St James Newsletter

03 December 2018
Term Four, Week Nine         ‘st James School Community Is Committed To The Victorian Child Safe Standards.’
Dates to note...
Principal's Post
Education in Faith
Spotlight on Learning
Literacy and Numeracy
Extra Curricular
  P & F Newsletter
Useful Forms
After School Care
St James Primary School
(03) 9874 1830
51 Centre Road
Vermont, Victoria, 3133

Dates to note...



Sun 2    2019 Prep Welcome Mass  11.15am  SJM

Tues 4   Last Ride2School Day

                Year 6 Incursion

Wed 5    Year 6 Luna Park

Thurs 6   School Closure Day - Staff Professional Development

Fri 7    Food Day

Sat 8    6pm mass celebrated by our new Archbishop at St John's 

Thurs 13  'Step Up' Morning  

                    Thanksgiving Mass   7pm  SJM

Fri 14    SJV Talent Quest  12noon

                Reports sent home

Mon 17   Year 6 Farewell Dinner

Tues 18   Farewell Prayer Service to staff leaving  9am  

                   'Moving On' Ceremony   2pm

                   End of Term - Final day for students  3.20pm  finish



Tues 29    First Day for staff

Wed 30     Student Assessment Day

Thurs 31  Student Assessment Day

Feb 1      Preps start 9 - 12

Mon 4    All students  here full time (Yr 1-6 commence official classes)

Wed 6   No Preps Today










St James Community Calendar

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

Principal's Post

Dear Families,

The season of Advent commenced yesterday. What a fitting way to commence with the Welcome Mass for our 2019 Preps and their families. It was very satisfying to see so many of our current prep families at Mass as their children were involved in parts of the Mass by Fr Dispin as well as handing on a special welcome to our 2019 Prep students. It was just as satisfying to see so many of our Prep 2019 families at Mass who were officially welcomed into our St James school and St John's Parish community. 

Please remember during Advent that: "Jesus is the reason for the season"

Its hard to believe that the 2018 school year is almost over!  I remind all families of a few important celebrations.


Firstly, all families are invited and expected to attend our end of year Thanksgiving Mass on Thursday 13 December in our St John's church at 7pm.


Other events include:

Thursday 6 December : SCHOOL CLOSURE DAY

Saturday 8 December: Our new Archbishop is saying 6:00 Mass at St John's. All welcome!

Tuesday 11 December @ 2:30 Thank you Afternoon Tea for our wonderful parents from the staff - Please RSVP if you are able to come along.

Thursday 13 December: Step Up Morning where students will gather for a transition session in their 2019 class groups

Friday 14 December: St James Talent Quest from 12 noon in the Community Centre (all invited)

Monday 17 December: Year Six dinner and disco in the evening

Tuesday 18 December: Farewell Prayer Service ( for staff who are leaving) at 9am (all invited)

Tuesday 18 December: Moving On Ceremony focusing on our Year Sixes from 2pm in the Community Centre (all invited)Last day for students.

Auslan at St James

Following a lot of time , research and investigation, we are pleased to announce that St James will be teaching Auslan as its Language Other Than English (LOTE) from 2019. 

Auslan is the name given to Australian Sign language. While this is a language used by many in the deaf community, it also provides many opportunities for our St James' students.  There are many cognitive, social and emotional benefits to learning Auslan at all ages. At St James we see ourselves as an inclusive community, and learning Auslan will enhance this and our ethos, which goes to the very heart of our Catholic Identity.

Staffing Updates

We welcome Cathy Dimitrakopoulos to our St James team. Cathy comes from Sacred Heart in Croydon and will be leading our Learning and Teaching including Literacy curriculum implementation. 

We also welcome Naomi Carson to our St James team. Naomi will be teaching Auslan to all classes in a weekly time slot of approximately 40 minutes.

It is with mixed feelings that we  also congratulate Jodie Maziano on her appointment as Religious Education Leader at both St Louis De Montfort, Aspendale and St Bridget's Mordialloc. Jodie's skills, leadership and personality will be missed at St James. On the other hand, we are very pleased to announce that Jess Waters will be coming out of a fulltime classroom role and taking on the role of Learning Diversity Leader next year. 


Outstanding School Fees

Unfortunately we still have a number of families who need to settle their account within the next two weeks.

