St James Newsletter

07 October 2019
Term Four, Week One

  '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
Extra Curricular
Farm Yard Fun 
Library News
  P & F Newsletter
Parish Fete
Useful Forms
Community Information
St James Primary School
(03) 9874 1830
51 Centre Road
Vermont, Victoria, 3133

Dates to note...



Wed 9        Division Athletics Meeting  Yrs 4 - 6

Sun 13       Prep Level Mass   9.45am, 11.15am  SJM

Thurs 17   Sacramental Readiness 2020  7pm  SJM

Sun 20      Lemon Stall 2-4pm  (see Community Information)

Mon 21      Twilight Sports   4pm    Bill Sewart Athletics Track,

Wed 23      Children's Mission Mass - selected Yr 6 students

Fri 25         World Teachers' Day

Sat 26        Year 1 level Mass   6pm  SJM

Sun 27      Year 1 level Mass   9.45am  SJM

Mon 28      Prep 2020 Information Night   7pm 

Wed 30      Prep 2020 Orientation Session 1   9.20am - 10.50am



Fri 1           All Saints Day

Sat 2          All Souls Day

Mon 4       School Closure Day

Tues 5      Melbourne Cup - School Closed

Wed 6       Prep 2020 Orientation Session 2   9.20am - 10.50am

                    Year 6 Excursion

Thurs 7     Year 2 Excursion

Tues 19      Emmaus College Transition Morning 9am - 12.30pm


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

Principal's Post

Dear Families,

Welcome back to Term Four!


As much as it pains me to say "Congratulations to the Tigers and their Yellow and Black army of supporters"


Over the holidays we had a makeover planned for our lower (Yrs 3 - 6) toilets which included: painting, floor resurfacing and new toilet roll holders.  Having clean, hygienic toilets is an essential element to any school community. Unfortunately there was a problem with the floor resurfacing so this will need to be completed at a later stage.

We completed the restoration of the flooring in 2D (room 5) following water damage from a burst pipe last term.

We  also sowed some grass seed on the lower grassed area and in the goal square of the top oval. Please help this grass to grow by keeping off it for a few weeks.


Carmel Foster has taken some Long Service Leave for the first few weeks of this term. Wendy Ephgrave is stepping into the Acting Deputy Principal role. Feel free to contact Wendy should the need arise.



Farewell Jacqui Marshall
from St John's

After seven years as Principal of St John's Mitcham, Jacqui has been appointed Principal of St Martin of Tours, Rosanna. Jacqui has been a wonderful support to me and to the positive relationship that exists between our two parish schools, St James and St John's. We wish Jacqui all the best in her final term working in our parish.

Congratulations Jacqui!

Care for students after school

We have a beautiful, caring community here at St James and the support for one another is very evident.

If students are not collected after school we, as a school staff, have a duty of care to look after them. While we appreciate the interest and help  provided to students, if you discover a student who has not been collected it is best if parents could please direct students to either the teacher on duty or to the school office. That way we can account for them, avoid confusions and contact parents if necessary.

Parish Fete: a great community celebration

We are all looking forward to our St John's Mitcham Parish Fete on Saturday 16 November. The success of this community event depends on all of us in our community's contributions. It is an expectation that ALL St James families contribute in some way whether it be set up, pack up (2 hours on Sunday 17th in the morning would be a BIG help) , coordinating or working on a stall. Please see the fete news and sign up to list the way you can help your community.

Raffle tickets will be sent home this week. Please return all sold tickets to the school office ASAP.  Once again it is an expectation that being part of our St James school and St John's parish communities, these tickets are returned sold. There will be a few draws for gift vouchers which we will enter all families who have returned tickets early in.

A book of ten tickets raises $20 for our St James school community. Please note that the fete committee has generously decided that ALL money raised from St James families' ticket sales will be directly distributed back to our St James school.

Student Illness

During term three there were a many ailments and illnesses throughout our community.

While we all strive for 100% attendance to maximise learning opportunities for our students, there are times when parents need to decide to keep children at home because of genuine illness.  As members of a community we are all obliged to stop the spread of disease and germs and look after one another.

If your child is not well or has vomited, then please do not send them to school. I understand this can be difficult with work and family arrangements but it is an obligation we all have so as to look after all members of our St James community; staff, students and family.

Twilight sports

We are all looking forward to this event on Monday 21 October 4 pm - 7.30pm at the Bill Sewart Athletics Track (just near Crossways).

The students have commenced practising for their events.

Claire Feild is in need of plenty of helpers on the evening. Please email Claire at if you are able to help out at the sports.

This year we are trialling an optional early dismissal at 2pm or 2.30pm or from 3pm onwards. This will enable many families to have a rest and something to eat at home before arriving at the track by 4pm.

