St John's School Newsletter

17 February 2020
Issue Two

With Faith and Love

Principal's Report
Religious Dimension
Coming up at St John's
Parents'/Community Assoc.
Environment and Sustainability Team
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,


It was lovely to meet with the Community Association last week, formerly known as the Parent's Association.

The new branding is more inclusive of all carers, guardians, parents and parishioners. This was  changed due to the feedback received from the survey they conducted last year. The Community Association has many great events planned throughout the year including social, fundraising and outreach programs.


Please join in and support these activities and events whenever you can. 

We are also seeking suggestions for a midyear Social-Fundraising Event. Please let me know if you have any ideas.


I also met with the current Chair of the Education Board last week. We will begin the year with the Annual General Meeting (AGM) and seek nominations for new Education Board members.

All current Board Members will be welcome to stay on also.

The School Board AGM will be on 17 March at 7pm.


My door is always open, so please come in and say hello!


Founders Day Mass and Celebrations

Thank you to all of the families who were able to join us for the Founders Day Mass. It was a wonderful celebration and a great reminder of our rich parish traditions and connections.

Our School Leaders, Chris and Anria shared the story of Tricia Spencer as a founding member of our Parish. For over 40 years Tricia led the Wednesday night Catechist program in the Parish and today she continues to assist with Church displays and the Liturgy.



Working Bee Rescheduled

Thank-you to parents who came along on Friday to assist at our working Bee. It was very wet but we managed to move the sand into the sandpit.


If you are available for an hour or two this Saturday morning, 22 February, from 9am, please come along to help:

- Spread mulch across the Adventure Playground

- Dig up our vegetable gardens ready for fresh plantings

- Trim some tress

- Weed the garden beds

We have plenty of equipment but gardening gloves or an extra shovel and wheelbarrow would be great.

I really appreciate the time and energy from our parent community.


Prep Welcome Dinner Tuesday 18 February     

We are looking forward to seeing the Prep and New Families at the Welcome Dinner on Tuesday night, 18 February at 6.00pm.


Twilight Sports

The St. John's School Sports will be held on Monday 2 March,  at the Bill Sewart Reserve, Burwood Highway, East Burwood.       



Today our host class was 1/2EP, who shared their learning about 'A day in the life of a Year 1/2 student.'

They shared their learning about Place Value in Maths and understanding their various emotions in Social Emotional Learning.



Parent Meet and Greet                  

It was lovely to meet so many of you last week at our 'Meet and Greet ' sessions. This is one of the many formal ways that we communicate about your child's learning and the best ways to support their future growth. Please do not hesitate to contact the class teachers or myself if you have any questions or concerns.


Maree O'Keefe

It was announced at the parish masses on the weekend that Maree O'Keefe will be finishing here at St John's just after Easter. Maree has accompanied us all on our faith journeys, encouraging us to value and genuinely live the gift of faith.  She has been an inspiring Pastoral Associate, tirelessly serving our community for the past seventeen years. We will all have a chance to celebrate and thank Maree on Sunday April 19 at 11:15am mass. More details will follow. 


Baby News

Congratulations to Garry and Maryli Solidarious, on the birth of their baby boy, Leandro, brother of Monica in 1/2CB. 


Year 6 Leaders

Congratulations to all of Year 6 students who received their badges today at the School Assembly. We are very proud of them all and know that they will be great role models for our school.


Have a great week!


Verona Gridley



St John's School Uniform

Please ensure that your child is wearing the correct uniform to school. Our uniform is a symbol of Belonging to our community and we hope that all students wear their uniform with pride. 



Polo shirt with logo, short sleeved

Navy school shorts or skort


School windcheater

Navy socks

Black school shoes

School hat      

Polar fleece vest with school logo (optional) 



Polo shirt - short sleeved 

Navy sport shorts

School windcheater

Navy sport track pants

White socks (above the ankle)



Children should wear their sport's uniform for Physical Education and only on the nominated sport days. These days vary between classes and have been advised by the classroom teacher, via the Term Overview last week.


Religious Dimension

Parish Family Mass This Sunday

Please join us this Sunday at 9.45am Mass to celebrate with all school families. 

Our Gospel Challenge this week is to: be kind to others.

The central theme of this week’s reading from Matthew 5: 17-37, is built upon for the next several weeks. In this text, Matthew is reassuring his Jewish audience that Jesus has not come to replace the Law of Judaism but to bring it to fullness and completion. In this gospel, Jesus reassures his hearers that ‘not one dot, one little stroke, shall disappear from the Law.’ Instead, Jesus extends the Law of Israel and interprets it in a new way. His emphasis is on the spirit of the Law, not the letter of the Law. Doing only what the Law requires as a minimum is, for Jesus, not enough. Disciples are called to discern what is at the heart of faith and to bring this to all our dealings with people. The observance of outward expressions of faith is hollow unless it is accompanied by an attitude that shapes our whole being and informs all our actions, responses and decisions.

