St James Newsletter

12 June 2018
Term Two, Week Nine
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
Useful Forms
Community Links
St James Primary School
(03) 9874 1830
51 Centre Road
Vermont, Victoria, 3133

Dates to note...



Wed 13     ICAS Spelling

                   "Meet and Greet" 2019 Prep families

                    Education Board Meeting  6.30pm

Thurs 14  "Meet and Greet" 2019 Prep families

Sat 16       First Eucharist  6pm  SJM

Sun 17      First Eucharist   9.45am, 11.15am  SJM

                    P & F Bunnings BBQ

Tues 19    EMR Cross Country - Yarra Glen Racecourse

Thurs 21  Food Day

                    Year 5 Incursion - 'Mad about Science'

Sat 23       P & F Major Fundraiser  

Sun 24     Parish Family Mass   9.45am

                   First Eucharist   11.15am   SJM

Tue 26      Reports sent home

Wed 27     Year 5 & 6 Debating Night  7- 8.30pm

Fri 29        Last day of Term    3.20pm finish

                   P & F BBQ


Mon 16   First day of Term

                  P & F Morning Tea







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,

I hope you were able to enjoy some family time over the long weekend. I know a few families went away while others were planning sleep ins. I spent my time at basketball tournaments, reading reports and watching the mighty magpies.

I will be absent from  school for the next few days while Fr Dispin and I have a meet and greet session with our 2019 Prep families at the parish house in Mitcham. 

Reconciliation Ceremonies

Last week, Cassie Pascoe and I took 5 of our Year Six Leaders to Aquinas College's Long Walk. There is a report written by the students who attended in our  Student News Section. On Wednesday I attended a smoking ceremony and luncheon at Whitefriars' College as they celebrated Reconciliation Week by playing in their indigenous jumpers against St Bede's, Mentone. Chris Johnson, ex Brisbane footballer, spoke to the audience about his upbringing and life experiences.

Interschool Cross Country

Of the 54 students from Years Three to Six who represented St James in the Interschool Cross Country Carnival at Ruffy Park on Monday 28 May, 18 progressed through to the next round and competed again last Thursday.  Congratulations and best wishes to James (6F) and Bridget (5P) who progressed onto the Regional competition on 19 June.

New Legislation - Student Attendance

Important - Late arrivals and absences:

As noted in our newsletters from Term 1, there have been some changes in Victorian Government legislation regarding notification to parents of an "unexplained absence" of a student.  If the school has not been notified of an absence prior to the commencement of the school day, the school is now expected to make all reasonable attempts to contact the parents/guardians to inform them that the student has not yet arrived at school.  This came about after a critical incident occurred in 2017 with a Primary School student. The Government Guidelines have now been amended.


In accordance with Part 2.1.1 of the Victorian Education Act 2006, parents/guardians are required to ensure that their child attends school, during normal school hours every day of each term, unless:

  • There is an explained absence such as illness, appointments, bereavement, family holidays etc.
  • There is an approved exemption from school attendance or enrolment for the student.

Starting next Monday 18th June 2018, parents are required to contact the school to advise of an expected absence and provide an explanation by 8.45am.  At St James school, this may be done in two ways:

  • By phone (9874 1830) and leave a message on the absence line
  • via email to the office - [email protected] 




Following on from this procedure, with an unexplained absence the school will follow this process:

  • Make all reasonable attempts to contact parents/guardians on the morning of the absence.  This will be happening via a text messaging system we have set up through our school administration package.
  • We ask that if you receive this message you phone or email the school to inform us immediately about the absence.
  • If no contact is made with the school after the text message has been issued, a call will be made to the parents'/guardians' mobile phone and/or emergency contacts provided by the family.
  • Where there is still no response and there are concerns for the safety and welfare of the student, contact may be made with Victoria Police (000)

It is vital that you update any changes to any of your contact information so that we can contact you immediately.


We understand that this is a new process and make take some time to adjust however we ask that parents/guardians make every effort to inform the school of absences as soon as is practicable.

Staffing Update

Monica DeLeo will undergo knee surgery this week. Bernadette Broderick will teach the class virtually full time for the final three weeks of the term. Monica anticipates returning to commence Term Three. We wish her all the best with her surgery this week.


We are pleased to introduce Heather Bate as the new Before and After School Care Coordinator. Heather has completed a Primary Teaching degree and has over two years of experience working with Camp Australia. Heather is passionate about working with children and has lots of exciting ideas to bring to the program. 

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 tomorrow night, Wednesday 13th June, 6.30pm in the Multi Purpose Room.


CSEF is provided by the Victorian Government to assist eligible families to cover the costs of school trips, camps and sporting activities. If you hold a valid means-tested concession card or are a temporary foster parent, you may be eligible for CSEF. The allowance is paid to the school to use towards expenses relating to camps, excursions or sporting activities for the benefit of your child.

HOW TO APPLY Contact the school office to obtain a CSEF application form or download from

Applications close Friday 29th June.

Education in Faith

Reaching out...

