St James Newsletter

28 May 2018
Term Two Week Seven
Dates to note...
Principal's Post
Education in Faith
Literacy and Numeracy
Spotlight on Learning
Student Wellbeing
Extra Curricular
Student News
Pastoral Care
  P & F Newsletter
After School Care
Useful Forms
Community Links
St James Primary School
(03) 9874 1830
51 Centre Road
Vermont, Victoria, 3133

Dates to note...


Tues 29                 ICAS – Science

                                Long Walk (Aquinas)selected students 8.45am – 11.45am

                                Parents and Friends meeting 7.30pm

Thurs 31               Family Maths Night



Fri 1                       Interschool Sport Round 5 / SJV vs St Phillips – Away

Sat 2                      Year 2 Level Mass    6pm

Sun 3                     Year 2 Level Mass   9.45am

Mon 4                   P & F Morning Tea

Tues 5                   Ride2School Day

                                Pastoral Care meeting  9am

Wed 6                   Year 2 Incursion

Fri 8                       Feast of the Sacred Heart – Mass 12noon

                                Interschool Sport

Mon 11                Queen’s Birthday – School Closed      

Tues 12                 ICAS – Writing

Wed 13                 ICAS – Spelling

                                Education Board Meeting   6.15pm









St James Community Calendar

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

Principal's Post

Dear Families,

We are extremely excited about our new newsletter format and hope you find it more user friendly and easy to navigate and read. Please bear with us over the first few issues as we trial some new ideas and be ready to provide feedback when the opportunity arises later in the year.


We will continue with our alternate week update sheet next week.

Yr 5 Camp

Last week I had the privilege of attending our Year Five Camp to Sovereign Hill. We participated in the Costume School where we all dressed up and participated in school life as it was in the 1850's. The whole experience complimented, and enriched the learning that our Year Five's have been participating in this term. The St James students were very well behaved and participated in all activities with great enthusiasm, yet a little apprehension when it came to the very strict school routines.  Further information and a few pictures can be found in the Year Six News Reporters  section of our newsletter

Reconciliation Ceremonies

Last Friday Antoinette Moroney and I accompanied 10 Year Five students to our Whitehorse Council National Sorry Day Flag Raising Ceremony. Tomorrow Cassie Pascoe and I will take 5 of our Year Six Leaders to Aquinas College's Long Walk lead by former AFL player Michael Long.

This is an important time to remember the injustices of the past and look towards building strong relationships within our Australian community in the future.

Interschool Cross Country

Congratulations to the 54 students from Years Three to Six who represented St James in the Interschool Cross Country Carnival at Ruffy Park this afternoon. I know many students have been training hard both at Marathon Club and in their own time.

New Post Pads & Sandpit Cover

Thank you to everyone who supported our Lap a thon. The money we raised together as a St James community was used to purchase post pads for our adventure playground shade sails and a new sandpit cover for our sandpit.





Family Maths Night

Are you coming along this Thursday evening 6.30 - 8.00pm ?

This promises to be a great opportunity to learn about how we teach Maths and how you can assist your children at home. There is also the opportunity for parents and children to participate in maths games and activities together. What a great way to demonstrate to your children how much you value their learning!

Socks and Shoes

Please ensure that your children come to school in their correct footwear each day. I have noticed  a big improvement in this area recently. Thank you parents for your support with this.

It's quite simple to remember in Winter:

Phys Ed and Sport Days: Runners and white socks

Other Days: Black shoes and navy socks

Grandparents' Day

We have received a lot of positive feedback from our grandparents day. Thank you to all who assisted and attended to make the day so successful for our elderly and young members of our community.

Staffing Update

Unfortunately, Monica De Leo (2D) injured her knee and requires an ACL reconstruction. The plan is: Monica will be away this week, return the following week prior to her surgery and then be away until the commencement of term three. We will send out more details to 2D parents regarding Monica and replacement teachers as they become available. 

