– 1925 –

Beecroft PLC


Reported in The Presbyterian Messenger, 1 January 1926

The Beecroft PLC annual prize distribution was held in the School of Arts on Friday 11 December. The Rev A M Ogilvie, Chairman of the Committee, presided and the Rev Dr Angus distributed the prizes. In her report, the Principal (Mrs Linck) stated that the numbers have steadily mounted since the foundation in 1922. The total enrolment for 1925 was 71, that of last year being 62. Improvements and additions to the building were carried out during the year. The importance of regular and punctual attendance must be recognised if progress is to be ensured. A Junior Red Cross Circle has lately been formed within the School, and has done good service, having already contributed gifts of money, toys, book, and useful things for the Christmas shelf. Mrs Linck emphasised the importance of the principle of service to others being inculcated early.

During the year netball and tennis matches were played against junior teams from Croydon, Pymble and other schools, and representatives from Croydon and Pymble contested a few inter-school events in the annual sports.

Progress has been satisfactory in all school subjects. A decided improvement is shown in English, both written and spoken. The importance of the preparatory school was pointed out. In such a school as Beecroft, the speaker said, the individual received a more that usual amount of attention, and, also pupils come into contact only with those of their own age and mental and moral development.

Parents were urged not to leave the whole responsibility for their children’s education with the teachers, but to co-operate loyally in the common cause.

– 1931 –

Arden Preparatory School and Kindergarten End of Year Report

Presented by Headmistress, Miss Emily Gurney at Speech Day


The close of the year 1931 completes the second year’s work at Arden. During the present year the number of pupils has, for many reasons, not materially increased, still the work has continued, and three girls finished their primary school course and sat for the High School examination last November.

Early in the year a visit to the Museum was arranged for the older girls, who found there much to interest and instruct. Mother’s Day, falling as it did at the end of the first term, enabled the children to invite their mothers to see their work, and also to receive the tiny gifts made to give her pleasure. Wattle Day was a happy time, the Wattle Queen was crowned, and spring welcomed in [a] truly regal fashion. Easter too, brought its joy with Easter eggs and even the Easter bunny came, all uninvited. At the Bjelke-Petersen Annual Display three of the Arden pupils were chosen to compete. The first Sports Day was, despite the very bad weather, carried out with a full programme of events. It was a very special help on that day to have Mr Turner with us. These days [are] all planned for the children’s enjoyment, and planned too in great simplicity, so that the children may learn the value of simple, happy recreation and sport…

During the early winter, the sewing period was occupied in making warm garments for little needy children. It was truly a labour of love. The spirit of service thus implanted bore fruit later, when, the children originated and successfully carried out a School Tuckshop. The proceeds were given to the Rector to help the poor of his parish. As an expression of goodwill at Christmas time on Friday next, the children will entertain about thirty girls and boys who would not otherwise have much pleasure or fun in these difficult times. In these practical ways the children are learning useful lessons for life, by their willing service.

– 1949 –

Formation of the Arden P&F


– 1953 –

A Further Gift to Arden School


Reported in the Beecroft and Cheltenham Church of England News, January 1953

A year ago we learned of the magnificent gift of £3 000 which Mr C O Nelson gave to Arden C of E School, Beecroft, to enable the School to acquire its own property, as a memorial to the late Lydia Gertrude Nelson. Mr Nelson has now announced his intention to make this gift up to £6 000, thus paying off the debt on the property. This wonderful gift has put Arden on a secure financial basis.

Miss I E Frazer has had to give up her position as Headmistress of the School, owning to her ill-health during this year. The School is greatly indebted to her for her valuable and willing assistance in a difficult time of transition, and in 1953, the School will be under the direction of Miss Doreen Crossman, who was formerly a lecturer on the staff of the Kindergarten and Primary Training College at Waverley, where she had charge of the Primary section of the work, and later Headmistress of the Church of England Grammar School at Orange. We wish to welcome the new Headmistress and look forward to a continued happy connection between the parish church and this Church of England school in our midst.

