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Coordinators' Comments

01
December
2017

Stage Coordinator Comment

There has been the usual generous response to the Smith Family Christmas Gifts Appeal, and I have TWO Treasure Chests full of wonderful toys somehow packed into the boot and on the back seat of my car – ready to be delivered. Thank you to all the parents for their generosity and giving!

Another even bigger ”Thank You”…. This one from Mary McKendrick and myself at this point of our retirement from John Colet after 32 years.
Thank you to the children, parents, teachers and staff with whom we have worked through all those incredible years to establish this wonderful school and offer the best education we can. We consider ourselves blessed to have had the opportunity to do the work we both love and value in such very wonderful company. Imagine spending every working day doing what you love and believe in with people you value!

So - thank you to the whole community, past and present! Valete!

Judith Donald
Infants Mistress
Mary McKendrick
Primary Mistress

Categories: Coordinators' Comments, John Colet

24
November
2017

Stage Coordinator Comment

We are still asking “Is my attitude positive” – and the question that naturally arises to follow this is – if my attitude is not positive, can I actually change it and turn it to the positive. It is much more useful to direct the energy that is wasted in anger or gloom towards fixing or accepting the situation; or indeed “moving on” to something else.
Congratulations to Kai C, who was the winner of the In-house Primary Chess Competition
The Nativity will be performed on Tuesday 28th at 8.50a.m and parents are welcome to stay for it - It may be standing room only for the 2nd Class show!! This is also the day when gifts are collected for the not-so-fortunate via the Smith Family. Some gifts have already been received: thank you. (See separate article) On Monday the Instrumental Ensemble will be playing for the School at Assembly.
It will be a big week of many year-end events, not the least will be several farewells to our magnificent 6th Class, and the week will culminate in the Picnic Day. Teachers will send reminders about sun and swim safety. Please remember that children must wear rash vests or T-shirts in the water. Hope to see many of you there.
Those classes who are moving will do so on Monday 4th December.

Judith Donald
Infants Mistress
Mary McKendrick
Senior Mistress

Categories: Coordinators' Comments, John Colet

17
November
2017

Stage Coordinator Comment

“Is my attitude positive” is the aspect of Service we are currently practising at school. How much more pleasant is it to be in the company of people who are positive and able to deal with difficulties and obstacles without descending into gloom or anger. Be positive and see the bright side if you can!
A special event this week was the wonderful afternoon tea prepared by 6th Class for all who helped in the staging of their fabulous play. The 6th Class Sewing group brought their activities for the year to a close by branching out into bread-making – a successful effort and beautiful loaves of bread were taken home!
The Infants staged their in-house Chess Competition and the winner was Jonathan Z in 2nd Class. Well done Jonathan! The Primary Competition is to be held next week.

Judith Donald
Infants Mistress
Mary McKendrick
Primary Mistress

Categories: Coordinators' Comments, John Colet

10
November
2017

Stage Coordinator Comment

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Just when we thought it was all over, Shakespeare was again to the fore!  Wednesday saw the annual visit by Mr. James Evans, Director of the Bell Shakespeare Company (which is currently staging “The Merchant of Venice”).

Each year he comes to see a special Preview of all the Shakespeare performances, both Infants and Primary.  It was a spectacular morning of cameos from all the plays.  The Infants beautifully revived their offerings, as their plays were staged five months ago.  All went well, and everyone enjoyed the event.  Mr. Evans gave his appraisal afterwards – he was most impressed, and also generously answered questions from the older children.
The coming week will also see another performance forum with an instrumental concert in the MacLaren Hall on the evening of Thursday 16th, arranged by the Music Department’s Ms Rosy Davidson.  Hope to see you there.

Judith Donald
Infants Mistress
Mary McKendrick
Primary Mistress

Categories: Coordinators' Comments, John Colet

03
November
2017

Stage Coordinator Comment

Congratulations to the Primary teachers and children – all that work has borne fruit, and Shakespeare is heard and performed again.  This week all the classes will be presenting brief excerpts from their plays (Infants too!) for Mr. James Evans from the Bell Shakespeare Company, who is taking time to visit John Colet School next Wednesday 8th November.
 
The Infants children had a “Bush Concert” performance at with the ABC, performing at Sydney University in the Seymour Centre.  This is also a regular annual event to introduce the children to the orchestra.
 
The coming week will also see our own performance forum with an instrumental concert in the MacLaren Hall on Thursday 9th, arranged by the Music Department’s Ms Rosy Davidson.  Hope to see you there!

