St John the Baptist Ferntree Gully Newsletter

Tuesday April 16th 2024

Letter from the Principal, Kelli Johnston


the resurrection of Your Son has given us new life and renewed hope,

Help us to live as new people in pursuit of living our faith.

Grant us wisdom to know what we must do, 

the will to want to do it,

the courage to undertake it,

the perseverance to continue to do it,

and the strength to complete it.

ANZAC Day School Closure & Time in Lieu Closure Day

Families are reminded to place in their calendar the School Closure days for ANZAC Day - Thursday 25th April and Friday 26th April as a staff Time in Lieu Acquittal Day. These dates are the Thursday and Friday of Week 2.  School will resume on Monday 29th April. 

St John the Baptist Open Days for 2025 Prep Children

Throughout the term a number of school tours have been conducted for families seeking to enrol their children for the 2025 school year. The school open days have been well attended and therefore we are including a Saturday Open Morning. Dates for the Open Morning & Open Day are as outlined below:

Open Morning: Saturday 4th May - tours @ 9am, 9:45am & 10:30am

Open Day: Thursday 9th May - tours @ 9am, 10am, 4pm & 5pm

We ask families wishing to take a tour to please book at the office.

Families with siblings commencing school in 2025 are asked to submit enrolments as soon as possible to assist with confirmation of student numbers for 2025.

St John the Baptist School Expectations

At St John the Baptist School we pride ourselves on high expectations and positive relationships with our community. Relationships in a school community include teacher to teacher, teacher to student, student to student, teacher to parent and parent to student.

In fostering strong relationships along with continuing to create a positive contemporary school environment we have commenced a partnership with Patrice Wiseman. Patrice is a consultant with extensive experience in the area of Positive Behaviour for Learning. Patrice has worked with MACS and in schools for 40+ years having a pivotal role in embedding school wide positive behaviour for learning.

Our initial work with Patrice commenced with reflecting on and reviewing the notion of ‘School Rules’ and moving towards a contemporary approach of ‘School Wide Expectations’.  School Wide Expectations encompasses a set of clear expectations for all. This includes staff, students, families and community.

Throughout Term 1 the staff worked with Patrice to develop an Overarching Statement and School Wide Expectations.  The Overarching Statement and expectations align with the school vision and mission statements with the aim of enacting these across all facets of SJB. Over the coming weeks we will be explicitly introducing and implementing the SJB School Expectations across P-6.

Overarching Statement to SJB School Expectations

At St John the Baptist we believe in fostering respectful relationships, so that we are people of competence, conscience and compassion, made in the image and likeness of God.

Therefore at St John the Baptist:

  • We care for each other

  • We are responsible learners

  • We move and act safely

  • We look after property and the environment

Families will see, hear and gain understanding of consistent language and expectations being implemented across St John the Baptist.  We encourage families to use this same language as we work towards a whole school and community approach to Positive Behaviour for Learning.

Over the coming weeks we will share examples of the work undertaken in this area across the school. This is an exciting time for us as a school and community as we work together to embed the SJB school expectations.

Term 1 Easter Egg Raffle

We thank the P & F and Year 6 leaders for all of their work in preparing this year’s Easter Egg raffle. The generosity of the SJB community through their Easter donations was overwhelming. This allowed the P & F team to create many wonderful prizes.

This year we are exceptionally proud to donate all proceeds from the Easter Raffle to Caritas’ Project Compassion. As a community we are thrilled to announce that we will make a donation of $1,450.00 to Project Compassion. This is a wonderful community act of Social Justice that we are enormously proud of. 

Throughout the Lenten Season students were introduced to Caritas’ Project Compassion and the stories of marginalised communities.  

Our sincere thanks to the entire SJB community for such a wonderful community contribution.

Easter Bonnet Parade

The Easter Bonnet parade was a wonderful opportunity to gather and celebrate as a school community. The Prep to Year 2 students adorned their creatively crafted bonnets and proudly wore them as they danced and paraded on the last day of Term 1. We thank Father Thomas and the Social Justice Leaders Emily and Sam for all their efforts as they drew the lucky winners of the graciously donated prizes. Well done to all those who participated and congratulations again to the raffle winners

Term 2 Winter Uniform Transition

Term 2 is usually the time when students transition to their Winter Uniform. Over the first couple of weeks if the weather presents as being warm families are able to make an informed decision in regard to uniform selection.  Once the weather has changed and become cooler we will request that all students transition to Winter Uniform. Students are not required to wear hats at play in Term 2 and Term 3. We do ask that students are dressed in the correct uniform at all times, this includes the correct socks and shoes, along with Sports Uniform only being worn on designated days.

