John Colet

Celebrating National Tree Day

Our Garden Club plants a bushtucker tree for future school lunches!

We planted a tree at Macquarie Working Bee!
On Sunday we planted our very first tree for National Tree Day.  A heartfelt thanks to those Macquarie parents and kids that attended our little ceremony, to those families that joined us especially for the occasion, to the photographers, to the Headmaster for his support and helping us eat those home baked cakes and to Scarlett Q and her assistants who helped me plant the tree.  
We started our little ceremony with a recognition of the traditional custodians of this land, the Guringai people, followed by a beautiful poem by Kristof Nordin called “Plant a Tree”.  After a word from the Headmaster, our little tree was put in the garden bed between Top House and the Music Centre with the assistance of Scarlett, who earlier this year already expressed her keen interest in gardening and joining a John Colet Garden Club.  
The tree we selected is a White Aspen (Latin name Acronychia oblongifolia) and I particularly loved it as it’s a small tree, endemic to the region with attractive foliage and edible white fruits.  The fruits are used in bushtucker and have an orange flavour with a hint of aromatic pepper.  But don’t get too excited yet, it may take a little while before we get to the fruit stage.  Our tree was planted following NSW Forestry guidelines, i.e. small tubes that according to research have the best chances of survival and outgrowing larger plant sizes.  As someone mentioned on the day “From little things, big things grow”.

Alexandra D
Garden Club organiser

Categories: John Colet


Providing protein for growing children

On the school lunch menu this week...


Vegetables and beans


Asian rice with green veg


Pasta Bolognese




Lentil/tomato soup

Dairy, egg, lactose, gluten and wheat free and vegan options provided daily.

There have been some interesting developments in the topic of protein.
Diseases such as osteoporosis, kidney disease, calcium stones and cancers are associated with a high animal protein diet. The current direction is to obtain more plant protein by eating a varied diet of beans, lentils, grains and vegetables as they all contain the amino acids needed to build muscles.
Unlike animal proteins, plant proteins have a protective property due to their monounsaturated nature. Proteins are in all foods including pasta, rice, bread, milk, cheese, vegetables, legumes and yoghurts, to mention a few we use each week at John Colet School.
The average daily requirement of protein for 7-14yr old children is 0.9grams per kg of body weight. For example the largest 12yr old primary school student, weighing 40kg, would need 36grams of protein per day over all 5 meals, of which lunch is just one. So each meal should have approx. 7.5grams.
For some interesting information here are the protein levels in a few of our favourite foods,
1. Salad rolls - 8grs of protein
2. Saucy pasta - 8.5grs; Pasta Bolognese – 11.4grs
3. Nachos - 11.8grs
4. Sausage rolls - 12.4grs
In addition, the students are regularly offered milk (7grs/cup), yoghurt (10gr/100gr) and bread and butter (11.8gr/100gr).
Our weekly menu may read simply but that is pure 'marketing'. For instance, if I wrote chickpea and cottage cheese rolls (sausage rolls), red lentil and mixed vegetable pasta (saucy pasta) or mixed beans, lentils and vegetable stew (nachos) the children may not be as happy to eat it!!
With great pride, we deliver a balanced and healthy vegetarian meal on the budget we have every day.
Donna Moor
Fruit and veg platters like this are also provided each day at lunch.

