St John the Baptist Ferntree Gully Newsletter

Tuesday February 6th 2024

Letter from the Principal, Kelli Johnston


Dear Families,

It was terrific to see our students return to school with smiles on their faces looking forward to their year ahead.  Our students are to be congratulated for the manner in which they have commenced their school year. The students have started the school year with a positive outlook, a sense of eagerness and calm.  All of which sets the scene for a productive and most enjoyable year for all.

It has been great to see staff and students getting to know each other and building positive relationships throughout their first week. We look forward to strengthening these relationships at the upcoming Meet and Greet sessions.

Congratulations to Year 6 Leaders

On Friday we were excited to be able to present our Year 6 leaders for 2024 with their Year 6 jackets and their badges.  It was wonderful to see many proud parents in the audience as their children were presented to the school community. Our leaders were outstanding in presenting their first assembly. 

We look forward to working with our school leaders throughout the year and watching them shine in their roles.  On a personal note I look forward to getting to know our leaders and working with them as they provide strong models of leadership to all students in the school.

Over the coming weeks our school leaders will be participating in a number of workshops with the SJB staff. The students will be exploring what is Leadership, what it looks like, sounds like and feels like in enactment. They will participate in goal setting for the year and commence being active in their roles.

Congratulations to the following students:-

School Captain (Girls)School Captain (Boys)

Audrey L

Maddie S

Zaylen L

Josh A

SRC (Sustainability)Social Justice Leader

Zahra H

Sebastian R

Joseph W

Sam H

Emily S

Arts Leadere-Learning Leader

Ember H

Audrey S

Christian T

Cooper K

Blue House LeaderYellow House Leader
Beau S

Austin T

Isla S

Red House LeaderGreen House Leader

Marcus N

Marcus V

Will V

Beginning of the School Year Mass

We warmly invite all families to join us for the Beginning of School Year mass to be celebrated this Friday 9th February, at 11:00am. We look forward to attending mass as a school community to celebrate the beginning of the school year.

Inform and Empower - Cyber Safety Evening - Thursday 8th February @ 7:00pm

Families are invited to SJB for an informative and practical session with Marty McGauran (Digital Safety Educator) and Carley McGauran (Psychologist).  Today’s students grow up in a digital world.  As part of our strong home/school partnership it is important to be aware of how to educate students to be digitally safe and responsible, as well as how to use technology in positive ways.  

Families are asked to register via the QR code outlined in the flyer below.  Please be aware that this is a compulsory evening for families of students in Year 3-6.

Should you require assistance with child minding, please email myself -

Twilight on the Green - Friday February 9th

Each year Twilight on the Green is SJB’s first large scale community event.  We warmly welcome all families to bring their picnic rugs, chairs, nibbles &/or dinner as we enjoy live entertainment from Bec and Simon Russell.  Bec and Simon are always welcome any additional performers who may like to join in providing entertainment.

Twilight on the Green is a great way to come together as a community, to get to know each other and enjoy a fun evening.

The evening commences at 5:30pm and concludes at 8:30pm.  This is a family and community event that is strictly alcohol free.

We hope to see you there.

St John the Baptist Open Days for 2025 Prep Children

Let your neighbours, friends and relatives know St John’s School Open Days are set for March.

School Open Days will be held on:

Wednesday 6th March

Thursday 14th March

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

Every day is Open Day at St John the Baptist School!! Come and see us in action.

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

Sacramental Calendar

We ask families to please place the dates for this year’s Sacraments in your calendars. Sacraments are important milestones and celebrations in our students' faith journey.

SacramentImportant Dates


Year 3 students only

Family Evening - 15th February 7-8.00pm

Commitment Mass - Attend 1 mass over the weekend

Saturday 17th at 6pm or Sunday 18th at either 9am or 11am

Sacrament of First Reconciliation - Wednesday 20th March  5pm


Year 5 & 6 students

Family Evening - 24th July 7-8pm

Commitment Mass - Saturday 27th or Sunday 28th July

Reflection Day - tbc

Sacrament of Confirmation Thursday 29th August at 6pm

As larger year level intakes are now moving through the school, families will see that single year levels will receive sacraments in a year.  This is to ensure that we can continue to provide strong teaching, learning and preparation for sacraments, as well as, being able to  accommodate all families in the church at sacrament celebration evenings.   

