St John the Baptist Ferntree Gully Newsletter

Tuesday October 24th 2023

Letter from the Principal, Kelli Johnston


Dear Families

It was wonderful to welcome our 2024 Preps and their families for the first Prep Transition Session last Wednesday.  The excitement and buzz of their first taste of school was clear to see. The students seamlessly transitioned into the rooms and enjoyed participating in a variety of activities and getting to know each other. 

Whilst our students settled into their session our parents took the opportunity to get to know each other before engaging in a session on how to ‘Thrive not just Survive’ starting school with Carley McGauran. As a mother of three and psychologist, Carley presents a supportive session reaffirming many aspects of family life, along with providing practical tips and suggestions to support all families.

We look forward to welcoming our Preps again on Thursday 26th October. An additional information session will be held in the hall, along with morning tea supplied by Camp Australia.

On Friday 3rd November we look forward to the Preps being in their 2024 classes as well as being able to meet their 2024 buddies. So much to look forward to.

Prep 2024 Important Dates

Date & VenueTimeParent Information Session


Thursday 26th October

9:00 - 10.30am

Welcome to SJB - 9.15 - 10.00am

- Parish connection - Fr Thomas

- Learning Diversity

- Digital Technologies

- Classroom Helpers

- Sustainability

- Newsletters, Operoo, Audiri, Communication

- OHSC Sponsor Morning Tea

Students dropped off in Prep classrooms

School Hall - parent session

Friday 3rd November

9:00 - 10:30am

2024 Class Groups

9:15 - 10:20am

- Social Meet & Greet

- Uniform purchasing

Students dropped off in Prep classrooms

School Hall

Hats on please

As we move into Week 4 all students should have their hats for recess times. The initial period of grace for not having a hat has now passed. All students are now required to be wearing their wide brimmed hat at recess times. In the event that students do not have their hat there will be a No hat, No play policy.

A friendly reminder that clearly labelling your child’s hat will certainly assist in identifying lost property.

Monday 6th November - School Closure Day – Assessment & Reporting

Tuesday 7th November – Melbourne Cup Public Holiday

Monday 20th November - School Closure Day - 2024 Planning

World Teachers' Day - Friday October 27th

We celebrate World Teachers' Day this Friday, 27th October, a day where we recognise the contributions that our teachers, and our many other valued team members, bring to our children and to our society.   

We thank all teachers, and school staff, for their care for our children and for juggling the demands of all that they do within their roles.   At a time when we have a teacher shortage we need to promote and value teachers for all that they do and encourage young adults to aspire to be a part of this most rewarding career.

Regional Athletics Report from Mr Mitchell

On Thursday 19th October twelve students from St John the Baptist competed at the Eastern Metropolitan Regional carnival. 

In an amazing performance Lorelei C has qualified for the 12/13 yo 100m and 200m event. We congratulate Lorelei on this achievement. She is now in the top 16 runners in the whole State of Victoria for her age group. Enjoy the experience Lorelei!! The State event is on Wednesday 1st November at Lakeside Stadium Albert Park

Other individual results were:

Poppy B 9/10 G Long Jump - 9th  100m- 16th. 

Max F  9/10 200m- 16th (improved .34 sec)

Matilda H 11G 1500m- 13th time 6.28

Ellie H 11 Girls Long Jump 5th- 3.58cm (improved 11cm on previous event) 100m 4th - 14.55

Zaylen L 9/10 Boys 11th out of 16. 

The relay teams results were 9/10 girls (Nishala A, Zara D, Jenna G and Poppy B) 11th/16 . They came 6th in their heat. 

12/13 Girls (Ruby L, Lorelei C, Ria G, Alxys L) 8th /14. They came 4th in their heat. 


A big Congratulations to our Crossing Supervisor Carmel on her recent engagement to Mal. We are not sure where there was the biggest sparkle - Carmel’s smile or her ring.

Congratulations Carmel on such wonderful news. Exciting times ahead for you!

Stationery Orders - Book Lists 2024

Book List 2024 - Yr 3, 4, 5 and 6

Families of students who will be in Years 3-6 in 2024 are now able to access 2024 Book lists via Lilydale Books - see link above.  Students in Year Prep - 2 will have their stationery delivered to school prior to the commencement of next year.

We ask families to please note that books are specific to each year level. Each booklist will have specific dotted third books that are different and specific to each year level. We ask families to check that they have the correct books outlined on the list for their child/ren.

OPTIONAL COMPUTER MOUSE - if your child prefers using a computer mouse with their Chromebook in the classroom, we ask that you kindly provide one of their own to ensure their comfort and productivity.

Linewize Digital Safety and Wellbeing Monitoring

Linewize digital safety and wellbeing monitoring has now commenced at St John the Baptist. As a school we are able to monitor the safety and wellbeing of our students through their digital searches. The aim of implementing Linewize is to provide the highest level of support to our students whilst teaching our students how to be safe and responsible digital citizens.

Through Linewize, staff will be able to provide or block access to sites, monitor student online activity and gain an understanding of student online behaviour. 