Please complete the form being sent home tomorrow and return it to your child's class teacher. 


Classroom and Specialist Teachers Term Four Overviews

A crucial aspect to our partnership we share is for you as parents to be aware of the curriculum, expectations, learning and activities your child will be participating in throughout the upcoming term.

Information sheets from both classroom teachers and specialist teachers will  be sent home next week. Please keep an eye out for them and support your child in their learning and development throughout the term.

School Closure Days Term Four

Monday 4 November - day prior to Melbourne Cup Day

Friday 15 November - day prior to our Parish Fete

Thursday 5 December - planning day for 2020

Jelly Beans will be running day care sessions here at St James on Fri 15 Nov and Thurs 5 Dec.

Information regarding bookings will be sent home closer to the dates.

Medical Reminders...

A reminder about protocols to build a safe environment for all children with anaphylaxis…

  • The school supports a “Food Awareness” approach to Anaphylaxis Management:
  • The school strongly advocates that parents, children and staff not bring nut products or food items which children have an allergy towards. These are not banned, however, if these food items come to school, class teachers must be told straight away.
  • The school advocates that Birthday Food Treats may be brought to share with others, but must have ingredients itemised.
  • People with allergies need to have their own ‘Treat Box’ which is provided by the parents.


  • ‘Birthday treats’ are given to students at the end of the day, to take home.
  • Bottles, other drinks and lunch boxes provided by the parents for their children must be clearly labelled with the name of the child or whom they are intended.
  • Students will be encouraged to consume their snacks and lunch in the supervised area during designated eating times.
  • The school will implement practical strategies to reduce exposure to known allergens, taken from the ‘Risk Minimisation Plans’, such as encouraging a, ‘No swapping, sharing or trading of food’ and encouraging children to wash their hands and tables after eating.

Key Enrolment Dates for all Year 4 students starting Year 7 in 2022

Term 1 - Jan 28 2020: Applications for Year 5 students commencing Year 7 in 2020 open.


2020 Class groupings

We will commence the process of grouping students into their 2020 class groups later on this term. Parents who have a special request  must have this in writing (email is acceptable) to me by the end of this month. Requests must be clear and based on student wellbeing or specific learning issues. Last year I received a number of requests based on friendship preferences rather than specific learning or wellbeing needs. Please keep in mind that the two classes in each level are usually located next to each other and do work closely together at times. It is also good for students to mix with different students from within their cohort rather than maintain a small social circle.

Prep Family Parish  Mass

This Sunday 9.45am and 11.15am.  It would be great to see as many Prep students and their families in attendance as possible.

Division Athletics

Best wishes to the 37 competitors who made it through to this event on Wednesday 9 October at the Bill Sewart Athletics Track.

Check out the new kids at St James

Read our Farm Yard Fun section for more info!


Congratulations to....

Montanna (4BH) who took out first place, within her section, in the recent Victorian Primary School Dance Competition. A champion effort! Congratulations!


Education in Faith

Term 4 Concept - Hope

This term, all levels will explore the concept of Hope through their Inquiry Based Learning and learning in Religious Education.

As a staff, we used the following quote from Pope Francis as a provocation:


To Christians, the future does have a name, and its name is hope.  Feeling hopeful does not mean to be optimistically naive and ignore the tragedy humanity is facing.  Hope is the virtue of a heart that doesn’t lock itself in darkness, that doesn’t dwell on the past, does not simply get by in the present, but is able to see a tomorrow.  Hope is the door that opens onto the future. Hope is a humble, hidden seed of life that, with time, will develop into a tree. It is like some invisible yeast that allows the whole dough to grow, that brings flavour to all aspects of life.  And it can do so much, because a tiny flicker of life that feeds on hope is enough to shatter the shield of darkness. A single individual is enough for hope to exist, and that individual can be you. And there there will be another ‘you’ and another ‘you’ and it turns into ‘us’.  And so, does hope begin when we have an ‘us’? No. Hope begins with one ‘you’. When there is an ‘us’, there begins a revolution”. Pope Francis, 2017.


Students will explore what hope and being hopeful means.  What does it mean for you and your family?


October: Pope Francis' Extraordinary Month of Mission

As outlined by Pope Francis, October, Mission Month, is a time to reflect, discern, explore, create, experience, celebrate, pray and nourish.

We acknowledge the work of all missionaries around the world and how we may contribute to this important work and celebrate through World Mission Day Mass on Sunday 20th October.

For further reading visit

Year 2 Sacrament Readiness Evening

A reminder to Year 2 parents that all are invited to this evening on Thursday 17th October at 7pm in the Coghlan Centre.  We look forward to seeing you there.