School Closure Days 2024

To assist families with planning throughout the year we ask families to please place in their calendars the following School Closure Days for the 2024 school year.

Friday 7th June                     Faith in Education PL

Friday 16th August              Learning and Teaching

Monday 18th November    School Improvement & Data Analysis

Friday 26th April                  Time in Lieu Acquittal

Monday 4th November       Time in Lieu Acquittal

Prep Rest Days

A friendly reminder that the following Wednesdays are ‘Rest Days’ for our Preps. Wednesday 7th February, Wednesday 14th February, Wednesday 21st February and Wednesday 28th February.

Our Preps will commence full time at school from Monday 4th March.

Parent Cuppa

It was terrific to see such a great attendance of families at Thursday’s morning cuppa. It was wonderful to see families coming together to reconnect after the holiday period and to see new families being welcomed to our St John the Baptist community.  It is always lovely to be able to gather, catch up and share holiday adventures as we return for another year.


A big thank you to our Parents and Friends Committee for extending a warm welcome and preparing the morning cuppa. 

Hats and Sunscreen in Term 1

Term 1 and Term 4 of each school year are ‘Hats On’ terms. The safety of all students and staff is paramount.  Students are required to wear hats at all recess times and when outdoors in both Term 1 and Term 4.  Should students not have a hat during recess they are required to play in the shaded area located near the St John the Baptist mosaic. Students will not be permitted to play on the oval without a hat .  A friendly reminder to families to apply sunscreen prior to coming to school.  Students are welcome to keep a small bottle of sunscreen in their school bags and re-apply prior to going out at lunch time.


School assemblies will be held throughout the school year. Assemblies will be held on Friday afternoons at 2:30pm in the school hall.  Each class will have the opportunity to lead the school in assembly and share their learning throughout the year.  We welcome families to join us at St John’s for school assemblies

School Daily Timetable

A friendly reminder that at the commencement of this year that the school day commences at 8:45am and concludes at 3:15pm. Student supervision will continue to commence at 8:30am with classroom doors opening at 8:35am each morning. Supervision will continue to conclude at 3:30pm. 

Swimming Squad Training

Our SJB Swim Squad for 2024 commenced their training for the coming SSV Swim season on Monday 5th February. We had thirty students (and parents) that have committed to train and represent our school. If there are any more students wanting to trial they MUST attend the training next Monday 12th February. We will be selecting our squad swimmers at this trial as we intend to run ‘mini’ trials at this training session. We need up to six students per gender and age group to fill relay teams along with individual events. The more events your child can swim, the more likely it is that they will get a swim at the District Swim carnival to be held on Friday 16th February starting from 10 - 2pm (tbc). 

Some happy Squad members after the first session. 

Athletics Sports Day

In preparation for the SJB Athletics sports day does anybody have access to either a flatbed truck or van? As we need to change the venue from Knox Athletics track to Croydon Athletics track for this year only  (Knox is having track renovations done) we need to supply our own equipment. I would like assistance in transporting our High Jump mat to the venue on Friday March 22. Please contact me via the Office if you have the capacity to assist. 

John Mitchell 

PE/Sport Coordinator

Teacher Meet and Greet

The St John’s teacher Meet and Greet will be held on Tuesday 13th and Wednesday 14th February between 3:30-5:30 pm each night.  This is an opportunity for parents to meet with their child’s teacher to share insights into their child and commence our home/school partnership for the year. Each student will bring home a discussion starter sheet for families to complete together and return to school prior to the Meet and Greet session. This will provide teachers with an insight into your child prior to the meeting.

Parents are able to book their Meet and Greet time now through SOBS via this link -

Year 5/6 Camp

The Year 5/6 Camp to Campaspe Downs is fast approaching. Our Year 5/6 students will depart for camp on Monday 26th February and return to school on Wednesday 28th February.

We ask that families please respond promptly to camp correspondence to assist staff with planning and preparation.

Further details in regard to camp will be communicated to families in the coming days.

Uniform Purchases / 2nd Hand Uniforms

Uniform purchasing has now moved offsite to Beleza uniforms in Boronia (entry via Dorset Square).  Beleza have been in contact throughout the holiday period and have outlined that there has been strong attendance from SJB families.

Beleza have advised that they are awaiting on sports polos to be delivered.  Unfortunately there has been a hold up for some time on this item.  We have received some communication in regards to school socks and skorts.  We will provide further information on these items in the near future. In the interim white or navy socks will be absolutely fine.

