Reflecting on October 2018 | go to Calendar »

Newsletter - October 2018

1. From The Principal

Dear Families,

I’m not at all sure where this year is spinning away to but here we are at the end of another month with a lot of learning taking place in the last three and a half weeks since the term began.

Teachers have met for briefings about the Resilience, Rights and Respectful Relationships program as well as working with children with additional learning needs. We have also discussed the set up and criteria for the end of year reports and continued planning for learning in our planning teams so that we can ensure we are differentiating across the classes.

In the first week back Reuben and Paolo in Grade 5 went on to the Division level of inter-school athletics. While they were not fortunate enough to move on to the Regional level, both boys competed very well and represented themselves, their families and their school with pride – congratulations boys.

Also in the first week back, our Grade 5s and 6s competed against St Joseph’s Collingwood and Sacred Heart Fitzroy in some friendly games of either basketball or soccer. The children from all three schools competed with good humour and respect and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. The principals of the three schools are keen for this to become a regular event on the calendar.

Congratulations also to Allegra in Grade 6 for her continued participation in meaningful children’s theatre productions. Allegra recently went to Sydney to perform in a production highlighting the plight of children in detention on Nauru. Allegra also spoke at assembly to bring the matter to the attention of other members of our school community and spoke passionately on the matter.

In the second week back we were joined by three students from Genazzano FCJ College – two of whom were former students of St John’s – for their round of Work Experience. Anabel, Julianne and Angela declared an interest in teaching as a profession and were certainly welcome in the classrooms they were assigned to, helping to support student learning and being of assistance to the class teacher. It was great to have them with us and we were sad to see them go.

Speaking of former students, last term we had Luca from Simonds College with us for the Community Service component of his learning and this term we have Giorgio helping us out in the same capacity. The boys have been of great assistance in the Prep/1 classroom, listening to reading and helping in small groups. It is always great to have ex-students with us and to hear how they are going. We are proud of the way we prepare our children for secondary schools and it is lovely to see the fruition of this from time to time.

At the other end of the scale we have been joined in the last couple of weeks by those children who will be forming our Prep year level for next year. They have been having some free play sessions with our current Preps for two weeks and next week will begin their formal orientation activities over the course of three Wednesdays. We still have spaces available so if friends or family are looking for a great start for their child, and have still not made up their minds, then refer them to us.

Last week saw us hosting the jazz band Adam Hall and the Velvet Players for a concert and educational session. The five piece group involved the children with a number of traditional and original compositions and, along the way, different instruments, styles of music and techniques were discussed and demonstrated. I know from talking to some parents that the children were very enthusiastic about the experience with at least one parent considering gong to see the band over the weekend on her child’s recommendation.

We concluded last week with our first ever House Sports at Victoria Park. The venue was chosen as we were unsure about the completion date of the George Knott Reserve track refurbishment and, because of council restrictions, we chose to have a range of tabloid activities this year rather than the traditional athletics. Despite mixed opinions from the children going into the event, it was clear that everyone thoroughly enjoyed the evening, with the focus on working as a successful and cooperative House Team being part of the fun. Thanks go to Anthony Falcone for his organisation, Sean from Educational Sports Carnivals for his equipment and support, the many parent helpers who made the event a success, the staff for giving up their Friday evening, and to the children for their sporting competitiveness and embrace of the different format for this year. Congratulations to Gus and the Aikenhead House (Green) team who once again took home the House Cup, taking it back from last year’s winners, O’Connell House (Blue).

The month of November is already looking very full. We are at the time of year when people’s calendars tend to get very crowded and tensions can increase, so my prayer for our school community is that we go gently with ourselves and with each other and enjoy the raft of experiences and opportunities that come our way in the month ahead.

Until next time, respectfully,

Daniel 🙂


2. From The Parish

Parish Family Fun Night

Don’t forget about the upcoming Family Fun Night at St Joseph’s Hall in Collingwood – click on the following link for more details:


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3. From The P&F

P & F Events Term 4

So here we are again, the end of another year approaches! But before we look to what’s ahead, a quick look back at what has been…

Comedy Night Wrap

Our major fundraiser marked the beginning of Spring and I think everyone left with a spring in their step after a wonderful night of fun, food and comedy. There is nothing like a good laugh to reinvigorate the soul and those who attended were not disappointed. The hall was filled and people really enjoyed the relaxed, social atmosphere. The comedians were fabulous and the laughing only paused at intermission when everyone scurried to the silent auctions to check up on prized food hampers and a selection of gorgeous donations, that people could place a bid on.

I want to extend a huge thank you to the St John’s Community; parent’s, grand parents, friends, family, alumni families, parishioners and everyone who attended the night making it not only a very successful fundraiser but just as importantly a wonderful social event. Not only did we make almost $10,000 to go towards the (now completed) playground, we also came together to enjoy each others company and strengthen the fabric of what makes us such a vibrant community.

Thank you also to all those people who worked behind the scenes in the lead up, designing brochures, collecting vouchers and donations, donating auction and hamper items, buying items online, packing and wrapping hampers, helping with set up, catering, serving, selling and all the things small and large that ensured this night came together, so successfully. Your hard work is greatly appreciated!!

