St John the Baptist Ferntree Gully Newsletter

Letter from the Principal

Tuesday February 11th 2020

Dear Families

Last week  was an exciting time at St John the Baptist as we introduced our Year 6 Leaders to our school community. The children were presented with their Year 6 badge, their leadership badge and their Year 6 bomber jacket. Our Year 6s have had a great start to the school year and have been excellent examples to all the younger students in our school particularly their Prep buddies. Luckily the weather cooled off a bit in the earlier part of last week so our Year 6s could comfortably wear their bomber jackets proudly without feeling too hot!

Congratulations to the following children who will lead our community in 2020…

School Captains

Angus P

Carmel R

Finn H

Eliane P

SRC Leaders

Ben D

Madeleine W

Arts Leaders

Ryan J

Eva S

Sam A

Social Justice Leaders

Sam A 

Ben T

Sports Leaders

Kane D (Blue)

Charli M (Blue)

Jamie R (Blue) 

Lachlan L (Red)

Ben T (Red) 

Kate E (Green)

Jordan H (Green)

Finn S (Yellow)

Carmi M (Yellow)

E-Learning Leaders

Braedyn H

Jamie R 

Sustainability Leaders

Ellika D

Mikayla O

Nathan H

Ava L

Casey K

Imogen C

Staffing News

Last Friday was an exciting day at St John the Baptist as a very animated Miss Gorman arrived at work sporting a stunning engagement ring! Steph is now proudly the fiance of Nathan. Congratulations to Steph and Nathan on this wonderful news. As Steph said, “We now have a wedding to plan!” We wish you every blessing Steph as you enjoy this special time in your life. 

Year 5/6 Camp

Our Year 5/6 children and their teachers will be heading to Campaspe Downs in Kyneton from tomorrow Wednesday 12th February - Friday 14th February. We wish all our campers a happy and safe camp experience. Thankyou to Sue Cahill, Tracey Ryan, Stephanie Gorman and Julie Gellie who will be taking time away from their own families to attend the camp. I am lucky enough to be heading up to camp on Wednesday and staying overnight. I’ll return to school Thursday afternoon. It’s a great opportunity to share in a wonderful experience with the children and get to know them in a different context. 

P & F Thank You

Thankyou to our P&F  for hosting our annual Twilight on the Green welcome picnic. It was a fabulous night on our school oval as we were entertained by Bec and Simon (Year 1 Parents) of Melbourne Hit Parade and DJ Arch (one of our talented Year 5 students). The oval was buzzing with many children and parents also taking to the microphone to try out their singing talents! Thanks also to many of our wonderful staff who attended the evening

Bushfire Crisis: A Call to Action

We have all been touched over the summer by the bushfires and been saddened to see the the loss of lives and homes. Three  of our students Imogen, Lorelai and Gabby along with their Mum Jade felt so moved by the devastation of the fires that they felt compelled to act. Together they baked lots of goodies for their community. They set up a ‘take and donate’ stall in Olinda where people passing by could take a treat and provide a donation of any amount. Within a couple of hours they raised about $270 dollars! They’ve generously donated the funds between the Salvation Army BushFire Appeal and Wildlife Victoria. 

"Love and charity, are service, helping others, serving others. There are many people who spend their lives in this way, in the service of others. … When you forget yourself and think of others, this is love!” Pope Francis

School Open Day and 2021 Prep Enrolment

Our school open day will take place on Wednesday 11th March from 8.00am-5.00pm. A hard copy note has come home today inviting parents to help out on the day with  school tours. Please invite any friends, family or neighbours who have a child eligible to start school in 2021 to come along and see our wonderful school in action. 

We already have children enrolled for Prep 2021. If you have a child who is eligible to start Prep in 2021 please make contact with the school office to complete an enrolment form. As an existing family with siblings in the school you are our first priority for enrolment. It is important that we know our incoming Prep siblings so we know how many places we can offer to new families. Offers for placements for Prep for 2021 will go out by the end of Term 1, 2020. 

School Sports Day

Our annual St John the Baptist sports day will be held on Friday 21st February at Knox Athletics Track. All children in the school will participate in events to earn points for their house. We hope that you will be able to help out on the day either as a parent helper or as part of the cheering crowd in the stands. Seeing our Preps run their first race ever is an event not to be missed! The children will be taken by bus to and from this event. 

Unexplained Student Absence: Notifying Parents

Attendance Guidelines for Victorian Schools now state: ‘schools must advise parents/guardians of unexplained absences on the same day, as soon as practicable.’ As a result of these guidelines I would like to remind parents that if your child is absent from school you need to advise us of their absence either via a phone call to the school office or via our skoolbag app. We will place a phone call to any families where we have an unexplained absence for their child. 

School Aid Bushfire Appeal

In response to the recent and devastating events across Australia, and with those affected by the bushfires in mind, the  Australian Catholic Primary Principals Association are calling all schools to contribute $100 to help 'students work through the horror and devastation they witnessed for most of the long break. If our 10 000 schools could find just $100 each, we will celebrate a $1 million dollar response'. As a school we will certainly send our $100 contribution, but if any other students or families wish to make additional donations there will be an opportunity for you to do so. Our 2020 Social Justice Leaders, Sam and Ben, will provide each classroom with a container for your donation. 

