St James Newsletter

18 March 2019
Term One, Week Eight         ‘st James School Community Is Committed To The Victorian Child Safe Standards.’
Dates to note...
Principal's Post
Education in Faith
Literacy and Numeracy
Digital Technologies
Spotlight on Learning
Extra Curricular
Useful Forms
  P & F Newsletter
After School Care
Community Information
St James Primary School
(03) 9874 1830
51 Centre Road
Vermont, Victoria, 3133

Dates to note...



Thurs 21   Harmony Day

Fri 22   Open Day  9am, 10am

               National Ride 2 School Day

               Cinema Under the Stars 

Mon 25  5P Bike Education

Tues 26   Literacy Information Session 3

Thurs 28   First Reconciliation



Mon 1   Prep Celebration of Learning

Tues 2  Parent/Student/Teacher Learning Conferences  3.40 - 6pm

Wed 3   Parent/Student/Teacher Learning Conferences 2.30pm - 8pm

                (School finishes at 2.25pm)

                Open Day  9am, 10am

Fri 5       Last day of term   3.20pm finish


(Please be aware that dates can change....always check the dates  for confirmation)


Principal's Post

Dear Families,

This Thursday we are celebrating Harmony Day. This is a national initiative where we celebrate inclusiveness, respect and a sense of belonging. This is a timely celebration given recent happenings in our world.

A prayer for reflection ... 


God of all people, God of love,

Just as the colours of a rainbow

Blend and merge to form one rainbow,

So too may the colours

Of our different cultures and beliefs,

Blend and merge in our families,

 Our communities and throughout our world,

Through mutual respect and acceptance,

So that we may come together in true harmony.


Year Six Camp

Our Year Six students enjoyed perfect weather last week for their camp to Lake Nillahcootie. The focus of the camp was on Outdoor Education and Adventure where we aim to take the students out of their comfort zone in a controlled environment.

Activities such as the following; canoeing, rock climbing wall, abseiling wall, flying fox  and mountain bike riding challenge the students to scale heights and venture to places they may not have been before.

Other activities such as; initiative activities, team challenge and low ropes course require students to work together as a team to complete various challenges.

This camp is an essential ingredient in our catering for the development of the “whole child, or as our vision statement says “living life to the full.”

I’d like to acknowledge the staff (particularly Leonie Nathan, Josh Crowe and Antoinette Moroney who attended the full camp) for giving up time with their own family to make this experience so rewarding for our students.

Working Bee

THANK YOU to the many parents who came along to our working bee on Friday evening. The school grounds certainly look much better with tasks completed including; spreading “heaps” of mulch over many garden beds, tidying up the garden bed along the driveway, cleaning many drains, cleaning up the sandpit, re creating the long jump pit, spreading softfall into safe areas on the adventure playground, tidying up many garden areas, cleaning drinking troughs, cleaning the Reynolds Community Centre kitchen and hammering in loose nails on the decking boards.

The BBQ afterwards was a great way to socialise. Thank you Nicole Spezza for purchasing, organising and cooking the snags!

Thank you to the following families for their great work - McMahon, Anthony, Sully, O'Reilly, Walters, Mascitti, Hess, Robinson, Spezza, Brooks,Weinberg, Burnie, Gomez, Yang, Youssef, Borysiewicz, Kolesnik, Cochrane, Tirtawidjaja and Eskici.


Cinema Night this Friday Night!!!!

We drew the raffle this morning and the winning families are:

Mosca (3J) and Timms (2D). They will be occupying the VIP seats and enjoying some free food!

Thank you to all families who purchased tickets. The P & F made over $500!

Almost all volunteer positions to assist on the evening have been filled which is amazing.

Numbers are looking very good at this stage with about 300 people attending at this stage. Final tickets can be purchased this week.

The weather forecast is mostly sunny with a top of 29 degrees!


Here are a few reminders

  • Please remember all children need to be supervised by parents at all times on the night.

  • There will be no parking in the school yard.

  • Only the top double gate will be open and all families will need to sign in there on arrival.

  • So that all the little ones can see the screen, this year we will be marking off an area at the front where only bean bags, picnic rugs and low beach or festival chairs can be used. Please keep higher chairs towards the back. Thanks!

  • All rubbish needs to be placed in the bins provided or taken home at the end of the night.

Inter School Swimming

We are very proud of the twenty six students who represented St James at the interschool district swimming carnival.

