Handbook

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Our Parent Handbook contains all the information you and your child will need.

You can print a full version to read at your convenience by pressing the ‘Print to PDF’ button at the top of the page. Please note that it is a large file and may take a few moments to load.

If you have any further questions in relation to school times, dates, policies or other general enquiries, please feel free to contact us.

Welcome to St John's Primary

Welcome to St John’s Primary

At St John’s we enable each child to achieve personal success through quality learning and teaching. We support the development of the whole child – academically, spiritually, physically and emotionally - recognising that each child has unique gifts, talents and abilities. We enjoy a strong relationship with our parents to help us fulfil our role of partners in education.

We are also proud to belong to a community which is alive with Gospel values. In close connection with our parish, we integrate Gospel values in our daily school life to enable our students to grow in their relationships with God and each other. Our school motto, ‘strive to achieve’, guides us in all aspects of school life and encourages us to take up challenges. Our purpose is to provide a secure educational environment which develops independent, lifelong learners.

Our students receive a contemporary and relevant education through our modern learning spaces and the latest learning technologies. We believe in the importance of setting high academic standards and striving for personal excellence within our community of learners. Our highly professional and dedicated staff works with families to create effective partnerships between home and school.

We provide a nurturing community for students in a supportive atmosphere, while ensuring they appreciate the uniqueness and self-worth of themselves and their peers.  

I invite you to visit our wonderful school. We look forward to meeting your family and welcoming you to St John’s.

Patricia Charlton

Principal

General Information

 

School term dates and holidays are generally the same as government schools.

School Term Dates

   2016  2017 (proposed)
Term 1  Friday 29th January to
 Friday 08th April       
 Monday 30th January to
 Friday 07th April
Term 2  Monday 26th April to
 Friday 01st July
 Tuesday 24th April to
 Friday 30th June 
Term 3  Monday 18th July to
 Friday 23rd September
 Monday 17th July to
 Friday 22nd September
Term 4  Monday 10th October to
 Friday 16th December
 Monday 9th October to
 Friday 15th December
*Please check the school newsletter for staff development days.

 

 

Our whole school gathers for a brief assembly on Monday morning. We say our school prayer, sing the national anthem and make announcements for the week. Reminders are given to students and parents about coming events and Birthday stickers are handed out. The Friday afternoon assembly is held to celebrate school successes, and to sing the school song and national anthem. This assembly is run by our student leadership team. Parents are welcome to attend all school assemblies.

Attending school is compulsory. Please do not keep your child home unnecessarily; it just makes it harder for them to keep up with lessons and it interrupts the learning routine.

If your child is absent, you are required to write a note and return this to your son/daughter’s teacher/s on the morning of the day they re commence school. The note must state the reason for the absence and the date/s that they absence occurred on. The note must also be signed by the Parent/Carer.

Click here to contact St John’s Primary

This service is not available at St John’s, however if you require this service for your child, contact Norwest Christian College Before and After School Care Service on 9627 4144. The Staff at Norwest Christian College Before and After School Care walks to and from St John's to collect and bring the children to/from school.

Book Club is an opportunity to buy quality student books at less than the recommended retail price. Scholastic Book Clubs (Wombat, Lucky and Arrow) are operated seven times a year. Order forms are sent home. Payment is via Scholastic's online payment method or a cheque sent in to the school with your order addressed to Scholastic (Please do not send in cash, as this is no longer accepted for payment). There is no obligation to buy but all books purchased assist the school to obtain more resources. Your book order is to be returned to school by the advised due date with your child's name and stage clearly written on the order form.

Book fairs operate twice per year. Selections of books are on display for families to inspect and purchase at reduced rates.

Bus Pass (OPAL CARD) information on applying for an opal card is available at the office. This process is now done online by the parent/carer. Once you have completed the online process, you then print out the documentation and return to school office for verification. These are available to all children from Kindergarten to Year 2. Children in Years 3 to 6 are entitled to a pass if they live more than 1.6 kilometres from the school. In the event of a lost bus pass (OPAL CARD) parents must contact the bus company personally. A replacement charge will apply.

