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Coordinators' Comments

13
May
2016

Stage Coordinator Comment

This week was very much flavoured by the NAPLAN  tests for 3rd and 5th Classes.  Having been alerted to this, all the children were most considerate and quiet, and all went well.
 
School attendance is, of course, important at all times, but there are four occasions, three out of school hours, where it is mandatory for the children to attend school.

    NAPLAN testing days
    Shakespeare performances – Infants and Primary as applies
    Open Days
    Speech Nights

The school should be fully represented on these occasions, and not only that, but much time and rehearsal is put into these enriching events which are very much part of the children’s education.
 
We are practising Truthfulness: honesty and owning up, and speaking the truth pleasantly and kindly.
 
Winter uniform:  we would be grateful if you could ensure that your children arrive and leave in full uniform, in a way that puts the school in the best light.

Judith Donald
Infants Mistress

Mary McKendrick
Primary Mistress

Categories: Coordinators' Comments, John Colet

06
May
2016

Stage Coordinator Comment

In spite of the beautiful “Indian summer” we are currently experiencing,  winter uniform must be worn from Week 3 onwards.  This includes blazers to and from school, and of course the new optional waterproof jackets, which need to be ordered through Mrs. Ladomatos, can be worn over the blazer as necessary.

Naplan testing will be on for 3rd and 5th class on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of Week 3, and we ask that everyone respect this whilst moving about the school.

OPEN DAY:
This special school event will be held on Sunday 29th May, and it is an occasion when all children at John Colet are required  to be present, being one of the major events of the year, aimed at showcasing the children’s work and performances, and also offering a day of family enjoyment and fun.  

The children should arrive, in full school uniform (winter) with blazers, at 9.00.  Should they arrive before that time, they should remain in the close care of their parents.  The Head of School Welcome and the stage performances begin at 10.00 promptly;  classrooms are open and teachers present from 11.00-12.00;  children change into their sports clothes and  then are free to enjoy the stalls, entertainment and lunch.  Open Day finishes at 2.00 p.m.

Garden Whispers:
Mrs. Moor was sighted today harvesting herbs from the Garden Club beds for today’s lunch, and last week some of us were lucky enough to take home a bunch of the bitter greens from the Bush Tucker Garden.  Thank you Garden Club!

Judith Donald
Infants Mistress
Mary McKendrick
Primary Mistress

Categories: Coordinators' Comments, John Colet

29
April
2016

Stage Coordinator Comment

Welcome back to Term 2, which promises to be an  eventful  term as we pick up the threads of last term’s excellent start to the year.    We hope it was a refreshing break:  the weather certainly helped.
Preparations are well under way for the Infants’ Shakespeare Festival under the creative care of Zoe Emanuel our Drama Teacher, and the Infants’ class teachers.  The Infants’ Shakespeare Festival will be earlier this year than in previous years  - the last week of Term 2 instead of beginning of Term 3. 

3rd and 5th class will be joining in the Naplan testing  and of course there will be internal testing for the mid-year reports. 

The big event this term is the Open Day on Sunday 29th May, the emphasis being on showcasing  the children and their work with a concert and the open classrooms.  It is also a time when potential families come to have a look at John Colet School in action and also many past children visit their Alma Mater and enjoy the activities on offer.

This term we will focus on truthfulness, which is the second of our values.  The questions to be asked about an action are: 

  • Is it true? 
  • Is it kind, pleasant and beneficial? 
  • Is it uplifting?
  • What would a wise person say or do? 

These are the questions we will bring to the notice of the children  and apply in different ways during the term, the first being owning up.  This of course requires courage.
Chess this term includes a series of interschool matches, four of which will be held at John Colet.

UNIFORM:  Summer or winter uniform ? – it is optional  to wear either for the first two weeks of this term.  Week 3:  winter uniform.
An email has been sent out about an optional waterproof jacket on offer for use in winter.

Categories: Coordinators' Comments, John Colet

08
April
2016

Stage Coordinator Comment

A wonderful start to the year, with congratulations especially to the new children throughout the school, particularly the Lower First students who have all settled in so well! By next term you will all be “old hands”.

This week was marked by the achievement of the John Colet Chess Club in winning through to the semi-finals of the Northern Beaches Chess Competition, with great work by all team members and a few special successes by Daniel S, Mimi P and Ramakrishna B.

