St John the Baptist Ferntree Gully Newsletter

Tuesday May 21st 2024

Letter from the Principal, Kelli Johnston

At the commencement of Term 2 we placed a strong emphasis on introducing the SJB School Expectations.  The SJB expectations were developed as a staff over the period of Term 1 in consultation with Patrice Wiseman, Positive Behaviour for Learning Consultant. We have been impressed with how well the students are responding to the school expectations and enacting these on a daily basis. As a school we will continue to implement these expectations and embed these at SJB.

Last week we were extremely proud of one of our Year 6 leaders who demonstrated the SJB expectation of ‘We Care for Each Other’ on two separate occasions. We would like to congratulate and recognise the outstanding demonstration of caring for others shown by Cooper K.

On the first occasion Cooper found a gold earring near the hall area and handed the earring into the office.  The earring belonged to a lady attending a funeral at SJB who lost it whilst at SJB. The earring happened to be a very sentimental and precious piece of jewellery.  The lady was extremely grateful to have her earring found and returned.

On the second occasion whilst riding his bike to school, Cooper saw a Year 1 student from SJB who had fallen off her bike.  Cooper stopped to look after the student, care for and help her to get to school safely. 

Cooper’s actions are an exemplary demonstration of our SJB expectation of caring for others. Outstanding work Cooper. We are so proud of you.  

As we work towards embedding the SJB School Expectations staff will nominate students for Principal Awards.  Principal Awards will be awarded to students who demonstrate exemplary enactment of the SJB School Expectations.

2025 Prep Enrolments


If you have a child ready for Prep 2025, we encourage you to please put in an enrolment form as soon as you are able. This will help us with organisation purposes. To access an enrolment form:

  • Drop into the school office to collect one

  • Email and ask for a form to be sent home

  • Visit the enrolment section of our school website and download a form

Prep Excursion - Exciting Times

On Wednesday the 15th of May the Prep students enjoyed a fantastic excursion to Puffing Billy Railway. This excursion was linked to the Inquiry unit Our History, in which the Preps have been learning about how people, places and objects change over time. The Victorian Curriculum suggests that Prep students learn about a “local landmark” and what it reveals about the past and Puffing Billy seemed the natural fit for our Preps. 

Culturally, Puffing Billy holds significant historical importance as one of the finest preserved steam railways in the world. Dating back to the early 20th century, the railway played a vital role in the development of the Dandenong Ranges, transporting timber, passengers, and goods between the remote townships nestled in the hills. Today, it stands as a testament to the ingenuity and perseverance of the early settlers who built and operated the railway, showcasing the rich heritage of the region. 

The Preps enjoyed the ‘All Aboard’ education program which included 3 Puffing Billy Educators and a session in the new Lakeside Visitors Centre, where the students were exposed to a light and sound show featuring the original 124 year old steam locomotive. The students spent the day as Explorers and were exposed to a number of different STEAM concepts such as; biological, environmental and physical science all while learning about the cultural and historical significance of Puffing Billy. We could not have asked for a better and more content rich day for our students. We were especially thankful to the 3 educators who led us on our excursion, Peta, John and Miranda were brilliant and had the students engaged from go to whoa. We still don’t know who had more fun, the students or Mrs Lynch and Miss Bulmer! 

National Sorry Day Prayer Service

On Monday 27th May we will gather in prayer to remember and acknowledge the hurt caused to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, families, communities and culture.

Every year on 26 May, National Sorry Day remembers and acknowledges the mistreatment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who were forcibly removed from their families and communities, which we now know as ‘The Stolen Generations’.

National Sorry Day is a day to acknowledge the strength of Stolen Generations Survivors and reflect on how we can all play a part in the healing process for our people and nation. While this date carries great significance for the Stolen Generations and other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, it is also commemorated by Australians right around the country.

Running Club

Students selected for District Cross Country are invited to join Running Club with Mr Mitchell on Monday mornings. Running Club will occur once a week from 8.10am - 8.40am on MONDAYS starting 20TH MAY. We look forward to seeing students joining Mr Mitchell for Running Club.

Parent/Teacher/Student Interviews

Parent/teacher/student interviews will be held on Tuesday 25th June and Wednesday 26th June.  We encourage all students to attend interviews with their families. The focus of interviews is to celebrate the hard work students have undertaken throughout the semester, as well as the growth they have made as a result of their hard work. Families will be able to book their interview times through SOBS in the coming weeks.