Categories: Lunch menus, John Colet


From the Stage Coordinators

Ryde Eisteddfod, Infants Shakespeare and forgiveness

The John Colet Choir of 25 children from 4th, 5th and 6th class entered in the Ryde Eisteddfod earlier in the week and performed beautifully.  They looked very smart in their uniforms and many thanks to the parents for presenting them so well.  Although they didn’t get a place, they sang very sweetly, but made a few mistakes. Mrs. Miles commented on their good sportsmanship – they were all very cheerful afterwards, even though they didn’t gain a place.  In this they were fine representatives of the school, along with their good manners and consideration.
The Infants’ Shakespeare dress rehearsal, with a Primary audience, was very well received and we would like to whet your appetites by saying how wonderfully well it went.  This is of course the first time we are using the lunchroom, and thanks to the Catering team for accommodating this by having “breezeway lunches”.  We’ll save the congratulations for the end of next week!
Progress (2nd Class) and Scholarship (4th Class) Testing also took place this week. The Progress Testing, done by Robert Allwell & Co., is a good diagnostic tool to help the teachers in assessing progress.  Some ICAS results have been returned with several Distinctions and Credits.
Thank you to all the Macquarie Parents for the good work put in at the Working Bee.  That event was also the occasion of the school participating in National Tree Day.  Alex Delien organised the planting near Top House of a White Aspen to mark this Day – this is a “bush tucker” tree with beautiful white blossoms.  Many thanks to those who attended.
Mike MacDonald generously gave his talk “Unleashing Your Parenting Super Power” to a group of parents and teachers, and he was his usual informative and amusing self.  Many thanks to all who attended – and of course to Mike himself.
Forgiveness is our behaviour theme for the next few weeks, and the children are reminded of this practice many times during the day.  This is based on the Biblical understanding in the Lord’s Prayer and calls for a generosity of spirit.

Categories: Coordinators' Comments, John Colet


Manly-Warringah Zone Primary School Chess Competition results

Terrific chess competition results for John Colet School

I have the most exciting news to report about our five fantastic teams who competed in the Primary Schools Chess Competition on Fridays after school during Term 2 and early this term.  This is a state-wide competition divided up into country and metropolitan zones.  The region of Manly-Warringah is one of the largest and for the first time we had 5 teams competing.

The final standings are as follows:

John Colet A (Championship Division MW1) – DIVISION WINNERS!
Ryan B, Jarod C, Sean B, Yasha B
-    This was a nail-biting finish as this division consists of the very best chess teams across the Northern Beaches.  There were only 2.5 points that separated 1st and 3rd, so a very tight competition.
-    This team now progresses to the Zone finals as we compete against the best of the Metropolitan North Region

John Colet B (Intermediate Division Team MW2) – DIVISION WINNERS!
Xavier S, Nathan C, Dominic S, Samuel L, reserve = Brigitte S
-    This team was strong and steady from the first week.  Their consistency won out over 2 other strong teams.
John Colet C (Intermediate Division Team MW3) – 3rd PLACE!
Rex F, Brigitte S, Lucas v de S, Scout H, reserve = Patrick H
-    This was a competitive draw with many ‘A’ & ‘B’ teams. There were only 4 points that separated 1st and 3rd.

John Colet D (Rookie Division MW6) – DIVISION WINNERS!
Harry P, MiMi P, Kai P, Liam McW
-    This team was very young for this division but were so convincing that they won 25 out of a possible 28 points!  A particularly thrilling result from these youngsters!

John Colet E (Junior Rookie Division MW7) – 4th PLACE!
Thomas J, Sean G, Luke B, Ramakrishna B, Aidan H
-    This was the largest division with 10 teams and the competition only finished last Friday.  To have this success at such a young age is very exciting for the Chess Club.

A massive CONGRATULATIONS to all of these students.

I would like to thank Miro for his dedicated coaching of the children and to all the parents who assisted in supervising, catering, transporting and helping each Friday afternoon.

Yours strategically,
Heather B
Chess Club Co-ordinator

Categories: Chess & Clubs, John Colet


Towards a new Renaissance

The impact today of the Renaissance, the Enlightenment and other movements

One of the things which becomes clear when encountering directly the work of the Italian Renaissance in Florence is the wonderful heritage to which we, in Australia are direct heirs. The key idea of the Renaissance which marked a dramatic break with the Medieval zeitgeist, was, to the dignity and rational autonomy of the individual. The individual was now seen to be the source of creativity, invention and artistic brilliance, and philosophical enquiry.  

The Reformation of the Christian Church then established the idea of direct relationship between Man and God; the 18th century Enlightenment explored the concept of the orderly Universe, whose inner workings were discoverable through the power of Reason.  The settlement of Australia was a direct outcome of the Enlightenment thinking and the attendant Age of Discovery.
In the 19th century the Romantic Movement sought to establish the place of emotion and feeling and instinct in human life.  And, at this time Darwinian evolution and Freudian Psychology began to reveal underlying causes in the world of nature and the mind.

