St John the Baptist Ferntree Gully Newsletter

Tuesday August 1st 2023

Letter from the Principal, Kelli Johnston


We were most fortunate to be joined by a number of VIPs on Tuesday July 25th, as the Year 1/2 level welcomed grandparents in for the morning. It was wonderful to see the engagement and interactions between our students and their grandparents. Together they created slippers for their grandparents.  As part of the Year 1/2  literacy program, students had been reading ‘Grandpa’s Slippers’ and what better way to celebrate our learning than by inviting grandparents in to make slippers together.

The students were most excited to invite their grandparents in for the morning and it was wonderful to see everyone together. The role of grandparents in the lives of our young children is significant and one that creates many precious memories and moments for all. We hope our grandparents enjoyed their morning with their grandchildren.  

We thank our dedicated Year 1/2 team for their planning and for creating such a wonderful experience for the students and grandparents.

Welcome Back Ursula DeCorrado

This week we welcome back Ursula DeCorrado after 2 weeks of Long Service Leave.

We hope that Ursula has had the most amazing time away. After stepping into the Acting Principal role in 2022 and guiding me through my start to St John the Baptist School, Ursula is so very deserving of her break. We hope Ursula has enjoyed her opportunity to rest, rejuvenate and spend quality time with family.  Welcome back Ursula.

Netball School Sports Victoria (SSV) Netball Finals - Congratulations

Congratulations to our senior girls Netball team who participated in the SSV Netball finals at Mountain District Netball Association on Friday. The girls represented SJB brilliantly through their sportsmanship throughout the day. The girls made it to the grand final where they played against Emerald Primary School. Emerald were a great team and deserving premiers on the day.  Congratulations once again girls on an outstanding team effort.

We thank Mrs Tracey Ryan for her time and support in coaching the girls.

School Closure Day

A friendly reminder that Monday 7th August is a School Closure Day. This day of professional learning will have a  focus on Teaching and Learning and Data Analysis. We look forward to a productive day of learning as a team.

Term 3 Working Bee - Saturday August 12th

We welcome families to join us from 1:30-4:00pm for the Term 3 Working Bee. There are a number of jobs both indoors and outdoors to be completed as we start to prepare for building programs as well as regular school maintenance.

We would be most grateful to have the support and assistance of our families. Many hands make light work. Families who are able to attend the Working Bee are asked to email Ursula DeCorrado -

Prep 2024

We thank all families for submitting their enrolment forms for the 2024 school year. This is an exciting time for families as we start preparations for welcoming our new preps throughout Semester Two. 

We look forward to commencing our Prep Family Meetings over the coming weeks.  The family meetings are an opportunity to commence our partnership with families and to meet our 2024 Preps. All new families will meet with Ursula DeCorrado and myself.  Prep Family Meetings are optional for our existing families.

If there are families who have not yet submitted their 2024 enrolment forms we ask you to do so as we are now commencing preparations for 2024.

Prep Celebration - 100 Days

We now look forward to celebrating 100 days of school this Friday August 4th. We thank families for their understanding and support as we rescheduled the day to allow full participation of our Prep Level.

Students may like to dress up as being 100 years old, anything to do with the number 100. A 100 dots, hair clips, stars, pegs, googly eyes are just a few suggestions. 

We can’t wait to see you!!

Linewize Digital Safety coming to St John's

As schools, staff, students and families navigate supporting children with digital safety it is important that we implement the best possible safety mechanisms for our students. Linewize is a leading cyber safety wellbeing platform that allows schools to filter and monitor students' online activity.

Linewize enables schools to provide a cyber safe community and support the wellbeing of students. Linewize provides schools with the 4 main features of:

  • Depth of visibility - through providing complete visibility of student online behaviour

  • Enhanced learning - teacher visibility & control of student online activity in lessons  ensures the internet is used effectively for learning

  • Proactive safeguarding - detect mental health risks before they become real life incidents through AI and highly trained human moderators

  • Distributed ownership - enable all stakeholders to play their part in guiding digital development and improving wellbeing - staff, teachers, parents and students

As a school, student safety is paramount at all times, this includes online safety. In the coming weeks St John the Baptist School will commence a partnership with Linewize.  This will enable the school to increase digital monitoring of student wellbeing and safety for all students.

Families wishing to know more about Linewize may like to go to the website:

Year 3/4 Camp

This September our Year 3/4 students will attend an overnight camp at Camp Briars through Belgravia Outdoor Education. The camp will be held in the final week of the term with the students departing on Monday 11th September and returning on Tuesday 12th September.

This is an exciting time for our students as they prepare for their first school camp.

