enrol details

Writing & Speaking


4th class looks back in time

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We were very lucky to have a visit from Mrs Allcorn on Monday as part of our History Unit on First Contacts. Mrs Allcorn came dressed as the Squatter’s wife – a role which she adopted for the ABC show ‘Outback House’.
Mrs Allcorn showed us her outfit and the many layers she had to wear every day. She gave us an insight into life as a free settler and the hardships which those first families had to endure. Mrs Allcorn talked about the way they kept things cool in the kitchen and how the washing was done in large pots over flames. We all agreed it must have been a real struggle in those early days as the English settlers adjusted to their new lives.
Thanks to Mrs Allcorn for visiting 4th Class and bringing our History topic to life.

Allison Tomicki

Categories: Writing & Speaking, John Colet


The great debating season starts

On Monday, 6th Class was lucky enough to have Luke from Masters Debating Academy come to talk to us about debating. He told us all about the rules of debating and how it works. We played debating games to help us think on our feet. He also showed us how a debate is structured and prepared. We learnt so much from our fabulous guest.
Firstly, Luke told us how a debate is structured. He showed us this by introducing new techniques. He taught us all about the methods that are used in a debate and how to use them. We were taught strategies used in debating that help us prove our points and state our facts clearly. After this session everyone’s minds were buzzing.
Once we came back from recess, we were ready to put all that we learnt into action. Luke got us to have a mini debate. We had a negative and affirmative side and the topic was, “That takeaway food is better than a home-cooked meal.” Each team came up with points for their given side using our newly learnt methods.
After this, we used Luke’s sentence starters to start our sentences, they are the perfect way to start your points so they were very helpful to learn. Once we finished speaking, Luke gave us a mark depending on whether we covered all of the necessary areas. Whilst the opposing team was speaking we had to take notes so that we could learn from each other. Then at the end Luke decided that we should practice rebuttals.
Using the information we gathered, we composed our rebuttals. Then ending the mini debate we stated our rebuttals aloud for Luke to mark us on. By doing this, we were able to practice all parts of a debate and then we were all set to start debating. After our session with Luke, we had all learnt so much valuable information about debating. He cleverly planned an action packed day, teaching us everything we needed to know. We learnt so much and are all ready for debating.

Isabelle F

Categories: Writing & Speaking, John Colet


Learning about the early days of naval exploration

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4th Class had a fabulous talk from Mr Layton who has spent many years at sea for his job. He talked to the children about the early days of sea exploration and how the development of the chronometer helped Cook in his voyages around the world. He also talked about the discovery of longitude and how this enabled Cook to be more precise in his calculations. Apparently Cook was a great mathematician who could solve lunar formulas with complete accuracy! Mr Layton also owns a sextant and showed the children how it worked. It was a fascinating talk followed by some samples of ship’s tack biscuits! Not a favourite with 4th Class

Mrs Tomicki and Mrs Nadjarian

Categories: Writing & Speaking, John Colet


Are we there yet?

Upper First this semester in English and Geography are investigating the book Are we there yet? by Alison Lester. They are following the family in the book as they journey around Australia, and in doing so, exploring many parts of our country.

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So far Upper First (one of our classes is pictured above) has learnt about Pelicans at Coorong, The Great Australian Bight where they have discovered the Southern Right Whale at the Head of Bight. They have discovered that the Nullarbor Plain is the largest single piece of limestone in the world.
As the book guides them over the desert they have studied the Thorny Devil, as well as Weathering and Erosion at Wave Rock, the Pinnacles and Uluru.
Upper First are excited to keep learning about Australia.

Justine Brine and Simone Cipollone

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


Thinking about population growth and our natural resources

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In a follow up lesson from their field trip, 5th class used Book Creator to produce books about how to effectively plan for population growth and increased usage of the national park at Bobbin Head. They really enjoyed the task and the results were well thought out and creatively presented.

