St Francis Xavier Newsletter

06 December 2019
Issue Five Term 4 Week 9
From the Principal
SFX Awards
Classroom Clippings
Discovery Centre
Specialist Showcase
Education in Faith
Student Wellbeing
Sporting Events
 Prep 2020 Christmas Party
Our Sponsors
Community Notices
St Francis Xavier School
(03) 9435 8474
90 Mayona Road
Montmorency, VIC, 3094


Advent Season

As we embrace the Advent season, it’s easy to get caught up in the chaos of the expectations we set. Not only is there pressure to “buy more,” but we often become consumed with the idea that we need to make Christmas the best season it can possibly be for our children… by taking them to every event, creating every Christmas-themed craft and baking all the goodies all day, every day. And while we do often have fun, sometimes the pressure to go and do makes for overtired, fussy children, and frustrated parents. And just like that, all our dreams for the perfect season come to an abrupt halt. In reflection of the Gospel reading Jesus multiplies the loaves and fishes: From a mere seven loaves and a handful of fish, he feeds an entire crowd and still has full baskets remaining. This passage reminds us that when we have faith and trust in Jesus, what we already have is more than enough – and more than that, when we share the good of our faith in peace with our family, we don’t run out of joy, but are instead filled with it and have more than enough left over to share with others.

Instead of rushing to do the next great thing over the next 21 days, let us take time to just be together as a family, talk about the joy of waiting for the birth of Jesus, and rest in his perfect love for us.

From the Principal

From the Principal

It seems that everything you do from Melbourne Cup Day until the final day of school for the year is just like the race itself….a race to the line.  One of the reasons for me starting at St Francis Xavier School this year rather than next, is so that we could create structures and procedures for 2020, employ great staff, plan for new and existing programs.  That is what we did at the 2020 School Planning Day last Monday. This was a very successful and busy day for the staff, but gave all a sense of new direction and a clear sense of the pathway ahead.  

From next Monday there will be a change of procedure in the morning.  Children should not be dropped off at school prior to 8.40am for their own safety.  Children will not be entering the classrooms any longer, however they will remain on the basketball courts under the supervision of a teacher until the bell goes at 8.55am.  At this point, the children will assemble in their class lines and we will have a short assembly to begin the new school day. Parents are most welcome to stay for this assembly where we will announce birthdays, raise the flag and sing the national anthem on a Monday, and update the children with upcoming announcements.  I have always found that this is a great way to build a sense of school community and connectedness amongst the students, and importantly allow children to ‘change gears’ and focus on the learning of the day. After this short assembly, the children will move into classes to begin their day.

We will send home further information about 2020 in the coming week and I am sure that parents and children will be excited about the new package of offerings that will be introduced next year.  This will include new Specialist teachers and subjects and greater intervention support in English and Maths.


We bid farewell to five staff who have served St. Francis Xavier School over many years and whose contributions will leave an enduring legacy to the school.

Lynne Lennon (Learning Support Officer) who has been at SFX since 2008 and served to assist children in their learning right across the school.  Thank you. Lynne is increasing her load at St Paul the Apostle School in Doreen.

Michael Falzon (Cleaning/Maintenance) who has been instrumental in keeping our school clean and maintained since 2014.  Thank you for your work at our school.

Nicola Lane (Administration) who has been an important part of the SFX community as a parent and a valued member of our administration team.  Thank you Nicola for your years of service and you will be greatly missed.

Daniel Egan (Class teacher) who was himself a student at our school, a student teacher at our school, and since 2010 a teacher at our school.  Thank you. Mr. Egan has accepted a position at St. James School in Vermont, a school that is closer to home and will give Daniel exposure to a new school and a wonderful career ahead.

Janelle Reid (Student Wellbeing/Maths Intervention) has accepted a position at Glowrey Catholic Primary School in Wollert.  We thank Ms Reid for her work since 2011, especially in the last couple of years with NCCD funding and catering for our special needs children.

