Reflecting on November 2018 | go to Calendar »

Newsletter - November 2018

1. From The Principal

Dear Families,

Welcome to the penultimate Monthly Reflection for this year. We are about to enter the month of December, with all of the holiday events and the end of the year looming, and my hope and prayer for our community is that we can find time for some peace and reflection amidst the busyness so that we can truly appreciate each other in the time leading up to Christmas.

During the month of November teachers have been completing assessments with the children and working on End of Year Reports. These reports will come out to parents in the final week of term. Teachers have also been working on arrangements for classes for next year and will complete a handover to the next year’s teacher as part of our student free day this coming Friday.

The month of November has largely been about preparing for our biennial School Production. This year we chose to present a musical review show focussing on song and dance numbers from a number of well known musicals. St John’s Goes to Broadway was a fun romp through musicals both old and modern, and the children sang and danced and thoroughly entertained themselves and the audience in the process. The energy and enthusiasm of the show was captured in the final song, presented by the whole school. The concert was highly appreciated by the audience of loyal family members and friends, and a huge congratulations goes to all of the children and teachers for their hard work!

During this month, our new sensory and memorial garden space has attracted many of our children who have enjoyed playing in the area. While we are still getting used to the space, and what can be accomplished within it, it has already been apparent that this is a space embraced by children from Prep to Year 6, not to mention a number of adults too. This space was made possible through the hard work of our parent community over the last four years who have raised the funds to see the vision came to fruition. The area is dedicated to the memory of Mary-Anne Balmer who initially brought the idea to me in 2014; I think she would have been delighted in the result and the way it has been embraced.

Looking ahead to the month of December, families may want to come along to the City of Yarra Carols by Candlelight which is being held this Thursday, 6th December, at Citizens Park, Corner Highett and Gleadell Streets, Richmond. Our School Choir will be performing at the start of the night with Steph Brett coming back to lead them through their numbers.

In this Monthly Reflection please check out the Parish newsletters from the last month and do not forget about our Combined Carols on the 12th December at Collingwood. Also worth noting is the contribution from our very hardworking Parents and Friends who have just completed a success mango drive and are now working hard on organising our annual Cake Stall at Collingwood Children’s Farm for this coming weekend. There is an important article on changes for next year including the class structure and staff who are leaving us so please make sure that you read this. Finally, please have a read through the free verse completed by Grade 5/6 students this term as part of their unit on different forms of poetry – they have certainly captured some great images in their words.

Please check the calendar for the many events coming up before school breaks for the year on Wednesday 19th December at 1:30 p.m.remember we have a student free day on this coming Friday 7th December so no children at school that day. Please also check the calendar for dates for next year so that you can begin to plan ahead – these are being added as events are finalised.

In ending this Monthly Reflection I ask that you remember the Wallace family at present. We extend our deepest sympathies to Simon, Ruth and the children on the passing of Simon’s father, Lister Wallace, in Adelaide earlier in November. Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and may perpetual light shine upon him.

Until the end of term, respectfully,

Daniel 🙂

2. From The Parish

Combined Parish and Schools Carols

Please remember to put Wednesday 12th December at 6pm into your calendars and diaries. As a parish we will gather at St Joseph’s Church in Collingwood for our annual carols to celebrate the approaching Christmas Season. Please bring a plate of food to share as a community afterwards in St Joseph’s Hall.

Download the latest newsletters from the Parish





3. From The P&F

P & F November

Can you believe we are in December? As we hurtle towards Christmas and hopefully some relaxed family time, we only have a handful of P&F run events left.

What’s been…

St John’s goes to Broadway:

What a truly energetic and passionate performance we witnessed at the School Performance! With all that energy our drinks and snacks sold fast. A big thanks to all those who helped out at our little stall preparing, selling and cleaning up. I’m sure I’m not the only one who went home humming a show tune!

Mangoes, mangoes, mangoes!

I hope you are all enjoying your mangoes? There has been great feedback on this fundraiser. It is wonderful to have a healthy, delicious fundraiser that supports our school and the farmers directly. For those who missed out, we will definitely run this again next year! Thank you again for all those who bought mangoes for yourselves, your neighbour, friends and family.


