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John Colet School - Belrose NSW

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Unprecedented demand for places.  Please enquire NOW for Enrolment into Lower 1st (Kindergarten) 2028

John Colet School
A K – 6 co-educational, multi-faith school in Belrose on the Northern Beaches of Sydney.
6 Wyatt Avenue
Sydney North, Sydney Northern Beaches
(02) 9451 8395
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  • Primary School
  • Single School Location
  • Multi-faith
Gifted & Talented Program
  • Academic Achievement
  • Co-curricular Activities
  • Community
  • Creative Arts
  • Culture / Tradition
  • Gifted and Talented
  • Languages
  • Numeracy / Literacy
  • Performing Arts
  • Personal Values
  • Sport
  • Visual Art
  • French
  • Latin
  • Sanskrit
  • Athletics (Track & Field)
  • Chess
  • Cricket
  • Cross Country Running
  • Debating
  • Fencing
  • Football (Soccer)
  • Netball
  • Oztag
  • Sailing
  • Softball
  • Swimming
  • Tennis



A basic aspect of the John Colet School philosophy of education is that children need physical, mental, emotional and spiritual input every day.
We try to provide:
the best food and physical activities;
the most useful interesting subject content, as well as thought-provoking discussion;
exposure to the richest literature, art and music; and the finest moral and ethical principles;
a daily experience of peace and stillness, and input from the great teachers of mankind.
The children have a freshly prepared, cooked vegetarian sit-down lunch every day.

The sport program for infants involves games and skills and, in Summer, swimming. Beginning in 3rd class the children play a range of sports each term in a competition against local schools.

All children have training in the lead up to the annual swimming carnival and sports carnival.


The school teaches the six Key Learning Areas of the NSW curriculum mandated by the NSW Board of Studies: English; Mathematics; Human Society in its Environment; Science and Technology; Creative Arts and Personal Development, Health & Physical Education. John Colet School excels in public examinations (see ).

One of the founding principles of the school is to preserve simple effective traditional methods of education such as learning times tables, spelling and grammar by heart. At the same time open-ended, enquiry based learning is a core part of the curriculum as well. The aim being that the children receive the core NSW curriculum in an effective and creative way.

In addition our Classical and Modern Languages program includes: Sanskrit, Latin and Spanish. Mandarin and French are offered as extracurricular subjects.

There is extension for the gifted and support for children with special needs.

Emotional and Cultural

The aim of emotional and cultural education is to enrich the children and give them a sense of wonder, beauty and an expansive view of themselves and the world. At John Colet School every child performs in our annual Shakespeare Festivals. There is a Music program, and the children sing several times a week and the repertoire includes choral pieces such as Handel’s Messiah. There is a rich and varied Art program.

Every child has a weekly Philosophy class in which large questions are discussed: Who am I? Does life have a purpose? Is there a Creator? How should we live?

Spiritual and Character Building

The school was founded by men and women who had found that simple techniques of self-awareness had revolutionised their lives. They wanted to give children the same benefit. The school’s daily curriculum includes regular moments of stillness between lessons in order to recharge the minds and clear the air for the next lesson.

We also have Scripture classes in which we draw on a range of traditions from East and West. These are used to introduce the great pillars of civilisation such as the Ten Commandments and The Beatitudes as well as similar principles from the East. And these lessons are a springboard to open-ended discussion on the ethical and moral principles by which a reasonable human being should live.

In Assembly and at other times we say prayers from a range of traditions and sing hymns.

At the age of ten children can, if they wish, be introduced to a formal system of meditation and they then meditate for a few minutes in the morning and afternoon at school
A mix of new and older buildings. A specialist art room, a dining hall where hot, freshly prepared vegetarian sit down lunches are provided each day, music centre and library. Sport is held on an oval opposite the school. Separate playground area and classrooms for Lower First Students (Kindy) in Top House.
Top results in NAPLAN due to our caring, thoughtful and highly skilled teachers.
A strong commitment to Mindfulness, for more than 30 years!
Personalised, individual care. 
Dedicated classrooms and play area for Lower First (kindy).
A multi-faith approach - children learn about all the great religions, their history, stories and principles.
A wide range of extra subjects - Shakespeare, classical languages, Philosophy.
Weekly music lesson, weekly choral singing, school ensemble and the opportunity to learn a range of musical instruments.
Extra-curricular subjects such as Chess, French, Mandarin, Science club, gardening, fencing and sailing.

