St John's School Newsletter

02 March 2020
Issue Three

With Faith and Love


"St John's School is committed to the Victorian Child Safe Standards"

Principal's Report
Religious Dimension
Digital Technologies at St. John's
Coming up at St John's
Parents'/Community Assoc.
Environment and Sustainability Team
Physical Education
St John's Notice Board
Community Events
St John's School
(03) 9874 1575
490 Whitehorse Road
Mitcham, Victoria, 3132

Principal's Report

Dear Parents and Carers,


as we begin the season of Lent it is a good time to think about how we will prepare ourselves for Easter. It is a time to Pray, Fast and Give.

How often do you pray as a family? We all have so much to be grateful for and it is important to remind our children that Prayer and Gratitude go hand in hand. Showing gratitude also helps build a positive attitude which in turn improves our mental health and wellbeing. This is supported by the act of giving to others.

During Lent we support  Caritas and Project Compassion, to enhance Social Justice across communities. Going without certain things during this time can strengthen our will and help support our giving. The money saved by going without, can then be shared with those in need.

What will your actions be for this Lenten Season?


Outreach Meals

If you are able to cook a meal or buy some fresh food for families who may require extra support at various times, please let me know so that I can include you on the list.


School Fees

Last week we sent out all of the school fee and levy statements via email. If you have not received it yet please check your Spam Mail. If it is in spam please move it into your inbox. If you have any questions about the fees please speak to me or Jenny. 


Working Bee

The sun shone for us on Saturday morning and we were finally able to spread the mulch across the Adventure Playground. Thanks to the families who were able to join us. The Adventure playground is looking fantastic.


Prep Welcome Dinner 

Thanks to our Year 1 Parents and Community Association for preparing a fun filled evening for our Prep and new families. It was very well attended and such a great opportunity for our families to connect and socialise together.


Twilight Sports

The St. John's School Sports are today at 4.45pm, Monday 2 March,  Bill Sewart Reserve, Burwood Highway, East Burwood.   We look froward to seeing you there to Cheer on all of our students.



Today our host class was 5/6KR. They shared their learning about writing fractured fairytales, place value in mathematics and levels of Government in Inquiry.


FIRE Carriers

Today we inducted our FIRE Carriers for 2020. Congratulations to Daiah, Mahum, Bartek, Sophie, Elizabeth and our Learning Support Officer, Julie. Our new FIRE carriers will continue to promote the actions of our School Covenant and lead our school community in promoting Indigenous Reconciliation.


St John's SkoolBag App

The Skoolbag App is one of our main forms of communication. To ensure that you receive all alerts, notices and emails please download the app to your phone or tablet.


Open Day

This Wednesday will be our first Open Day for the year. Please invite your neighbours and friends to come along and see our fantastic school in action.


Have a great week!


Verona Gridley



Religious Dimension

Our Gospel Challenge this week is to: tell Jesus how we feel throughout the day.

Jesus was not some foreign, distant being with whom we share nothing in common. Rather, Jesus became one of us so that we might better know how to be fully human. When we are lonely, scared, and frustrated we can take comfort knowing that Jesus experienced the same feelings. Likewise, when we are overjoyed, hopeful and excited, we know that Jesus knew these feelings, too.
We grow in relationships with others through our shared experiences. Sometimes these experiences centre on similar interests, while other times these experiences are grounded in similar feelings. Either way, we become closer to the person or group of people through sharing. The same is true of our relationship with Jesus.
As we begin this season of Lent we have the opportunity to grow in relationship with the God who shares so much in common with us. One simple way to do this is to tell Jesus how and what you feel as you go through the day.


Some interesting facts about Lent:

• Lent is a forty-day period of special preparation for Easter. During this time, the whole church puts extra effort into three aspects: prayer, fasting and almsgiving.

• There is evidence of Lenten preparation for Easter very early in the church’s history, but its practices became more regularised after the Council of Nicaea (325).

• In years gone by, Catholics did not eat meat on any Friday, and later, on Fridays in Lent. Today there are two days of the year when Catholics are expected to forgo meat—Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.


