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John Colet School Academic success


Inspiring entrepreneurship in primary aged children

This year at their leadership day, 6th class decided to enter the kid-preneur business in a back pack challenge. 

The children are making a variety of different things to offer and sell such as bracelets, earrings, headbands, key rings, bags of various sizes for storing items, and airbrush tattoos.

Ryan and Sean, pictured below, are also offering chess tutoring with our Chess coach Miro’s support and blessings. 

The 6th class students have two selling days set down for the Wednesday and Friday of week two of Term 4.  (ie 15th and 17th October)

The items will be available for other students to buy on the selling days, and parents are also welcome to come along too.  More details about prices etc will be provided closer to the date, so parents will know how much money they should send in with their children.

All the money raised goes to Bear Cottage and World Vision, the children voted and both these charities received equal votes.

Mrs Dunn has been coordinating this with the students with the help of Club Kidpreneur, a not-for-profit social enterprise inspiring primary aged children to become more entrepreneurial and use the power of business as a force for good.

Using its Business in a Backpack module, the students have access to all the materials they need to build a business and make their own products to sell.  The aim is to inspire, teach and support students to start and grow their own business.

More info here     http://clubkidpreneur.com/     

ryanseanchess  ryanseanchess1

Categories: John Colet School Academic success


Firies visit John Colet School

On Friday 25th August the RFS visited Year 3 as part of our PDH program. We spoke about bushfires, hazard reduction and safe practices around our home and school. We were all really interested to learn about back burning and how it is part of Australia’s history. Today’s firefighters take some of their practises from Aboriginal people who have been clearing bush for thousands of years.

No visit from the RFS would be complete without the truck! Everyone had a chance to use the hose and were surprised to feel how heavy the water and hose became! We also had an opportunity to try on some of the special equipment and clothing which the firefighters wear.
We were grateful for this visit as our RFS are volunteers and an important part of our community.

Allison Tomicki

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Categories: John Colet School Academic success


Learning about democracy

5th class students have been doing a unit of work on democracy.  
Part of the work involved individual projects, done mostly in the students’ own time, researching a historical figure famous for their impact on encouraging democracy.
Emmeline Pankhurst, Malcolm Luther King, Aung San Suu Kyi and Nelson Mandela were popular choices.  The students had to consider why they admired the person they had chosen, and what lasting impact the person had had on society.
From Jefferson jigsaws, who-am-I puzzles to jails and dream catchers, the students came up with many creative ways to display their work.

Class teacher Alice Dawson says “This term we have been looking closely at Democracy. This was a great opportunity for the children to research some key figures that have helped change democracy and have had a lasting effect on other people’s lives. The children were very creative with their projects and really connected with their chosen key figure.”

"Doing projects is good for students because it allows children to become aware of the hardships that people went through in order for women to vote and for us to experience equality in our society, just to name a few things. These key figures had dreams and aspirations and didn’t give up on what they believed in. These were qualities that the children were inspired by and keen to adopt themselves."

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Categories: John Colet School Academic success


Enrichment Unit on Mathematics and Science–

Available for 2nd to 6th classes.

Starting week 7, Term 3, 2014.
What is it?  This is an open-ended and group work based unit of work where students will research a topic of their choice from Mathematics or Science and then teach it to other students in the group. This must be a topic area that is unfamiliar to the children,  but one in which they have an interest and a desire to enquire.  The students will also be required to create an animated presentation of their topic which will support their teaching of it.

Examples of these topic areas in Mathematics might be problem solving involving multiplication and division, angles, area and volume or even algebra. In Science, the topic could be: tectonic plates, atoms and molecules, weather, or plants and trees.    

This unit is designed to test student’s abilities to learn and understand a new concept. It will also require the students to learn new ICT skills.        

Who will teach it?  Mr Wakeford.
When does it start?  Term 3, week 7. Monday 25th of August for 5th and 6th class, and Tuesday 26th of August for 2nd, 3rd and  4th class.   

What days and time is it on?  Mondays from 2:50 – 3:30 for 5th and 6th class students; Tuesdays from 2:50 – 3:30 for 2nd,3rd and 4th class students.  

How long does it go for?  It will run for eight sessions (until week 4 of term 4)  
Who can sign up?  The Unit of Work is open to all students from 2nd to 6th classes.  Anyone who wants to can join, on a first come, first served basis.

When do you have to let us know? If you want to join please tell your class teacher by Wednesday 20th of August.
BUT There will be a limit of 10 children on each day.  If the enrichment unit is over-subscribed and some students miss out, we will consider offering it again.

Categories: John Colet School Academic success


Maths puzzles


Multiplying and dividing decimals by powers of 10. The first proud team to finish their puzzle.