Judith Donald
Infants Mistress
Mary McKendrick
Primary Mistress

Categories: Coordinators' Comments, John Colet

27
October
2017

Stage Coordinator Comment

Accolades for the Primary children who performed so beautifully at the  School of Practical Philosophy’s  50th Anniversary Gala Garden Party at Mahratta.  The Maypole went without a hitch and was entrancing – and what’s more, the rain held off.  The John Colet Choir sang on the grand staircase in the Mahratta entrance hall, as did the Recorder Consort.  A big thank you to the parents for getting them there and for staying to enjoy the event, regardless of the rain.  It was rather delightful to see towards the end of the afternoon some of the 6th Class Maypole girls teaching some younger ones how to dance with the ribbons!
Our new intake for Lower First 2018 came in for their Orientation Morning on Thursday, and with the wonderful support of the Head Boy and Girl, and their future “Buddies”, presently in 5th Class.  A little bit of clinging, but no tears.  Mrs McDermott and Mrs Connell, though sad to be losing their present classes, anticipate a happy group for next year.
Apart from that, it’s all about Shakespeare.  And next week it’s on at Glen Street – “Break a leg!”

Judith Donald
Infants Mistress
Mary McKendrick
Primary Mistress

Categories: Coordinators' Comments, John Colet

13
October
2017

Stage Coordinator Comment

It has been an excellent start to the term, with levels of enthusiasm obvious in relation to the Shakespeare Festival and other forthcoming events this term. It’s quite difficult to gain access to the Hall as so many teachers wish to use it for rehearsals!
The new Library has been completed and will transfer from the Music Room shortly. In the meantime, Mrs. Caban is checking her stock and planning her new space. It’s a beautiful room, very centrally located in Colet House, incorporating Colet 2 Classroom and the former offices of the Deputies. The Staff Common Room is also having a “face-lift”.
There is a Working Bee coming up on 22nd October, and thank you to those parents who are able to support it.
Service: the true value of any action is related to the real attention given to it, for example, say “Hello” to someone with attention and sincerity and it means something quite different from a mechanical greeting.

Judith Donald
Infants Mistress
Mary McKendrick
Primary Mistress

Categories: Coordinators' Comments, John Colet

22
September
2017

Stage Coordinator Comment

What an eventful week it has been – something special and extraordinary each day!

Monday of course saw the opening ceremony of the new Plato House and the dedication of the G.S. Mane wing.  We had several guests, including our Members of Parliament, Mr. Mane himself, several Board Members, the Architect, the Bank Manager, and a host of the builders, who so generously came to see the result of their labours.  Mrs. Moor provided a beautiful morning tea.

Tuesday was another very successful event – the Sports Carnival – the children were terrific!   Wednesday saw a remarkably comprehensive celebration of “Asia studies” – the Sixth Class children dressed up, undertook activities such as calligraphy, cooking and making Japanese dolls:  they were treated to a feast, and then a Tai Chi Class with Demetrius Condos, and an Indian Dance demonstration by Angela Miller, who was freshly returned from a week’s dance workshop in the U.K.

On Thursday the Infants treated their parents to a Poetry and Sanskrit Prayer Concert, which also included a Latin song from the 2nd Class Latin students.  Straight after that, Miss Bower’s Class showed their amazing recently  published stories – on video with their illustrations and voice-overs.

Friday was the “Teddy Bears’ Picnic” which the 6th Class put on for their Buddies in Lower First.

And now the holidays … enjoy.

Judith Donald
Infants Mistress
Mary McKendrick
Primary Mistress

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Categories: Coordinators' Comments, John Colet

15
September
2017

Stage Coordinator Comment

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Mary McKendrick and I would like to express our thanks for a wonderful occasion on Saturday night, the Masquerade Party, where we received so many expressions of gratitude from parents, friends and colleagues. I thought I was totally “incognito” behind my Venetian mask and would be recognised by no-one!  However …     It was a delightful evening, and the generosity of parents was demonstrated in the auction items offered and the funds raised at the event.
It has been a most unusual week with strange weather, one day “sans” electricity, and with more than half the school away on camp. The Infants’ children have shown their mettle, and have been very settled in the  absence of their older peers.
Next week will be the last week that we have Mrs. Garrett, who has so ably taken 3rd Class, and both 2nd Classes over the past two terms, replacing teachers on Long Service Leave.  We will miss her, and hope it is not the last time we can call on her to stand in for teachers on Long Service Leave.
Next week sees the final week of a short term, in which the highlight will be the Sports Carnival.  On Thursday in the MacLaren Hall at 2.30 p.m., the Infants Classes will be giving a short and sweet Recitation Concert for their parents.

Judith Donald (pictured on right above)
Infants Mistress
Mary McKendrick
Primary Mistress

Categories: Coordinators' Comments, John Colet

08
September
2017

Stage Coordinator Comment

The coming week will be a busy one with the whole Primary School heading for Bathurst or Milson Island, to enjoy three days of adventure with their teachers and classmates.  We ask them to “pack” the School Values in their bags, especially Courage:  we are practising Resilience in the face of difficulties, and there will be many opportunities for this.  We would also like to hear reports of good manners and respect.  And the cherry on the top:  enjoy!
 
Please call in to see the magnificent artwork which has gone up on the wall in the Reception area:   this depicts the genesis and evolution of the great teachers and schools of wisdom throughout the history of humanity.  You will be amazed.