Last week the season of Lent began with Ash Wednesday, which also marked the beginning of the annual Caritas Australia Project Compassion Appeal. Donations to Project Compassion allow Caritas Australia, the Catholic Agency for International Aid and Development, to work with local communities around the world to alleviate poverty, hunger, oppression and injustice. We are encouraging you to put your compassion into action this Lent through prayer, fasting and almsgiving by supporting Project Compassion. Each family received a Project Compassion box for their donations. Each week students will be learning about individuals and communities throughout the world that Caritas Australia assists.


Around 2.8 million children in the Philippines do not go to school.

Shirley's Story

This week students are learning about the story of Shirley. Shirley was struggling to support her family and keep her children in school. She faced regular discrimination and disadvantage, limiting her family’s access to food, education, employment and healthcare. With Caritas Australia’s support, Shirley trained to become an indigenous health worker. She has learnt to supplement her income and is able to feed her family. The program has also empowered Shirley to send her children to school.

Let’s Go Further, Together!


Have an enjoyable week,



Important Dates to Remember


Thursday       12      First Eucharist Parent Information Night, 7:00pm

Tuesday         17      St Patrick's Day Annual School Mass (Year Six Leaders)

Thursday       19      First Reconciliation Ceremonies,  6:30pm & 7:30pm

Friday              20     Harmony Day

Saturday        21     First Eucharist Commitment Ceremony & Mass Book Presentation, 6:00pm Mass            

Sunday           22     First Eucharist Commitment Ceremony & Mass Book Presentation, 9:45am Mass          

Tuesday         31     Parish penitential Celebration, 7:00pm

Just Leadership Day

The Year Six Social Justice leaders and School Captains participated in a student social justice leadership day, facilitated by Megan Bourke from Caritas Australia. Students from four other local Catholic primary schools also attended. A major focus of the day was taking students beyond the headlines to look at the broader issues facing people around the world today.

The day also involved introducing them to some lesser-known leaders who have positively affected the world, such as Saint Oscar Romero, the Archbishop of El Salvador who was killed after speaking out against injustice, poverty and torture in his home country.


The Just Leadership Day was divided into three themes: ‘See’, ‘Judge’, and ‘Act’.

We started the day by recognising and exploring global injustices and seeing what is happening in the world. The ‘judge’ part of the day then looked at how we can critique the injustices happening in the world in light of Catholic social teaching – such as human dignity. In the final ‘Act’ stage of the day, students were given an opportunity to start to work out how they might respond as global citizens to the issues that were spoken about.




Respect Awards

St John’s is a School Wide Positive Behaviours School. This means we believe in recognising and encouraging students when they make good choices. This year we will be recognising students who demonstrate acts which go above and beyond in respecting themselves, others and/or property. This will be done in the form of “Respect Awards.”


Congratulations to the following students who received the first Respect Awards at this morning’s assembly: 

Isla (Prep)- for respecting herself by being persistent and having a go when she made a mistake in writing.

Scarlett (1/2) - for respecting property by ensuring the learning space is tidy and putting things away, even when she isn’t the one to use them. 

Alana (3/4)- for respecting others by welcoming new students in the school with patience and kindness.


Mrs. Emma Pattison

Student Wellbeing Leader


Digital Technologies at
St. John's

Parenting in a Digital World

This Information Evening is relevant for families with children of all ages. Keep an eye out for more information coming home soon.


Australia Computational Thinking Challenge 2020

This year students in Years 3-6 will once again participate in Bebras Australia 2020. Bebras is an international student challenge run by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) Education and Outreach through the Digital Careers program. The goal is to promote computational thinking in students in a way that challenges them beyond science or mathematical skills. It uses a number of skills such as pattern recognition, algorithms and logic. Bebras Australia is designed to be accessible and easy to use and is linked to the Victorian Digital Technologies Curriculum.