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


Sadako and the 1000 paper cranes

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5K are making origami cranes to complement their study of Sadako. Sadako believed that if she made one thousand cranes she would be granted a wish. Her wish would have been to recover from the atom bomb disease.

Categories: Writing & Speaking, John Colet


Debating for the Reef


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As part of our study of sustainability and the Great Barrier Reef in Geography the children took part in a role play meeting in which the World Heritage Organisation is called to discuss concerns about the threats facing the Great Barrier Reef. In groups, the children played the part of either the Tourism Industry, Government, the Mining Industry or the Fishing Industry. They researched and put forward their arguments as to why they should be allowed to continue their activities in or near the reef and how they could do so in a more sustainable way in order to protect the reef for future generations. As part of the debate, the children had to respond to questions and challenges about their activities from the other interest groups.

Ann-Marie Sjogren and Jean Kearney

Categories: Writing & Speaking, John Colet


Why learn latin?

Upper First children are to be offered a “before school” Latin Class in Term 3 (8.05-8.45)

Why?   Here are some of the benefits of learning classical languages:
  • Learning any language at an early age is beneficial for developing neural pathways
  • Latin has a comprehensive grammar and helps with the understanding of language structure as does Sanskrit
  • Although deemed a “dead language” it provides a great etymological insight into our own language, as does Ancient Greek
  • It helps with English Grammar and Spelling
  • Exploration of the culture and mindset of the Romans is interesting and enlightening
  • Our course, the Oxford University Course designed especially for young  children, includes much Greek and Roman mythology – these are beneficial as they are, like most folk tales and myths, “cautionary tales”, some with deep philosophical implications – the “hero tales”

Categories: Writing & Speaking, John Colet


Sublime Sanskrit

Congratulations to the following students who won their grade competition

Lower 1st:     Felix H
Upper 1st:     Eloise H
2nd Class:    Zoe T
3rd Class:     Susannah R
4th Class:     Georgia P
5th Class:      Sana S
Upper 1st won out of the Infants Classes group recitation
5th Class won out of Primary Classes group recitation.
The judges were impressed with the standard of recitation and clarity of speech exhibited by all.

Categories: Writing & Speaking, John Colet


Sanskrit recitation competition finals this week

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The Sanskrit Competition was introduced to our House competitions because of the significance of learning, reciting and hearing Sanskrit.  Over the term we learn and refine a different prayer in each grade.  The children learn to be more precise with the pronunciation and there is the added benefit of exploring and discussing the meaning of these ancient prayers.  The children develop confidence in reciting on their own and experience profound unity when reciting together as a class.   It is a very uplifting part of the Sanskrit curriculum which nourishes and energises the whole school and any visitors.

Competition finals are on this Tuesday:  8.45 - 9.45am Infants; 10.30 - 11.30am Primary Classes.

Pictured above are some of our winning 4th class students in last year's competition.

Roslyn Dunn, Teacher

Categories: Writing & Speaking, John Colet


Debating Season about to start


Meet our 2017 Debating Team, clockwise: Jemima B, Kai C, Hayden H, Hugh B, Alethea F, Marley K-J, Caly H and Elisha C.  These students have successfully made it through the school selection process and will represent John Colet in the Interschool Debating Competition. We started the season with a workshop at the Sydney Japanese School last week where we met our fellow debaters from the Japanese School, the German School and Alexander School. Our first debate is in a few weeks. Congratulations to all of these students and good luck in your upcoming debates.

Categories: Writing & Speaking, John Colet


On the vegetarian lunch menu this week...


with garlic & rosemary croutons


with crispy noodles
(by request)


with garden salad


(walk-through, Infant Sanskrit
performance for parents)


(Year 5 packed lunch)

Egg free, dairy free, gluten free and vegan options always provided.

