Science & Maths

Science & Maths


Estimating and measuring in Upper First

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This week Upper First M investigated length using paper clips as informal units. First they found and estimated the length of an object in the classroom and using their paper clip ruler measured it for the actual length. They made their own paper clip rulers.

Some reminded others that the paper clips needed to be end to end and not leave gaps or they wouldn’t have the actual length.

Elizabeth McDermott

Categories: Science & Maths, John Colet


Mapping the school

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Today Upper First C and M in Geography explored the school identifying the natural and constructed features. It was interesting discovering features and discussing their place in the school. After the field trip Upper First drew pictures of the school.

Categories: Writing & Speaking, Science & Maths, John Colet


Upper First discover The Living World

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Upper First classes worked together this week to create some extraordinary plasticine pets and objects to provide for their needs.  The children considered how an animal uses its senses to help it survive.  We decided all pets need food, water, air and shelter.  Some children also made toys and treats for their pets as they felt this was an important consideration.  After all, this week our focus prayer is ‘May All Be Happy’

Lea-Ann Connell and Elizabeth McDermott, Upper First Teachers

Categories: Science & Maths, John Colet


Robotics and Dancing

Science Club and Robotics Reminder


A reminder that Science Club has now finished for the year and in 2016 it will be replaced by Lego Robotics...

We will definitely be going ahead with Lego Robotics in 2016, it is our intention that every child who wants to take part will get to at some stage in the year, whether that be in Term 1 or later in the year. If you have emailed an expression of interest, thank you and if you have not done so yet, please email Mrs Crewe.

Dance classes to start at JCS

We are very excited to be introducing dance as an extracurricular class in 2016. Dance will run before school from 7:40am to 8:25am in the lunch room and will run on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday morning. Your morning will be determined by the Year group your child is in and we will decide these groups once we have an idea of how many students are interested. We will concentrate mainly on Jazz, with some elements of classical ballet for warm up and we may branch out to lyrical/funk for the older children depending on the needs and wants of the students in the group.
Mrs Crewe will instruct and she loves to dance and has over 20 years of dance teaching experience, in the past having run a studio and currently also teaching ballet, jazz, tap and acrobatics at Terpsichore Dance Company in Wahroonga. She has also run the extracurricular dance program at Killara High School for the past 15 years. Dance is a true passion of hers and and she is looking forward to sharing it with John Colet children.
We will work on developing dance skills in a safe and fun environment and we will also work towards various performances throughout the year. There will be cost of $10 per week charged by John Colet, this cost will include the performance costumes and there will most likely be some additional purchases such as jazz shoes etc. If your child is interested in participating, can you please email Mrs Crewe your child’s name before the end of term.

Categories: Shakespeare & Drama, Science & Maths, John Colet


Maths results

We have two sets of Maths results to report:

Forty four students entered the Australian Mathematics Competition which was an incredible turnout for a small school.

Congratulations to Jamie H and Thomas J for their High Distinctions in this award, and to the following students for their Distinctions:

Isabella G, Ramakrishna B, Callum T, Misha Y, Saurav H, Iona A, Eshaan H (all Year 3)

Ella K (Year 4) and Sean G, Anikhan K (Year 5).

Fifty students entered the ICAS Mathematics Competition this year and the following students were awarded Distinctions:

Scout H, Alexandra R, Luke C (Year 6); Kai P, Jack H, William W,  Daniel S, Anikan K, Sean G, Amelia G, Leo G and Nadine G (Year 5); Thomas J (Year 4), Ryan M, Suarav H and Isabella G (Year 3).

Congratulations and well done to all our students who participated in these tests. 

Categories: Science & Maths, John Colet


Investigating Heat


4th class is investigating heat as part of their Science work. School parent, Mr J, came in to show us how heat is conducted and insulated.
We looked at how fast ice cubes melted when insulated in different materials such as cotton wool, foil, glad wrap and rice. We were asked to predict what might happen.
Mr J had also frozen different types of materials in ice and used this to explain conduction of heat. It was a great lesson and we look forward to completing our work next term.


Categories: Science & Maths, John Colet


Students take to maths


More than 40 John Colet School students entered the Australian Maths Competition held this week, a big jump on previous years as this year, maths loving students from 3rd, 4th and 5th classes entered too. There was a good mix of boys and girls taking part.
“I am very pleased that so many students have felt confident to ‘have a go'.  They are obviously enjoying maths and want the extra challenge,” said Mrs McKendrick.

Categories: Science & Maths, John Colet


All about light

6th class K did experiments with light this week.  In one, we put a coin in a bowl and took steps back until we could not see the coin.  My partner tipped some water in the bowl, and the coin became visible.

Explanation: As the water is being poured, the light starts to bend and we can see the coin again.  This is called refraction.

In another experiment, we drew horizontal arrows on a piece of paper and put it behind a glass.  The arrows changed direction (!) when the water was poured in, as the glass and water acted as a lens. 

Jasmin W and Alexandra R.


