St John the Baptist Ferntree Gully Newsletter

Tuesday May 28th 2024

Letter from the Principal, Kelli Johnston

It is wonderful to see our students and school thriving in so many ways.

Congratulations to our students who performed at the Ferntree Gully Library for the Biggest Morning Tea on Thursday.  Our students presented themselves in an outstanding manner in the local community. It was wonderful to receive positive feedback from the wider community about how they thoroughly enjoyed the performance from our students.

Congratulations to all students who participated in District Cross Country at Crystal Brook Park, Cardinia Reservoir on Friday. True to form, all students represented St John’s in an exemplary manner. We are enormously proud of all students who participated and gave it their best shot. Such an outstanding job.  

Our students once again presented themselves in a most reverent and respectful manner as we gathered as a school in recognition of National Sorry Day. We are enormously proud of how students conducted and presented themselves in reflecting on the hardship experienced by First Nation People.

Thank you to all of our wonderful staff for all of their work and efforts in organising and preparing these events with and for our students.  We are so very fortunate to have such dedicated and passionate staff.

2025 Prep Enrolments


If you have a child ready for Prep 2025, we encourage you to please put in an enrolment form as soon as you are able. This will help us with organisation purposes. To access an enrolment form:

  • Drop into the school office to collect one

  • Email and ask for a form to be sent home

  • Visit the enrolment section of our school website and download a form

Letters of acceptance will be emailed to all families who have enrolled their child for the 2024 school year throughout the next week.

Running Club

Students selected for District Cross Country are invited to join Running Club with Mr Mitchell on Monday mornings. Running Club will occur once a week from 8.10am - 8.40am on MONDAYS starting 20th MAY. We look forward to seeing students joining Mr Mitchell for Running Club.

Parent/Teacher/Student Interviews

Parent/teacher/student interviews will be held on Tuesday 25th June and Wednesday 26th June.  We encourage all students to attend interviews with their families. The focus of interviews is to celebrate the hard work students have undertaken throughout the semester, as well as the growth they have made as a result of their hard work. Families will be able to book their interview times through SOBS in the coming weeks.

Interviews will be held on: 

     Tuesday 25th June 2:30-6:00pm

     Wednesday 26th June 3:30-5:30pm

Semester 1 Student Reports will be distributed to families on Friday 21st June.

A friendly reminder that if you have a PSG for your child that this includes your Parent/Teacher Interview. Families who attend a PSG do not book an additional Parent/Teacher Interview. 

Year 5/6 & 1/2 Excursion

Exciting times ahead as our Year 5/6 and 1/2 students prepare to venture offsite to participate in excursions related to their History units. The Year 1/2 students will take an excursion to Ambleside Park Homestead and the Year 5/6 students will be travelling by train to the Immigration Museum. 

We wish both the Year 1/2 and the Year 5/6 levels enjoyable days of learning outside of their usual classroom environments.

Working Bee News

Our next working bee will be on

FRIDAY 14th June from 2:00 - 4:30pm

Our priority will be moving the art supplies in the lower building to the spare portable near the 5/6 classrooms and empty the container near the old parish hall.

If we have enough volunteers we would also like to:

Paint the newly moved basketball ring

Clear the autumn leaves around the hall and lower playground

Weeding areas required in the naturescape - tyres, dry river creek

We will keep Saturday 22nd June as a tentative date for a second Working Bee but do hope that with the number of people that have indicated that they can attend the Friday working bee we may be able to complete all our jobs on this day. 

Community Thank You

Thank you to Glen Reed for sharing your plastering expertise to repair some much needed works.

Thank you to Fleur Dow for assisting with leaf tidying and collection.  At a time when our deciduous trees are rapidly losing their leaves, we are most grateful for your work.

Specialist Timetable

To accommodate some changes in staffing we have been required to make some minor adjustments to the Specialist Timetable.  The changes mainly occur for the Year 3/4 and 1/2 teams.  Please see the updated timetable below:

Student Illnesses

As we move towards winter, colds, flu and COVID will start to enter school environments. We ask families to keep unwell children at home to reduce the spread of viruses. Additionally, teaching children good hygiene practices of placing tissues in the bin after use and washing hands thoroughly is also important. 

As a community it is important to show how ‘We care for each other’ by providing unwell children with the time at home to rest and return to school well for the wellbeing of all.

Dropping Off and Picking Up Children/School Car Park

School drop off and pick up points and car parks present challenges for all school communities. 

At St John the Baptist we are most fortunate to have significant spaces for dropping off and picking up students. At the forefront of school drop off and pick up spaces is always child safety.  We ask families to familiarise themselves with the following expectations when dropping off and picking up students.

  • Families can either park or access kiss and drop zones from either Forest Road or Selman Ave

  • Families walking to school can access the grounds through the gate on Selman Ave or through the walkway between the Parish House and the Church.

  • Families riding to school can access the grounds through the gate on Selman Ave or through the walkway between the Parish House and the Church. All bike riders are required to dismount their bikes once on the school grounds and walk their bikes to the bike area.

  • There is strictly no parking in the staff car park or walking students through the staff car park.

  • The driveway of the church and church car park is not a kiss and drop zone

We ask all families to respect the outlined drop off and pick up requirements as a matter of safety to all.

Keep warm everyone!

Kelli Johnston

Victorian Premiers' Reading Challenge

The Victorian Premiers’ Reading Challenge is now open and St John the Baptist Primary is excited to be participating. 

The Challenge is open to all Victorian children from birth to Year 10 in recognition of the importance of reading for literacy development. It is not a competition; but a personal challenge for children to read a set number of books by 6 September 2024.

Children from Prep to Year 2 are encouraged to read or ‘experience’ 30 books with their parents and teachers. Children from Year 3 to Year 10 are challenged to read 15 books.