We use problem-solving in everything that we do – and future jobs will require this even more. Teaching Computational Thinking is not about how to use technology to solve the problem but rather how to understand the problems and identify the tools needed to solve them. Bebras is a challenge, not a competition. The aim is for students to develop a positive impression about Digital Technologies. 

The students will participate in this online challenge in a 45 minute (Years 5 & 6) or a 60 minute (Years 3 & 4) session at school, which will be held in March and again in September. Students who return a signed consent form will receive a participation certificate for each challenge.

For more information go to

Consent forms to be returned to your classroom teacher by: Wednesday 4 March 2020


Coming up at St John's

Happy Birthday

Congratulations to Marco, Nate, Kimberly, Dec, Isla, Erika, Lila and Anabelle as they celebrate their special day. We hope you have a very..........


Twilight Sports

The Twilight Sports Athletic Carnival is tonight. Students need to be at Bill Sewart Track at 4:45pm for a 5:00pm start. Students need to wear a t-shirt of their house colour and bring a safety pin for ribbons!

National Ride to School Day 

Friday March 13 is National Ride to School Day. Students are encouraged to decorate their bikes and ride with friends and/or family members to school. Senior Constable Paul will be speaking to students about Bike Safety and Neighbourhood Watch. Volunteers will be engraving bikes for free. Permission slips for engraving will be sent home shortly.


School Choir

Choir is on every Friday morning at 8:20am in the Multi Purpose Room for students in Years 2-6.

Please bring a folder to keep your music in.

All interested students are welcome!

Marathon Club

We will meet in the school foyer at 7.45am on Tuesday and Thursday mornings before heading off for a walk or run. This is for all year 3-6 students that are interested in joining in the fun.

When returning to school students who have participated will be provided with breakfast before the start of the school day.

The cost is $10.00 per student, per term.

Please wear appropriate footwear and check the St John's School App each morning for cancellations.

Parents are welcome to come along too!

We look forward to another great year of Marathon Club.


Student ICT Agreement

All families should have received their copies of the 2020 St John’s ICT Agreement, sent home with the eldest child from each family. This document outlines expectations to ensure students are safe and responsible when using devices at school. We believe strongly in promoting respectful online behaviours and hope this document helps build a partnership with parents and families at home and school. 

Could all parents and carers please read the ICT Agreement with their children before returning a signed copy of ‘Section C’ to their eldest child’s classroom teacher. If you have any questions please contact Verona Gridley to discuss this further.

Parents'/Community Assoc.

Ladies' Bowling & Dinner


Office Bearers 2020

Co-Chairs Courtney Laffin and Donna Inglese

Secretary Michelle Plant

Treasurer Wanni Tendean

Meeting Dates

Tues 10 March 7pm

Tues 21 April 7pm

Thurs 14 May 2pm

Lyons Room

Thurs 11 June 7pm

Tues 14 July 7pm

Thurs 6 August 6pm

Lyons Room

Tues 8 September 2pm

Thurs 8 October 7pm

Thurs 5 November 7pm

Lyons Room


Tues 1 December 7pm


Lyons Room

Community Events and Fundraising for 2020

Term One

Term Two

18th February- Prep/New Families Welcome Dinner (contact Vickie Stutchbury)

2nd March- Twilight Sports BBQ (contact Steve Gilbert)

20th March- Mums and Carers Dinner (contact Trang Dang)

27th March- Easter Raffle (contact Annamaria Carnovale)

Entertainment Books (contact Trang Dang)

1st May Mothers’ Day Breakfast (contact Steve Gilbert)

22nd May Grandparents’ Day (contact Rhyannon Elliott)



Term Three

Term Four

Family Social Event (contact Eileen Dalton and Elizabeth Watkin)

4 September Fathers’ Day Breakfast (contact Amy Freeman)

Fete Raffle- tickets going home in October (contact Rhyannon Elliott)

25 October Pink meets Teal Garden Party formerly Think Pink Day  (contact Eileen Dalton)

Early December Mango Fundraiser (contact Rhyannon Elliott and Michelle Plant)

Dates and Events to Be Confirmed

Dads and Carers Dinners (contact Steve Gilbert)