Our Before and After School Coordinator, Rose has resigned. Until a new permanent coordinator has been appointed by Camp Australia, they will organise temporary staff to take care of your children. We will pass on further information as it becomes available. 

We thank Rose for her involvement in our community and the care she has taken of our children before and after school.

Medical Information Updates

We are currently updating our medication policy and ask all parents to notify classroom teachers and the office about medication changes.  Medication request forms can be found under Useful forms in this newsletter.

Education Board

Our next meeting is on Wednesday 13th June.  

Education in Faith

National Reconciliation Week- 27th May - 3rd June

National Reconciliation Week is a time for building respectful relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and other Australians by learning about our shared histories, cultures, and achievements and to explore how we can all contribute to achieving reconciliation.

In the Catholic tradition, human rights and the duties that go with them are grounded in the dignity of the human person. Furthermore, the word reconciliation has a very particular meaning for Catholics. We have a Sacrament of Reconciliation to draw upon and it urges us to act.  Reconciliation is central to Jesus' teaching.  He calls upon people to be reconciled with each other if they are to be his true followers.

National Reconciliation Week reminds us that we are not merely individuals. We belong to one another and therefore, to build a  better future together we must all work cooperatively.

Feast of the Sacred Heart

"Keep your gaze fixed on Jesus Christ and learn from him how to love with a truly human heart, to care for the lost and hurting members of his flock, to work for justice and show solidarity with the weak and the poor. Learn from him to give hope and dignity to the destitute, and to go forth to all those places where people are in need of acceptance and assistance."

(Pope Francis, September 2017)

The Feast of the Sacred Heart reminds us that the heart of Jesus is always about God's unconditional love for all, especially the  marginalised. Over the next two weeks, we ask all families to donate one non-perishable food item, which will be distributed to needy people in our local area. We are hoping that the boxes provided in the classrooms will be filled to overflowing!

The whole school will celebrate the Feast of the Sacred Heart on Friday 8 June at 12 pm with our donated goods being offered during the Mass. Parents and friends are warmly invited to join us in the Community Centre. 


We encourage all children to be active in earning their own donations and we hope you will encourage them in their efforts to make a difference to others' lives in these cold, wintry months.

P.S. Don't forget to check the 'Use by' date!


Bread Making Day

Last Wednesday, our Year Three children gathered at St John's with other First Eucharist parishioners for Bread Making Day... another step towards understanding the significance of Eucharist. It was an opportunity to gather for a meal to be nourished, listen to the Word and remember our call to live in the footsteps of Jesus' life.

Our special thanks to all those involved including, Carolyn Gorry, Penny Stewart, Danielle Matthews, John Wallis, Sarah Dowds, Kathryn Glenn, Katie Wales, Julie Widuckel and Christine Lagos. We particularly thank Father Dispin and Maree O'Keefe for the preparation and engaging day. The children have recounted and articulated their feelings about the day in a truly excited way:

"It was epic, it was fun… it was Bread Making Day 2018! Even better we did it with our Parish community! In the process of laughter, we still learned a lot. The day prepared us for receiving our First Eucharist. We did lots of fun activities to help us understand the meaning of the Eucharist and how we remember Jesus when we receive Eucharist. A few highlights were making place mats, Father Dispin and Maree entertaining us whilst making bread and watching a video about a family sharing the tradition of making bread. Every second of it was enjoyable!"


Upcoming Dates

Saturday 2nd June- Year 2 Level Mass 6 pm

Sunday 3rd June- Year 2 Level Mass 10.45 am

Thursday 7th June- Preps attending  Parish Mass at 10.20 am​

Friday 8th June- Whole School Feast of the Sacred Heart Mass 12 pm

Thursday 14th June- Year 6s attending Parish Mass at 10.20 am

Friday 22nd June- Prayer Service hosted by Year 4

 Thursday 28th June- Year 2s attending Parish Mass at 10.20 am

Literacy and Numeracy


Only 3 days until our Family Maths night. We are all very excited for the evening. Each classroom with be filled with a range of activities across the curriculum that can be explored as a family. We look forward to seeing everyone in the St James Community Centre at 6.15pm for a 6.30pm start. 