Children and the school should be made aware of any changes in routine or if other persons are to collect them from school. Written permission from parents is required if another adult is to collect the children.

Newsletters are published online on our school website. The newsletter will be sent to your email address automatically if you have subscribed via the school website www.stjohnsriverstone.catholic.edu.au
Opportunities for formal and informal meetings occur regularly. Parents are encouraged to contact their child’s teacher to request an interview at any time.

School news is regularly updated on our Facebook page and our school website, as well as via email and at our school assemblies and in the school office.

Important information is sent home via the student office boxes. Please ask your child or check their bags regularly for any correspondence sent home form the school office. 

We regularly practise, as a school, for any unexpected emergencies. For the care and safety of each person in our school, we take time to practise both in school time and during recess or lunch breaks. Please do not be disturbed if you hear of our emergency practices.

Each year your child will have the opportunity to attend excursions. Separate notices will be forwarded by the school seeking your permission and outlining the nature of the excursion. An excursion fee is included in school fees, however parents may be asked to contribute to an additional excursion, if the opportunity is valid. Should a family be experiencing financial difficulties, please contact the Principal to discuss alternative arrangements.

Children will participate in incursions at the school, throughout the year. These are opportunities for staff to engage various performers to enhance the learning at St John’s. Payment for the incursions is included in the school fees.

Make sure your child is at school before the morning bell (8:45 am), so they do not miss out on the important start of the school day.

When school finishes, a teacher on duty will supervise children in the parent pick-up area until 3:15pm.

Please be on time to collect your son or daughter. If you are delayed, or alternative arrangements have been made for collection, please notify the school.

Children arriving late to school require a ‘late arrival’ form to be completed and signed by a parent/guardian.

From time to time it may be necessary for you to collect your child before the afternoon bell. Please do not go directly to the classroom. All parents/carers must go to the office and complete a note with an explanation. The office staff will contact the classrooms and your child will be accompanied to the office.

Please send all money or notes to the office in clearly marked sealed envelopes with:

  • Name
  • Class
  • Amount of money
  • Purpose (for example, Excursion to...).

The school office is open from 8:30 am to 3.30 pm each day.  Payments can be made by cash, cheque, EFTPOS, BPay or POSTbillpay.

At St John’s we recognise the gifts of our parents by involving them in valuable, meaningful and worthwhile activities in the life of our school. There are a variety of opportunities for families to participate in different ways.

For the safety of all our students it is mandatory that anyone working at St John’s in any capacity completes the relevant Child Protection Training Modules.The modules can be completed by visiting the following website: http://childprotection.parra.catholic.edu.au

Click into the volunteer section. Once you have completed the modules, you will be eligible to participate in class and school activities such as class excursions, parents as helpers and coaching of sport teams, and assisting with transport to gala days if required.

School photos are taken annually and parents have an opportunity to purchase individual and class group photos. From time to time photos are taken of students at school which may be used in a range of publications such as the school prospectus, Catholic Education Office website, school website and newspaper ads and stories.  If, for any reason, you do not wish your child’s photo to be included in any of the above, please send in a note addressed to the principal.

See our Privacy Page

1.      The Parramatta Catholic Education Office and NSW Roads and Traffic Authority recommend that children under 10 years of age DO NOT ride bicycles to or from school unless accompanied by an adult.

 2.      Parents / Carers must provide a written note to the school advising that they give permission for their child to ride their bike to and from school.

 3.      Children must correctly wear a Standards Australia approved bicycle helmet at all times when in control of a bicycle.

 4.      All RMS road rules concerning bicycles are to be followed. This includes the pedestrian’s right of way on footpaths. The bell should be used as a warning when approaching pedestrians.

 5.      Bicycles ridden to school must be in good, safe working order and bicycles must be fitted with a bell. It is the responsibility of the parent/carer to ensure that the bicycle is in good and safe working order and that all protective equipment as required by law is provided.

