St James Newsletter

27 May 2019
Term Two, 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
Spotlight on Learning
Extra Curricular
Useful Forms
  P & F Newsletter
Community Information
After School Care
St James Primary School
(03) 9874 1830
51 Centre Road
Vermont, Victoria, 3133

Dates to note...



Parish Mission Week / National Reconciliation Week

27 - District Soccer Competition

28 - Long Walk @ Aquinas College: Year 6 student representatives

29 -  Year 1 / 2 Incursion: Toys in Motion

30 - Division Cross Country Meeting

31- 9:00 Prayer Service - Hosts: Year 2

       Interschool Sports: Round 4

       Year 5 Interfaith Tour


1 -Level 6 Mass & Confirmation Enrolment @ 6:00 pm

2 - -Level 6 Mass & Confirmation Enrolment @ 9:45 am

3 - 9:00 P & F Morning Tea

      PSG Meetings

4 - Home Mass- Group 8


    ' Meet & Greet' 2020 Families

     Education Board Meeting

6 - 'Meet & Greet' continue

       Real Life classroom sessions for Year 6

       Interschoool Sports - Round 5




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

Principal's Post

Dear Families,

I encourage you to take advantage of our Parish Mission Week sessions held in our church at St John's this week.

Yesterday at Mass, Fr Ray Sanchez explained what the various sessions would be about and they all sound very informative.

There will be morning and evening sessions this week, with 9am Mass daily.

Session 1: Sunday 26th May 7-9pm

“The Family and how we communicate”

Session 2: Monday 27th May 10am -12 noon & 7.30pm – 9.30pm

“Grief, Loss and the Mystery of Human Suffering”

Session 3: Tuesday 28th May 10am-12 noon & 7.30pm – 9.30pm

“Sharing our faith with our children and grandchildren”

Session 4: Wednesday 29th May 10 am -12 noon & 7.30pm – 9.30pm

“Prayer, Solitude and Everyday Spirituality”

Session 5: Thursday 30th May 10am -12 noon & 7.30pm – 9.30pm

“Reconciliation and Eucharist”

Staffing Updates

It is with a sense of sadness combined with excitement that I officially inform our whole school community that Jacqui Porritt will be resigning her position  at St James as of the end of this term.

Jacqui Porritt’s husband has accepted a position within his company to work in China and Jacqui will be relocating to Shanghai with him. Consequently, Jacqui will be finishing up at St James at the end of this term. This has been a difficult decision for Jacqui because she loves teaching and  working here at St James, but as you can appreciate, family comes first.

The process of employing a teacher for 5P has commenced and will be a very thorough one that will take some time. Once we have selected the teacher, I will inform you. 

Carmel Foster and Cathy Dimitrakopoulos will share the Education in Faith Leader duties for the remainder of the year.

Jacqui has contributed so much to our St James community over the past ten years and I am grateful to have worked with her for eighteen months. I trust that while you may be disappointed, like I am, to lose Jacqui from this role, you will join me in wishing Jacqui all the best in this new endeavour.


Kath Verstrate has taken some leave and will be away until early term three. We have a variety of plans for 6C during Kath's absence.


P & F Major Fundraiser Sat 15 June

Ticket sales have been a bit slow, so to assist the committee with organisation and catering, I ask you to book your tickets ASAP via the following link.

Should you be unable to attend and are considering donating the ticket value of $35(Ticket sales cover the cost of the night only), a suggestion is to put it towards purchasing alcohol for "the stash".

We are asking for alcohol donations to also contribute to "the stash" these may be dropped off at the office OR dropped off at the front gate and handed to the official collector in the orange vest on Tuesday 4th June morning drop off and afternoon pick up time. This provides a safe and convenient way of transferring from parent to parent. 


There are also numerous auction items you will be able to bid for as they will be available online once again this year. Your attendance isn’t required to get on board with this one.

A Few Things to Note


  • Interschool Sports for our Yr 6s (and a few Yr 5s) is a home game this Friday afternoon, weather dependent!
  • Confirmation Enrolment Masses are on this coming weekend. It's compulsory attendance at either the 6:00 pm on Saturday or 9:45 am on the Sunday for all Confirmation candidates.
  • The Interschool Soccer Round Robin was held today at Terrara Park, despite the inclement weather.