I trust that all parents who brought children to school on Friday were able to pause and enjoy the beautiful ANZAC display prepared by Mrs. McDermott, and the moving array of small, decorated wooden crosses which will be sent to put on the war graves in Europe.  These will join the thousands being prepared anonymously by children throughout Australia.

We are currently trying to set up an Introductory Philosophy class for parents of new children at John Colet.  This course is put on by the School of Philosophy (free to parents), and will be offered here in Belrose so parents can become acquainted with the approach taken by John Colet to the moral and spiritual education of their children.  The course, “Mindful Wisdom”, lasts for just over two hours each week, and is taken by a Tutor from the School of Philosophy.  It is likely to be on a Wednesday from 8.45 a.m. to 11.00 (approx.) and further information will be forthcoming early next term.  Evening courses are also available, but are not held at John Colet.  A visit to the School of Philosophy website will provide more detail.

It is with sadness but very good wishes that we say farewell to Miss Madalaine Renshaw, who stepped in to take one of the Lower First classes when it became obvious that the class needed to split in order to accept more students.  Miss Renshaw, herself an ex-John Colet student, stepped into the breach, but now, armed with her Visa, is setting off to France to take up a job teaching there.  We thank her and wish her well.  Miss Abby Jansen has been understudying her this week and will take over as Class Teacher from next Term.  A warm welcome to her.
 
Happy holidays to all!

Judith Donald
Infants Mistress
Mary McKendrick
Primary Mistress

Categories: Coordinators' Comments

01
April
2016

Stage Coordinators' Comment

Walking past Upper First on Thursday, it was very obvious that the children were totally engaged in their Science  lesson on Photosynthesis, and they could actually explain what it was about!!  This is the feel of the school at the moment with the children working quietly and enthusiastically as we approach the end of a long term.
Also on Thursday Fourth class celebrated “Greek Day” as part of their study of Ancient Greece (some photos are below).  There was great enthusiasm and excitement all round.  The Greek Olympics proved to be such fun with some children winning medals and all of them having a very good time.  This was followed by making Greek mosaics, Trojan Horse construction, and culinary feasts such as  Greek cookies and dolmades.  There was also a tasting table where the children could taste Greek food, but it was received with dubious enthusiasm.  A wonderful day was had by all and our thanks goes to all the parents for providing such wonderful costumes and a special thanks to those parents who helped in the class room on the day.
The term’s practice of Respect has borne much good fruit, and one is constantly noticing mannerly and respectful behaviour from the children.  A visitor to the school commented on this last week when a child entered the room where we were speaking in a very polite and considerate way.

Judith Donald
Infants Mistress

Mary McKendrick
Primary Mistress

Categories: Coordinators' Comments, John Colet

24
March
2016

Stage Coordinator Comment

This morning we had our traditional Easter Assembly which is always quite a moving event.  The 6th Class House Captains and Head Boy and Girl read the Easter readings from the gospel of St Luke. It’s a wonderful thing to see the confidence of the 6th Class as they read to nearly two hundred of their fellow students.  All the children develop in confidence as they progress through the school, and it comes from giving them the opportunity, teaching them well and having trust and faith in them.  The children also sing the Easter hymns as part of the Assembly, and being true to their Singing teachers, they sang like angels.   
 
We had a short discussion about the meaning of Easter, the coming of new life, and how it is celebrated in various traditions.   During the discussion the children contributed in various ways but the thing that stood out as one or other of the children were speaking was their uprightness, and their willingness to contribute and to listen to each other.  This term we are working on respect and the Assembly was such a fine example of Respect in action.  As we would expect, disrespect emerges from time to time, but on the whole the children are full of respect.
 
The children were also asked to consider gratitude over the Easter break, and the many things for which they could be grateful.
Judith Donald
Infants Mistress
 
Mary McKendrick
Primary Mistress

Categories: Coordinators' Comments, John Colet

18
March
2016

Stage Coordinators' Comment

Great news on the Chess Club front – a team of more than twenty children went to Mona Vale School for the Northern Beaches Primary Chess Competition:  the children have to be congratulated on their wonderful performance:  the girls’ team won their competition and the boys came 5th.  Mi Mi P won seven games out of seven – a magnificent achievement, and I’m sure that the children both won and lost with good grace. Thanks to Mrs. P for her continuing work with the Chess Club.