Special Food Days (contact Julie Taualii)

Bunnings BBQ (contact Steve Gilbert and Donna Inglese)

Social Fundraiser- the roles of Social Fundraiser Coordinator and Donations Coordinator are, as yet, unfilled- do you have some spare time and energy and would like to work as part of a team?  If you do and would, please contact Courtney Laffin on

Outreach Program

Outreach at St John’s takes many forms from supporting those outside our gates (through our commitment to, among others, Caritas and Think Pink) to supporting those within our community in times of need.  This support could be in the form of a home-cooked meal, a lift to or from school or sporting events, a load of ironing- to name just a few ways to help.

The Outreach Program operates with the utmost sensitivity and can be accessed through our Principal, Verona Gridley and Emma Pattison in their capacities as Student Services and Wellbeing Leaders.  Verona and Emma link with Rhyannon Elliott and Eileen Dalton, the Outreach Coordinators, to source the assistance required.   At all times, interactions are characterised by respect and confidentiality.

For more information or to sign-up to contribute a meal or an offer of help, please contact Rhyannon Elliott on

Environment and Sustainability Team

Environment and Sustainability Team

The Environmental & Sustainability Team would like to thank all staff and students for stepping up, to clean up our school last Friday. We collected a lot more rubbish than we expected. You would agree that the school looks great and we all get the benefits of a cleaner and greener environment to play in.

With the rubbish that was collected on Friday, the team will complete a report regarding our results of recyclable and landfill rubbish. All the information from our report, along with all the other schools and community groups across Australia is collected. All this data is used to work out how much rubbish was collected and recycled. This information is then published and shared with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial  Research Organisation (CSIRO).

We will be having a regular clean up of our school every second Friday on assembly weeks. 

Thanks again for all your support and efforts. 


Patrick, Marco, Cohen, Basti, Julie, Cheryl and Melinda

Environment and Sustainability Team 

Whole School Clean Up


Physical Education

District Swimming

Congratulations to all the students who represented St John's at the recent District Swimming Carnival. Keiran, Archie, Liam and Bartek successfully qualified and competed in the Division Swimming Carnival in the 50m freestyle event this morning at Aquanation Ringwood, and Bartek  competed in both breastroke and butterfly events in his age group.


St John's Notice Board

Scholastic  Book Club

Each order will help earn free books and teaching materials for our classrooms at St John's. 

No cash orders accepted - please place orders through LOOP: 

Any queries, please contact Cynthia Timoti on 0421 835 778 (Maxwell 1/2 EP & Jasper 1/2 CB).

Camp, Sport and Excursion Fund

If you are eligible for the government 2020 Camp, Sport and Excursion Fund, fill in the form (Below) and return it to the school office. You are welcome to pick up the form from the office if you are unable to print the application form at home.

Please read the information attached to determine if your family is eligible for the benefit which can assist with a payment towards your child's school activities in 2020. 


Entertainment Books

Entertainment Books are coming to St John's. Take a look at the attachment to see what the benefits are to you and our school. You may like to purchase online and download it to your phone.

School Banking Program

Don't forget school banking each WEDNESDAY. Please instruct your child/children to place their banking in the classroom/office bags when they arrive.

For any queries regarding the program, please contact Maria Wallis (Chris 5/6 KR), volunteer School Banking Coordinator for St John’s on 0409 966 951 or

Community Events

Our Year 7 Boys at Whitefriars


St John's Family Picnics - 3rd Sunday of the Month


Emmaus College Open Day


Aquinas College Open day


Blues at Buckanbe


Emmaus 40th Anniversary Gala



Invest in your most precious asset......Your Marriage!

Married couples, come and learn how to keep/rekindle the passion in your relationship and how to keep your love growing!

The weekend is based around Catholic values but couples of all faiths are welcome.

The next weekend is on   17–19 April 2020 in Melbourne

Other weekends on 17-19 July and 13-15 November 2020


Starts 7pm on Friday. Ends 5pm Sunday. Accommodation and all meals provided.

