St John the Baptist Ferntree Gully Newsletter

Tuesday July 18th 2023

Letter from the Principal, Kelli Johnston


Dear Families,

It was terrific to welcome back our students for Term 3.  We are so impressed with how well the students settled back in and are ready for another term of learning. The holidays were an opportunity for our students to rest and rejuvenate.  It was clear that our students enjoyed their break and returned eager to see each other, as well as be ready for another term of learning.

The new basketball ring was a great addition to the school with many students enjoying the opportunity to either play a game of basketball or for the additional opportunity to practice their goaling. 

It was also great to receive such a positive response from families in regard to the new fencing and additional safety that this brings to the community.

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. 

Acceptance offers are now overdue. We ask that any families yet to accept their offer of placement for Prep 2024 to do so as soon as possible. As a school we start the planning process for Prep 2024 this term.

If there are any families who have not yet submitted their enrolment forms to do so as soon as possible as places are limited.

Inform and Empower Term 3 Sessions

Throughout the next week our Year 1-6 students will participate in the Inform and Empower live streamed sessions with Marty McGauran and Laura Adcock.

This term the focus for each level will be:

Year 1/2 - Usernames and passwords, keeping information private and our digital footprint

Year 3/4 - Cyberbullying, the power of an upstander, navigating uncomfortable situations

Year 5/6 - Cyberbullying, the power of an upstander, navigating uncomfortable situations

For further information on how to support your children in a digital world families are encouraged to seek information from the eSafety Commissioner.

Inform and Empower



In the coming days the 2023 NAPLAN results for our Year 3 and Year 5 students are due to arrive. This year, parents and carers will get simpler information about their child’s NAPLAN achievement based on new, more rigorous national standards

The numerical NAPLAN bands and the national minimum standard will be replaced by the following 4 levels of achievement:

 • Exceeding 

• Strong

 • Developing 

• Needs additional support. 

The descriptors for each category are designed to make it clear to parents what their child’s literacy and numeracy skills are at the time of NAPLAN testing, and support discussions with their school on their child’s progress. 

Student reports will continue to show the national average and the range of achievement for the middle 60 percent of students in their year level, allowing comparison of a child’s achievement against these measures. Detailed information on the knowledge and skills being measured in each NAPLAN assessment will be made available on the NAP website

For national reporting, 2023 will mark the start of a new time series, now that all students are online and the tests are being held in March instead of May. The earlier timing of NAPLAN in March rather than May means students will have 2 months less learning time before NAPLAN testing than in previous years. This, in addition to the full transition of all schools nationally to the online assessment that delivers more precise information, makes this the right time to reset the NAPLAN measurement scale so that results no longer have to be equated to those from the paper era. This will mean beginning a new results time series from 2023. 

Results from 2023 on will not be directly compared with results from 2008 to 2022. However, a continued focus on students at the lower end of the achievement scale will be maintained by taking historical results into account for baseline benchmarks in the new reporting. 

Resetting the measurement scale and restarting the time series once all schools are online was a recommendation of the 2020 Independent Review of NAPLAN

Classroom Helpers

Families, we encourage you to discuss with your child’s teacher becoming a classroom helper. There are numerous benefits for both students and family members when we have helpers in our classrooms.  This is another way we can strengthen our home/school partnerships. We welcome family members as classroom helpers. A friendly reminder that all classroom helpers are required to have a current Working With Children’s Check.  We ask that families present their WWCC to office for us to copy and keep on file.

School Disco

The P & F Committee are busy preparing the St John the Baptist School disco for Friday 28th July. We look forward to a fun evening for all students. 

In alignment with the new Education Multi-Enterprise Agreement, the disco will be a P & F led event and will require volunteers to assist with supervision on the evening. If you are able to assist the P & F team with supervision on the evening please contact the committee via email. 

Families are asked to discuss the Disco Expectations with their child/ren in preparation for the night and respond to the form prior to the evening.  The Operoo form will assist with planning, as well as, ensuring all students and families are aware of the expectations of the evening.  

Parents are welcome to stay onsite throughout the disco and enjoy some supper while the students enjoy their session.

Emmaus, St Joseph's and Mater Christi School Productions

Over the coming weeks our Year 5/6 students will be fortunate to attend the productions led by Emmaus College - ‘Little Women’ and the St Joseph’s/Mater Christi College - ‘Shrek’.  This is a 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.

A friendly reminder to families to complete the Operoo form to provide students with permission to attend these extra curricula excursions.

Netball School Sports Victoria (SSV) Netball Finals - Congratulations

Congratulations to our senior girls Netball team who have made it through to the SSV Netball finals. This is an outstanding achievement by our girls. The girls will participate in the finals at Mountain District Netball Association on Friday 28th July. We wish them all the best for a fun day of competition. 

We know that our students will represent SJB in an exemplary manner, demonstrating great sportsmanship and giving it their best. Good luck to Lorelei, Aala, Ria, Ellie, Ruby, Alxys, Niamh, Thanu and Skyla.

We thank Mr John Mitchell and Mrs Tracey Ryan for their support, work and preparation in providing our students with such a terrific opportunity.

Welcome back for Term 3 everyone.  We hope that everyone enjoyed their first week back for Term 3. It was terrific to see everyone return to school happy, fresh and smiling ready for a great term of learning ahead.

Kelli Johnston

Australian Maths Competition

Dear Parents,

St John the Baptist will be participating in the Australian Maths Competition again this year. This year it is being held on Wednesday August 2nd - Friday August 4th.

