Frequently Asked Questions
Maharishi School has participated in NAPLAN (National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy) since its introduction, regularly receiving outstanding results. In 2014, 2015 and 2016 a significant number of students received results which placed them among the top performing students for several aspects of the testing. The average class performance was above state average in all aspects of the test in all three years. The outstanding performance in these tests reflects the benefits of our unique teaching and learning programs, including the nurturing of natural inquisitiveness and curiosity by encouraging students to think, wonder and puzzle and then explore, investigate and seek solutions. This approach has been additionally strengthened in 2016 with the introduction of Individual Learning Plans.
We are proud of our students and the school’s overall achievements. It is reassuring to know that the results reflect the teachers’ own assessment of each student and that so many of our students are excelling in their academic development.
Maharishi School is always looking at ways to enhance the student experience. Our grounds are designed in a manner that enables our students to choose from the quiet to the highly-active zones.
New facilities have been added in 2016 which has seen the purchase of an adjoining block of land and its subsequent development as a newly-grassed sport and play area.
Students participate in a range of sporting activities, including:
- School-based Physical Education program
- Cross Country
- Indoor Sports Program
- Tennis (after school, in partnership with Keon Park Tennis Club)
- Sporting Schools Program (after school – basketball, soccer, hockey)
As our school grows, we will be pursuing involvement in the local Primary School Sports Association to enable us to participate in an inter-school sports competition.
Did you know that there are 208 Independent Schools in Victoria?
Forty-five of those schools have enrolments of less than 100, catering to 2632 students. That’s an average of 58 students per school.
Eighteen of those 45 schools, of which we are one, have enrolments under 50. There are 560 students in those 18 schools. That’s an average of 31 students per school.
Small schools exist for many reasons but probably the most important is to give families choice. There are independent schools with cultural foundations, religious affiliations, distinctive teaching and learning methodologies (Steiner, Montessori, etc.) or unique approaches to the holistic development of a child (like Maharishi School). The Independent School sector is acknowledged for the choice it offers families to identify a school that shares its own family values and a shared belief in the environment that best suits the development of children.
Parents often worry that their child does not have enough friends to play with or that there are not enough children in the school. We sincerely believe that children adapt to the situation they are in. A larger school has its advantages too but it does not automatically mean that children will have lots of other children with whom they can play. If there are fewer children, then children learn incredibly important skills about cooperation, give and take, working with different personality-types and those with different learning styles. They are put in situations of experiencing so much more across genders as well as across ages from Prep–6.
In addition, we should also consider the opportunities we give our children with out-of-school activities and the friendships made and socialisation that occurs within many of these activities. School is not the only avenue for developing friendships and social skills. Diversity and variety in the people with whom we mix should be encouraged.
It is a heart-warming experience to watch our students play at school during their breaks. What we see is interaction between children of all ages, from Prep–6, and the care that exists between them. We see no disadvantage at all. What we see is opportunity and ultimately, happy children.
The transition of our students from Year 6 to a range of secondary schools, diverse in population and size, has reinforced to us the value our school has in setting a sound foundation for the young people in our care.
There are countless success stories of transition involving Maharishi School students throughout our school’s history – including when the school was even smaller in number than it is today. Some include children of staff members – or former parents who have become staff members – others are siblings of current students who are now in secondary school. And then we have the young people who stay in touch through our alumni network, via email or phone call and those who return to visit.
The common traits of these children who make a seamless transition into secondary school are:
individuality, confidence, positive self-esteem and outlook, knowing of self, resilience, empathy and care for others, persistence, calmness, well-balanced thought and emotion, an ability to be articulate and socially adept and to handle diversity. There are so many more traits, of course, that reflect each person’s individuality. The advantage of having these traits is that they are most of the key elements that we, as adults, recognise as forming the strong foundation that young people need as they move through the most important stages in their lives – from childhood to adolescence to adulthood. These are the traits that help them make good choices and handle the challenges of peer pressure during their adolescent years.
We all love our children for who they are. Having a happy, well-rounded and balanced child should make any parent beam with delight. It is these children who, as research and anecdotal evidence have shown, are more likely to succeed in life, presuming we all agree about how we should define “success in life”.
We are proud to be part of a school community that values the holistic development of children. There is, in our opinion and experience, too much emphasis today on measuring success by a child’s reading level, their NAPLAN results or eventually, the ATAR score they receive at the end of Year 12. These aspects of learning are undoubtedly important but they do not define us. What should define us all is who we are as people and how we contribute to our world in our own personal and professional capacities.
These are the qualities that contribute to students making a successful transition from primary to secondary school.
Development of outstanding leadership qualities is a priority throughout the entire seven years of education at Maharishi School.
In addition to regular practice of the Transcendental Meditation technique, leadership is cultivated in all students and every senior student is given the opportunity to accept a leadership role. Together with a term-by-term Class Captain program, every student at the school experiences an opportunity to develop a range of skills to enhance their personal traits and characteristics.
Our Young Leaders program is an important feature of the senior school curriculum. The students are given the opportunity to develop public speaking, responsibility, team work and confidence in their role as Minister of a specific portfolio (e.g. Ministry of Celebrations, Ministry of Sport) at the school. Our Year 5/6 student leaders attend a Leadership Conference each year to explore leadership opportunities, develop leadership plans and implement their new ideas and skills.
Our leadership program provides the opportunity for students to make that valuable contribution to the school. Leadership at Maharishi School is about giving service. Our school leaders have organised fun activities including a Spring Festival and Harmony Day; caringly supported younger students; been excellent role models; and generally improved the quality of life and enriched the school experience of all students.
An important springboard for preparation for leadership is the Aurora Award Program for Year 5 students. The successful completion of tasks in seven categories – Growth of Consciousness, Leadership, Responsible Learning, Health and Fitness, Community Service, Creativity and Personal Challenge – will result in students being awarded a gold medal.
One enjoyable area of responsibility for our leaders is the care of the Prep students through the Buddy Program. This brings a sense of security to our youngest students and many positive relationships are cultivated during the year.
At the end of the year, we conduct a Celebration Evening for the entire school community, where the beautiful qualities of each student are acknowledged.
Our aim is to provide our students with a range of opportunities to enhance their involvement at school but also to develop themselves as individuals with a broad foundation of experiences. As an example, there is an overview below of the Term 3 activities that were enjoyed by our students in 2016. These initiatives, activities and events helped us achieve our aim of an inclusive, active and welcoming environment for our entire school community.
The activities included:
- National Tree Planting Day activity with Bunnings staff establishing a new garden
- Parent/Teacher Interviews
- School choir’s performance at the Melbourne Town Hall
- Student Lunchtime Downball Tournament
- Chess Masterclass Incursion with Northern Star Chess
- Lunchtime Chess Club each day and off-site Chess Tournament
- Library open for students on Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday lunchtimes from 12.30-1.00pm
- Play Project incursion offering practical information and activities in relation to healthy living for children
- Sporting Schools Program after school from 3.30-4.30pm each Thursday
- Science Week incorporating a Student Science Expo
- CERES Excursion for Years 3-6 classes
- IMAX and Fitzroy Gardens Excursion for P/1/2
- Book Week offering a Scholastic Book Fair during the week, Storytime for Kindergarten children and Character Dress Up Day and Parade
- Family Life – Parent Information Session followed by student classes
- HOOP Time Basketball Day
- School Production
- School Disco