Our 4th class students have been studying Early Settlers and the First Fleet.  They were asked to use a plastic drink bottle to create a person who would have lived in that time.  They also had to write a biography of that person, and include with their bottle doll, three items the character would have used.  The results are extremely creative, and we have a range of convicts, botanists, Bennelongs and  Captain Phillips.



John Colet School is not currently offering Scholarships.

John Colet School is consistently ranked among the top performing schools in Australia. We are a non-selective school.


I have two children at John Colet and I can confidently say that it is an outstanding school. The teachers have nurtured and enhanced my children’s inner confidence and love of learning. In fact my eldest son, who was previously struggling academically and socially at another school, has gone from being told he was not a natural student to now, after years of being at John Colet, being accepted into a highly academic selective school. This is something I 100% credit John Colet for. The teachers and community have transformed him and brought out his best potential. My other son is also benefiting from John Colet’s fantastic education system and the nurturing environment... so I can see it is consistent for various personalities and capabilities.

I should note that John Colet take a very different approach to most schools and it clearly shows in the students results and social confidence. I will always hold the school in high regard and will be forever appreciative for their care and attention to my children.

Bernadette C


As involved grandparents, my husband and I could not be more delighted with the choice of John Colet School for our six year old grandson.

Our son and his wife moved to Forestville, specifically, as they had heard glowing reports of this tiny, bush school.  Our grandson is gifted and his parents required a school which understands the needs of such a child.  Since kindergarten he has been offered a privileged curriculum which extended to Latin, French, Religions of the World, Chess Club, Pianoforte, Shakespearean plays and myriad subjects and sports to suit every need.

This year the Extension Programme recognised that this particular child would benefit from an acceleration twelve months ahead of his age - he was eased into the fourth term of this new class in a most sensitive manner and appears to have settled well.  He continues to be closely monitored.

In twelve months our youngest grandson will be entering this school and is anxiously awaiting his turn in the classroom.  Younger siblings are welcomed throughout the school, which makes for ease of school life when the time arises.  All teachers appear to be most approachable and grandparents are recognised for the important role which they play in these young lives. 

The strict uniform code and an emphasis on fine manners engenders a sense of pride and caring throughout the school which, hopefully will carry through to adulthood, thus turning out worthwhile citizens into the community.

Well done, The John Colet School.

Margaret and John




Learning a second language gives a child the knowledge of how languages work.  At John Colet School all students from Kindy to Year 5 learn Sanskrit (in 6th class students can choose to learn French instead of Sanskrit) .  The word Sanskrit means is perfectly formed and Sanskrit is a most beautiful language to look at and to hear. This nourishes the aesthetic sense and the appreciation of beauty of the child at a very deep level.

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 verses.  Once the children are in the Primary classes we begin to study the Grammar using the classical stories of Rama and Krishna. 

Latin is also offered at John Colet School, and many students learn Mandarin at after school class.

Joan Childs and Roslyn Dunn
Sanskrit Teachers

John Colet School: Consistently Consistent

John Colet has received attention for our NAPLAN results over the years, this year being no exception. The results are impressive and do highlight consistent high achievement from our students, however these results are just from one test. The real proof of our overall approach is in our well rounded, confident and capable students. We do not teach to the test and would not change our approach if our ranking was to dip and rise from year to year, as it may do with different cohorts of children.

While the pendulum has swung between a phonic or ‘whole language’ approach in most schools across Australia over the past 40 years, John Colet School has maintained a consistent approach. Direct instruction of basic literacy and numeracy skills is the foundation that is instilled in infants and developed through Primary. The NAPLAN results are even more striking when you consider that John Colet is a non-selective school and that this approach really does result in exceptional student progress.

The consistent approach can also be seen in the unique structure of classes at John Colet School.  Children progress with the same teacher for 3 years in Infants, for 2 years in middle Primary, and 2 years for their senior years in Primary. This approach fosters a strong relationship between the teacher, student and parent and enables a deep knowledge of the child and development of their personal learning journey. The teacher, student and parents start each year from a familiar, secure position and are able to pick up from where they left off.

At John Colet School many unique factors have been proven over time to be of great benefit and which contribute to the ethos of the school and the character of the children. Mindfulness, stillness and meditation is an approach within the school where children pause and reflect in their environment and on their learning. Likewise, the study of classical languages, Shakespeare and other ‘great’ works that have been carried through the ages are introduced to the children from Infants. These works are rich in their complexity and lift the students’ capacity across the board. Finally, high expectations in etiquette, respect and truthfulness flow through all aspects of school life.