From that event we had twenty two students progress to the division event in which the following students progressed to the individulal regional events; Alyssa (Freestyle), Tom (Freestyle and Butterfly), Ryan (Breaststroke),  Lewis (Freestyle and Butterfly). We also had some relay teams qualify for the regional championships.

These students did themselves and St James proud with many of them recording Personal Best times.

Lewis in Year Four has progressed to the state swimming trials to be held in April. Best wishes Lewis in your Butterfly event!

Prep Parents' Dinner Tonight

We are looking forward to this social occasion this evening:

No speeches, no raffle tickets, no kids; just an opportunity for our Prep parents to come along for two hours and enjoy each others' company!

The weather forecast is great. See you in the quadrangle area at about 7pm.     Remember to BYO drinks and glasses.

Safety, Safety, Safety - Follow the Parking Signs!



Please follow the Parking signs to ensure the safest possible environment for all our children. We encourage all families to use the school crossing.


Remember - Parking restrictions are for everyone's safety!



Catholic Education Week Art Show

Yesterday, Mrs Anne Gleeson (our Visual Arts Teacher) and myself were invited to attend the annual Catholic Education Week Art Show. There were many fine pieces on display from a variety of primary and secondary students enrolled in Catholic schools within the Archdiocese of Melbourne. St James had five students with pieces on display; Ivana , Chloe , Ella , Abbey and Adam.


 Ella M (3J) with her Mexican Cactus Pot which was selected to be a part of the Catholic Education Melbourne Visual Arts Exhibition.

A Few Things to Note

  • Auskick are still looking for a coordinator
  • The last Marathon Club for this term is next Wednesday 27 March
  • Pastoral Care - please let us know if we can help you or someone in our community that you know who could do with a helping hand at the moment
  • Mark Friday 10 May in your diary - we're celebrating Mothers' Day with a breakfast.  Details to follow.
  • We will have a representative group at Halliday Park for the Dawn Service on ANZAC Day - Thursday 25 April.  You're welcome to join us!
  • School Closure Day Friday 26 April
  • School finishes at 2.25pm on Wednesday 3 April

From the Office

The first instalment( one third of the total account] of fees is due to be paid by Friday March 22 for any family who elected  to pay their fees in three instalments. If paying  direct to the school bank account please include your Surname. Payments may also be made at the school office.

Learning Conferences

Parent/Student/Teacher learning conferences will be held on Tuesday 2 April from 3.40pm - 6pm and Wednesday 3 April from 2.30pm - 8pm. 


School will finish at 2.25pm on Wednesday 3 April.  Please make sure your children are picked up promptly or book them into OSHC. Any families who experience difficulties in collecting your children early please email me.


Click on the link below to make your appointment:





Welcome to Rachel Fergussen, a pre service teacher from ACU who is working with Year 2D over the next few weeks.



Congratulations to Leroy (4BH) who successfully achieved his blue belt in karate on the weekend.  Well done Leroy!


Education in Faith


 The future does have a name… and its name is hope.”

(Pope Francis)

Caritas Australia is the international aid and development agency of the Catholic Church in Australia. Each Lent, Caritas launches its Project Compassion appeal. Along with the Parish we support the campaign, which is a practical way of bringing to life our Christian service.

The theme for this year is ‘GIVE LENT 100%’Each week, the children will explore stories from different countries including, Zimbabwe, Indonesia, the Solomon Islands, Bangladesh and Central Australia. By beginning to understand the issues of injustice and by witnessing the positive changes in the lives of people experiencing poverty, students can continue to develop a deepening empathy and lifelong solidarity with people all around the world.


On Thursday St James will celebrate Harmony Week, an event which is celebrated all across Australia. It is an opportunity to celebrate inclusiveness, respect and a sense of belonging for everyone. 

The Social Justice Captains and the Yr 6 SRCs invite all students  to wear a touch of orange and bring along a gold coin donation to pop in the Project Compassion box. 

Watch the video on the Student Landing Page to hear more from our Social Justice Captains and Yr 6 SRCs.

Fr Elio Capra

Thursday 21 March at 7pm in the Coghlan Centre, Fr Eilio Capra will be facilitating an evening of prayer and scripture with a Lenten focus.

Elio is an extremely entertaining and enriching presenter and this promises to be a great evening. All are welcome.

Mass of St Patrick

On Friday 15th March, nine St James students proudly attended the Mass of St Patrick for Schools at St Patrick's Cathedral. We travelled in by train with our friends from St John's.