Second Class had a wonderful excursion to Narrabeen to study coastal environments – and this was achieved  in  spite of the rainy weather, and with the help of three parents.

The children were so excited about the Friday Walkathon, unfortunately due to the inclement weather it has meant that this fundraising event has to be postponed. The rescheduled date will be confirmed early next week.

We are pleased to announce  the appointment of a new member of staff, Ms. Abby Jansen,  who will take over from Ms. Madalaine Renshaw in one of the Lower First classes, alongside Ms Sarah Marley,  at the beginning of Term 2. Ms. Jansen lives locally, yet has taught internationally in London previously as well as here in Sydney. She has a keen interest in cultural understanding and world languages, particularly Japanese. Ms. Jansen is also a committed netball devotee. Miss Jansen’s love and enthusiasm for  teaching was very evident in her interview, sample lessons and subsequent interaction with the children.  We welcome Miss Jansen to the staff.

We continue to practise Respect this week,  and in particular to ask ourselves whether our actions unify or divide. Staff and students are both practising this.  The children have been asked to look at their relationships with other children in the playground and consider whether their actions divide or unite, and if they divide to restore unity and harmony. For the most part the children play harmoniously and nearly always want to restore the balance if it is lost.

Judith Donald
Infants Mistress
Mary McKendrick
Senior Mistress

Categories: Coordinators' Comments, John Colet

11
March
2016

Stage Coordinator Comment

Once again, excellent results in the NAPLAN tests, especially in the Reading.  And all are to be congratulated. 

Also of interest is a report from Mr. Tim Roslin, our Sports Teacher, who has written this week of the outstanding performances of our teams in the Interschools Sports competition.  He points out that most of the schools against which we compete have far greater numbers of children from whom to select their teams – sometimes three times as many.  In spite of this, John Colet teams have consistently won their games this year, and more importantly, have enjoyed the competition, and shown great sportsmanship too.

Upper First went on a very successful excursion to Taronga Zoo, and 2nd Class are due to visit the Narrabeen Ocean Environment Study Centre on Wednesday.  This is the same day that three John Colet Teams are going into the Northern Beaches Chess Competition at Mona Vale.   We wish them luck!

Fifteen children from John Colet  5th and 6th Classes are being introduced to meditation this weekend  in a beautiful ceremony at the School of Philosophy’s Sydney heritage-listed headquarters, Mahratta, Warrawee.

Our drama teacher, Zoe Emanuel will begin on the preparations for the Infants Shakespeare  Festival 2016, and if you hear loud voices around the school, do not be alarmed – it could be some villainous Shakespearean character venting!

The children are encouraged  to register for the Premier’s Reading Challenge.  Last year was a great success and we look forward to fuller participation this year.

Judith Donald
Infants Mistress
Mary McKendrick
Primary Mistress

Categories: Coordinators' Comments, John Colet

04
March
2016

Stage Coordinator Comment

The term is well under way and everyone is working happily and to capacity:  walking around the school one sees children who are engaged and enthusiastic.   It is worth mentioning how well the new 3rd Class children have settled into the Primary rhythm, and their growing maturity and independence are obvious.

On Wednesday, the two 6th Classes went to a leadership event at the Olympic Stadium, along with many other primary children. The speakers included Andrew Scipione, NSW Police Commissioner, and Paralympian Ben Austin.   The theme was “Mastering the Little Steps”:    taking little steps to improve and enhance our skills, talents, and good character with the aim of self-mastery, which is an essential quality for leaders.

The Uniform Room now has  good stock of school caps.  For those who were previously unable to purchase one – they are now available.

The children were asked at Assembly to take up the practice of respect for their own work – always present your best – and respect for the work of others.

Judith Donald
Infants Mistress

Mary McKendrick
Primary Mistress

Year 6 leadership day small

Categories: Coordinators' Comments, John Colet

26
February
2016

Stage Coordinator Comment

John Colet swim carnival small

In spite of the “heat wave”, it was a very good week, and one of those hot days was fortuitously the Primary  Swimming Carnival.  This was a very successful event, which takes much forethought and planning by Mrs. Renshaw, the event organiser.  The House Captains, supported by 6th Class, did an outstanding  job in helping with the smooth running of the event. As well as the good general behaviour,  there were two commendations for Good Sportsmanship, both 4th Class children, Darya T and Hartley E.

