The establishment of Maharishi School, Melbourne, was inspired by knowledge of student success and the high quality of life at Maharishi School of the Age of Enlightenment in Iowa, USA. In January 1997, Maharishi School, Melbourne, opened with twenty-two students occupying two classrooms in what was the Maharishi Vedic College building, Bundoora. Early in 1997 Maharishi School gained official registration with the Registered Schools Board to operate as a primary school and became a member of Independent Schools Victoria.
Before opening, Maharishi School was accredited through the International Foundation for Consciousness-Based Education and provided with Maharishi’s Ideal Teaching Principles, Consciousness-Based curriculum materials and guidelines for the Science of Creative Intelligence and the Maharishi Vedic Approach to Health, and with a Staff Development program.
Those first five years (1997–2001) were a time of consolidation and strengthening of teaching programs while the Consciousness-Based curriculum and Victorian CSF (Curriculum Standards Framework 1 and 2) were integrated to provide a rich and fulfilling experience for all students. During this period student numbers grew to thirty-seven. The two main sources of enrolments were students whose parents were already practising Transcendental Meditation and students who for various reasons were not happy or successful in other schools. These students experienced profound improvements in physical and emotional wellbeing and, as a result of less anxiety and greater happiness, academic performance increased.
In December 2001 Maharishi School was informed that the property it occupied had been sold. We were given just six weeks to relocate. This was a very challenging period but an intense search resulted in the discovery of a recently vacated kindergarten with an adjacent vacant block, in Reservoir. All but one family continued with Maharishi School in the new location even though this was a considerably longer commute for the Eltham families.
In 2002 Maharishi School was granted registration at the new location and also approval to extend into Year 7. Our numbers in this year reached fifty – forty in primary school and ten Year 7 students. Although the accommodation was not really adequate, the Consciousness-Based Education programs continued to produce impressive results with outstanding academic successes in science and mathematics competitions and sporting prizes in soccer and basketball.
Each year parents volunteered their time and skills to beautify and upgrade facilities and grounds to make them more functional and attractive. Then in 2007 the first of four building projects in accord with the system of Vedic architecture began (the word Vedic is from the word Veda, meaning knowledge). These projects, extending through to October 2015, have resulted in three beautiful buildings. Now that the final building is complete, the school has attractive classrooms which support learning for all students, a new library, two multipurpose rooms for science and art, and specialist rooms for music, drama and Auslan. The Administration building is now centrally located in a space that enhances efficient communication. Upgrades to the playground space over the years culminated with the recent purchase of an adjoining property for a new playing field, which has increased the school grounds by 1000 square metres.
Maharishi School is truly a beautiful educational environment where children display enthusiasm and a love of learning, respect, appreciation and kindness towards each other.