Adriana Bownds (The Everything Lady).  Thanks to Ms Bownds for her work at St. Francis Xavier School initially as a parent, then as a class teacher, then as a Faith Leader, then as an Acting Deputy, then as an Acting Principal.  Many of these titles have been achieved in the last 12 months! Ms. Bownds has accepted a teaching and leadership position at St Paul the Apostle School in Doreen also and we will miss her energy and her football allegiances.  On a personal note, I thank Adriana for the level of professional support and communication I have received since being appointed Principal in August. We wish her well in her new school!

SFX Awards




Child Name

Award & Reason

Prep AS

Jemma Hoseason

Respectful; for speaking politely to the teachers and students of St Francis Xavier School. Thank you Jemma.

Prep JS

Kavya Deriya

Responsible - for always following teacher instructions and for being kind and caring towards everyone in Prep JS. Well Done Kavya


Jim Harley

Respectful - listening more carefully to his peers and encouraging them when they are presenting their work. Well Done Jim!


Ella Doran

Respectful - for using her manners when asking for help in the classroom - terrific effort Ella!


Maya Robbins

Making huge efforts to be resilient in class and on the yard! Well done, Maya!


Shaun Tijan

Resilient- For starting school with a positive mindset and settling in really well at SFX. Well done, Shaun!


Harry Henshall

Resilient - for making an effort to improve in his learning, particularly in his writing


Lily Denton

Respectful - for always being a respectful and caring student throughout the Year. Congratulations Lily!!


Campbell Rooks

Responsible - For working hard to improve his work ethic and taking greater responsibility for his learning. Keep it up Campbell!


Tahnee Ditty

Responsible - For always working hard and taking responsibility for her learning. Well done, Tahnee.  


Cristian Sciore

Resilient- For always having a positive attitude towards his learning and never giving up on tasks when they are challenging. Keep up the great work Cristian!


Esther Howden

Respect: for demonstrating welcoming and encouraging behaviour to her Prep Buddy for 2020 and making her feel part of our school community.



Nick Canavan

Responsible - for his positive attitude to his learning, reflected recently in the amount of effort he put into his Inquiry project. Well done Nick!


Molly Saunders

Responsible - for the awesome effort and amount of detail she put into her Inquiry project. Fantastic Molly, well done!




Child Name

Award & Reason

Prep AS

Camden Ross

Responsible; for returning his reading pouch and Library books each week as expected. Thankyou Camden.

Prep JS

Aaron Wheeler

Respectful: for consistently listening to and following teacher instructions. Well done Aaron on a great year of listening and learning!


Oliver Perkins

Responsible- making good choices to help improve his listening and focus. Super Effort Ollie! 


Ava Van Der Burgt

Resilient - learning to work on  solving problems herself and the art of compromise. Great Effort Ava!


Jack Dean

Resilient - for listening to ways to improve his writing and trying hard to add more description to his work. Great work Jack!


Keegan Douglas

Responsible - for waiting his turn and using his manners when needing assistance in the classroom. Well done Keegan!


Thomas Nailer

Responsible: for stepping up, being responsible and being a fantastic role model when Mr Egan and Mrs Jackson are absent


Hannah Gates

Resilient- For always pushing through any challenges that arise, showing resilience and strength. Well done Hannah!


Oliver Howes

Will Hanvin

Lachlan van Campfort

Resilience - for going the ‘extra mile’ in learning about the solar system and volunteering to give a class presentation. Keep up the passion for learning!


Josh Conlin

Responsible - for being a great classroom helper and offering to complete jobs within the classroom. Keep up the great work Josh


Marco Dalla Riva

Resilience - For showing a great amount of bravery and determination when participating in the World’s Greatest Shave! A great achievement Marco.


Thomas Nailer

Responsible - For always working hard during learning time and remaining focused. Fantastic work, Thomas. 


Luke Galgano

Respectful- For demonstrating a respectful attitude towards his teachers and classmates. Keep it up Luke!


Max Cleary

Responsible: for the enormous effort he has put into writing tasks associated with our Inquiry unit and Election Campaign, well done Max.