Information/Bookings: Phone Mercy & James 0409 183 676 or

Email:  Website:



Have you ever wanted to learn a musical instrument or singing?
Our talented team of teachers offer private and group lessons for:
Piano, Singing, Drums and Guitar
For Piano or Singing, contact Jordan Scotney
0408 881 395 -
For Drums, contact Justin Olsson
0400 899 586 -
For Guitar, contact Anthony Merchant

Whitehorse City Council’s Parenting Information Forum – Importance of Play in Childhood Development (Birth – Age 7)

This forum will help parents/carers to:

• Understand the importance of social and emotional learning

• Manage risks rather than eliminate them

• Provide environments that promote resilience and self-regulation in children

• Understand the benefits of play as the foundation of lifelong learning.

Date: Wednesday 18th March

Time: Registration and tea and coffee from 7pm. Information session commences at 7.30pm sharp

Venue: Whitehorse Centre, 397 Whitehorse Road, Nunawading (rear of Nunawading Library)

Bookings: Registering your attendance is essential. Please book online on Council’s website,

Cost: $2 gold coin donation payable on the night.

Sion Open Day



School Calendar



School Term Dates 2020

Term One:            Thursday 30 January – Friday 27 March

Term Two:            Tuesday 14 April – Friday 26 June

Term Three:         Tuesday 13 July – Friday 18 September

Term Four:            Monday 5 October – Tuesday 15 December

Term One Calendar


30           Thursday             Term One begins


17           Monday               School Assembly, 1/2EP

18           Tuesday               Prep Welcome Dinner,  6:00pm

21           Friday                    District Swimming

22           Saturday              Working Bee Rescheduled, 9.00am

23           Sunday                 Parish Family Mass,  9:45am

26           Wednesday        Ash Wednesday Mass, 10:00am

28           Friday                    Feb Feast, 6:00pm


1             Sunday                 Children’s Mass, 11:15am

2             Monday                School Assembly, 5/6KR

                                                Twilight Sports, 4:45pm

4             Wednesday        2020 Prep Information Evening, 7:00pm

4             Wednesday        Open Morning for Prospective Enrolments, 9:00 – 12:00pm

6             Friday                   School Closure Day

9             Monday               LABOUR DAY PUBLIC HOLIDAY  – NO SCHOOL

10           Tuesday              School Camp at Lake Nillahcootie

12           Thursday            First Eucharist Parent Night,  7:00pm

13           Friday                   Ride To School Day

                                                Students return from school camp at Lake Nillahcootie

16           Monday               School Assembly, 3/4TJ

18           Wednesday        Summer Sport Gala Day, 3/4

19           Thursday             Open Morning for Prospective Enrolments, 9:00 – 12:00pm

                                                Reconciliation Ceremonies,  6:30pm or 7:30pm

20           Friday                    Harmony Day

21           Saturday              First Eucharist Commitment Ceremony / Mass Book Presentation,  6:00pm

22           Sunday                 First Eucharist Commitment Ceremony / Mass Book Presentation,  9:45am              24           Tuesday               Parent/Teacher/Student Learning Discussions,  3:40 – 7:00pm

25           Wednesday        Parent/Teacher/Student Learning Discussions,  3:40 – 6:00pm

26           Thursday             Summer Sports Gala Day, 5/6

27           Friday                    Term One ends, 3.20pm



Monday - Friday, 8.30am - 4.00pm

PH:  9874 1575



PH:  9401 6366


Father Dispin John


Mrs. Maree O'Keefe


Before & After School Care 1300 105 343



HOURS:    7.00 - 8.30am

                     3.20 - 6.15pm


RHSport, Ringwood   PH: 9870 1377



Open first Tuesday of each month 8.30 - 9.00am

Multi Purpose Room


St John's School Newsletter
Survey feedback and new look Community Association.pdf
PA Minutes - 130220.pdf
Entertainment Book 2020.pdf
Open Day and Scholarship ad for Primary Schools v2.pdf
Invitation 40th Anniversary Gala Book Now.jpg
Music Lessons.pdf