Welcome to Term One

It’s school time again and after a long Summer holiday there are many people, young and old, very pleased to be back into the routine of regular term time. It was lovely to welcome all our students back to school yesterday and to see their smiling faces and eyes wide in excited anticipation. We particularly welcome all our new students and their families and look forward to getting to know them better throughout the year.

During the holidays there was a lot of work taking place on the Primary campus, with the first stage of the new Kindergarten playground being completed, ‘way-finding’ signs installed and the resurfacing of the Sports Courts for tennis and netball, commencing. New concrete has been poured for these courts and the area will be out of action until the concrete has cured sufficiently. Following this, a new playing surface will be installed and the courts will be ready for use in Term Two.

Refurbishment work is also continuing in the Coman Building to create an office space for our newly appointed College Counsellor, Ms Rebecca Wright.

We are also establishing an Innovation and Research Centre at the College and Mrs Laurie Wilson will be working in this area on the Primary campus, linking the Library and STEM Institute to bring this new initiative to fruition. It is an exciting project and one that will greatly benefit our students.

Tomorrow – Friday 1 February, the students and teachers in Years Four to Six will travel by College bus to the Secondary campus to attend the Commissioning Service for our new Principal, Mrs Maria McIvor. Students will need to wear their formal school uniform for this occasion.

The Parents and Friends Association will host a Welcome event for all families on Friday 22 February to welcome Mrs McIvor and families to our College community. Further information about this special event will be distributed in the near future.

Keeping Children Safe
Our College has a number of policies and procedures in place to provide a safe learning environment for everyone and we ask that all family members and staff adhere to these procedures. A brief overview of these procedures is outlined below:

Before School
There is to be NO playing in the Prep playground and other playing equipment as there are no staff members supervising these areas. Children are to wait in the designated areas below, where they are supervised from 8.00am until the first bell at 8.25am when they go to class.

Prep children – wait in the Breezeway next to the Prep classrooms
Years One and Two – wait in the undercover area outside the STEM Institute
Years Three to Six – wait in the area just outside their classrooms

Children who arrive at school prior to 8.00am should be taken to ABCC so that they are well cared for prior to school commencing.

Kiss and Drive
Our Kiss and Drive pickup and drop off procedure has been developed in conjunction with Brisbane City Council and local police and it is an expectation that all families follow these procedures to ensure the safety of everyone. These procedures have been outlined to parents in previous newsletters and parent information handbooks, but if you are not familiar with them please contact Primary Reception for a copy.

The following points should be remembered when using Kiss and Drive:

  • The Kiss and Drive zone is a ‘two minute pick-up and drop-off area’ and drivers should not leave their car whilst in this area.
  • Vehicles are not permitted to park in the Kiss and Drive Queuing zone.
  • Vehicles should not enter the round-a-bout if it will obstruct the movement of traffic. It is an offence to stop at any point on the round-a-bout and obstruct traffic while waiting to enter the Queuing zone.
  • Parents are asked to be considerate of those following behind and move to the farthest space in the zone before stopping in the Kiss and Drive area.
  • Waiting until 3.20pm avoids the busiest pick up time and minimises congestion.

There is a very short period of time in the afternoons when the traffic in Alpine Place can become heavy and your cooperation in following procedures and being patient is greatly appreciated. Please ensure that you are adhering to the road rules as spot visits from police and Brisbane City Council traffic wardens can result in fines being given to motorists who are disregarding the road rules by parking in no-parking areas or queuing around the round-about, for example.

I also encourage parents to avoid arriving at school 3.00pm and 3.15pm as these times appear to be the busiest. Parents who arrive at around 3.08pm and 3.24pm, have very little waiting, if any, because many of the students have been collected. Staff are on duty in the Kiss and Drive area until 3.30pm each afternoon and so there is no need for parents to rush to be here at 3.00pm (for Prep to Year Two) or 3.10pm (for Years Three to Six) when the bell rings for the end of school.

I thank you for your support in using Kiss and Drive safely.

Parking on school grounds is reserved for Staff and Kindergarten families. Parents delivering their children to early morning clubs and activities, such as Running Club, are asked to move their cars from the College grounds by 7.45am to allow staff and Kindergarten parents to park prior to the commencement of school.

The Emergency Parking zone directly in front of the double gates at the far end of the oval must never be blocked by parked vehicles. The Emergency zone, clearly identified with yellow hatched markings, allows easy access for emergency vehicles onto the oval when required.

Parking in Alpine Place and nearby streets is limited. However, there is ample parking in Woogaroo Street, which intersects with Forest Lake Boulevard, with only a short walk to school and from school.

Student Protection
Each year we welcome family members as volunteers to assist in the classroom, with sports teams and on excursions for example. Anyone wishing to assist at the College must attend a Student Protection presentation each year and have their name listed on our Volunteer register. If the volunteer is not a parent they can only assist at the College if they have a valid Blue Card and it is linked to St John’s. We will be holding two Student Protection Presentations for volunteers this term, on Tuesday 19 February at 6.00pm in Living Faith Chapel and on Thursday 21 February at 2.00pm in the Chinese Room. If you are planning on being one of our greatly valued volunteers, please come along and hear about our policies and procedures in relation to student protection.

Cyber Safety
Using computer technology for work and play has become the norm in our society and our children need to be taught how to use this technology safely and appropriately. Parents and family members also need to keep up with the changes in technology so they can assist the young children in their lives to make positive choices when using computers. Each year we invite a guest speaker to talk to the students about cyber issues and we provide an evening information session to help families keep well informed. This year presenters from ‘Project Rockit’ will be at St John’s on 6 and 7 February to talk to students and families at the following times:

Parents and Carers Cyber Safety Presentation – Wednesday 6 February, 6.30pm, Performing Arts Centre, Secondary Campus. It is essential that families take the time to learn about cyber safety and how they can support their children in using technology safely and appropriately. I encourage everyone to come along to this very important evening.

Primary Cyber Safety Workshops – Thursday 7 February, Living Faith Chapel

Casserole Crew
The Casserole Crew was started by a parent in 2012 to support another parent who had cancer. When this parent left the school, the College (Primary campus) took up the challenge to co-ordinate this important community service.

The Casserole Crew is run by the parents of St John’s Anglican College. They give support to families in the school community who are in need due to ill health or other circumstances by offering to make a meal, donate aluminium containers or cooler bags.

Due to the number of members on the Casserole Crew database, most families only cook 1 to 2 meals per year.

If you would like to be part of this valuable team, blessing other families, please contact Pam Boardman at pboardman@sjac.qld.edu.au OR complete the tear off slip and hand it to your child’s teacher.

We congratulate Sarbani Maitra for securing the Runners Up position in GU11 in the Scottish Junior Open Squash Competition held in Edinburgh during the recent holidays.  This is an amazing achievement for a student just entering Year Five.

Communication with parents is very important to us and our class teachers will send a weekly ‘snapshot’ to families on a weekly basis. We will be opening access to our Schoolbox pages where parents can access all snapshots and a variety of other information about their child’s class, in the coming weeks, when all the class pages are established. I will provide you with information about Schoolbox once it is ready to go live for 2019.

I am really looking forward to seeing families at events and activities throughout the year. Please don’t hesitate to contact your class teacher or myself if you have any questions about St John’s.

Kind regards

Sandra Hawken
Head of Primary