St James Newsletter

05 March 2019
Term One, Week Six         ‘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...



Tues 19  Helen Carboon  5pm & 7pm

Wed 20  No Preps Today

Wed 20 Ride2school Day

                Year 6 Camp forms due back at school

Fri 22   School Photos

               Parish Feb Feast   7pm at St John's

Sun 24    Family Mass  9.45am at SJM (St John's Mitcham)

Mon 25   District Swimming Carnival (selected Yrs 3 - 6 students)

Tues 26  Literacy Parent Information  Session 1 -  9 - 10.40am or  7pm -                                8.30pm

Wed 27  No Preps Today

                  Secondhand Uniform  Shop open  8.30am

                  Education Board Meeting   6.15pm

Thurs 28    OPEN DAY




Mon 4    OPEN DAY - Tours 9am and 10am

                 Division Swimming

Tues 5    Shrove Tuesday

                 Burning of the Palms   10.45am

                 P & F Meeting   7.30pm

Wed 6    Ash Wednesday - Mass  12noon

Thurs 7   Parent Information Night - First Eucharist   7pm


Tues 12   Year 6 Camp - Lake Nillahcootie

Wed 13  Literacy Parent Information  Session 2 -  9 - 10.40am or  7pm -                                8.30pm

Fri 15  National Day of Action Against Bullying

Fri 15   Twilight Working Bee  5pm - 7pm

Sat 16  First Eucharist Commitment Ceremony and Mass Book                                      Presentation   6pm

Sun 17  First Eucharist Commitment Ceremony and Mass Book                                       Presentation   9.45am

                 Vision Portraits

Mon 18  Prep Welcome Dinner (Info to come)

Mon 18  5F Bike Education

Mon 25  5P Bike Education



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


Principal's Post

Dear Families,

The focus of our School Closure Day last Friday was on Education in Faith. The staff were led by Jacqui Porritt (Education in Faith Leader) and Cathy Dimitrakopoulos (Learning and Teaching Leader) and  Carmel Foster (Deputy Principal).  Jacqui and Cathy led the staff as they investigated and consolidated new approaches to to teaching the new Religious Education Guidelines and curriculum, as set by Catholic Education Melbourne.

Carmel led the staff in the renewal of our Prayer Policy. This will be presented to the Education Board for comment and ratification at our next Education Board meeting.


2019 Prep Enrolments Are Open

Today we hosted our second Open Day of the year. Please encourage any family, friends or neighbours who have a child starting Prep in 2020 to come along for a tour. We have advertised these at many local kindergartens.

They are on the following days at 9am and again at 10am:

  • Friday 22 March
  • Wednesday 3 April
  • Tuesday 7 May

Our Open Evening is on Tuesday 30 April 7.30 - 8.30pm here at St James in the Reynolds Community Centre.

If you have your own child due to start in Prep next year, please collect an enrolment form from the school office and hand it in ASAP. 

St James Education Board

We held our first meeting for the year on Wednesday evening. Paul Chalkley, our chair for 2019  welcomed new members; Andrea Dell'Orso, Paola Weinberg and Lisa Licciardi. Gary Johnson, Lisa Sully and Louise Naismith will continue as Board members for our 2019 school year.

Some of the topics discussed included; The beginning of the year Assessment Days, the renewal of our homework policy and the ratification of other school policies.  We will be calling for parent input to the homework policy later in the year. Look out for your invitation to be a part of this process.


Working Bee

Our first Working Bee for the year is on Friday evening  15 March, 5 - 7pm. A hard copy invitation will go home this week. Please return the reply slip or email the office to indicate your attendance.

Assessment Day Survey Feedback

Thank you to the 76 families who responded to our Assessment Day feedback survey via google forms.

We have included the results in graphical form here for you to view.  

The optional comments section contained many informative statements which can be grouped into a few themes:

1 My children settled back into the 2019 school year smoothly because they had a type of transition day which included time with their class teacher in their room prior to official classes commencing.

2 It seems a logical thing to do because teachers have information about their students at the very beginning of the school year.

3 Collecting the data is valuable but could it be done at a different time, in a different way so that it does not impact on our family and our work commitments. 

Teacher feedback has been extremely positive with the following common themes strongly emerging:

1 The time spent one on one with the students was invaluable in getting to know them as a person and as a learner.

2 We could start teaching our students at their specific point of need from the first week back.

3 It's great to be with the class as often as we can, especially in the first term so that we can all establish good routines, behaviours and learning habits together.


As a result of the feedback received and evaluations made we intend to continue this practice next year. The feedback has provided us with a few alterations we will make in an attempt to improve the entire process. Our main line of sight is on improving student learning outcomes.



Remember this !!!

  • Cinema Night Friday 22 March...Colouring In competition forms are coming home today - Thank, Kylie!

