St John the Baptist Ferntree Gully Newsletter

Tuesday March 5th 2024

Letter from the Principal, Kelli Johnston


Last Friday our community came together as one in prayer for the Ben family, as well as our SJB community. Over the weeks ahead we will continue to watch over all of our students and families as we are reminded how precious life is. As a community may we hold each other in our hearts, thoughts and prayers.

God, Our Father, loving and merciful, bring together and keep all families in unity of love and mutual support.

Instill in each member the spirit of understanding and affection for each other.

May the mutual love and affection of parents set a good example.

Instill in children self-respect that they may respect others and grow in mature independence.

May the mutual affection and respect of families be a sign of Christian life here and hereafter,


Year 5/6 Camp

What an adventure this year’s camp turned out to be!!  We thank our Year 5/6 families and students for their support in recognising the need to return our campers to school on Tuesday evening which was earlier than the anticipated Wednesday afternoon. Due to severe weather conditions being forecast we made the early decision to return the students to school to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all.  Whilst the students were disappointed they took the news well and enjoyed the additional adventure to the movies on Wednesday to see Wonka.  We thank Metro Cinemas Boronia for accommodating our students and for the special screening. 

We thank our students for the exemplary manner in which they presented themselves at camp. It was terrific to see all students step out of their comfort zones and given new and challenging tasks a go.  All staff commented on how they enjoyed the time with the students and how terrific they were. Awesome work Grade 5/6.

We thank Mrs Tracey Ryan, Mr Wayne Daniell, Mrs Franca Paduano, Mrs Angela Cavarra and Mr Christian der Kinderen for all of their work and care of our students in the lead up to camp and while at camp too.  Our students are most fortunate to have such a supportive group of teachers.

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

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.

Preps Full Time

We welcome our Preps to school on a full time basis as of this week. It is terrific to see our Preps settle in so well.

Working Bee

Thank you to all families who came along and assisted with our Term 1 Working Bee. We were most fortunate to have a dedicated and hard working group of families attend. Your work significantly assisted with the early commencement of moving items in preparation for our building program, as well as a number of required tasks to keep our school operating and looking amazing.  It certainly is wonderful to have such a strong sense of community with so many families contributing to ensure that St John the Baptist School is kept in such immaculate condition. Our school certainly looks amazing and is ready for our first Open Day this Wednesday. 

We thank the following families for their time and work on Saturday afternoon: Amey, Armstrong, Burns, Price, Croning, Dalton, Gabbett & Mills families for all of their efforts.

I would also thank Ursula De Corrado for all of her organisation and work in preparing for Saturday’s Working Bee. Ursula’s work ensured that all equipment was ready for the afternoon.

Assembly Friday 8th March - SRC Students receiving their badges

This Friday our 2024 SRC representatives will be presented with their badges for 2024. We warmly welcome families to join us for assembly at 2:45pm. We look forward to congratulating our students on being selected for their role as SRC Leaders.

Prep Family Welcome Mass

It was terrific to see our Prep families at Mass on Sunday morning. This was a great opportunity for our Prep families to come together and celebrate their child’s start to their school journey with the Parish community.  Thank you to all families who attended.

Once again Father Thomas, Deacon Peter and the Parish expressed how pleased they were to see many families connecting with the Parish. We thank Father Thomas and Deacon Peter for their warm welcome and ongoing support.

Division Swimming

The Division Swimming will be held at Croydon Memorial Pool, cnr Hewish and Springfield Rd, Croydon on Friday 8th March. Students are to be transported to and from  the venue by their families and be at the venue by 9.00am.

Permission slips have gone home to all students who have successfully moved into Division Swimming. To ensure participation please reply to the Operoo notification to confirm your attendance.

Congratulations to all students who have made it through to Division Swimming.  What a wonderful achievement. We wish you all the best as you participate in the next level of swimming competition. We are enormously proud of you.