  • Last week's District Cross Country saw 20 students from St James progress to the Division event this Wednesday. This is the highest percentage of all schools in our District. Congratulations Mrs Feild and the SJV runners.

  • Our next Education Board meeting is next week, Wed 5 June, at 6.15 pm. Homework will be one of the agenda items.


Congratulations to the Coyne family - Julian, Anna, Trinity (4F) and  Victoria on their new son and brother, Sam.


Our thoughts and prayers are with the Alkemade family.  Evie and Eliza's grandfather passed away recently.  May he rest in peace.

Colour FUN Run

Once again, thanks to everyone who helped in the many ways to make this event so much fun for our students. as school community we raised approximately $ 6 000 of which a large proportion will go towards the new front fence and gate. This will provide a safer environment for our entire community.

Information regarding the collection of reward prizes will be made available as soon as we know ourselves.

Education in Faith

National Reconciliation Week

May 27th - June 3rd is National Reconciliation Week. It is a time for all Australians to remember the injustices that past events have had on Australia's First Peoples. It offers us an opportunity to explore how we can all contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia.

National Reconciliation Week begins with Sorry Day on 26 May. The day honours the Stolen Generation of Indigenous children stripped from their families. The week also commemorates the anniversary of the May 27th 1967 Referendum, where Australians voted to amend parts of the Constitution that excluded Indigenous people. June 3rd is the anniversary of the 1993 High Court Mabo decision, which  recognised Indigenous people as the original custodians of Australia. 


God of all nations we pray for our land Australia this nation of islands.

We give you thanks for the diversity of peoples and cultures with which we live.

We pray Lord that you help us to learn and grow in this great coming together.

We pray especially for this land Australia that all who live here never lose the ancient connection to the original people of our land.

Help us all Lord to hear and learn the stories of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ancestors so that we may be richer in our souls.

Help us to gather together as people of the red dirt, rich soil, salt water, fresh water, mountains and plains into one.

We pray for all those who were here, those who came and those who will come, gather us all together Lord in your love.

God of all our dreaming.

Hear our prayer



Parish Mission: 26th-30th May 

Our Parish Mission has commenced. Fr Ray Sanchez spoke at our Sunday Masses and explained that a parish mission provides an opportunity to learn and open ourselves up to the gifts and fruit of the Holy Spirt, in particular knowledge and peace. Each morning there will be 9am Mass, which will focus on the day's topic. Please find below the session topics:

Session 1: Sunday 26th May 7-9pm

“The Family and how we communicate”

Session 2: Monday 27th May 10am -12 noon & 7.30pm – 9.30pm

“Grief, Loss and the Mystery of Human Suffering”

Session 3: Tuesday 28th May 10am-12 noon & 7.30pm – 9.30pm

“Sharing our faith with our children and grandchildren”

Session 4: Wednesday 29th May 10 am -12 noon & 7.30pm – 9.30pm

“Prayer, Solitude and Everyday Spirituality”

Session 5: Thursday 30th May 10am -12 noon & 7.30pm – 9.30pm

“Reconciliation and Eucharist”

Fr Kevin Dillon

Fr Kevin Dillon's 50th anniversary of Ordination will be celebrated on the weekend of 1st & 2nd June at the Parish of St Simon's, Rowville (2 Taylors Lane). Mass times on that weekend will be as follows: Sat 6.00pm; Sun 9.00am and 11.00am.  A special Mass will take place at 2.30pm, followed by light refreshments in the Parish Hall from 3.30pm to 6.30pm.

To assist in planning, please send a brief email to:

if attending.

Important Dates....