Cameron Ellis

Respect - for always considering the needs of others and being willing to help out in any way he can. Well done, Cam! 


Siena Laidler

Resilient - for the positive attitude you show to all areas of school life and the effort you make to challenge yourself and encourage your peers. Thanks Siena!!

Classroom Clippings

Open Minded Portraits - Year One

The Year One students have been listening to and discussing the story of Jesus’ birth - The Nativity. As a way to reflect on the different characters in the story, the students chose one character to illustrate how that character may have been thinking and feeling at this time. 


Here is a sample of the students’ work:

Mary - I am so tired because I just gave birth to Jesus. I am happy because Jesus is warm. (Asher)

Cow - I wonder if these people need the stable for a long time? I feel squished in this stable. (James)

Joseph - I’m glad that we found a place to rest. I’m happy because I have a son called Jesus. (Alexandria)

Mary - How will I take care of this baby when Joseph’s at work? I am happy because I am having my first baby ever. (Ava V.)

Joseph - How did God choose me? I am excited because Mary is having a baby. 

(Zara R.)

Donkey - When are we going to get there? I am feeling thirsty. (Alexia)+


Discovery Centre

Christmas has arrived in the Discovery Centre

We always start Christmas a little early in the Discovery Centre so we can get into the spirit of things and showcase our great selection of “Christmas books”. We have been reading “Christmas” books over the past couple of weeks, and the students have really enjoyed these. I hope you too have been enjoying the Christmas stories the students have been taking home.  We are also doing Christmas activities, from making (and eating) Snowmen Santas, Santa candy canes, Christmas baubles & reindeer balls. All good fun.


Book of the week

This week our Christmas themed book featured is “The day Rudolph’s nose turned blue” by Alison Reynolds. It was the day before Christmas, but all the reindeers were unwell, so Santa had to find some other animals to help out.  Were the presents delivered in time???

Last week our featured book was “Game on! 2020”. This is the ultimate guide to all your favourite games and the hot new ones coming in 2020.


End of year procedure

As mentioned in the last newsletter the last week of lessons is  Wk. 9 beginning Monday 2nd December. Borrowing is now finished for the year, and all titles must be returned to the DC for stocktaking/checking over the Christmas break.  


I encourage students to visit their local public library to borrow books to read over the holidays, or if you are lucky maybe Santa might bring you some new books too.


Happy reading.

Mrs. Johnson

Specialist Showcase

Physical Education - Prep

Here comes the sun … and here come the Preps! 


This semester the Prep students finishes up the wet weather days in the Hall, completing ten weeks of PMP with our Grand Finale, the Ninja Warrior Challenge! This was a unique course layout, snaking its way across the entire Hall several times and included lots of climbing, crawling, balancing, hopping and running. And we pumped it up with a few of our favourite dance tunes!


With the onset of summer, we have been enjoying our new oval, playing running and tiggy games as well as introducing ourselves to some important Fundamental Motor Skills like jumping, dodging, throwing, catching and bouncing. The beautiful Prep children have become responsible, enthusiastic participants in our PE sessions and are certainly looking forward to more in Year One!


Education in Faith



Sunday 8 December, 2019

Gospel of Matthew 3: 1 - 12

‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is close at hand’.


It is with great sadness that I announce that I am leaving a school and community that I dearly love. After being a part of the St Francis Xavier community, firstly as a parent beginning in 1999 and then as a staff member beginning in 2009, I have a heavy heart.

I am moving to another school further out to pasture called St Paul the Apostle in Doreen. The school is very much like St Francis with roughly the same number of staff and students...just a little further out to drive.

I have worked at St Francis for 11 years in various roles from classroom teacher to leadership. I have loved every minute of my time at the school and have made significant friends.

I thank Phil Doherty, the man who lured me across from Montmorency South all those years ago. He is a generous and wonderful man and he taught me a great deal about leadership and has been my mentor ever since. I also thank Mark Workman for being a great Principal at St Francis who also allowed me to be the leader I am today.

