St James Newsletter

29 April 2019
Term Two, Week Two         ‘st James School Community Is Committed To The Victorian Child Safe Standards.’
Dates to note...
Principal's Post
Education in Faith
Literacy and Numeracy
Digital Technologies
Spotlight on Learning
Extra Curricular
Useful Forms
  P & F Newsletter
Community Information
St James Primary School
(03) 9874 1830
51 Centre Road
Vermont, Victoria, 3133

Dates to note...



Tues 30   Open Evening for prospective enrolments  2020   7.30pm

                   Home Mass for First Eucharist Candidates and their families: Group 1


Wed 1     Ride2School Day

                  Marathon Club begins

                  Education Board Meeting

                 Home Mass for First Eucharist Candidates and their families: Group 2

Thurs 2  District Soccer Round Robin Day

                 Camp Meeting Year 5 Parents  7pm

                  Home Mass for First Eucharist Candidates and their families: Group 3


Sat 4     Auskick begins

Mon 6  ACU Pre Service Teachers begin placement

Thurs 7   Open Day - Tours 9am or 10am

Wed 8   About Real Life (Puberty Ed.) Yrs 4-6 Parent Information Evening 

Thurs 9  Home Mass for First Eucharist Candidates and their families: Group 4

Fri 10   Mothers' Day Breakfast (Please RSVP if you'd like to come)

              Mothers' Day Stall

              Interschool Sports- Round One

Sun 12  Mothers' Day

Mon 13    Family Week

Tues 14  NAPLAN

Wed 15   NAPLAN

                 Colour Fun Run

Thurs 16  NAPLAN

                   First Eucharist Parent Evening   7pm

Fri 17   National Walk Safely to School Day


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

Principal's Post

Dear Families,

Welcome back to our first full week of Learning for the term. Newsletters will be published on even weeks this term (ie week 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10).


It is perfectly understandable that quite a few families took the opportunity to have an extended break last week.  Back at school,  we reverently celebrated two extremely important events: Jesus' Resurrection and ANZAC Day. Thank you to the Yr 6's for leading us in our Alleluia celebration of the resurrection on Tuesday morning and thank you to the Yr 5's for leading us in our ANZAC Day service on Wednesday afternoon. Thanks also to the many students who brought along flowers to lay at our flagpole.


On Thursday morning there were approximately 20 St James' students at the ANZAC dawn service at Halliday Park Mitcham. Jorja and Tom laid a wreath on behalf of our St James' community. It was great to see so many students present in their St James' uniforms. Thanks Mrs Foster for organising this.

School Closure Day last Friday

While the students were not present at school the staff were working together on professional learning for the day.

We commenced the day with a prayerful reflection lead by Mr Flintoff.

The focus for the day was on staff working collaboratively to improve student learning outcomes.

Elements of the day included:

  • Exploring and clarifying expectations and benefits to students of a Learning Collaborative within the Eastern Region of schools in Catholic Education St James are now part of.
  • Reflecting on and sharing practices that have an impact on student learning and  growth.
  • Providing feedback to one another on various learning practices and strategies
  • Investigating thinking tools and routines that we can use with students to promote and extend their thinking skills
  • A specific focus on students' writing samples and planning activities that will move students along the writing curriculum continuum and see them grow in their writing ability.
  • A focus on student wellbeing with mindfulness and brain break activities that can be used in the classroom to assist students.

One thing that constantly struck me throughout the day was the commitment to collaborate, willingness to learn and dedication to the improvement of student learning outcomes that our staff possess. 

Thank you to Cathy Dimitrakopoulos, our Learning and Teaching/Literacy Leader for coordinating the day and the various staff members who lead sections of the day.

Staff First Aid Qualifications

On Tuesday afternoon/evening, the staff completed their update of their Level 2 First Aid qualification. At St James it is the expectation that all staff hold an updated Level 2 First Aid qualification. This practice contributes to the health, safety and wellbeing of all students.

Save the Date: Parish Mission Week, 26 - 30 May

• Do you want to know more about Family life and issues that confront us today?

• Have you wondered how our Christian faith helps us find meaning in the experience of suffering?

• How is faith passed on to our children and grandchildren?
• How do we pray and what forms of prayer are available to us?
• What part does Eucharist play in our lives as a faith community?

Take time out to attend one of the evening sessions and explore these questions.

