St John the Baptist Ferntree Gully Newsletter

Tuesday March 19th 2024

Letter from the Principal, Kelli Johnston

Last Friday nine of our Year 6 leaders travelled to the city with Mrs DeCorrado and Mrs Ryan to attend mass and the celebrations of the day at St Patrick’s Cathedral.  The leaders thoroughly enjoyed their opportunity to come together with students from Catholic primary and secondary schools across Melbourne. Our school leaders represented St John the Baptist in an exemplary manner, receiving feedback from members of the public congratulating them on the manner in which they conducted themselves.  We are exceptionally proud of our Year 6 leaders.

St Patrick's Day - Sunday March 17th

St Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland. Patrick preached and converted all of Ireland for 40 years. He worked many miracles and wrote of his love for God in Confessions. One of the reasons we wear green on St. Patrick's Day is because of Ireland's nickname, The Emerald Isle. The green stripe in the Irish flag also played a role.

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.

We have one final Open Day for this year:

Thursday 9th May

Tours will operate at 9am, 10am, 4pm & 5pm

Alternatively families can book tours by phoning the office or through the school website.

We request that parents already with children in the school enrol as early as possible.

Congratulations Reconciliation Candidates - Celebration of Sacrament

Wednesday March 20th

This Wednesday evening (5pm - 6pm) students from Year 3 will be celebrating the Sacrament of Reconciliation. 

Please keep the candidates in your prayers as they prepare to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation this Wednesday.

Anthony C, Eliza H, Ashlea J, Cillian McD, Xavier M, Ethan N, Zikora O, Claudia A, Carter R, Hudson T, Zoe v B, Harrison C, Mya C, Eli C, Siella G, Ben H, Mitch L, Isla P, Benji W, Charlotte W, Cohen D, Lawson D, Lacey H, Jacob N, Eli P, Stella P, Zara R, Finn te B, Chizara O, Chelsea B, Frankie S, Audrey L, Jack F, Chelsea F, Josephine M, Lillian M and Reanne N

I congratulate the children for their learnings in their preparation for the sacrament and wish them well as they gather to celebrate together.   I thank Fr Thomas, Marialisa Mandarino (Religious Education Leader), Tracey Ryan (RE support), the Grade 3/4 team and our staff for their support of the children on this evening. 

Parent Support Group (PSG) Meetings

As we approach the end of the term families will receive communication from Franca Paduano - Learning Diversity Leader, in relation to making time for a PSG meeting.  PSGs are an opportunity to review and reflect on the goals set in student Personalised Learning Plans for the term, to celebrate student growth and set goals for Term 2.

At St John the Baptist School we strongly value the partnerships developed at PSG Meetings dedicating time and the release of teachers through CRT employment to run such meetings.

We thank everyone involved for their commitment and partnership in supporting our students in their learning journeys.

Easter Eggs Surprise

We will be handing all children an Easter Egg on Thursday 28th March as we conclude term 1.  A letter advising all parents of this gift will be sent to parents along with the details being placed on Operoo.   Parents with children with dietary requirements will receive an alternate treat that their child may choose to eat.    We advise parents of this action as we are highly aware of our role to cater for children with allergies, whilst providing the opportunity for our children to receive a small gift from their teacher. 


Throughout 2023 the School Advisory Council reflected upon feedback received from families in regard to the SJB uniform. After careful consideration and reflection from Term 2 the following changes to the school uniform will come into effect.

Winter Uniform

Tailored pants will be introduced for girls.

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

Change of Sports tracksuit pant

Summer Uniform

Tailored shorts will be introduced for girls

Shorts for both boys and girls will be navy (grey shorts to be phased out)

Sports shorts will change to a unisex microfibre short

Skorts will be phased out

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.

Athletics Day - Friday March 22nd

Exciting times as we prepare for the SJB 2024 Athletics Day.

This year’s Athletics Day will be relocated to Croydon due to work being undertaken at the Knox Athletics Track. The venue for this year’s Athletics Day is outlined below

Where: Town Park

             Norton Road, Croydon, 3136

Time: Year 3-6 students 9:45am - 2:15pm

           Prep - Year 2 students 10:30am - 12:45pm

  • Announcement of house places will take place on return to SJB.

Students are encouraged to join in the excitement of the day.  Students may dress in the colour of their house, wear ribbons, coloured zinc or hair (this is to be done prior to arriving at school). We ask families to prepare for the day prior to arriving at school.  (The school toilets are not an area for coloured zinc or hairspray). House posters may be created & brought along for team spirit and cheering.  These are the responsibility of students.  (Coloured streamers are not to brought as these create a significant & time consuming mess to clean up at the end of the day.)

Families are reminded that the canteen will be closed this Friday as the school will be offsite. 

Easter Egg Raffle

The St John the Baptist Easter Egg Raffle is up and running for 2024. We ask each family to donate an Easter Egg or Easter gift to this year’s raffle. The gifts will be used to create Easter hampers in which families can buy tickets for a chance to win.

Raffle prizes will be drawn in the afternoon of the last day of term.

All Easter Egg donations are required by Monday 25th March

This will provide time for hampers to be created.

We thank Veronica Brightwell and Baylee Brits (P & F members) & our Year 6 Leaders for organising this year’s Easter Raffle.  Further details will come next week.

All proceeds of this year’s Easter Raffle will be donated to Project Compassion.


This week the Year 3 and Year 5 students will continue to participate in NAPLAN.  

The National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) is an annual national assessment for all students in Years 3, 5, 7, and 9, and is the only nationwide assessment that all Australian children undertake.

It’s a measure to see whether or not young Australians are developing the literacy and numeracy skills that provide the critical foundation for other learning, and for their productive and rewarding participation in the community.