To Nicholas Boyhan who has been my side kick this year that without his guidance and support I wouldn't be the person I am today. Nick is a magnificent man and I have missed him very much.

To the staff of St Francis Xavier, thank you. Here we have a terrific bunch of people who not only are your work colleagues but also become your family. They are giving and dynamic. Keep being you.

To the new kid in town, Philip Cachia whom I have known for only a short time but feel I have known him forever. Continue being you and continue to only make one change a day. You will take this school to places I am sure of that. You have been a terrific support mechanism and have a witty sense of humour. Thanks for being my principal and friend.

To Fr Terry and Fr Michael. Here I am lost for words as they are two unbelievably beautiful men who have been through thick and thin with me, yet taken me as I am…. a little crazy and loud at times, but they show unconditional love and support. I will miss you both like no other.

Finally to the St Francis Xavier students, parents, grandparents, aunties, uncles etc. It is you that help make this place what it is and will continue to do so. You put a smile on my face everyday at kiss and drop, hugs all round and the love you show is second to none. It is you that I will miss, especially the students. Lots of Love and sincere hugs


Adriana Bownds


Our staff are busily preparing our Year Six students for their Graduation this year. The Graduation is on December 11 beginning at 5.30pm with dinner in the hall (Students and staff only) and Graduation Ceremony at 7pm. There is an after graduation event which will be held in the hall until 10pm. All parents of Year Six students are invited to attend. Please no siblings will be allowed to attend. Please make other arrangements for all siblings.


The Graduation Bears have arrived and will be distributed soon.


Our SFX Christmas Carols night will be held next Monday 9 December beginning at 5.30pm. This year we will hold the Carols evening on our school basketball court. The reason for this is that the oval can now no longer cater for certain chairs, such as deck chairs as they are not friendly to the surface of the oval. The surface can be either ripped or permanent dents are created from chairs. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.


The End of Year Whole School Mass will be held in the Church on Thursday 12 December at 9.15am. All are welcome. At the Mass we will be announcing our School Captains for 2020.


All are welcome to the End of Year School Assembly on Thursday 12 December at 12.30pm in the Church. We will be farewelling our leaving staff, Year Six students and families leaving the school (Not Year Six families as they will be farewelled at the Graduation Ceremony). Please come along to our final assembly for 2019.


At this time of year stocks can become low for our friends at St Vinnies. Christmas becomes that little bit busier as families enjoy some quality time together and festivities a plentiful.

This will be our final collection for 2019 and lets make it a BONZA one to help through this very busy time of the year.


The Collection will be on Friday 13 December but we won't be having a casual clothes day. Let’s do this for the spirit of Christmas and giving.


Collection items as follows:

Year Five and Year Six

Tinned Vegetables or Soup

Pasta Sauce

Toilet Rolls.


Year Three and Year Four

Tinned Fish


Tinned Fruit





Peanut Butter


Year One and Year Two




Term Four

Monday 9 December - Whole School Christmas Carols night @5.30pm on the basketball courts


Wednesday 11 December - St Francis Xavier Graduation 7pm


Thursday 12 December - End of Year Whole School Mass 9.15pm


Thursday 12 December - End of Year Assembly 12.30pm in the Church


Friday 13 December - St Vinnies Christmas Food Appeal NO CASUAL CLOTHES


Monday 16 December - Mystery Tour for the Year Six students to Rome in Italy (happy flying)


Adriana Bownds

Religious Education Leader (REL)

Student Wellbeing

Student Wellbeing

Another school year is quickly coming to a close. There is as much a sense of nostalgia for teachers and parents alike with students moving to the next grade level and for our Year Sixes, the next stage of their education and life journey. 


On the other end we welcomed our 2020 Prep students again on Wednesday and I bet their parents were scratching their heads in bewilderment at how quickly time has passed. 

‘They are going to school? Already?’ 


This goes out to is one of my favourites...

Children Are Like Kites

You spend a lifetime trying to get them off the ground.

You run with them until you’re both breathless.

They crash.

You patch and comfort, adjust and teach them.

Finally they are airborne…

They need more string and you keep letting it out.