The twentieth century, aside from its sad litany of economic depression, communism, fascism and a bewildering array of other cruelties; was also witness to the great advances in fields as diverse as science, life expectancy and women’s rights.
And the 20th century also began to show the first sprouting of the next step in this march from quattrocento Florence to today: an idea which as yet doesn’t really have a name, but which involves the reconciliation of Science, and Reason and objective thought; with the world of the Spirit.  Perhaps it can be called the Science of Consciousness.

Leon MacLaren was very keen on this idea of a new renaissance based on a rediscovery of an eternal Spirit, by men and women who were leaders in their fields of Art, Architecture, Law, Music and, of course, Education.  His vision for the day schools was that they would help produce a new generation of Michelangelos, Ficinos, Galileos, Newtons and Wilberforces.

Categories: Head of School Comment, John Colet


Teaching primary school students about Impressionism

Influenced by Monet

Our primary students have been learning more about Impressionism in art classes this week.   3rd and 4th classes watched YouTube clips about the work of Monet, then copied his technique to draw flowers and fruit with pastels.

Categories: Art classes, John Colet


Update on Gifted and Talented Conference

Enriched learning at John Colet School

And don’t we all really know it’s WINTER …!  
On that theme, please check your child's winter uniform.  Many children have been coming to school without jumpers and looking slightly blue.  Remember that Belrose is a particularly cold spot, and that there can be a drop in the temperature during the day.
Five members of staff have attended a highly informative and successful Conference, hosted by the Dept. of Education, on Gifted and Talented Education.  We hope to see the benefits of this roll out over the coming terms.  Two of the keynote speakers were internationally renowned educators who have specialised in Gifted and Talented education, and have published many well-known research articles and guidelines for teachers, both in books and papers – Dr. June Maker and Dr. Joyce Van Tassel-Baska.  Both ladies have developed educational models that are used throughout the world.  This course confirmed the fact that the John Colet curriculum is indeed an enriched one, and we noted that many of the concepts espoused are already in place at our school.
You may be interested to know that Mrs. Toni Cleaves, who looks after the school facilities, also attended a two-day workshop:  on Workplace Health and Safety.
By-the-by, it was so lovely to return to the school after those days away and find it bedecked with flowers – they seemed to be everywhere after Teachers’ Day, and that is over and above the flowers that were taken by Lower First to the Wesley Gardens Nursing Home.  What a treat.  Many thanks to the parents for their generosity.
Fourth class children enjoyed a Greek day earlier this week.  There was much excitement with the John Colet Olympics in which some of the children won bronze, silver and gold medals. There was also delicious Greek food and many enjoyable activities.
This Sunday at the Macquarie Working Bee, a group of interested parties, under the leadership of Mrs. Alexandra Delien, will be supporting the Plant a Tree programme.  A new “bush tucker” tree will be planted near Top House in the garden bed where a gum tree was recently blown down.  A garden club is shortly to be established.
We continue to encourage and support acts of service to the school and each other, and also to practise Patience.

Categories: Coordinators' Comments, John Colet


From the John Colet School lunch kitchen

On the school lunch menu this week...



SOUP (with croutons)









Dairy, egg, lactose, gluten and wheat free and vegan options provided daily.

This coming week we will be remembering simplicity and service. It is the beginning of the infant’s Shakespeare rehearsals, so on Thursday we will be venturing back to the ‘Outdoor Kitchen’ once again.
When we have ongoing changes like this it can sometimes be difficult, particularly for school children that are set into the usual daily routine. Returning to simplicity and making sure your friends, classmates, teachers and Lunch Ladies are enduring the changes without stress or difficulty is utmost in the ethos of JCS. It can also be a lot of fun!
Also please remember to send plates, bowls and cups to school every day, even when it is ‘outdoor kitchen’ days over the next two weeks.
Eat well, move more,
Donna Moor

Categories: Lunch menus, John Colet


Year 4 HSIE, bringing ancient Greece to life

Terrific Greek costumes, Greek taste sensations, mock Olympics

On 24th July, Year 4 celebrated Greek day which included a mini Olympic Games and preparing Greek food.  We also enjoyed making mosaics, masks and medals.  After the Olympic Games we had a medal ceremony.  Around 11am we got into our outstanding Greek costumes.
In the Greek feast we had olives, dolmades, salad, cake and much more.  Sadly the day came to an end and we had to go home.
By lone F, Roxana S and Lily F

Categories: Writing & Speaking, John Colet


Seasonal eating to keep up your vitamin level

On the school lunch menu this week...


