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As an educational leader within a Catholic community, my primary goal is to cultivate positive relationships with all community members. However, my ultimate focus is to advocate for the children while collaborating with educators to create engaging, rigorous, and authentic learning opportunities. I firmly believe that as educators, it is our responsibility to address the spiritual, social, physical, and emotional needs of all individuals within our care. 


St. John’s operates proudly in the guidance of the Sisters of St. Joseph. This influential leadership embodies a tradition of embracing all, especially the most vulnerable, while rejoicing in all that is good with joy and gratitude. Our commitment lies in nurturing a love for learning, fostering imagination, and actively practicing justice and service. We are dedicated to providing a secure, nurturing, and supportive learning environment, ensuring every child can achieve success.

Though ours is a small school, our aspirations, dreams, and expectations are substantial. Our school motto, 'Walk together in Light,' embodies the essence of our community. Walking hand in hand defines our identity. While life's path may present challenges, we stand united in celebration, laughter, shared tears, offering support by holding hands and collectively bearing burdens.

Within our school community, everyone is recognised by name. We deeply cherish the partnership between the school and home, actively involving our families in a shared dialogue about learning. We extend an invitation to join our St. John’s family, embracing you as we are embraced by yours. Together, we walk the path of education and growth, hand in hand, guided by our shared values.

 

We look forward to welcoming you.

 

Kind regards,

 

Emily Conroy

Principal

Anchor 1

SCHOOL CONTACTS

 

Phone:  9687 3150

Fax:  9687 9166

 

Email (office):  admin@sjfootscray.catholic.edu.au

Email (fees):  accounts@sjfootscray.catholic.edu.au

Websitewww.sjfootscray.catholic.edu.au

 

Principal:  Emily Conroy
Deputy Principals:  Karen Dodemaide & Lauren Davis

Administration:  Melinda McNaught & Leonie Kirk

 

Office Hours:  8.30am - 4pm, Monday to Friday

PARISH CONTACTS

Parish Priest:  Fr. Gerald Binegas

 

Parish Office:

Phone:  9317 9298

Fax:  9317 4311

Website: hfp.org.au/

Contacts

2024 SCHOOL DATES

Term 1: Tuesday 30th January (for Prep only)

                Wednesday 31st January (Years 1 - 6) 

Term 2: 15th April - 28th June

Term 3: 15th July - 20th September

Term 4: 7th October - 17th December

Preps will begin on Tuesday 30th January 2024 

 

Preps will not attend school on a Wednesday until the week of Labour Day. 

 

Preps will be full time at St John's from Tuesday 12th March 2024 

 

SCHOOL HOURS

We do not have bells at St John’s. Building self-management is an important skill.
 

8.30 Gates and Hubs open - Yard supervised
Note: Please do not drop children earlier as they are left unsupervised outside of the 
school grounds. OSHClub is available for before and after school care bookings.

8.45 - School begins - Getting ready to learn time ‘Present, Centred and Grounded’ 
10.50 - First Break

11.20 - Eating Time

11.30 - Learning Time

1.30 - Break time

2.00 - Eating Time

2.10 - Learning Time

3.15 - Finish

School Hours
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At St. John's, we believe that children are at the centre when given authentic and meaningful experiences. They flourish when their passions and interests are acknowledged and valued. Children are empowered when they take ownership of their learning. They have a right to develop autonomy through play and investigation.

TERMINOLOGY USED AT ST JOHN'S

Getting Ready to Learn (GRTL)

Each morning we will begin with our ‘Getting Ready To Learn’ time. This is a strategy from the Berry Street Education Model to welcome the children with a greeting as they enter the hub and begin the day by sitting in a circle. Participating in a circle routine in the morning promotes positive connections between children and peers, as well as children and educators. This routine helps to create a sense of safety and belonging that can support student engagement, build wellbeing and create positive classroom communities. Children experience positive emotions that prime them for open, flexible and engaged thinking.

Hub

We refer to the learning spaces or classrooms as hubs

Specialist Program

St John’s specialist program allows children opportunities to learn specific skill sets from a specialised teacher. Our current specialist
program includes LOTE (Japanese), Innovation (STEM), Physical
Education (Sport), The Arts (Performing Arts and Music) and Farm

(Engaging with Place)

Farm

St John’s has access to the covent garden where we have developed the space into a ‘farm’ This is a beautiful green space that is used by the whole community. Families can access this space at any time and support the maintenance through working bees to keep it looking healthy. We have added a new chicken coup that was built in partnership with Emmanuel College and their VCAL students, which is home to our much-loved hens, Bella and Coco. We use the Farm for our Engaging with Place specialist subject where all children will have weekly opportunities to work the farm, engage in place, linking to eco-spirituality and care for the land.