The AMC is an engaging 30-problem competition that demonstrates the importance and relevance of mathematics in students’ everyday lives; it is open to students in years 3 to 12. Australia’s leading educators and academics, with a deep understanding of our national curriculum standards, actively design the unique AMC problems each year. If you are interested to find out more please visit - where they have included some sample questions.

If your child is interested please send in payment of $8.00 in a sealed envelope marked AMC with your child's name by close of business Friday 14th July.

If you have any questions don't hesitate to contact Mrs Forbes.

Student Awards

Year PB

Vittoria A - for approaching challenges with a growth mindset and not giving up. Vittoria continues to work hard in all learning areas, especially Reading and Writing, and is an excellent example for her peers. Tremendous effort Vittoria!

Mason J - for having a go at all learning tasks and beginning to record the sounds he hears in his Writing. Well done Mason, you continue to improve every day. You are a learning superhero!

Year PBM

Isaac W - for demonstrating consistent effort in maths and growing confidence and skills in number facts. You are a star!

George G - for his growing ability to focus and demonstrate whole body listening and follow instructions. You are a star!

Year 1/2B

Evie P - for excellent work in writing sessions to independently generate ideas and develop your sentence work. Keep up the great writing!

Will S - for excellent participation in mental computation maths games to share your strategies and be a wonderful mentor to your peers. Keep up the great work!

Year 1/2D

Leo N - for bringing such joy and happiness to the classroom. Your positivity and cheerful personaility is a delight to be around. You are such a kind, caring and helpful person and a valuable asset to our school! Awesome work Leo!

William B - for always giving your best in everything you do! You tackle any challenge with determination and a smile. Awesome work Will!

Malvina A - for the cheeful zest and eagerness to learn you bring to the classroom every day. Your positive attitude and outlook on life is a great asset and will ensure you are successful in everything you do! Well done Malvina!

Year 1/2JM

Cillian McD - for your passion and enthusiasm towards learning. We love the way you will always try new things.

Harriet H - for your kindness towards others and for your willingness to try new and different challenges.

Year 1/2KC

Adrianna R - for trying so hard with her writing, spelling 'the' correctly, and doing great Whole Body Listening! You are a learning star, Adrianna!

Amy C - for showing great progress in Maths  and for participating enthusiastically and courteously in all discussions. You are a learning star, Amy!

Cohen D - for writing an excellent persuasive letter about getting a new pet, which even included a rhetorical question and an emotive sign off. You are a learning star, Cohen!

Marley W - for making better choices during learning time and for his great improvement with spelling sight words. You are a learning star, Marley!

Year 3/4D

Benji M - for making a great start to Term 3 and completing some wonderful Maths work.

Etta R - for making a fantastic start to her Inquiry Project by composing an excellent About Me section.

Year 3/4G

Liora F - for being a kind and caring member of the classroom and for always striving to achieve her best efforts in all areas.

Year 3/4SC

Sarah G - for always being a humble leader, showing us how to work together as a team, and being helpful and supportive to all of us in our learning endeavours.

Mason P - for his insatiable curiosity and active engagement in classroom discussions, which makes a positive impact on the learning experience of our class.

Henry W - for always asking great questions and sharing exciting ideas during our class discussions, making learning challenges enjoyable and motivating us all to learn and grow together.

Year 5/6FJ

Ben F - for diligently completing work during learning time. You are making great efforts to use teacher feedback to improve your learning and writing that you complete. We commend you for your hard work and encourage you to keep up the dedication.

Ashan A - for your considerable effort in the classroom. You have demonstrated real focus and attention to detail with the focus of improving your written work. Keep up the great work Ashan.

Josh A - for showing a positive approach to using teacher feedback to improve your writing. You should be commended for your focus and ability to reread your writing to apply the feedback to improve. Well done Josh.

Year 5/6RJ

Alxys L - for an excellent science project testing static electricity. Your written science report was well displayed and each component was answered in detail.  Your science experiment presentation was outstanding and you had the audience very engaged in your demonstration. Well done.

Will V - for an excellent science project on Light Hologram Reflection. Your science experiment presentation was outstanding and you had the audience very engaged in your demonstration with great explanations. Well done Will.

Luka S - for an excellent science projet testing the layering of Liquids. Your written science report was well displayed and each component was answered in detail. Your science experiment presentation was outstanding and you had the audience very engaged in your demonstration. Well done Luka.

Term 3 Dates for the Diary


18th    Inform & Empower Digital Safety & Wellbeing Live Stream - Yr 3/4

24th     Mrs Ursula DeCorrado & Mrs Deborah Butler LSL

28th    School Sports Victoria Netball Final

28th     School Disco

31st     2024 Prep Interviews


2nd    School Advisory Council

3rd    2024 Prep Interviews

4th     First Friday Mass - Year 1/2 Level

7th     School Closure Day

8th     St Mary of the Cross Prayer Service

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

Canteen News

Canteen orders can be placed via

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

Canteen Roster

Wednesday July 19th Friday July 21st 
Jessie Stephens

Lauren Wearne

Shamindri Aponso

Leanne Nugent

Wednesday July 26th Friday July 28th 
Jessica Bagnoux

Melinda Price

Katrina Horne

Uniform Shop News

Parish News

Community Notices

Emmaus College - Information Evening

St John the Baptist Ferntree Gully