A week full of successes! The teachers have been very busy with Parent/Teacher Interviews, and these having been proceeding well. Shakespeare is steaming ahead, and all are looking forward to next week’s performances.
We have great success at both Debating – we won! – and Chess – we came 2nd in the Tournament and now move forward to the finals. Well done to those children and teachers.
Upper First had a very enjoyable excursion to Narrabeen to study the seashore.
Thursday evening saw a delightful and successful Music Recital, both of the Ensemble, the Singers and the individual Instrumentalists. Performing “in public” isn’t easy for some, and we commend the children for their courage. Thanks also to Rosy Davidson and Jodie Law for organising this event.
Sixth Class started on an adventure: they are learning the traditional dance the Maypole, and hope to perform it at the special event organised by the School of Practical Philosophy to celebrate its 50th Anniversary – A Gala Garden Party in October this year. This will be held in the gardens of the SoPP’s heritage property, Mahratta, in Wahroonga. We hope also to have a performance of the maypole at John Colet. More anon.
Reports have been posted and should be received in time for Parent Teacher Interviews.
During Assembly each week, children recite the School Motto, “Testare de Illa Luce” which means “To bear Witness of that Light”. This is taken from the Christian Scriptures, St. John’s Gospel Chapter 1, and refers to the coming of one of the world’s great teachers – Jesus Christ, whose precepts and teachings have enlightened millions over the last two millennia.
St. John refers to Jesus as being “the true light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world”. This is a reference to the pure consciousness that is “the light of every man”, the underpinning perfection in each of us. Bearing witness of this light means letting that light shine through our actions as they reflect in the school values of Stillness, Respect, Courage, Service and Respect. St. Matthew (5:16) says “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works ..” Each of the four gospel–writers has a symbol (Eagle, lion, man and bull). The Crest shows the symbol of St. John which is an eagle – here ascending with the rays of light of the sun shining behind it. Enjoy a safe and happy long weekend.
Open Day was wonderful in every way: the weather was perfect, the classrooms looked wonderful, the performances were enjoyable, and if there needs to be an indicator as to how the children behaved themselves, here it is: The First Aid lady went home without even having had one customer – not even a bandaid. Well done everyone! Thank you to the many parents who worked indefatigably, thank you to those who spent money, thank you for the delicious lunch, thank you Sixth Class for your enthusiasm with the stalls, thank you teachers and children, and thank you to our Administrative Staff who put it all together to make a workable forum for our community to enjoy itself.. The standards were high!
It was a busy week with the Sanskrit Competition, the Northern Beaches Eisteddfod and Open Day preparation.
In the mornings when the teachers pause at 8 a.m. and discuss the day, we always say a prayer in Sanskrit and then in English. Responding to a request from some parents, we will highlight one of the Sanskrit prayers each fortnight and explain the English meaning: This week we are reciting “The Perfect Prayer”
Here is the English meaning:
This is Perfect. That is Perfect. Perfect comes from Perfect. Take Perfect from Perfect, And the remainder is perfect.
Another week of wonderful performances with more to come on Open Day, all warmed by the beautiful autumn weather. The children themselves shone at the Sanskrit Competition on Tuesday, and the event highlighted the courage and discipline of the children, and their generosity in heartily applauding each other. The individual winners are published elsewhere, and Upper 1st and 5th won the whole class section. Mid-week a small group of 4th Class children spent the day at Kinma School, taking part in the their Friendship Day, which was attended by several local schools. Thank you to those children who represented John Colet. The John Colet Choir was one of three schools who were Highly Commended at the Northern Beaches Eisteddfod, and our Head Chorister, Lila Jones, was given a special mention.
Children are to arrive at Open Day in full winter uniform at 9am. They should go to their classroom. Children should bring their school sports uniform in their sports bag to change into straight after the stage performances. (You may also wish to send in a small recess snack and drink.)
The stage performances start at 10am until 11am. After that time, children are free to enjoy the Open Day activities and show their parents around their classrooms. The classrooms will be manned from 11 a.m. to 12 midday and then from 1 pm to 2 pm. The Open Day concludes at 2pm.
Parents, please note that the children should stay with their teachers until the stage performances are over, and should not go the playground until this is over.
Please register for the Cyber Safety talk on 1st June (6.00 for 6.30) to be held at John Colet. Parents from local schools are also invited to this Rotary sponsored event.