The Mass celebrated the feast of St Patrick, Patron Saint of the Archdiocese of Melbourne. Held during Catholic Education Week, the Mass provides an opportunity for  schools to come together to remember our history, strengthen our Catholic identity and confirm our mission.

In his homily, Archbishop Peter Comensoli explained that while 'St Patrick is a saint with a capital S, we are all called saints when we realise that we have been found by God.' He delivered a strong message. 'We must all be like St Patrick- a friend of the Lord and willing to share that friendship with others.'

After the Mass, we were fortunate to have a photo with Archbishop Peter before joining the other primary students in Treasury Gardens for lunch and the Concert in the Park.



THU 21ST MARCH- Year 5 attending Parish Mass @ 10.20am

THU 21ST MARCH- Fr Elio Lenten Night, 7pm, St John's, Coghlan Centre

FRI 22ND MARCH- Prayer Service hosted by Year 4 @ 9am

 THU 28TH MARCH- Year 2 attending Parish Mass @ 10.20am

THU 28TH MARCH- First Reconciliation @ 6.30 and 7.30pm @ St John's

SUN 31ST MARCH- Parish Family Mass @ 9.45am

SUN 31ST MARCH-Presentation of Reconciliation certificates, 9.45am &  11.15am

THU 4TH APRIL- Year 1 attending Parish Mass @ 10.20am

FRI 5TH APRIL- Holy Week Prayer Service- hosted by Years 1, 3 & 5

Literacy and Numeracy

ICAS Testing 2019

Please note that in 2019, all ICAS Assessments (International Competitions and Assessments for Schools) will take place in September.   Further information will be communicated early Term 3 outlining how to express interest, levels invited to participate and costs involved.  

Does your child love writing?

Perhaps he/she could enter the 2019 Schools Writing Competition.  The competition is now open and encourages creativity with literacy.


There are great prizes on offer for winning entries, with St. James receiving part of the prize if our students are successful.


For further information and how to enter, visit

Entry is free and the closing date is Sunday 31st March.

"Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing."     Benjamin Franklin

Literacy Parent Helper Training

Thank you to the wonderful mums, dad and grandparents that completed the Parent Helper Training this week!  I would appreciate your feedback on the green slip, so please return it to school at your earliest convenience.

We look forward to seeing you in classrooms very soon!


Cathy Dimitrakopoulos

Literacy/Learning and Teaching Leader

Problem Solving Strategies in Mathematics 

Problem Solving is an essential part of mathematics in all year levels. It requires students to use a range of different strategies to solve a problem. Each strategy is explained on the following website:


Can you use one of the strategies to solve the following question?



Three mathematicians met up one week.

The first mathematician shook hands with all the others.
The second one shook hands with all the others apart from the first one (since they had already shaken hands).
The third one shook hands with all the others apart from the first and the second mathematicians.

How many handshakes were there altogether?


What if there were 4 people?

What if there were 10 people?


Please send your responses to so we can see the different strategies used. 


Josh Crowe

Numeracy Leader




Digital Technologies


1. Use Google Chrome

2. Type  into the address bar

3. Use your child's email address and password to gain access to this site.

Please note that you cannot gain access to this site with any other google email addresses.

Spotlight on Learning

This term in Physical Education ...

This term, students in Prep are learning all about the rules and expectations of Physical Education lessons. They are learning to “freeze” when the whistle is blown, to stay within the set boundaries, to share equipment with our teammates and most importantly,... to try our best and have fun! They are participating in skills circuits to develop their fundamental movement skills such as running, skipping, jumping, catching.


Students in Year One and Two are continuing to develop their basic motor skills through a variety of skills circuits as well as some modified games. This term we are primarily focussing on their ability to catch and throw the ball (chest pass and underarm).


Students in Year Three and Four are developing their  range of complex motor skills, focussing on over-arm throw and striking balls. They are participating in modified games of Newcombe Ball and Softball.


Year Five and Six students are busy preparing for the Summer Interschool Sports, which will be held later in March. So far we have revised the rules and skills required to play Newcombe Ball and Softball skills.  

From the Students ...

