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.
Welcome back – how wonderful to see the children relaxed and refreshed and TALLER after the long break!
Despite the very trying weather everyone seems to have settled in – including the new intake: they always seem so very small when they begin. A big thank you to the new Head Boy and Head Girl and their 6th class cohort for their help in escorting and new Lower First children and their parents up to the Top House. A job very well done!
Welcome also to the many children who have joined other Infants and Primary classes: and to their parents. We hope to see them and others at the Board of Governors’ Reception on Friday 17th February, in MacLaren Hall.
Please read the notices below about various school Clubs – many in new locations due to the building works. In particular we welcome the new Mandarin teacher (Wednesdays 3.15, Shakespeare 2) Mrs. Jing Gandy, and also thank others who are involved in extra-curricular activities at JCS.
The value we are practising is Respect: in particular respect towards teachers.
Generosity has been the practice for this week, and generosity has certainly been the hallmark of Mrs.Rosemary Dunstan’s contribution to John Colet School for more than a decade in our Sanskrit Department. Her love of Sanskrit and her enthusiasm in teaching it to the children has been outstanding during her time as a teacher at John Colet, but she has always been willing to contribute and help the school in many other ways. Mrs. Dunstan will be “retiring”, but we know it’s not the last we will see of her.
Christmas Carols have been resounding through the school as we prepare for the Festive Season: the Nativity and Speech Night: some children were even caught in their classroom last week during playtime with a downloaded Carol sheet they had brought from home, having a little private singsong!! The Nativity will be performed on Tuesday and parents are welcome to stay for it at 9 a.m. It may be standing room only for the 2nd Class show.
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.
Managing the uniform requirements of a school is always a challenge for both parents and children, but it is an important factor in the currency of schools such as John Colet. The uniform reflects the school, the family and the child. In supporting an ethos of mindfulness, care and respect, it is important that the children reflect this in their appearance. They should take pride in a clean uniform and shiny shoes and should arrive and LEAVE school looking their best, and in full uniform.
The same applies to demeanour and general deportment. We have had several new parents reporting that they were attracted to the school when meeting existing students ….: “Where did your children learn to look someone in the eye and shake hands like that?” Manners maketh Man!
Please see elsewhere in this bulletin a suggestion that the John Colet children attend the Nativity Play (performed by 2nd Class) on Tuesday 29th with a gift for charity: new or second hand in good order. These gifts go to the Smith Family for wrapping and distribution. Anyone who would like to stay to watch the Nativity and sing Christmas Carols, is welcome to do so!
The Sports Carnival was a huge success and the courage of the children and their sportsmanship was very evident: highlighting our values particularly in relation to Courage: Inner Strength, Self Control and Right Action. There were some wonderful efforts on the part of individual children, and all were conscious of the need to work for their House. The weather was more propitious than we had expected (very hot weather predicted) and then there was a change but the rain held off. Thank you to those parents who came to support and cheer.
It’s In-School Chess time: Infants had their competition two weeks ago and Primary had theirs today. A record number of children have participated. We have also had recent success in Inter-Schools competitions, most recently at Mona Vale on Thursday. Our thanks to Mrs. P, who has been tireless in her nurturing of our chess talent.
On Monday evening the School Executive joined the P&F for their “Annual General Meeting”, a delightful dinner at a St. Ives venue, and the new Office Bearers were announced: Niki T will be the President, and lead the new team. Many thanks to the “Old Guard” and all their supporters, who have done such a wonderful job. This of course includes the Class Parents. Please note that the P&F is still looking for a parent to take up the position of Garden Club Co-ordinator. Any interested applicant should contact Mr. M or Mrs. Donald.
Judith Donald Infants Mistress Mary McKendrick Primary Mistress
What a week, but a very successful one. The Primary treated the Infants and each other to dress rehearsals of their Shakespeare plays – you had better get excited about the performances coming up next week. The plays are great, the children are great. What stood out was the confidence and stage presence of the children at large.
We also hosted potential new parents, present parents and next year’s parents in a series of tours, information mornings, morning teas and Introductory Day for next year’s Lower First intake. Present Lower First were “displaced” and went off to the aquarium with teachers and some parents. We had to have four outdoor lunches to free the Hall, and of course the children loved that. It’s all about Service.
Next week sees the Infants’ In House Chess Competition and of course the Shakespeare plays themselves from Wednesday to Friday in the evening at the Glen Street Theatre. Break a leg!
The leading questions are: Am I giving full attention? Is it beautiful, well-presented and pleasing to others? Does this action benefit everyone? Am I setting a good example? Is my attitude positive? And of course the special flavour to this practice at the moment is
Service without seeking a reward!
Five new John Colet students started at the school this week and they already seem settled in. We also have three Practicum university students in the classrooms for the next few weeks and four in the Art room one day a week each. We are blessed, and we hope they enjoy their John Colet experience.
The new area of the school that has been opened up this week is the “Nature Reserve”, which the children have been enjoying at lunch play this week. They have been spoken to several times about what to do if they see a snake, how to respond and what to do afterwards. We would also ask parents to check from time to time for ticks, although we are not aware of any tick bites so far this week. The children have also been asked to respect the space as a nature reserve and not to pick or break the foliage, but to use it as a quiet space and not to run about, as that also tends to damage the plants. Teachers are being given extra training on snake bit first aid procedures. Of course going there is optional, and if you would prefer your child not to venture there, please ask them to play elsewhere.
You may have noticed the work going on at the back of Top House to open up and level that area for future use. This is a work in progress and more anon …
Chess Club: Mrs. Simone P has been our Chess Organiser for the past while and has done a most enthusiastic and efficient job. Although she will still be involved and interested as a parent, she will be handing over at the end of this term to Mrs. Jasmine Crewe, Staff Member, who will look after all things Chess from next year on.