– 1968 –

End of Year Report

Presented by Headmistress, Miss Mavis Hudson, at Speech Day


…Many of this year’s activities have centred around Music. This is due not only to Mrs Coster’s gift of choir leadership, but perhaps more to her patience, enthusiasm and a great deal of hard work. The result of her efforts are evident today with the Pre-School staff and Miss Brown she produced a polished touch to Hiawatha and the Carol Service. The choir has worked well under her guidance and provided items for the Mowll Village Fete and the radio programme Sunday School of the Air. And of course, on Open Day they sang that beautiful, unaccompanied anthem, Holy, Holy, Holy. I am so pleased that their teachers will have the Christmas carols record as a tangible reward for they have all worked hard. I am sure that as it is replayed during the Christmas season, it will bring constant joy to all who hear it…

– 1973 –

Pre-School Jottings

By Mrs Neale


Reported in the Arden School Magazine, Volume VII, November 1973, p. 7

This has been a most eventful year, and I believe the children have enjoyed their experiences at Pre-School (I have certainly enjoyed sharing their activities).

The children have had fun with all the various activities, which have included building their own great creations with the blocks, cars, boats, etc. – we have even built our own harbour and Opera House. Painting too has been very popular.

Our outings have been a great success. All had a happy and exciting time when we visited a property at Glenhaven, but I think the animals received a shock when the children decided to chase and play with them. The walk in the bush was also very interesting and informative. All were thrilled with the visit to the School by the fire engine and firemen. Another happy outing was the morning spent at Adventure Park, West Pennant Hills, and before the end of the year we are to visit Hornsby Shopping Centre, where the children will meet an old friend of theirs – Santa Claus. Many thanks to all who have helped with these outings.

The outdoor equipment has been very popular with all, and we have been taken for many imaginary trips on the train and boat. The new wheel toys have not been idle, and they now have their own “garage” and “parking lot”.

As the children will be transferring to another group next year, I hope all will continue to enjoy their time at Arden.

Many thanks to the parents for their assistance throughout the year.

– 1983 –

The Opening of Johnstone House and Hudson House

By Katrina Fisher & Natalie Burns (Year 6)


Reported in the Arden School Magazine, 1983

The whole marquee was full of silent people awaiting the official opening and dedication of the Infant’s School Complex. After a minute or so, Miss Duckworth lead a party of the VIPs up onto the stage. Everyone stood as a few bouquets were presented to the most important ladies present by some kindergarten children. Then all sang God Save the Queen. We were all seated and the Chairman of the Arden Anglican School Council, the Reverend T R Wallace spoke about the history of Arden when Miss Hudson was there and how she devoted part of her life to the school. Then Miss Duckworth gave a speech on how it was not easy to get the new building and how each class had participated in raising money for the fund, she also thanked the staff for coping through such hard moments. Next the Chaplain, Reverend A Blanch, conducted the service of dedication. The School then sang their School Hymn and the parents joined in to sing Tell Out My Soul. The Chaplain said a short speech, a prayer and then we all joined in for the Lord’s Prayer. The School Choir sang two songs, first Walking in the King’s Highway and second Only Jesus. We all then sang a hymn called Praise My Soul, the King of Heaven. Then came what everybody had been waiting for – the Archbishop’s address and the official opening. When that was over the benediction was said and everybody remained seated while the official party inspected the building. Then Mrs Coster came up onto the stage and told the classes quietly one by one to go to their classrooms with their teacher. Parent followed excitedly, ready to see their children’s work. After this, afternoon tea was served outside on the asphalt. What a day!!

 – 1995 –


By Lauren Stevens 6C


Reported in the Arden Anglican School Magazine, 1995, p. 11

In Term 2, K-6 went walking to raise money for the building of the new Children’s Hospital at Westmead.

