Reflecting on Beginning 2019 | go to Calendar »

Newsletter - Beginning 2019

1. From The Principal

Dear Families,

It seems no time since we commenced the year and yet here we are at the end of February. I hope that everyone has had a great start to the year and is ready for everything that is still to come.

First Aid Training

Both staff and students have been trained in First Aid procedures and the CPR process in the month of February. Our children all now know what to do in an emergency and, while they will hopefully never have to put this knowledge to the test, it is comforting to know that they can call on it if it is needed. One of the clips that was shown to staff at our training day was an actual Triple 0 call made by a child who had obviously undertaken similar training and who was able to assist her father after he had an accident and provide first aid and vital information until the ambulance arrived.

P&F Welcome Picnic

Thank you to the Parent and Friends for organising this year’s Welcome Picnic on Friday 8th February. The evening was well attended with a good cross section of our school community represented. The jumping castle is always a popular attraction on this night and was well utilised the entire time. We even had a large number of last year’s Grade 6s return to share how the first couple of weeks of secondary school were going for them. Thank you to all who helped with setting up, cooking and serving sausages, and packing up.

In regard to P&F activities, please consider coming along to meetings for the P&F. While there is an executive in place, it is a lot to expect this small group of volunteers to do it all and I know they would appreciate any help on offer. Our executive members this year are: President, Julia Manickam; Vice President, Michelle Tyrrell; Secretary, Bernadette Montalto; Treasurer, Melissa McIntosh; Stalls Coordinator, Rebecca Fanelli; Secondhand Uniform Coordinator, Jennifer Jacobs-Vandegeer.

Triskills Gymnastics

This year we welcome back the crew from Triskills to facilitate the gymnastics component of our PE program. The children have had three sessions of a seven week program and have been working on various flips, turns, somersaults and landings over this time. Ask your child, if you haven’t already, what they most enjoyed about the session when they come home next Monday.

Parent Teacher Information Meetings

Hopefully all parents took advantage of this opportunity to meet with their child’s teacher and share relevant information and discuss concerns for the year ahead. I hope also that you took away the Information Booklet that outlines the focus for this term in various learning areas. Anyone who is still to meet with the teachers can arrange a meeting date by contacting their child’s class teacher via email – use the contact page on the website if you are unsure of their email address. We place great value on the home/school partnership so please do not hesitate to contact the classroom teacher with any concerns or questions throughout the year.

Grade 5 and 6 Camp to Phillip Island

Last week our Grade 5 and 6 students travelled to Phillip Island where, for the first time, we experienced a bush camping program. The children had to set up their own tents and lay out the insides so that everyone (and their luggage) fit comfortably. They were able to sit around the camp fire to eat and they were also able to enjoy toasted marshmallows. There were a range of activities they could experience including a great raft building exercise that required them to work as a team in order to experience success – an activity I am pleased to say went extremely well and showed just how cooperative and supportive our children can be. I think everyone was very pleased that some upgrades had been done shortly before our arrival and that the old bush showers and drop toilets had been replaced with more up-to-date facilities. A big thanks to the adults who accompanied the children for giving up their time to enable this event to go ahead and for the care they provided.

Student Leadership

This week has seen us focusing on the qualities of a leader and discussing how our children can take this on across the school. Those senior students interested in taking on a formal position presented speeches as part of this focus. I was fortunate to listen to the speeches given by our Grade 6 students on Tuesday and was impressed with the courage and commitment that went into these. While there is inevitably disappointment for those who were not subsequently elected to a position, the emphasis is very much on viewing ourselves as leaders no matter what title we may or may not hold, and on embracing the chance to put this into effect. I am confident that our senior students will carry on the tradition set by past students in this area. Badges will be given out at tomorrow morning’s Assembly and Student Leaders will be formally commissioned at this time, while the special role that our Grade 6 class plays in the school will also be acknowledged.

Congratulations Margaret Zita

Many of our parents will know of Margaret Zita’s (Will, Grade 6, 2018) efforts supporting charities through various fundraising efforts. These efforts were recognised nationally in the Australia Day Honours this year with the award of the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM). Margaret’s charities, “My Room Children’s Cancer Charity” and “The Million Dollar Lunch for the Children’s Cancer Foundation” have raised substantial amounts for this worthy cause over a number of years now. As a community we congratulate Margaret on this recognition and wish her well in her future endeavours. Anyone who would like to be part of these endeavours has the chance to do so as “My Room” is looking for volunteers to assist with an event at the 2019 Grand Prix. Please click this link to find out more about what volunteers would need to do, as well as a link for those who wish to join to register their interest.