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 (cash only). 

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 -

Parents and Friends Committee

The Parents and Friends Committee consists of parents across the school who work together to organise community events across the school.  The Parents and Friends Committee is a great way to be involved in the SJB community, as well as, meet parents in the school.  An Operoo form will be sent to families seeking members for the Parents and Friends Committee for 2024.

We ask families to consider being part of the P & F Committee to continue enhancing our vibrant SJB community

Congratulations - Simmons Family

We congratulate Bec and Glenn on celebrating their recent wedding.  Arabella, Stefan and Anastasia were gorgeous participants. A true family day and beautiful celebration.

Community Support and Awareness

On Christmas morning the Giustra and Napolitano family received the sad news of the passing of their Aunty (Zia) Ardi of bowel cancer.  Ardi was close to her family, in particular her nephew and nieces - Siella, Frankie and Valentina. As she bravely fought her battle she advocated for early screening to promote early detection.

To honour Ardi’s legacy her family have established a fundraising page. Families wishing to know more about bowel cancer or contribute to Ardi’s legacy can find further information at:

Our thoughts and prayers are with the Giustra and Napolitano families as they grieve the loss of Zia Ardi.

Audiri 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.

Wishing all our students and families a wonderful year ahead at St John’s.

Kelli Johnston

Medical / Contact Details

Your child's medical/contact details form is coming home today.  Please check all the details, amend if necessary, sign and return to the school office. All forms need to be returned as they are stored in the first aid room in case of emergency.

Are you eligible to receive the Camps, Sports and Excursion Fund/School Fee Concession?

Do you hold a Services Australia Health Care Card/Concession Card, or are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander?  Then you may be eligible to receive the CSEF and/or School Fees Concession Program.

Please complete the attached forms and return to school ASAP, along with a copy of your Centrelink Pension Concession Card.

CSEF Application Form


School Fee Concession Form


School Concession Fee - Information


Term 1 Dates


5th - Swimming Squad St Joseph’s Secondary College 8:00am - 8:30am (Year 3-6)

7th - Prep Rest Day

8th - Inform & Empower Year 3-6 Family Cyber Safety evening (7:00-8:30pm)

9th - Beginning of School Year Mass - 11:00am

9th - Twilight on the Green Family Evening - 5:30pm - 8:30pm

12th - Swimming Squad St Joseph’s Secondary College 8:00am - 8:30am (Year 3-6)

13th - Shrove Tuesday

13th - Meet and Greet - 3:30-5:30pm

14th - Meet and Greet - 3:30-5:30pm

14th - Lent commences - Whole School Mass - 9:15am

14th - Prep Rest Day

15th - First Reconciliation Family Evening 7:00pm

16th - Halogen Leadership Day - School Captains

19th - Swimming Squad St Joseph’s Secondary College 8:00am - 8:30am

21st - Prep Rest Day

23rd - Assembly Year 5/6RD presenting 

26th - Year 5/6 camp - Campaspe Downs

28th - Year 5/6 camp returns

28th - Prep Rest Day


2nd - Term 1 Working Bee 1:30 - 4:00pm

4th-   Swimming Squad St Joseph’s Secondary College 8:00am - 8:30am

6th - Open Day No. 1

8th - Division Swimming - Croydon Pool

8th - 3/4GA Assembly - 2:30pm

11th - Labour Day - School Closed

13th- NAPLAN Commences

14th - Open Day 2

18th - Squad Swimming St Joseph's Secondary College 8-8.30am

20th - Sacrament of Reconciliation - 5pm

20th - School Advisory Council

21st - Harmony Day - wear a touch of orange

21st - Harmony Day Prayer Service

22nd - Athletics Day

22nd - Regional Swimming

Canteen News

Canteen orders can be placed via

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


The Canteen is seeking volunteer helpers who can offer up just a couple of hours once per term (9.00-11.00am) on a Wednesday, or in particular on our busy Fridays.  If you think you can help, please complete the form below or contact Tracey Walker on 0408 101 100 if you have any questions.

Canteen Volunteer Form


Canteen Roster Term 1, 2024

Wednesday February 14th Friday February 16th 
Jessie Stephens

Melinda Price

Katrina Horne

Carrie Canton

Parish News

Community News

St John the Baptist Ferntree Gully