St John the Baptist Ferntree Gully Newsletter

Tuesday August 15th 2023

Letter from the Principal, Kelli Johnston


Many Hands Make Light Work

On Saturday afternoon we were once again most fortunate to see the St John the Baptist Community spirit in action at our Term 3 Working Bee. The dedicated team of family volunteers were most productive attending to a number of jobs needing completion. We are most grateful to our wonderful volunteers for the work they have undertaken and all contributions that continue to enhance our school. 

From maintaining and planting in the new playground to updating take home books, to moving the library, clearing leaves etc.  An incredible number of tasks were completed. The sausages in bread and ice creams were indeed well deserved after an afternoon of great achievement.

A big thank you to the following families; Armstrong, Bonner, Burns, Cann, Conway, Croning, Davies, Dow, Gabbett, Heywood, Mahady and Trimble.

On behalf of the SJB community, staff and students our deepest gratitude and thanks.

Feast of the Assumption Mass

Today we gathered as a school with the St John the Baptist Parish to celebrate Mary’s ascension into heaven at the 9:15am Feast of the Assumption Mass. This was another opportunity to celebrate with our Parish community. As a school we value and enjoy such celebrations with our Parish community.

Welcome Back Father Thomas

We welcome Father Thomas back after a period of leave.  As part of Father’s leave he was able to be reunited with family and friends.  Being reunited with family after lengthy periods of time is most important to our wellbeing. We hope that your time away was relaxing, rejuvenating and most fulfilling.  

St Vincent de Paul Winter Appeal

This week, the School Leaders have visited each class and provided information about St Vincent de Paul. We have handed out collection boxes for the anticipated food donations and given each class a list of items needed. We ask if families could donate non-perishable food items such as canned foods, biscuits, pasta, tea, etc. Personal hygiene products such as nappies, toothpaste and shaving cream are also needed.   Every donation helps a lot and we would really appreciate your help. Thank you to all those who have already donated. We always look forward to collecting the boxes with all your generous donations.

Niamh and Ciara - Social Justice Leaders          

Explicit Teaching in the Early Years - Year 1/2 Team

At St John the Baptist we place a high emphasis on professional learning and developing teacher capacity. Ursula DeCorrado and the Year 1/2 team will continue to deepen their professional knowledge in the area of explicit teaching in the early years as they attend their Term 3 professional learning days this Wednesday and Thursday. 

We are most fortunate to have a group of regular CRT teachers to care for our students on these days.  Furthermore, we know that this professional learning provides our staff with the opportunity to further develop shared understandings and consistency of practice. 

Outer East Principal Conference - 18th-24th August

This year the Outer East Principal Network group will be travelling to Cairns to attend an Immersion Program through Red Earth.  The Immersion Program will see the Principal group travelling into Indigenous Communities. The Mission of the Immersion Program is to connect people with remote Indigenous Homelands in a safe and meaningful way, and to provide economic opportunity, sustainability, and empowerment to those who live there.

After the Immersion Program I will be taking an additional week of Long Service Leave, returning to school on Monday 4th September.  Throughout my period of leave the school will be in the very capable hands of Mrs Ursula DeCorrado and the SJB team.

Prep 2024

This week we commenced meeting with our 2024 Prep families and children.  We are enjoying getting to know our new students for next year and look forward to welcoming them to St John the Baptist over the coming weeks.

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

Year 5 students in 2024 commencing Year 7 in 2026

Key enrolment dates for students in Year 5 in 2024 who will be commencing Year 7 in 2026 have been released.  Families are asked to place the following dates in their calendars.

  • Monday 29th January 2024 - Applications open for students starting Year 7 in 2026

  • Friday 16th August 2024 - Applications close

  • Friday 18th October 2024 - Offers will be posted to prospective Year 7 students

  • Friday 8th November 2024 - Final date for families to accept offers made by a school

Families are recommended to make at least two applications to colleges to ensure that a place can be found for all students.

Book Week - 19th-25th August

The 2023 theme for Book Week is Read Grow Inspire.  The feature artist for this year’s Book Week is Matt Ottley. Families can go to the Children’s Book Council website to find out more about this year’s theme and the books that have been shortlisted for awards.

To celebrate Book Week this year, students are able to dress up as a character from a book on Monday 21st August.  Students have the choice to dress up as a character from a book or wear their school uniform.  As a school with a focus on sustainability, this is an opportunity to be creative with what you have at home rather than buying a costume.  Have fun being creative with your ideas!!

