A great start to the year at the Junior School

The start of the year in the Junior School has been extremely eventful for staff and students alike.  Home group teachers hosted Acquaintance Evenings and outlined their vision for the year, expectations and strategies to support students’ social, emotional and academic development. These expectations have been reinforced during lessons to ensure every student started the year in a positive and purposeful manner.

Earlier in the term, I spoke about the improvement agenda at St John’s in 2018. A focus area for the Junior School has been communication and to this end, we have gathered some extremely important information that will form the basis for robust discussion for the Senior Leadership Team this term.

Another focus area for improvement in 2018 is the learning journey for each child from Reception to Year 6 with particular emphasis on Trademark Learning Experiences that are age and stage appropriate. These experiences for students in the Junior School focus on Belair National Park, a potential partnership St John’s Grammar is looking to develop with Park Rangers and Natural Resource Management. These Trademark Learning Experiences are points of difference that will not only foster learning opportunities, but also enable students to utilise the resources in Belair National Park for activities aside from recreational pursuits. In the newsletter this week the Deputy of Junior School, Nicholas Smith further outlines this initiative.

This week also saw the formal induction of the Student Leaders for 2018, following a ceremony for Year 6 students last week. Student leadership is a very important component of school life and I am extremely impressed with the calibre of student leaders in the Junior School. During my discussions with students both formally and informally, I have stressed the 5 qualities I believe good student leaders display. They are:

Staying authentic. Leaders who are authentic are trusted because they are unwavering, especially when faced with the challenges of popular opinion. Be sure the ideals that got you elected are consistent and remember to always stay true to yourself and the values you believe in.

Keeping an open mind and always listen. Open communication and consideration of all ideas fosters a creative and collaborative environment. A good leader is someone who is comfortable handling suggestions and adapting to changing situations.

Involving others to achieve common goals. A successful leader knows when to take the reins. When it comes to important projects and deadlines, know when and how to allocate responsibility to those around you and be willing to go above and beyond to get it done.

Reflecting on your leadership with the aim for future improvement. Even if this is not your first time being elected, there will most certainly be times where the plan doesn’t achieve the desired outcome. Be prepared and take responsibility for the outcome, and stay optimistic. A quality leader learns from experience and proactively plans for the future.

Seek knowledge or opinions from others. Leaders are continuously developing their skills so they can continue to inspire their peers. They also listen to, and profit from more knowledgeable people.

Congratulations to the following leaders listed below:


Ben James and Stella Dimitropoulos


Adam Gleadle and Zoe Leslie


Halstead: Georgia Gosnold and Kieran Smith

Prince: Poppy Birkett and Logan Myers

Moffatt: Zach Clayton and Erin McMahon

Gooch: Olivia Graham and Riley Hinton  


Annecy Morrison

Laurence O’Loughlin


Madeline Graf, Nick Tregoning, Adonis Clark, Caoimhe O’Dea, Dayna O’Connell, Samuel Williams, Lily O’Toole, Alex McDermott, Caleb Fisher, Remy Rawlings-Way, Svetlana Bose, Lucas Mitchell, Archie Molyneux, Rachael Slay, Finn Robinson, Lucy Waltham, Archie McDonald, Amelie Noll, Mitchell Case, Ione Rawlings-Way, Abbey Pate, Josh Murphy, Raghav Saim, Erin Cahill, Baxter Cocks and Evie Desteno.


Student Safety

At St John’s, we take student safety and wellbeing extremely seriously. As such, we would like to create a database of students who walk or ride to and from school. We particularly want to know the days in which individuals have parental permission to leave the campus at the end of the school day to travel home unaccompanied. This process will enable us to confidently account for students at the conclusion of the school day.

Students who walk or ride home will receive a luggage disk to display on their school bags indicating day/s they can walk or ride home.

Please email sbray@stjohns.sa.edu.au relevant information by the conclusion of Week 5.

Early arrival at school

It has been noted that some students are arriving at school early each morning. Please note that teacher supervision does not begin in the Junior School until 8.20am. Students arriving before 8.20am without a parent may be sent to OHSC and this may result in a charge for families. Your cooperation with this matter is greatly appreciated.

Assembly Week 5

Please note that there will be no Assembly next week, due the Commissioning of the Principal event on the Secondary Campus

Simon McKenzie
Head of Junior School