Guiding principles for Engaging With Place are;

  • We acknowledge the Wurundjeri people, and recognise their deep spiritual and cultural connection to the land.

  • We only take from the land what we can put back.

  • We listen to the land and share its stories with others

 

Mini Lesson

A mini lesson is a short, sharp teaching opportunity where the educator has planned explicit focus for the whole group. Mini lessons are planned using data and are sequenced to provide opportunities for the teacher to model and repeat key learning ideas, skills, strategies or behaviours they want the children to develop and use independently.

Target Group

A target group is an explicit teaching opportunity for children in a small group. The educator uses a child’s data to group them with other children with similar needs in learning a specific skill or strategy in Literacy or Numeracy. The idea is that the learning and teaching is targeted to the specific needs of the group.

Terminology

Intervention:

To allow us to meet the needs of children we have various intervention programs that are led by Educators or our Learning Support Offices who we call co-educators. The intervention programs are designed to target specific needs of children who require additional adjustments for continued learning growth in their Literacy or Numeracy. We work closely with the parents of children who may need this additional support so that we are in partnership with each other so their child is and feels successful as a learner.

Reinforcements

We use reinforcements to provide opportunities for children to practise what they have learned during a mini lesson, target group or an intervention program. The reinforcements are usually led by Co-educators

Discovery/Discovery Project

Discovery offers a unique opportunity to see a child in a new light, as they express themselves through many languages. It is a privilege to enter this space and to learn about how they communicate about their world. This connection has the potential to transform and create shifts in the relationships that we share.

Through Discovery, we offer new possibilities and create space for children to respond to their wonderings and curiosities. When children explore and investigate their own interests and passions, they interweave their emotions, dispositions and motivations with learning. This engagement through play fosters empowerment and deep, transferable connections with knowledge and understanding.

P-6 Discovery Structure: Discovery runs throughout the day, while children are in Target Groups. There are three ‘Discoverers’ who are spotlighted throughout the day.

Tuning In

  • P-2: The educator tunes the rest of the group into the Discoverer’s interests and intentions for the day.

  • 3-6: An explicit tune-in to skills or dispositions needed for children to be successful during the Discovery

     

Influencer/Conferencing/Check in

  • P-2: Influencing play in spaces according to curriculum.

  • 3-6: Checking in and conferencing/influencing children on their individual projects.

 

Reflection:

This takes place through the day in response to new learning that has been constructed.

‘Play provides opportunities for children to learn as they discover, create, improvise and imagine. When children play with other children they create social groups, test out ideas, challenge each other’s thinking and build new understandings. Play provides a supportive environment where children can ask questions, solve problems and engage in critical thinking. Play can expand children’s thinking and enhance their desire to know and to learn. In these ways play can promote positive dispositions towards learning. Children’s immersion in their play illustrates how play enables them to simply enjoy being’ (EYLF, 2009, p. 15).

Community Projects

Our Community Project offers us possibilities to make the invisible, visible. It provides us with an opportunity to create an identity for concepts and ideas we cannot yet see. We construct theories through our interactions with materials and others, and rely on the collective experiences and perspectives that we share.

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WEEKLY LEARNING STRUCTURE

This is an outline of what a week of learning at St John’s could look like but this can change to adapt to the learning needs of the children, events that might be happening or opportunities for learning through an incursion or excursion.

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EMAIL ADDRESSES

To email educators please use the following email addresses;

Prep Hub Educators - prephub@sjfootscray.catholic.edu.au

One Hub Educators - onehub@sjfootscray.catholic.edu.au

Two Hub Educators - twohub@sjfootscray.catholic.edu.au

Three/Four Hub Educators - threefourhub@sjfootscray.catholic.edu.au 

Five/Six Hub Educators - fivesixhub@sjfootscray.catholic.edu.au 

Emily Conroy: Principal - econroy@sjfootscray.catholic.edu.au

Karen Dodemaide: Co-Deputy Principal/Wellbeing Leader - kdodemaide@sjfootscray.catholic.edu.au

Lauren Davis: Co- Deputy Principal/ Discovery - ldavis@sjfootscray.catholic.edu.au (Tuesdays and Wednesdays)

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OUR WAYS OF COMMUNICATING

 

Please keep in mind the following ways in which to receive and send communications with our school.

SEESAW

Used to receive information from your educator regarding your child’s learning. Children will also upload their essential tasks via this platform.