St John the Baptist Art Show

The Biennial St John the Baptist Art Show will be held in the school hall this year on Tuesday 5th September and Wednesday 6th September.  This is a great community event that celebrates all our students' creativity through their artwork.   

Mrs Renee Armstrong continues to work tirelessly with all students in preparation for the Art Show. We are most excited and looking forward to celebrating our students amazing efforts.

Further information from our P & F team regarding food and drink options on the evening can be found under P&F News later in this newsletter.

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.

We thank the following staff for their support and efforts in attending camp this year; Mrs Shari Correlje, Mr Wayne Daniell, Mrs Lisa Giuliano, Mrs Angela Cavarra and Mrs Tina Harper.

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

Families will have received an Operoo form to complete in preparation for camp.

Knox Environmental Society SRC Student Visit

Knox Environment Nursery Visit

Recently the Grade 3/4 SRC/Sustainability Leaders visited KES to learn about seed collection, hot houses, did some hands on planting of cuttings and received a donation of some tube stock for our garden.

Prep Science Sessions

Chemical Science - Term 3

It was wonderful to see the Prep students so involved in their science sessions with Mrs Butler and Miss Bulmer in the science room! Students engaged in hands-on scientific learning about States of Matter linked to the Victorian Curriculum. The prep students engaged in some hands-on learning classifying solids, liquids and gasses. They were able to list some properties of solids, liquids and gasses and captured some gas in balloons! 

Our final science activity involved the students changing their solid into a liquid by melting their ice blocks! The excitement level was high for our competition, which involved the  groups trying some different ways to melt their ice blocks. 

Each Prep year level will have three hands-on science sessions with Mrs Butler this term! Try some hands on science at home! Try classifying some household products into solids, liquids and gasses. 

Reading in Year 5/6

Last week in Year 5/6 we had the opportunity to choose our favourite book to share with our peers. We moved around the room having a “taste” of different texts. Reading the blurb of the text gave me an idea of what the book was about. I got to begin reading the book to see if it was something I’d like to borrow and read in the future. 

Thank you to Mrs Ryan and Mrs Forbes for providing popcorn as we tasted a variety of books. I learnt a lot about what my friends like to read. I expanded my knowledge of books through this experience. 
From the 5/6 students 

Wishing everyone a fabulous week ahead.

Kelli Johnston

Parents & Friends News

Father's/Special Person Day Stall

Our gift stall is being held on Tuesday 29th August and tokens are available for sale this week on Tuesday and Wednesday from 2.30pm until pick up.

Tokens are $5=1 gift no purchase limits. Siblings will shop together and tokens are issued as they come to shop. Pre-sales have proven to be effective in streamlining our stall and making a quick turn around for kids to return to class. It also insures we have adequate stock so that no one misses out.

You can also send an envelope of cash with name, class, siblings and amount of tokens to the  office prior to the stall. We would prefer no cash on the day.

If you are available to help on the morning of the stall please email the P&F at

Cake Stall

On Saturday 2nd September Scoresby Bunnings are happy to have us back after the success of our Mother’s Day cake stall in May.  We once again are asking for all you fabulous bakers to donate some yummy treats to sell at the stall as well as volunteers to help pack on Friday 1st and set up and run on the day.

Please see the SignUp page link below to volunteer. Baking forms will be sent home today and can be returned to the office or emailed to by Monday August 28th.

All funds raised will go to the enrichment of our children’s playtimes and our next goal in collaboration with school leadership.  

Sign Up Link

Cake Stall Form


Art Show

Our clever and talented children have been creating some masterpieces for our Art show, which has 2 showings Tuesday 5th September 6-7.30pm and Wednesday 6th from 2.30-4pm. We have dinner sorted for the Tuesday evening session. The P&F will be selling delicious large pizzas (8 slices) in partnership with Benny Boys in Ferntree Gully. $2 of each pizza sold will go directly to our school.  You can pre-purchase your dinner via the link below, orders must be in by 4pm Friday 1st September. Pizzas and drinks can be collected from the 1/2 area in 2 time slots.  Keep the night simple and enjoy the Art Show knowing your dinner is sorted.

At the Wednesday afternoon viewing we will be selling a Devonshire tea option that can be purchased on the day via cash or eftpos.