Last Friday we celebrated the Feast of the Sacred Heart as a community. We thank you for your generous donations of non-perishable food items, which our St Vincent de Paul Parish group will distribute to the needy in our local area. Food items will be collected on Wednesday and so we can accept donations up until then. The feast day reminds us of our call to be the hands of God in our world and show unconditional love for all, just like Jesus taught.


#WithRefugees is the theme for this year's Refugee Week 2018, held from Sunday 17th June to Saturday 23rd June. It is an opportunity for all Australians to not only recognise and better understand the issues affecting refugees, but to also celebrate the positive contributions made by refugees to Australian society. Hearing the stories of refugees helps us acknowledge and appreciate the immense courage and resilience shown by refugees. Along with the Australian Government, it is up to each one of us to ensure that people who are forced to flee from their homes can live with dignity and hope for a better future.

God of all hearts, help us to care for each other,

to reach out with compassion and to care for those who have had to flee their homes, their families, their country, their culture and all they have ever known.

May we always shine the light of your love and hope towards those around us and especially to those who are in need.


First Eucharist

This weekend marks the first or our First Eucharist celebrations. We pray for the following students who will celebrate this weekend, that they may continue to be nourished by God's love and feel the support  of our Parish community.

Saturday June 16th 6.00 pm- Olivia, Ella, Dulcie, Leroy and Luca .

Sunday June 17th 9.45 am- Josie, Lainey, Velvet, Amber and Greta.

Sunday 17th June 11.15 am- Mia, Jenna, Jacinta and Khiara.

Upcoming Dates

Thursday 14th June- Parish Mass has been cancelled

Friday 22nd June- Prayer Service hosted by Year 4 @ 9:00am.

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

Literacy and Numeracy


Telling stories to your child and having them tell stories to you is a great way of sharing experiences, ideas (imaginative and real) and can help form close family connections.

Storytelling extends your child’s vocabulary, which can help them enjoy reading more. It can shed a light on the way your child sees things and help them understand other people. And it's a great way to learn about their culture and family traditions.

It will also help your child understand how stories are constructed and what makes a story interesting which helps them develop a real curiosity and love of reading that will remain with them over a lifetime.

What you can do

Understanding feelings and seeing things in a different light

Exploring things that are actually happening in your child’s life via storytelling is one way you can help your child appreciate how other people feel or behave and will give them ideas and ways of dealing with their own real-life concerns.

Some of the things you can try include:

  • Tell stories about feelings. This is one way you can interest your child in the story you’re telling even if it's make-believe. The trick is to ‘show’ the way the character is feeling. For example, in Winnie-the-Pooh, Piglet 'shows' how timid and scared he is by squeaking, shaking and saying things like "w-w-what was that Pooh?" Despite this, Piglet is brave enough to hunt Heffalumps and go on an expedition to the North Pole with Pooh and Christopher Robin. Exploring emotions in stories helps your child understand that others have the same sorts of feelings as they do.
  • Telling a familiar story in a different way can help your child see the situation or emotion in a different light. For example, try telling the Goldilocks story in a different way: "One day Goldilocks arrives home, tired and hungry after her l-o-n-g walk. Coming through the front door, she finds three bears in the lounge room fighting over what to watch on TV..." What happens next can be woven into a story that fits with the things your child is experiencing.

Ask a member of your family to tell your child about a time they were excited, happy, made something or figured something out; even how hard they found learning to read or write. Hearing other people’s stories and living their experiences through these stories can help your child see things differently.

See the next edition of the newsletter for more ideas about story telling with your child.


A BIG thank you to everyone who came to the St James Family Maths Night. It was a HUGE success with many families completing a range of fun learning tasks. It was great to see so many discussions being had and so many questions being asked. 

Remember the key messages from the night:

* Be positive about mathematics

* Try and incorporate mathematics into your every day life

* Encourage discussion and questioning about mathematics

* We can all improve our mathematical skills


Well Done to all those who completed the Family Maths Challenge for Term Two. I look forward to seeing even more entries next term. 

Spotlight on Learning

Student of the Week

Congratulations to our Student of the Week recipients: Brandon M, James H, Lilly M, Sasha A, Ivy H and Oliver G.

 Visible Learning- Learning Assets


The second learning asset presented is the Collaborator.  The students define the collaborator in the following way- 

I can work with others, taking on different roles.

I actively listen and respect other people’s views.

I understand how my behaviour affects



I am empathetic, compassionate and reliable.


You can support your child in becoming a Collaborator by encouraging and supporting them to

  •  playing games that involve turn taking or working as a team
  • praising them when they have worked cooperatively
  • modelling respectful listening

Physical Education News

Cross Country

Over the past few weeks we have had students represent St James at the District and Division Cross Country. We had 50 students attend the District Cross Country event on May 28. All students competed well and put in 100% effort which was great to see. From that event, 18 students qualified for the Division Cross Country which occurred today. Congratulations to Bridget Park and James Hammerton who have qualified for the Regional Cross Country later this month. Well done to all students who participated in the events and we wish James and Bridget all the best for the next round.