 

Seesaw gives families an immediate and personalised window into their child’s school day, helping to answer: "What did you do at school today?" Frequent visual and personalised updates bring parents closer to their child’s learning. 

  • Updates spark conversations at home       

  • Allows parents to like and comment on items

  • Data is never shared with third parties

  • All content is secure and protected        

SIMON

Late 2023 we will be launching SIMON as a platform for communicating with families. Families will be able to access Student Reports, First Aid notes, permission notes, log absences, access newsletters and notifications through the platform called PAM (Parent Access Module).  More information will be forthcoming.

To ensure you don't miss out on any communication from St John's, please add these three email addresses to your contacts list:- 

admin@sjfootscray.catholic.edu.au

accounts@sjfootscray.catholic.edu.au

noreply@sjfootscray.catholic.edu.au

St John’s will use Parent Access Module (PAM) to share any relevant communication with parents

WELLBEING CONCERNS

At times children may be experiencing difficulties due to a range of reasons impacting their wellbeing, sense of belonging, wanting to come to school or ability to make good choices. We want to work in partnership with families to support what is happening at home and at school. Sometimes children find it easier to confide in their parents or siblings about something that is upsetting them and we encourage you to reach out to us to start a conversation and so together monitor what is happening. We can then put supports in place to assist your child to feel happy and safe at school. 

We want to be proactive in dealing with issues as they arise so that it can be dealt with and structures in place while the issue is small. It becomes very complex when issues are left unaddressed and therefore more challenging to find a quick solution. 

We recommend that parents first contact their child’s hub educator as they are the ones who work the closest with your child. 

If there is a confidential issue that involves sensitive information, then we encourage you to reach out to:

 

Karen Dodemaide (Deputy Principal and Wellbeing Leader) kdodemaide@sjfootscray.catholic.edu.au

 

or Emily Conroy (Principal) econroy@sjfootscray.catholic.edu.au

FOOD: Lunchbox and lunch orders

Unfortunately, the incidence of childhood food allergies is on the rise. Some children can have a dramatic reaction to the smell / touch of some items, such as dairy or nut-based products. Their reaction requires serious treatment with adrenaline (Epipen) prior to hospitalisation.

 

As a result, the sharing of food items between children is not permitted, as some items may have a trace of an allergen. This means that bringing cakes or other party foods from home to celebrate birthdays cannot occur. 

 

At lunch and breaks, children are given time to eat after playing. We aim to support parents in encouraging healthy eating.

 

Lunch Orders will be provided by DT Fusionz each week, Tuesday - Friday. Please provide your child’s order via Spriggy Schools App by, no later than, 9am each morning. 

Note: You may supply your child’s lunchbox (labelled), for the order, in an effort to reduce single use plastic. The menu is available through the Spriggy Schools app.

PARENT VOLUNTEERING

Parents are encouraged to volunteer for excursions.  A Working With Children Check (WWCC) is required prior to assisting us in any way.  Please feel free to register online for a WWCC in advance:- https://www.workingwithchildren.vic.gov.au

 

Parents volunteering for an excursion will need to attend an induction session with a St John’s staff member on the morning of the excursion. A St John’s Volunteer Code of Conduct form is also required and is available from the office, this is valid for 1 year and requires renewal.

BEFORE AND AFTER SCHOOL CARE

OSHClub provides before and after school care on-site at St John’s from 6.30am and closes at 6.00pm.  Additional programs will be offered on school closure days and school holidays providing there is a demand for this service.

Registration and bookings are made through their website: www.oschclub.com.au

Note: childcare benefit and rebate is assessed to determine cost. It is a great idea to register as a casual attendee for the unforeseen times you are unable to collect your child when school finishes.

SCHOOL FEES AND LEVIES

 

School Fees and Levies are billed at the beginning of the school year. 

Fees may be paid by 4 instalments; on a fortnightly or monthly regular payment, or an arranged time agreed by the Principal. We offer payment plan options, together with school direct debit authorities and Centrepay deductions. Please see the school office to organise this, or send an email to accounts@sjfootscray.catholic.edu.au as there are many options to choose from. 

A School Fees and Levies information sheet will be distributed to all families the year prior with instalment dates, amounts etc.

Student Levies Include:

  • All work books, diaries, resources such as pencils, pens etc.

  • Devices

  • Excursions / Incursions

  • Special events such as: Prep breakfast, 1/2 afternoon tea, 3/4 experience, Sacramental levies, sports clubs.

There is an additional cost for years where children participate in an intensive swimming program and attend camp. 