A Few Things to Note


  • Tomorrow night 7.30 - 8.30 we have an Open Information Evening to promote St James to families who may be looking to enrol their children in Prep 2020. There is no need for current families to attend, but please ensure you have your child's enrolment form for Prep next year handed to the office by the end of the week. Next week we will be making appointments for the meet and greet session with myself and Fr Dispin.
  • Mark Friday 10 May in your diary - we're celebrating Mothers' Day with a breakfast.  Details to follow.  Dads, grandpa's and friends please let Carmel know if you can help on the day - PLEASE RSVP THIS ONE VIA THE INVITATION SENT OUT LAST WEEK, particularly noting which session you're booking in for (after mums have departed the first session, we will supervise your children here at school until school starts).
  • The Book Fair arrives later this week
  • First Eucharist Home Masses commence this week
  • Kylie Brooks- Verberne and her team have generously put their hand up for an extra Food Day, planned for Friday 10 May....It's really a 'Mothers' Day Treat', co-ordinating with the breakfast! Forms are being sent home today - Special THANKS, Kylie and Co- I'm sure it will be very much appreciated!

Colour FUN Run

Wednesday May 15, here at St James. 

We are trialling a new approach to our lap- a- thon this year. Students will collect sponsors and as they run laps around the school, staff will spray their white T Shirts or tops with colours. It's a fun way to exercise and raise funds for our new school fence .A PARENT LETTER WITH A SPONSORSHIP FORM WILL BE COMING HOME TOMORROW...Please mark Wednesday afternoon, 15th May in your diary, so you can join in the fun, celebrating Family Week.


Congratulations to Lewis (4F) who won his Butterfly event at the State Swimming Titles last Wednesday. Many classes put a pause on learning to watch you Lewis. Well done!

Education in Faith

Divine Mercy Sunday

For many people, Easter begins and ends on the one day. For Catholics however, Easter is only the beginning. Our celebration of the Resurrection lasts from Easter Sunday to Pentecost. 

In the Year 2000, Pope John Paul II declared the Second Sunday of Easter, The Feast of the Divine Mercy Sunday. The Feast calls us all to seek forgiveness through Reconciliation.

The image of The Divine Mercy shows Jesus when he appeared to the disciples in the room after the Resurrection and gave them the authority to forgive. This moment is recorded in John's gospel when Jesus said to the disciples, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I send you." And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained."

Jesus directs these words to Christians today. He tells us not to be afraid of God because God loves us and forgives us. Jesus reminds us to show love, mercy, forgiveness and peace in order to be the face of God.

Lord Jesus, you appeared to your disciples after the resurrection and filled their hearts with joy when you said to them ‘Peace be with you’. May the peace of your presence abide with us and in the heart of our world. You promised to be with your disciples, to the end of the world. Dwell in our midst today and remain with us always. Purify our hearts with your truth and guide us in the way of your peace. Amen.

Gathering Together

We welcomed the new term with an Alleluia Prayer Service, hosted by 6N. 'Alleluia' means 'Praise the Lord' and is not used during the forty days of Lent. It makes its reappearance at the Easter Vigil Mass. Tuesday's liturgy was a celebration of the risen Christ. It was also an opportunity to renew our baptismal vows by singing, 'Yes Lord, I Believe.'

On Wednesday we commemorated ANZAC Day with a ceremony hosted by 5P. After explaining the significance of the day and the Anzac tradition, prayers and readings were shared before students placed flowers around the flagpole. The Last Post was played as a poignant tribute to those who have died in war. As The Rouse was played, the flag was raised to the masthead. Following a minute's silence, the ceremony concluded with the singing of the National Anthem. It was a truly solemn and dignified ceremony.  





Literacy and Numeracy

How are you going with the Premiers' Reading Challenge?

The Premiers' Reading Challenge has been launched and your child is invited to participate!  How many books have you read so far?


For new students, please see your child/child's teacher for login information.  For returning students in Years 1 - 6,  your username and password remain the same (your teacher or I can help you with this if you've forgotten it!)


Students in Years Prep - 2 need to read or experience 30 books.  Students in Years 3-6 are challenged to read 15 books.  The Challenge closes on 6th September and all books will need to be recorded by this date to be eligible for a Certificate of Completion.

Visit for all information that you require.



Cathy Dimitrakopoulos

Literacy/Learning and Teaching Leader













The Benefits of Using Calculators in Mathematics

"It's really important that kids use calculators amongst other methods." IOE professor Jeremy Hodgen



Current research about the teaching and learning of mathematics shows that calculators are greatly beneficial to students understanding. They can be a wonderful tool for assisting mathematics in the classroom and and at home. 



Some of the benefits of using calculators in mathematics include:


  • Allows students to focus on problem solving rather than the basic computations

  • Allow students to try new maths concepts they may not have tried because of the computations involved

  • Makes students more confident in their abilities

  • Students can solve problems in a more reasonable time frame

  • Allows students to practice the skill being taught rather than the computations

  • Assists place value and counting patterns

  • Prepares them for the future when using a calculator before high school or for a standardised test

  • Provides opportunities for high level learning


FAMILY MATHEMATICS CHALLENGE - Stay tuned for the family mathematics challenge which will be in the next newsletter.  I look forward to lots of responses!

