely busy putting together Volcano Projects. This is part of our HSIE topic. Children have been given free range to create a presentation in which they must include lots of different information and facts about volcanoes. Children have also had the opportunity to make their very own erupting volcanoes which has been both messy and lots of fun! We haven’t quite got to the erupting part but very close to finishing our models, then the real excitement can happen.

The children have been so engaged in these projects. It has been wonderful to see the children co-operating, compromising and learning from one another. It has been a very successful project in many ways and a great way for some to extend themselves and be creative.

Here are some photos that will give you a sneaky peak of what we have been doing:



Categories: Science & Maths, John Colet

30
November
2012

Headmaster's Weekly Comment: 3/12/12

The end of the year is upon us and that means Speech Night preparations, Reports, Picnic Day, and all the other end of year minutiae which press their claims at this, the busiest time of the year.

And the spirit of Christmas also begins to creep up on us.  All those endlessly repeated Christmas songs, with their sometimes sentimental words, all sing about the warmth, love, family fellowship and generosity which accompany this most beautiful of festivals. 

This is a time to celebrate, because the promise of Christmas is that the loving, intelligent, creative Divinity which guides the world is not just a Superman God – Up in the sky, is it a bird? Is it a plane….   It is a warm, loving Presence that can work the remarkable magic trick of being born in a stable in extraordinary circumstances in mid-Winter to a young woman; with visitors both noble and commonplace; and with a final miraculous escape from danger and death.  A new-born baby from another world, invulnerable to the machinations of a powerful, murderous King of this world.

It would be hard to think of a more moving way of illustrating the unshakeable power of truth, love and reality, against ignorance and cruelty.

On behalf of all the staff of the school and on behalf of Mrs Mane and I, I wish you all a very happy, peaceful and prosperous Christmas and New Year and I look forward to seeing you all at Speech Night.



 

Categories: Head of School Comment, John Colet

28
November
2012

From the Stage Coordinators: 3/12/12

Here we are at the end of another eventful and rewarding year:  what a year!

Now we look forward to one of the year’s highlights which carries us forward to the following year:  Speech and Prize night – the rewards of the year past, and the promise of the year to come with the announcement of the 2013 Office Bearers for the school, all beautifully cradled in the performances of the school’s showcase Choirs.  This year the Choirs’ performances are the swansong for Mrs Mane and Miss Irvine as Choir Mistresses, and heartfelt thanks to them both for the exceptionally high standard of performance we have enjoyed.  The Infant’s Department is sadly losing Mr Kininmonth and Miss Hayes, and we will be welcoming Miss Miles (Choir Primary), Miss Marley (Lower First) and Miss Cipollone (Upper 1st) to join our team.

It remains only to say thank you to parents and others for the incredible support we have continued to receive, especially around the fire, to thank Mrs Moore and her undaunted team for the outdoor lunches and service to the teachers, and to say “Merry Christmas to You All!”

A 'stained glass' window by Upper First T students.


Categories: Coordinators' Comments, John Colet

28
November
2012

Great end-game for the chess year

This is the final Chess news item for 2012 and what a brilliant year the Chess Club has had!  Many senior chess players who were in Yr 6 left last year and there were some big shoes to fill.

John Colet was represented by 30 Chess Club members across 5 Inter-school tournaments.  In many instances, we had a team finish in the Top 4.  There is such amazing depth to the chess club and there is so much to look forward to in future years.

I wish to thank the Parents who assist me each week in supervising the different chess classes: Marina S, Simone P, Alexandra D, Leslie D and Heike F. 

Information about next years’ classes will be sent out early next year, but at this stage the lesson times will remain the same.

I want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a restful break over the Summer.

Now for the exciting part – the End of Year Announcements:

John Colet Chess Competition

In the past fortnight, the school hosted the Annual Primary and Infants Chess competitions.  What a magnificent and enthusiastic turn-out.  The children were fantastic and they all had so much fun playing chess.

Last Thursday, 35 Primary students played 6 rounds of chess and by the final round we had a winner:

Primary Chess Champion:  Ryan B
Runner-Up:  Jarod C
3rd:  Xavier S
4th:  Daya C-H

Last week, 50 Infants students gathered to play 5 rounds of chess and in a tight finish the results were:

Infants Chess Champion:  Nathan C
Runner-Up:  Thomas J
3rd:  Kai P
4th:  Sean G

Special thanks to Miro, our fantastic Chess tutor, who kept a watchful eye over all the games.

Chess Player of the Year
This accolade is awarded to the Chess Club Member who finishes the year with the highest ranking.  Early each Friday morning, the Senior Chess players compete against each other and their results are recorded.  Considering that many of the students have played in excess of 50 games over the course of the year it is both wonderful and astounding that the results are very close. We have such a strong team of Senior players.  It gives Miro and I great pleasure to announce:

Chess Player of the Year:  Jarod C
Runner Up:  Brigitte S
3rd:  Ryan B
Yours strategically,
Heather B
Chess Coordinator

Some pics from the Infants chess tournament...

Categories: Chess & Clubs, John Colet

28
November
2012

Fun with problems!

Many of our primary aged students have enrolled in problem solving classes after school each week.   The children certainly don’t seem to mind staying late at school, even on a Friday,  because the problems are fun to solve, yet still challenge  the children to think and use different methods to come up with answers.   

For example, they’ve designed the best possible zoo (where all the animals can get to the lake, but not all of them need to access the savannah, for example) and another, set out below, challenged the children to find the most efficient way for a farmer to transport some troublesome produce... 

Problem: a farmer has to row across a river to deliver a chicken, a sack of wheat and a fox to the other side.  The fox and the chicken can’t travel or be left together, because the fox will eat the chicken.  The chicken and the wheat can’t travel or be left together, because the chicken will eat the wheat.  There is only room in the rowboat for the farmer to row two ‘items’ across at once.  How can the farmer use the boat to transport the wheat, the fox and the chicken safely across?   (Answers involving stowing the chicken up a tree on the far side, or tying the fox into the empty wheat sack, while inventive, are not part of the actual answer!)

Categories: Chess & Clubs, Science & Maths, John Colet

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