Reflecting on March 2018 | go to Calendar »

Newsletter - March 2018

1. From The Principal

Rejoice, heavenly choirs of angels.
Rejoice, all creation around God’s throne.

Jesus Christ, our King, is risen!
Sound the trumpet of salvation.

Rejoice, O earth, in shining splendor,
Radiant in the brightness of your King.

Christ has conquered! Glory fills you!
Darkness vanishes for ever.

Dear Families,

The lines above are taken from the Exultet, a beautiful prayer in praise of God, usually only sung or recited once a year at the beginning of the Easter Vigil Mass. At Easter time we celebrate the dawn of new possibilities in our lives and in the lives of those around us. We are reminded that to be a Christian is to be a person of joy and hope. Easter’s message is one of optimism for the future, and an enjoyment of the present, rather than one of regret for the past and, in that spirit, we give thanks for all that this term has brought our way and look forward to the challenges of the term to come.

Our term has been a busy one into which we packed a lot of fun and a lot of learning. Congratulations go to all of the children and their teachers for what has been achieved and grateful thanks go to our parent, grandparent and volunteer helpers for their partnership throughout the past weeks.

The month of March began with the Grade 5 and 6 children travelling to Canberra, for their biennial Canberra Camp, and ended with a fantastic Community Bush Dance last Friday (see the article from P&F President Julia Manickam later in this Reflection) and the drawing of the Easter Raffle today and tomorrow. Other highlights have been the celebration of First Reconciliation for 18 of our Grade 3 students, the eight day intensive swimming program for children in Prep-4, and the Learning Celebrations and Goal Setting Meetings that have been held over the last couple of days.

My School 2018 – Congratulations

While the annual NAPLAN tests have many detractors and are certainly not a complete indication of how a school and individual children are progressing with learning, they are a useful tool for us to track our growth or otherwise over time. With these points in mind, I was delighted late last month to receive an email from Robert Randall, Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA), congratulating us on the growth that we have achieved recently. Mr Randall stated in part that “I am pleased to advise that ACARA has identified your school as having demonstrated substantially above average gain in reading and/or numeracy achievement, as measured by NAPLAN.” Although the news was embargoed until the latest MySchool data was published, I am now able to publicly thank our teachers for the efforts they continue to put in across the school to ensure this achievement, and to congratulate our students for the gains they have made in their learning.

Canberra Camp for Grade 5s and 6s

As you are all aware, our Grade 5s and 6s recently travelled to our national capital, Canberra, for their biennial camp and educational tour. Students were given the opportunity to participate in a variety of educational programs with a focus on Australia’s history, culture, heritage and democracy. They returned safely to Clifton Hill just after 7:00pm on Friday 2nd March, tired but satisfied with the trip.

The Australian Government recognises the importance of all young Australians being able to visit the national capital as part of their Civics and Citizenship education. To assist families in meeting the cost of the excursion the Australian Government is contributing funding of $30 per student under the Parliament and Civics Education Rebate program towards those costs. The rebate is paid directly to the school upon completion of the excursion and has been taken into account when calculating charges to parents.

Deepest Sympathy

I would like to extend our deepest sympathy Julie Nodin and her son Henry in Grade 4/5 on the loss of Julie’s father, Henry’s grandfather and grandfather to past students, Nic, Sienna and Massimo Nodin.

Geoffrey Nodin passed away on the morning of March 14th. At 93 he had a wonderful innings and he lived a completely independent life until the end.  As a community our thoughts and prayers are with the family.

Eternal rest grant unto him O Lord and may perpetual light shine upon him.