As outlined in Term 1 after consultation with the School Advisory Council in 2023. Some changes to the school uniform have been made.  These changes will commence in Term 2.

Please see the updates to the school uniform.

Winter Uniform

Tailored pants will be introduced for girls. (Girls can choose between the winter tunic or tailored pant during Winter)

Pants for both boys and girls will change to navy. (Grey pants to be phased out)

Change of Sports tracksuit pant.

Socks for all students will be navy.

Families please note that we will be moving to navy socks for all year round. This is for several reasons. The girls' pale blue socks are difficult to source. One colour of socks creates less confusion for all. Navy does not show dirt or discolour. There will be a shorter sock for summer & a knee high option or tights for winter to go with the tunic.

Changes to the SJB uniform will be introduced as of Term 2 2024. The uniform changes will be phased in throughout 2024 and 2025.  Full implementation of the uniform will come into effect at the commencement of 2026.

School Photo Day - Uniform Requirements

Families are asked to stay informed as to school decision regarding uniform selection for School Photos on Wednesday 24th April.  This decision will be finalised once we know what the weather forecast will be.  Students will be required to wear either full Summer or Winter uniform.  Sports uniform is not be worn on photo day.

ECSI Survey - SJB Families

We invite all families to participate in completing the Enhancing Catholic School Identity (ECSI) survey over the next 2 weeks. The purpose of this survey research is to gain meaningful insights into how your child’s school views its Catholic identity and how such identity might be shaped for tomorrow.

Participation in the ECSI survey is anonymous with all information being treated with the greatest confidentiality. As a school we value the feedback from our participants as this is a way to reflect, celebrate and further develop.

We ask families to follow the information  below outlining how to complete the ECSI survey.

ECSI Survey - Instruction for Families


Parent Helpers Operoo Form

At St John the Baptist we strongly value the active role families play as Classroom Helpers. Our Prep - Year 2 team is looking forward to welcoming Parent Helpers to their classrooms.

To assist with timetabling and planning for Classroom Helpers we request that families complete the Operoo form seeking family availability as helpers. Each class teacher will release a timetable for their class outlining Classroom Helpers and rostered times for helping.

Should families have any questions in regard to being a Classroom Helper please contact your child’s class teacher.

Specialist Timetable

Introducing our brand-new school social media accounts!

We're thrilled to announce the launch of our official Facebook and Instagram pages, dedicated to embracing our Catholic identity and celebrating the remarkable achievements of our students and staff. Join us in fostering a vibrant online community where we engage, inspire, and flourish. Let's come together to share our school culture, celebrate successes, and strengthen our bond as a school community. Follow us today and be part of our journey! 

Child Safe Practices - Working with Children Checks

St John the Baptist School is committed to providing a child safe environment and takes active steps to ensure any person authorised to conduct ‘child connected works’ does not pose a risk to their safety or welfare. To achieve this, the school implements screening processes, including Working With Children Checks (WWCC), to assess and verify their suitability. 

St John’s School ensures that non-teaching staff, contractors, volunteers and visitors are of suitable character and do not have a relevant criminal record that poses an unjustifiable risk to children. 

Teaching Staff & Casual Relief Teachers who are registered with the Victorian Institute of Teaching (VIT) undergo criminal record checks via their annual registration.

Volunteering to Assist with School Programs- WWCC

Parents would be aware that to assist with any of our school programs that all volunteers, parents/guardians/family members are required to have a current Working With Children Check on our school records.

Family members are to provide a copy of the WWCC to the school office.


We would like to thank the Grimshaw Family (Suhanee Prep LC) for their generous offer to represent St John the Baptist Parish and School by attending the ANZAC Day Dawn Watch at Quarry Park.  The Grimshaw Family will lay a wreath on behalf of St John’s at the Dawn Watch.

Thank you Tim, Chosheela and Suhanee.

ANZAC Day Ferntree Gully Rotary Dawn Watch

The Ferntree Gully Rotary Club & CFA invite the community to join this year’s Anzac Day Dawn Watch on Thursday 25th April at Quarry Park, Quarry Road, Ferntree Gully at 5:45am for a 6:00am start.

We are most appreciative of St John the Baptist families who attend the Anzac Day Dawn Watch as representatives of the St John’s Parish and School Community.

ANZAC Appeal Tokens for Sale in Office

The following items have been delivered by Boronia RSL and are available to purchase in the lead up to ANZAC Day.