We are counting down to Open Day on Sunday 28th May – the Class teachers and the Art Department are busily decking out the walls of the classrooms with showcase work, whilst the children are spending time on the preparations for the Sanskrit Competition this Tuesday 23rd May. This will be judged by distinguished Sanskritists Dr. Ramon Raghu and Mr. William Fox (Member of the JCS Board). We hope also to have present a visitor from the Indian Consulate. The Sanskrit Recitation is always a very special event.
Children attending after school Clubs have been reminded of the rules relating to behaviour at these Clubs. They are
Demonstrate the School Values
Show a positive attitude
Obey the instructors
Follow competition rules where applicable
Help tidy up and leave the area in good order
We look forward to a vigorous Working Bee this Sunday to prepare for Open Day.
Judith Donald Infants Mistress Mary McKendrick Primary Mistress
Naplan is over for another year, and everyone seemed to take it in their stride! Several children from John Colet School recently participated in the Gateways Programme hosted by Oxford Falls Grammar School. This is an inter-school Maths Workshop of four sessions, for Gifted and Talented children. A letter from the organisers was received by Mrs. Crewe commending the behaviour and focus of the John Colet participants. To quote: “Your students were an excellent reflection upon your school. You should be proud! The following children were noted as ‘stand-out’ students meaning they were particularly engaged in the workshops, demonstrated impressive understanding of mathematical concepts and were great contributors to the day as a whole. These children relished in the challenges of the day. Marlon Leforestier Morgan Armstrong-Jones Thomas Jeffries Shannon Hiscox Congratulations to all the children who participated! We are delighted to welcome Mrs. Tefay back from leave, although she has been seen at school the past three days, working with Mrs. Zoe Emanuel, Miss Cipollone and the children on their forthcoming Shakespeare performance. Mrs. Diane Renshaw (3rd Class) will be going on extended leave from this week, and will be replaced by Mrs. Mary Garrett, a former John Colet teacher, who has returned to us from Victoria to take Mrs. Renshaw’s class. She will also replace Mrs. Elizabeth McDermott (2M) and Mrs. Lea Connell (2C) later in the year when they successively take Long Service Leave. Library Bags: A reminder that Library bags are preferred by Mrs. Caban, as it keeps them protected and identifiable in the home. Mrs. Ladomatos has a supply in the Uniform Room.
Uniform alert!Full winter uniform please for the week beginning 15th May! Blazers to be worn to Monday Assembly. Long navy blue socks are to be worn with boys’ shorts. Mrs. Ladomatos has a supply in the Uniform Store.
Judith Donald Infants Mistress Mary McKendrick Primary Mistress
It has been a wonderful start to the Term: I spotted several children running ahead of their parents to get to class: so keen they were to be coming back to school! We began with an excellent Assembly and were regaled with reports from the children about the help they had given to their parents over the holidays. Our practice of Truthfulness this term begins with “Telling the full story” – giving the other person’s side and recognising another point of view.
French classes begin with a good turnout on Friday, and we now have two Mandarin classes. Girls in the 6th Class Sewing Club are racing ahead, and some have finished in half a term what previous groups have taken two or three terms to finish. A great job.
Staff: We have two new part-time members of staff for this term:
Mrs. Robyn Topp is teaching 5D on Thursdays, and comes to us with considerable experience in teaching: she also works part-time for the Primary English Teaching Association of Australia (PETAA): in her current position she works with K-6 teachers across Australia in Independent, State and Catholic schools to provide Professional Learning in various aspects of English, Literacy, Language and Literature. She works with NESA to register workshops, courses and conferences and deal with accreditation of NSW and ACT teachers K-6. We welcome her to 5th Class.
Mrs. Leisa Brown will be returning to JCS for the term as a Teachers’ Aide to replace Mrs. Taufique, who will be on leave. Mrs. Brown has formerly worked at JCS and elsewhere: she has considerable experience in the Multilit system. Welcome back!
Mrs. Jennifer Geary, a longtime Casual Teacher at JCS will be taking Lower First T two days a week, alongside Ms. Georgina Condos, who will increase her days from one to three per week until Mrs. Tefay returns.