Birnam leaders and staff organised this wonderful day for the School. Pre-Schoolers walked around the playground of Big Nelson, K-2 walked around the street block which contains the School buildings and Years 3-6 walked down to Booth Park and around it [a] number of times.

People from Beecroft Rotary came to take pictures of the enthusiastic walkers for the paper. They also awarded us with a plaque in appreciation of our excellent support and our great effort.

In excess of $5 000 was donated to the Hospital – a fine effort from all the children.

 – 2003 –

Our Secondary School commences!

By Sue Middlebrook, Lower Secondary Co-ordinator


Reported in the Friends of Arden, March 2003, p. 2

It was one of those days that you think is never going to arrive. We had been planning for months, working through the holidays, painting, scrubbing, rebuilding, setting-up new classrooms, building furniture for the computer room and setting-up the Science labs. We also had a great deal of support from parents and students. They vacuumed, washed windows, painted railings and furniture. Thank you to you all. We would not have been able to look as wonderful as we did on the first day without you.

And we did look wonderful!

The students arrived looking fantastic in their new uniforms, with expressions that ranged between fear and excitement. The day began with a Chapel service in the hall. A band, formed by students from last year’s Year 12 at William Clarke College, added an exciting dimension to the service. A formal photo was taken of all the students and staff, and a huge celebration cake was cut and shared. The students began their lessons by recess and even managed to be given homework on their first day. Steve Lister, our P&F President, cooked the students a barbecue lunch. What a great day of celebration. The end of the day seemed to come very quickly and then everyone had to deal with public transport and the big adventure of getting themselves home.

We are now well into first term and things have changed a little. The students are no longer quiet and tentative – that did not last long at all. They are very comfortable with their surroundings, each other and the staff. They are a great group of students who are all highly regarded by all of the staff.

– 2012 –

Arden Celebrates Founders’ Day


Reported in the Friends of Arden, June 2012, p. 4

Arden celebrated its 90th Anniversary Founders’ Day on 20 April, 2012, and held a special Founders’ Day Assembly on Friday 27 April. Involving all the students and staff from 3-Day Pre-School to Year 12, the assembly was the largest student gathering (involving over 700 girls and boys) in the history of the School and was held in The Colin May Centre. Other former staff, School Council members and representatives of the school community also joined the current students and staff in celebrating the growth and history of the School…

Miss Margaret Duckworth, who was Principal of Arden between 1973 and 1992, was the guest speaker at the assembly and reflected on her own time of leading the School when it had around 150 students. During her speech she provided a brief overview of the School’s history, before sharing some of the highlights of her Arden days. She then conveyed some personally significant thoughts. Miss Duckworth said in her speech:

“I’ve often felt that trees were definitely part of the Arden story – our name from the Forest of Arden; Birnam and Sherwood Houses names both from forests in England, Jenolan a forest area here; green our school colour. I’d like to suggest that trees have strength and stability, particularly ones in forests for they stay close together assisting each other in growth upward to the light. I’ll go further and suggest that Arden students will show strength and stability of character as they help one another in their upward growth, both in academic knowledge and in Christian commitment.”

She further imparted: “I have a final thought to share, it’s about school spirit – the Arden spirit. It’s intangible and difficult to define but it does exist and is shown in many different ways. I like to think that part of the Arden spirit is ENTHUSIASM – one of my favourite words. It is a quality to be admired and is, I believe, a necessity for real success in anything. The word enthusiasm actually comes from two Greek words – ‘en’ meaning ‘in’ and ‘theos’ meaning ‘God’. If Arden can encourage students to be enthusiastic about the things of God, then that is the greatest.”

She concluded with: “As we give thanks for the past 90 years, we acknowledge God’s constant leading and guiding in all that has been undertaken and accomplished in this school – and in the words of our School Hymn: ‘Dear Lord we pray, thy Spirit may be present in our school always.’”


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