St John the Baptist Ferntree Gully Newsletter

Tuesday August 29th 2023

Letter from the Deputy Principal, Ursula DeCorrado


Dear Families

God our Father, we give you thanks and praise for fathers young and old.

We pray for young fathers, newly embracing their vocation:

May they find courage and perseverance to balance work, family and faith in joy and sacrifice.

We pray for our own fathers around the world whose children are lost or suffering:

May they know that the God of compassion walks with them in their sorrow.

We pray for men who are not fathers but still mentor us with fatherly love and advice.

We remember fathers, grandfathers, and great grandfathers who are no longer with us but who live forever in our memory and nourish us with their love.


Wishing all our fathers a wonderful Father’s Day this Sunday.

Father's Day Stall

Thank you to the P&F and volunteer helpers who ran the stall this morning.  So many wonderful gifts for children to pick from for their Dads/Grandfathers/Special Men. We are so grateful to the P&F for organising such a great stall.

Father's Day Breakfast

We are looking forward to celebrating our special Dad’s/special men at our Father’s Day breakfast in the hall.  Thank you to all the families that have sent their RSVP through Operoo.  If you haven’t yet replied, please do as it will assist us in our catering.  Breakfast will be an egg and bacon roll and coffee/tea cooked and served by our wonderful staff! 

District Athletics

Exciting times ahead as our Year 3-6 students prepare to participate in the District Athletics Carnival at Knox Athletics Track, Bunjil Way, Knoxfield on Thursday 31st August.  We ask that you confirm your attendance through Operoo.

A number of additional practice sessions have been scheduled by Mr Mitchell.  Students wishing to attend these are most welcome. 

We look forward to a fun day of athletics competition. We know that our students will represent themselves and SJB school in an exemplary manner.  Good luck everyone!!


MACSSIS survey links will be emailed this week so please check your emails.

The MACSSIS survey platform is operated by an independent supplier, ORIMA Research Pty Ltd, however, you will receive your email from Ursula DeCorrado.  The platform meets with the high security and privacy standards for handling student and school data. 

Students at our school will be provided with supervised sessions, where teachers are on hand to help and answer any questions. 

All participation is invited, welcomed and 100 per cent voluntary. The surveys are not a test; they are an inclusive way to support the work we are already doing to improve our school. Everyone has the right to refuse to participate, or withdraw from the survey at any point before, during or after completion of the survey. Please notify the school if your child does not wish to participate.

If you would like more information, please contact the school.

Premier's Reading Challenge

The Premier’s Reading Challenge finishes on  Friday 8th September.  Please make sure you have entered all the books your child/ren have read via the website, accessing it by the login details you were given.

First Friday Mass

Our Year Prep students will be joining our parishioners to celebrate Mass at 11am on Friday September 1st.  You are very welcome to come along and join them if you are free.

Library News

Our library is now up and running in its new location in the Administration building.  Thank you to our working bee parents and staff who have helped in supporting this move.  I know the children will be very excited to be able to borrow books to read at home this week.

Take Home Books

We have nearly completed the sorting and relabelling of our take home books and will be able to begin borrowing these again this week also.  You may have noticed that the location of these books has also changed and they have been distributed across the classes to allow for students to be able to browse and select their own books closer to their classrooms.

Prep 2024 Enrolments Overdue

Enrolments for Prep 2024 are now overdue. Any families still wishing to enrol for next year are encouraged to do so as soon as possible. 

Finalising Prep numbers is an important aspect of our forward planning.

School Fees

Just a reminder for families, that school fees were due to be paid in full by Friday August 18th, 2023.  If you have not yet paid your outstanding amount, please ensure you do so as soon as possible.

If you have a direct debit payment plan set up, please ensure your balance will be finalised by the end of the year.

Term 4 is when you will receive information about next year's levies and payment details.

If you are experiencing financial difficulties, please contact Kelli Johnston to discuss further on 9758 1013 or email -

Community Help - Seeking Sign Installation Expertise

With the installation of new gates, along with recognition that the school site has numerous entry points we have purchased a number of new signs. These signs provide clarity for the community and service providers as to which entry point to use when entering the school.