Friday 31st May, 9am - Prayer Service hosted by Year 2

Saturday 1st June, 6pm- Yr 6 Confirmation Enrolment Rite

Sunday 2nd June, 9.45am- Yr 6 Confirmation Enrolment Rite

Sunday 9th June- Pentecost Sunday

Wednesday 12th June- Breading Making Day for Yr 3 & First Eucharist 

Thursday 13th June, 10.20am- Parish Mass attended by Prep & Year 2

Thursday 20th June- Confirmation Reflection Day at St James CC

Thursday 20th June, 7pm - Parent Confirmation Info Night at St James Friday 21st June, 9am- Prayer Service hosted by Year  1

Friday 28th June, 12 noon- Feast of the Sacred Heart Mass, Yr 3 hosting

Literacy and Numeracy

Have you seen these around our school?  Can your child explain them to you?

These are the skills/assets/learning dispositions that we are working on and encouraging at St. James.  They are referred to through all curriculum areas and built upon across year levels.  


Cathy Dimitrakopoulos

Literacy/Learning and Teaching Leader

Family Mathematics Challenge

Keep sending your Maths Challenge responses in. It is great to see families taking the time to talk about mathematics. 


Please send your answers to the office marked Family Maths Challenge or email Josh Crowe -


Good luck and have fun.


Spotlight on Learning


Year Two students are on a journey of discovery this term! They have been immersed in all things chemical and physical science. Students have read news articles and reference books, watched videos and taken part in scientific investigations. This week, on Wednesday we are very excited to be taking part in a fun and educational Incursion focusing on Forces. I wonder what we will be making?


Change Matters Investigations

Two weeks ago, the year one and two students rotated through four interesting science investigations. Miss Darvell showed us Silly Putty and we explored the different properties that it had. Mr Sweatman helped us to make a balloon rocket where we explored movement and forces. Mrs De Leo guided us through the process of making delicious honeycomb and Miss Morgan showed us how chocolate changes from a solid to a liquid...perfect for drizzling over our crunchy, freshly made honeycomb.

We had many discoveries and lots of wondering resulting from these investigations…


Lily - In the balloon rocket activity, the speed and distance depended on how much air you put in the balloon.


Elodie - I discovered that sometimes when you have a solid like chocolate you can turn it into a liquid by melting it.


Poppy - When we made honeycomb we put the sugar, water and glucose syrup on the stove, it dissolved and changed into a clear bubbly liquid.


Sophie - I discovered that is something starts as a liquid it can turn into a solid again. This is called a reversible change. Like when water freezes into ice and then melts again.


Heidi - I was surprised when the silly putty smashed into pieces from the top of the building, I thought that it was going to bounce!


Jellena - I wonder why we couldn’t mix the honeycomb while it was boiling.


Sam - I learnt about making honeycomb. Did you know that you don’t need honey?


Juliet - I liked making the honeycomb because it tasted really good!





On Wednesday May 22nd, the whole school stopped at 11.00 am to enjoy the story 'Alpacas with Maracas'.  One lucky person in every class won a copy of the book to keep!  Who said picture story books were just for little kids?  Not us!!!


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

Kobe, Matthew, Sienna, Ethan, Leroy, Daniel, Maria, Jade, Stephanie, Billy, Jessica, Chloe, Rose, Ella, Maddi, Finn, Archer, Chloe, Isabella, Sherise and Zoe 


Lachlan, Helena, Mia, Eva, Sabine, Jai, Elodie, James, Spencer, Isabelle, Kennedy and Montanna.



About Real Life - Puberty Ed. Program

Last Wednesday Sue Pain visited St James and facilitated an evening for families with students in Years 4, 5 and 6 to begin or continue the conversation between parents and their children around families, body parts, puberty changes; physical (male and female) and emotional, body privacy & safety, foetal development & birth and reproduction. The evening was strongly attended by families and I hope provided parents with more confidence to continue this discussion at home. Sue will be visiting our school again this week and twice afterwards to complement the topics discussed at the family session with some in-class lessons and activities for our students in Year 6.  


I know there were some families who wanted to attend but due to a clash with other commitments couldn't make it to the sessions. Sue has been in contact with Holy Saviour Primary School who is also using her About Real Life program and they are more than happy for any St James' families with students in Years 4, 5 and 6 who couldn't attend our sessions to attend the ones at their school.

DATE: Tuesday 18th June

TIME: Session 1 6:30pm-7:30-pm (tailored towards Year 4), Session 2 7:45pm-8:45pm (tailored toeards Years 5 and 6)

LOCATION: Holy Saviour Primary School 765 Highbury Rd, Vermont South VIC 3133

The school is paying a flat fee so there is no need for you to book. 