Parents of 2nd -5th classes (next year’s 3rd to 6th classes) should have received an email from the school asking them to enter their children into next year’s Swimming Carnival. Please would you complete your bookings before 28th October – this is very important for the organisation of the event.
Judith Donald Infants Mistress Mary McKendrick Primary Mistress
Welcome back to the final term for the year, and an action packed one it will be with Shakespeare for the Primary, the Athletics Carnival, the School Chess Competition, the Nativity and preparation for Speech Night. We also have five Practicum Students at the school this term, and new students to welcome in several classes. Another novelty will be a new play area that is being opened up, on trial, and that is the bushland in the back corner of the school: children are allowed there to play, but have been told to treat it as a Nature Reserve, which in fact it is, and to respect any “wild life”. Instruction in that regard has been given.
Service is our value for the term, and the children gave some delightful examples at Assembly of the practice of this during the holidays: everything from cleaning the car to tidying up a brother’s bedroom! In particular the children are asked to give “Secret Service” – this means doing something quietly and discreetly without looking for reward or praise. We can all try it!
The Bush Dance was an unqualified success and enjoyed by young and old! Many thanks to the parents who put in the hard yards! And the perfect venue!
Among the many wonderful people who come to work at John Colet for love or money, we now have Mrs. Libby M. Libby is an ex-John Colet parent (now a grandmother) who will be volunteering at John Colet, particularly helping with children throughout the school who need one-on-one support. She has just returned to Australia from Auckland where she was working at our sister school there – The Ficino School. Look out for her on Tuesdays!
We hope that everyone has a refreshing break before the final and very busy fourth term which will include the Primary Shakespeare, the Athletics carnival, assessments for reports, swimming for Infants and many Primary classes, the Nativity play, preparation for Speech Night and all the sixth Class celebrations.
Judith Donald Infants Mistress Mary McKendrick Primary Mistress
The last week of term is here, the weather is warming and we will be in summer uniform next term. Swimming for Infants will commence in Week one Term 4 – on Fridays. This week there was a display in the Staff Room of the pottery produced by each class in their Art lessons - these were plates decorated to the theme of bush plants and creatures, perhaps you have seen them on our Facebook page? They will be auctioned at the Bush Dance and they are absolutely delightful. Look out for them if you are going to the Bush Dance.
EDUCATION RENAISSANCE TRUST (ERT) John Colet School comes under the umbrella of the Education Renaissance Trust which is an independent educational charity in the U.K. whose aim is to facilitate a renaissance in the education of children. It was founded in 1997 to support a group of schools around the world who share this view of education, which is to put spiritual values at the heart of education. The first such school – St. James’ School in London, a sister school of John Colet – was founded in 1975. John Colet was founded ten years later, in 1985.
The purpose of the Trust is to help and encourage schools and teachers who put spiritual values into education in order to inspire children with good and true principles for living. Its scope includes fundraising, financial support for affiliated schools if needed, teacher training and other educational initiatives such as the Teachers’ Study Week recently held in Lucca, Italy, which was attended by two John Colet teachers, one paid for by the John Colet P&F and the other by the ERT itself.
Grandparents’ Day was a great success, especially as nature was most co-operative and offered truly “first day of Spring “ weather. The children performed beautifully in song and in Sanskrit and were very excited to invite the Grandparents into their classrooms where special items had been prepared. Many children were generous in sharing their grandparents with children whose were unable to come.
Yet another exciting week anticipated for Primary classes as they head off for either Canberra or Milson Island. The campus will seem very quiet with only the Infants’ children present.
Children in 4th Class – twelve of them – have been able to get back to the study of Latin, which they do now with Mrs. Crewe before school on Wednesdays. As a result, Latin is now available in all classes from Upper First right through to 6th Class. For the younger children it is only once a week, but it should have a noticeable impact on their language and thinking skills and provide some interesting general knowledge. We use both the Oxford University “Minimus Mouse” programme as well as the Cambridge University programme. According to the Board of Studies information, John Colet School and a Catholic girls’ School in the Eastern suburbs are the only two Primary Schools in Sydney offering Latin, and of course we are the only one offering Sanskrit throughout the school.
Here’s to hoping that the many children who have been absent this past week with flu and other illnesses are making a recovery and that we have a full complement of bright children next week.
Just in case we thought things might be flat after the amazing Science Week at John Colet, this week it has all been about books, books, books, with “Read-Ins”, competitions and a “Dress-up as a Book Character Day” on Wednesday. There were some mighty strange characters wandering about the school, and many warmly familiar ones! On Monday 22nd author Bronwyn Vaughan presented to the children, and on Friday Penny Walton (from our very own Art Dept.), who is a book illustrator, explained the ins and outs of her craft to 5th and 6th Class.
Grandparents’ Morning will be in Week 7 on Thursday, 1st September from 9.00-10.30. This will include a friendly cup of tea, a short concert and a visit to the classrooms. There is no specific RSVP, but please let the children know if their grandparents are coming – we need a rough idea of the numbers.
The Staff had a very interesting presentation at a recent Staff Meeting by Jasmine Crewe (JCS Enrichment and Learning Support) on a talk by Dr. Chris Seton about Sleep Deprivation and its effect on learning.
We are looking for a Gardening Club Co-ordinator to support Theresa Rutherford on Fridays, as our present Co-ordinator, Dr. Heather M, is unable to continue due to work commitments. Thank you Heather for your brief, but enthusiastic, tenure. Are there any green thumbs out there?