St John's School Newsletter

03 February 2020
Issue One

With Faith and Love

Principal's Report
Religious Dimension
Coming up at St John's
Parents' Association
Parent/Teacher Meet & Greet
St John's School
(03) 9874 1575
490 Whitehorse Road
Mitcham, Victoria, 3132

Principal's Report

Dear Parents,


Welcome to the 2020 School Year. I am very excited to be here, as the new Principal at St John's. I feel humbled and blessed to have been chosen to serve St John's primary school community and I look forward to working in partnership with you, as together we support your children's learning and growth. I am looking forward to getting to know all of our students and their families over the next few weeks. It is certainly a very vibrant and welcoming community and I feel a great sense of belonging already.


I have been teaching for many years at various schools around Melbourne. Most recently I have been at Our Lady of Good Counsel, Deepdene, as the Deputy Principal. I am passionate about education and have always enjoyed being a leader in Learning and Teaching, Social Justice and Religious Education.


I would like to thank Jacqui Marshall for her great leadership and her focus on supporting the students to achieve their best in all aspects of school life, which has helped the community greatly. I thank Jacqui too for her generous support and guidance during my transition and induction into Principalship.


Thank-you all, for the wonderful start to the new school year. It is always such a lovely time for our students and staff, as they return refreshed and energised from the summer holidays. 

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


First Assembly

Thank-you to the families who were able to join us for our first assembly on Monday. The Host class was 3/4KC, who shared their learning about School Wide Positive Behaviour Expectations, their class charter and their 'I Can Do It' motto. 

Founders Day Mass and Celebrations

Please join us for the celebrations on Founders Day. It will commence with Mass at 11.15am and will be followed by refreshments in the Narthex.

School Photos

Our school photos will be on Monday 10 January. Please ensure that your child has their full summer uniform on this day.

Prep Welcome Dinner Tuesday 18 February     

We look forward to celebrating the beginning of your child's school journey at the Prep Dinner. More details to follow.


Twilight Sports

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

Parent Meet and Greet                  

The Parent Meet and Greet sessions will take place on Tuesday 11 and Wednesday 12 February. Please complete the form that comes home today and return to your students teacher prior to the meeting.

You may book in your meeting time on trybooking.

Staffing for 2020:

Verona Gridley                                   Principal

Monica O’Shannassy                      Deputy Principal, RE Leader 

Jenny Macleod                                   Administration

Naomi Ryan                                        Prep R 

Shannon Kearns                               Prep K

Emma Pattison (Buis)                     Year 1/2 EP / Student Wellbeing Leader

Carmel Barro                                      Year 1/2 CB

Kellie Cumming                                 Year 3/4 KC / Maths Coach

Tom Jackson                                      Year 3/4 TJ / E-Learning Leader

Kristina Reid                                       Year 5/6 KR

Marisa Box                                           Year 5/6 KR

Andrew Brown                                   Year 5/6 AB

Sue Walmsley                                     Library support

Ange Crowe                                         Learning Diversity Leader/Reading Coach

                                                                 Chinese Teacher Tutor 5/6

Louise Devoy                                      Performing Arts Teacher

Deirdre Cosgrave                              Visual Arts Teacher

Rosetta De Amicis                            Italian Teacher Prep - 4

Kim Wilson-Hartrick                        Learning Support Officer

Connie Pearse                                    Learning Support Officer

Kate Hetherington                           Learning Support Officer

Julie Carroll                                         Learning Support Officer

Melinda Kerwin                                  Learning Support Officer

Cheryl Apostolopoulos                   Learning Support Officer



Verona Gridley






Religious Dimension

Our Gospel Challenge this week is to: pray to God each day.

Welcome to the 2020 school year. We gathered last Thursday to  mark the beginning of a new journey, a journey made new not only by the beginning of this new school year, but made new by the presence we bring to it, a journey that God has chosen us to share. We welcome our new families and new staff and pray that they find friendship, warmth and a real sense of belonging. 


Our word this year is “Belong” and it is our hope that all members of our community feel that they belong and have a connection to both the school and the parish. Let us be aware of all that unites us, while at the same time, honouring the diversity among us. Let us pray that we will support and strengthen each other, as companions on a journey towards a common purpose that will unite us and empower us, for the good of all God’s people. 


While exploring the theme of belonging students listened to and reflected on John’s Gospel teaching of Jesus’ one commandment to “love one another as I have loved you.’ Pope Francis recently spoke about belonging to a faith community, loving one another and said that “to be part of a Christian community is to belong to a group of believers who shun selfishness and give witness to God's love by loving and caring for one another. While modern society places more importance on "one's own interests regardless of or even to the detriment of others," true Christians "ban individualism in order to encourage sharing and solidarity."