In other Physical Education News we have a gymnastics coach from Eastern Gymnastics who will be taking classes on Thursdays for the remainder of the term. This is a great opportunity for children to try a new sport and have a go at something that might be a bit challenging for them.


St James School was asked if some students would like to participate in an art project as part of the Australian Antarctic Festival. Fifty students, from Year 4, 5 and 6 have volunteered to be part of this project by each creatively painting a 30cm. high wooden penguin. These penguins will then form part of a display with other penguins from over 100 schools from across Australia. The Australian Antarctic Festival is to be held in Hobart in early August. How exciting to be part of such a project and working with our broader community. We are hoping that our beautiful penguins will be returned to us in time for our own display within our St James Art Show in September. A brilliant effort. From so many happy, budding artists.

St James School was asked if some students would like to participate in an art project as part of the Australian Antarctic Festival. Fifty students, from Year 4, 5 and 6 have volunteered to be part of this project by each creatively painting a 30cm. high wooden penguin. These penguins will then form part of a display with other penguins from over 100 schools from across Australia. The Australian Antarctic Festival is to be held in Hobart in early August. How exciting to be part of such a project and working with our broader community. We are hoping that our beautiful penguins will be returned to us in time for our own display within our St James Art Show in September. A brilliant effort. From so many happy, budding artists.

Anne Gleeson, Visual Arts Teacher.


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 370 CARDS!!!

Keep up the the great work, remember kindness is catching!

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

National Simultaneous Storytime...

National Simultaneous Storytime (NSS) is an annual campaign that aims to encourage more young Australians to read and enjoy books.
It is a colourful, vibrant, fun event that aims to promote the value of reading and literacy, using an Australian children's book that explores age-appropriate themes, and addresses key learning areas of the National Curriculum for Foundation to Year 6.

NSS is held annually by the Australian Library and Information Association.
Every year a picture book, written and illustrated by an Australian author and illustrator is read simultaneously in libraries, schools, pre-schools, childcare centres, family homes, bookshops and many other places around the country.

NSS 2018's book was Hickory Dickory Dash written by Tony Wilson, illustrated by Laura Wood and published by Scholastic.

Students at St James enjoyed the story and also received stickers.   8 lucky students received their own copy of the picture book to keep.  I wonder if they were all as excited as Matilda!



17 students were representing the school at cross country,

Watching them race against the best was a sight to see.

The Year 3/4s were the first to brave Ruffey Lake,

Sprinting too early early could prove a huge mistake.


All seventeen competed and did the school proud,

As they charged to the finish the crowd became loud.

The competition was fierce, no time to relax,

The competitive spirits were at their max.


Regions was the next stage for a select few,

Congratulations to James and Bridget too.

James came a gutsy eighth with a strong finishing burst,

And the brilliant Bridget was an incredible first. 


Well done to all our active families who supported our Ride2School Day on Tuesday 5th June.

Our next Ride2school Day will be on Tuesday 17th July.

House Points

1st  Coghlan 214 points

2nd Lyons 203 points

3rd Dillon 197 points

4th Durkin 187 points




June 16/17th:           TILLIG

June 23/24th:        BAPTISTA

Holiday volunteers should have received their roster via email.  Thank you for volunteering.


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

The Long Walk at Aquinas College

On the 29th of May, five excited Year 6 students had the pleasure of going to Aquinas to represent our school in The Long Walk. It is called, The Long Walk because Michael Long, a former Essendon AFL player, is making a stand for all of the Indigenous people of the Stolen Generation.

We walked around Aquinas with approximately 20 other schools in memory of Michael Long’s ‘Long Walk’ from Melbourne to Canberra to talk to the Prime Minister, Mr John Howard.

Unfortunately, Michael Long couldn’t be there but instead we had Courtney Dempsey who played over 100 games for Essendon Football Club, and we also had Olympic Gold medallist Nova Peris who was a runner and hockey player in the Olympics and Commonwealth Games.  

This year’s theme was ‘Don’t Keep History a Mystery’. Nova spoke to us about what it really means to be Indigenous, she said, “You can’t change the past but you have to know the past to see what your future holds.” This was a powerful comment. Nova mentioned that because of the Stolen Generation, all Aboriginals call each other family because they did not know their real families.


It was an amazing day and we all learnt a lot about our country's history.  Thank-you to Miss Pascoe for taking us and making the day very interesting.


Pastoral Care


St James Support Crew

Pastoral Care Team


 In last fortnights newsletter you would have read about the Pastoral Care program at St James. As a reminder just as before Pastoral Care at St James is all about supporting each other. 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.


Please note if you were involved in pastoral care at St James in previous years and would like to continue we do not have your details and you will need to sign up again.

Thank you very much to those generous people who have already signed up to offer their help and support. It is greatly appreciated!


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


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 to build up a community where we care and look out for each other.


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)

Penny Stewart, (Helena-3W)

P & F Newsletter


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Useful Forms



Community Links


St James Newsletter
Positve Parenting Brochure.pdf
Positive Parenting Telephone Service.pdf
Marathon Club permission.pdf
Bike Contract.pdf