Good news for Lower First parents and children:  Miss Madalaine Renshaw is able to continue with the class until the end of Term 1, at which time she will be returning to France.  We hope to have a fulltime teacher in place for Term 2.  The Lower First children are settling well and becoming more accustomed to the school routine.

The children in after-school clubs are being reminded that we expect the same high standard of behaviour in the clubs, as is in the classroom.  Also, if your children are attending one of these  clubs, please pick them up promptly at the club finishing time.  Children who are not picked up will be delivered to After School Care, for which there is a charge.

Respect for place and property are still in the spotlight for our practice of the week.

Judith Donald
Infants Mistress

Mary McKendrick
Primary Mistress

Categories: Coordinators' Comments, John Colet

19
February
2016

Stage Coordinator Comment

The term is well and truly under way, and the children are settled and working steadily.  Tonight, Friday 19th, is the evening many class teachers have set aside to meet with parents, and these meetings will be followed at 7.30 by the Reception of the Board of Governors for parents, and especially parents new to the school community.  Hope to see you there.  Hope also to see many parents at the Primary Swimming Carnival on Wednesday 24th!
The visit of the “Life Education” van was a great success, with each class visiting for a lesson of their teacher’s choice.  We hope to make this an annual event.
Two important points:
  • Please do not drop children off at school before 8.00 a.m. (except it be for a specific Club such as Chess).  There is no supervision of children before 8.00 a.m. at school, even if they have a sibling attending an early activity.  This is a safety concern.

  • Uniform:  no hat or cap need be worn to and from school when the children are wearing sports uniform, but they are very much required to be worn when the children are in standard uniform.
Many of the Clubs “contracts” have not been returned.  If you have any outstanding, please give them to the class teacher as soon as possible.
Sophia Wormald, our current  Student, is returning to the U.K., and her last day with us will be Tuesday 23rd February.  Thank you Sophia for your wonderful contribution!
Judith Donald
Infants Mistress
Mary McKendrick
Primary Mistress

Categories: Coordinators' Comments, John Colet

12
February
2016

Stage Coordinators' Comment

Walking round the school and looking and listening,  it’s quite obvious that the children have settled back into school beautifully and are working hard.  Clubs and sporting activities are all under way, and one exciting feature this week is the presence of Healthy Harold  in the “Life Education Van”, parked below Chisholm House.  Children disappear into it with their teachers  throughout the day and come out wiser after discussions on healthy eating, exercise, syringe and medicine safety, the wisdom of following rules and so on.

We have recently installed a very classy sound system in the Maclaren Hall, through the kind efforts of Glen Miller.  This system can be used with DVD, CD, USB, Ipad and Iphone, providing sound and projection, and was bought with money from the P&F.  This will be of great use for various functions and especially for the Infants’ Shakespeare Festival.  Many thanks to the Parents and Friends.

BOARD OF GOVERNORS’ RECEPTION  Friday 19th
Every year the Members of the Board of Governors hold a Reception at the beginning of the year  to welcome the new parents to the School, and also to provide the opportunity for established parents to greet them.  It is also an occasion where members of the school community can meet Members of the Board, and also others of the teaching and administrative staff with whom they do not regularly interact. The opportunity is taken for brief addresses from the Chairman of the Board, the Headmaster and Treasurer to introduce themselves, and say a few words about any relevant current situation.  A representative of the Parents and Friends also makes a brief presentation.  Food and drinks are served by School office bearers, and also sometimes by members of the School Alumni.  The reception often follows class meetings with teachers, to make it doubly worth coming!  The Reception  begins at 7.30 and finishes by about 9.00 p.m.

Our work on Respect will move on to respect for property and place:  caring  for equipment (personal and school) and our environment.

Judith Donald
Infants Mistress

Mary McKendrick
Primary Mistress

Categories: Coordinators' Comments, John Colet

05
February
2016

Stage Coordinator Comment

Great news:  we welcome Ms Madalaine Renshaw as the second teacher for our entry level class, Lower First, but only for a month.  Ms. Renshaw will be working with Ms Marley over the next four weeks, settling them in and establishing the two classes.  Ms Renshaw is herself an ex John Colet Student, and indeed did her Teacher Internship with us and has been a casual supply teacher at JCS in the past few years.  She is currently here on a one-month visit from Bordeaux, France, where she is going to live and teach.