We are seeking the expertise of any parents who would be able to install the signs at various points across the school.  If you are able to assist please contact Ursula De Corrado via email at:

St John the Baptist Art Show

The Biennial St John the Baptist Art Show will be held in the school hall this year on Tuesday 5th September and Wednesday 6th September.  This is a great community event that celebrates all our students' creativity through their artwork.   

Mrs Renee Armstrong continues to work tirelessly with all students in preparation for the Art Show. We are most excited and looking forward to celebrating our students amazing efforts.

The P&F team have kindly offered parents a very easy dinner option. Please see their information in this newsletter of how to order.  Dinner sorted!

Enrich the World with Colour

Year 3/4 Camp

The Year 3/4 camp is approaching us.  Families will have  received forms last week that need to be completed, returned to school by today.  Please ensure that you have returned these as we need to forward them to Briar’s Camp.   

This is an exciting time for our Year 3/4 students.

Footy Day - Friday September 15th - last day of Term 3

To celebrate the end of another terrific term of learning and work we have scheduled Friday 15th September as Footy Day.  The students can come in their footy colours for the day and we look forward to a fun day of activities, as well as a special Footy Day lunch.  

Wishing everyone a fabulous week ahead.

Ursula DeCorrado

School Nursing Program - Prep 2023

 The Department of Education offers a free health assessment to children in their first year of primary school, conducted by a registered nurse with expertise in child health and development.

All children in Prep received a school nursing program envelope last week.

All envelopes need to be returned to the school office by September 11th. You either tick the YES consent box and complete the questionnaire or the NO consent box. 

All information is confidential.

Australian Girls Choir

Your daughter should have brought a flyer home last week about the Australian Girls Choir.  The workshop will be held in the first week of next term, but we would appreciate you returning the permission slip by this Friday September 1st.

This doesn't commit your daughter to the choir, just to take part in the free workshop which will be supervised by Mrs Cahill.

Choir Workshop Permission Form attached


Parents & Friends News

Father's/Special Person Day Stall

Just so gorgeous seeing the children carefully consider their purchases this morning! Thank you for participating in our token purchasing, this system solves many issues and really streamlines the process and saves our wonderful office ladies extra work! A big thank you to our volunteers running the stall and the team that curated the gifts. We hope all the Dad's, Grandpa's, Step Dads and special people love their gifts and have a wonderful day on Sunday.


Cake Stall

Thank you to all those who have returned forms or sent emails, we really appreciate your generosity and baking talents! You can still return your forms ahead of time via email - or to the office.  All baked goods can be delivered to the Parish Hall on Friday morning.  Please jump onto the Sign Up Page if you are able to give some time on Friday for packing or Saturday on the stall. If you need some baking inspo or ideas, popular items include cookies/biscuits, Cupcakes, Rocky Road, fudge, Mars Bar Slice, Brownies, whole cakes and any savoury items.  We always welcome Gluten and Nut Free, Vegan and Dairy Free items too. 

Cake Stall Form


Art Show

Dates: September 5th & 6th

Time: Tues 6.00-7.30pm / Wed 2.30 - 4.00pm

Venue: School Hall

Feast your eyes on the incredible works of art, from mesmerising paintings to captivating sculptures.  And guess what? While the art feeds your eyes, we've got your dinner covered too!  Treat yourself to mouth watering pizzas from our friends at Benny Boys on the Tuesday evening. Simply click the link below to choose your favorite flavours and delivery time. That way, you can relish the show while knowing that a delicious dinner awaits you.  If you are coming to the show on Wednesday, there will be delicious Devonshire tea to purchase on the day with cash or card. $2 from every pizza goes directly to our school.

Order food here


Barefoot Bowls Event

Book the babysitter and your pedicure!  Get ready for a fantastic night of barefoot bowls, music, games, and laughter! Bring your own delicious food platters or order your favourites from UberEats. The club bar will be serving up refreshing drinks to keep the good times rolling. More details in the coming weeks.

The end of the year marks an end to the current leadership roles of the P&F, and we are looking for some new faces to bring their ideas and enthusiasm to our events, if you would like to help the P&F in any way feel free to email

Student Awards

Year PB

For making our new student feel welcome this week and supporting our new friend. The students challenged themselves and persevered during writing on iPads. It was a tricky activity but we did it and we didn't give up! The students voted on a whole class reward and all had a dip in the lucky dip box. Great work team!