Linewize provides a wealth of resources to support learning and teaching of how to be a digitally safe and responsible citizen, as well as, a range of information for families on how to support their child/ren as digital citizens. We will certainly share this with families over time.

We ask all families to be aware that if your child signs into personal devices using their school Gmail account, that unless your child signs out, any future searches will come through the Linewize account. It is most important that students sign out of their account after using.

Below is an example of student monitoring through Linewize.

The level of monitoring provided to staff through Linewize varies. Whilst class teachers have a high level of access to student monitoring, Ursula DeCorrado and myself have the highest level of monitoring as administrators.  Where there are significant concerns of student searches Ursula and myself receive red flag notifications. This allows us to have supportive conversations with students and families in regard to student searches.

Families are most welcome to be in touch with Shari Correlje (ICT Leader), Ursula DeCorrado or myself should you require further information. Additionally, families are encouraged to look at the Linewize website for further information.

Year 6 Leaders

Over the coming weeks our Year 5 students will prepare to apply for leadership positions for the 2024 school year. We look forward to hearing students share their visions for leadership at SJB in 2024. Selecting to put yourself forward as a leader requires great courage. We congratulate all students who show the courage to apply for a leadership role for next year. Being selected as a leader is a privilege, with such a privilege comes great responsibility.  We look forward to seeing our students shine as leaders and leading our school through example. 

Good luck everyone!!

Christmas Carols Night - save the date

The SJB Christmas Carols evening will be held on Thursday 7th December. We look forward to a great evening and seeing our students shine.  Let’s hope for lovely weather for the evening.

We will share further information as the date approaches.

Wishing everyone a fabulous week ahead.

Kelli Johnston

Youth Group

Recently, Elyssa (past SJB student) and Vincente came to visit our classroom. They talked about World Youth Day! World Youth Day is a day where we all come together in one country and do activities together. They told us about the things they did on their trips and we were all so amazed! 

Elyssa went to Spain and Vincente went to Portugal. They told us about their trips and even showed us photos. Before all of this, we played a really fun game. The rules were, one of our team members was blindfolded and the rest had to guide them through a maze using our words while the rest of the grade were yelling distractions! This was so fun but hard. This exercise built trust and simulated what it was like going to one of these countries on the program. 

At the end, Elyssa and Vincente handed out flyers for us to join the youth group. St John the Baptist is starting our own Youth Group, spread the word and keep an eye out for further details. 

Poppy Appeal

We have a number of items for sale in the office to support this year's Poppy Appeal.

$2 - Small poppies

$3 - Wristbands

$4 - Key rings/bag tags

$5 - Large poppies and pens

Parents & Friends News

Barefoot Bowling

What a fun night being hosted by the Upwey-Tecoma Bowls Club. The weather was perfect and SJB had the whole venue to ourselves. The club treated us to some masterclass coaching by their wonderful volunteers and some friendly competitions ensued!  Platters a plenty and some delicious pizzas from Upwey Pizza was a bonus. The venue is so picturesque and is the perfect venue to host a party or get together and we have now begun a great relationship with the club.  Their barefoot bowls begins on Fridays starting the 10th of November and they have said what family friendly evenings they are. Children are welcome and they are hosted by volunteers to try their hand at bowls and some fun games.  The club also runs a Jack Attack social competition and we will be on the look out for players for the SJB teams come 2024!

Mango Drive

Please get all your mango orders in asap.  Ordering is open until 5pm Thursday 26th. Please share the link with family and friends if you are willing to deliver to them. Our bulk order will be delivered to and distributed from school in mid November.

Mango Order Form Link

Dad’s and Kid's Camping - 11/11/23-12/11/23

Great job to all those who have emailed or sent in their forms to the office. We have 70 campers so far. Your camp info packs will be sent home this week so please send your forms to the office with all details and make your payments with your ’Surname Camping’. It will be a fantastic opportunity for lots of fun outdoor activities together, yummy dinner and breaky and a blazing campfire! There will be a scavenger hunt and maybe some friendly competitions. Thank you to all those Dad’s who have offered their help, Matt Cann will contact you in the coming weeks.

Dad+Kids Camping 2023 Booking Form


Term 4 Dates for the Diary


25th School Advisory Council Meeting

26th Prep Transition Session No. 2

27th World Teachers Day

30th P-2 Swimming

30th Assembly Prep B


1st All Saints Day

3rd Prep Transition No. 3 - Social & Uniform purchasing

3rd First Friday Mass - Year 5/6

6th School Closure - Assessment and Reporting

7th Melbourne Cup Day - School Closure

10th Remembrance Day Prayer Service

11th Kids and Dads weekend Gilwell Park

20th School Closure Day - Staff PL

28th Education Board and Parents & Friends Thank you evening

Canteen News

Canteen orders can be placed via

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

Canteen Roster

Wednesday October 25thFriday October 27th 
Rachel Ben

Troy Kristof

Mark Molan

Rients Huitema

Wednesday November 1st Friday November 3rd
Belinda Hunt

Emma Jenkins

Bridget Russo

Ros Davies

Uniform Shop News

Parish News

Click links here:

Camp Australia

Camp Australia Pricing

St John the Baptist Ferntree Gully