The P&F Annual General Meeting was held on Tuesday 13th November. Please find attached the President’s report from 2018.

The Committee for 2019 was elected as follows:

President: Julia Manickam (Ollie – Gr 6, Eliza – Gr 2, Darcy – Gr Prep)

Vice President: Michelle Tyrell (Ned – Gr 5)

Treasurer and Major Events: Melissa McIntosh  (Emily – Gr 6, Thomas – Gr 4, Xavier – Gr 2)

Secretary: Bernadette Montalto (Francesca – Gr 1)

Would you like to get more involved next year? Do you have a fundraising or social event idea? Feedback from events? Please let us know!

We are always looking for people to help out. You can join in an official role or just come along to meetings or put your hand up for events as they come. We will be looking for class rep’s for next year, as well as helpers for the secondhand uniform shop.

Still to come…

Here are the upcoming P&F run events for the term. We would love you to get involved in one or more of these! So please join us to lighten the load and have some fun:

  • Saturday 8 December: Christmas Cake Stall at Collingwood Children’s Farm

Our annual stall at the Farm is always good fun. Come along and buy some delicious baked goods!

Where: Collingwood Children’s Farm Farmers Market

When: Saturday 8th December 2018

From: 8am-1pm

We need as many people as possible to bake for the stall. Please drop your goods to school on…

Thursday 6th December: for cookies and gingerbread only

Friday 7th December: for all other baked cakes, cupcakes etc.

Please note due to health regulations NO fresh cream or buttercream icing

  • Friday 14 December: End of year picnic

This is a very relaxed night out. The DJ will be there so bring your dancing shoes!

You can BYO picnic or there will be sausages, drinks and snacks to purchase.

Until next time,


(on behalf of the P&F Committee)

2018 St John’s School, Clifton Hill AGM- President’s Report

A warm welcome to all those present at this year’s AGM.

It has been another busy year for our P&F Committee. One which has seen the organisation of some new fundraising initiative’s. We kicked the year off with our inaugural Bush Dance which proved to be a great success particularly socially,  We saw wonderful cross cultural engagement, with families from all ages and stages within the school community, as well as parish members and friends. Our second major fundraiser was the Comedy Night which too, was an enormous success from both a social and fundraising perspective. It proved a refreshing change to what has always been an enjoyable evening, and the format change encouraged some new faces to attend.

We learnt a lot in trying two new major events. I think the community appreciated the change and we worked out what we could tweak to ensure these events remain successful going forward. As well as these major events we had many more smaller events including lunch orders, event BBQ’s and picnics, Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, raffles and mangoes and still have several events to go including our annual cake stall, the school concert and end of year picnic.

One of the challenges we face as a committee over the coming years, is how to best engage and encourage people from younger families to get involved in the P&F committee. It must be noted that many of those most active on this committee have children who will be moving on from the school in the next year or two, and with few new families joining the St John’s community, we need to consider how we can best get existing families involved with this, in order to ensure long term viability of our major events. These events require a lot of work to stage and with fewer hands this becomes increasingly difficult. I would welcome suggestions from both this committee and the wider community on how we can tackle this challenge, including what events people enjoy and how to best move forward.

As president of this years P&F it has been my pleasure to join other parents in organising a number of fundraising activities and to witness the completion (or close to it) of the play ground. This has been a long term vision and fundraising goal of this committee and I want to congratulate all those dedicated and hardworking parents who have helped to contribute to this monumental goal. This includes those who have done the organising, those attending, donating, seeking donations, tendering for grants, buying and in all other ways offering support. It is a true community effort.

The playground represents something in the order of 5-6 years of hard work for parents, many of whom have left or are leaving the school in the next year or two. It is a testament to your loyalty and dedication to this school that many of you have worked so hard despite the knowledge that your own children will not get the full benefit of this beautiful space. Present and future families sincerely thank you.