Our children deserve a consistent approach in these formative years that not only is evidenced through tests and assessments, but also in developing young people who are articulate, confident and inquisitive global citizens.

Julian Wilcock





Studying Shakespeare is an inevitable feature of modern adolescence, as his works remain a permanent fixture of the Western literary canon. Nevertheless, to immerse in his dramatic creations from the beginning of one’s school life may, to some, seem a luxury rather than a necessity, perhaps even a questionable venture, considering the torment of his tragedies and the controversy of particular plays that on first glance, may appear to offend modern sensibilities pertaining to racial persecution or subordination of women. Two questions therefore arise regarding our approach to Shakespeare at John Colet School: why perform Shakespeare annually from kindergarten upwards, and how does one deal with the hot topics arising from his works?

The rich legacy left by our most famous playwright is not always easily accessible. The sad fact is, that for most people, mention of Shakespeare elicits unpleasant memories of reading barely intelligible language and contrived literary jargon that likely had little lasting impact on their lives. It is safe to say that this will not be the case for the students of John Colet: for them, Shakespeare equals transformative experience, that stirs up excitement, interest, and a spirit of collaborative adventure. It is their enthusiasm that fuels and drives the whole theatrical project, which means teachers can direct their energy to crafting and perfecting the performances, to outstanding effect.

Through their annual return to the Bard’s plays, the students at John Colet are invited to become increasingly self-aware. A theatrical space in general acts as a crucible for mental and emotional growth. It allows each individual actor to test their mettle under pressure, forging better retention of information through the process of memorising and recalling lines, whilst also stretching the boundaries of selfhood, by adopting a variety of roles. By doing this in the formative years of childhood, theatrical acting facilitates greater self-understanding and stronger self-worth. This individual growth runs concurrently with the effects of collective unity on the acting cast, who come together to create a transient art form which will manifest and dissipate before the audience’s eyes. Such unity can be a rare experience in an age that has largely lost touch with the value of community endeavour.

Shakespearean theatre space is elevated further still by the mastery of the playwright, evident in: the rhythms of his language; the psychological insights of his characters; the elegant shaping of his plot-lines; the combined qualities of simplicity and sophistication, bawdiness and elegance, humour and emotive power. Shakespeare trains both the body and the mind: one learns how to breathe properly to elicit the music of spoken language; how to use all the colourful nuances of the human voice; how to speak without speaking, through the gaze, through gesticulation, through the silence between words. Equally, one learns to reflect deeply on the whims of fortune, the brevity of mortality, the folly of decisions based on ambition or greed, injury or arrogance. We empathise with the tragic heroes, becoming less judgemental but more discerning in our engagement with humanity. Shakespeare elucidates how to live well, by unfolding in narrative the paths not to traverse, demonstrating their disastrous consequences. He recognises the endless appeal of the villain, but his moral message is always clear: those who live for self alone will never prosper.

So why might this far-sighted moral compass be called into question? Perhaps because the storylines contained within such plays as ‘The Tempest’, ‘The Merchant of Venice’ and ‘The Taming of the Shrew’ can provoke heightened feeling amongst those who would argue that Shakespeare is bound up with the patriarchal prejudices of his time. However, one has to step beneath the surface of story and engage with his presentation of character to gauge his true stance on the Patriarchy. In ‘The Tempest’, Prospero is presented as ruthless and destructive, in contrast with his empathic daughter Miranda, whose heart has not been tainted by the desire for revenge. In ‘The Merchant of Venice’, Bassanio is presented as over-privileged but ineffective, in contrast with the disempowered but ingenious heiress Portia, whom he is set to wed; while Shylock is presented as mobilised for revenge by the abusive hypocrisies of the merchant Antonio, who in contrast, is self-indulgently courting a gesture of self-sacrifice to immortalise himself in Bassanio’s memory. In ‘The Taming of the Shrew’, Petruchio is presented as perpetually arrogant, in contrast with Katherina, who eventually accepts the inevitability of her subjugation in an oppressive society in which women are only granted ‘straw lances’.

My aim as director of the Shakespeare plays at John Colet School, is to draw out and enhance the perpetual resonance of Shakespeare’s works with our times, by pulling at these threads of criticism aimed at all who would seek to tame, enslave, ostracise or abuse others. Through a continual reinterpretation of the setting, and a dynamic interplay with important voices of our own time, these apparent controversies transform into fruitful conversations about human ethics and philosophy. Shakespeare is a playwright for all ages and all Ages.

Claire Lilla
Drama Teacher and Director, JCS Shakespeare Festivals

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John Colet School - Belrose NSW

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