Categories: John Colet School Academic success


Forensic Science Unit

During terms 2 and 3, some students from 2nd to 6th class have been doing a science unit of work about forensic science. It is an optional afternoon class held on Monday and Tuesday afternoons where students learned about fingerprinting, DNA, blood typing, hair analysis and other techniques that police use to catch criminals.

In the first three weeks of this unit, the students were introduced to specific areas of forensic science. During these first three weeks, the students developed an understanding of how to read evidence that might be found at a crime scene. They also learned to identify important pieces of evidence in amongst other clues, like identifying a hair that might belong to a suspect as opposed to animal hairs found at the scene.

After three weeks, the students were then invited to create their own crime mystery with suspects, evidence and a crime scene. The 2nd-4th class group have been working on this now for 3 weeks and are very near to presenting their mysteries. The 5th and 6th class group has only been working on this for one week due to the number of Mondays that were lost in term 2. I expect that this group will run for another two weeks.

Edmund Wakeford


Categories: John Colet School Academic success


On self-discipline

What everyone wants from children’s education is very easy and simple to state: young people with good character; who are able to obtain and hold down a good job.  One without the other doesn’t work.  Wonderful, warm, caring, thoughtful young men and women, who cannot work; or focused workers who rise in their chosen fields, but who are nasty, spiteful, selfish and greedy, both signify a failure of the system.

What is trickier is to identify how we get there.  Let’s look at one obvious proposition:  mere intelligence without other attributes will not get us where we want to go.  For the purpose of this discussion I set aside high sounding Virtues like a sense of justice, or warm compassion for our fellow man.

We need to start with humbler qualities such as the ability to listen, to pay attention, to persevere, to delay gratification and work in the present for a future pay off.  These are characteristics of self-discipline.  We can draw up a table to show us where we need to put the emphasis.




















A US study shows the best predictor of success is not one’s IQ but is self-discipline.  And it is easy to see why.  A high IQ will not of itself give you the power to persevere through challenge and failure, working hard at something not immediately gratifying but which promises future reward – like studying hard for an exam in a subject which is not totally gripping.  In short it will not mean that you will have the inner strength to do that which is unpleasant but right, and refrain from doing that which is pleasant, but wrong.
How to instil self-discipline?  A few suggestions: put children in the company of disciplined people - teachers, for example, who study, who are bright, intelligent and focused on their work.  As parents, model the behaviour you wish the children to emulate – attack unpleasant but necessary tasks cheerfully, lay off those things which are pleasant but wrong.  When they are young immerse them in enjoyable and classic literature full of imaginative tales of perseverance and triumph over adversity.  For young children in particular stories of brave people make them want to be brave.  Reinforce the behaviours we want to grow in them.  Congratulate them when they succeed at something worthwhile, don’t coddle them in their weakness but celebrate their strength.

Gilbert ManeHeadmaster

Categories: John Colet School Academic success


John Colet School Academic Ranking

The Weekend Australian of 21st and 22nd June included an educational supplement which, on page 4, carried a table of “The Nation’s Top 100 Primary Schools”.  John Colet School was listed at number 42 out of 7,623 primary schools in Australia. This puts us in the top 1% of schools in Australia, and ten schools placed higher than John Colet are selective.  This is an amazing achievement and all teachers and students are to be warmly congratulated.
These rankings are based on NAPLAN scores, and I always hasten to make the obvious point that NAPLAN is only one measure of a school’s success.  The real measure of our success is in the wider fields of good character and the virtues and ethical framework which our graduates take with them as they stride forward into high school and beyond.  Even in the academic area when a student who struggles with their core schoolwork achieves a personal best, this is a real cause for celebration as well, as is overcoming challenges and barriers on the sports field, in the playground, on the stage and at the chess tournament.
Our remarkable academic achievement as noted in The Australian is truly wonderful, and it is a fitting complement to all these other areas of success of which we should all be justly proud.

-    Headmaster

Gilbert Mane

Categories: John Colet School Academic success


On Behaviour Management...

Everything a conscientious parent wants from their children’s education can be reduced to two simple principles:  that their children be good people; and they are able to get and hold down a good job.  All else is detail.

The good job part is the relatively easy bit and entails the efficient communication of fungible information and skills to the students.  Here the basic curriculum of English, Maths, Science and History comes in.  The extras like Music, Art and Sport have a role to play but, unless one is intent on a career as a ballerina, are secondary.

It is the first area – good character – which is more subtle.  There are various factors which come into play here – principally the child’s inherent nature, but also the nature and principles of the family and early childhood experiences.  The school has a role to play because the young child, in particular, usually loves their teacher and wants to be just like them and earn their approval.  Later it is the peer group which has an important effect.
In short it is a combination of nature and nurture.  So far, so obvious.  What can a school do to help in this important area of fostering good character?  