Judith Donald
Infants Mistress
Mary McKendrick
Primary Mistress

Categories: Coordinators' Comments, John Colet

31
August
2017

Stage Coordinator Comment

This week we are practising another aspect of Courage – the Courage to face difficulties with resilience – a quality we all need to remember when faced with things we find testing!  One area to encourage the children, especially the young ones, is to try new foods – even just a little taste, before going on with what is tried and enjoyed..

In the Infants lunch we are introducing a little change – firstly we are serving fruit yoghurt which is sweetened and seems to appeal more to the younger palate   Greek-style yoghurt will still be available.  We are also offering the Infants salad each day.  This will be announced daily and served from the hatch for those who would like to try.  This is similar to the system for the Primary.  We have found in the past if these salads are put on the children’s tables, they are generally wasted, with only a few children eating them occasionally.

This now means that the Infants children have each day: 

  • milk or water
  • choice of cut fruit in season (compulsory),
  • wholemeal buttered bread,
  • a hot dish (occasionally salad and cheese rolls)
  • we will be encouraging them to try a small amount of the hot dish
  • cheese to put on bread or the hot food
  • sultanas
  • yoghurt
  • dessert a few times per term
  • Moor bakes a chocolate cake for the class that earns the most points by the end of each term by following Lunchtime Rules such as listening to the bell, eating in silence for 5 minutes when the “silence bell” goes, looking after each other, good posture, not wasting food, tidy tables and clean floors!

The Primary children have a similar menu but have spreads available (vegemite, cheese), which is not practicable for the younger ones.

Judith Donald
Infants Mistress

Mary McKendrick
Primary Mistress

Categories: Coordinators' Comments, John Colet

25
August
2017

Stage Coordinator Comment

“Book Week” has been well and truly celebrated at John Colet with two author visits (one last week), a marvelous dress-up day and parade, and  a whole school “story time” where pre-selected books were read by teachers (pictured below in their costumes) and administrative staff to small groups of children throughout the campus.  And next week, we have a visit from the Premier, Gladys Berejiklian, to talk about the Premier’s Reading Competition which has been so successfully running at John Colet this year and previous years. 
One of the features of our sit-down lunches is that the Infants always have a “silent eating time” each day – about five minutes, to help them eat rather than chat!  During this time they have to use sign language to communicate any service or need.  To this end, Ms Marley and Miss Bower’s classes have learnt sign language.  You will see this displayed on their class windows. They can say please and thank you without uttering a sound!

Judith Donald
Infants Mistress

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Categories: Coordinators' Comments, John Colet

11
August
2017

Stage Coordinator Comment

Mrs. McKendrick left this week for four weeks of long service leave:  she will be travelling in Europe and also attending a Plato Convention in Delphi.  Bon voyage!
A very disruptive, but efficient day for School Photographs and the weather smiled on us!
Next week is Science Week and it begins with a visit from “Fissics “ – they put on a Science Show which will inform and delight the children with the magic of science.
There will be no normal Monday Assembly on 14th,  as “Fissics” require the Hall and need time to set up.  The Headmaster will once again be offering some lunchtime Science activities.
The Practice of Courage continues.

Judith Donald
Infants Mistress
Mary McKendrick
Primary Mistress

Categories: Coordinators' Comments, John Colet

28
July
2017

Stage Coordinator Comment

Another term begins!  This term our practice is Courage and specifically the courage to be truthful and to own up.  Our approach to this is that when we ask children about an incident or situation, if they own up immediately (or even eventually) we praise them for their courage to do so, and then approach the situation and discuss how to make amends.  This praise of courage supports the children in facing their behaviour and then seeking to correct it.

Next week John Colet is hosting two visiting debating teams, which will enable 5th Class to sit in and gain an insight as to how this works!  The topics are:
There is no need for tests and exams  and  Drones should be banned.   They are always very interesting and well thought out!

This term we have the pleasure of hosting and mentoring four Practicum Students, three from Macquarie University and one from Swinburne.  This of course is very necessary for them to build their experience, and also enjoyable for the teachers and enriching for the children.

Judith Donald
Infants Mistress
Mary McKendrick
Primary Mistress

Categories: Coordinators' Comments, John Colet

29
June
2017

Stage Coordinator Comment

What a splendid way to end the Term and what a great success the Infants’ Shakespeare Festival was.  The culmination of an enormous amount of work.  Not only were the children bright and confidant, but they thoroughly enjoyed it!  And the teachers of course enjoyed it when it was successfully over.

This final week also saw the farewell of Mrs.  Alice Dawson, who leaves us to have a second child.  She has been at John Colet for  seven years, has done wonderful work with her classes and will be much missed.

Mrs. Tefay is doing well, and is now in Rehabilitation.  She sends her regards and thanks for the flowers and warm wishes she has received.  A most magnificent composite  “Get Well” Card from the Lower First children was delivered to her, and received with moist eyes!
 
Best wishes from us for a safe and relaxing holiday.

Judith Donald
Infants Mistress
Mary McKendrick
Primary Mistress

Categories: Coordinators' Comments, John Colet

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