St John the Baptist Ferntree Gully Newsletter

Letter from the Principal

Tuesday August 4th 2020

Dear Families

I start this week again with an incredibly grateful heart. As part of my daily practice I always reflect at the end of each day and make note of what I am grateful for. I continue to be in awe of the efforts families are making to educate their children at home. We face many uncertainties as a community as we now come to terms with the new Stage 4 restrictions.  The changing nature of this pandemic meant that we started this term in the hope that school may resume to onsite learning before the conclusion of Term 3. We now know that these new restrictions will require us to continue remote learning for the remainder of the term. Whilst we can’t be certain about the changing nature of the pandemic, we can be certain of the commitment of students, parents and staff to ensuring our school continues to be a vibrant school community which places the people at the centre of all we do. We can’t be together but we can pray for each other. We can’t be together but we can make a phone call or send an email of support. I thank families in our community for reaching out to others. I thank our staff for noticing when a child seems to be struggling and they reach out and try to solve whatever their difficulty may be. I thank our students for checking in on their friends and asking the question, are you okay? Let us keep being connected to each other, supporting each other and reminding each other of the many blessings that come our way as a result of being part of the St John the Baptist family. 

Professional Engagement

A special thanks to our school leadership team, Ursula DeCorrado (Deputy Principal/Learning & Teaching Leader), Kathryn Forbes (Maths Leader), Marialisa Mandarino (Religious Education Leader), Jo Stoica (Learning Diversity Leader) & Stephanie Gorman (E-Learning Leader) for their wonderful presentation last week. We were invited along with two other Catholic schools in the Eastern Region to share our professional learning journey with Dr Lyn Sharratt and our Catholic Education Regional Office. Lyn Sharratt is based in Canada and so our presentation was over a Zoom link. Lyn was very impressed with our maths lesson design model and encouraged us to share our exemplary practice with other schools. We have a highly skilled teaching team who are led by expert curriculum leaders. I am proud of our teaching team and our wonderful leaders for this exemplary work. 

My Makeshift Learning Space

Well done to Aiden  on a wonderful learning space. I have been looking at the learning you are submitting Aiden and you are doing a fabulous job. Remember to say thanks to Mum and Dad. I hear they are both great teachers!

What a busy classroom for Justin, Jasmine and Jillian. A fabulous learning space for 3 fabulous students. Keep up the great learning. I love how you are all helping each other with your learning and cooperating with your Mum/Teacher!

I would love to share more at home learning spaces with our community. Keep your photos and stories coming.

It’s another wonderful way for us to stay connected!

School Leaders

I would like to send a special message of thanks to our School Captains Angus, Eliane, Carmel and Finn and our SRC leaders Madeleine and Ben who met with me last Thursday via Zoom to discuss ways they can continue to lead our community remotely. Their ideas are inspiring and their willingness to think beyond themselves is very impressive. Our future is in great hands with such wonderful young people at the helm. 

I hope you enjoy the international flavour of their newsletter pieces. They decided if we can’t get to other countries why not bring other countries to us?

Year 6 Newsletter Piece - Japan


Advice from a Student

Children often see things very clearly and have a great way of solving problems. With our new mask wearing reality we are all facing the dilemma of how do other people know that we are smiling at them? Our wonderful Scarlett in Year 1 solved this problem for us by teaching Miss Gorman and Miss Swan how to show everyone that behind their masks they are smiling. 

Random Act of Kindness

Thanks to the wonderful Monique Patte who surprised our staff on Friday with some gorgeous face masks that she made for us to wear. Such a kind and thoughtful act to keep our beautiful staff safe and well. 


Congratulations to Matilda, Indi and Briar on the exciting news of the birth of their baby brother Emmett James.

Congratulations to the proud parents Amanda and Brent.  Mum and baby Emmett are both well.

Family Prayer

Dear Families

Here is the link for this week's activities based on Sunday's Gospel Reading the story of 'the loaves and the fishes'.  I hope you are able to enjoy this prayer experience with your family.

Family Prayer: Week by Week

This resource is designed for families with young children and has been a joint endeavour of Liturgy Brisbane and Evangelisation Brisbane. An extract from the Sunday gospel is provided, along with some reflection questions, family activities and a worksheet for children

Mrs Marialisa Mandarino, Religious Education Leader

Parish News

Camp Australia Newsletter

Community Notices

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St John the Baptist Ferntree Gully