 6.      Bicycle riders are expected to use the available pedestrian entry points. These include: McCulloch Street Pedestrian Gate for entrance and exit only.

 7.      Children are to dismount before entering the school grounds and walk their bicycles whilst on site.

 8.      Bicycles are to be stored in the bike rack provided. Bicycles must be locked with a chain and padlock supplied by the bicycle owner.

 9.      Bicycles and helmets are brought and stored on school grounds at the owner’s risk.

 10.    Parents will be notified if children do not adhere to the School’s Bicycle Policy. Parents will be notified if students do not adhere to the School’s Bicycle Policy and permission will be withdrawn until the issues identified have been satisfactorily addressed.

 11.    No riding of bicycles, scooters, roller blades or skateboards is permitted in school grounds during and after hours.

 Note: Skateboards, scooters and rollerblades are not permitted at St John’s Primary School under any circumstances, unless directed by teachers.

Every afternoon students wait in the parent pickup area until parents collect them, or in the designated playground area with the teacher on bus duty.

Parents/Carers are NOT permitted to congregate next to their child's classroom at any time. Please wait near the administration area and your child will be accompanied by a teacher to the parent pickup area.

For the safety of all members of the school and parish community, parents are requested to exhibit safe driving/parking practices in the parking area.

Student reports are sent home twice a year to give you a clear understanding of your child’s progress. We follow the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) requirements of an E-A reporting system. Two formal interview periods will occur, mid-year and end-of-year (optional), for parent/teacher conferences. Parents are always welcome to speak with teachers to clarify reports.

8:20 Supervision commences
8:50 Morning assembly
9:00 Teaching & learning
11:00 Recess
11:30 Teaching & learning
1:30 Lunch
2:00 Teaching & learning
2:50 School concludes

 

All schools are granted six pupil free days during the year. The purpose of these days is for staff to develop and review learning, teaching practice, curriculum and school policies. Parents will be notified well in advance of these days in the St John’s newsletter and on the Upcoming Events page of the school website.

On wet/hot days, the school has a set routine which allows the children to stay dry/cool and safe throughout the day. During extreme weather conditions, children may be collected at 2:45 pm at the discretion of the Principal.

The grounds and the buildings of St John’s demand regular maintenance. The grounds are mowed as required and there is a process in place for staff to report any maintenance needed. Working bees are planned as needed and parents and children come together to give generously of their time and skills to undertake projects of great benefit to our students. Our aim always is to provide our children with a safe and pleasant environment in which to learn and play.

Early Stage 1

It’s essential to tell the school before your child starts if he or she has any allergies or medical conditions. You should always let the school know of any major changes to your child’s health, as soon as you are aware of them.

Sometimes things never quite go to plan. To ease the morning rush try to prepare uniforms, lunches, school bag, reading log and any extra items your child will need the next day, on the evening before.

Occasionally accidents happen when the children are ‘busy’. Spare underwear and socks packed in their school bag is recommended.

Catching up with other children before school starts is a good idea. Familiar faces in the playground can help children settle quickly.

This will give your child confidence about going to school including:

  • dressing in the uniform
  • wearing the school shoes (new shoes may cause blisters, wear them before school starts)
  • testing school lunches (can your child open their lunch box, or open packaging, e.g. Poppers?)
  • going to the toilet on their own (has your son used a urinal before?)
  • drinking from a bubbler.

Be cheerful when you say goodbye

Separation can be an emotional experience for both the child and the parent. Remember that children take their cues from their parents so try to be cheerful and positive. This attitude will follow through to your child.

If your child does have difficulty separating, allow the teacher to intervene while you leave. As a rule children settle quickly. Rest assured you will be contacted if there are any problems, however please feel free to ring the school.

