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Off to a Great Start

Keylock Daniel‘In the beginning, it will take more time and the academics will be second in line. Reading, writing and arithmetic are important but so is relationship. Once safety, security and acceptance are solidified at the beginning of the school year, such an environment will progress academic learning to its highest potential over the span of the entire school year. It is the investment of time and emotional energy where the payoff materializes into academic achievement long term.’ (Forbes, H.  Help for Billy)

At the start of this year, St John’s Campus has had a large focus on the development of relationships and culture within our classrooms. We call this beginning to the year ‘Off to a Great Start’. With so much research around about how important the link is between strong relationships and learning, ‘Off to a Great Start’ allows us to focus on developing relationships, both teacher-student and student-student, without the worry of diving straight into what the written curriculum requires of us. 

If you had wandered around the school during this week, you would have seen classes spending time on tasks such as talking about their classroom culture, developing Essential Agreements, unpacking the Learner Profile and what each of these aspects means, spending time getting to know each other through a range of activities, working with their buddies to develop relationships across the school, and a range of other relationship or culture building activities.

Whilst school has now started to resemble the day to day routines with which you may be more familiar, we strongly believe, here at St John’s Campus, that ‘Off to a Great Start’ lays the foundations for some solid relationships, but also productive and richer learning as the year develops.

Below are some of the students’ thoughts about what ‘Off to a Great Start’ means to them:

“I think it is a great way to start the year. There is a lot of focus on group activities and getting to know new people, this helps strengthen our relationships not just with our friends, but with all those who we will be mixing with across the year. I also like the fact that you get an opportunity to bond with your teacher, before you jump straight into work.” - Maddie (Year 6)

“I like to play with different people each year because I get to know more about them. Off to a great start gives me opportunities to mix with new people, which has been particularly good this year as we have had lots of new people in our year level.” – Lucas (Year 4)

Daniel Keylock,
Year 5 Teacher

  • Off to a great start AI
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Principal's Update

Visiting Principal

Earlier this term we invited Mr Paul Weinert (Co-Principal of the College and Principal of the Concordia Campus) to visit our campus and meet students, staff and parents. It was lovely to have Paul join us for our Staff Devotion at 8.15am and then for our regular school Chapel service after this. Paul also stayed for a special morning tea in the courtyard providing opportunity for parents to meet him personally and speak with him. It was encouraging to have so many parents join us on this morning and warmly welcome Paul to our campus.

As Co-Principals of our College, Paul and I are committed to working together in partnership for the wellbeing and benefit of our whole College, seeking to ensure a positive and connected experience for all of our students. 

Parent Information Night

Thank you to our parents and caregivers who attended the recent Parent Information Night in Week 2. It is always encouraging to see so many parents making the effort to join us for this evening where we focus on ensuring a positive beginning to the year and the partnership between home and school. We trust that this evening was both informative and helpful to all who attended. As always, please let us know if you have any suggestions as to how we can enhance this night so that it can better serve the needs of parents. 

Staff Blessing and Installation

Nearly 50 staff from our St John’s Campus gathered as part of the St John’s Church's regular Sunday service on 10 February for the installation of new staff and the blessing of our whole staff team. It was wonderful to share this special event with the St John’s congregation and we thank Pastor Andrew Brook for accommodating this in the service.

Basketball Courts

Please note that the recently re-laid basketball courts will be painted next week (Monday, 25 February to Friday, 1 March). As such, the courts will not be available for use during this time. We expect to regain access to the courts on Monday, 4 March.

Michael Paech
Principal - St John's Campus

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Announcing our 2019 House Captains

It is with great pleasure that I announce the 2019 House Captains for St John's Campus. 

Highgate: Asha (6EH) and James (6EH)

Winchester: Jack (6EH) and Chelsea (6EH)

Cheltenham: Ruby (6EH) and Joey (6SH)

Malvern: Lachlan (6EH) and Susie (6SH)

We pray every blessing on these students as they serve the St John’s Campus community through their role, particularly in the lead up to and during Sports Day.

Photo L-R: Ruby, Joey, James, Asha, Chelsea, Susie, Lachlan. Absent: Jack

Nicole Fielke
PE Teacher

  • SJ House Captains AI
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Student Led Conferences

These conferences not only give students the opportunity to share their learning, they also assist in developing and increasing the students' self-confidence and ability to be reflective learners.

Essential skills that are also developed through the planning and running of the SLC:

  • Organisation skills
  • Communication skills
  • Management of time and resources
  • Social skills

It is a chance for students to become the teachers as they revel in the captive audience of you – their parents.

When attending a Student Led Conference, you will be involved in various activities that will showcase the different learning opportunities your child has, seeing your child active in their learning environment.

Following on from the information shared at the Parent Information Night held on Thursday, 7 February, please be aware that the dates and times for the Student Led Conferences have been changed this year to allow for students to have a greater voice, choice and ownership of the planning for and facilitation of their conference.

These changes also allow for greater opportunities to share from all key learning areas and for the students to be able to present their learning at the optimal time of their day. Each year level will have one date for their Student Led Conferences. Please see below for your child’s date for their conference.

These will be held from 9.00 am – 10.30 am.

More detailed information will be sent to you prior the Student Led Conference. Please mark these dates and times in your calendar to ensure that you are able to attend this valuable reporting opportunity.

  • ELC – Term 4, Week 2 (day and time to be advised)
  • Reception – Thursday 19 September (Term 3, Week 9)
  • Year 1 – Thursday 8 August (Term 3, Week 3)
  • Year 2 – Thursday 27 June (Term 2, Week 9)
  • Year 3 – Thursday 5 September (Term 3, Week 7)
  • Year 4 – Wednesday 30 October (Term 4, Week 3)
  • Year 5 – Tuesday 18 June (Term 2, Week 8)
  • Year 6 – Tuesday 4 June (Term 2, Week 6)

Rachel Muldoon
PYP Coordinator

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Siassi Walkathon - Save the Date

Our annual Siassi Walkathon will take place after morning Chapel on Friday, 29 March (Week 9).

This event raises valuable funds in support of our partnership with schools on the Siassi Islands of Papua New Guinea. More details coming soon. 

Nancy Wells
Visual Arts Teacher

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German Update

Please note that the a new German update was recently posted on the parent portal.

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Twilight Tea

We are looking forward to the upcoming College-wide event, Twilight Tea, to be held at the Concordia Campus on Friday, 15 March.

For more information, view the list of upcoming events on the noticeboard in this week's newsletter.

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