But with each twist of the ball of twine,

There is a sadness that goes with joy.

The kite becomes more distant and you know it won’t be long

Before that beautiful creature will snap the lifeline that binds you two together

and will soar as it is meant to soar, free and alone.

Only then do you know that you did your job.


Thanks for listening,

Guy Toomey

Sporting Events

Calendar of Sporting Events - Term Four

6 December ~ Lacrosse State Final @ Fawkner Park

10 December ~ SFX Swimming Team Trials @ Northcote Aquatic Centre


SFX Swimming Team Trials ~ FINAL REMINDER
Tuesday 10th December @ Northcote Aquatic Centre

Straight up next Tuesday are the SFX Swimming Team Trials. This is an opportunity for any capable swimming athletes to trial for the school team, which competes at the district carnival in early 2020. These trials are open to all students in Year Two - Year Five who are already proficient squad swimmers. There are further details provided to all Year Two - Five parents via Care Monkey. Consider your child’s level of ability and willingness to participate and respond to accept the invitation to trial or decline. This is also a wonderful opportunity for parents to support the school sport program by volunteering to help at this event. If there are any further questions, please feel free to contact Mrs Hunter, Sport Coordinator.


Still MORE ‘Walk to School’ Good News!

Last Monday week, our whole school gathered on the new oval to participate in somewhat of a laps club and oval opening re-enactment in order to get some video footage as well as interviews with our students about the Walk to School events that we hosted here at SFX. Great thanks to all parents and staff members who helped to organise children and make this happen. This has now been cut, clipped and put together in a series of brief promotional videos for promotion of the 2020 program. We are just about set to share these videos with our entire school community so please, keep watching this space!


In addition, SFX students had the highest participation rate (amongst all category 2 schools) and have been selected as winners of the Banyule City Council’s major prize!  This prize comprises active travel decals to the value of $3,000 which will be designed for our school, printed and located on the footpaths leading to our school in time for the new school year. Overall 12 Banyule Primary Schools signed up for Walk to School month with 2,134 students walk/ride or scooting over 27,000km – the distance to California and back!  This is a fantastic outcome and we look forward to expanding the programme further in 2020.


What is also exciting is that several of our students have won an individual prize for their clever and creative designs entered into the Sneaker Design competition that was also run as part of ‘Walk to School’ October. Sincere congratulations, next week the following students will be presented with acknowledgement of their efforts:


. 1st Prize          Ruby Raynes

· 2nd Prize         Imogen Long

· 3rd Prize          Olivia Rizzi

· Highly commended     Alexander Griffiths

· Highly commended     Georgie Colin


STATE Lacrosse Finals

Today a team of our Year Six students competed at the SSV (School Sport Victoria) Lacrosse STATE

Finals at Fawkner Park in South Yarra. The team members were: Henry Moran, Nick Canavan, Sean Tyrrell, Cooper Wilson, Caden Watts, Angus Tucker, Christian Troise, Jessica Cumming, Emily Natoli, Rachel Stanton. 


Each game in our five game run at the finals was lead by a different captain. They experienced competition against some very strong teams from all across Melbourne. The team was well organised and stepped up to challenge in every game but fell short of a berth in the grand final. An amazing experience,  created through very united team play, in a sport new to our school and district. They are to be congratulated for an enthusiastic effort and we credit the opposition teams for their level of skill and game play.

As the Year Six staff, and Interschool Sport lacrosse coaches, it has been an incredible journey of growth and success in a sport so new to the students. We have finished up the year on an ultimate high, taking on an unknown and rising to the challenge feeling accomplished. Well done to the entire team on representing themselves and St Francis Xavier so proudly. Congratulations, and huge thanks also to Mrs Miller, who led the team to their grand final win at Gala Day and a united effort at today's State competition. 

 Prep 2020 Christmas Party

Welcome to our 2020 Prep Families

Our Prep 2020 Christmas Party was a great success and had a special visitor from the North Pole.


We look forward to seeing your beautiful smiley faces in 2020.