The Premiers Reading Challenge platform which parents use to record the books their child/ren have read offers a range of exciting features including:

  • access to a library catalogue (including book images and blurbs)

  • a modern user-friendly interface

  • rewarding students with badges as challenge milestones are achieved

  • the option for students to mark books as a favourite, give them a star rating or complete a book review

All children who meet the Challenge will receive a certificate of achievement signed by the Victorian Premier and former Premiers.

To read the Premier’s letter to parents, view the booklist and for more information about the Victorian Premiers’ Reading Challenge, visit: 

If you would like your child/ren to take part in the Premier’s Reading challenge please let Ursula know via email and I will register them and forward you your login details.

Once you receive your login details you will be able to enter the books your child has read on the portal.

Please contact me if you have any questions or wonderings,

Ursula DeCorrado

A representative group of Years 3-6 performers had a wonderful experience taking part in the FTG Library’s Biggest Morning Tea last Thursday. We were kindly invited to provide the entertainment while people enjoyed a yummy morning tea, provided by Baker’s Delight. Over $500 was raised to assist in cancer research.

A group of 6 students from 3/4SJ and 3/4GA performed their class dance and our 5/6 lead roles from The Pirates of the Curry Bean put on a mini snippet of our production. Amelia, Lacey and Ella from 3/4 also treated us to solo performances of their dance items and Olivia J and Ella sang for us. We have so much talent in our school; it really was thrilling to see so many students enjoy being in front of an audience.  After we had performed lots of people even came up to us and commented on our dances and songs. 

We then enjoyed helping with the National Simultaneous Storytime of Bowerbird Blues.

After this the Amaroo kinder kids teamed up with St Johns as buddies and built a bower (like a nest) which is now in the FTG Library for display. The kinder kids really enjoyed the ‘buddy experience’ and their teachers even asked if they could come and spend time with us at school one day in the future.

The Yr 6 boys: Sam, Marcus vd P and Joseph assisted the librarians by drawing the winners for the raffle (which had lots and lots of prizes). They showed their true performing skills in doing so, and are happy to hire out their services in the future, if you need some raffle assistants!

We really enjoyed the time we spent at the library and the opportunity to interact with our community and look forward to next year! 


Recently our Social Justice Leaders, Emily and Sam,  visited our Year 3-5 classrooms to ask students to consider being part of a team to support the work of the Social Justice Leaders. 

Interested students were asked to complete a short statement of why they should be chosen for this important role by submitting a written Expression of Interest. 

These have now been received and great consideration has been given to all submissions. Staff members were consulted, as the final decision was not made easily due to the overwhelming caliber of students who applied and their insightful responses. 

All students should be proud of themselves as are their teachers and we encourage everyone who has not been selected this time to embrace the same opportunity next year. 

However, for the remainder of 2024, the following students have been selected to form the SJB Social Justice Team.

Congratulations to:

Olly P, Luca I, Jenna G, Judd P, Ezra McK, Izzy H

A formal presentation of badges will be made at an upcoming school assembly.

Building Kinder Partnerships: A Win-Win for All

We are excited to share the success of our recent visits to local kindergartens, where we've been fostering valuable partnerships and showcasing our school. Accompanied by some of our Grade 5/6 students, these visits have been a fantastic opportunity for our older students to develop their leadership skills while supporting younger children as they prepare for their transition to primary school.

Our students made us incredibly proud, representing our school with the utmost respect and enthusiasm. They demonstrated remarkable kindness, patience, and gentleness, creating a positive and supportive environment for the kindergarten children. This initiative not only benefits the younger kids but also helps our students grow into compassionate and capable leaders.

The students have written a reflection on their experience below.

Our Kinder Visits

We have been visiting local Kinders to do an activity with them and share some ideas of how we can make our homes a good place for insects.

We read them a story about some insects that were looking for a good place to live. We helped the kinder kids to plant flowers and herbs in pots. We helped them find bugs in their gardens and playground.

It helped us to improve our social skills with younger children and helped the kinder kids to develop their social skills with older children as they get ready for big school.

By Emily, Chizara, Susie and Zahra

District Cross Country 2024

Scholastic Book Club Orders

The latest Book Club orders have been delivered.  If you have not already done so, please collect from the school office.

Term 2 Dates


30th - Year 3/4 Level Mass

31st - The Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary


3rd - Year 5/6 Excursion

3rd - Parents & Friends Meeting

6th - Amblesdie Park Homestead Excursion Year 1/2

6th - St Joseph's Lighthouse Expo evening

7th - School Closure Day

7th - Feast of the Sacred Heart

10th - King's Birthday School Closure

14th - Assembly Year 5/6D

14th - Working Bee - 2.30-4.30pm

21st - Reports emailed to families

22nd - Working Bee - TBC

25th - Parent/Teacher/Student Interviews

26th - Parent/Teacher/Student Interviews

28th - St John the Baptist Feast Day celebrations

28th - Term 2 concludes @ 2.00pm

Second Hand Uniforms

This is the current stocklist for the 2nd Hand Uniform shop. Smaller sizes are in high demand - if you have any unused uniform in good condition hiding away at home, please consider donating it to the 2nd Uniform Shop. Donations can be left at the Office whenever convenient for you. 


Janice S

Canteen News

Open on Wednesdays & Fridays

Canteen orders can be placed via

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

Canteen Roster Term 2, 2024

Friday May 31st 

Nelson Serrao

Cassie Croning

Caroline Walsh

Wednesday June 5th 

Belinda Davies

Natalie Conway

Friday June 7th 
School Closure Day

Community News

SJB Netball Pie Fundraiser (see order form and details below the image)

Pie Order Form

St John the Baptist Ferntree Gully