Preparing the Way

Congratulations to Tanya Tuyau who was among the top performers in last year’s VCE at the Academy of Mary Immaculate and across the state, a stunning effort. Congratulations also to Jessica Cabral and Mia Jeldres for being selected to Student Leadership positions for this year’s VCE class at the Academy. We wish each of them great success in the year ahead as they take on new challenges.

Family Mass in the Parish

This Sunday the Parish are holding a monthly Family Mass. Families are invited to come along at the 10:30am Mass at St John’s. Children’s Liturgy will be available to make the readings relevant for the children and there will be a cuppa in Aikenhead Hall afterwards so that everyone can catch up before going on with their Sunday activities.

Camp Australia

Camp Australia provide our out of school hours care here at St John’s and the staff, led by our coordinator, Rosie, do a great job of making the experience safe and enjoyable for all who attend. Please consider registering your details with Camp Australia even if you may not use the service. This means that, in an emergency, you can easily book your child in with peace of mind. To register follow this link

Reflection Frequency

Starting next month we are going to trial putting our reflection out fortnightly rather than monthly to ensure that we can update our community more regularly. We will review this with the community in Term 2 to assess whether this is meeting our needs



Until next time, respectfully, Daniel 🙂


3. From The P&F


Dear parents, grand parents, friends and guardians and a big welcome to St John’s for 2019.

Just a quick note to introduce myself and the rest of the P&F team for 2019 and invite you all to get involved.

The parent team this year consists of:

President:  Julia Manickam (Eliza – grade 2/3 and Darcy – Prep/1)

Vice President: Michelle Tyrell (Ned – grade 6)

Treasurer and major events coordinator: Melissa McIntosh (Xavier – grade 3/4)

Secretary: Bernadette Montalto (Francesca – Grade 2/3 and Gabriella grade Prep/1)

Mother’s / fathers day stall coordinator: Bec Fanelli (Katherine – grade 4)

Second hand uniform coordinator: Jennifer Jacobs-Vandegeer (Joseph – grade 6, Luke – grade 4 and Edith Prep/1)

Grade 6 rep: Cass Quilty

Grade 4/5 rep: TBC

Grade 3/4 rep: TBC

Grade 2/3rep: TBC

Grade Prep/1 rep: TBC


The P&F has two main roles fundraising and social functions. Over the years we have raised thousands of dollars and as a result we have our beautiful new play spaces that the children, teachers and parents too, get to enjoy!

In order to ensure that the P&F continues to achieve these goals, we need everyone to become involved in school activities. There is always so much going on and as they say, many hands make light work! We also have some spots open as class rep, if that is a role that interests you please let me know!

As a volunteer committee, we need helpers! Whether you are available during the day or night, for an hour or an afternoon, there is a function or event that needs your expertise.

Our functions range from evening events for the parents to sausage sizzles, movie nights, lunch orders, cake stalls and many other things. It would be fantastic if everyone could think about one or two events that they could offer their time to, as well as joining the fun and getting involved in the activities.

We are finalising the major events and will endeavour to get a list out to the community asap, if you would like to see what goes on feel free to join us at a P&F meeting, first date to be confirmed

For those who follow social media there are also a couple of channels you can follow:

instagram: @stjohnscliftonhill This is a school run instagram account.

Facebook: Parents of St. John’s Clifton Hill. This is a closed group run by P&F parents not a public page. You can request to follow.

Also remember the school website Calendar is a great go to for up to date event info. You can even sync it with your phone calendar for extra convenience.

Alternatively I can be contacted on 0407343637 or via email


Thanks in advance for your support!


Julia,  (on behalf of the P&F committee)

4. News Camp Australia

Please click on the following like News-from-Camp-Australia


Please click on the attachment for further details 2019-AFTER-SCHOOL-PROGRAM-ART-EXTENSION-2

6. House Sitting

We are going to Europe on the 21st of May and will be back on the 26th June.

We are looking for someone to mind our house and 2 dogs in Northcote during that time we are away.

The dogs are very friendly and easy to look after and the house is also comfortable.

Please email or call me 0401 671 256 to discuss

Harjinder Bhogal

7. Extra Curricular Noticeboard

8. Community Noticeboard