St John the Baptist Ferntree Gully Newsletter

Letter from the Principal

Tuesday October 20th 2020

Dear Families

Last week ended up as amazing as we thought it would be. Sunshine and children playing was warmth to our hearts and music to our ears. The children have been wonderful in the way they have transitioned. At the end of each playtime they keep commenting on how quickly playtime seems to be going by. I think they are enjoying being with each other and the time just rushes by. Now with Sunday’s announcements from the Premier and the easing of some restrictions we can start to feel a sense of hope in our broader society as we begin this next phase of our COVID journey. 

School Fete

This coming Saturday was supposed to be our school fete. I will be watching the weather closely. No doubt it will be a day full of sunshine. Never mind there’s always another year of fete fun to be had in the future. Instead we will be able to spend the evening watching the AFL grand final. Good luck to Richmond and Geelong as they compete for this year's AFL Premiership. To all my fellow Pies supporters...2021 will be our year!

Just a reminder that there is a public holiday this Friday 23rd October due to the AFL grand final. 

Sustainability Initiatives

The Sustainability Leaders have been working remotely, attending meetings, making movies and working on home projects such as making beeswax wraps that arrived in their letter boxes. 

The leaders were inspired by Ava’s worm farm video and our new worm farm has arrived at school.  Feeding waste to the compost worms, stops food waste going to landfill and emitting methane gasses- a greenhouse gas! The teacher food scraps will be collected from the bucket in the staff room and fed to the worms. The worms will give us worm juice for the garden. The children and staff are being asked to look out for the signs made by the students, so that we know what worms can eat. (no dairy, onion, citrus or meat) 

Garden Club

The leaders are going to run a garden club on Tuesdays at lunchtime which will be outside and only have a max of 10 children attending.  Different classes will have the option of attending each week. As the garden area may be modified, the leaders will run activities such as planting in pots, bird feeders, butterfly feeders, worm education and other activities from the Stephanie Alexander garden activities resources.  

Some Sustainability Leader excursions such as creek clean ups and attaching platypus signs to the local drains (as part of grant from the local council) have had to be postponed but will be completed when restrictions are lifted. 

Kids Teaching Kids Conference

The Kids Teaching Kids Conference is now a virtual day and Mikayla and Casey had their photo added to the online brochure. This Virtual Day, where the leaders are presenting is on Monday 30th November. 

We are continuing to use and empty the blue paper recycling box to dramatically reduce the amount of paper we send to landfill. The leaders will be checking these boxes intermittently to ensure that only paper and cardboard are placed in these boxes. The teachers are talking to your children about the importance of recycling and saving one of our precious resources - trees. All classes now have scrap paper boxes and utilise this paper in the classroom. 

Our wonderful Wrapper free Wednesdays will continue this term, with students encouraged to bring lunches without any wrappers on Wednesdays, and other days if they are able to. The teachers will hand out raffle tickets on Wednesdays and the lucky winners will be announced on Thursdays via the loudspeaker. The students now have handmade beeswax wraps as prizes.

Outdoor learning area - Some investigation is underway to look at seating for the area near the hall and moving the vegetable gardens that are between two buildings and utilising the space on the lawn near the parish house to make it a more useful and well designed space for the children.  More information on this initiative to come.

Keep up the wonderful work you are doing, leaders! Thank you for your commitment to sustainability and helping our school community think of new ways to save energy, save our resources, create less waste and increase the biodiversity in our school.

Prep 2021 Uniforms

Due to the high intake of Prep families for next year, we suggest current families requiring uniforms for their Prep 2021 child order via Flexischools. With the current COVID restrictions, we need to limit the number of people present in the Uniform Shop.  Orders placed via Flexischools will be filled and sent home with your current St John's student. If sizes are incorrect, they can be returned to the shop via your child and Fleur will replace with the appropriate size.

Attached is the Prep Starter Pack. This can now also be ordered via Flexischools.

Prep Starter Pack Information


Term 4 Public Holidays & Staff Professional Development Days

Friday 23rd October: AFL Public Holiday in Victoria (no school for students or staff)

Monday 2nd November: Report Writing (no school for students)

Tuesday 3rd November: Melbourne Cup Public Holiday (no school for students or staff)

Wednesday 18th November: Staff Professional Development Day: 2021 Planning (no school for students)

The Leaders Challenge

Want to make some amazing Tissue Box Monsters or try the Footy Challenge? Then open the attached Leaders Challenge.

Head Lice

Head lice have been reported across the school.

Please check your children's hair and treat if necessary.

SSV Virtual Cross Country

All Victorian students are welcome to take part in this great opportunity.  The competition is still open, it closes at 11:59pm Friday, 30 October 2020.

SSV is not looking for the best performance, but looking for students to give it a try.

By taking part in this great event, you will not only score points for your school, but you will also be improving yourself every time you try.  There is nothing better than self-improvement and personal bests.

Please visit Schools Sport Victoria Website, Virtual Track and Field.

OR click on this link:

Virtual Track and Field

Tracey Ryan, Sports Leader

Camps, Sports, Excursions Fund (CSEF)

The Department of Education has extended the date to be eligible to qualify for the CSEF to the first day of Term 4, October 5th 2020, with the application deadline extended to November 27th 2020.

If you hold a current Health Care Card/Concession Card, and did not apply at the beginning of the year, you may be eligible to receive the payment.

Please complete the application form attached below and forward to the school office for processing and validating.

CSEF Payments for students eligible between Wednesday April 15th and Monday October 5th will be made at 50% of the standard primary rates, being $62.50.

CSEF Application Form


Canteen Helpers Roster

Wednesday October 21st  Friday October 23rd
Kylie Bakker

Public Holiday

Wednesday October 28thFriday October 30th
Ange MacKinnon

Belinda Hunt

Leanne Nugent

Camp Australia News

Community Notices

P&F Sponsors

St John the Baptist Ferntree Gully