Further information will be distributed to families in the coming weeks.  We thank Mr Wayne Daniell for taking on the role of Camp Co-ordinator and the 3/4 team for their collaboration in preparing for camp.

St Vincent de Paul Winter Appeal

Recently, volunteers Peter and Teresa from St Vincent De Paul, Ferntree Gully (an organisation created to assist and help people in need) were kind enough to come and visit our school to teach us all about the work they do for people in need around Ferntree Gully. They taught us what to put in the donation boxes we are going to bring around the school for people to donate to our upcoming winter appeal. They showed us what non-perishable food is and how that is what we should donate because it is more long lasting. We got to ask questions and they answered all of them respectfully. They brought a few examples of non-perishable foods so that we got a better idea of what to bring.

They informed us about the upcoming mini-vinnies which would let primary school children help out this organisation and gain experience if they wish to. Vinnies visits people in need of help with clothing, food, vouchers, or even moral support. They help provide around Ferntree Gully and they are currently starting up the winter appeal for this year. Please donate or even spread the word of St Vincent De Paul organisation for more donations and people getting more and better help.

By Ciara K & Niamh Ni C Yr 5/6

St Joseph's and Mater Christi School Productions

This week our Year 5/6 students are fortunate to be attending the St Joseph’s/Mater Christi College production of ‘Shrek’.  This is another terrific opportunity for our students to gain a first hand experience of some of the opportunities offered by our feeder secondary colleges.

We thank our feeder schools for their invitations and for providing our students with this opportunity.

School Sports Victoria Track and Field Trials

We congratulate Lorelei C & Ellie H for their registration to participate in the SSV Track and Field in September.  We wish both girls all the best for their trials and know that they will give their events their best efforts.  Good luck girls!!

School Disco

We thank our Parents and Friends Committee and the numerous volunteers involved in planning Friday evening’s disco.  The students had a wonderful time at each of their respective discos. We are so very fortunate to have such an active and supportive school community. 

It was great to see our students enjoying an evening of dancing and fun. The students were absolutely outstanding throughout the night.  Everyone enjoyed the spirit of the night and danced the night away.

A special mention to Mr Mitchell. There is no doubt he took out the prize for best dressed on the evening. Well done Mr Mitchell, you have set the bar high for our next disco!!

Wishing everyone a fabulous week ahead.

Kelli Johnston

School Improvement Surveys

As a school we welcome feedback from our students, staff and parents to help us to identify our strengths and areas for improvement.  In the last 3 weeks of this Term (Monday 28th August to Friday 15th September) we will be inviting members of our community to participate in the School Improvement Surveys (MACSSIS).  MACSSIS is a purpose-built, context specific tool for Catholic school data collection.  It is just one source in a key range of data for informing the  improvement work happening in our school.  There are three surveys (students, staff and parents) and each are different.

All students from Years 4-6 will be invited to access the survey with teachers on hand to help in supervised sessions during school.  Students will be asked to reflect on their sense of belonging in the school, their catholic identity, their engagement in learning and the health of the relationships they have with students and staff.

All staff will also be invited to participate and  are asked to reflect on staff and leadership relationships, student safety, catholic identity, school climate and staff collaboration. 

We will invite families to participate via an email invitation that is valid anytime across the 3 week window.  Families are randomly selected and will be emailed a code and PIN.  Families will be asked to reflect on student safety, catholic identity, communication, school climate and family engagement.

We look forward to hearing your feedback so that we can build from our strengths and continue to improve as a school.

Parents & Friends News

What a fun night at our Disco on Friday! It was wonderful to see everyone’s outfits and dance moves and how much you all got into the groove. A huge thank you to the parents that made the night possible with the set up and organisation as well as the supervision.
We were so lucky to have so many teachers come as guests and enjoy themselves too. DJ Kev and his tattoo artist Lyn did a wonderful job keeping you all entertained and rewarded.

Father's Day

Our Fathers and special person day stall will be held on Tuesday 29th August and we will be once again pre-selling tokens. The token system has been implemented to ensure that all children can purchase gifts and all different family structures have the opportunity on the day of the stall. We really encourage the participation in the token system and you may also send cash in a clearly marked envelope to the office ahead of the stall.  This system also ensures that we have enough stock on hand for all children. We do not want to handle cash on the day and we do not want anyone to miss out. Token sales will begin next week. Children attend the stall with their siblings and care is taken to ensure siblings choose different gifts.
$5 = 1 gift no limits to token purchases.