Preparing for your child’s first year of school

Here are some things you’ll need before school starts:

  • School uniform
  • School bag
  • School hat
  • Lunch box
  • Drink bottle
  • Raincoat
  • Paint shirt (an old shirt will do)
  • Library bag
  • Spare underwear and socks

Please make sure everything is labelled clearly with your child's name.

Food at School

Lunches can be ordered on Mondays and Fridays only. Lunch orders should be written clearly on a paper bag, showing child’s name and class and having correct money enclosed.
Our lunches are made by a local cafe in Riverstone - Wild Cat Gourmet Cafe, the lunches are delivered to school. Our P & F also run the Snack Shack on Monday and Fridays at recess and lunch. The canteen has only light snacks, no lunches are prepared or available for purchase.

At St John’s we have 30 minute recess and lunch breaks. At both of these breaks children sit with their friends for 10 minutes to eat and chat. They play for the remainder of the time.

Some choose to have a snack at recess and lunch later, or some split their food in half. It’s up to you and your child.


Crunch and Sip

St John's is a Crunch and Sip school, this means that all classes stop at approximately 10am for a break. Each child is encouraged to bring a small piece (or serving) of fruit to snack on and water to sip. Only fruit/vegetables and water is permitted at Crunch and Sip time.


Tips to make things easier

  • If your child is allergic to certain foods please inform the school.
  • Pack food that is easy to eat and not messy.
  • Use a lunchbox to protect food and to keep it cool.
  • Pack a drink – water or juice (carbonated and energy drinks are not permitted).
  • Test that packaged foods are easy to open.
  • Remind your child to wash their hands before and after eating.

Healthy Eating

We encourage all children to eat well by including the following foods in their daily diet:

  • fruit
  • vegetables
  • bread/cereals
  • lean meat
  • dairy food.

Health & Medication

The school needs to be notified of any incidence of infectious diseases. A medical certificate is required on return to school. Below is a list of the common infections and times of exclusion from school.

Disease

Patient

Contact

Chicken pox

Exclude at least 7 days after the spots appear until fully recovered.

Not excluded

German measles and measles

Exclude for at least 5 days from appearance of rash or until a medical certificate or recovery is produced

Not excluded

Mumps

Exclude for 10 days from the onset of the swelling until fully recovered

Not excluded

Ringworms

Exclude until appropriate treatment has begun. If condition is not completely cured, students are allowed to attend school if affected areas is covered.

Not excluded

Acute conjunctivitis (eye infection)

Exclude until discharge from eye has ceased.

Not excluded

Impetigo

Exclude only if on exposed surfaces such as scalp, face, hands and legs. Students are allowed to attend school if sores are effectively covered

Not excluded

Pediculosis
(lice in hair)

Exclude following treatment until hair is completely cleaned; neither nits nor lice being present, approximately one day.

Not excluded

Whooping cough

Isolate immediately. Exclude from school for at least 3 weeks from the onset of the whoop until fully recovered or a medical certificate is obtained.

Contacts should stay away from school for 21 days after the last exposure to infection if they have not already had Whooping Cough.

Scabies

Exclude until proper treatment has begun. The school may ask for a medical certificate to say this has happened.

Not excluded (but they need to be inspected regularly for signs of scabies

 

Healthy breakfast

Children need a healthy breakfast to start the day. A hungry child will lose concentration and have no energy during the school day.

A good night’s sleep

Children need a good sleep each night to cope with the challenges of school. New activities, making friends, listening and following instructions all require lots of energy.

In the event of a serious accident at school, the following procedures will be undertaken:

  • Immediate first aid will be given by our trained staff.
  • Arrangements will be made with ambulance, doctor or hospital if necessary.
  • Parents/guardians will be contacted to confer regarding appropriate steps to be taken.
  • If parents/guardians are unavailable, the school will take immediate action as deemed necessary.

Be assured that we will take the necessary steps to ensure the wellbeing of your child.

Written authorisation, from parents, is necessary for the school to administer any medication.

If your child requires medication at school please complete a Request to Administer Medication at School form, available at the school office.

