It’s interesting that over the last few months my attitude to the day seems to be based around the Daniel Andrew’s press briefings. I stop whatever I am doing at 11:00 am, put the news on and listen to the latest updates from the Premier and Chief Medical Officer. In fact, I am a little ashamed to admit that I have even scheduled my zoom meetings around these briefings.  

So, with bated breath I wait for Daniel Andrews to walk onto the stage and say, “Are we all right to go?” Then I sit and listen as he provides us with the latest number of COVID-19 cases, information about the number of people who have succumbed to the disease, the number of people who have been tested and even the metro-regional split on where the case have occurred. I am hopeful that there will be some additional information about schools, a glimmer perhaps of when we can return to normal classes.  

I can feel myself waiting in hope that the number of cases announced today will be lower than yesterday. If the number announced is lower, I can feel my spirits lifting, and if the number is greater a sense of foreboding seems to settle over me.  

There is no doubt that this year has certainly be very difficult, it has been difficult to be in lock down, where we can only leave our homes for a few reasons, only travel within a five kilometre radius, where we can’t go out to a restaurant or catch up with family and friends, not being able to go to work but having to work from home, not seeing our colleagues, or our students face to face.

It’s very difficult to be positive, if you only focus on these things. I think a lot of us can get caught up in this negatively. We see only the problems and can even start to believe the worst is going to happen; that we will be in lockdown for longer, that Christmas with families might not happen, that this pandemic will never go away. We can be easily caught up in these fears or the attitudes we choose to adopt. So often it’s not what we face, as much as the way we choose to face it. You may have heard that said before, but I’m quite sure it’s true.

I read a story recently about a shoe salesman who was sent to a remote part of the country. When he arrived, he was dismayed because everyone went around barefooted. He wired the company back home: “No prospect for sales here. People don’t wear shoes.” Later another salesman went to the same territory. He too immediately sent word to the home office, but his telegram read, “Great potential! People don’t wear shoes here!” I suspect however, that some of us are a bit more pessimistic than we ought to be. That’s why I love Philippians 4:8-9.  

"Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you".

So, I believe we should focus and think about what is “excellent and praiseworthy”. For example, the amazing way this crisis has, while keeping us apart, brought us together. The Principals have met each week by zoom to share ideas, discuss the challenges and opportunities and to support one another. Lutheran Schools from the other regions have sent video messages to students in Victoria in lockdown, staff from these schools have emailed messages of support, and school communities from across Australia have been praying for our communities.  

We have learnt so much about flexible learning and better ways to incorporate ICT in our schools, we have provided students with the opportunity to develop a variety of skills that perhaps we could not have been able to do in a classroom setting. As educators we have become more adept in our knowledge of information technology.  

As individuals we have realised the value of connection and being together and even a deeper appreciation of family. We have seen wonderful acts of care and compassion across our communities. We have been able to show Christ’s love to our school families in a way we may not have been able to before. The broader community has developed a deep appreciation of the role of teachers and school staff.  From all accounts in the media, we have developed a whole new set of hobbies, our gardens have never looked better and a multitude of unfinished DIY jobs have been completed. I am sure that if you thought about it, you would be able to add many more things to this list. By focusing on the positive aspects of the challenges we are experiencing, we can certainly change our attitude and then as it says in Philippians 4:9;

'Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me or seen in me—put it into practice.And the God of peace will be with you'.  

Julian Denholm Director LEVNT



Each week, we pray for our students and their families and staff members.  

This week, we are praying for:

Ashton Riley, Cruz & Jett Smith, Ayeva Walters & Connor Strauss, Darcy Wright, Miss Micaela Collins.


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'Relationships before Rigor. Grace before Grades. Patience before Programs. Love before Lessons' Dr Brad Johnson


Yours in Christian service,


Brad MossPrincipal

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Research shows how stress affects the way we process and retain information. We forget details, can’t think clearly and often find ourselves making mistakes that we normally wouldn't. In the same way, learning is affected by our stress levels and our mental state. Anxiety and worry can affect our working memory and our ability to retain information long enough to make meaningful connections. Without prioritising mental health and well-being, we can never expect that the highest quality of learning can take place.

Data shows that positive feelings not only promote concentration but also productivity and curiosity. The opposite can be said about negative feelings. By adding academic pressure to a student who is already in a state of anxiety, stress or depression, we are compounding the problem. It takes so much more energy to overcome the effects of mental health which in turn causes more stress and worry. It is times like this that we need to take a step back, prioritise well-being and then approach the situation again once the balance has been restored. Meaningful learning is negatively impacted until we are in the right frame of mind.


As the Principal of St John’s, the well-being of our students is my number one priority. On a day to day basis, teachers prioritise student well-being, knowing the importance of the connection to learning. Despite planning set lessons in advance, the art of teaching is to adapt and be flexible to the needs of the students as they arise.

If a student comes into the classroom after a lunch break distressed that they had a disagreement with their friend, it is possible that their mind is not going to be effectively concentrating on the lesson content. Teachers and Learning Coaches help students to regulate their emotions before attempting to engage them in learning. There is no point pushing a student who is having difficulty self-regulating, grieving, depressed or anxious into learning; it will only lead to frustration and more stress for all involved. It is important to return students' mindsets to a place of calm and stability. By prioritising well-being, teachers and their students also build positive and trusting relationships.

A student-centred approach to learning takes into consideration the needs of the whole child and at STJLS, we run a number of social development and pastoral care programs that work closely with students to help build resilience and strategies to be a successful participant in school life. This is done in both whole class and also small group lessons.