Easter Raffle Winners

The winners of the first round raffle draw were:

1st place Manickam

2nd place Stella B

3rd place McIntosh Family

4th place Amelia Q

5th place Gatt Family

6th place Charlotte & Ash McK

7th place Patrick F-H

8th place Matlida C

9th place Joan Parr

10th place Miss Melanie

11th place Barr Family

12th place Gisele

13th place Megan Powell

The winners of the second round raffle draw were:

1st place Rian R

2nd place Rueben W

3rd place Colyer Family

4th place Meija B

5th place Ewan H

6th place Baden D

7th place Luke J-V

8th place Seb S

9th place Henry G

10th place Gina Varrasso

11th place Yosef Desta

12th place Sebastian M

13th place Ann Nolan

First Reconciliation

Congratulations to those students who presented themselves, together with their parents, to undertake the Sacrament of Reconciliation for the first time last Wednesday 21st March. Our Parish Priest, Fr Peter Hoang, and our past Parish Priest, Fr Peter Varengo, officiated for us on the night and both were complimentary of the children for their preparation and for their embrace of the occasion. Reconciliation is an important first step towards First Communion but also an important sacrament in its own right as a celebration of healing, growth, and rebuilt relationships with each other and with God. Thanks to Miss Narelle Taylor and Mrs Ann Nolan for working with the children to ensure they understood and were prepared for this special time.

Swimming Program Thanks

Special thanks is extended to those mums, dads, grandparents and family friends who assisted with walking children safely to and from the pool and ensuring that bathers, clothes and towels all returned with their rightful owners. This program relies heavily on this involve,ent and is deeply appreciated by the staff and, ultimately, by the children themselves.

No Bullying Day

Last Friday we were invited to wear casual clothes with a touch of purple to mark our awareness of No Bullying Day. We also had special lessons focussing on what bullying was and what we can all do to say “No!” to bullying. Thanks to people bring in their gold coin donation on the day we raised $101.20 and the money was donated to the Alannah and Madeline Foundation to assist their ongoing efforts in this area.

Extra-Curricular Offerings and Community Notices

Parents may wish to take note of the extra-curricular offerings for holidays and next term appearing later in this Reflection, especially Michele’s Art Extension sessions which are always popular and news from Creative Music. Please also check out the Community Notices for items that may be of interest including the upcoming Kids on Queens Parade Kindergarten and Fitzroy High School Open Days.

Upcoming Events

Don’t forget to check the calendar for events scheduled for Term 2 including our first Parent Forum and an upcoming Working Bee.

Easter Wishes

I take this opportunity to wish all of our families a happy, peaceful, holy, and safe Easter Break. As we enjoy the chocolate and hot cross buns we remember that we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus at this time and the promise of eternal life for all that this brought about. The Parish timetable for Easter celebrations is published in this Reflection for those families intending to attend a service over the next few days. To those who may be travelling over this period, please return to us safely after your break, and may we all return next term refreshed, renewed, and ready for everything that will come our way in Term 2.

Until next time, respectfully,

Daniel 🙂


2. From The Parish

Download the latest newsletters from the Parish

Parish Newsletter March 10-11

Parish Newsletter March 17-18

Parish Newsletter March 24-25

Parish Newsletter April 1

Easter Triduum in the Parish of Our Lady of the Southern Cross – Collingwood and Clifton Hill

The Easter Triduum – Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and the Easter Vigil – is the most sacred and significant event of the Catholic calendar. Beginning with the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday evening, moving through the solemn prayers of Good Friday, and culminating with the joyous celebration of the Easter Vigil Mass on Saturday night with its new fire and the spreading of light throughout the congregation, it is a very special celebration to be part of and to experience.

For information on our parish’s celebration of Easter Triduum 2018, please click on the following link:

Triduum invitation 2018

Dedication and Official Reopening of St Joseph’s Church, Collingwood

This wonderful occasion is now scheduled for Saturday 7th April at 10:30am beginning with Mass in the newly rebuilt church and continuing with refreshments in the renovated Parish Centre. All welcome.

3. From The P&F

Bush Dance

What a wonderful night! Melbourne weather came to the party, blessing us with the most beautiful evening and we truly danced under a magnificent sunset and starlit sky, well by inner-city Melbourne standards!!

Paddy’s Wombat Bush Band proved to be fabulous entertainers and if you didn’t get up to have a dance, be assured you missed out on quite a work out! I think the laughter and smiles on everyone’s faces summed up the night so well.