Year PBM

Layah C - for contributing with thoughtful questions and responses during our shared reading sessions with the book "Where the Lyrebird lives". You are a star learner, Layah!

Hudson K - for contributing with thoughtful questions and responses during our science sessions on solids, liquids and gasses. Great questions and reflectons, Hudson!

Year 1/2B

Stella P - for your excellent contribution to discussions in Guided Reading sessions. Keep up the great work!

Year 1/2D

Pippy R - for displaying an incredibly strong work ethic. You are an active learner and tackle any challenge that comes your way. You have made fantastic growth in all areas of learning, Pippy. Super effort!

Eli C - for being an amazing friend to all of your peers. Eli, your caring nature and smile that never goes away is a highlight of our day and brings us such joy. You have been an excellent buddy to our new student! Well done!

Year 1/2KC

Anthony C - for being a resilient problem-solver when issues arise in the classroom and always finding fair solutions! You are a gem!

Lacey H - for working hard to be a super maths learner and for always being a considerate listener. You are a gem!

Year 3/4D

Flynn N - for always making considered choices in class and setting a fine example to his classmates and displaying an excellent work ethic.

Harvey L - for completing some very challenging work on fractions and displaying a growth mindset.

Year 3/4G

Aiden A - for being a supportive peer to all his classmates and for his exceptional work ethic.

Year 3/4JM

Jack D - for working hard to achieve your best when writing. Your ideas are very creative. Well done Jack!

Year 3/4SC

To the entire Year 3/4SC for working very hard to build their understanding of fractions and their amazing teamwork in supporting each other when learning how to play soccer. We are so prioud of you all!

Year 5/6FJ

Cooper K - for making a consistent effort to persist and show grit when faced with a challenging task. You are becoming more confortable in the messy learning pit and I commend your dedication. You are a very talented young man and we commend your efforts to dig deep when challenged.

Marcus N - for continually identifying areas of need to extend yourself in the classroom. You have been very active with your contributions this term and you have so much wisdom to offer the class. Keep up the hard work, very impressive Marcus.

Ellie H - for demonstrating more control in the classroom and making  conscious efforts to avoid distractions. You have so much to offer Ellie and we have been impressed with your effort in noticing when to make a move in the classroom to better your learning, keep it up.

Year 5/6RJ

Poppy B - for great contributions in class discussions and for consistently asking question to improve your learning. For always trying super hard with all of your work. Keep up the positive attitude towards your learning Poppy, well done.

Lorelei C - for an excellent effort in the writing of your 'Tall Tales' and 'Healthy' writing tasks. Congratulations on your focus and commitment to ensure these tasks were completed to a very high standard. Great to see you contributing to class discussions more readily. A really positive start to Term 3 Lorelei, well done.

Term 3 Dates for the Diary


31st     District Athletics

31st    8.00am Father's Day Breakfast


1st    Year 5/6 Chamber Orchestra excursion

3rd    Father's Day

5th     Art Show - 6.00-7.30pm

6th     Art Show - 2.30-4.00pm

6th     School Advisory Council Meeting

11th    Assembly 1/2B

11th    Year 3/4 Camp - The Briars

12th    Year 3/4 Campers return

15th    R U OK? Prayer Service Prep at 9.00am

15th     Footy Day Celebration / Footy Lunch

15th     Term 3 concludes at 2.00pm

Canteen News

Canteen orders can be placed via

Orders must be placed no later than 7.30am on the Wednesday or Friday.

Footy Day in the Canteen

Footy Lunch in the Canteen is on Friday September 15th.  Please note - this is instead of normal canteen.

Forms came home last week.  Please return them no later than Friday September 8th.

Canteen Roster

Wednesday August 30th Friday September 1st
Jessica Bagnoux

Carolyn Lonsing

Katrina Horne

Carrie Canton

Wednesday September 6th Friday September 9th
Rachel Ben

Mark Molan

Rients Huitema

Nelson Serrao

Uniform Shop News

Community News

Knox Gymnastics Enrolment Form


St John the Baptist Ferntree Gully