We wish all students the best as they undertake the NAPLAN assessments.  We know that all students will try their very best in each of the NAPLAN assessments. Good luck everyone, we know you will be terrific.

Term 1 - What a term it has been!

Term 1 this year is a short 9 weeks. We have hit the ground running with a busy term. This term we have focused on continuing to build strong community partnerships, strengthening our school and parish connections whilst ensuring we continue to deliver strong learning and teaching for all students.  We thank staff, students and our wonderful community for working in partnership to create such a vibrant community at SJB.

  • Welcome Morning Tea, Twilight on the Green, Shrove Tuesday Pancakes, Ash Wednesday Mass, Reconciliation, Kinder partnerships,  Prep Family Mass, Year 6 leadership sessions, Halogen National Young Leaders Day - Yr 6 School Captains, Mater Christi - International Women’s Day breakfast - Year 6 Leaders, St Patrick’s Day Mass - Yr 6 Leaders, St Joseph’s Lighthouse program, Year 3-6 Squad Swimming Program, District Swimming Carnival, School Open Days, Student & Parent Webinars - Cyber-Safety/Big Feelings Webinar (Marty & Carley McGauran), School Athletics Day 

  • Wellbeing Parent Webinar - ‘Managing Big Feelings’ 

  • School Open Days -  Wednesday 6th March, Thursday 14th March 9am, 10am, 4pm & 5pm.  

  • Presentation of Year 6 Jackets  

Production News

St Patrick’s Day Mass at St Patrick’s Cathedral - Friday 15th March

By Sebastian R, Sam H, Joseph W & Austin T

On Friday some of the year 6 leaders attended the St Patrick's Day Mass at St Patrick’s Cathedral. 

The day started with us walking from school to Ferntree Gully Station where we caught the replacement bus to Ringwood Station, then we caught the train to Parliament Station and walked to Saint Patrick's Cathedral. When we got to the Church Mrs Ryan then took Emily and Sam around the back of the Cathedral where we set up the school banner. Then at the beginning of the mass all the schools walked through the centre of the church carrying their banners to represent their school.

St Patrick's Cathedral is the biggest Cathedral in Victoria. It kind of looked like Hogwarts. The Mass was different from what we were used to with a lot more singing. The mass went surprisingly quickly and then we were able to go to the music festival in the park. The music festival was very fun. There were activities like soccer, tug of war etc. They were very fun and we finally had time to eat our food. The Music festival had music of course. Then we went home. It was a wonderful experience to be able to attend such a special and important Mass with so many schools in attendance. 

Barry Plant Boronia - Easter Colouring Competition

Barry Plant Boronia are running an Easter competition this year for all students under 12 who would like to enter.

This competition is open to children 12 years and under with 3 prizes to be won that will be drawn out of a hat!

The artwork can be dropped into our office at 69 Boronia Road, Boronia, via email or at any of our Open for Inspections.

 Please find attached the Easter Colouring sheet.

 It is a fun opportunity for the students to get in touch with their artistic side that may result in them being 1 of 3 Winners.

The competition closes on Tuesday 26th of March and the winners will be announced on the day at our Barry Plant Boronia office.

Good luck everyone!!

Colouring Competition Form



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.

Any families who will be in attendance and would like to lay a wreath on behalf of St John the Baptist School are asked to contact myself via email:

We would be proud and honoured to lay a wreath on behalf of SJB for all who have fought for our country.

Harmony Day - Thursday March 21st

This year we will celebrate Harmony Day with a prayer service to be led by the Year 1/2 level commencing at 9.00am in the school hall.  Students may wear a touch of orange on this day in celebration and recognition of Harmony Day. This may be an orange ribbon, clothing or socks.  Students are to wear their school uniform with the option of wearing orange. This is not a free dress day.

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 commence shortly.  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.

Mother's Day - Save the Dates

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 Dept of Victoria 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


Wishing everyone a terrific week ahead.

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


20th - Sacrament of Reconciliation - 5pm

21st - Harmony Day - wear a touch of orange

21st - Harmony Day Prayer Service

22nd - Athletics Day

22nd - Regional Swimming

28th - Holy Week Stations of the Cross

28th - P - 2 Easter Bonnet Parade & Easter Raffle Draw

28th - Term concludes at 2.00pm


15th - Term 2 commences

17th - Alleuia Day Mass

22nd - P&F Meeting at 7.00pm

24th - ANZAC Day Prayer Service

24th - School Photos - summer uniform

25th - ANZAC Day Public Holiday - school closed

26th - School Closed TIL


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

3rd - Assembly - 1/2B presenting

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

Parish News

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. Please see image below for the most recent stock list. 
To assist families who may not be available to visit on a Tuesday, I will trial opening on a Monday and Tuesday alternating weeks.
The 2nd Hand Uniform Shop will be open on the following day:- 
Tuesday 26th March - 2.45pm-3.15pm

Canteen News

Canteen orders can be placed via

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

Hot Cross Bun Day in the Canteen

Wednesday March 27th

We will be having a Hot Cross Bun day in the Canteen on Wednesday March 27th (no normal canteen this day).

Orders need to be placed via Flexischools from tomorrow.

Link -

Canteen Roster Term 1, 2024

Wednesday March 20th Friday March 22nd 
Bridget Russo

Claire Lewis

Fleur Dow

Emma Jenkins

Wednesday March 27th Friday March 29th 

Hot Cross Bun Day

Helpers Needed Please

Good Friday

Community News

Foster an Assistance Dog

Knox Gymnastics Holiday Program

Knox Gymnastics Enrolment Form


St John the Baptist Ferntree Gully