Parish Children's Masses

Our St John's parish are now hosting monthly children's masses. The first one is on Sunday 20th October at 11:15am at St. John’s Parish Church. 

Further details will be sent home this week.

Literacy and Numeracy

Encouraging Writing at home

Like reading, writing with your child should become an everyday activity at home.

Try some of these writing ideas for students up to Year 2:

  • Write a shopping list or add items to a list.

  • Keep a board to write and read family messages.

  • Give your child a pad of sticky notes to write reminders for themselves.

  • Plan and write your weekly menu together.

  • Write captions for photographs in your family photo album.

  • Write labels for your child’s art works and creations.

  • Make words using magnetic letters and stick them on the fridge.

  • Make and write greeting cards, birthday cards, and thank you notes.

  • Keep a family calendar on display and write down family events.

Some ideas for students from Year 3 and up:

  • Encourage your child to keep a diary, so they can record their feelings and experiences.

  • Write a review of a book or film.  Encourage your child to have an opinion about the relative good and bad points, and how to improve the film.

  • Create ‘found poetry.’ Pick 20 random lines and phrases from books or poems and arrange them into a new poem. It can be fun to discuss the possibilities of joining different lines and the changes in meaning these create.

  • Give your child a topic that has two clear sides, such as “Homework should be banned.” Ask your child to write a few paragraphs outlining their arguments for and against.

  • If your child has recently finished a novel or film, ask them to write creatively in response to it. They might write an alternative ending, a short sequel, or write a series of diary entries.



Thank you to all the families who participated in the Term 3 Family Maths Challenge. I had many families email me to check their answers throughout Term 3 and lots of children explaining their strategies. It was fantastic to see.


Try and encourage your children to use a range of problem solving strategies. Remember - you are never too old to draw a picture to help you a solve a problem. 



Mental Health Month 

October is Mental Health Month in New South Wales, Victoria, and the ACT.  World Mental Health Day is October 10. It is a timely reminder about the importance of investing time in supporting our own mental health so that we can better support our children's mental health and wellbeing.


Some ways to promote yur own positive mental health include:

  • telling your friends and family when things are a bit tough
  • finding others who have been through something similar
  • connecting with your community
  • finding a health professional you trust
  • giving your pet a cuddle
  • sharing your stories with others

Parent Resources

Positive Parenting Telephone Service 1800 880 660

Participants complete a workbook or online modules which are supported by weekly 30 minute phone calls with a trained parenting educator. All of this can be done from the comfort of your own home at a time that suits you.


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.

Digital Technologies

TikTok Safety Guide

Many students are using the app "TikTok". 

Here are some safety tips to guard underage users from unwanted comments, mature content, and more.  Click the link below.




Extra Curricular

Walk to School Month - October 

Every October, Walk to School encourages Victorian primary school kids to walk, ride or scoot to and from school. It’s a great way to help students learn healthy habits and achieve the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity, every day.

Active travel options to and from school are also a great opportunity to connect and chat with your kids. If you can’t walk all the way, your child can still get involved – simply drive part way and walk, ride or scoot the rest! By participating, you could help your school win great regional prizes and you will enjoy the benefits of walking, riding and scooting to and from school!


Commit to Walk to School today and build healthy habits for life. It’s easy to get involved! Your child’s teacher will record how many times students walk, ride or scoot to and from school during October, using a classroom calendar.


There will also be a Wacky Wheels Day in the last week of October, more information in the next newsletter!

Farm Yard Fun 


At this morning's assembly, everyone was introduced to St James' latest set of twins.  Twin goats!!! These two gorgeous miniature goats are 5 weeks old, one male and one female,  and are yet to be named.

Like all babies, they need milk so everybody's lining up to give the "kids" their bottles.  Feel free to visit them down in the farm yard.  If they are not out in the "paddock" you can peek in their house which is next to the green garden shed. PLEASE DO NOT GIVE ANY FOOD TO THE GOATS - YOU WILL GIVE THEM TUMMY ACHES.


You can join in the fun too; we have two weekends spare.  Melbourne Cup weekend and December 7th and 8th.  Because the kids need a bottle twice a day you might like to just do one day of the weekend.  That would be fine, if I can get someone to do the other day with you. 

On the Melbourne Cup weekend, we can have 1, 2, 3 or 4 people.  Just email and let me know what you would like.

Farm Duty:

Thank you to the following families who cared for our chooks during the holidays.... DAWSON, TANG, MARTIN, SAID, BELE and PARK families.

We would never survive without your generous assistance.


October  12/13th -  Archer (1D)

October 19/20th -  Johnson (5P)

October 26/27th - Bele (Prep O)


Eggs for Sale:

Most of the girls are back on the lay, so we have plenty of eggs at the moment.

$5.00 per dozen but you can buy a half dozen if you prefer.  Send money in a named envelope to Wendy.