  • P & F Major Fundraiser Saturday 15 June

  • School Concert Dates - Mon 9 and Tues 10 September

  • Please send back any outstanding Anaphylactic, Allergy or Asthma forms specially articulating the strategies we can implement for your child

  • Donations for the second hand uniform shop are always gratefully accepted! Just send them along to the office. Thanks!

  • Bookings for our first Learning Conference, where you, your child and his / her teacher will have an opportunity to gather and talk about learning growth and progress will be on Tuesday 2 April or extended times will be on Wednesday 3 April. Bookings will open on Monday 18 March.

  • Some parents are offering to babysit each others' children, so they can help in the classroom - something to consider - maybe this could work for you too.

The new Sports Tops have arrived...

Nicole Spezza has generously offered to be here tomorrow afternoon, from 3:00pm, to give the orders out. If you have paid for them and would prefer, we can send it home with your child.

Safety, Safety, Safety - Follow the Parking Signs!

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

From the Office

  • Family verification reports were sent home to all families.  Please make any changes to them if required and return to school asap.  Thank you to the families that have already sent them back.
  • Don't forget to send all medication  to the office immediately if your child needs it.  Forms must be filled out and are available from the office or on our website.
  • Remember to return the 2019 Fee Commitment form and Direct Debit forms (if applicable) to the school office as soon as possible.

School Closure Days Term One and Two

Please note the following Pupil Free days for the first half of the year:

Friday 1 March

Friday 26 April 

Education in Faith


Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent, which lasts for six weeks. According to the gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke, Jesus spent 40 days fasting in the desert, where he endured temptation. Lent originated as a reflection of this. The season offers an invitation to actively direct ourselves to God, because for Christians, God and Jesus is the heart and the soul of life.

We are offered this time to reflect on what has formed us since our Lenten journey last year. We are given ancient tools to help us enter into this time—tools of being prayerful, of living more simply and living more generously.

These Lenten practices create an environment in which we are able to think more deeply about God and about how we are responding to God’s call in our daily lives. (adapted from the Archbishop’s Office for Evangelisation Melbourne)


God of every age,

As we enter this time of Lent,

grant that, through our efforts of living prayerfully,

simply and generously,

we may come to know you more dearly

and to hear your voice more clearly.



Last Friday, the staff participated in a professional development day to deepen our knowledge and understanding of the Renewed Religious Education Curriculum. We explored new ways that offer authentic learning and foster a dialogue between Catholic faith and the diverse cultures and lives of our students. 



Please see the following attachment for an Easter Biscuit Bake being promoted by the Parish.



A reminder to parents who have enrolled their child in celebrating the sacraments of Reconciliation and First Eucharist,  there is an information meeting this Thursday March 7th @ 7pm, Coghlan Centre, St John's. 


TUE MARCH 5TH- Burning of the Palms, 10.45am

WED MARCH 6TH- Ash Wednesday Mass, 12 noon

THU MARCH 7TH- First Eucharist Information Evening, 7pm @ SJM

THU MARCH 14TH- Year 3 attending Parish Mass @ 10.20am

SAT 16TH & SUN 17TH- First Eucharist Commitment, Sat 6pm & Sun 9.45am

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

Literacy Parent Helpers  - Thank you!

Thank you to the wonderful parents and grandparents that attended our first of two Literacy Training sessions!  


Our first session covered the requirements and aspects of Being a Helper and Oral Language development.  Please remember that Session 2 will take place on: 


    Wednesday 13th March - 9am (repeated at 7pm)

The focus for this session is on Reading, Writing and Spelling.


I look forward to working with you again and thank you for your commitment.


Cathy Dimitrakopoulos

Literacy/Learning and Teaching Leader

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

Mathematics in the Real World

The only way to learn mathematics is to do mathematics."

Paul Halmos


Thank you to the families who sent in examples of how they use mathematics in the real world. 


James, Daniel and their family  visited Otway Strawberries and used multiplication, mass, money, trial and error and rounding to calculate the total cost of the blueberries to ensure they got the best value for money. A sensational way of how mathematics is a part of our everything we do. 


I would love to hear how your family uses mathematics in the real world. If you have any photos or examples please send them to

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.


Thank you so much to parents for providing children with excellent cases/containers for their personal earphones.  They are ensuring that earphones are clean, mostly untangled and easily found (if they were named!) 

Spotlight on Learning


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


Abbey, Buckley, Seri, Juliana, Isla, Lily, Raffi, Chaarya, Lucas, Jade, Bethany, Ivana, Ella, Trinity, Lily and Tehan.







Respectful Relationships

St James Primary School is dedicated to implementing the Respectful Relationships initiative. This initiative is a curriculum resource formulated by the Victorian Government and teaches our children how to build healthy relationships, resilience, and confidence.