Digital Technologies

What's trending with kids at the moment?

There are so many apps and websites available to students, it is hard to keep up with them all, but here is some information about two current online trends.

The first is a popular re-vamped app... formerly known as  It is now re-branded as TikTok.  Click on the link below for detailed information.


The Momo Challenge

Students in Years 3-6 have had talks during STEMMs about this online hoax.  The discussions were in the context of online safety, what to do when any pop-ups appear on screen and how do we know what is real online.  We have deliberately discussed this challenge in a low key manner, as sometimes you can 'add fuel to the fire' by placing too much emphasis on these online trends. 

Excellent information from the eSafety Commissioner website can be found here....

Spotlight on Learning

Visual Arts Update

The Visual Arts are alive and well at St James in 2019, even though it is a year of our School Performing Arts Concert and not an Art Show year!


At the end of last year, I (with some assistance) selected several pieces of art, from the many exceptional artworks chosen from our St James Art Show, to be entered into the Catholic Education Melbourne (CEM) Visual Arts Exhibition.


From those nine pieces that I submitted for exhibition, five students had the honour of having their artwork selected and displayed at the CEM Visual Arts Exhibition in March. The students were: Ivana W, Adam W, Chloe E (Yr 6), Abbey B (Yr 4) and Ella M (Yr 3). Dave and I attended the exhibition on Sunday March 17 and both of us were in awe of the amazing quality of artwork on display again this year. We were also extremely proud of these students and their artistic ability. Although none of our students received a place, each of them should be so very proud of their achievement.


I will certainly be selecting artworks from our St James  students’ again prior to the end of this year, in the hope that we will be able to showcase their many artistic talents in next year’s CEM Visual Arts Exhibition.


And more ART!

We’re designing and creating a large outdoor mural for the front of the After School Hours portable, a position chosen for maximum impact.  St James School has been very fortunate to again receive an Arts Grant, after a successful submission to our local government. We have contracted Jan Daly as our Artist in Residence and she has already worked with Mrs. Foster and myself on outlining our group artwork titled ‘Our Living City, Melbourne’. Many students submitted, after being invited to contribute, ideas for the mural. Selected students will add to the design of the painted mural and every student at St James will contribute in some way to the finished artwork during art sessions run by both Jan and myself.


So again, The Arts are indeed alive and well at St James!



Anne Gleeson

Visual Arts Teacher.


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




About Real Life Program

Puberty education begins at home and can be supported by schools as a part of a broader health curriculum aimed at maximising children’s wellbeing.  About Real Life’s programs are sensitive to and respectful of the values and beliefs of parents/carers and families and provides an excellent starting point for family discussion about human sexuality and respectful relationships.


Parent Information Evening

Parents with children in Years 4, 5 and 6 are invited to attend an information session regarding the family and classroom sessions planned for May & June at St. James.

Date: Wednesday  8th May

Time : 7 - 8pm

This adults-only presentation will detail the content for all sessions and provide an opportunity to ask any questions you may have before the programs commence.


Family Night 

Date: Wednesday 22nd May

Time: 6:30pm Parents and Children in Years 4-6

              7:45pm Parents and Children in Years 5-6


There will be more information to follow about indicating your attendance via Trybooking, a notice will come home via your child.

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.


Photo: Extra Curricular

Extra Curricular

Photo: Extra Curricular


Our annual Book Fair is on again and starts this Friday.  Not only does the school benefit from sales, but more importantly, it is an opportunity to encourage students to read, value owning a book and is a great lesson in appropriate book selection. 

Opening hours:

Friday May 2nd:  3.15 - 4.15pm

Sunday May 5th:   After Mass

Monday May 6th - Wednesday May 8th:   8.30 - 9.00 am & 3.15 - 4.15 pm

See you at the fair....


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!

Our Choir starts this term...


Children in Years 3-6 invited to join our school choir, starting this term. We are so very lucky that Lisa Sully, a parent and singing teacher generously puts her hand up with Maureen  Johnson to lead the choir each week. Sessions start next Friday 10 May  12:00-12:30.


We were especially proud of the children who represented St James at the Dawn Service last Thursday. Thank you to all the families who attended - a valuable experience in so many ways.


Life Saving Victoria

Last year Life Saving Victoria were so impressed with our Swimming Program that they approached us to make a short film that they could use to promote excellence in programs. Do yourself a favour and watch this - Year 6 students from last year, parents and teachers, especially Tim Flintoff, all contributed.


Chook Yard Update:

Thanks to Lou the Handyman, our fence is tall enough and strong enough to see us through any future animal acquisitions.

The main structure of the fence is complete, but we just have to get another layer of wire put across the bottom to keep smaller animals in; Wendy is very surprised that some of the chooks haven't discovered they can fit through the mesh yet! 