We are hoping soon to be in a position to announce details about the teacher who will be taking up this position with Lower First.

Thank you to parents who have returned the Clubs Behaviour Contract.  Details of the Clubs are on our website.
 
Pick Up Zone:    Last week we published information from Warringah Council on the roads management aspects of this.  Could we also mention the following:

  • the official time for pick up is 3.10-3.30 p.m.
  • drivers should not get out of their cars:  teachers will load the children
  • please do not park in this area: it holds up the flow and is subject to a heavy fine if caught
  • No conversations with teachers please – it also holds up the flow: call another time
  • Please pass this on to anyone else (e.g. grandparents, au pairs) collecting the children
Another related safety issue:  we respectfully ask that you and anyone else delegated to collect the children, use the designated safety crossing, particularly as an example to the children of the correct procedure, and of course for the safety of all.
 
Practice for the Primary Swimming Carnival has begun – don’t forget to come and cheer on Wednesday 24th February.
Judith Donald
Infants Mistress

Categories: Coordinators' Comments, John Colet

29
January
2016

Stage Coordinator Comment

How lovely to see the children returning so happily to school on Wednesday – most of them a great deal taller than when they left at the end of Term 4 last year.  Also a warm welcome to the many new children at John Colet.

The new Head of School, Mr. Julian Wilcock, made himself known to the students at Assembly on the first morning.  The new Head Boy and Head Girl were in place and read the weekly Psalm beautifully, and the recorder children (Year 5 now!) played in their usual melodious fashion during and after the Assembly.  It all bodes well for a great year.

Mr. Wilcock has been much in evidence around the School, getting to know the parents and children, and even braved the new Lower First children during their first Recess accompanied by a photographer from the Manly Daily.

Please note that teachers are not in a position to answer emails during the day.  Please allow them overnight to deal with matters.  If it is something urgent such as a late change in transport home, please speak to the Receptionist and ask her to convey the message to the teacher.

At John Colet we have quite a few before and after school Clubs. (Language-French and Mandarin, Chess, Yoga, Gardening, Chanting, Sailing, Science, Art, Sewing,  String  Ensemble, Dance).   We will be instituting  a Club Contract for the children to show you to sign and return.  This is a contract with behaviour guidelines.  They will be self-explanatory, and will be issued once membership of the Clubs is confirmed.  More anon.

Children and Staff are working on Respect, and for the children it is respect towards their teachers.  They know the ropes – Mrs. McKendrick asked at Assembly for suggestions as to how that respect could be shown.  They came up with

  • Honouring the teacher
  • Listening and doing as asked
  • Not interrupting whilst the teacher is talking
  • Actually looking at the teacher whilst speaking
  • Standing aside
These could well be taken into the home too!
Judith Donald
Infants Mistress

 

for website blog

Categories: Coordinators' Comments, John Colet

25
January
2016

Stage Coordinator Comment

Welcome back to a new year – we have no doubt it is going to be a productive and interesting one.
 
Over and above all the preparations the teachers have been making over the holiday period, the Staff have been in last week for some training, planning and personal development sessions.  There have been some very inspiring conversations by the teachers of ways in which they have found it useful to inculcate the values to the children, to bring them closer to an understanding of who they are and how they can realise their abilities and talents.  Child Protection and health and safety have also been addressed, particularly anaphylaxis and asthma, and further training in the use of the iPads.
 
In recent weeks there has been a continuing interest in John Colet, which has resulted in enquiries, tours of the school, and a number of new enrolments.  In recognition of this and in the interests of the children,  we have decided to split three classes that were already becoming large, rather than waiting for further enrolments and making changes later in the year. These classes are Lower First, Upper First and Third Class. This is far better for the children, teachers and other aspects of school management.

By-the-way, we  have heard from Miss Marie White (former JCS teacher) regarding the overwhelmingly generous donations made by parents to her “Africa Collection”, and a large assortment of school equipment and educational toys is on its way to Africa.  Many, many thanks to the generous donors.
This term we will be looking at Respect, and of course this impinges on all aspects of our behaviour.  Updates on that in the weeks to come!
Judith Donald
Infants Mistress

Categories: Coordinators' Comments, John Colet

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