Let’s take one dimension only: behaviour management in schools.
This has evolved over the past century from the infliction of pain – caning, fagging and the like; via the withdrawal of pleasure – detention, isolation; and has reached the realm of restitution and restorative justice.

Restitution etc is a process whereby a student who has inflicted some harm or has crossed some other boundary comes to the party through an acknowledgement of the actions which have led to the need for a consequence.  This is followed by some action which is intended to restore the balance; some paying back or making good of the harm inflicted; some realignment of the boundary crossed.

Ideally this is followed by an act of reciprocal acknowledgment of the restoration of the situation by those other actors affected, including fellow students and teachers.
This can be summarised as Owning Up; then Making Good; followed by Forgiveness.

Gilbert Mane

Categories: John Colet School Academic success


John Colet School Instrumental Concert

The John Colet School Instrumental Concert was organised by our Flute, String and Piano teachers to give students some performance experience and to showcase their developing talents.  The concert was enthusiastically received by the audience, and will be the first of many.  In other music news, our Primary Choir will enter the Ryde Eisteddfod this year on Thursday 31st July and the John Colet Choir will enter the Hawkesbury Eisteddfod on Friday 22nd August.

A tip’o-the-hat to JCS old-boy Arnie Hollyman for taking these photos.

Categories: John Colet School Academic success


How to pull a car with a pulley

Change the direction of the force, Luke...

This week Mr Layton came and demonstrated how pulleys work. We first had a demonstration on how friction affects pulleys and then we had a tug of war. Two small girls were able to overpower the four bigger boys with the help of the pulleys.

Then we pulled a car uphill with Miss Jones in it! We saw how a pulley can be used to change the direction of forces to move extremely heavy objects, and the powerful mechanical advantages of using a multiple-pulley system.

All in all, it was a great lesson despite the bad weather.

Ashleigh E 6th class


Categories: John Colet School Academic success


Beautiful performances at our Sanskrit finals

This year the Sanskrit Recitation Competition Finals on Thursday, June  5th delighted all who attended.

There was general agreement that this year’s Finals were the best yet, both for the quality of sound and performance of  groups and individuals.

It was also remarkable for the most attentive, quiet and receptive audience.  The children were exemplary!

We were privileged to have as one of the judges this year, Dr Gary Grohmann, a well respected virologist from Canberra who is also head of the Sanskrit Faculty
Within  the School of Philosophy.   The other judge, a former language teacher, Mrs Ineke Blakeman has studied Sanskrit for many years.

Both judges found it difficult to choose winners as the devotion and stillness displayed by all the children was very evident.  They also commented on how attentive the children were in listening to their classmates.

The Results are as follows:
The Group Recitation Winners: Infants   -   Lower 1st Class recited the Happy Prayer with gestures of animals representing all creatures incorporated into the English translation.
Primary  -  3rd  Class recited 3 verses from the Eesha Upanishad.

Individual Recitation Winners:
Infants -  
                Lower 1st             Joshua J   (Cook House)
                Upper 1st             Wilhelmina Van D  (Cook House)
                2nd Class             Iona A  (Phillip House)

Primary –
3rd Class -  Luke B (Cook House)
4th Class -  Felicity (Jo Jo) V  (Macquarie House)
5th Class - Elliot M-K (Flinders House)

A warm thank you to the Class teachers and all involved in helping to make a splendid morning.  Preparing the children for the recitations takes time, effort and dedication which was evident on the day.



Above: Our special guest Mr Harjeet Singh Sethi - Vice-Consul to the Consulate General of India - with primary age group winners Elliot, Felicity and Luke.


Our judges Mrs Ineke Blakeman and Dr Gary Grohmann with our youngest winners: Joshua, Wilhelmina and Iona.

Categories: John Colet School Academic success


How to make Latin really fun for really young students

The best way involves food!  Roman banquet food to be exact.  And dressing up in togas adds to the fun quotient, as well as drinking 'wine' out of goblets. 

Our Infants Latin students have a banquet as least once a year, and other times they cook up a Roman recipe, make a Roman coin purse, or research the Roman empire.


Categories: John Colet School Academic success


Languages are an essential part of the mix at John Colet School.

Students can study French, Spanish and Mandarin, and two classical languages: Sanskrit and Latin.

“We joke that Latin is a modern language, because Sanskrit is much older,” said the Headmaster, Gilbert Mane.  “The subjects are traditionally taught and have been part of the school’s curriculum since day one.”

Latin is studied as an early morning enrichment class for the youngest students .  Older students can continue with the subject if they have excelled at spelling.

Categories: John Colet School Academic success


3T are turning into meteorologists this term and investigating weather.

We are collecting weather data including the amount of rain and daily temperature.

The children have been discussing how to make the collection of this data fair and what makes ‘a fair test’

Watch out over the term as we put together our own homemade gauges and anemometers.

Categories: John Colet School Academic success

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