A message from Emily

Principal – St John's Footscray

Dear parents and carers


On Tuesday night we had 18 children from the Year 3 celebrate the Sacrament of First Reconciliation. After initial nerves, all the children participated in the special occasion with reverence and respect. Thank you to Jordan, Molly, Jenna and the families of these children in the preparation for this sacrament.


Yesterday we celebrated Chevon as she prepares for the arrival of her baby girl in a months' time. Chev's last day is tomorrow and we will miss her laughter and sense of humour. 

Thank you Chev for being a constant source of knowledge, advice and holding the St John’s horizon and touchstones at the forefront of all that you do. Your passion and commitment to this community has helped all who join, to learn and honour the story that makes St John’s so special and isn’t lost. Thank you for your kindness and patience and your deep commitment to our community but especially to the children at St John’s. We are very lucky to have you a part of our team. We wish you all the best with the new adventure of growing to a family of four.


Tomorrow children in Years 3 and 5 will sit a NAPLAN practice test in preparation for NAPLAN assessments next week. There are many reasons why we are required to get the children to do a practice test: 

  • Firstly, all assessments are online except for the Year 3 writing assessment. The practice ensures we have the right program successfully installed on our device prior to the first assessment on 15 March. 
  • Secondly, we can test to see if our Wifi network is able to manage a large number of devices simultaneously accessing the internet at the one time.
  • Lastly, we can give children an opportunity to practice logging into the system as well as showing them the different ways the assessments may ask them how to answer the questions. For example, they many need to click on the correct answers, move objects to the correct order, type in a response or answer. If you'd like to see what the assessments look like, you can access these through the public demonstration site. When I clicked on the "Year 3" option and then selected "Reading" then "Standard test", it showed me what the children will see when they are required to login. You just need to press "next" for the next two login/security pages, then a page will ask the child to confirm their name; click on 'yes' and you will now be in the sample test for a NAPLAN Year 3 Reading Assessment.

For families of children in Year 3 and 5 completing NAPLAN, it is important to reassure them that these tests do not assess what makes them unique and exceptional. At school we continue to remind them that we want them to try their best, however their results won't change how much we love and care for them. We know that they all have talents, knowledge and dispositions that are different and amazing, and they aren't factored into these assessments. Some children may display feelings of anxiousness and self doubt. It is important that we don't put too much emphasis on the results of these tests as it will only cloud their mindset. We use a range of assessments at school that demonstrate what a child knows and can do; NAPLAN is just one of these. As a school we know NAPLAN is important tool for measuring our impact and finding trends across time. It also helps us to prioritise where we need to invest time and resources for continued school improvement but this should never be at the cost of a child's wellbeing. If your child expresses concern, listen to what they have to say and reassure them that this is just another test that is going to capture what they know and help our Educators to know what they need to learn next.


Next week is Catholic Education Week. This is an opportunity for all Catholic schools in the Archdiocese of Melbourne to celebrate their Catholic identity, the pivotal role they play within their local community and the strength of the sector. I will be attending the St Patrick's Day mass at Melbourne's St Patrick's Cathedral with our 2023 School Captains in celebration of this week. The theme for Catholic Education Week 2023 is ‘Forming lives of faith, hope and love in the light of Christ’. 

Forming lives – Catholic education seeks to provide the young with the best kind of education possible, one that fosters a formation of the whole person that is deeply and enduringly humanising.
Faith, hope and love – Catholic education forms individuals with more than just skills, but with the virtues to live life as transformative agents in our communities. By cultivating a maturing of faith and the intellectual life through the modelling of good relationships, Catholic students are prepared for living fruitfully in the world.
In the light of Jesus Christ – Christ is our inspiration, the very life of our purpose as Catholic educators. Everything we do is illuminated by this.
(MACS 2030: Forming Lives to Enrich the World, p. 8)


Warm wishes