Head of School's Comment - image  on https://www.johncolet.nsw.edu.au

Head of School’s Comment

Are we allowed to cheat? I was asked during our plane building competition for Science Week on Monday. No we aren t cheating but we are openly sharing our ideas I explained. Cheating is when we know we shouldn t be copying someone’s work or taking their ideas as our own, yet we do anyway for personal gain. There is an important difference between this and sharing ideas for our mutual gain.

This is of central importance in science where each discovery, invention or breakthrough is the result of the work of many people who have come before. Sharing advances science faster. Watson & Crick would not have come up with their model of DNA if it wasn’t for Franklin’s x-ray crystallography photo.

In our science competitions this week the children were not given any tips, yet in each activity as a new wing design came up or bridge structure was formed the other children would take this up and improve it again, only to be shared again. Collectively the students developed vast improvements in a very short period of time.

There were winning individuals and teams who watched others and built on their ideas, however for all the children their knowledge and understanding in design grew through their ability to share. It also fitted closely with our exploration of the Value of Courage, specifically how to win and lose graciously. Here lies the sort of Courage we aspire to for ourselves and for the children. 

The scientific man does not aim at an immediate result. He does not expect that his advanced ideas will be readily taken up. His work is like that of the planter for the future. His duty is to lay the foundation for those who are to come, and point the way. Nikola Tesla


Julian Wilcock