(with rice and garlic fingers)




(with rice and yoghurt)

Dairy, egg, lactose, gluten and wheat free and vegan options provided daily.

This week has been a wonderfully warm and inviting week but it doesn't stop the cold and flu season being upon us. Remember that many ailments are controlled by diet and vigilance. These include type 2 diabetes, blood pressure and the common cold.
The Vitamins C, B and D are the most useful in the winter months to help prevent common colds and winter blues.
Eating seasonally helps a great deal with the general ‘human complaint’ that comes with winter. The earth gives us citrus – full of Vitamin C, cheese, eggs and fish etc for Vitamin B & D.
If you cannot always get to these foods, use a supplement such as Vitamin C that is needed for the body's immune system, Vitamin B keeps your energy up and nervous tension down and Vitamin D for muscles and cell development.

Eat well, move more
Donna Moor

Categories: Lunch menus, John Colet


Headmasters Conference inspiring and motivating

Classroom management ideas, nurturing staff, relationships with parents

Weekly message from Italy:

I am presently at the conference of Head Teachers of our affiliated group of schools.  Also here are teachers from around the world including Hungary, Trinidad, Canada and the UK.  

Aside from the benefits of collegiality it is a time to share experiences and compare notes on issues as diverse as the teaching of Sanskrit and Philosophy, effective classroom management, supporting and nurturing staff, developing harmonious relationships with parents and so on.

And of course, we discuss that hardy perennial: the aim and purpose of these schools; which is to produce fine, upstanding young men and women who are straight, honest and good-hearted, who can relate to others in a generous, kind way; and who can stick at tasks until they are satisfactorily completed.

One key to this is to put the children in the company of teachers who don't themselves fail in the conduct of their projects; who are themselves kind-hearted, conscientious and are emotionally mature; who, in other words lead by example.

And another key element is the emphasis we place on languages - Sanskrit, Latin, Spanish- as well as speech, drama and singing; which, in combination, give the children the tools to communicate confidently, clearly and beautifully.

Mrs Mane and I have had a wonderful time (as you can imagine) but we are very much looking forward to coming home and seeing the children, staff and parents, at Teachers' Day on Monday.

Categories: Head of School Comment, John Colet


John Colet teachers attending Sydney Gifted and Talented conference

Also Plato Summer School in Athens, Delphi and the Peloponnese

In the coming  week the Headmaster will be back at school after his international Headmasters’ Conference at Lucca in Italy, but Mrs. McKendrick and Mrs. Donald will both be absent for a few days at a G.A.T.E. Conference (Gifted and Talented Education) at Darling Harbour (no, not Italy unfortunately!).  Mrs. Dawson and Miss Cipollone will also be attending the G.A.T.E.  Conference.

There will be several teachers going on Long Service Leave during Term 3, some to attend a Plato Summer School in Athens, Delphi and the Peloponnese – in situ as it were.  Individual teachers will contact their class parents about arrangements, and we are fortunate to have a back-up “team” of experienced and enthusiastic replacements!

A practice that we will be giving our attention to over the next weeks – both teachers and children alike – is the practice of patience.  At the whole school Assembly the children considered ways in which they may practice patience in the class and in life in general.  Waiting in a calm, considerate way is a very great skill.

Our core value for practice this term is SERVICE, and we will start with service in the dining room – attention to each other’s needs.