Finally I would like to thank this committee. Thank you to Melissa McIntosh, our superb major events coordinator and treasurer, who has taken this role on for the last 6 years. Your talents and efficiency have been indispensable. Thank you to our secretary Bernadette Montalto, who not only kept our admin in check but who is the first person to say yes with out any fanfare, when there is a call for help. Thank you to Cass, our Vice president, who has been doing this job in some shape or another for the last 10 years and has been a constant source of help and advice. Thank you to Bec for taking on the unofficial role of buyer for our stalls and for all your help with lunch orders. Thank you to Karen Evans and Robyn Zwar, who we sadly farewell this year. Karen and Robyn have both devoted so much time, effort and professional expertise to our P&F events. Your creative flair in your respective fields have been so valuable and we thank you sincerely for the incredible work you have done. Thank you to Daniel and Melanie for your support in the work we do and to Gina for your efficiency and helpfulness, you make our lives so much easier!

Finally thank you to all those people in the community who have helped out with the myriad other jobs required throughout the year. Every little bit helps, so please know whether it’s volunteering for a sausage sizzle, donating a hamper item or turning up to the event, we are truly thankful!

On behalf of the committee I wish everyone who is part of our wonderful St John’s Community an enjoyable end to the year and, if it’s not too soon, a happy Christmas as well. Thank you.

4. The Best Part of Me Free Verse by Grade 5-6

MY HANDS by Zion

My hands are quick,
Clean mean and slick.
In sport I catch,
As I stay on track,
They can grab as I can attack,
With great reflexes my hands behold,
They’re my own precious gold.
Without them, I’m stripped from my activity,
With my hands being the best quality.
They’re my tool, as I press buttons and keys
And most importantly when I climb trees.
I love my hands.

MY EYES by Allegra

I love my mysterious, marble brown eyes.
My eyes are the colour of toasted chestnut.
My sublime eyes allow me to absorb the wondrous world.
My glossy eyes help me to safely navigate.
I could never give up my precious eyes because I want to wake up every morning and see the people I love.

MY NOSE by Amelia

My nose,
My small, squishy nose.
It twitches as a delicious smell wafts through the air.
It raises high as I dance to the music.
It helps me smell when something seems suspicious.
It helps me make weird expressions.
It helps me give my siblings a look that is quite vicious.
I love my nose.
Its petite.
I can move it in so many different ways.
It is a part of me nobody can change.


These are my feet
They kick the soccer ball in the net
I do this because it is my passion
Oh I love my feet
They make me run away when I have done wrong
Without my feet I couldn’t walk
Without my feet I couldn’t feel the soft silky green grass
Thank God for my feet
My feet make me run at 10,000 km per hour
My feet kick my brother when he’s done bad
I don’t like doing this but I am glad for my feet
And once again I love my feet

MY BRAIN by Dylan

I love my Brain.
My brain it pumps like the wheels on a train.
It works 24/7.
It helps me do all the work at school.
It helps me know where to kick the football.
It helps me know where to hit the ball in cricket.
Helps me to know where to throw a javelin, shot put and a discuss.
My brain helps me train in sport.
My brain helps me to think when I’m in pain.
I love my brain because it helps me dream about things.
I love my brain because It never has pain.

MY LEGS by Emily

My legs may not be much to look at
They are hairy, and constantly spotted with bruises
But beyond the appearance of my banana legs
Is the story of my personality bound like a book

My legs allow me to move
They grant me permission to go where I please
There are no boundaries to where I can go
One foot in front of the other

I express myself in movement
Dancing is part of who I am
Without my wondrous legs I would be forever chained to the ground
The rhythmic music prancing forward without me

My legs are my route to freedom
When the noise becomes too deafening for me to hear the music
I shudder into my shell and cower
My legs are the prince who rescues me

Then I run
I run till the storm clouds are miles behind me
The wind dries my tears
My legs power me forward till I am ready to come home

My banana legs are the best part about me

My HAIR by Erin

My hair is long and blonde,
Thin but straight.
I love my hair,
My silky soft hair.
It sways when I walk, it sways side to side.
I put it up.
Ponytails, pigtails, plaits and more.
I can curl it and straighten it.
It goes all down my back.
Not brown, not black but dusty blonde.
Lighter streaks go throughout.
My hair is the best part of me

My EYES by Gisele

I love my eyes,
My big blue eyes.
They help me see the amazing world.
They are big and blue, and
help me make good choices.
I love my eyes.
They close when I want to sleep,
And help me use my knife and fork when I want to eat.
If I didn’t have eyes, I’d have to use echolocation.
They help me see everyday.
I love my eyes.


