Reflecting on February 2017 | go to Calendar »

Newsletter - February 2017

1. From The Principal

Welcome back to the 2017 school year. If you missed the community email that went out earlier this week then I hope that all of the children have had a great chance to rest and recharge ready for another great year of learning and new experiences, and that mums, dads and other family members have also had a chance to catch their breath over the Christmas/New Year period. Our staff are looking forward to an exciting and engaging year ahead and have already been hard at work planning and discussing what the year will look like.
I extend a special welcome to those families who have joined us this year, either in the Prep year or throughout the school. It is wonderful to have you as part of our school community and we hope that your time with us will be one that is rewarding for you. The new children have settled into their classes well and are making friends and getting used to new routines. I am sure that our parent community will also be welcoming to the new parents as the children have already been to their classmates.

Playground Update

Our playground works continue and I am told that we can expect completion by the end of next week, weather allowing. There has been great excitement among the children as they have watched the work being done. The added bonus of walking down to the Darling Gardens is also something that they have certainly enjoyed; we thank the staff for their commitment and flexibility to allow this to occur and the parents who have been able to come down with us and assist in crossing roads and with supervision.
When the work is completed we will have the brand new equipment on the upper yard to be shared between the older and younger children on rostered days, gardens beds surrounding this to bring in some more natural aspects to our yard, and a brand new sandpit that is removed from the basketball court. A much later stage of the Master Plan will also see some landscaping in between this playground and the church that will tie the yard in with the garden area where parents drop off and collect children.
You will notice that the bottom yard has been levelled and mulched (some of it temporarily) with planting intended for this area later this term or early next term – the planting will be an opportunity for families to have an input into the work as we hope to have this done at a working bee. New equipment for this area is dependent on funds being raised throughout this year, although a grant application has been submitted and we are awaiting the outcome of that. This area is being used for passive games including dressups and has been quite popular even without equipment.

Storm Damage

Like many other households and schools across the metropolitan region, we were affected by the heavy downpour prior to New Year’s Eve. Our guttering and drainage failed to cope with the volume of water resulting in water coming into the room that is now 3/4G and down into our Hall. Thanks to the insurance company and their dedicated subcontractors this damage was rectified with new plaster, insulation, skirting boards, carpet and lighting installed ready for the children’s return.

Updating Information

Details on our school website have been updated over the holidays. An important update that has been completed is the staff contact page (the last tab at the top of the page). If parents need to contact any member of staff you are able to do so through this page, simply scroll down through the list and choose the staff member you wish to email. Please allow up to 24 hours for staff to respond – if the matter is urgent please give us a call through the office number, 9489 1346.
Parents of children who have asthma, anaphylaxis, or other conditions that require supervision please ensure that you have given an up-to-date action plan, prepared in consultation with your doctor, to the office; if not then please ensure that this reaches us by the end of next week at the latest. Gina has sent home quite a bit of information this week including the information we have on file in respect to contact details. It is vital that this information is checked and that we are notified of any inaccuracies or changes in detail and that we have emergency contacts other than the main carers in case of emergency.


Our newsletter takes the form of a Monthly Reflection published on our website usually towards the end of each month. If you subscribe to the Reflection you will receive an email alert when each new Reflection is published. If you have not already subscribed then please go to the website, choose the Calendar & News tab, click where it says “go to News”, and subscribe in the field available in the left column. This will also subscribe you to the Weekly Bulletin that comes out on Sunday evening giving a heads up on the coming week.
Please also ensure that you check the school calendar in this same section on a regular basis as changes are made occasionally and events added on a regular basis.
From time to time group emails will go out to the community. While the group email address to the community has been updated from last year it is possible that some email addresses did not make it into the new group. If you did not receive the email at the start of this week, or know of anyone who didn’t, please let me know so this can be rectified.
All notes from the classroom or the Principal that are sent home will be placed in children’s Reader Pockets or Note Pockets and will also be put up onto the School Blog page in PDF form in case they go missing. Please check the blog page for these and also for updates on the children’s work; teachers will be endeavouring to post to this page at least twice a term with classroom updates. If you do not know how to access the blog please let your child’s teacher know.

Welcome Picnic Change of Date

This was originally scheduled for next Friday but we have decided to delay this event until Friday 3rd March. This will ensure that the playground is well and truly ready to go and not a novelty on the night. It will also allow us time to install a new Parents and Friends Executive Committee who will then have adequate time to plan and prepare for the event.


St John’s is a Sunsmart accredited school. In line with our Sunsmart policy please remember hats and sunscreen are required until the end of April. Without a hat children will need to remain in shaded areas thus restricting their opportunities to play and socialise. Hats are available from Academy Uniforms and also from the school office. The hat that is worn is expected to be a school uniform hat and must have a full brim or be the legionnaire style of hat with a flap at the back.

New House Colour Shirts

Our new House Colour polo shirts are now available through Academy Uniforms. These shirts are made from a breathable fabric that dries quickly and are in royal blue with the colour of your child’s house making up the side panels. These shirts are designed to be worn on PE and Bluearth days as well as during our House Sports, Grandparents and Special Person’s Day, and other times we gather in our Houses rather than our classes. It is not necessary to race out and buy a new shirt straight away as the first half of the year will be a phasing in period. The existing gold polo shirt will continue to be the main school uniform shirt for days other than sports or House events.

Grade 5 and 6 Camp

Parents of Grade 5 and 6 children should all have received information on this year’s camp to Phillip Island which will be taking place from Wednesday 15th February to Friday 17th February. This camp is an outdoor adventure camp in comparison to the government and civics focus of our Canberra camp on the alternate year.

Commissioning Mass and Student Leaders

Our annual Commissioning of Staff and new Student Leaders will take place at the parish Mass on Sunday 26th February at 10:30am; the entire school community is warmly invited to attend this Mass. Our student leader aspirants will be preparing and delivering their speeches as part of the election process before voting takes place in Week 4.

Beginning of Year School Mass

There is no Assembly next week, instead everyone is warmly invited to join us in the church for our Beginning of the Year Mass starting at 9:15am. It would be great to see a good representation of parents if you are able to make this event.

Parent Information Sessions

Please keep an eye out for details about these in your child’s Note Pockets towards the end of next week.
Until the end of the month, respectfully,


2. From The Parish

Download the latest newsletters from the Parish

Parish Newsletter February 4-5

3. From The P&F

To view the minutes from the last meeting please click on the following link PNF Minutes November (1)

4. Extra Curricular Noticeboard

5. Community Noticeboard