Categories: Coordinators' Comments, John Colet


Respecting teachers through Teachers' Day

Celebrating teachers

At this time of year, John Colet students have  a special assembly to celebrate teachers and learning.  Teachers Day is a special tradition at our school, with children bringing in a flower for their class teacher as part of the ceremony.
In art this year, students also made portraits of various staff members - either from the kitchen, sport, office, classroom, clubs, music etc.  Some mounted their works on items representing the person they drew.
The results are fabulous, from these 3D creations, below, to the 2D portraits hanging in our dining hall.

Categories: John Colet


A family-oriented school

Upper First M this week had some special helpers for Friday Literacy Group. Bob M's Grandfather, Dr Chris Halloway, travelled from Bathurst to help and Bob's Uncle Phil Moran, visiting from Liverpool, England also came in to assist - a real family day for Bob. What a fabulous morning. I am pleased to say both gentlemen left after the morning with big smiles. Thank you to them both.
Mrs McDermott
Teacher, Upper First M

Categories: John Colet


P&F meeting report

1.       Tabling of Last Meeting’s Minutes
Minutes from the last P&F meeting held on 13 may 2013 were tabled, amended and then accepted by the committee members present.
2.       Fair Feedback and Discussion
Katrina B wholeheartedly thanked Liz K for her efforts in co-ordinating the Fair this year and noted the warm feel, beautiful set up and excellent signage on the day. Each stall holder has been asked to submit a written report about operations on the day to help prepare for future fair days. Mary M added her appreciation for the efforts of the P&F committee and parent community (and volunteers) and noted that the fair was warm and inviting and the children had a lovely time.

Mary M reminded the committee that there will be a morning tea on Wednesday, 3rd June 2013, hosted by Mr Mane, in order to thank those who gave time and effort to the fair. It will commence at 8.30am in the staffroom.

Liz K’s fair reports were tabled and attached to the minutes.

It was noted that the juice ran out early on fair day. Donna T commented that the number of juice boxes was limited so as to encourage people to try the sugar cane juice.

Susie F thought the cake stall prices a little high. Marina B responded that demand usually outstrips supply. She added that people liked to come late so as to pick up cakes at a discount. In comparison to retail shops the prices were thought to be favourable. The idea was to start pricing at a higher level and then to bring them down later in the day. Marina B thought an additional table for sold goods would be advisable. Katrina B noted that pricing of cakes is a fine balancing act which needs to take into account the effort and expense each person makes in baking and then donating the cakes and the affordability of them on the day. Other ideas for the cake stall included having trays so people could choose a mix of smaller items.

Jo-Anne T noted that there were not enough rubbish bins provided.

Cherry H noted that more help on Saturday setup would be a good idea.

Katrina B noted that it is a fine balance for determining requirements for help on the day as parents are, at the end of the day, volunteers.

Alex D noted that many people did not turn up to the clean-up crew. An idea was put forward to have ex-students attend and pay them a small fee for their help with clean up on fair day.

Susie F noted that signage about age ranges for particular rides would be advisable.

Alex C would like to record her sincere thanks to two people in particular for their great effort and enthusiasm in the long build up to Fair and Open Day.  Liz K did a fantastic job all round and especially in liaising with parents, consulting with stallholders and keeping everyone informed.  Her communication was really terrific, as were the signs and flyers she designed and had produced. 

Alex C would also like to thank Geraldine W for her tireless liaison with the external food and drink providers, fair activities providers and sourcing many paper and promotional items.  Her attention to detail, big picture overview and eye for a bargain were a great asset to the event.

Thank you both for your dedicated help, great spirit and creative energies.

3.       Art Show Feedback and Discussion
Katrina B noted that the opening night was an amazing occasion. But she also noted that having the Art Show on the same weekend as the fair made it a busy weekend and as such there was a suggestion to hold the opening night the weekend before the fair or have the Art Show at some other time in the year. Timing of future Art Shows will be discussed further by the Art Show Committee.

Donna T noted that one third of the takings for the Art Show occurred on Friday night with two thirds taken on fair day (Sunday).