The children were in their element and it was such a joy to watch parents, teachers, children, grand parents, friends from our Parish and elsewhere all coming together to share the joy of live music and dance in such a relaxed and happy environment. Truly our school community at its finest!

These events require a small army of people to make them all come together and the Bush Dance was no exception. I wanted to extend a huge thank you to all the people who planned, prepared, made and participated on the night.

I know there is always a danger when you individually thank people that you may miss someone and if I do miss anyone my sincerest apologies! But I don’t think it can be overstated how much time and effort people put in to make these events what they are.

So…thank you to Karen, Robyn, Virginia, Melissa, Bernadette, Cass and Clare who with a bit of muscle and ingenuity transformed a stack of hay bales and a bunch of rusty odds and ends into a charming, country dance venue! Particularly to Robyn, who scoured the farm for interesting things and Karen’s stylish eye, pulling them all together.

Thank you to the crack team of food preparers, servers and slider makers, Melissa, Cass, Choi, Paul, Bec, Karen, Clare and Joan (from the Parish of Office), who I think could give George Colombaris a run for his money, when it comes to running a slick operation and keeping us all well fed.

To a wonderful group of kids including Amelia Q, Ollie, Giselle, Elise, Greta, Thomas, Grace and Maria Gottoli who helped us move hay bales, sell tickets and looked out for the little kids and who also set up and manned the cordial stand, thank you and what an incredibly capable bunch you are!

To those people who stuck out to the end to help clean up Karen, Melissa, Cass, Meg, Bec, Nelson, Danielle, Rowan, Chris and Jennifer, it’s always the hardest part when you would happily be at home with feet up and a glass of red in hand. Thank you for sticking around!

Thank you to our principal Daniel Ryan who, as usual, was there to open doors, find stray items and stayed to stumps to let us all out and who also managed to procure all those hay bales, seemingly from out of no where! We also acknowledge the patience Daniel (in his role as Performing Arts teacher) must have in teaching the kids all those dances that they enjoyed so much, including ‘Strip the Willow’…talk about a complicated dance! Also a huge thank you to Melissa, who liaised with the band and got them on board in the first place.

Finally thank you to all those who came out with your selves, your kids, your friends and grand parents and bought food, danced, chatted and made the night such a wonderful success. I know that sometimes just getting there is contribution enough, particularly if you have babies and small children exhausted from a 2 week swimming program!!!

If other commitment prevented you from getting to the bush dance, we will have plenty of things in Term 2, so keep your eye out and get involved.

Thank you St John’s Community for a great night and wishing you all a safe and happy Easter!

Julia M and the P&F committee.


Lunch orders

Mother’s Day Stall

Major Fundraiser

4. News from Camp Australia

Please click on the following link for News from Camp Australia

Camp Australia

5. SunSmart

Please remember that our SunSmart awareness does not end with the start of the holidays. Although, as I am writing this with the grey skies of a Melbourne autumn pressing down it can be hard to imagine, there are still days where the UV factor is moderate to high right through to the end of April. We should still have the sunscreen close handy and be applying it correctly and hats are still a must through the holidays and at the start of Term 2.

Please click on the following links for more information from SunSmart:

PS _We are SunSmart family note _2017 (General information on sun protection)

Top tips on sunscreen @ school 2017 (Tips for selecting and applying sunscreen)



6. Grade 5/6 Thoughts on Camp

Ned – I enjoyed the food, especially breakfast. The best two places we went were Questacon & the Australian Institute Of Sport. The best thing at Questacon was the drop slide which is a slide where you go 1800 down a slide, the best thing at the Australian Institute of Sport was seeing where the Olympians train. 🙂

Will – I loved it because we secretly talked and always tried to make everything fun and exciting. My favourite thing was Red Dog and the Institute of Sport.

Hendrix – I loved camp so much! My favourite part was Questacon. My favourite meal was the breakfast because every time we had breakfast we had something yummy like pancakes, waffles, hash browns (which i love!!!) and bacon ‘n’ eggs! The only thing I was angry about was the 8 hour drive which I actually didn’t mind too much because we were allowed to bring a device (like an ipad which I brought).