In the coming weeks, I will be seeking feedback from both parents and students in the mode of a Google form about the About Real Life program, this will be sent to you via email.

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.

St James Support Crew Pastoral Care Team

Many of you would know about St James Support Crew which was launched last year to follow on from the pastoral care work by others over the years at St James.


Pastoral care at St James is all about supporting each other within our great community of St James. Offering a helping hand, a meal, snacks for school lunches, groceries or transport when things are tough or overwhelming. It may be there is sickness in the family, a loss or the birth of a new baby. We don’t at all need to know the reasons why but we are here to help find an answer to such questions as: How am I going to get dinners done this week? What can I pop in the lunchboxes? or How will I get the kids to school?!


We are a small team who will coordinate this care and support but we need your generous help.

We have an email group where you can sign up and be on our email list. When we identify a need those within the group will be sent an email with what support is needed, but with personal details kept confidential if necessary. Often this may mean making a meal for a family but could also be other help such as providing transport for children or picking up some groceries. If you are able to help you would simply reply all saying you can do it, so everyone in the group knew it was being attended to. We would then contact with you further instructions. Other times we might utilise the meal train website where those contributing can see what days meals are needed. In this way if you yourself are having a busy week or a tough time you can choose to help when you are able to.

We are also happy for others to join our team or any suggestions are welcome too!


Sometimes there may be a number of families needing a bit of support and other times, like recently, there can be months where there is no one requiring support or we are unaware. Please let one of us or Carmel and David know if you know of anyone in our community who could do with some care, support and prayers. We are very keen to continue to build up community where we care and look out for each other.

If you can help please sign up at:


Thank you for your help,

The St James Support Crew!

Sandra Alkemade (Eliza 5F, Evie 4BH),

Kylie Brooks-Verberne (Monet-5F, Elodie-2D, Spencer-PK),

Photo: Extra Curricular

Extra Curricular

Photo: Extra Curricular

Book Cafe 

Our Book Cafe, opened on Fridays at lunchtime, is proving popular with our bookworms!



Thank you to all families for supporting National Walk Safely to School Day!!!!! Your efforts helped the environment and your family’s health and wellbeing.


The results are:

Grade Prep O had the highest percentage of active travellers in the junior school with 61%, Grade 4BH had the highest percentage in the middle school and overall with 72% active travellers, and 5P had the highest percentage of active travellers in the senior school and with 52%. Well done to everyone who made the effort to actively travel to school.


The results of our House Points currently stand:

1st Durkin 192

2nd Coghlan 184

3rd Dillon 161

4th Lyons 149

The next Ride2school Day is Wednesday 5th June, remember if you can’t actively travel the whole way, consider parking the car nearby and riding or walking the rest of the way. You also get double points if you ride!

Earn & Learn...

Once again, we are collecting Earn and Learn stickers between 1 May and 25 June . If you shop at Woolworths, we'd appreciate you popping them on a sticker sheet and sending them along to school. We'll let you know what we earn !!Thanks!

Lego Club

Lego Club is currently being trialed as a lunch time activity for selected students in Years 1-5 at St James. It is a club where students can practice their fine motor skills, social interaction and love for Lego. At this stage students are coming on Tuesdays at lunch time via invitation and can bring along a friend. The invitation is a way of monitoring numbers and students needs. If the lunchtime club proves to be successful we will look at opening it up to all students.


Jess Waters

Learning Diversity Leader

Year 5/6 Soccer

Congratulations to our Year 5 and 6 students who completed in a soccer tournament against 6 other local schools. Each team was undefeated throughout the day. The boys came 1st overall and the girls came 2nd overall. A sensational performance from all involved. 



Eggs for sale!

$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:


Send Wendy an email if you would like to visit the chooks for a couple of days during the holidays, and of course, keep those amazing eggs for yourself!