Over the counter medication, including analgesics or homeopathic preparations, cannot be administered by school staff unless a written request (Request to Administer Medication Form) is received from the student's parent/carer, and is accompanied by written advice from a medical practitioner with the medication in the original labelled container. The exception is reliever puffers for the emergency treatment of asthma.

In the case of ongoing prescription medication, this form must be completed by the prescribing doctor and must be updated with any changes.

Any medical condition should be reported to the school.


 

If a child comes to the office feeling sick, they will be given the chance to rest and office staff will observe the child. The parents/carers will be contacted if the staff feel the child is too sick to remain at school.

If your child has presented to the office with head lice, a parent/ carer will be called so as to collect your child from school as soon as possible, so that treatment can be started.

Learning in Early Stage 1

Children should be encouraged to learn to write their name in NSW foundation font. Please do not use capital letters except for the first letter of their name.

Handwriting

 

You are your child’s first teacher and you will continue to play an important part in your child’s learning. Sharing stories about the things that happen at school shows them what they are doing is important.

As part of a Catholic school your child will learn about the following subjects:
Religion, English, Mathematics, History, Geography, Science and Technology, Personal Development, Health and Physical Education (PDHPE), Creative Arts.

Play is an important way for children to learn. It allows them to practise and master skills.

Play gives children opportunities to

  • make choices
  • explore materials
  • test new ideas
  • develop confidence.

Play helps children develop

  • physically – fine and gross motor skills
  • socially – learning to get along with others and learning acceptable behaviour
  • emotionally – learning to express feelings in acceptable ways
  • language – learning to speak, listen and comprehend meaning
  • cognitively (intelligence) – learning to think, reason, question, experiment and solve problems.

It is important to make an appointment with your child’s teacher if you have any questions or concerns. Teachers are happy to meet at a mutually convenient time. Always speak with the Early Stage 1 teachers to seek clarification on issues relating to your son or daughter.

Our School Prayer

Heavenly Father,
At St John's we pray that you watch
over us in all we say and do.

Guide us with love and peace.

Be with us as we learn.

Let us make choices that create a
friendly and respectful community.
Help us to be the best we can.

Amen

Our School Rules

Be a good learner

Be respectful

Be safe

School Fees

School fees must be charged in order to meet the cost of wages and general recurrent costs entailed in administering schools. Fees are set by the Diocesan Schools Board and are reviewed each year. There is a likelihood of an increase approximately in line with the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

The 2016 Annual Diocesan Tuition Fees are as follows:

Annual Diocesan Tuition Fees for 2016
made as one instalment

Per Annum per Student for 2016 1st child

2nd child
(25% discount)
3rd child
(50% discount)
Primary Kindergarten $1,098 $825 $549

Years 1 - 6 $1,419 $1,065 $711

 

The 2016 Annual Diocesan Tuition Fees are charged in the first three terms as follows: 

Annual Diocesan Tuition Fees for 2016
made as three equal instalments

Per Term per Student for 2016 1st child 2nd child
(25% discount)
3rd child
(50% discount)
Primary Kindergarten $366 $275 $183

Years 1 - 6 $473 $355 $237
 

No tuition fees are applicable for fourth and subsequent children where all children attend a Diocesan systemic school.

These concessions only apply while all the children are currently attending a Catholic systemic school.


Annual Diocesan Building Levy

The levy for 2016 is $735 per family, payable in three equal instalments of $245 payable in Terms 1, 2 and 3.

Flexible payment options are offered to all families at the start of the year. This provides you with the opportunity to select a payment plan that best suits your circumstances. Payments can be made via direct debit or BPay, and by arrangement with our school finance secretary you have the option to pay on a weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis at no additional charge. 

If you encounter unexpected changes to your financial circumstances that may make it difficult to pay your fees on time, please make an immediate appointment with the Principal who will respond to your situation with care and confidentiality. You may also need to bring supporting documents to show your financial situation.