Categories: Science & Maths, John Colet


3D shapes discovery

This week 4th class have been looking at 3D shapes and in particular their cross sections and nets. We were asked to investigate different types of nets and decide whether it would make a shape or not. We soon learnt that the position of the faces in the net is very important, as are the number of faces. Using polydron was a great way of exploring this Maths topic and we made some amazing 3D shapes. Find more Maths investigations at

Mrs Tomicki




Categories: Science & Maths, John Colet


An update from Upper First

Last week the students made their own plasticine 'pets', along with the food and shelter they need, as part of their studies on living things.  School parent Ms Halloway, a vet, had come in to give a talk about animal needs, and the students had done a science work sheet on the needs of living things.

Parents Mr and Mrs Mu also visited 2nd class this week with a traditional Chinese New Year cake for the children to try during playtime. This fitted in nicely to the HSIE unit of work on Celebrations, which also is looking at indigenous celebrations and beliefs.

Maths this week has been about numbers and patterns. The students found patterns occurring in the playground, in fencing, on benches and in the climbing frames, for example. They drew their patterns and looked at what makes a repeating pattern.

In writing, the children are doing a unit of work on the book "Koala lou". They wrote an information report on koalas, learnt to draw koalas and looked at the grammar used in the text.

In Art with Mrs Gadsby and Mrs Fox, they have studied aboriginal basket weaving and Chinese paper dragons.

In Sport, the boys have been learning cricket and the girls T ball, as well as other games.

In PDHPE, they are doing ‘Bounce Back’ work on developing resilience, in particular focusing on the school value ‘courage’.

The children also visited the Healthy Harold van this week and learnt about water safety, who they can go to for help, care about medicines and the main organs of the human body. Whew!




Categories: Writing & Speaking, Science & Maths, John Colet


Murder under the microscope!

Starting term 1, 2015, students from 3rd to 6th classes are invited to join the after school 'Murder Under the Microscope' class. It is a unit of work where students investigate the causes of environmental problems: such as the death of wildlife and plants, rising sea levels, pollution and much more. Any students who are interested are welcome!

When?: It will be held at 3:00- 3:40 on Wednesdays starting in week 4 and will run for approximately 10 weeks (through to term 2).  

Where?: The remedial room (next to the music centre).  

Who?: It will be run by Mr Wakeford

About the Unit: The students will investigate issues affecting the environment today. This will involve conducting experiments, analysing facts and data, and assessing the possible long term impact of these environmental problems. Towards the end of the unit, students will investigate an environmental issue of their own choice and present the issue to the class as a PowerPoint or poster presentation. In the presentation, students will discuss the environmental issue, its causes and possible solutions.

If you are interested: Contact your class teacher and express your interest. 

Categories: Writing & Speaking, Science & Maths, John Colet


Giving senior students a maths challenge

The Maths Challenge is an extension activity produced by the Australian Mathematics Trust where, over the past three weeks, some of our senior students have worked in small groups to find solutions to four challenging Maths Problems, each in four parts.

It takes determination, initiative and intelligence to tackle the higher-order problem solving that the Challenge demands.  The teams worked cooperatively and presented solutions to all the problems posed.  Bravo!

Categories: Science & Maths, John Colet


The science behind pulleys

In Science this week, 6th class had a pulley lesson with Mr Layton.  We learnt that with the help of a pulley and friction, we are able to pull heavy objects with ease.

Activity 1
This activity was for two small girls (Rebecca and I) to play a game of tug-a-war against four of the boys.  We had the end with the help of the pulley.  So we all tugged as hard as we could.  Unfortunately the four boys lost to the two small girls which showed everyone GIRL POWER.

Activity 2
Activity 2 was the same as Activity 1 but using different people at each end.  For example, all boys against all girls (girls on the pulley side) and three boys against the whole class.

Activity 3
This Activity was to show that someone using only one hand can stop everyone from tugging on the rope.Three girls on the pulley side and three boys on the other side.  Using one hand, India squeezed all the ropes while we were tugging and this stopped everyone from pulling.

Activity 4
This involved all ropes attached to a car and the whole calss pulling at the pulley end trying to pull the car up the driveway.  All of us pulled as hard as we could and the car started moving.  At a certain point the people at the back had to move to the front.  This is when we found the load is heavier at the front than it is at the back.

Activity 5
This was to hold the car in place using two hands.  So three people squeezed the rope as Mr Werner (who was in the driver's seat) let go of the brakes.  We were able to hold the car in place.  When one person let go the rope started squeezing our hands.
By Eden T
6th class

Categories: Science & Maths, John Colet


5th class investigates water

Today we did three experiments to observe some properties of water:
  • Can a needle float?
  • How many drops of water can fit on a coin?
  • Detergent and water, what happens when they mix?

Surface tension pulls molecules together.  It's like a 'skin' that holds molecules together.  That's why you often observe water droplets.  A substance called a 'surfactant' breaks this surface tension, you can find it in dishwashing detergent.

By Jaanavi K
5th class

Categories: Science & Maths, John Colet

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