Reflecting on End of March | go to Calendar »

Newsletter - End of March

1. From The Principal

Dear Families,

We have arrived at the end of another month and, at the end of this week, at the end of another term. I’m sure that I can hear some families wondering where the weeks have gone and I know the staff are too. Many of our children on the other hand are ready for a break, especially as the mornings are darker and colder, so I hope they are able to take the two weeks of holidays and rest up ready for the busy second term that leads us into winter.

PSG Meetings

Over the last couple of weeks we have been busy meeting with parents whose children have Individual Learning Plans as part of their programs. Thank you to these parents for coming in to meet with us, to the teachers and support staff for their reflection on progress against identified goals, and to Melanie Granata, our Learning Diversity Leader, for coordinating these important Program Support Group (PSG) meetings. Teachers have begun the planning process for units of work and individual adjustments for next term for all students and we look forward to more progress in the new term.


NCCD is the Nationally Consistent Collection of Data for all children who have adjustments made to facilitate their learning programs. To some extent this applies to all children at St John’s as teachers adjust programs for specific stages of learning and learning growth for all children, but the NCCD applies specifically to those children who require adjustments beyond the regular due to specific learning challenges. There are four levels of adjustment that might be made by schools, these are: Quality Differentiated Teaching, Supplementary Adjustments, Substantial Adjustments and Extensive Adjustments. Evidence must be gathered in each individual case and maintained at the school. Students may require adjustments to be made to their programs for Physical, Cognitive, Sensory or Social/Emotional reasons. This process is relatively new and was used last year across schools to ascertain the level of funding schools would receive for extra support staff and programs in classrooms. The process has once again commenced in order to secure funding for next year’s support programs, and teachers will collect evidence of their adjustments through to August when applications are made to government. Further information on the NCCD can be found by clicking the following link: SWD-Information-Sheet-parents-2019.

First Reconciliation

Congratulations to those children who made their First Reconciliation last Wednesday evening in the church with Fr Martin and Fr Frank. Reconciliation is an important prerequisite for First Communion, which will be celebrated later this year, but is also an important sacrament in its own right. The ability to mend relationships and to forgive past wrongs is necessary for living a healthy life and the sacrament gives those who undertake it strength to make changes or take actions to bring this about. In their preparation the children focused on the story of the tax collector, Nicodemus, who was forgiven publicly by Jesus and who made reparations for his past sins as a result. Thanks to Fathers Martin and Frank for being available on the night to facilitate this sacrament, to Narelle Taylor, Ann Nolan and Melanie Granata for their preparation of the children, to the parents for their support, and to the children for undertaking this sacrament in such a positive manner.

P&F Events

Thanks to our hardworking parent volunteers for their organisation of last week’s sushi lunch orders and for the fantastic Movie Night on Friday evening. The children thoroughly enjoyed both events. Coming up, please don’t forget the Hot Cross Bun Orders and the Easter Egg Raffle, please make sure your orders are in and tickets returned. See the email sent out earlier today for more detail or speak to Gina in the office or one of the P&F executive. The next meeting of the P&F is tomorrow night, Tuesday 2nd April at 7pm in Aikenhead Hall for all those who would like to attend.


Congratulations to Julia Manickam and to Simon Howe for their recent participation in this past weekends Oxfam walk. The aim is to raise funds for Oxfam by walking 100km non stop over the course of the weekend. There were some very sore legs and feet after the event, but what a stunning effort!

Not Every Act of Meanness is Bullying

I recently came across an article written for a parent website that deals with helping children who are experiencing conflict with other children, whether at home, school, or in other areas of their life. The article begins:

“One of our jobs is to help children and young people to interpret events proportionally. However, in recent times, I have seen a shift involving the wrong application of words like trauma, depression and bullying. When these very meaningful words are misused, their misuse can result in unwanted consequences. What might be the ‘unkind’ behaviour of another may, in fact, not be ‘bullying’. In this article we discuss the differences between unkindness and bullying – and how defining the two correctly can teach kids resilience and how to cope with conflict.

Anyone who spends a great deal of time with children or simply remembers their own childhood or schoolyard days, would know that children can be downright mean. An experiment by Debra Pepler at York University brought together children from years 1 to 6 who were identified by their teachers as particularly aggressive or particularly non-aggressive. What the study found was that the aggressive children were mean to others on average every two minutes and more revealingly, the non-aggressive children also displayed mean behaviour but on average every three minutes.

Conflict is unfortunately a part of life that we all deal with, no matter what age.” The full article can be found by clicking here.

Slavery Free Chocolate

I draw your attention to an item in the Parish Newsletter that runs as follows:

Pope Francis said “every person ought to have the awareness that purchasing is always a moral – and not simply an economic – act.” It is estimated that up to 40 million people are trapped in slavery globally – 1 in 4 of these are children. They will never get an education and they will never taste the chocolate produced from the cocoa beans they pick. But people around the world are making decisions that could change this tragedy. Good News: St Vincent’s Health Australia is working towards slavery-free procurement of the goods and services used across their 32 sites. Action: Follow the lead of Melbourne Catholic schools and St Vincent’s and buy only slavery-free. It is delicious. It will feature one of these three logos.