We will be ordering our new animals in the next week or so, but it may take a little while for them to arrive.  Stay tuned.....



Our chooks are definitely loved and respected but this isn't the case everywhere.  If you don't buy our eggs from school, please try and buy guaranteed free-range eggs so that you are supporting farmers who RESPECT CHICKENS!  All chooks around the world will thank you!


Eggs are up 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:

Thank you so much to the following families who looked after all the chooks in the holidays; hope you were rewarded with plenty of eggs, passionfruit and herbs!





MAY 4th & 5th - JOHNSON   (5P)

MAY 11th & 12th - KOLESNIK   (PK)

MAY 18th & 19th - LOVICK   (PK)

MAY 25th & 26th - ARCHER   (1M)






Useful Forms



P & F Newsletter



3rd       Mums Night Out

10th     Food Day – Subway

10th     Mothers' Day Stall

24th     Food Day – Fish/Chicken & Chips




Vision Portrait Photo Collection

Vision Portraits will be available for pick up from the multi purpose room on Friday 3rd May between 3.00-3:45pm. Thank you to all those who took up this opportunity we raised a fantastic $588.00.

Mums' Night Out - Friday May 3rd

At the newly renovated Coach Ringwood from 6pm to 11pm

We are confirming numbers for this Friday’s mums night on Wednesday morning so if you haven’t RSVP’d please do by Tuesday night at

Please note the Coach is in the Entertainment Book (details below to purchase)


Food Days  

Subway -Friday May 10th

On Friday May 10th, a special SUBWAY food day has been added as a treat for mum's too so they can get to the Mother's Day Breakfast without worrying about kids's lunches!

Order forms need to be in by this Friday 3rd May. Just two helpers are needed from 10:40-11:00.  

Sign up here:


Fish/Chicken Nuggets and Chips- Friday May 24th

As these first two are quite close together forms for this food day will go home just prior to the Subway Food Day. 

Quite a few helpers are needed on this day. Details to follow.


Auskick - Starts 4th May 9am

Auskick starts this Saturday 4th May.  P&F run a BBQ and sell cakes each week to raise money for footy equipment and the school.  We need some volunteers to coordinate and also volunteers each week to cook, bake and sell.  Please email us if you can coordinate and/or sign up to help at


Mothers' Day Stall - Friday May 10th  

Jess and Ang have organised some lovely gifts for the Mothers Day stall this year.  They need 4 helpers from 9am.  Please sign up at the following link: 


Federal Election BBQ Coordinator - Saturday May 18th

St James will be a voting centre for the Federal Election.  We are looking for someone to coordinate a bbq at the school.  It is a great way to

raise money from the wider community for our school. 

Please email us if you can run this fundraiser.


Major Fundraiser #FestivalForTheFence

Saturday June 15th

Bookings can now be made at:


Needed Silent Auction Donations

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


The new 2019/2020 Entertainment Book is here! 

St James P&F will again be participating in this Fundraiser.

$14 from each book sold comes straight to St James.


Books will be distributed to all families at the start of Term 2, and you can decide if you would like to buy them, however, if you can't wait until then, you can purchase online at any time.



Friday Treats

We will be selling ANZAC biscuits and lamingtons this term for 50c on Fridays at afternoon play.  Thanks to everyone that has already signed up.  We still have a few spots free, so if you can help sell them for 30 mins please sign up on the following link:





Community Information

St James Vermont Auskick 

Auskick is a great way for kids to get involved in footy in a fun and friendly environment.

We run the St James Auskick Clinic on the Fr Kevin Dillon Oval at St James Vermont on Saturday mornings.

Who should join Auskick?

We welcome and encourage both boys and girls participation and run groups that cater for Auskickers in Kinder, Prep, Grade 1 and above.  (Please note that children need to at least turn 5 in the 2019 calendar year in order to be eligible to enrol.)

When does the season start?    

The first Auskick session is scheduled for Saturday 4 May 2019 and the season runs until 24 August 2019.

Auskick sessions run for roughly an hour, commencing at 9 AM each Saturday morning excluding school holidays and public holiday weekends.

How do I register?

Registrations for Auskick are done online through AFL Victoria

Use the Centre finder to register for St James Auskick Vermont.

The cost of Auskick for the 15 week season is $96.

Help needed!

St James Auskick is run by volunteers from our school community. We need your help.

We need volunteers to help with the coaching / organisation of groups on Saturday mornings and we need some volunteers to help out with the famous St James Auskick Tuckshop. 

If you would like to volunteer in any capacity, please get in contact with me (Chris Harvey,  son Joseph in 3P)  on . I’d love to talk to you about how you can help us ensure that Auskick continues to be a fantastic fun Saturday morning for our kids.

We look forward to welcoming you to the Fr Kevin Dillon Oval to join the fun!




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