Maree has sent out accounts with outstanding balances. Please ensure that all fees are fully paid up unless you have a prior arrangement with us.

Education Board 

I'd like to thank all Education Board Members for their contributions to our meetings this year. In particular, I'd like to thank retiring members, Angela Bruni for her contributions as our P & F rep and Leonie Nathan for her role as staff rep and minute taker.

Paul Chalkley is going to continue on for an additional year as our Chairperson. Thank you Paul for the brilliant job you have done this year.

We welcome Andrea Dell'Orso, Lisa Licciardi and Paola Weinberg onto our Education Board from 2019.

Among other items discussed at our recent meeting was the guidelines regarding communication between staff and parents, which were ratified. These guidelines have been set to enhance the communication between each other, building capacity for even stronger partnerships.


Talent Quest

We anticipate holding the St James Talent Quest on Friday 14 December at 12 noon. Most year levels have commenced organising and practicing their acts. This talent quest is not necessarily a competition but a celebration of students' creative talents.


We need a volunteer to wash any left over, Lost Property at the end of the term. This is then given to the second hand uniform stall. Please contact Carmel if you can help

Ex Students Visiting / Helping Out

At the end of the year some secondary school students who have attended St James like to come back to visit and assist in classrooms. If your past student is planning this, please email Carmel with requests. We need official notification from parents, knowing that your child will be at St James volunteering, following school rules and not leaving the premises.

Medication at St James

Medication at St James, such as ventolin and epipens will need to be collected from the school office on the last day of school. It is vital that children come to school on the first day next year with updated forms and medication, if necessary. It is extremely important that there is a long life on the expiry date on the medication. It is time to re assess every child's condition, by filling out new forms and plans, to start the new year.

Education in Faith

St James Operation Christmas Families

Yesterday we celebrated the 1st Sunday of Advent and the start of a new Liturgical year. The word ‘Advent’ means ‘coming’. When we light the candles on the wreath, it symbolises the coming of light, Jesus, into the world. The circle of greenery symbolises God’s love, which has no beginning or end. The candles represent the four weeks of preparation time. One candle is lit each Sunday during Advent, and the final, central white candle is lit on Christmas Day.

The Gift of Hope

In the first week of Advent, we hear about the gift of Hope.  St Vincent de Paul has invited us to be that Gift of Hope by giving to local families less fortunate than ourselves. In doing so, not only will we be spreading some Christmas cheer, but we will be teaching our children about the gift of giving. 

Each class has a 'Christmas Family' given to us by St Vincent de Paul. If you would like to donate a gift or a non-perishable food item, there is a hamper in each classroom. 

If you choose to wrap a gift, please pop a gift tag on to show who it is for.

This year, St Vincent de Paul has invited us to reach out to families who are often overlooked; those with older children. .......In light of this, perhaps two families from a class group could combine efforts to purchase one gift for one teenager.

Prayer Services

 You're invited to join us as a school community to celebrate ...

Friday 14th Dec 9am- Years 1 and Prep: Christmas

Tuesday 18th Dec, 2pm- Yr 6 hosting: 'Moving On' 

Thanksgiving Mass...

Our Thanksgiving Mass will be celebrated at 

7pm on Thursday 13th December at St John's

We would like all students and parents to attend to give thanks for our wonderful year and ask for blessings on our community and for those leaving our school.

All students are asked to wear their summer uniform. At the conclusion of Mass, we will also acknowledge the families whose time at St James School is ending, along with staff who are moving on.

Spotlight on Learning

Student of the Week


Congratulations to the Week 7 Student of the Week recipients: Lachlan R, Marcus J, Chloe E, Saithrie R, Tom W, Sebi K, Olivia V, Bethany H, Alfred W,  Elijah W,  Ashlee M, Rohan S and Alisa M.


Congratulations to the Week 8 Student of the Week recipients: 

Oscar N, James h, William D, Liam B, Sienna D, Lucy G, Poppy S, Eva M, Samuel H, Abby D, Riley j, Kari L, Dylan K, Hudson D, Lucy C and Alby W.



The Visual Arts are alive and strong at St James.