Interviews will be held on: 

     Tuesday 25th June 2:30-6:00pm

     Wednesday 26th June 3:30-5:30pm

We look forward to celebrating the achievements made by the students over the semester.

Ferntree Gully Library - Biggest Morning Tea

We have an enthusiastic group of 20 Years 3-6 students taking part in the FTG Library’s Biggest Morning Tea this Thursday 23rd May. Our students will perform at 10am and the event will continue until 12pm, with  family story time at 11am to read the National Simultaneous Storytime book The Bowerbird Blues.

The students will have the opportunity to assist with selling raffle tickets and serving morning tea, as well as their performance.

We’d love to have an audience if you’re free (and you’ll even get a sneak peek of some of our Production songs).

Hope to see you there,

Sue Cahill

Performing Arts Teacher

Year 1/2 Excursion

Exciting times ahead as the Year 1/2 students prepare to take an excursion to Ambleside Park Homestead as part of their Inquiry for term 2. The students will be exploring how life has changed since the late 19th century. Students will experience an old school room, children’s games, a household, work shed tools (and more!) from the past. 

Working Bee News

Our next working bee will be on

FRIDAY 14th June from 2:00 - 4:30pm

Our priority will be moving the art supplies in the lower building to the spare portable near the 5/6classrooms and empty the container near the old parish hall.

If we have enough volunteers we would also like to:

Paint the newly moved basketball ring.

Clear the autumn leaves around the hall and lower playground

We will keep Saturday 22nd June as a tentative date for a second Working Bee but do hope that with the number of people that have indicated that they can attend the Friday working bee we may be able to complete all our jobs on this day.   

Student Illness

As we move towards winter, colds, flu and COVID will start to enter school environments. We ask families to keep unwell children at home to reduce the spread of viruses. Additionally, teaching children good hygiene practices of placing tissues in the bin after use and washing hands thoroughly is also important. 

As a community it is important to show how ‘We care for each other’ by providing unwell children with the time at home to rest and return to school well for the wellbeing of all.

Keep warm everyone!

Kelli Johnston

St Vincent de Paul - Winter Appeal

Last week our Year 6 Social Justice Leaders, Emily and Sam, met to discuss how our St John the Baptist School community could support the work of St Vincent de Paul through the Minnie Vinnies Program. 

They will be visiting classrooms to speak to all students about the growing need to help the poor and underprivileged in our local and wider communities.

Traditionally, the St Vinnies Winter Appeal has allowed us the opportunity to collect generous donations of non-perishable foods from our school families. This year, it was noted that there is a growing need for warm winter clothing and bedding also. So with this in mind, we ask you to consider assisting our work by donating one or more of the items listed below. Please note that there is no need to purchase any new items, but rather consider donating items you have at home that you no longer need or have grown out of, which are in a clean and in ‘as new’ condition. 

We are seeking donations of the following pre-loved (but clean and in new condition) items:

  • Blankets or throw rugs

  • Towels, face washers

  • Pillow cases - not pillows

  • Pyjamas

  • Coats or jackets

If you are able to help, please ask your child to drop these into the donation box in their classroom.

Your generosity is appreciated.