At St John’s, we prioritise the well-being of our students. We know from where and in whom we get our strength from. We are committed with our parents to work together to develop healthy, happy, resilient and confident students.


The Lord is my strength and my song; he has given me victory. This is my God, and I will praise him— my father's God, and I will exalt him! Exodus 15:2



Lunchtime fun - what a difference sunshine makes! We love our bases.


This week, Year 5 have completed their newspaper bridge challenge in STEM. We had so many terrific bridges built with various creative designing, and that were also successful in meeting the requirement of holding a cup of counters. Most of them could actually hold up to five cups!

These photos are a live action recount - capturing the moment of testing the strength of the bridges! Year 5 continue to develop their creative and design thinking, building team-work skills and taking on new challenges.

Year 5 In STEM.

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You may have noticed our lovely new garden in the front of school near the pick-up gate.

Shane from Pop's Wheelbarrow in West Albury gave us a good deal when purchasing supplies for the garden.

Special thanks to Toni, Carmel, Lindsey, Gan Ney and Ava for their gardening skills and effort to make St John's a more beautiful school.

New Flower Garden.

Summer Uniform.

Now that the weather is warming up, summer uniform can now be worn. Here's a reminder of what the summer formal uniform is;

Boys formal:

  • navy shorts, short-sleeved light blue shirt, navy socks and black shoes

Girl's formal:

  • checked blouse and navy shorts or checked dress and white socks and black shoes

Kinders wear sports uniform every day

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Year Ones have been working on a problem...  "How can we protect ourselves from germs if we didn't have the money or materials to make masks?"  The class were on the look out for natural ways to make masks to protect them from germs. We discovered that the reedy grass would come in handy, as would bark, some sticks and eucalyptus leaves.

whole class
bark mask
looking for ideas

Back in class using their 'nature collections' to design a mask.

scarlett collection
planning to create with nature (002)
im going to try this bark for my mask

"I'm going to try this bark for my mask"



Little SaintsPaityn Stephenson, Madeline Kerr

Kinder Bennie Nieuwoudt, Jethro Harper

Year 1 Ian Wang, Indi Knight

Year 2 Elsie Heinrich, Ricky Jensen

Year 3/4 LKLiam Whelan, Tom Mitchell

Year 3/4 PV
Julia Scholz, Joel Proos

Year 5/6 AMBAndi Wang, Jayden Kerr

Year 5/6 CWMyra Holm, Grace Francis

Principal's Awards  
Jaylin Severin

For putting her best effort into her school work, looking out for others, being kind-hearted, having a positive attitude towards everything and almost always having a smile on her face.

Congratulations to our Merit Award recipients and to Jaylin Severin, who received the Principal's Award from Mr Moss this week. Congratulations everyone! Keep striving for amazing work and your personal best in all school areas!"

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ICAS Assessments are online assessments, designed to recognise and reward academic excellence. The assessments are based on the curricula for the relevant year. ICAS is designed to target students’ higher-order thinking and problem-solving skills in English, Mathematics, Science, Spelling and Digital Technologies.  The assessments are suitable for students wishing to extend themselves academically and take up the personal challenge of competing in an international assessment. Your child will be presented with high-quality, expert-developed questions, allowing them to apply their learning without the need for prior study or revision. Years 2-6 can participate in ICAS Assessments.  Each online test is sat at school and is supervised by a teacher under normal examination conditions.


ICAS Subject

ICAS Sitting Date


(inc GST)

ICAS Science



Mon 12th Oct – Fri 23rd Oct 2020


ICAS Digital Technologies


ICAS English


ICAS Mathematics


ICAS Spelling Bee



If your child/ren would like to participate in the ICAS competition this year, please see the link below which will take you to the permission form to be filled out, advising subject choices and payment details. Please return the form by email or print and return to the office.  For fillable PDF, please use the Adobe app.  Please read the Privacy Collection Statement below.



Privacy Collection Statement

To analyse your child’s progress effectively, our school conducts an ongoing assessment program. The assessment we are using is a product of our partner, Janison Solutions Pty Ltd (Janison). In order to deliver the assessment St John’s and Janison (through our school) collect your child’s personal information, such as their name, date of birth, year level and school results when you register your child to sit an assessment in the program. You must ensure that this information is accurate and current. Janison does not:

  • collect any personal information or data of children other than as required for the purposes of completion of the exam;
  • transfer any personal information or data obtained during the delivery of the ICAS exam out of Australia;
  • share any personal information or data relating to children or students with any third parties;
  • retain any personal information or data acquired during the delivery of the ICAS exam and all such information or data is deleted from all Janison systems immediately upon completion of Janison’s contractual reporting to the school

As the parent or guardian of a student who intends to sit an assessment, by registering your child into the assessment, you consent to our school and Janison collecting and using your child’s personal information for the purposes outlined above. If you do not provide your child’s personal information to us or Janison, we may not be able to deliver the assessment to your child. If you wish to access or correct your child’s personal information or to make a complaint about how we have handled your child’s personal information, please contact Janison’s Privacy Officer at privacy@janison.com or by writing to Legal and Compliance Team, Janison Solutions Pty Ltd, c/o Automic Group Pty Ltd, level 5/126 Phillip Street, Sydney NSW 2000. We are proud to offer the ICAS Assessments and look forward to some fantastic results later in the year. Please do not hesitate to contact the school office if you have any questions.