• Explore with your family how Christianity is an attitude that shapes the whole being and life of a believer.


World Day of Social Justice

Since 2009, every 20 February has been the UN observance known as “World Day of Social Justice”. The purpose of the day is to focus on the plight of social injustice throughout the world and to press for improvements and solutions. “Social Justice” is defined as including issues of poverty, unemployment, and unfair exclusion that results in economic harm or social ostracism.

On World Day of Social Justice, there are media campaigns to raise awareness of the need for better social justice both within nations and between nations. Promoting human rights, removing artificial social barriers based on race, gender, or religion, and standing up for the rights of migrants, the disabled, and the elderly are among the themes.

Here at St John's we believe Social Justice is an important part of our Catholic faith and a personal responsibility to reach out to others. We have Social Justice student leaders in Year Six and a Social Justice Student Team that meet to discuss issues and organise activities to promote understanding and awareness of issues. Our Social Justice Leaders and School Captains will attend a Just Leadership Day, next week, to enable them to challenge injustices, and to develop the leadership qualities to encourage others to do the same. Here is the prayer we begin each Social Justice Meeting with:


Creator God, Your image is alive in every human person, giving to each of us dignity.

Create in us a desire to act in solidarity, the ability to work together. And a willingness to share with others our time, our energy, our skills and talents and our  warmth.

As we share and enjoy the fruits of our creation, restore in us your vision of a world made whole, and inspire us to commit ourselves to the common good,

Gracious God, give us ears to hear, eyes to see and hearts to love.

So that we reflect you in our way of life, and in our choices, words and actions.

Jesus is good news to the poor. As his followers, may we recognise the call to be the same.   Amen.



Have an enjoyable week,



Important Dates to Remember


Sunday           23       Parish Family Mass,  9:45am

Wednesday   26       Ash Wednesday Mass, 10am


Sunday             1        Children's Mass, 11:15am 



At St John’s our key values and expectations are for all to

Respect Ourselves, Respect Others and Respect Property.

These are known as our Three Rs. Over the last couple of weeks, students were asked what they think the word “respect” means to them. Here are some of the responses:  

“Respect means caring for each other” - Isla, Prep.

“Respect means being kind and helping others” - Elodie, Year 2.

“Respect means you don’t touch anyone’s stuff if it’s not yours” - Alfred, Year 1.

“Being respectful means helping other people when they’re hurt” - Genevieve, Year 2.

“Respect means we all belong” - Lucas, Year 3.

“Respect means to help others, be kind and respect things that other people have” - Declan, Year 5.

“Respect means treat others the way you would like to be treated” - Hayden, Year 5.

“Respect means listening to people” - Connor, Year 4.

“Respect means helping others when they need it and being inclusive” - Mikayla, Year 6.

“Respect means we are all one” - Jasmine, Year 4. 


Mrs. Emma Pattinson

Student Wellbeing Leader


Coming up at St John's


Congratulations to Greg and Sam Galati, Lachlan Hanson, Mida Vuite and Havana Rollason as they celebrate their special day. We hope you have a very..........



The St. John’s Twilight Sports Athletics Carnival will be held on Monday, 2 March from 4:45 to 7:00 pm at the Bill Sewart Athletics Track in Burwood East (behind Nunawading Basketball stadium).               

 We encourage all families to come along in house colours to support and cheer-on the students.

Students will have the chance to prepare and train for the event during sport and PE lessons prior to our Twilight sports night.  Each house has two practice sessions before our Twilight Sports day during weeks 4 and 5. Relay and event practice, led by the Year 6 Sports Captains, will be held on the grass area during the first half of lunchtime on the following days:

Coghlan (gold) Friday 14 Feb & Friday 21 Feb

Dillon (blue) Monday 17 Feb & Monday 24 Feb

Lyons (green) Tuesday 18 Feb & Tuesday 25 Feb

Durkin (red)  Thursday 20 Feb & Thursday 27 Feb

Students are encouraged to wear their sport uniform and their house coloured t- shirt on their designated practice days.

A separate notice regarding the Twilight Sports will be sent home this week with students and will include relevant information. This form is to be returned to school by Monday 24 February.


There is an opportunity for competent swimmers to participate in the 2020 North Box Hill District Swimming Carnival. It will be held this year on Friday 21 February at Aquarena - 139 -153 Williamsons Road, Templestowe Lower. Students wanting to compete will need to be able to swim 50m confidently in any stroke and have an adult willing to accompany them on the day. If you are interested, please speak to Monica or email her at


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!


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.



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.

Community Survey

Survey feedback and new look Community Association document below.