“I’ve learnt how to play Newcombe ball, it’s really fun and good way to get active”

- Rohan 5F


“I really liked learning to play Softball because it was intense getting to the base in time but I was really proud of myself when I did”

- Eliza 5F


“In PE I like throwing and catching the ball”

-  Amelia PK


“I like playing the freeze game. I know to stop when Mrs Feild blows the whistle” - Willow PK


2019 Swimming Team

Wow! What an amazing few weeks for our 2019 St James Swimming Team. Congratulations to all students who participated in the District and Division Swimming Carnivals. We are so proud of you! Congratulations to the following students who made it through to the Eastern Metropolitan Region Championships which were held on Friday the 15th of March-


9/10 Year Old Boys Freestyle Relay- Jack, Ryan, Lewis and Mitchell.

12/13 Year Old Girls Freestyle Team- Alyssa, Naomi, Jorja and Grace.

12/13 Year Old Boys Freestyle Team- Connor, Tom, Riley and Jonny.

Individual events:  Alyssa, Lewis, Tom and Ryan.



Congratulations to the following students who received a Student of the Week award recently.



Last Friday's National Day of Action Against Bullying

St James recognised  National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence last Friday. Students were involved in a range of activities on that day and during the week to discuss and reflect on the understanding and impact of bullying.


St James is dedicated to creating a supportive school environment, free from bullying, harassment and violence. By working together, we are sending a clear message to our young people that bullying and violence, in or outside of school, are not okay at any time.


Click here for more information

Bullying No Way

Harmony Day

Thursday 21st March (see Education in Faith for further information)

Parent Resources

Parentline 13 22 89

Parentline is available 8am to midnight, 7 days a week. It is a confidential and anonymous phone counselling service for parents and carers of children and teenagers in Victoria.


Click here for access to CatholicCare

It is a social service agency of the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne, they offer a range of programs and services that aim to build and strengthen relationships.


Click here for Raising Children Network

Reliable, and up-to-date information to help your family grow and thrive together. 


Click here for access to the Student Well-being Hub Website

It includes sections for parents, teachers and students with practical strategies and resources to support your child's well-being.


Click here for access to Parenting Ideas Blog

It includes articles, testimonials and practical tips on a wide variety of topics.


Click here for Iparent - Office of eSafety Commissioner 

To learn about the digital environment and how to help your child have safe and enjoyable online experiences.


Extra Curricular


The results for last week's Ride2shool day are:

Grade 1M had the highest percentage of active travellers in the junior school with 63%, Grade 4BH had the highest percentage in the middle school with 85% active travellers, and 5P had the highest percentage of active travellers in the senior school and overall with 90%.

Well done to everyone who made the effort to actively travel to school.

The results of our House Points currently stand:

1st Durkin 117

2nd Coghlan 116

3rd Lyons 98

4th Dillon 96

In the spirit of embracing a healthy and happy start to the day, we encourage all students and their families to leave the car at home and give riding, walking, scooting or skating to school a go.


National Ride2School Day is the perfect opportunity to kick-start new healthy habits and promote the many benefits of active transport for our community. If you can’t actively travel the whole way, consider parking the car nearby and riding or walking the rest of the way.


It’s going to be a wheelie good day and we hope to see you there!




Swimming success for so many - meeting challenges and achieving P.B's.  Good luck to Lewis (4F) who has made it through to the State Trials!


Learning happens in so many settings ......

Year 6 Campers...

Year 5 Bike Ed Program.....


Prep Police Visit ...


We are looking for a band of helpers that love working in the garden and would like to assist our Gardening Gurus team here at St James. We are looking for parents, grandparents, aunties and uncles that can help and support the kids as they learn about how to build a more sustainable lifestyle through growing vegetables and herbs in the gardens around St James.

You only need to come in for 30 minutes* once a week to support the students as they try to grow delicious vegetables, crunchy radishes and tasty cucumbers.

We have a Volunteer Application Form on our website and in our newsletter, which needs to be completed. All helpers require a current Working With Children Check.

Please contact Tim Flintoff (   or 98741830) if you would like to assist. We are open to different days, but would like the children to be involved during the lunch break ( i.e 11:10-12:00)


St John Ambulance in Schools Program is coming....

St John Ambulance Victoria will visit our school on Friday 29th March to deliver their free First Aid in Schools Program to our students.

St John Ambulance Victoria will visit our school on Friday 29th March to deliver their free First Aid in Schools Program to our students.

Online Music Solutions

Our, 'Online Music Solutions' team are very skilled and accommodating to teach the joy of learning to play a musical instrument on Mondays. Classes are underway and many have taken up the opportunity.