I have lungs
I like my lungs
They help me breath in the cool lucious air
They help me survive
and keep me alive

I don’t notice my lungs
But I know they are there
They sit in my chest
My secret lair
I have lungs
I like my lungs

MY LEGS by Hendrix

I love my legs
They help me walk, jog, run and sprint
They help me to play sport
And they help me to run free
Without my legs I don’t know where I’d be
I hope my legs stay part of me
Without my legs I would never be free


The words I spill, the tears I shed, make me smile or bring dread.
My mouth unlocks the kind, courageous words that were trapped in my heart.
These words change worlds.
They bring laughter, sadness and fear. We hear words and we change our minds.
Some can only connect through words and through this connection we can see a new perspective.
We can find light in the darkness. These words bring hope and love.

Words are power, to use them we must be brave.
Words make hearts grow and minds flourish. They help us change and help our earth. They help us bring beauty through connection to this world.
When we have fallen off the track and have no strength, one word of help can change our future.
My mouth brings my words which will change the world to life.

MY BRAIN by Jack

I love my Brain
It spits out ideas like Lawrence’s mouth

It sucks up all the pain,
As if it was a drain.
Creating options, creating ideas
That’s why it’s really up there

If I didn’t have a Brain,
I would be useless, like a broken pencil

I really really like my robust beefy Brain.


My fabulous feet guide me wherever I go
I discover everything that I don’t know
Without these feet, there would be not beat
I use these feet to achieve my highest goal
I use these feet when I do karate
These feet carry me to victory
My feet are small, but will grow
I love my funny small feet!


I love my brain, it helps me every day My brain the size of my two wrists
If I didn’t have a brain I wouldn’t be smart
My brain makes me feel alive
My brain makes me say yes or no
My brain is a beautiful beige colour
It helps me move
It helps me dance
It helps me be strong
It helps me make the right choice
It pumps as fast as a cheetah when I think hard
My brain is the best!


My squishy, veiny brain is smart and stupid
It gets knocked around when my feet start to run
My brain helps me to write, type and read
When my brain is asleep, I’m as still as a statue
My brain helps me to come up with comebacks
So I’m always ready for when my brother fires his words at me from his mouth
My squishy, veiny brain helps me through my lovely life
Without my brain I wouldn’t be here on this sunny day


My hands
I love my hands

They would do anything to protect me
I would do anything to keep them safe

They help me eat
They help me to meet & greet

My hands help me to learn
My hand helps me to write

My hands help me to fight in martial arts
They help other people that are hurt or down in the dumps

They help me express myself

They are the greatest and the wisest

My hands are great!

MY EYES by Liliana

My eyes help me to see colours of the world
They help me see my family and friends
They help me make decisions
They invade my world with light
They help to match with my hair
They help me to see bright colours even though my eyes are dark
They help me to show my emotions
They change colours with my different emotions
They guide people to make the right decision
I don’t know what I would do without my


My brain is delicate,
My brain is smart,
My brain is smarter than any onboard computer!
When I’m scared my brain shouts to my legs: Run! Run! RUN!
When I see words, my brain tells my eyes: Read! Read! READ!
When I see a rocky surface, my brain tells my arms: Climb! Climb! CLIMB!
My brain is worth more than any living dime!
When a conversation starts, my brain shouts: Speak! Speak! SPEAK!
My brain is never weak!
My brain is smart, can’t you see!


Whether it’s reading a book,
Giving a stare,
Holding back tears or letting them fall,
My eyes are there,
Holding me together or letting me go,
My eyes are there, telling me what to do.

When I zone out, it’s because of my ears,
When I zone out my ears are daydreaming,
Daydreaming of all the weird, wonderful sounds I’ve ever heard,
And then there’s a snap back to reality,
Where people are laughing and chatting,
Singing and humming,
Screaming and shouting,
Or sometimes silence,
That’s what my ears hear.