 

CONCESSION CARD HOLDERS: CONCESSIONAL FEE and CAMP, SPORTS & EXCURSION FUND (CSEF)

Any family holding a current Concession Card - yellow Health Care Card or purple Pension Card are eligible for fee assistance and discount/rebate.

The Concessional Fee Policy entitles eligible families to a reduction in school fees. Eligibility requirements include holding a valid concession card or similar government entitlement; completion of direct debit or Centrepay deduction for the balance of the concessional amount and completed CSEF form. All forms must be in place prior to the end to Term 4 in readiness for the new school year. Please contact the office for more information.

Camp, Sports & Excursion Funds (CSEF) is a rebate of $150 per student which is provided to families holding a concession card to be used towards camp, sports and excursion costs only. A form must be completed and a valid concession card must be shown to the school for new families to receive this discount/rebate. This information is required at the beginning of the year, prior to the end of Term 1. Please contact the school office for more information or to collect a form.

MEDICATION AT SCHOOL

If a child is required to have medication at school please collect a form from the school office. The form must be completed by a parent to enable the school to administer any medication. This includes Ventolin, Epipen, non-prescription medication/creams/drops etc or any other medication for allergies. 

We also require an up to date Action Plan every year from your doctor to accompany your medication if it is in relation to Asthma, Allergic Reaction or Anaphylaxis.

ABSENCES AND FAMILY HOLIDAYS

 

Please be aware that parents need to contact the school to give a reason for any type of absence or we will have to mark your child unapproved.   Please refer below for ways to communicate absences with the school.

 

Parents are required to ensure their child attends school and to provide an explanation for their child's absence from school, and the principal must record in writing the reason (if any) given by the parent. The principal must be able to determine from the records if the excuse given was reasonable in terms of the parent meeting their legal obligations.

 

Parents should promptly inform the school of the reason for their child's absence so that the school can:

 

  • determine if the child's absence needs to be excused by the principal, in line with school policy and these guidelines

  • determine the appropriate follow up to ensure the child's education and wellbeing is supported

  • record if the parent has a reasonable excuse for not meeting their obligation to ensure their child attends school each day

 

Where possible, parents should inform the school in advance of upcoming absences to ensure a child's education and wellbeing are supported. Parents are encouraged to communicate openly with the school where a child has an ongoing medical condition that may result in extended absences or medical appointments during school hours.

 

Family holidays will be approved if notification in writing to the Principal has been received in advance.

 

Parents are requested to log their child’s absence using either the Parent Access Module (PAM), email: admin@sjfootscray.catholic.edu.au or phone: 9687 3150

 

Please contact the office (with a reason for the absence) if your child is going to be away or late for school so your child’s absence can be recorded correctly.

 

Our school will notify parents as soon as practicable on the day if a student is not at school and you haven’t contacted the school as to why. If you are notified by the school that your child is away without a reason, please contact us as soon as possible.

 

If a parent cannot be reached because we don’t have your correct contact details (i.e.: message notification fail, disconnected number), then we will make contact with any emergency contact/s nominated on your child’s file held by the school, where possible, on the same day of the unexplained absence.

SCHOOL UNIFORM 

The school uniform is worn with pride, as it is a sign of belonging to our school community.

The school uniform also reflects the pride we, as a school community, take in ourselves and our presence in the local communities. It is an expectation that the school uniform is worn correctly and with respect.

School uniforms can be purchased from RHUniforms in Niddrie or via their website www.rhuniforms.com.au at any time during the year. For online orders, deliveries will be sent directly to the school for distribution to your child.  

The uniform list is available from the school office or on our website and also advertised in  our school newsletter. School uniforms can be matched according to the weather. School socks can be either white or navy blue with black school shoes or runners.  Children are allowed to wear the sports uniform everyday to encourage active play during break times and feeling comfortable during learning time.

School Uniform is to be worn at all times. This includes a sun hat during Terms 1 and 4. (Parents can supply sunscreen if desired).

Jewellery is not to be worn to school. This is a safety issue. The only permissible jewellery is a single stud or sleeper in pierced ears.

 To ensure lost items can be quickly returned to their owner, all items of uniform, including bags, lunch boxes, drink bottles and inside of their school shoes/runners MUST be clearly labelled with your child’s name.


ADDITIONAL CLOTHING - Prep/One We strongly suggest families of Prep to Year 1 students provide a change of clothes in their child’s bag in case of a toileting issue. This might consist of underpants, socks and/or shorts or pants.

We hope that you and your family enjoy your time with us at St John’s.  Special memories are made and enriched by your inclusion and involvement is encouraged. Please do not hesitate to contact our office if you have any questions or concerns: admin@sjfootscray.catholic.edu.au

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