Badges - $2.00 & $5.00

Wrist Band - $3.00

Keyring - $4.00

Pens - $5.00

School Car Parking

In the past the car park between the Church and Parish House/Library was the staff car park. Recently the Right to Use Land and Boundary Agreement has been updated in alignment with the school building program that is due to shortly commence.  The majority of this car park is now designated to the St John the Baptist Parish.  The update of the car park is to allow parishioners access to the church and church buildings whilst ensuring the safety for the school community.

Families are required to continue to use the lower car parks on both Forest Road and Selman Ave for school car parking. The church car park area is strictly for parishioners and is not parking for school pick up and drop off. We ask that out of respect for the parish and safety of our school community that families refrain from using this car park.

Second Hand Uniform

The Second Hand Uniform Shop will be open on Tuesday afternoons from 2:45pm.  Families may purchase second hand items for $5 per item. 

Families donating items are asked to ensure that items are delivered washed and good condition.

Inquiries in regards to second hand items may be sent to 

We thank Janice Stiglich (mum of Amelia & Hannah Burns for her seamless running of the Second Hand Uniform shop).

Mother's Day - Afternoon Tea, Mother's Day Stall & Bunnings Cake Stall

We warmly welcome all SJB Mums to come together for afternoon tea followed by a special Mother’s Day family activity in classrooms.  Mums/Special friends are welcome to come together for a Mother’s Day afternoon tea in the hall on Friday May 10th from 2pm.  We ask our Mums to move to allocated classrooms for 2:45pm to complete a family Mother’s Day activity.

This year’s Mother’s Day stall will be held on Tuesday 7th May. We thank our Mother’s Day P & F team for all of their work going in to preparing a terrific Mother’s Day stall.

Mother’s Day Bunnings Cake Stall

Work is underway to prepare for a Mother’s Day cake stall at Bunnings Scoresby on Saturday 11th May. Further information will provided in the coming weeks.

We look forward to celebrating our amazing Mums.

CSEF 2024 Applications

Parents/carers of students who hold a valid concession card such as Health Care Card, Pensioner Concession Card, Veteran Affairs Gold card or temporary foster care cards are eligible to apply for Camps, Sports and Excursions Fund (CSEF) through the Victorian Department of Education. A payment of $150 may be paid to schools to benefit eligible students.

Applicants who received funding under the program in 2023 are not required to complete an application form for 2024 provided there have been no changes to your circumstances. 

Any families who have recently acquired a concession card or are new to CSEF are welcome to enquire at the school office.

Schools are able to process CSEF applications up until 28 June 2024.

CSEF Application Form


Welcome back to all our SJB families. We are thrilled to see the return of our SJB community and look forward to another engaging and productive term of learning.

Kelli Johnston

Audiri (formerly Skoolbag) App

Audiri app is a simple and effective way to communicate school information with families.

As a school we will use the Audiri app to communicate reminders and events occurring throughout the school. 

Families can also use the app to advise student absences.

We ask that families install the Audiri app on their phones and then add St John the Baptist School. Information on how to add the Audiri app and St John the Baptist School can be found below.

Term 1 Dates


19th - Alleuia Day Mass

22nd - P&F Meeting at 7.00pm

24th - ANZAC Day Prayer Service

24th - School Photos 

25th - ANZAC Day Public Holiday - school closed

26th - School Closed TIL


2nd - Mater Christi & St Joseph's Taster Day - Year 4 students

2nd - Qustodio Parent Session

3rd - Assembly - 1/2B presenting

4th - Open Day morning - 9.00am, 9.45am & 10.30am

7th - Mother's Day Stall

9th - Open Day - Tours 9.00am, 10.00am, 4.00pm & 5.00pm

10th - Mother's Day Afternoon Tea & activity at 2.00pm

12th - Mother's Day

15th - School Advisory Council

17th - Assembly 3/4SJ presenting

18th - Term 2 Working Bee

19th - Pentecost Sunday

24th - National Sorry Day Prayer Service - Year 5/6

24th - District Cross Country

Second Hand Uniforms

Thank you to all the families who have donated items for the 2nd Hand Uniform Shop over the last few weeks. There is plenty of stock available. 
The 2nd Hand Uniform Shop is open every Tuesday 2.45-3.15pm. At the moment we are unable to open on other days due to the library being in use.

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 April 19th 

Leanne Gaunt

Carolyn Lonsing

Claire Lewis

Friday April 26th 
School Closure Day

Community News

Enrolment Forms available at school office

St John the Baptist Ferntree Gully