Enquire about a scholarship

The Bishop Manning Scholarship Fund was established to assist families who wish to enrol their children in a Catholic school in the Diocese of Parramatta, but are unable to meet the costs due to financial hardship.
Depending on individual circumstances, part or full scholarships are available.  Application criteria applies. Speak with the principal to apply for a scholarship or visit the Bishop Manning Scholarship Fund.

Can you make a donation?

Give the gift of education by making a donation to the Bishop Manning Scholarship Fund. Your donation is a valuable investment in our children's future. Donations of $2 or more are tax deductible.

New Enrolment Application Fee
(non-refundable)

$25 per student

School Based Fee - K to Yr 6 (charged over 3 terms with fees)
Resource Fee - Covers the cost of all books, paper and some stationery provided by the school throughout the year.
Technology Fee - Covers the on-going cost of providing students with access to Information Technology, including computers and software.

$210 per student

Activity Fee K to Yr 6
(charged over 3 therms with fees)
Includes in-school performances and workshops

$45 per student

Sport Fee – K to Yr 6
(charged over three terms with fees)
Includes Gymnastics program and swimming program

$150 per student

Maintenance Levy
(charged over three terms with fees)
Contributes to running costs, maintenance of grounds, buildings, etc

$84 per family

Uniforms

We believe that when the students at St John's wear their full school uniform, they:

  • have a sense of self pride
  • have a sense of school pride and present a unified group to the wider community
  • are easily identified as belonging to the school community.

We believe that a standard school uniform:

  • gives parents a practical option that provides an opportunity for all students, regardless of economic status, to present themselves for school each day, equally.

Grooming

JEWELLERY

HAIR

 

Standard watches

Plain stud or sleeper earrings permitted only

Hair colour, radical hairstyles and excessive hair product are not permitted.

Girls:

Tied back with a regulation (school colours) ribbon, band or school scrunchie.

Boys:

Short and neat.

No nail polish is permitted to be worn

 

St John’s Primary has a No Hat - No Play policy.

SCHOOL HAT TO BE WORN OUTDOORS AT ALL TIMES

 


Reading of this policy demonstrates an acceptance of the contents. Any concerns or queries regarding this policy should be directed to the school office.



School uniform

WINTER

Girls Boys
Pinafore Maroon check Shirt Sky blue, long or short sleeve
Blouse Sky blue, long sleeve, peter pan collar Trousers Grey, tailored style
Pullover
Jumper
Maroon knit or V-neck sloppy joe Pullover
Jumper
Maroon knit or V-neck sloppy joe
Socks Sky blue – knee-hi or ankle length Shoes Black, traditional style which can be polished
Tights Grey ribbed (not maroon) Socks Plain grey or with school stripes
Tab tie Cross over style - matches uniform (available from the school office) Tie School striped tie (available from the school office)
Shoes Black, traditional style which can be polished    
Maroon jacket (optional)

 

SUMMER

Girls Boys
Blue check dress Sky blue short sleeve shirt
Black school shoes Grey school shorts
Sky blue ankle socks Black school shoes
Maroon school hat Grey socks, short with blue and maroon stripes
Maroon V-neck pullover or tracksuit top Maroon V-neck pullover or tracksuit top

 

SPORTS

Girls Boys
Sky blue polo shirt Sky blue polo shirt
Navy blue knit shorts Navy blue knit shorts
Navy blue culottes Ankle length white socks
Navy blue brief (underwear) White sports shoes
Ankle length white socks School Sports tracksuit
White sports shoes Maroon school hat
School Sports tracksuit  
Maroon school hat  

 

Sports uniform is unchanged summer and winter – the tracksuit may only be worn on sports days.

All students are required to use the St John’s school bag, library bag and hat – available at the school office.

All St John’s uniform items are only available at Lowes, Rouse Hill Town Centre.

Wearing of the correct school uniform is compulsory. If the student is not wearing the correct uniform a letter will be sent home to advise of the breach of the uniform policy.