JUNE  1st & 2nd - BELE   (Prep O)

JUNE 8th , 9th & 10th - RYAN (1D)

JUNE 15 & 16th - MARDESIC (1M)

JUNE 22 & 23rd - DE SILVA (PREP K)




Useful Forms



P & F Newsletter


Tue May 28th         P&F Meeting 7:30pm

Mon June 3rd         Morning Tea

Sat June 15th         Major Fundraiser

Fri June 21st          Food Day

Fri June 28th          End of Term BBQ


P&F Meeting Tuesday May 28th

We have our second P&F meeting for this term on Tuesday at 7:30pm.  Please refer to attached agenda.  Hope to see you there.



Tickets must be purchased by June 7th so we can confirm numbers with the catering company.   Buy your tickets now at 


Donate a Bottle

We will be running a lock and key raffle to win a pile of drinks at our Festival if the Fence.  Please drop any unopened bottles of wine, beer, champagne or spirits to the office – do not send to school with your children!


Auctions Opening Soon

We have a record number Live and Silent Auction items this year valued over $12,000.  We will open the bidding two weeks prior online but they will be transferring to bid sheets on the night so make sure you are there to bid on them or convince a friend to bid for you. Live Auction Items include - Corporate tickets to Hawthorn v Collingwood, suit voucher, an outdoor setting, $1,000 Yum Catering Voucher, XGolf venue hire.


The 2018 | 2019 Entertainment Memberships are about to expire so now is the perfect time to buy the new 2019 | 2020 Entertainment Membership! You can enjoy thousands of valuable offers for everything you love to do, all while supporting a great cause - a new front fence.

All you have to do is use your Membership twice to cover the cost of it. After that every use means extra dollars in your pocket!  As an extra incentive, if you go online and purchase a print or digital membership before 11:59pm on June 1st, you will go into the draw to win $1000 worth of Woolworths WISH eGift Cards!



Free Sausages from Vermont South Gourmet Meats!

Thank you Vermont South Gourmet Meats for supporting our BBQ events! Mention St James PS when you next purchase your meat at Vermont South Gourmet Meats and we will accumulate a rebate towards FREE sausages!  Support local businesses who support our community!


Election Day BBQ

Thank you to all our volunteers that made last weekend’s election BBQ such a success, including Chris Harvey, John Forsyth, Eva Kowalski, Angela Bruni, Julie Chistakis, Xavier Mills, Dan White, Kevin Dowds, Jen Everett, Tracey Warren and Angie Rider. 


Fish/Chicken & Chips Food Day – Friday May 24th

Once again last week’s Food Day was a success with a team of mums working hard to get the food to school at the right time so they stayed as warm as possible!  Thanks very much to Katrina van Vuuren and Emma Lovick for helping Kylie make the chocolate crackles on Thursday. Also, a big thanks to Catherina Punterere, Laura Eksici, Pearly Martin, Fiona Heintzberger, Aimee Varga, Sheleigh Keating and Dee Dew-Kovacevic for sorting, packing and speedily delivering at school and Bec Park, Deb Vukic, Diana Lim and Emily O'Riley for helping pack at Sweet Lime and transporting to school! Your help is greatly appreciated!





Community Information

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After School Care

National Reconciliation Week

Celebrating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures


National Reconciliation Week is celebrated in Australia every year between May 27 and June 3, marking the anniversary of the 1967 referendum and the anniversary of the historic Mabo decision.

In Before and After School Care, the children will be learning and celebrating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, while having lots of fun and sharing ideas along the way.

When - Monday 27 May until Monday 3 June 2019

Where - Your child’s school OSHC room

How to Register - You must be registered to attend. Registration is FREE! You can register an account via our website

How to book - Once registered, it’s easy to make and manage your bookings online via our parent portal We always recommend making your bookings in advance.


If you would like to learn more about how we operate our OSHC service, please visit before or after school and Heather Bate the Program Coordinator, will be available to answer any questions. If you prefer to call, you can contact our friendly Customer Care on 1300 105 343. The team are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (except National Public Holidays).

We look forward to celebrating the World’s Oldest Living Cultures with you!

From the Team at Camp Australia


St James Newsletter
City of Whitehorse Family Resource Guide - 2018.PDF
Parenting Information Forum - 2019 Brochure.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