Emmaus College Visit

This week we welcome Ms Karen Jebb, Principal of Emmaus College along with past students of St John the Baptist School to meet with our Year 4 and 5 students.  Our students will have the opportunity to gain an insight into secondary school from Karen and past students. This is a great way to support students in their transition to secondary school.

Clean Up Australia Day

Our wonderful Sustainability Leaders with Mr Christian der Kinderen led Clean Up Australia Day last Friday. It was wonderful to see our students being proactive and cleaning up around the school site.  The terrific team of students collected 8 bags of rubbish around the school. Thank you to Mr der Kinderen, our leaders and all students who participated in keeping our school and Australia clean.

Easter Egg Raffle

The St John the Baptist Easter Egg Raffle will once again be running in 2024. We ask each family to donate an Easter Egg or 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.

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.

Social Justice Leaders Message

When we donate, think about how many people we are helping and how we are helping. Donating to people in need means we are giving them a lot of things to make their lives better. Where does our money go when we donate to Caritas. Most of the funds (83%) are spent on local and international programs, including vital education and advocacy  programs in Australia.

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 and the prizes to be won.

 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


Community Thank You

Naturescape repair

A big thank you to Byron Bonner for repairing the water system that provides water to the ferns in the sand pit. Repairing the watering system will ensure that the ferns continue to receive regular water & continue to thrive.  Thank you Byron for sharing your expertise.

Webinar - Managing Big Feelings

Inform and Empower Cyber Safety Link

Families wishing to watch the Inform & Empower session led by Marty and Carley McGauran can click on the link below to see the Cyber Safety session.

Password: feb2024

Carley and Marty present an informative and practical session for families on how to be informed and educated about the world of digital technologies that our students live in.

Families will be familiar with Carley through her Prep transition session in 2023.  This session is designed to support you in the most helpful way when your children experience big feelings.

In this session Carley will cover:

  • How to be an emotional coach

  • The brain and emotional development

  • Understanding meltdowns and how to manage them

  • Let’s talk anger, anxiety and sadness

  • Tips for encouraging self regulation

  • Recognising when big feelings may be a concern

Managing Big Feelings

Presenter: Carley McGauran

Date: Thursday 7 March 

Time: 7.30pm (75 min)

Here is the link for your parents to register for the webinar :

Don't forget to Save the Date!

Second Hand Uniform

The Second Hand Uniform Shop is 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 in good condition.

Inquiries in regards to second hand items may be sent to

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


6th - Open Day No. 1

8th - Division Swimming - Croydon Pool

8th - 3/4GA Assembly - 2:45pm

8th - Mater Christi International Women's Breakfast

11th - Labour Day - School Closed

13th- NAPLAN Commences

14th - Open Day 2

14th - Combined Schools Mass 4pm

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

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

28th - Term concludes at 2.00pm

Camp Reflections from 5/6RD

Sports News

Athletic Sports Day Parent Help

We are requiring some parent help in assisting to run and judge some of our field and track events on Friday March 22nd at CROYDON ATHLETICS track. 

The roles will involve either starting,  judging, measuring and recording results on the day. 

The events are  Long Jump, Triple Jump, Discus and Shot put. If you have knowledge of the correct technique in these events please let me know. I can also give you assistance in teaching you what to look for  in each event if that helps. The assistance will be given to you before the day.   

Please email me with your preferred role, activity and preferred method of communication eg: text or email. 

We are still chasing either a flatbed truck or van to transport our high jump mat to Croydon Athletics Track.  If you are able to assist please contact me via the office.

Division Swimming 

Best wishes for our Division Swimmers who compete this Friday at Croydon Pool. 

John Mitchell 

Second Hand Uniforms

Canteen News

Canteen orders can be placed via

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

Canteen Roster Term 1, 2024

Wednesday March 6th Friday March 8th 
Belinda Hunt

Lauren Wearne

Shamindri Aponso

Leanne Nugent

Wednesday March 13th Friday March 15th 
Jessica Bagnoux

Troy Kristof

Mark Molan

Rients Huitema

Community News

St John the Baptist Ferntree Gully