Term 3 Dates for the Diary


15th     Feast of the Assumption Mass

20th     Book Week Begins

21st    Book Week Day - dress up

22nd    Year 1/2 Excursion

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

Lily S - for always trying her hardest at school in all learning areas. You are an excellent example for your peers Lily, as you always fully engage in learning and show enthusiasm in every class throughout the day.  You are a star, Lily!

William R - for always doing his best in Writing lessons and accurately recording his ideas. Great work on writing a detailed and interesting information report on Zebras this week. Well done William! You are a star, William!

Year PBM

Mabel N - for thinking about the charactes and events in the books read in class and making excellent predictions. You are a star! Keep sharing your ideas!

George G - for explaining your knowledge of division with teddy bears and accurately sharing out the counters to make equal shares. Fantastic video George! You are a star learner George!

Year 1/2B

Carter R - for your excellent participation in Guided Reading sessions to discuss characters and events in stories. Keep up the great work!

Lewie E - for excellent work in writing sessions to independently write your own sentences. Keep up the great work!

Year 1/2D

Benjamin G - for the impressive achievements you have made in our numeracy lessons. You are using a variety of addition and subtraction strategies to solve simple problems. Super effort Benjamin!

Ben H - for bringing your fun and cheeky sense of humour to the classroom. Well done for trying your best and giving things a go! Awesome work Ben!

Mitch L - for being a super helper in the classroom. You are always going out of your way to help your classmates and teachers. Thank you for keeping our classroom clean and orderly.  Well done Mitch!

Year 1/2JM

Xander M - for making interesting and insightful contributions to class discussions. Well done Xander!

Mya C - for your outstanding dedication to your studies and for your kindness towards others. Well done Mya!

Year 1/2KC

Jacob N - for putting in a massive effort to ignore distractions, and to complete learning tasks, especially in Writing. You are a 1/2KC star, Jacob!

Keira D - for being an inspirational role model in our class and to other students, because of her consistently respectful attitude and keenness to learn, at every opportunity. You are a 1/2KC star, Keira!

Year 3/4D

Ruby E - for producing great work in our multiplication unit and using her growth mindset. Well done Ruby!

Luca I - for working hard at his writing and being innovative in his ideas!!

Year 3/4G

Thaaruni S - for always spreading kindness to all her peers and for having a growth mindset during her literacy tasks.

Year 3/4SC

Bella B - for her curiosity as a learner and her willingness to help others, in both the classroom and our play spaces.

Patrick C - for the dedication he brings to completing his learning tasks, and his enthusiasm in being an engaged member of our community at SJB.

Olivia J - for her willingness to share her ideas with others and the kind consideration she shows towards her classmates and our learning community.

Year 5/6FJ

Joseph W - for continually identifying areas of need to extend yourself to flourish. You are a pleasure to teach and should be commended for the way in which you conduct yourself in learning time. You are a true inspiration to others in your class.

Audrey S - for demonstrating a strong written tall tale narrative that included humour and voice. You merged a narrative with real life fear of snakes, Mrs Ryan's fear anyway, to produce a humorous and well structured story. Keep up the great work in the classroom Audrey.

Ciara K - for always being relied upon to lead by example both academically and socially. You notice and respond to those around you and have shown a genuine interest in fulfilling your Social Justice leadership role with Mini Vinnies. Thank you for the care you show for others.

Year 5/6RJ

Sam H - for demonstrating a genuine enthusiasm towards all your learning and for excellent thinking in Maths. As well as making valuable contributions to class discussions. Congratulations on your focus and commitment to your learning Sam. Keep up the fantastic work. Well done.

Marcus vdP - for insightful contributions to class discussions and diligence with all your learning. For continued excellence in maths and problem solving. Keep up the wonderful enthusiasm you have for learning Marcus. Well done.

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 August 16th Friday August 18th
Jessie Stephens

Emma Jenkins

Nelson Serrao

Carolyn Lonsing

Wednesday August 23rd  Friday August 25th  
Belinda Hunt

Amanda Hobba

Caroline Walsh

Anna Kristoff

Uniform Shop News

Community News

Basketballers Wanted!

Ferntree Gully Falcons are looking for kids aged 5 and over who are wanting to play basketball. Come along to our registration day this Saturday the 19th of August 2023 at Knox Basketball Stadium, 7 Park Crescent Boronia between 8am and 1pm, or register via the link below:For general enquiries, contact us via email at

Click this link for further information -

St John the Baptist Ferntree Gully