Term 1 Diary Dates

Term 1 2020

Week 3

Wed 12th Prep Rest Day - No school for Preps today

Year 5/6 Camp, Campaspe Downs, Kyneton
Thurs 13th Year 5/6 Camp
Fri 14th Year 5/6 Campers return

Week 4

Mon 17th P&F Meeting at 7.00pm - all welcome
Tues 18th Swimming Squad Training - 8.00-8.30am

Education Board Meeting at 7.30pm
Wed 19th Prep Rest Day - No school for Preps today

District Swimming
Fri 21stSJB Sport Athletics Carnival - Knox Athletics Track

Camps, Sports & Excursions Fund (CSEF)

Do you have a valid means-tested concession card or are a temporary foster parent, then you may be eligible for CSEF. Please read the attached 'Information for Parents' sheet and if eligible download the form below and return to the school office.

CSEF 'Information for Parents' Sheet


CSEF Application Form


School Sports Victoria

Team Vic Trials - 12 Years and Under

School Sport Victoria will once again be offering the opportunity for students with emerging talent to register to trial for School Sport Victoria State Teams in 2020.

Registration to trial are now open and remain open until Sunday March 1st 2020 for Boys Australian Football, Netball, Boys Basketball, Girls Basketball and Boys Football (Soccer).

Registration to trial for most SSV 12 Years and Under Team Vic teams to compete in School Sport Australian Championships is done through an online process managed by School Sport Victoria.

To be eligible, children registering to trial must be turning 10, 11 or 12 years of age in 2020.

Please be aware of the following:

  • Students and families must consult with their Principal to ensure they have the skill level to trial and represent their school at a national championship level.

Registration forms can be obtain on the School Sport website - 

Any further enquiries can be directed to Mrs Tracey Ryan.

Sustainability News

Library News

Helpers Needed Please - if any parents are able to assist with covering library books, please contact Julie Gellie.  A set of books and contact can be taken home to cover and then returned to the library/office when complete.

Parents & Friends News


Monday 17th February - P& F Meeting
Saturday 29th February - Bunnings BBQ
Saturday 14th March - SJB Winery Tour
Monday 16th March - P&F Meeting
Tuesday 17th March - Dress down day (st Patrick’s theme)

Twilight on the Green

A huge thank you to all the families who came along to Twilight On The Green last Friday! It was a cracking night with around 50 families in attendance! Thanks to our fabulous band Bec & Simon Russell and DJ Archie McK for spinning the decks between sets.Thank you to our sponsor The Club Hotel who gifted our lucky door prize, a $50 dinner voucher, won by the Lankester family! We raised just shy of $500! A great start to the year.

The Club Hotel - Charity Day

Raising money for the Royal Children’s Hospital Good Friday Appeal, The Club Hotel is hosting a fun day out for the family on Sunday, Feb 23 12-4pm. There will be a BBQ and spit roast, facepainting, showbags and jumping castle as well as live music. They’re a great support to the school so get on down and show them some love for a great cause.

P&F Meeting - Monday 17th

P&F Meeting at 7.00pm in the staffroom.  EVERYONE welcome - come along and meet the committee! (Everyone except the little people, that is! Sorry, you need to leave them at home - they get bored with the grown up stuff).


 We have secured a date for our Bunnings BBQ fundraiser - Saturday February 29th.  If you are able to assist, please complete the volunteer form below. 

Bunnings BBQ Volunteer Form


Saturday March 14th - P&F SJB Winery Tour

Get in quick, to confirm your seat for the 2020 winery tour. 

Your $115 ticket covers winery tours tastings, lunch, lucky door prizes and transport.

It will be an early start - leaving SJB hall at 9.00am, and we expect to return around 5.30pm

Forms will come home this week, and can be returned with your $65 deposit to the office. FULL payment is due by Wednesday March 4th.

SPACES ARE LIMITED so don't delay - secure your spot and join the fun!!

Entertainment Digital Book PROMOTION!!!!!!

Buy a membership before 29th February and receive an extra 4 MONTHS FREE.

Click this link to help our school buy new play equipment for our kids

The digital book is bigger and better than ever and is updated constantly and now more than ever saves you money, keeps the kids, husbands and wives entertained.

If you have never had the Entertainment Book before, you are in for a real eye opener as to how some people go out as often as they do and still save money.


Flexischools Update

In order to streamline the running of the canteen and to make it more efficient, we are aiming to become fully online this year by using the Flexischools Online service.

It is extremely simple to use, the only stipulation is that orders must be in by 8.30am on a canteen morning.

If anyone has any problems or they miss the cut-off time, they will be able to ring the school or myself directly and we will ensure that your child does not miss their lunch.

I am aware that this process will take some time, below is information on how to access the website and flexischools now have an app (flyer sent home today) that can be downloaded to make it even easier!

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me or just pop up to the canteen for a visit.

Tracey Walker

Canteen Helpers Form


Canteen Price List 2020



Canteen Roster - Term 1 2020

Wednesday February 12th

Chantha Vann

Friday Februay 14th

Jessie Stephens

Michelle Neve

Wednesday February 19th

Andrea Comport

Friday February 21st

School Athletics Day

No Canteen

Parish News

World Day of Prayer

Trivia Night

Camp Australia

Community News

P&F Sponsors

St John the Baptist Ferntree Gully