Reflecting on Mid March | go to Calendar »

Newsletter - Mid March

1. From The Principal

Dear Families,

Welcome to our mid-March reflection. The daylight hours are starting to get shorter now that summer is officially over, although I am assured that there is still some warm weather on the way. With the cooler starts to the day we have children wearing jumpers to school but then leaving them here at the end of the day as it has warmed up by then. Please help us make sure that jumpers and jackets are returned to their rightful owners by clearly marking your child’s name. If you have purchased from the second-hand uniform shop, or had a friend’s jumper donated, please ensure you have updated the name on the clothing – we have several items floating about that have names from people who are well into their secondary schooling and we have no idea who they should be returned to. Doing this will also avoid the children having to wear non-uniform jumpers to school and then these adding to the number of items in the lost property basket. Thanks in anticipation, everyone.

Bullying, No Way Day

Today was National Bullying, No Way Day designed to raise awareness of what this is and of the damage it causes. Classes completed activities around this theme today and the Grade 3/4s presented at Assembly this morning to highlight the topic. Thanks go to our Grade 6 students for organising and running activities that children completed in House Groups to experience working and playing together in mixed groups. The children are used to me mentioning our school rule and one of our school values, Respect, on a regular basis. We show respect in the way we treat others, they way we speak about them, and the way we speak to them. While we may not be friends with everyone in the school, we are called upon to remember their God given dignity and to respect others as people worthy of such; when respect is present bullying has a hard time flourishing. Our gold coin donation for wearing casual clothes today raised $113.45 for the Alannah and Madeline Foundation, thanks to everyone for a great effort.

Catholic Education Week Mass

While all of this was going on at school today, our Grade 6 Leaders attended the annual St Patrick’s Day/Catholic Education Week Mass at St Patrick’s Cathedral with other students from across the breadth of the Archdiocese. The theme of this year’s Catholic Education Week is “Growing Young in Christ” celebrating the fact that our faith should bring life and joy to all of us and to the rest of the world. Mass today was celebrated by our new Archbishop, Peter A Comensoli and the children were engaged by his friendly and welcoming style, musicians and singers from the Academy of Mary Immaculate were part of the music ministry for this Mass, including some of our past pupils. Afterwards we went down to Treasury Gardens to have lunch and be entertained by bands and singers from some of the other secondary schools around the Archdiocese.

Ash Wednesday Mass

Last week we celebrated Ash Wednesday Mass with Fr Martin and a number of parishioners and family members, thanks to our Grade 6 children for assisting their Prep and Grade One buddies to participate in the Mass. Thanks to to Fr Martin who, for the first time at our school Masses, welcomed everyone forward during Communion, giving the host to those who have made their First Communion and a blessing to those who have not.

Ash Wednesday marks the start of Lent in the Church’s calendar, the days leading up to Easter that are characterised by prayer, giving to the poor and fasting. In modern, Westernised countries, where everything we want is within easy reach when ever we want it, the idea of fasting and abstaining from things is somewhat foreign. It can, however, be a great discipline for working on an area of life that we want to change or do better in. It serves as a reminder too, that not all are as fortunate as we may be and, in turn, this awareness can assist us in working on our relationships with others at this time. In the Church the colour purple is used to remind people that this is a time of reflection and repentance, a time for addressing relationships and other areas of our lives that need some work before we celebrate the Season of Easter representing new life and growth.

Staff Faith Development Days

Last week our staff gathered for two days of activities designed to enhance their own faith development and their understanding of the unique role of Catholic schools. We had presentations from our Parish Priest, Father Martin, on the spirituality and educational philosophy of the Salesians of Don Bosco, the order to which he belongs and who are the current administrators of our parish of Our Lady of the Southern Cross. We learnt a little of Don Bosco’s history and why the order was set up in the first place to provide an education for the poor and to bring dignity to their lives through education and a deepening of faith. We also learnt about the Preventative system, designed by Don Bosco and the early Salesians, to educate the boys they worked with in ways of relating to others and to the world in ways consistent with Christ’s teaching.

Pauline Ciccuto from Catholic Education Melbourne spoke to us about the relatively new Religious Education Framework being trialled across the Archdiocese. Part of the method this framework employs is a Pedagogy of Encounter, learning about the Catholic Church and of Jesus’ message though the experiences of the children’s own lives, gospel accounts and the teachings of the Church, and reflecting on this to develop new understandings and appreciations.

Finally, Sr Anne Taylor of the Sisters of Charity spoke with us about the Charity Sisters and their founder, Sr Mary Aikenhead. The Sisters of Charity have long been associated with St John’s as among the first and longest serving of the Principals and staff members, only finally leaving the school in the 1980s. Sr Anne explained that the spirituality of the Sisters of Charity was based in the teachings of St Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of the Jesuit order, and is very much grounded in love of God and service of others flowing from this. Sister Anne took us through some of the Ignatian contemplative exercises practiced by the order and which can be adapted by our teachers to enhance our Christian Meditation practice throughout the school.


We have now hosted two of the four G.A.T.E.WAYS sessions for this term with a number of students from schools as far away as Gisborne represented. The G.A.T.E.WAYS program is an opportunity for extension in various areas of learning at different levels and, while we have accessed programs at other schools in the past, it is wonderful to be able to offer this at our school and allow more of our children to participate as a result.

School Banking with our local Bendigo Bank

The Clifton Hill/North Fitzroy branch of the Bendigo Bank, our local Community Bank, has been very generous in their support of the school over a number of years as part of their Community Grants program. Unlike other banks, the Community Bank invests its profits in the local community so that schools, sporting clubs and other community organisations gain valuable assistance with the work they do with in the local area. One way we can enable this generosity to continue is to open accounts with the bank either for ourselves or our children. The bank runs a school banking program and we encourage our families to consider opening an account for their children that will provide something for the future but also teach the value of saving. Please contact the bank for more details about what they offer or to arrange to open a school banking account.

Parents and Friends

Our Parents and Friends continue to plan upcoming events with a Kids’ Movie Night and an Easter raffle coming up. Please see their page for more details and don’t forget to bring in those chocolate eggs so that the raffle prizes can go as widely as possible – the more chocolate eggs, the more prizes to be won.

Until next time, respectfully, Daniel 🙂

2. From The Parish

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3. From The P&F

Hello Parents and Friends,

We hope you enjoyed the long weekend and found time to get outside and enjoy the last of the warm weather! It feels like autumn has arrived this week.

As we pass the halfway mark of Term One, please note that we have a number of P&F events coming up:

Wednesday March 27  Lunch Order’s Keep an eye out, order forms will go out soon

Friday March 29           Family Movie Night –This is going to be a fun night for the family. Don’t forget to return your form to have a say in the movie choice. Flyer out this week, click on the following link for details P-F-Movie-Night.

Thursday April 4         Easter Raffle. We will be collecting items for our annual Easter raffle. Classes will be competing to see who can collect the most donations! Tubs will be available in the classrooms soon!


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.

4. News from Camp Aust

Please click on the following link for more information Camp-Aust

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