Term 3 Dates for the Diary


2nd    Mater Christi/St Joseph's Production Year 5/6 Excursion

2nd    School Advisory Council

3rd    2024 Prep Interviews

4th     First Friday Mass - Year 1/2 Level

4th     Prep 100 Days of School

7th     School Closure Day

8th     St Mary of the Cross Prayer Service Year 3/4 Level

12th    Working Bee

14th    School Assembly 1/2D presenting

15th     Feast of the Assumption Mass

20th     Book Week Begins

28th     School Assembly 1/2JM presenting

29th     Father's Day Stall

31st     District Athletics

31st    7.30am Father's Day Breakfast


1st    Year 5/6 Chamber Orchestra excursion

3rd    Father's Day

5th     Art Show - 6.00-7.30pm

6th     Art Show - 2.30-4.00pm

6th     School Advisory Council Meeting

11th    Assembly 1/2B

11th    Year 3/4 Camp - The Briars

12th    Year 3/4 Campers return

12th    R U OK? Prayer Service Prep

15th     Footy Day Celebration / Footy Lunch

15th     Term 3 concludes at 2.00pm

Student Awards

Year PB

Marlina A - for being a great example for your peers while Miss Bulmer was away. You were able to lead and encourage your peers to stay focused and on task during learning. Super work Marlina!

Xavier M - for working hard and being a great example for your peers while Miss Bulmer was away. You supported your peers during reading groups and tricky maths lessons and continue to be a great team player. You're a rockstar Xavier!

Year PBM

Louise W - for consistently demonstrating her ability to contribute to class discussions respectfully and thoughtfully by listening and building on other's thinking.

Hailey J - for her growing ability to focus and demonstrate whole body listening and contributing to class discussions thoughtfully and respectfully.

Year 1/2B

Chelsea B - for excellent work on your persuasive writing to voice your opinion, give detailed reasons and a clear concluding statement. Keep up the great work!

Harrison C - for excellent work in writing sessions to generate ideas for your persuasive writing, thinking carefully about your opening statement and reasons to back up your opinion. Keep up the great work!

Year 1/2D

Amelia B - for consistently following the classroom expectations and setting a fantastic example for her peers. Awesome work Amelia!

Eli P - for bringing a sense of joy and happiness to the classroom with your stories and jokes everyday. Well done Eli!

Ashlea J - for the incredibly hard work and determination you display when completing all learning tasks. You strive to be your best and produce work to an impressive standard. Keep it up Ashlea!

Year 1/2JM

Bethany B - for the positive attitude you have been displaying during Mathematics. Well done Bessie!

Hudson T - for your efforts to be organised and ready to work at the start of each day. Well done Hudson!

Year 1/2KC

Finn te B - for being a kind friend and trying hard to improve his narrative writing. You are a learning star Finn!

Jay O'C - for showing great progress in Maths and for participaing enthusiastically in discussions. You are a learning star Jay!

Lawson D - for making better choices during learning time and for an interesting heirloom presentation. You are a learning star Lawson!

Quinn J - for working hard to complete learning tasks, joining in discussions and focussing extra well! You are a learning star Quinn!

Year 3/4D

Max F - for working hard on his addition and subtraction skills in Maths and achieving fantastic growth.

Scarlett H - for displaying great leadership in the classroom by being inclusive and setting the example for making good choices.

Year 3/4G

Josie S - for her tremendous efforts with her skip counting and for always being a caring friend to all her peers.

Elliot B - for his continuous positive attitude towards his learning and initiative to spread kindness to all his peers.

Nishala A - for being a bubbly enthusiastic member of the class and for her continuously tremendous work ethics across all subjects.

Year 3/4SC

Anneliese S - for showcasing a positive attitude while collaborating with others and for her enthusiasm when exploring new ways of learning!

Zac C - for your attentive skills and enthusiasm to work on exciting new projects with your classmaes.

Year 5/6FJ

Venice J - for leading our school and classsroom with such dedication. You are first to notice and respond to anyone that may need assistance or a task that needs doing and all of this without being asked. You are a true leader and it is a privilege to have you respresent our school as our captain.

Thanu S - for showing a positive approach to using teacher feedback to improve your writing. You try hard to use tier 2 vocabulary to spice up your writing and I commend you for seeking support when planning your writing. This demonstrates great writing skills.

Year 5/6RJ

Lachie A - for being very focussed when completing all tasks in the classroom, particularly in writing and Maths. Well done Lachie, you are to be commended for always trying your best and being such a positive role model to other students in our class and the school. Keep up the great work.

Jake F - for demonstrating a more positive attitude towards all of your work and for making a really good effort in writing recently, particulary Author's choice. Keep up your positive attitude and your willingness to tackle all tasks to the best of your ability. Well done Jake.

Josh B - for being very foscussed when completing all taks in the classroom, particularly in writing and Maths. Well done Josh you are to be commended for always trying your best and being such a positive role model to other students in our class and the school. Keep up the great work.

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