Student Leadership

Congratulations to all of our Student Leaders who are off to a fine start in their new roles. This week I would like to especially acknowledge the enthusiasm shown by the Captains for Environment, Social Justice and Arts – Grace, Ewan and Reuben. All three have been busy liaising with teachers and getting their groups organised and it is great to see them embracing these roles. Please see the report from Grace later in this newsletter and keep an eye out for further Student Leader reports in future editions.

ECSI Surveys

Thank you to all those families who have logged on to complete the Enhancing Catholic School Identity (ECSI) surveys sent out at the start of last week. These surveys capture data showing what sort of Catholic School we currently have that then enables the school to plan for improvements in our next Strategic Plan, to be developed after our School Review due next year. Please ensure that surveys are completed by Friday, thank you in anticipation.

School Photos

Please remember that all children must be in their correct summer uniform (including proper black shoes) on Thursday for our school photos. All children will be in their class photo and will have an individual photo taken on the day. They will also appear in the whole school photo which will be taken weather permitting. There is no obligation to purchase school photos but, if you would like to do so, please ensure that order forms are returned by Wednesday afternoon to the office.

I wish all of our children a relaxing and refreshing holiday break.

Remember, school finishes for the term on Friday 5th April at 1:30 p.m. and starts again for Term 2 on Tuesday 23rd April at 8:55 a.m.

Until next term, respectfully, Daniel 🙂


2. From The Parish

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3. From The P&F


Hello Parents and Friends,

Only one week to go and we can all have a little breather. I hope everyone is looking forward to a break from lunch making and the morning rush!

I hope everyone enjoyed the movie night and lunch orders last week. All reports were that a fun, though slightly boisterous night was had by all.

A huge thank you to all those who helped out the team led by Michelle, Bec, Bernadette and Choi. These evenings rely on everyone helping out, so to all those set uppers, sellers, cleaners, cookers, servers and kid wranglers. THANK YOU!!

A couple of things before the end of term

Tuesday April 2 

Hot Cross Bun orders.  It’s not too late to order Hot Cross Buns. Remember Baker’s Delight will donate to the school for every pack ordered.

Hot Cross Buns come in many delightful flavours including choc chip and apple & cinnamon. They make a great play lunch and also freeze really well.

Ordering is done online just go to: to order.

Thursday April 4

Easter Raffle. Don’t forget to return your raffle tickets and if you haven’t yet added something to the donation tub it’s not too late!! We are still accepting Easter related items for the raffle. Huge thanks to Miss Melanie for organising and making up the lovely hampers.


Major Events 2019

We have two major events for 2019, so please put them in your Calendar today! We would love to see as many people as possible at these events.

There is one for all the family and one for the parents. Bring a friend and come along to join in the fun!

SAVE THE DATE 1: Saturday May 18th  

Saturday May 18  

Family Bush Dance. Our biggest event of Term 2 will be the Bush Dance. This was a wonderful event and we hope that everyone comes along this year.

SAVE THE DATE 2: Saturday August 17th          

Saturday August 17  

Comedy Night  This was a huge success last year. The comedians were funny, the food was fabulous and the company even better!

If you didn’t make it last year, this is a night not to be missed. Enjoy a fun night out and bring some friends along too.

Finally, from everyone on your P&F Committee, we wish you all a safe holiday and many Blessings for a very Happy Easter!

4. Report from Grace and Planet Kids

Hi everyone! My name is Grace Carter. I am the Environment Captain at St John’s. I care deeply about the environment, and I am extremely excited to help it this year. Thank you to everyone who gave and is still giving me support. I would like to update the St John’s community on what being Environment Captain means to me and what things I’ll be doing for the school.

Being Environment Captain means caring about the wellbeing of the whole School and Nature Environment – People, Animals, Plants and Resources. That doesn’t just mean what I can do but also encouraging others to help. The things we already do and can do ourselves are – helping Ms Sally with our beautiful garden, picking up rubbish whether it’s ours or not, separating rubbish, recycling and reusing things into new things like art projects, using less water and paper. We can also get involved in events that are run by organisations that care for the environment like Zoos Victoria and Penguins Foundation Victoria.

I’ve restarted Green Group at St John’s and called it Planet Kids. We are a team of students who are passionate about the environment. We come together Wednesday lunchtimes to talk about what we can do to help. Since it’s only just the beginning, we’re just getting organised. We have been designing our own PK Badges, and we’ve also made new friends that share the same love of the environment as us.

On Friday March 29 we organised to be part of Earth Hour Schools Day when we switched off all the power for an hour. I just want to thank Mr Ryan and the teachers and students for cooperating and turning off the lights and computers. Some of the hallways were darker and that was fun. The main Earth Hour around the world was on Saturday March 30 at 8:30 PM. The reasons for switching off for an hour are to save a bit of energy and practice using less energy, but mostly to make a point to Governments that there are so many positive things we can do to help the environment.

Next term Planet Kids will have more fun ideas on how to help, and we’d love to hear from you! It’s never too late to join Planet Kids, but whether or not you’re in Planet Kids you’re still doing your part!

From Grace C. (Environment Captain)

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