Primary News

There was a buzz of excitement on Monday, 25 May when we welcomed back to school the students who have been learning online and working from home since the end of Term One, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It was fabulous to see the children’s smiling faces and to have full classes in all year levels once again. We are so proud of the way in which our College community has managed the shutdown period and thank families for working closely with our teachers to assist the children with learning from home.  Having the children back at school is the first step in the ongoing process of slowly reintroducing the variety of learning opportunities we have at St John’s.

Extra-curricular clubs and sport training, as well as assemblies, Chapel services and special events cannot resume at this stage. However, we are hoping for some to be permitted in Term Three and will advise families as soon as we know.

Our Primary Athletics Carnival that was planned for Thursday 11 June will not occur. Trials for field events will be conducted during PE lessons and a modified carnival will be organised for Term Three. Unfortunately, it is likely that families will not be able to attend this event due to physical distancing requirements. Our annual Cross Country will also be a modified event to be held in Term Three. As we are not able to resume Running Club at this stage, we encourage students to prepare for Athletics and Cross County by training with their family members.

Learning Engagements
There has been a significant amount of learning taking place this term, even though some students have been learning at home and others attended lessons at school. For example, teachers have been very impressed with the Year Two oral presentations on life cycles and in Year Five, the teachers were thrilled with the way in which students conducted their experiments on bird beak adaptations.

Technology has been a great help with our recent learning engagements and our students are keen to further develop their skills with using digital devices. Last week, Year Five students explored other worlds using virtual reality goggles, while Year Two students practiced their typing skills.

National Reconciliation Week
This week was National Reconciliation Week and we remembered the occasion by reflecting on the importance of ‘Sorry Day’ – Tuesday 26 May.  Students were encouraged to think about how it feels to be hurt and what it is like to be given an apology. Five elements of saying sorry were discussed:

  • Express regret by saying, ‘I am sorry.’
  • Accept responsibility by saying, ‘I was wrong.’
  • Make amends by saying, ‘What can I do to make it right?’
  • Repent by saying, ‘I won’t do that again.’
  • Request forgiveness – ‘Will you please forgive me?’

Reconciliation means restoring friendly relationships and National Reconciliation Week was established to build respect for the Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. When children reflect on their own experiences it can help them to develop an understanding of the experiences of others. Through our participation in National Reconciliation Week it is our hope that our students will understand the importance of saying sorry and valuing reconciliation with Australia’s Indigenous people.

Simultaneous Storytime
Wednesday 27 May was the day we all took time out to read a book together as part of National Simultaneous Storytime. This year, the book titled ‘Chicken Divas’ was read by Mrs Laurie Wilson and everyone enjoyed the humour and fun of the story and its presentation.

The aim of National Simultaneous Storytime is to:

  • Promote the value of reading and literacy
  • Promote Australian authors, and
  • Promote the value and fun of books

It is also an excellent way of developing a love of reading in our children.

As we are now in the second half of Term Two the teachers will be spending the next few weeks assessing student knowledge and understanding in preparation for compiling student reports. Student reports will be available in the first week of the Winter holiday period and families will be able to access their child’s report through parent portal.

Parent teacher interviews will be conducted via telephone or Microsoft Teams in the last week of this term. Interviews will be scheduled for ten minutes with five minutes in between each interview to allow teachers time to contact the next parent. We thank families for their understanding in regard to the different format for parent/teacher interviews this semester.

LEGO Engineering Challenge
This terms’ STEM Institute focus will be Engineering and St John’s primary students (Prep to Year 6) are invited to participate in a St John’s LEGO Masters Engineering Challenge. Students are challenged to use their own LEGO to build a model of a residential house, and adhere to the following criteria:

  • Design – Original design, not created from a pre-existing design.
  • Complexity – Thought given to the needs of residents.
  • Colour – Use of colour is thoughtful and not random.
  • Written explanation (Years 3-6 only) – students to provide a maximum one-page written description of their design, explaining its features. Students in Prep to Year 2 are also welcome to provide a written explanation, though it is not required.
  • Presentation– model is presented in an appealing manner. Student designs will be displayed in the Library in one of two ways:
    • Students can bring their models to the Library to be displayed – each model must be labelled with the student’s name, class, and house.
    • Students can take photos of their model from different angles and present these in poster form – each poster must be labelled with the student’s name, class, and house.

Judging  – All designs must be submitted by Friday 12 June.

Designs will be judged by Mr Grant Galvin, CEO of Master Builders Queensland

Each entry will earn one point for their house.  First place prizes will be given to the winning design in each of the year levels, from Prep to Year 6. The first-place prize will be a LEGO book. Each first-place prize will earn an additional 10 points for their house.  All house points will be collated, and the house that achieves the greatest points will win the Engineering Trophy.

Winners will be announced, and prizes presented on the last day of Term 2, Friday 19 June.

Please contact Mrs Laurie Wilson for further information on

I can’t wait to see all the amazing Dream House creations.

Kind regards,

Sandra Hawken
Head of Primary