Mrs Scarcella & Miss Arnett



Hello OSHClub Families,

We have been involved in many different art and craft activities. One of them being origami, we introduced this a couple of weeks ago and then last week some of the girls gave it another go. They are very talented with what they can create. Drawing and tracing has also been very popular lately. All the children are showing off their skills, which is so great to see. Cooking is a process we are regularly involved in. One of the things we made over the last couple of weeks were chocolate and coconut balls. Now that the countdown to Christmas has began we have had many discussions about what we will be creating for our Christmas treats.


This is a photo of a project that some of our children have been working on. They have built a replica of their classroom, they have built tables, chairs, cupboards and other various items. They used all different recycled materials to create their design. This project has been an ongoing, now we can finally see the final product. We had it on display in our room and then the girls moved it into their classroom to show their teacher Mrs Annett and their classmates.


For vacation care Theresa will be attending Our Lady Help of Christians in Eltham. We know a lot of our families go there so it will be great to have a friendly face. Emma will be going to Greensborough Primary School to help fill Coordinator Positions.


Everyone has done so well remembering to bring their hats to OSHClub, let’s keep this up for the rest of Term 4.

As always, a big shout out to our local bakery for providing us with fresh, warm bread. We appreciate you.  



Our Sponsors


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Community Notices

Family Christmas Eve Mass at Montmorency


At last weekend’s Masses at St Francis Xavier there was clearly disappointment that the outdoor Mass on Christmas Eve on the oval was now scheduled to take place in the church. 


The outdoor mass has long been a tradition in the parish and clearly a great success in the number of people who came long. 


In view of this, is it possible to re-think a way of still keeping the outdoor Christmas Mass, even if it’s a different venue? Holy Trinity Parish Primary School may well be the venue. 


To further discuss this and to see if we have a team of people who can organise the set-up and clean-up as well as the liturgy itself, anyone prepared to help is invited to come to a brief meeting after the 10:30am Mass this Sunday 8th December in the Church. 


If you are not able to come, but can help in any way, please either phone the parish on 9435 2178 or email

Christmas Tree Sales


Kadasig Christmas Hamper Drive

The Kadasig Christmas Drive is your chance to give a gift that gives and then gives again. Choose a special something this Christmas for someone in need and you’ll also get a gift certificate to give to your own family member/friend for all the goodness of giving twice!

Kadasig Gift Certificates can be used for:

Christmas Hamper $40 (includes 5kg rice, spam, fresh fruit and vegetables, long life milk, milo, fresh meat, towels and more)

25kg sack of rice $35

Menstrual hygiene kit $20

Medical care $20

House repairs $40

Senior Citizens Christmas Dinner $10

Send a child to summer camp $40

When you purchase one of these gift certificates you can request either a physical printed certificate or an electronic version to gift to your loved one. Please let us know which you would prefer.

For more information or to purchase a certificate contact:
Maree: 0430 549 516 or

Juanita: 0409 514 565 or

Then please transfer to:
Kadasig No 2 Account; BSB. 083276; A/c No. 172040420
Transaction Description: YOUR SURNAME & ITEM eg SMITH 2HAMPERS

Did you know that 100% of profits raised from the Kadasig Christmas Drive each year goes directly to the cause! Now that is festive!


'Expressions of Interest'

Greeting SFX families, as you know there is a beautiful relationship between your school, our parish and the Kadasig Aid & Development programs in the Philippines. In recent years there have been two social outreach visits to the Philippines by a student & parent. In recent times I have been asked by several parents about any further visits. Following a meeting of  leaders it was decided to ask for 'Expressions of Interest' from any families who may be interested. The student would need to be in Grade 5 & upwards. The trip would be for 2 weeks and exposure to many & varied situations are part of the outreach. Parents need to feel that their child could manage & benefit from such a trip. For an 'Expression of Interest' registration  please send parent & child's name, age of child, mobile number & email address & address to me. For more detail please email: 

Glenys Gayfer: or  0411 196 395

Philippines Volunteer


St Francis Xavier Newsletter