Baden – What I enjoyed on camp was Questacon and the drop slide. It was really fun. Something I learnt about was where the Australian Olympians train, at the Institute of Sport. The food at the camp was quite good. Something else I enjoyed was the Australian War Memorial where I learnt about how dogs help in war. We saw lots of fighter jets, that was really cool. In the cabins it was fun too because we made each other laugh. We also got to see an actual bill in Parliament House. Camp was AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (beside the 8 hour drive)

Liliana – I really loved looking at all the places that I have seen on TV. It was really cool to see Parliament House because it was something that looks so cool on TV but it was even cooler to see it in real life. Another plus is that the food there was really nice and also the accommodation that we stayed at was amazing. We had a key card door where we all raced to get to. But I think my overall favourite thing has to be hanging out with my friends in the accommodation and staying up late talking.

Jack – I really liked the War Memorial because the poppies looked really cool from an angle, there was fire in the money pond and there were nuclear bombs everywhere in the museum. And it was fun doing quizzes on the bus and learning new things each question. I liked the drop slide at Questacon because I went down twenty four times. The first couple were scary but then I got used to it.

Jayda – The best part of camp was Questacon because I got to go on the drop slide and there was some really cool experiments, especially the lightning strike that we were all counting down for. I also really enjoyed the AIS and exploring the rooms where all the athletes train and playing after in the Sportex where all the sporty games were, like the skeleton one where I got my high score. There was some really good food while we were at camp, for example for dinner we had noodles and chicken and pasta. The cabins were cute and hard to move around with four people in them, otherwise camp was AMAZING for my first camp!

Bruno – I really really really really really loved how we went to Questacon because I have never been to such a fun place in my life. It was very scientific and unique. I was going on a big adrenaline high, like 10 packs of gatorade but just with sugar and the energy boost. The top 3 best parts were: 1. drop slide, 2. lightning show, 3. throwing a ball at high speed. The drop slide was so epic because it was like all your blood reached your head then the gravity slams you down keeping you still. By far I would say that camp was EPIC!!

Meija – We had so much fun in our cabins, mucking around, playing tricks on each other and secretly talking at night! Shhhh! And you can’t forget about Miss D’s quizzes! It was quiz frenzy on the bus, everyone was throwing up their hands and trying to get the questions right so they could get points for their team/cabin!

Allegra – We saw plenty of awesome things in Canberra but the National Institute of Sports was one of my favourites. I learnt many facts about various sports and sports players. We were able to go into the gyms, arenas and training rooms to see all the professional equipment… It was amazing!

Emily – Canberra was a ball! All the days were crammed with excitement, there was never a dull moment! Even the nights were exciting, gossiping in whispers for hours on end. The food was exquisite! Waffles for breakfast, hamburgers for dinner and lemon cake with vanilla ice cream for dessert! The Institute of Sport was really fun, Red Dog was heart rending, and the view from Telstra Tower brought tears of happiness to my eyes. I loved every minute of camp, I’ll never forget the happy moments I spent with my friends, far, far away from homework.

Dylan – The best things at camp were Questacon, the National Film Archives, Telstra Tower and the AIS because I love sport. I liked the National Film Archives because we watched Red Dog which is a movie I like and we got lollies, chocolate and chips. I liked the Telstra Tower because it was a great view of Canberra and it was on a hill. But Questacon was the most fun. The food was really good but I didn’t really like the lunch. I liked the quizzes, the cabin vs cabin.

Kayla – Yes, I went to camp finally! The food was so YUMMY! I liked my cabin mates because they were caring. The best places we went to were Questacon, Telstra Tower, the National Film Archives and the Institute of Sport. My favorite place was Questacon because it had the drop slide and lots of fun stuff. To make our bus drive more fun Miss D made quizzes. On the way back from camp I was so tired I wanted to go home and sleep. Camp was so much fun.

Erin – I enjoyed the Australian Institute of Sport when we went into the games area and played all the different sports. I also liked seeing where the athletes trained and played sport. My favourite bit about camp was the cabins but the bunk beds were very noisy

Seb – The thing I enjoyed most was Questacon because it was a lot of going up to the different sections and learning different things. My second favourite thing was Telstra Tower where we were up high and had a great view.