A special shout out must go to our Major Events Coordinator, Melissa McIntosh, who has worked tirelessly for the last 6 years, coordinating our major fundraiser evenings. Thank you Melissa for your quiet determination and ability to get things done.


Have you popped in to have a look at the beautiful new playground?  For some years now our community has been raising money for the new playground. How lovely to see the concrete transformed to a lush oasis of plants, wood, water and natural textures. The children seem to have thoroughly embraced it! Go and see what all of our collective hard work has achieved and give yourself a quiet pat on the back while you are there!

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:

  • Wednesday 31 October: Halloween Lunch order
  • Tuesday 13 November: P&F Committee AGM
  • Friday 23 November: School Concert
  • Monday 26 November: Mangoes arrive (exact day in that week to be confirmed)
  • Saturday 8 December: Cake Stall
  • Friday 14 December: End of year picnic

We will be sending out specific information on these events as they approach, so please keep an eye on your emails. In particular, we will be looking for helpers for the final 3 events of the year.


Do you have some ideas for the P&F to try? Feedback on events that have been?

Want to get involved next year? Or are you curious to find out more about what the Parent’s and Friends Committee do? Here is your chance!

We will hold our Annual General Meeting on Tuesday 13th November. P&F meetings are open to all, so come along and be part of the action. You don’t have to have any particular experience, skills or qualifications, just be eager to lend a hand.

Until next time,


(on behalf of the P&F Committee)


4. News from our Curriculum Leader and P/1 Teacher

G.A.T.E.WAYS is very excited to be hosting their Journey programs at our school, St John’s, this term. The programs are designed to provide gifted and talented children with opportunities for challenge and extension with a group of ‘like-minded’ peers over a four-week period.  G.A.T.E.WAYS has invited schools in our area to nominate students to participate in the program.

Journeys will run for four Tuesday mornings from 9:30am to 12:00pm (13th, 20th, 27th November and 4th December 2018). The G.A.T.E.WAYS Journey for Year:

  • 1 and 2 children with a love of science – ‘Into the Mystical, Mesmerising Land of Lumina’
  • 3 and 4 children with a love of mathematics – ‘Charlie’s Chewy, Chocolaty Challenge!’
  • 5 and 6 children with a love of language, writing, creativity and science fiction – Star Words… poetic sci-fi adventure!’

St John’s Primary School is looking forward to continuing to be part of this wonderful program in 2019 as we will be hosting the 2019 G.A.T.E.WAYS Journey’s over the four terms.

For more information, please see G.A.T.E.WAYS website

2019 Prep Children

Year Prep transition has already started. The children are very excited and happy to be part of the St John’s Primary School.  Our playgroup and transition sessions give children an opportunity to meet the Prep teacher, be familiarised with our school and meet children from other kindergartens. Transition dates:

Wednesday 24th and 31st October 2018, 9:00 am – 10:00 am

  • Session 1 and 2: Children spent an hour in the Prep classroom and had the opportunity to play, listen to and sing songs.

Wednesday 7th, 14th and 21st November 2018, 9:00 am – 11:00 am

  • Similar to the first sessions, children will get to know each other, play games and do a art and craft activities in the classroom. They will also have the opportunity to play outside and have a tour of our school.

The Parent Information Session will be on Wednesday 21st of November 9 am to 10:00 am pm in the Staff Room. We encourage all 2019 Prep parents to attend, as we will be providing helpful hints to make the transition to school a smooth one.

Number and Algebra Workshops

The Year Prep to Year Three students have just started Number and Algebra Workshops with a focus on students further developing their understanding of the number system.  Teachers have used the Essential Assessment data to group children so that their needs are being meet within their workshop. The students are very excited to be learning in their workshops and participating in engaging hands on experiences and investigations.

Fabulous Friday

The Year Prep to Year 3 students are super excited to be participating in ‘Fabulous Friday’ activities. Students have the opportunity to choose activities that they find engaging and want to be part of for two sessions. Currently we have five activities to choose from; Gardening, Cooking, Outdoor Sports, Cartooning, Arts and Crafts. We look forward to celebrating more fabulous Fridays together.

5. Premiers Reading Challenge 2018

2018 St John’s Victorian Premiers’ Reading Challenge

Congratulations to all the students who participated in the 2018 Premier’s is Reading Challenge! We had 31 children who successfully reached their reading challenge target. Students will receive their Victorian Premiers’ Reading Challenge certificates this term at our school assembly.

Excellent Reading, well done!

Please click on the link to see the list of children who completed the 2018 Premiers Reading Challenge.

Click on the following link to read  Premier the Honourable Dan Andrew’s message.

Thank you for your ongoing support and participation.

Antoniette Stasi (Curriculum Leader)

6. Book Fair 2018

3 Good reasons to support our Book Fair

Good quality educational Christmas presents

Add to your own library

Every purchase benefits our school with great new books and resources from Scholastic.

Every purchaser goes into a draw for a free book

Book Fair Details


Wednesday 21st Nov (PM ONLY)
Thursday 22nd  Nov
Friday 23rd   Nov (PM ONLY)
Mon 26th Nov
Tuesday 27th Nov


Morning:  8:30 – 9:00am
Afternoon:  3:30 – 4pm


St John’s PS Library

We hope to see you there!

7. Extra Curricular Noticeboard

8. Community Noticeboard