When - 31st May 2018

What time - 6.30pm - 8.00pm

Where - Start in the Community Centre then explore classrooms and work spaces around the school.


What to bring - Just yourselves


The Term 2 Family Maths Challenge is linked below. I look forward to your responses.



Book Week this year is in Week Six of Term Three.  We will celebrate Book Week at St James this year with a performance by a group called Meerkat Productions.  Meerkat Productions perform shows related to particular Children's Book Council of Australia (CBCA) shortlisted Books of the Year.

This year's books to be performed are 'The Elephant' by Peter Carnavas for Year Three - Year Six students and 'Boy' by Phil Cummings for Prep - Year Two students.  The children will be hearing and discussing these stories in their classes before the performances, along with the other short - listed books for 2018.

We are also having a Great Book Swap as part of our Book Week celebrations.  It would be wonderful if you could help prepare your child, through discussion, to choose a book that they own and wouldn't mind parting with, so that they can choose a different book that may interest them on our Book Swap day.  The object is to encourage an interest in books, through recommendations by peers, and also to raise money, through a gold coin donation for participation, for the Indigenous Literacy Foundation.

A  REMINDER!  Don't forget to keep up the reading for the Premier's Reading Challenge.  Date for completion is 31st August. 

Find a link to the Children's Book Council of Australia (CBCA) below.


Spotlight on Learning

Student of the Week

Congratulations to our Student of the Week recipients:
Lulu C, Amber C, Samuel H, Jonny H, Grace T, Lucy E, Ruby W, Ty S, Samuel D, Liam B, Tilliana B, Nicholas P, Jennifer L, Sienna G, Harry Y, Jack C, Andy Z and Sophie N .

Physical Education

We have had a great first half of term 2 in Physical Education. The students have been practicing and learning new sports, skills and games including striking a ball with a bat, soccer skills, AFL skills and one of my personal favourite sports, netball. As Patrick from 6F said to a friend “Netball is a very complicated game”. It has been great seeing all of the students improve, learn new skills and give everything a go.


All students from years three to six completed the cross country trials early this term and should be congratulated on their effort of running 6 or 7 laps around the school. Today a team of students are competing in the North Box Hill District cross country event. I would like to congratulate everyone on having a go and trying their best and if you didn’t get in this year, next year you can have another go.

Later this term we have a gymnastics coach coming for some of the younger grades and the senior grades will continue practising their skills in AFL and other sports.


Eileen Stewart 

[email protected]


Thanks to all the families who have been sending along bottle caps and lids, we now have the hundreds needed. By saving them from the recycling bin and sending them to school, the lids are ready for a fun art activity for the Year Twos next term. Thanks again. Anne Gleeson

Visible Learning

As you are no doubt aware, St James is part of

the Visible Learning project- a joint project by Corwin and CEM. We have been working as a staff and with our students on unpacking what a visible learner looks like and reflecting on how they learn best. This has included a focus by staff on the use of Learning Intentions and Success Criteria and working with the students on being visible learners and having a ‘growth mindset’.


As a staff, we have made the decision to adopt a well-respected leader in education, Kath Murdoch’s, ‘Learning Assets framework’.  This support students in developing the skills and dispositions required in contemporary learning. These learning assets are researching, thinking, collaborating, self-managing and communicating.  To support the students in their understanding of these assets and how they can develop and use them, we decided a visual for the students to refer to would be beneficial. We launched the visual supports last term at the Parent Information night and will present a learning asset once a fortnight in the newsletter.


Self Manager

The first learning asset presented is the Self-Manager.  The students define the self-manager in the following way- 

I can learn independently.
I set and work towards personal goals.
I know I can continually improve as a learner.

I am resilient, responsible and reflective.

We ask the students to reflect on how they can be better Self-Managers of their learning.