Office Bearers 2020

Co-Chairs Courtney Laffin and Donna Inglese

Secretary Michelle Plant

Treasurer Wanni Tendean

Meeting Dates

Tuesday 10 March 7pm

Tuesday 21 April 7pm

Thursday 14 May 2pm

Lyons Room

Thursday 11 June 7pm

Tuesday 14 July 7pm

Thursday 6 August 6pm

Lyons Room

Tuesday 8 September 2pm

Thursday 8 October 7pm

Thursday 5 November 7pm

Lyons Room


Tuesday 1 December 7pm


Lyons Room

Community Association Meeting Minutes - 13.2.2020 

Thanks to everyone who came to the first meeting of the year- what a super turn out!  It’s going to be a great year. You will find the minutes from our last meeting below.


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

Twilight Sports BBQ

For the last couple of years, the Twilight Sports BBQ has fed hungry families while raising money for causes close to the community’s heart.  This year the money raised will go to Fire Affected Donations (

If you don’t feel like a sausage in bread but still want to help, there will be tubs for gift vouchers, non-perishable food, toiletries, good quality bedding and towels.

Perhaps you’d like to volunteer your time to cook or serve food at the BBQ? 

Please contact Steve Gilbert 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

Hi, we are your new environment leaders. Our names are Patrick, Marco, Cohen and Basti.

We are very excited and we are looking forward to working around the school in different areas.We are very excited to work with the gardening club and anyone is welcome to join and come on any Thursday at afternoon break that suits you. We will be feeding the worms weekly on most Mondays at morning break if you are interested. We are hoping to improve St Johns in lots of environmental and sustainable ways. We hope you will all support us.


Clean Up Australia day is an annual event held on the first Sunday in March in various locations across Australia. The event is to bring awareness of the amount of rubbish that is discarded onto the ground that could be recycled or placed in landfill. The clean up helps reduce the amount of waste that ends up in our waterways.


At St John’s this year the Environmental Team has registered to be one of 2000 schools to participate in the Clean Up Australia on Friday 28th February. We are participating in this activity to make everyone aware of the amount of rubbish around our school and whether any of the rubbish could be recycled so it doesn’t all go into landfill.

We are also making you aware that the rubbish that is left lying around our school grounds gets washed down storm water drains and ends up in our creeks, rivers or oceans.

Right now there is over 6 million tonnes of rubbish in our ocean. This is having an impact on the lives of sea birds, fish, seals, turtles, whales and other marine animals.

We are looking forward to everyone's participation in this event to make our school a cleaner and greener environment for all of us to enjoy.

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

Environment and Sustainability Team 

Clean Up Australia Day

Clean Up Australia day is an annual event held on the first Sunday in March in various locations across Australia. The event is to bring awareness of the amount of rubbish that is discarded onto the ground that could be recycled or placed in landfill. The clean up helps reduce the amount of waste that ends up in our waterways.


At St John’s this year the Environmental Team has registered to be one of 2000 schools to participate in the Clean Up Australia on Friday 28th February. We are participating in this activity to make everyone aware of the amount of rubbish around our school and whether any of the rubbish could be recycled so it doesn’t all go into landfill.

We are also making you aware that the rubbish that is left lying around our school grounds gets washed down storm water drains and ends up in our creeks, rivers or oceans.

Right now there is over 6 million tonnes of rubbish in our ocean. This is having an impact on the lives of sea birds, fish, seals, turtles, whales and other marine animals.

We are looking forward to everyone's participation in this event to make our school a cleaner and greener environment for all of us to enjoy.


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

Environment and Sustainability Team 


St John's Notice Board


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


The recent Scholastic Book Club catalogue (Issue 1) was sent home with your child last week. 

You’ll find award-winning books and bestsellers, as well as old and new favourites. 

If you would like to order books from the catalogue, please do so by Friday 21 Feb 2020. Unfortunately no late orders can be processed. 

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).

SkoolBag App 

The SkoolBag App now has our school calendar on it as well as other important updates!

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

This year, school banking will take place each WEDNESDAY starting this week, Wednesday 19 February. Please instruct your child/children to place their banking in the classroom/office bags when they arrive.

Students wishing to join the program can do so at any stage during the year.  An information pack outlining the program was sent home to all families last Friday.

For any further 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

St John's Family Picnics - 3rd


Whitefriars Open Day


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:




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.



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



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                   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
CA_info_flyer_a (1).pdf
Survey feedback and new look Community Association.pdf
Survey feedback and new look Community Association.pdf
PA Minutes - 130220.pdf
Download the SkoolBag App.pdf
St John's Primary Mitcham - Feb 2020.pdf
Entertainment Book 2020.pdf
Open Day and Scholarship ad for Primary Schools v2.pdf
Invitation 40th Anniversary Gala Book Now.jpg
Music Lessons at St John's
Music Lessons.pdf