Joseph – Camp was a blast!!! My favourite part was probably Parliament House because we got to see a real bill in session and we got to pretend we were real politicians debating a bill. The food was great, but the lunches were not very enjoyable. Our cabins were nice and our coach driver (Dean) was really helpful. I really liked camp and am happy I went.

Gus – One of my favourite experiences on camp was Questacon because it had lots of fun things to do. It had a cool robot that played a game with you and it had a lot of cool activities to do. Two of my favourite things were watching the lightning in the lightning room and also going into the earthquake room where we made towers, then the man set off the make believe earthquake and we had to see if our towers fell over. Over all camp was very fun and I enjoyed it a lot.

Amelia – My favourite part was being with my friends. It was really fun because we would always be able to talk to each other and we would always have fun! My first camp experience was very fun and I look forward to another camp next year!

Ollie – I slowly walk up the long stairs to the drop slide. I gulp as I see people drop down. I slowly grip my sweaty hands on the metal bars. I look down at the drop then let go. “Ahhhhhhhhh” I scream. But then I realise I’m alive, and it was actually fun.

Laura – One of my favourite things was being mixed with different people on the bus drive because I did lots of different things. I’m really hoping that next year’s camp in year 7 is just as good.

Max’s experience – The thing I enjoyed most about camp was Questacon. Parliament House was ok but I was asleep for most of the time there. I also liked the breakfast. The best part at Questacon was all the science stuff! I really like science so it was really fun for me.

Leo – I really enjoyed our cabin and the people in it such as me, Will, Gus and Seb. I loved the AIS which was where I got my downball and drink bottle. I also enjoyed Red Dog so much, I cried the whole time on the way back and I really want to watch it again. Another thing I liked was the photos I got!.

Monty – Out of all the things we did at camp, Questacon was my favourite place that we went to because when we were there it was like the workers there took the basic boring science and turned it into all of these really cool science experiments (but mainly the slide was the most fun)

Pietro – I liked the War Memorial because of the planes and all the names. The Roll of Honor was super long and had names of people who died and survived. I liked the planes the best at the War Memorial because they were old and in good condition. Questacon was really fun too because I went on the drop down slide and it was really fast and I also liked the other things because they were fun and interactive. Finally, the AIS, I loved the AIS because we got to see where a lot of the people that play sport for Australia train. What was also fun was that we got to go to the gift store and we got to play in the play area and challenge people. One of the challenges that I faced was the drop down slide but when I got to the top I was not scared.

Isabella – I loved Parliament. I enjoyed it because it was exciting and fun. I loved standing up and being a pretend speaker, I loved how I could talk and express my opinion in front of an audience. I loved it so much, I learnt about the senate and it inspired me to be a politician myself.

Gisele – I loved the food at ‘Canberra Park’, the waffles were AMAZING! I loved seeing all the poppies at the War Memorial,and our cabins were really good. The only part I didn’t like was writing the diary entries. I also liked seeing Red Dog.

7. Ewan's Camp Diary

6:00 AM Tuesday the 27th of February 2018, the day the year 5/6s went to Canberra. I was so excited that I was going to Canberra. So at 7:20 we headed off to school and went into the hall and handed in my lollies. Then we got on the bus ready for a long bus ride ahead of us. At least I had my ipad, a few books, and my ipod shuffle to keep me company

Our first stop was Euroa, located 1 hour and 26 minutes from the New South Wales and Victorian border. Our next stop we headed to Holbrook which had a giant submarine. Then we headed to our last stop for the day which was Gundagai, which had a dog on a tuckerbox.

When we arrived in Canberra we headed to our accommodation, Canberra Park Resort. We were assigned our cabins, and then we unpacked and headed to dinner which was burgers, they were so delicious. After dinner we hopped on the bus and made our way to Telstra Tower. The view from the top of Telstra Tower was very beautiful. Then we went back to the accommodation and went to sleep, ready for a big day ahead of us.