4.       Park Update on the Corner of Contentin Road and Wyatt Avenue
This item has been postponed to next P&F Meeting.

5.       Rehabilitation of Playground Within School Grounds
Christine Condos advised the P&F Committee that the school is developing a landscaping master plan with consultants and once this is done and aligned with the general development plan for the school facilities, a timetable of landscaping stages will be drafted.

Susie F has requested that the landscaping master plan be available for viewing by the parent body.

6.       Request for Funding – Kitchen Equipment
$800 has been requested by Donna Moor for a chest freezer and utensils. Donna T recommended that the funds should be allocated and Katrina B seconded the motion. The committee members present carried the motion.

 7.       Request for Funding - New Vacuum Cleaner
The P&F members asked Mary M to ascertain whether the school can supply this item with school funds.

8.       Request For Funding – Sailing Club
Funds have been requested for some small, easy to manage and rig, second-hand sailing boats. Katrina B asked the P&F to allocate $1,800 to $2,000. Motion was seconded and carried by the committee members present.

9.       Fundraising Update – Bunning’s BBQ
This will now be run by the Board of Governors. A note will be put in the weekly note, which will ask for volunteers to help run the event.

10.   Treasurer’s Report
Donna T advised that the total fair day takings were about the same as last year. Expenses were lower than last year however, which lead to an increased profit of approximately $2,000.

Donna T advised $12, 313.39 profit was made on the day. This does not include Art show profits. A detailed breakdown of fair takings and expenses was tabled and attached to the minutes.

Donna T thanked all those on stalls and all other volunteers for their efforts.

Donna T advised that P&F Committee funds were accumulating well and will be allocated when new development work commences.

Katrina B thanked Donna for all her accounting efforts for the fair and the P&F Committee.

Donna T tabled the following financial position of the P&F Committee:

Cash at Bank 13 May 2013                                                    $23,481

Plus deposits                                                                          $30,411

Less outgoings                                                                       $10,741

Cash at Bank 3 June 2013                                                      $43,151

Less: unpresented cheques                                                  $    106

Less known expenses:          Fair and Open Day         $ 7,155

                                              Artist Commissions         $10,023

                                                        Bear Cottage           $ 1,200


Plus known deposits:             Trybooking (Art Show)  $    733

Available for Use                                                      $25,400


Plus eftpos transactions:      Fair                                 $ 4,740

                                                        Art Show              $10,325

                                                        Trivia etc (2012)   $ 2,577



11.   Executive and Board Reports
Mary M advised that the school is looking at the new national curriculum. The new English curriculum will be introduced next year and maths, science and geography will be introduced in 2015. Staff members have undertaken training in the new English curriculum.

Mary M advised a committee has been set up to look at IT issues within the school which will consider new directions in this area.

Mary M advised the school is looking into where the office staff is to be housed while building works commence. Options are being considered.

Mary M noted that the new singing teacher, Michaela Miles, is doing a great job in her new role with the school.

Mary also thanked the P&F for their excellent and ongoing efforts.

Sarah W advised that the request made at the last P&F Committee meeting for more notice about upcoming school fees was tabled at the last Board of Governor’s meeting.

Sarah W advised that the Board of Governors has taken on the running and co-ordination of the Bunning’s BBQ. It will be held on the first Sunday of school holidays.

Sarah W also advised that in-house OH&S reports and documentation were undertaken each week.

12.   Garden Club
Alex D advised that the school has applied for funding under the Live Life Well @ School program. It is a joint program of the NSW Department of Education and Communities (DEC) and NSW Health and aims at enhancing teachers’ knowledge, skills and confidence in teaching nutrition education and physical activity as part of the K-6 PDHPE syllabus. Teachers, Marie White and Simona Cippollone, attended a workshop to gain knowledge about the application of the program, on behalf of the school. $2000 funding will be available from DEC for implementation of nutrition and physical activity programs and $2,400 funding from Health Promotion, Northern Sydney Local Health Districts for implementation of the program.  It is a 3-year program with continued support. The website for the program is: // email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">

13.   Next Meeting
The next meeting will be held at 7.30pm on Monday 22nd July, 2013 in the staff room.

14.   Meeting Closed
Katrina B closed the meeting at 10am.

Categories: P&F, John Colet

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