Scholastic Book Club

Issue 2/2019 book orders are due back at school by this:




Thank you to all those using the LOOP system to order and pay. Orders can also be placed by sending your order with payment to the office via the office/class tubs.


Please contact me if you have any questions.



Janine Piper (Aaron 6N & Jacinta 4BH)

Mobile: 0407 336 598

St James Netball Club

Please open the above document for Netball information relating to Year 1 students


Chook House Update:

You wouldn't recognise the old chook house now that Lou the Handyman has completed renovations.

The chooks have a new perch (a recycled, wooden ladder), loads more space (we removed the big old benches) and the dirt has been leveled.  Thanks Lou!!!

We've also installed some solar lights to collect bugs at night which then become a breakfast treat for the girls in the morning. Yum!


Eggs are up for sale!

$5.00 per dozen.

Fresher than Coles or Woolworths!

Just put money in an envelope with your child's name and grade, and as soon as the 'girls' lay enough, they will be sent home. 

Give them a try;  the Silkie eggs are  flavour-packed!!!


Farm Duty:

Next 2 weekends:

March 23/24th:   Bello family (Prep O)

March 30/31st:    Bele family (Prep O



Thank you to the Mardesic, Kowalski and Kolesnik families who have volunteered for holiday duty (April 6th - 22nd).

We are in need of 3-4 more families for the holidays; especially over Easter.  

Email Wendy at if you would like to join the roster and let me know if there are any particular dates when you are definitely not available. 

Useful Forms



P & F Newsletter



22nd Cinema Under the Stars

29th Food Day  





Please purchase your tickets by TOMORROW. Numbers are looking great so it promises to be a great community event!



Thank you so much to those who have responded to our calls for help. It is great to have help from so many generous people and have almost all spots filled in good time. We really appreciate it!

A few spots are left to fill: Sign up here:



Everything is ready for the races!!

Little ones start at 6pm so be there ready to go!  See times and details below:






Please return by tomorrow. Entries will be displayed down near the games and judged by Mr Mutimer and Mrs Foster!



A short Live Auction will take place prior to the movie with an auctioneer from our GOLD SPONSOR Noel Jones! 

Up for grabs are the following packs:


Live Auction 1. 

$250 Coles voucher 

$150 Rebel Voucher.

$100 Voucher at ‘The Loft Dining and Entertainment Precinct at Forest Hill Chase.’

Valued at $500

Live Auction 2.. 

$100 Food voucher at Mitcham Social
$100 Rise & Grind food and drinks voucher + 10 coffee passes
Valued at $250


Live Auction 3. 

Unisex Goldcross 225 Inline Rollerblades size 6-9 (adjustable)  

and Two Family Passes to Bayswater Rollercity (Valid until 30/6/19  -  Family of 4 x 2)

Valued at $180






  • Please remember all children need to be supervised by parents at all times on the night.
  • There will be no parking in the school yard. 
  • Only the top double gate will be open and all families will need to sign in there on arrival.
  • So that all the little ones can see the screen, this year we will be marking off an area at the front where only bean bags, picnic rugs and low beach or festival chairs can be used. Please keep higher chairs towards the back. Thanks!
  • All rubbish needs to be placed in the bins provided or taken home at the end of the night.

At this stage the weather is in our favour. Fingers crossed it stays that way! 


We are aiming to start the movie at 8pm so be there early to enjoy the games and great atmosphere of our great family night!


Thank you!

Grade 5 Champions

Kylie Brooks-Verberne, Sandra Alkemade & Sarah.Cleary



Sushi Food Day 

The next food day is on Friday 29th March

Food Day order forms went home last Wednesday or today for the Grade 6's.

Please return them by THIS THURSDAY 21st March.

Thanks to all those who have signed up to help. Just a couple more needed from 10:15 until 11am.

Thank you!

After School Care


Community Information






St James Newsletter
The Sports Tops have arrived!
NSG (2).docx
City of Whitehorse Family Resource Guide - 2018.PDF
Parenting Information Forum - 2019 Brochure.pdf
Bike Contract.pdf
Asthma Action Plan_Puffer and Spacer_2017 (2).pdf
Individual Asthma Risk Minimisation Plan_29062017.pdf
Individual Anaphylaxis Management Plan.pdf
Volunteer Duty Statement.pdf
Existing Volunteer Application Form.pdf
New Volunteer Application Form.pdf
Marathon Club permission.pdf