6:30 AM Wednesday the 28th of February 2018, today we went to Parliament House. For breakfast we had waffles, scrambled eggs, and hash browns, with a side of chocolate sauce and butter on toast. At 8:30 we departed for Parliament House. When we got to Parliament House we were greeted by police, and security guards. First we went and visited the Senate which was not in session, but it was as cool as it looked in pictures.

Then we visited the House of Representatives which was in session and I saw the speaker, Tony Smith and the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Peter Dutton. We went past the federation chamber, that’s where I got a glimpse of Michaelia Cash. Then we had to roleplay Parliament and I was the Opposition Leader and we got to debate a bill, and we had to have a division on a one car per family policy which was very fun debating about.

After the roleplay we went out to the garden terrace and saw Barnaby Joyce talking to another group of children. Then we went to the National Capital Exhibition in which we got to make a Canberra landmark out of lego. Joseph and I made Parliament House.

Then we had lunch at Regatta Point, before we departed for the Electoral Education Centre where we got to vote for our favourite fruit and we had to count the votes. Next we did a tour of the Museum of Australian Democracy and it had a biography of all the Prime Ministers in Australian History. Then we went back to the accommodation and had dinner which was yummy pasta, it was delicious. Then we went to see Red Dog at the National Film and Sound Archive.

6:00 AM Thursday 1st of March 2018, breakfast pancakes with spaghetti and scrambled eggs. Today we went to the War Memorial. When we got to the Australian War Memorial we got a tour, and we got to wander through the museum which was very cool and we saw the memorial wall of every soldier that died in all conflicts.

Next we went to the NGA where we saw Blue Poles, which was pretty cool. After that we went to Questacon, first I went onto the Drop Slide and then we had a look around the rest of the place and went to the gift shop.

That night there was Asian marinated chicken with stir fried noodles. Then we went to the AIS (Australian Institute of Sport) and we saw the world class training facilities where olympians and medalists train. Then we went to an area called Sportex and they had simulators that were really cool.

It was Friday, the last day of the camp, bacon sandwiches for breakfast. We went to The Mint where we saw the money machines at work and the overpriced money cases that were $3.65, then we went home, this time we stopped at Wagga Wagga, Wangaratta and Wallan. Finally after a long drive we got back to school.

8. Rian's Camp Report

On Tuesday morning I woke up at 6:00am and got ready for the big day. I got dressed, brushed my teeth, had breakfast and got my shoes on and got in the car and drove to school. Then I said goodbye to my parents, got on the bus and we were off to Canberra. It was an 8 and a half hour bus trip! We had lots of stops and got to bring our electronics, but only for the bus trip. When we got there we got to go in our cabins, I was in with Ewan, Joseph and Reuben. We went to lots of places like Telstra Tower, Old Parliament House, New Parliament House, the War Memorial, the National Art Gallery, Questacon, the cinema to see Red Dog, and the Mint. For dinner we had burgers one night, then pasta and Asian chicken with noodles. For lunch we had sandwiches, and Nutri-Grain for breakfast. We had lots of fun, then we came home.

9. Stella's Favourite Camp Thing

My favourite thing to do at 5/6 Camp was the drop slide at Questacon. It is where you, of course, line up and you walk up stairs and you hang on the pole and drop – it was so much fun I wish I could do it again. I felt so scared walking up the stairs, and going down my face showed I was scared, and then I let go of the bar and it went away really quickly. I am so excited for next year for Phillip Island for the next Drop Slide.

10. News from Environment Captain Isabella

Well done to everyone who made the effort to active travel to school on Friday 23rd March. To help everyone celebrate, all classes got a class box of fruit to enjoy over the morning. Don’t forget to make an effort to active travel on Friday’s from now on, for the class golden boot challenge. Remember it’s not only for the environment but its healthy for you too.

Friday was also Earth Hour. We encouraged everyone to make an effort to do their part for the environment which keeps us alive and well, by switching off all electronic devices for at least one hour to help our world to be a better place for all.

11. Extra Curricular Noticeboard

12. Community Noticeboard