A whole-school approach is taken towards gender equity, respect, and inclusion, as well as supporting children's social and emotional development. 

You can find more information about the Respectful Relationships initiative at: Department of Education and Training

National Day of Action

St James is registered to be part of the 2019 National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence on Friday 15th March, which is Australia’s key anti-bullying event for schools. It is a day where school communities across Australia ‘take a stand together’ against bullying and violence.

St James recognises the importance of learning how to get on with each other.  The students will be involved in activities that generate discussion and reflection on the understanding and impact of bullying. Importantly, they will explore the role of active and safe bystanders.

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

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


We were treated to a beautiful sunny, morning last Wednesday when we celebrated our first Ride2school Day for 2019. It was great to see 60% of our students ride, walk or scoot to school with family and friends and embrace a healthy start to their day.


The results for the classes were:

Grades 1M and 2S had the highest percentage of active travellers in the junior school with 63%, Grade 3J had the highest percentage in the middle school and overall with 92% active travellers, and 5P had the highest percentage of active travellers in the senior school with 85%.


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

The results of our House Points currently stand:

1st Durkin 67

2nd Coghlan 64

3rd Lyons 60

4th Dillon 52


Our next Ride2School Day is next Wednesday 13th March.



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.




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.


St James Netball Club

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


Eggs are up for sale again!

$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 9/10/11th:   van Vuuren family

March 16/17th:       Kohombanwickremage family


There are still vacancies for Term 1 holidays and Term 2 weekends.

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




5th P & F Meeting 7.30pm

17th Vision Portraits

22nd Cinema Under the Stars

29th Food Day  


P&F Meeting - Tuesday March 5th @ 7:30pm

Our next P&F meeting will be held on Tuesday at 7:30pm in the Community Centre run by our Grade 5 Champions.  All welcome


Vision Portraits - Sunday March 17th

Limited spots remaining - so get in fast.  Vision Portraits will be visiting St James on Sunday March 17th to take family photos.  Families that wish to book a place, can do so at the following link (password: fundraise2019). 

Booking link:


Cinema under the Stars - Friday March 22nd


Have you booked tickets? Book and Pay Online by Tuesday 19th March!!

We still need LOTS of helpers! All shifts are only an hour long so everyone has time to enjoy the night before the movie starts.

Please sign up at:


Raffle tickets went home last week and are due back Friday 15th March. One ticket is $2. Buy one, two or all five for more chances to win!


A Racing Stripes Colouring Competition was sent home in school bags today and will be judged on the night. Join in and have a chance to win one of three prizes!


Remember to buy your tickets as soon as possible. It greatly helps with planning to have accurate numbers.



Grade 5 Champions

Kylie, Sandra, Sarah and Monique


Major Fundraiser

Change of Date - now Saturday June 15th, 2019.

Please update your calendar. 

Further details to follow soon.


St James P&F Directory

The P&F family directory provides contact details of St James families, and is only accessible to those families who are listed in the directory.  If you would like to be part of this valuable directory, please enter your details as soon as possible on the following link:



Thank you to our Gold Sponsor


Noel Jones Mitcham are proud sponsors of the 2019 Cinemas Under the Stars.

The award-winning team at Noel Jones Mitcham is headed by local real estate experts Matthew Scafidi & Janet Fleet. Their dynamic and passionate sales and property management team are committed to listening to their clients’ needs and wants to achieve great results whether buying, selling, investing or renting.

With a commitment to world-class customer service, you are in good hands with Matthew and Janet’s team. Both living locally and supporting local business, community events and charity wherever possible.


And Sponsors:


Yo-Get-It is a self-serve frozen yoghurt company that aims to give people the opportunity to create their very own delicious frozen yoghurt masterpiece. It is a company that also focuses on creating a lifestyle for its consumers that embodies awareness for a healthier dessert option.
Yo-get-it are very excited and proud to be supporting the P&F fundraiser as we believe being a part of a community like St James Vermont is essential in achieving happiness for children and their families. This is a main goal for the Yo-get-it team.


Plush Landscapes are proud sponsors of the P& F cinema fundraiser this year.  Owned by Eddie & Kel Mascitti (parents to Eva 5P & Hunter 3J), Plush Landscapes is a locally established business, which specialises in all aspects of hard and soft landscaping, as well as outdoor entertaining areas.  Eddie, has been landscaping for 25 years and delivers high quality workmanship, professional advice and friendly service


Thank you for supporting our ‘Cinema Under the Stars’



After School Care

Info Page 1:


Info page 2:


Community Information





St James Newsletter
Parish Newsletter Feb 15.pdf
Biscuit Bake.docx
The Sports Tops have arrived!
NSG (2).docx
City of Whitehorse Family Resource Guide - 2018.PDF
Parenting Information Forum - 2019 Brochure.pdf
Literacy helper sessions.docx.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