Thank you to parents of Lower First for attending the Class Morning Tea recently: we had the added delight of seeing the class leaving for their first school excursion to Taronga Zoo, which was a success despite the weather.
It’s hard to believe that we are at the end of Term 1. We will change to winter uniform for Term 2, with a two-week cross-over period where summer or winter uniform may be worn, depending on temperatures.
Parents may be interested to learn that the John Colet Lunch Programme has recently been assessed by Ms Priyanka Sheth, a Paediatric Dietitian at Westmead Hospital. This is an extract from her Report, received earlier this term.
The current menu is providing a wide variety of nutritious foods which promotes healthy eating. This will ensure that children will meet their nutritional requirements for the proportion of the day when they are at school.
I would like to acknowledge the school for providing a nutritious multi-cultural menu for their students, for example the school offers Asian, Italian, Indian and Mexican cuisine. It is important to expose children to a variety of foods to avoid fussy eating, but also allow exploration of foods especially when the Australian culture is multi-cultural and there is no set ‘Australian’ meal.
FRENCH CLUB – Hooray! Mme Galiane Marterer is offering places in an after-school French Class in Term 2. This is to be held in the temporary Library (Music Centre) on Fridays from 3.15 to 4.15 p.m. Anyone who is interested, please contact Mme Marterer through her email address in the Weekly Note.
Mandarin Club extended Wonderful news that our after school Mandarin classes are being extended with Mrs Pau returning to take classes for those students who do not speak Mandarin in the home.
A full week ahead, and a slightly dryer one we hope! The children have coped really well with the weather and the wet playground, as they have with the various building works going on around the campus. Zoe Emanuel, our Consulting Drama Teacher, has started the 2017 Shakespeare season, preparing the Infants children with some “Drama Games” which have been going well. Full steam ahead now for the big event at the end of Term 2, and Infants children will be given their parts to learn over the coming holidays. Mrs. Donald and Mrs. McKendrick went to a Primary Teachers’ Conference at the Shore Northbridge Campus to consider “Well being in the Primary School” and heard keynote speakers from the Association of Independent Schools and also shared ideas on Pastoral Care with other teachers attending. We came away feeling that we are well served at John Colet in this respect. One of the most interesting comments was that in this day and age the children (and adults for that matter!) do not experience moments of stillness, just being. They are forever “entertained” by and occupied with the media, and any spare moments filled with gaming devices and mobile phones. Our John Colet children are lucky enough to have Stillness as their first School Value and to practise this with their teachers before and after every lesson and every school activity:
KNOW THYSELF – Practice: Stillness
1. Am I still? 2. Am I peaceful? 3. Am I aware of myself? 4. Am I awake and aware of others?
It is worthwhile, every day, to take a few moments to be still and aware of ourselves, others and our surroundings!
What a shame the Walkathon had to be postponed, but hopefully it will stop raining one day! On the other hand, it’s the perfect weather for Book Worms, so full steam ahead for the Premier’s Reading Challenge.
This week we are encouraging children to act in a way that unifies, rather than separates – one way is to include others in conversations and games, especially those with whom we do not usually play. It’s the “Golden Rule” – do unto others as you would have them do to you.
Zoe Emanuel, our intrepid drama teacher started off the annual Shakespeare cycle this week, working with the Infants children, training them in theatre skills before they begin to rehearse their plays.
Thank you to those parents who were able to come to the Years 1 and 2 Morning Tea with the Headmaster. It was well attended and very “chatty”. It’s a day the teachers also enjoy because there are always “leftovers” of Mrs. Moor’s delicious food.
Judith Donald Infants Mistress Mary McKendrick Primary Mistress
A wet week! But everyone seemed to cope and the garden is certainly looking good. It seems to have been a week of steady work, and with the Swimming Carnival over, the Sixth Class girls have been able to begin their Tapestry Class.
Lower First performed shyly, but delightfully, at the Infants’ Assembly and will offer “Colour” by Dorothea Mackellar again on Monday, but this time to the Whole School Assembly. By-the-way, parents of Infants children will have the opportunity to hear this and other items at an upcoming Infants’ Recitation Concert on Thursday in week 9 – more about this later.
Thank you to parents who provided food for the Cook Market Day, and to Mrs. Tomicki’s 6th Class for organising it so well.