You can support your child in becoming a Self-Manager by encouraging and supporting them to

  • be independent- maybe they can make their own lunches, carry their own school bags, hand notes to teachers or you without reminders
  • take responsibility for their belongings
  • set personal goals at home such as keeping their toys tidy, committing to a homework schedule, making their beds 

Selamat datang di kelas Bahasa Indonesia di berskolah St James.

Welcome to the Indonesian class at St James school.

We are now into the second term of Indonesian. The students have extended their vocabulary and have begun to learn more about the culture of Indonesia.


Years Three and Four have explored the coat of arms of Indonesia known as the Garuda Pancasila and compared it to Australia’s coat of arms.

Here is a snapshot of what they have learnt:


  • They have their own day for Independence. The  date is shown in the feathers (Sabine)
  • Indonesia celebrates Independence from the Dutch just like America celebrates Independence from England (James M )
  • There are similarities and differences between Australia's coat of arms and the  Indonesian coat of Arms (Thomas)
  • On the eagle is the exact same date as their Independence day (Hudson)
  • On the scroll is the Indonesian motto. It means Unity in Diversity (Abby and Montanna)
  • The cotton is a symbol for clothes (Amber)
  • The rice symbolised they want to have enough food for everyone (Sophie)
  • The eagle holding the shield is called a Garuda (Amelia)
  • It has a bulls head on it. The bull lives on the island of Java (Jack)
  • The bull does not like being alone (Owen)
  • The colours of the flag are used on the shield (Lucas)


Student Wellbeing

Term 2 Value: Understanding and Including Others

This means being aware of others and demonstrating acceptance, understanding, tolerance and including everyone.

Caught Being Kind

Our ‘Caught Being Kind’ project is in full swing, many children have been given a kindness card for being 'caught' being kind, both in the classroom and on the playground.  Our current school total is 150 CARDS!!! Keep up the the great work, remember kindness is catching!

SRC Updates

Our SRC are currently gathering suggestions from their classmates about possible improvements that could be made to our Adventure playground. 


Parent Hub

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 are range of programs and services that aim to build and strengthen relationships.


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 access to Parent Shop Blog

It includes interesting articles and testimonials on a wide variety of topics.





Extra Curricular


St James has been awarded the BRONZE level award for 2018 for our participation in Ride2school days. In previous years we have achieved GOLD status. So we need the support from all families on Ride2school days plan ahead so we ca get as many students being healthy and active and travelling by foot or pedal to to school. Let's all play our part and reach for GOLD level status once again!!


Well done to all active families who supported our National Walk to School Day on Friday 18th May.

Our next Ride2school Day will be on Tuesday 5th June.


House Points

1st  Coghlan 168 points

2nd Lyons 164 points

2nd Dillon 164 points

3rd Durkin 144 points



What’s happening in extra curricular learning?

Year five and six students are embracing the Debating Program. We welcome Rebeccak, from the Victorian Debaters’ Association each week for an hour of learning in each senior class. The program not only teaches the skill of debating, it develops public speaking skills and persuasive language. Don’t forget to mark Wednesday 27 June in your diary, when the children will present debates for families to enjoy. The evening starts at 7:00pm


This week is National Reconciliation Week. We acknowledge the 10th anniversary of National Sorry Day, a milestone in Australia's history. This National Day of Healing is at the heart of our steps towards reconciliation. This year's theme is 'LEARN, SHARE, GROW – DON'T KEEP HISTORY A MYSTERY'. We are invited to explore our past as a country; learn, share and acknowledge the rich histories and cultures of the First Australians; and develop a deeper understanding of our national story. 

A representative group were at the Whitehorse Council Flag Raising ceremony to mark the launch of National Reconciliation Week. 




June 2/3rd:           KOWALSKI

June 9/10/11th:        HAMMERTON

We are seeking more volunteers for  the July holidays. 

If you can help out, please email [email protected] 

Please let me know if there are particular days that you are not available. 

With 14 chooks, you are bound to get eggs; even during this cold weather! 


Greta (3P) and Buckley (Prep O)

Eggs can be ordered by sending money in a named envelope to Wendy in the library. 