When a scent comes round my way,
That’s all I can smell,
Whether it’s perfume, air freshener, deodorant, a fart or food,
It was born to smell and to help me breathe,
And without my nose, I don’t think I could eat!
I would forget what every food would smell like,
But lucky i’ve got my mouth to taste right?

My mouth really knows how to multitask,
As I can talk and eat at the same time!
It can gobble up food and spit it out,
It can talk fast, talk normal,
Or even talk in slow mo,
It lets out laughs when I’m having fun,
Or to defuse an awkward situation for what I’ve done,
It does lots of things like smile and frown,
When I’m happy or when I’m down,

I love my face,
I really do,
And I hope everyone who reads this,
Loves their face too!

EYES by Monty

Eyes, eyes, you help me, my eyes,
You express me to others,
You take me to new heights.
Eyes, eyes, you amaze me, my eyes,
You can see if people tell lies,
You glorify me with new sights.
Eyes, eyes, you lead me, my eyes,
You show me what’s right and wrong,
After all, you’ve been doing it for so long.
Eyes, eyes, you’re pretty cool, my eyes.


I love my legs, they’re skinny like pegs.
They help me run like the wind so I can win.
When I activate them I’m active.
They are small down the bottom and big on the top
I can run from the cops because manz got hopz.
When school is done I run and have fun.


My bones, my bones, my tough white bones.
You make me strong and solid, not unstable.

You hold onto me like glue,
You make me a structure unlike this poem.

No matter how many times you get knocked down,
you always get back up.

You’re me, I am you,
My bones my bones, my tough white bones.

MY EYES by Bianca

I love my eyes, oh my deep brown eyes
Without my eyes, I wouldn’t spot the boiling sun
Or be able to eat my favourite chocolate bun
Without my eyes, where would the crunchy leaves fall?
Maybe without my eyes they could end up in the local mall
Without my eyes, warm, hot chocolate wouldn’t taste as good
It might even taste like dark brown wood
My eyes help me to see colourful flowers bloom
As well as seeing the shiny, glittery moon
My eyes help me to enjoy all four seasons
I love my eyes and they are all the reasons!

HANDS by Bruno

It can make me buy a pickle
It can make me spend my nickels
It can clean my hair
I can always have one to spare
It can help me from falling off stairs
If I’m in a fight I form it to a square
Hit them so hard it would knock their fake hair
It can make me hold things
Things like my bling
It can make me win
Hands are the best thing


My hands, my hands, l love them
They help me express my artistic ways
They help me turn the pages to an endless book
They help me write the things, l love to write
They help me grab on tight, to things l don’t want to let go,
I love my hands.

MY BRAIN by Joseph

My Brain, my Brain
Oh what a magnificent thing
It helps me like
It helps me criticise
My Brain sends messages through my body,
telling it what to do
It helps me think
It helps me learn new things
Oh what would I do without this Brain?
For your information,
I would not,
I could not,
do anything
Because I would truly be deceased,
without this wonderful thing
My Brain

MY HAIR by Will

My hair is like a crown
My hair is like a clown
I can play with my hair and it won’t stare!
I love my hair, it brings out he best of me.
If my hair could smile, it would smile more than me.
My hair is brown and I like it that way,

5. Changes in 2019

We are are in the process of finalising class allocations for teachers and for students. We hope to be able to let the community know staffing allocations shortly and children will be informed as to their new classes for 2019 on our Change Over Day , Tuesday 18th December.

We were informed late last week that Hayley Dustow has been successful in an application to Our Lady of Good Counsel in Deepdene. She will be leaving us after five successful years to take on a role as their new STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) teacher. Linda Molinaro, who joined us in third term to complete the year in Grade 4/5 will be taking on a role at Santa Maria College in 2019. We are in the process of finding replacement staff to cover these vacancies at present and will advise the community at the earliest opportunity.

Class structures for next year will be as follows:

  • Grade Prep/1
  • Grade 2/3
  • Grade 3/4
  • Grade 4/5
  • Grade 6

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