Letting our children go to the hands of someone else can be very hard. Even harder is that of entrusting others with their food. Part of the beauty of John Colet is that we strive, we care and we value all our students individually and as a cohesive unit. The kitchen is just another environment to learn and grow.
The menu items are carefully chosen to reflect a balance of both nutrition and age appropriateness of only 1 meal of 5 per day. We are also obliged to offer a plainer option on all meals for those whose taste buds are still developing.
A few statistics from this past year alone:
•    We have increased our daily serving of sauced pasta from 7kgs to 12kgs;
•    We have decreased our daily serving of plain pasta from 6kgs to 2kgs;
•    We have increased our Pad Thai/Hokkien noodles from 2kgs to 12kgs;
•    We have decreased our squiggly noodles from 46 pkts to to 20 pkts;
•    We have increased our fried rices (all versions) from 21 cups 36 cups;
•    We have decreased our plain rice from 35 cups to 15 cups;
•    We have increased vegetable soups offering from 20 ltrs to 40ltrs.

This shows monumental growth from what I like to call the ‘3 P’s’ – Positive Peer Pressure.
The 3 P’s also applies to the children’s favourite foods – Pizza, Pastry, Pasta. I can never make too many pizzas or sausage rolls!

Children need time to see, consider and try new food options in their own time. This may be up to 20 times in some cases. We do not force feed children and they always have additional options to go to. So please engage your children and discuss them making healthy choices, even when they are not with you.

Here’s the recipe for our Healthy Noodles, so you can see the amount of varied ingredients which we use:

Eating well never goes out of fashion.
Donna Moor
Head of Kitchen
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Categories: Lunch menus, Writing & Speaking, John Colet


Sanskrit update for start of 2017

We are lucky to have this beautiful ancient language to study and recite and it is one of the jewels of the John Colet curriculum.  There are so many reasons why it is taught in our school. 

The word Sanskrit means is perfectly formed and Sanskrit is most beautiful to look at and to hear. This nourishes the aesthetic sense and the appreciation of beauty of the child at a very deep level.
Learning a second language gives the child the knowledge of how languages work.  Sanskrit stands at the root of many Eastern and Western languages including English and most other European languages classical or modern.  Sanskrit Grammar is the most thorough Grammar system of any language and its study illuminates the grammar and etymology of other languages.  It is also supremely logical so that it enhances the child’s ability in Maths, Science and Technology. 
Sanskrit has one of the richest and most extensive literatures of all known languages.  It introduces children to vast epics, profound scripture, subtle philosophy, voluminous mythology, and exquisite poetry. 

In the early years we concentrate on pronunciation, the script and learning the beautiful prayers.  Once the children are in the Primary classes we begin to study the Grammar using the classical stories of Rama and Krishna.  I you have any questions do please contact one of the Sanskrit teachers or come and find us in D7.

Joan Childs and Roslyn Dunn
Sanskrit Teachers

Edit 28/02:  Correction to Diary Date:  Sanskrit recitation finals now on Tues 23rd May at JCS


Categories: Writing & Speaking, John Colet


Top Sanskrit scholars sit exam

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A talented group of JCS Sanskrit students sat the prestigious and challenging International Sanskrit Exam earlier this week.  This exam is set and corrected in London and is testament to all the work these children have done in their Primary years of Sanskrit.  They were:  Amelia G, Sasha G, William W, Leo G, Callum H, Anikan K, Sean G and Mi Mi P.  Well done to you all!

Categories: Writing & Speaking, John Colet


ICAS English 2016

Congratulations to the following students who have been awarded High Distinctions and Distinctions in the ICAS English exam. 

High Distinctions: Ramakrishna B (4D) and Callum T (4J).  Distinctions: Alexander C (4D), Hartley E (4J), Jack H (4J) Darya T (4D) Elisha C, Emma C, Hayden H, Thomas J and Anjali Si (all 5T) Leo G (6R), William W (6R), Jack H (6C) and Callum H (6R).  Fifty two students sat the English exam this year, which is a great effort.  Well done all for taking part.

Categories: Writing & Speaking, John Colet

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