$5.00 per dozen is a bargain for guaranteed fresh, free-range eggs. 

Place your order now; they're delicious!

Student News

Learning history through exploring...

On Monday, the year five students, left on a bus heading to Sovereign Hill, Ballarat. During camp the students learned about the 1850s Gold Rush and pretended they were children at that time. They started by dressing up like they were children in the 1800s, with the girls wearing a tunic, apron and cape and the boys wearing caps, knicker bottoms and shirts. The students went by the rules children would have in the 1850s. They had a strict teacher with a cane. Girls always went first and they lined up in lines of boys and girls. They learnt how to write with ink and how to write the font used in the 1800s. The students had to learn their 16 and 17 times tables for when the Vicar and Inspector came to visit.  Showing how times have changed, the girls participated in needle work and the boys in technical drawing.


On Monday night the students watched an exciting light and sound show, Blood on the Southern Cross,  which was retelling the Eureka Rebellion, a battle between gold miners and government forces. They also watched two shows at the theatre. The students also enjoyed two gold mine tours. One was on a cart going deep into the ground and one was walking and going up ladders.


On the second tour they learnt about the “Welcome Nugget” which weighs 69kg and would be worth 3-4 million dollars today. The students all tried to pan for gold, many being successful and finding flakes of gold. The year fives all enjoyed seeing the old fashioned shops such as the confectionary shop, the candle making and soap shop, many buying their favourite treats and souvenirs. The year five students all had a great time and learnt so much much about the 1850s. 


Learning Science through exploring ...

On Thursday, Year 6 students got to learn about living things during a science incursion. Sophie from “Mad About Science” came and taught the year 6 students the difference between living things, non living things and things that once lived. They got to use microscopes and magnifying glasses to investigate smaller things. The year 6s did an experiment to work out whether yeast is living or non living. They realised when yeast is activated, it lets out carbon dioxide. The students learnt about the different characteristics that a living thing must have. Sophie taught them an acronym that helps them remember theses characteristics, ‘MRS GREN’. This stands for movement, respire, senses, grow, reproduce, excretion and nutrition. We learnt about the system called Taxonomy which categorizes the different species of living things. Towards the end of the session, the students learnt about worms and they made a worm farm in a small group. Did you know that worms have 5 hearts but they don’t have lungs?  The children learnt a lot about biology from this incursion and they can’t wait to learn more in their topic of biology.


News Recount for Sorry Day

On Friday 25th May, 9 students from Year Five were selected to attend the National Sorry Day commemorations at Whitehorse Council. National Sorry Day is a day where we remember and commemorate the past mistreatment of Indigenous people. During the commemoration, there was a flag-raising ceremony as well as a smoking ceremony. We got to place eucalyptus leaves on an open fire. A lovely afternoon tea was provided for all who attended. An important day to remember!


Pastoral Care


St James Support Crew

Pastoral Care Team


 A team of parents have been meeting and are now relaunching  Pastoral Care at St James with a catchy new name: St James  Support Crew!


 Just as before 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 team of 5 who will coordinate this care and support but we need your generous help.

We have created 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. 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. 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.


Please also 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 the great work of Angela Jordan who ran the pastoral care program here at St James so well for a number of years and built up a community where we care and look out for each other.


If you can help please sign up at:     [email protected]


Thank you for your help,


The St James Support Crew!

Sandra Alkemade (Eliza 4C, Evie 3W),

Natalie Ballinger (Amelia W-3P, Isaac W-1D),

Kylie Brooks-Verberne (Monet-4C, Elodie-1D),

Gen Hammerton, (James 6F, Sam-4C, Ivy- 2VH)

and Penny Stewart, (Helena-3W)

P & F Newsletter

Food Day Thank You

A huge thanks to our Food Day Co-ordinator, Kylie Brooks-Verberne and her helpers Deborah Vukic and Melissa Crozier. The kids always love a Subway Food Day!