Library News

Thank You...

We would just like to thank our group of mums who quietly collect and cover new books for us.  Without your help we would never be able to get so many beautiful books on the shelves for children to read.


Free eBook access:

We are currently reviewing our subscription for eBooks.  It is a relatively costly subscription and we need to see a lot of children using the service to make it worthwhile.  We will monitor borrowing over this term and then make a decision.  Why not try it out?

To borrow and read books on a mobile device, download the eBook app  (Apple or Android) and tap on "Find your Library".  Type in St James Primary School and start browsing.  Search for a title and tap on the book then click "Sign In". Students use their old school email address and the password 2018sjv and then they can click borrow.


P & F Newsletter

Monday 7 October               Welcome Back Morning Tea

Tuesday 8 October              P&F Meeting 7:30pm

Monday 21 October             Twilight Sports

Thursday 31 October          Food Day

Tuesday 19 November       P&F AGM


P&F Meeting – Tuesday October 8th

We have our first P&F meeting for this term tomorrow night Tuesday October 8th at 7:30pm.  Please see agenda attached.


P&F Planning for 2020


The call is open for our Year Level Champions and Event Coordinators for 2020, including:

  • Prep P&F Champs (Auskick Tuckshop)
  • Grade 1 P&F Champs (Major Fundraiser)
  • Grade 2 P&F Champs (Fathers Day Breakfast)
  • Grade 3 P&F Champs (School Disco)
  • Grade 4 P&F Champs (Twilight Sports BBQ)
  • Grade 5 P&F Champs (Cinema Under the Stars)
  • Grade 6 P&F Champs (Mum and Dads Nights)
  • Team leaders / facilitators
  • Email Communications/Manage Volunteer Sign Ups
  • Mothers Day Stall Coordinators
  • Sponsorship and Donations Coordinators
  • Newsletter
  • Raffle tickets Coordinator
  • Hot Cross Buns Fundraiser Coordinator
  • Mango Drive

We are hoping to fill all roles prior to the AGM so we can hit the ground running in 2020.  We are not looking to introduce anything new next year, so when you sign up for a champion or coordinator position there are always people around who have done it before to help guide in the right direction.  The following link has a list of positions vacant.  Please take a look and perhaps convince a friend to join you:


Twilight Sports – Monday October 21st

Just two weeks to go until twilight sports.  We need plenty of helpers on the night, so please take a look at the sign-up sheet and offer some help where you can:  Thanks to our Grade 4 Champions Katie Mills, Sarah Dowds, Desire Loy and Penny Stewart for coordinating this event.


Friday Treats

Sign Ups are open for Term 4.  Please sign up if you can assist for half an hour on a Friday for our very popular icypoles:




Thank you to Nicole Spezza, Christine Lagos and Lynette Ryan for coordinating the end of term BBQ and our welcome back morning tea today. 


Thanks to Katie Mills, Sarah Dowds, Mo van Vuuren, Phil Vouilotis, Christa Beavis, Paul Beavis, DJ Dumais, Richard Heath, Glenn Skerry, Xavier Mills, Paul Smith, Frank Varga, Kevin Dowds, Glenn Welch and Martin Bruni and all our bakers for contributing to the Bunnings Fundraiser.  We couldn't have asked for a nicer day to encourage people down to Bunnings for the start of Spring cleaning.


Thanks to Kylie Brooks-Verberne and her team of helpers Laura Eskici, Sandra Alkemade, Kate Levi, Rachel Shannon, Dee Dew, Penny Stewart, Rachelle Mosca and Alexis Mitchell for the footy pies and sausage rolls food day on the last day of term!


Thank you to Dimicks Café for their support of our Father’s Day Raffle.


Our P&F events are only successful through the help of our community.  Please sign up if you can spare some time to help:

Twilight Sports

Friday Treats

2020 P&F Roles:



Parish Fete


Useful Forms



Community Information

Lemon Stall 2019

Come and join St James families raising money to find a cure and support people with cancer on Sunday October 20th, 2 – 4pm, 37 Halls Pde Mitcham.

7 years ago, a group of Grade 1 students decided to sell homemade lemonade as a way to raise money to help people with cancer after a grandparent was diagnosed with kidney cancer. Today the stall could be known as a lemon festival!  We have freshly made lemon treats, lemon games, face painting and of course our famous homemade lemonade.  All proceeds from the day go to the Cancer Council, over the years we have raised nearly $5,000 thanks for the fabulous support of the St. James community.

Thank you to all the families who responded to our call out for lemons. We’ve greatly appreciated the support, many of the lemons have been turned into our first attempt at Preserved Lemons!




St James Newsletter
Term 3 Family Maths Challenge Answers.docx
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