St John the Baptist Ferntree Gully Newsletter

Tuesday June 11th 2024

Letter from the Principal, Kelli Johnston

Last Friday as a staff we travelled to the Mary MacKillop Heritage Centre in East Melbourne as part of our ongoing professional learning in Faith in Education. Marialisa Mandarino (REL) and Steve Nash (MACS RE Consultant) collaborated with Sister Rita Malavisi to prepare a rich day of learning.

The focus of the day was on Mary MacKillop’s outreach to the poor around Melbourne, using the language of spirituality - seeing, feeling and knowing in relation to Art. Additionally we focused on Mary MacKillop’s qualities, charism and inspiration and how this relates to the school community of St John the Baptist and our Catholic Identity.

It is difficult to express in words the richness of the day for us as a staff. Not only did we gain a deeper understanding of the work of Mary MacKillop and the connections between our work as educators, but the opportunity to come together as a staff to reflect and further enhance our connection as a team was a great highlight of the day. The day further emphasised the strong connections we have as a team and how we demonstrate our Catholic Identity at SJB.

I thank the staff for their engagement on the day, their openness to learning and willingness to build on their relationships to continue to enhance the vibrant and welcoming professional community of St John the Baptist.

2025 Prep

We thank all families for submitting their enrolment forms for the 2025 school year. This is an exciting time for families as we start preparations for welcoming our new preps throughout Semester Two. 

Letters of acceptance will be sent to all families who have enrolled their child for the 2025 school year this week. We ask families to return their acceptance offers by Wednesday June 26th, 2024. This will allow us to start forward planning early in Term 3.

We ask any families who have not yet submitted their enrolment forms to do so as soon as possible as places are limited.

Term 2 Conclusion

We ask families to please mark in their calendars that school will conclude at 2:00pm on Friday 28th June. 

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 are now able to book their interview times through SOBS using the following link:

SOBS Parent/Teacher/Student Interviews Link

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. We ask that families who may have changed their email address to please ensure that you check with the office that your details are up to date and current.

On Tuesday 25th June there is an optional early finish with interviews commencing at 2:30pm. Where possible we encourage families to collect their children early.

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. 

St Joseph's Lighthouse Program

Throughout Term 2 our Year 6 boys have been most fortunate to work with four Year 10 students from St Joseph’s College through the Lighthouse Program.  Every Monday and Thursday afternoon the boys worked together to create a project that was educational and relevant to today’s society. On Thursday the boys, their families and teachers attended an evening at St Joseph’s where they were presented with certificates of recognition for their work, as well as showcasing their work. 

We were exceptionally proud of the manner in which the boys presented themselves and of the work they presented. 

Congratulations boys you were simply outstanding.  

We thank St Joseph’s College for their ongoing partnership with SJB and support of our boys as they prepare for secondary school.

Division Cross Country

Last Thursday 4th June a number of students headed to Yarra Valley Racecourse to participate in the School Sports Victoria Division Cross Country.  We congratulate the following students on participating in SSV Division Cross Country. 

Mya, Max, Jenna, Charlie, Zaylen, Ethan N, Amelia and Isla

Congratulations on representing St John’s and yourselves in an outstanding manner.

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. 

School Disco - Save the Date!

Australian Maths Competition

Dear Parents,

St John the Baptist will be participating in the Australian Maths Competition again this year. This year it is being held on Tuesday August 6th - Thursday August 8th.

The AMC is an engaging 30-problem competition that demonstrates the importance and relevance of mathematics in students’ everyday lives; it is open to students in years 3 to 12. Australia’s leading educators and academics, with a deep understanding of our national curriculum standards, actively design the unique AMC problems each year. If you are interested to find out more please visit -  where they have included some sample questions.

If your child is interested please send in payment of $8.50 in a sealed envelope marked AMC with your child's name by close of business Friday 5th July.

If you have any questions don't hesitate to contact Miss Bulmer. 

Wishing everyone a great week ahead.

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

Term 2 Dates


14th - Working Bee - 2.00-4.30pm

21st - Reports emailed to families

21st - Assembly Year 5/6D (amended date)

22nd - Working Bee - TBC

25th - Parent/Teacher/Student Interviews - 2.30-6.00pm

26th - Parent/Teacher/Student Interviews - 3.30-5.30pm

28th - St John the Baptist Feast Day celebrations

28th - Term 2 concludes @ 2.00pm


15th - Term 3 commences

17th - Emmaus School Production - Year 4 & 5 students

24th - Confirmation Family Evening

26th - School Assembly - 1/2D

27th - Confirmation Commitment Masses

Second Hand Uniforms

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 Lunch Special!

The last day of this term, Friday 28th June will be a special canteen lunch for St John the Baptist Feast Day. Students may choose one of the available hot food options, plus a cookie, plus a choice of drink. Total cost $7.00.

This special is available now to order on Flexischools with the cut-off date to get your order in by Friday 21st June. 

Tracey Walker

Canteen Manager

Canteen Roster Term 2, 2024

Friday June 14th 

Fleur Dow

Wade Palmer

Helper Needed Please

Friday June 21st

Lauren Wearne

Adriana Ambler

Shamindiri Aponso

Friday June 28th

Melinda Price

Katrina Horne

Carrie Canton

Parish News

Camp Australia News

🎉 Exciting News for Camp Australia Families! 🎉


Join us from 3 June to 14 June 2024 for our 10 Day Giveaway and

stand a chance to win amazing daily prizes! 🌟


🎁 Simply book your child into Before or After School Care to be in the draw for our $100 daily prize! 🎉 PLUS, you'll also be in the chance to WIN a $500 major prize! 🤑

 Let's make this a fun and rewarding time for everyone! Ts and Cs apply. For more details, visit

Community News

Soccer at St John's

Enrolment Form - Knox Gymnastics


Flyers available from the school office

Festival Programs available from school office

St John the Baptist Ferntree Gully