Our next food day will be held on Thursday the 21st of June and it will be PASTA! We will require five (5) helpers from 9am-11am and three (3) more from 10:15am -11am. If you can help out please sign up at


Bunnings BBQ

Once again we have secured a date for a Bunnings fundraiser to be held on Saturday 16th of June. The P&F will be running a BBQ as well as a Cake Stall at Bunnings Vermont South.  We still need 10 Volunteers! Can you help? Please sign up at 

To all our fabulous bakers out there, keep a look out for more information to come on how we will need your help on the day! For further information please contact our Bunnings BBQ Co-ordinators Sarah Dowds and Katie Mills.


Auskick Thank You

Fabe would like to extend a massive thank you to her Auskick Helpers from over the last two weeks… Tash Den Elzen, Carlos, Marino, Jen Harvey, Monique Swadiack, Monica Powell, Bron, Dan White, Stef, Bronwyn, Mel Baptista, Julie Rogan, Winni, Tash Dumais, Mel, Reece Felstead, Daniela Migliorati and Rach Hamilton-Smith,


Major Fundraiser

We have a great night planned at the Major Fundraiser on 23rd June!

RSVP is Friday 8th June!!! Please make sure you purchase your tickets for the P&F Big Night Out using the following  link   If, you have already bought your ticket and have not organised a table, please contact your year level rep or Monique Szwadiak on 0400668241 / [email protected] for assistance. Alternatively, if you have placed yourself on a table don’t forget to buy your ticket!


Please Help – Volunteers Needed

Help! We need some volunteers to help set up St Johns Hall on the day of the Major Fundraiser. If you can help out please sign up at

We are also looking for some table cloths or table runners, cheap flowers and maybe some lights/candle table centre pieces. Please email the P&F if you can help with this.


NEEDED—Silent Auction Donations and Sponsorship

  • Would you like to advertise your business? Do you know someone who would be interested in promoting their business to our school community? A donation to St James Primary School for our Major Fundraiser Silent Auction Prizes is a great way to raise interest in your business.
  • Have you cleaned out your present cupboard and found things you no longer need? If its brand new and still in its packaging we would love for you to donate it to our Silent Auction.
  • We also have sponsorship options in the form of table sponsorship and live auctions.
  • Thank you to our major sponsors  ......    

If you have something to give and would like to discuss further, please email us on [email protected]


 Important Dates


Saturday 16th

Bunnings BBQ

Thursday 21st

Pasta Food Day

Saturday 23rd

P&F Major Fundraiser

BIG Night Out

After School Care

The new Child Care Subsidy, and what it means for you

On the 2nd of July, the Australian Government will transition to a new Child Care Subsidy (CCS). This will replace the existing Child Care Rebate (CCR) and Child Care Benefit (CCB).

There are a number of key changes that families who rely on childcare before and/or after school need to know, including:

  • Any benefit will be paid directly to child care providers (like Camp Australia), who will then only bill the ‘gap’ amount to families.
  • There will continue to be hardship relief.
  • For families earning less than $186,958, there will no longer be an annual cap on the amount of subsidy you can receive. For families earning between $186,958 and $351,248, an increased annual subsidy cap of $10,000 per child will apply each year.

If you’d like to know what percentage of your child care costs you can claim back through the Child Care Subsidy, check out the simple Family Childcare Subsidy Estimator at


Program details

We’re here to make Outside School Hours Care the best experience possible for your child.

To find out more about our program, view fees and to register visit   

We look forward to seeing you and your family soon.

From the Team at Camp Australia.

Useful Forms



Community Links



A Celebration Day for Girls in Yrs 4,5,6


St James Newsletter
Positve Parenting Brochure 2017 (1) (1).pdf
PPTS Poster 2017 (1).pdf
Positve Parenting Brochure.pdf
Positive Parenting Telephone Service.pdf
P&F Newsletter Sponsorship Page.pdf
Minutes of PLT Wednesday 7 February 2018.docx
Marathon Club permission.pdf
Bike Contract.pdf
CDG_Catholic Schools (1).pdf