The staff were treated to a glimpse of the John Colet entry into the ANZAC Art Competition at the 8 o’clock staff gathering– it is a magnificent composite presentation of textures, patterns and symbols relating to the Vietnam War, representing the culture and landscape of that country. It is up to the usual high standard of art at John Colet, and indicates a fine level of artistic skill among the students. Congratulations – I am sure it will be well received.
There always seems to be something major happening each week, but then that’s the nature of schools!
This week it all seemed to be in the Primary area! Firstly the Swimming Carnival – a great success! We have been practising Good Sportsmanship towards opponents and teammates as a sign of Respect: supporting, not criticising, encouraging and congratulating! This was very evident at the Carnival.
Thursday’s Information Evening was attended by 15 families: some will follow on with a daytime tour whilst the school is operating. Thanks to Mrs. James for her usual efficient and welcoming persona.
Today, Friday, the 6th Class children went with Mrs. Tomicki and Mrs. Layton to a rather large event: The National Young Leaders’ Day at the International Convention Centre. Hundreds of young people attended and were offered advice and experienced accounts from speakers in the Arts, Sciences, Ecology and Exploration worlds, and also from some in Leadership Training. There were opportunities to ask questions and to be involved directly. All very useful and inspiring.
The new Lower First children are certainly settling in and learning their school routines. They are delightful.
We have this week begun the Class Breakfasts for parents to meet informally with the Headmaster and the Mistresses. This week we had a dozen or so parents from 5th and 6th Class to one of Mrs. Moor’s delicious spreads. Thank you to those parents who were able to come. The next “Breakfast” will be with parents of 3rd and 4th classes and will be in the Hall on 8th March.
Second Class had a big week – firstly a very successful excursion to the Art Gallery and then a “paint-up” to illustrate the poem they were to recite at the Infants’ Assembly on Wednesday: “My Country” a very long-standing favourite. They did splendidly well, were confident, clear and word perfect. They will perform for the whole school at Monday’s Assembly. But parents, do not fret! In Week 9 there will be a Recital given by each Infants Class for their parents just before home time. More about that anon: invitations will be sent out in due course.
The Primary classes are preparing for their big annual Swimming Carnival next week on Wednesday. The children will be supported by their cheering House members and, we hope, by any parents who are able to attend. This event fosters the qualities of courage, resilience and magnanimity in the children: it’s not just about winning.
There will be a School Information Evening at JCS next Thursday at 7 p.m. – if you know anyone who would be interested, ask them to contact Mrs. Belinda James – 9451-8395.
Thank you to those who sent underpants for the Valentine Day Underpants collection for the Wayside Chapel.
This week our practice of Values moves on to Respect for property, both our own and that of others. At Assembly several suggestions were made by the children as to how this could be accomplished. We encourage this practice in the home also.
CLUBS AT JOHN COLET SCHOOL 2017 – CODE OF BEHAVIOUR One of the features of John Colet is the variety of Clubs offered before and after school, and some at lunchtime. This includes Chess, Gardening, Mandarin, Latin, Yoga, Fencing, a String Ensemble, Sewing and Sailing (Saturdays). We hope to add to this list once the building programme is completed.
Of course the children are expected to live up to the usual John Colet standard of behaviour, and especially when the tutors are not members of the Staff. The children in these Clubs will be spoken to at the beginning of each term to establish this standard, and they will be reminded that membership of any Club is a privilege which is earned through full participation and excellent behaviour. Unruly behaviour may lead to suspension from that Club.
We always begin the year practising our fifth Value:
Work together with love, honour and respect for one another.
1.Does this acton unify?
2.Is this safe for myself and others?
3.Is it consideration of the happiness and comfort of other?
4.Is it honourable, respectful and dignified?
5.Does this action reflect well on my nation, school, family and myself?
These are high order considerations which we like to encourage in the children, and this practice trains the child to consider a wider perspective to their actions, such as how what I am doing will reflect on my family, school and the nation? The last does not often enter our considerations.
In particular, we are practising Respect for teachers, and in Assembly some beautiful examples were given by the children of respectful actions they had observed.
We warmly invite parents, new and established, to attend the Board of Governors’ Reception on Friday. Here the Governors and P&F Executive will be available to chat.
Please read elsewhere items on a Valentine’s Day Charity Initiative and the search for occasional/permanent parent support on Friday afternoons with the after-school Gardening Club.