Although it may be but a distant memory, the culmination of the Visual Arts Program at St James School is definitely our St James Art Show, every second year. This year’s September Art Show, ‘Art Colours Life’, showcased the many and varied creative talents of our students. Such a brilliant array of the wide variety of art forms that our students have participated in.

However this is not the only time that our students are able to express and share their artistic talents. Several art pieces from the Art Show have been chosen by Dave, myself and others, to be entered into the Catholic Education Melbourne Visual Arts Exhibition held in East Melbourne in March next year. Students whose work we have submitted are: Ella Mosca, Yr 2, Abbey Bruni, Yr 3, Ivana Wong, Chloe Everett and Adam Weymouth, Yr 5 and Lulu Chan, Yr 6. We will be notified before the end of the school year, if any of our students’ artworks have been successful inclusions in the exhibition. We congratulate them and wish them all the best and I look forward to attending this impressive art exhibition again. Successful entrants are also invited to attend and will receive details early in the new year.

I am currently in the throes of buying frames and mounting many amazing artworks selected from our art show. These are to be put on display all around our school. The artworks currently on show, selected from our 2016 art show, will be returned, framed, to their proud owners.

Each week many students regularly attend Drawing Club, at lunchtime on a Wednesday, in the Art Room. It’s great to see so many regulars from Prep to Yr 6 choosing to spend part of their lunch hour drawing and creating artworks. Numbers vary from fifteen to over forty and there is always a happy and relaxed atmosphere and loads of creativity shared.

With Christmas upon us soon, we have another excuse to get our creative talents to work. Undoubtedly you and your children will enjoy decorating your homes, particularly with some handmade creations.
Remember we are all artists.
Anne Gleeson.


About Real Life - Puberty Education Program

In response to feedback and questions from quite a few parents regarding puberty education, we have been in contact with Sue Pain from About Real Life. We have negotiated for Sue to come to our school next year to support our students, parents and teachers in navigating the sometimes stressful and scary topic of puberty education. Sue has many years of experience in this areas having previously worked for Family Life Victoria and being a trained primary educator. She delivers this program to other Catholic Primary Schools in our local area.


Her aim is to provide positive, realistic & relevant sex education for young people in schools and the community. By helping them to identify what a respectful relationship looks and feels like, to understand what consent is and isn't, develop the confidence to make choices according to their own values in the face of external pressures, learn knowledge and skills to assist wellbeing and realise the benefits of ongoing conversations with trusted adults.


If you want to check out Sue’s website, the link is below but keep in mind the website is tailored more towards the secondary context.


Dates to Note:

On Wednesday 8th May at 7pm Sue will be holding a parent information evening here at St James

On Wednesday 22nd May there will be two family sessions for parents and students to attend together

  • Session 1 6:30pm-7:30pm for Years 4, 5 and 6

  • Session 2 7:45pm-8:45pm Years 5 and 6

Then at the end of May and beginning of June in Year 6 there will be 3 classroom based sessions run by Sue.


As a school we are very excited and positive about introducing a well-resourced and supportive program that will benefit all in the community.


There will be more detailed information available in 2019. For now, we wanted to urge all families of students in Years 4, 5 and 6 to save these dates in your diaries.

Parent Hub

Other 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 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 access to Parent Shop Blog

It includes interesting articles and testimonials on a wide variety of topics.

Literacy and Numeracy


Thank you to all the families who participated throughout the year. 

This is the final challenge for the year.

It would be great to see a record number of families participate. There are questions designed for preps, Year Sixes and even some that will get the adults thinking! 


Good luck. I look forward to reading your responses. 


Extra Curricular

Bike It

Last Wednesday the 21st of November 15 Year 5 students went to Bike It, which is a bike skill competition run by the city of Whitehorse, the city of Boroondara councils. It was hosted at Elgar Park and we did lots of fun activities like a trail ride, weaving in and out cones, riding on a straight line, slow riding as well as fast riding, riding in figure 8, entering and exiting a roundabout, right-hand turns, riding through a minefield, formation riding and a challenging chicane. It was lots of fun and it was a great learning opportunity. For lunch we were provided with sausages and ice-poles as well as a morning tea fruit snack.  Some of us fell off our bikes but we were persistent because we got back on and were encouraged by our teammates, which helped us be confident to keep on trying. In the end we didn’t win but we still had a great time. Overall it was a great time and everyone enjoyed it.