Founders Day Mass

This Sunday morning we will be celebrating Founders Day and the opening of the 2020 school year. Traditionally this was held on a Friday with both schools getting together but the decision to celebrate it on a Sunday allowed families to attend and also parishioners. Our school captains interviewed Tricia Spencer  and they will share her story with us during the mass. It is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate founding members of our parish and the vibrant parish community that we belong to, here at St John's. Everyone is invited and encouraged to attend.


School Diary and Reading Records

Every student at St John’s receives a Reading Record (Prep - Year Two) or School Diary (Year Three - Year Six) which serves three purposes:

  1. It is a tool to assist your child with his/her organisation of school work and/or home reading.

  2. It provides a mechanism of communication between school and home.

  3. It is a resource to assist you in developing your child’s Catholic faith.

I encourage you to check out its content. The diary and reading record are full of links to with downloadable resources for Catholic parents and families.


Have a wonderful week,



Important Dates to Remember


Sunday 9 Founder’s Day Mass 11.15am

Sunday 23 Parish Family Mass  9:45am

Tuesday 25 Burning of Palms Ceremony 9:15am

Wednesday 26 Ash Wednesday Mass 10am


Reconciliation and Eucharist Enrolment for 2020

If you believe your child is ready to celebrate the Sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist this year, please call the Parish office on the number below to make a time to meet with Maree and to collect an enrolment form. Remember this needs to be done before Friday 14 February as enrolments close and forms are due back then.

If you have any concerns or questions please don't hesitate to call or email Maree on 9401 6366 or


St John's Primary School Behaviour Expectations


Coming up at St John's



 9    Sunday             Founders Day Mass, 11.15am  

10   Monday            School Photos (refer below)

11   Tuesday           Meet and Greet Parent/Teacher Meetings     

12   Wednesday    Meet and Greet Parent/Teacher Meetings 

14   Friday               Working Bee, 5.00pm




 Over the holidays there were many birthday celebrations happening !

Congratulations to Henry Smith, Anna Finlay, Daniel Dinsdale, Isaac Idirisinghe, 

Samy  Oviedo Alvarez, Chase Rollason, Abigail Roberts, Kane Crawford, Kirralee  Coates, Lucas Bott, Ellie Hale, Aidan Puls and Isabel Jibin.

                  This week we congratulate Mikayla Rodstrom and Emma Oakley as they celebrate                                              their special day.  We hope you have a very....."HAPPY BIRTHDAY




School photos will be taken next Monday 10 February. 

Please make sure students are wearing their summer uniform and we encourage students with long hair to have their hair tied back in line with school policy. School photo order forms will go home shortly with students. All students are allocated a unique online code and orders are to be made online before midnight, Monday 17 February.

Please note that if you wish to have a family photo you MUST leave your name in the office before photos are taken on Monday 10 February.


Our first school working bee for the year will be on Friday 14 February 2020 at 5.00pm.

If you are able to attend please contact the school office by email or on 9874 1575.

Please bring along any gardening tools that might be useful.


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 begins this Friday morning at 8:20am  in the Multi Purpose Room for students in years 2-6. Please bring a folder to keep music in.

All interested students are welcome!


Marathon Club will commence tomorrow Tuesday 4 February, for all year 3-6 students that are interested in joining in the fun.

We will meet in the school foyer at 7.45am on Tuesday and Thursday mornings before heading off for a walk or run.

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.



This week families will be receiving their copies of the 2020 St John’s ICT Agreement. A copy of the agreement will be sent home with the eldest 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' Association



Thank you to the PA and parent community. Funds raised in 2019 were put towards new furniture for the Visual Arts room and focus group tables in each learning area.

You may remember our very last school assembly in December 2019, Michael Sukkar, our local Federal Member of Parliament, announced that we had been successful in a Local Schools Community Fund grant. The $15 000 has purchased new furniture for the Year One/Two learning area.

Parent/Teacher Meet & Greet



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


9             Sunday                 Founder’s Day Mass, 11:15am

10           Monday               School Photos

11           Tuesday               Meet & Greet Meetings, 3:50 -7:00pm

12           Wednesday        Meet & Greet Meetings, 3:50 -6:00pm

14           Friday                   Working Bee, 5:00pm

17           Monday               School Assembly, 1/2EP

18           Tuesday               Prep Welcome Dinner,  6:00pm

21           Friday                    District Swimming

23           Sunday                 Parish Family Mass,  9:45am

25           Tuesday               Burning of Palms Ceremony,  9:15am

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

3             Tuesday               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