Marialisa Mandarino

Religious Education Leader

Term 2 Dates


23rd - Ferntree Gully Library Visit - The Biggest Morning Tea

24th - District Cross Country

27th - Reconciliation Week begins

27th - National Sorry Day Prayer Service in classrooms

30th - Year 3/4 Level Mass

31st - The Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary


3rd - Year 5/6 Excursion

3rd - Parents & Friends Meeting

6th - Ambleside Park Homestead Excursion Year 1/2

6th - St Joseph's Lighthouse Expo evening

7th - School Closure Day

7th - Feast of the Sacred Heart

10th - King's Birthday School Closure

14th - Assembly Year 5/6D

14th - Working Bee - 2.30-4.30pm

21st - Reports emailed to families

22nd - Working Bee - TBC

25th - Parent/Teacher/Student Interviews

26th - Parent/Teacher/Student Interviews

28th - St John the Baptist Feast Day celebrations

28th - Term 2 concludes @ 2.00pm

Principal Awards

Arthur B3/4JWe care for each other - Arthur demonstrated kindess when he saw that a teacher's hands were full and he opened the office door for her without being asked. His initiative and helpfulness is appreciated.
Benji W3/4SJWe care for each other - Always looking out for others, Benji is a gentle and kind hearted young person, this makes him a valued and generous memeber of our SJB community and an asset to our class.
Teague D5/6RDWe are responsible learners - Teague contributed to group tasks by listening and waiting for his turn. He also encouraged his friends with positive comments - helping them to be the best learners they can be.
Jacob N3/4GAWe care for each other - Jacob has shown that he cares for others by helping them tie their shoe laces. He has taken his newly mastered skill to help those around him.
Eric J1/2KCWe care for each other - Eric accidentally bumped into someone. He stopped straight away and apologised. He also put his hand out to them and asked if they were okay.
Liora M1/2DWe are responsible learners - Liora tries her hardest in all learning activities and will ask the teacher for help if she is unsure.
Cooper K5/6DWe care for each other - Cooper saw a student from school had fallen off their bike on their way to school. He stopped to help them and then rode to school with the student to ensure that they were okay.

Student Class Awards

Prep BA

Casper R-T - for taking part in our Puffing Billy excursion and following the instructions of the teachers and adults. Well done Casper on following the whole school expectation to move and act safely even when you were away from school.  You are a star Casper!

Prep LC

Hannah B - for being an amazing role model of our school expectations. You always give your best in everything you do and demonstrate responsible learning.

Year 1/2B

Neve S - for your excellent contributions to discussions during whole class and small focus groups to discuss fiction and non-fiction books in detail. Keep up the great work!

Xander M - for your amazing contribution in maths discussions, warm up activities and the independent work you do at your table so conscientiously. Keep up the great work!

Year 1/2D

Mack L - for making impressive growth with your reading this semester. You are using many strategies that we have learnt to read unfamiliar words and gain a deep understanding of the text. You are a reading superstar! Keep it up, Mack!

Mekayla H - for building an increased independence when completing your learning tasks. You put 100% into all tasks and have improved your speed of writing. Well done Mekayla!

Year 1/2JM

Jasper P - for working hard to achieve your best. You were outstanding in Italian this week too!

Arabella S - for your positive attitude towards learning in all subject areas. We are very impressed with your effort Arabella!

Year 1/2KC

Aurelia G - for subtracting so well using a numberline, consistently being a responsible learner, and a very respectful member of our school community. You are a star!

Mason J - for consistently following directions, working hard to listen carefully to the sounds in his words when writing, and for being a fantastic helper at clean-up time. You are a star!

Mabel N - for working hard in Maths lessons, improving her spelling skills and showing respect for others. You are a star!

Year 3/4GA

Brendan M - for his thoughtful contributions to class discussion and for being an excellent role model in the classroom.

Year 3/4J

Kayden C - for consistent hard work across all subject areas, and for improvement in independent writing.

Ruby E - for excellence in mathematics, particularly in the area of problem solving. Also for neatness and organisation of her workbooks.

Year 3/4HM

Eliza H - for working hard to complete learning tasks and focussing extra well! You are a 3/4HM star, Eliza!

Olivia B - for making a wonderful effort to join in discussions and participate respectfully in every activity. You are a star, Olivia!

Year 3/4SJ

Isla P - for her enthusiasm as a learner and her kind and respectful attitude when interacting with classmates along with other students on the playground.

Mitch L - for his curiosity as a learner and the caring manner in which he helps those in need, in our class, as well as on the playground.

Luca I - for always asking great questions and sharing exciting ideas during our class discussions, making learning challenges enjoyabe and motiving us all to learn and grow together.

Year 5/6D

Marcus VdP - for excellent work converting fractions to improper fractions and demonstrating his strategy to the class.

Anneleise S - for producing some excellent biography writing and thoughtful reading comprehension responses.

Second Hand Uniforms

Any donations of clean, official SJB uniform (without holes, stains or tears) can be left at the office at your convenience. Thank you to the many families who have supported the 2nd Hand Uniform shop so far this year with donations and purchases.

Janice S

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 May 24th 

Troy Kristof

Mark Molan

Rients Huitema

Friday May 31st 

Nelson Serrao

Cassie Croning

Caroline Walsh

Wednesday June 5th 

Belinda Davies

Nat Conway

Friday June 7th 
School Closure Day

Community News

SJB Netball Pie Fundraiser (see order form and details attached below)

Pie Order Form


St John the Baptist Ferntree Gully