Written by Tom White and Jonny Hess 5F

Inland Water Program Lysterfield Lake


On the 21st of November, the Year 5‘s went to Lysterfield Lake to learn how to be safe around water. It was a very exciting journey to the lake, surrounded by the stunning countryside, involving the sights of the kangaroos, horses and beautiful waterbirds, George even saw a cow! When we arrived we were put into our activity groups. Then we went through a variety of activities involving different skills and techniques on how to be the safest possible when swimming in inland lakes and rivers. The students also learnt how to save people using rescue tubes, boogie boards and everyday objects as well as practising using a lifejacket (PFD) in the lake, and when we might have to use them. We also learnt how to be sensible and smart, learning about how to use D.R.S A.B.C.D and C.P.R in an emergency. But the best part of the day was wrapping ourselves in our warm and fluffy towels, happy to be out of the freezing water, enjoying our picnic lunch!

Written by Rose Hollow & Lucy Jordan 5F


P-4 Knox Leisureworks Program

Our swimming program was embraced as a real learning opportunity in so many ways. Life Saving Victoria approached us, asking permission to use our program as an example of excellence to other schools.

Beach Day - Survival Skills for Year Six


Team Vic Registration Dates

School Sport Victoria will once again be offering the opportunity for gifted and talented students from your school community to register to trial for school sport Team Vic teams in 2019.

Registrations open on Saturday 1 December, 2018 and remain open until Friday 1 March, 2019 for Australian Football, Netball, Boys Basketball, Girls Basketball, and Boys Football (Soccer).

These trials are for emerging athletes who have reached a certain standard. They are a process for selecting a Team Vic State Team going to School Sport Australia National Championships.

If you think your child may qualify for this, please send an email to


Perfect for Christmas cooking...

Eggs can be ordered by sending money in a named envelope to Wendy in the library.

$5.00 per dozen is a bargain for guaranteed fresh, free-range eggs.  

Place your order now; they're delicious!



December 8/9th:             Rogan   2VH and 1J

December 15/16th:       O'Riley    6F and 1D


Christmas holidays are fast approaching, and we still need 4-5 more volunteers.

If you can help for 3-4 days during the holidays, please email Wendy.

New families most welcome. 

P & F Newsletter

This will be our last newsletter for 2018! We would like to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to our St James School Community for a wonderful year of P&F Events and fund raising. Please take note of the attached, updated Calendar of Events for 2019.


URGENT  - Are you the next P&F Team Leader?

We still don't have any Team Leaders for 2019.  All the other positions, including email correspondence have been filled so the team leaders just need to ensure Coordinators and Champions are on track and run the 6 meetings and AGM next year.  If there are a couple of leaders they could split the meetings between them so only 3 meetings for the year or perhaps 3 people could do 2 meetings each!  The days and times of the meetings can be changed to suit the new leaders. 


Daniela and Jen together with (Dave and Carmel from a school perspective) are willing to support the leaders in the background but will not be continuing as the main team leaders in 2019.


Will you be the P&F Team Leader for 2019?


Please contact Jen Everett or Daniella Migliorati at

for further information.

Christmas Raffle

Keep a look out for our Christmas Raffle tickets which will be sent home soon! 

1st Prize: $100 Rebel voucher

2nd Prize: 2 tickets to Adventure Park Theme Park - Geelong. Valued at $70

3rd Prize: $50 Rebel voucher

4th Prize: Cruiserz car launcher pack

5th Prize: Fun Science Holiday Fun Pack

All tickets are $1 each. Raffle will be drawn at our final assembly on the 18/12/2018.


Useful Forms



After School Care

 Camp Australia’s Outside School Hours Care 

Camp Australia will provide their professional services on the following school closure days in 2019

  • Wednesday 30th January 
  • Thursday 31st January and 
  • Friday 1st February.

Parents will need to make a booking with Camp Australia on 1300 105 343 or book online. 


Kind Regards, 

Camp Australia

St James Newsletter
Operation Christmas Family.docx
2018 SJV Communication Guidelines.pdf
Bike Contract.pdf
Asthma Action Plan_Puffer and Spacer_2017 (2).pdf
Individual Asthma Risk Minimisation Plan_29062017.pdf