Issue #12 16/10/2018

Principal’s Report

Welcome Back to Term 4

Term 4 has begun with an enthusiasm and buzz that reflects the excitement of the last term of a school year and all the activities and events that we look forward to enjoying together.

For our school, the added  joy of welcoming new students to the school, both this year and in 2019, has further enhanced our enthusiasm. In a couple of weeks time we will be hosting our new Prep students for 2019 as they begin their Orientation Program with us over three weekly sessions. With such a sharp increase in our Prep intake for next year, our school structure will change to accommodate a fourth class, with our Prep students having a class solely to themselves and our Year 1/2 students enjoying their own classroom.

The main events for Term 4 include our Year 6 Graduation Dinner and our end of year Twilight Celebration Event which this year will again be held on our school grounds with that picnic-style atmosphere we created so effectively last year.

2018 Maharishi School Fitness Challenge

The level of physical activity undertaken by young people has become a significant issue in society. The value that comes with playing sport and generally just being more active; running as part of a game, riding your bike, playing downball, etc. benefits the body as well as the mind. As a school, we have increased our students’ participation in a range of sporting activities, both during and after school and continue to encourage students to be active during their playtimes. However, we would like to continue to play a part in promoting even greater and diverse physical activity in our students that over time becomes a habit that is pursued as a daily part of life.

This week, as part of the ‘October Walk to School Program’, I would like to launch our first Maharishi School Fitness Challenge. This initiative has been designed as a fun event that will challenge all our students to increase their level of activity over an entire week, both at school and at home, hopefully even including family members, to show how simply we can achieve this goal.

The school will be supplying each student with a pedometer to wear for one week. The challenge for students is to become more active throughout the week and walk as many steps per day as they can. Students will set realistic goals based on age and development, with all students striving to do their personal best.  The students, guided by their parents where necessary, will keep a tally of the number of steps they complete each day and record it on a Fitness Challenge Tally Sheet.

We would also like to use this activity as our one and only student-driven school fundraising activity for 2018, following in the steps (pardon the pun ) of the highly successful 2017 School Walkathon. Students can be sponsored for an amount ($) per 1,000 steps they complete or a donation can be made. All students will participate in the Fitness Challenge, even if they do not have sponsors. Our main goals are to increase our students’ physical activity but also to help the school raise at least $2,500 to fund the purchase of Perceptual Motor Program (PMP) equipment for our younger students to use over the coming years, further developing their gross-motor skills.

We have offered to acknowledge and thank the students with a reward of some sporting/leisure equipment should they achieve certain levels of sponsorship. The Fitness Challenge dates for each class have been set as follows:

Emeralds: Monday 22nd October to Sunday 28th October (inclusive)

Diamonds: Tuesday 30th October to Monday 5th November (inclusive)

Pearls: Monday 12th November to Sunday 18th November (inclusive)

All details will be sent home this week. Your support for this initiative and our fundraising goal would be greatly appreciated. We encourage you to gain the support of those beyond the immediate family such as friends, relatives and neighbours, helping promote our school and our initiatives beyond our immediate school community.

Parent Seminar

Last term our school enhanced its approach to student wellbeing by more formally adopting the Restorative Practices model to enable our students to develop further strategies to resolve different levels of conflict in which they may be involved, both at or away from school. The program has already proven to be highly effective across all age groups and year levels as students become more familiar with the effects on each other of their words and actions. It is a powerful strategy that will hold them in good stead as they grow and develop, complementing the principles and philosophy of Consciousness-Based Education.

Our school would now like to extend this strategy for use within our wider school community, giving everyone a shared understanding of the principles and benefits underpinning the school’s approach. We have organised a Parent Seminar to present you with an overview and practical examples of how this model is implemented at school and how this can be extended to the home environment, to become a strategy understood and embraced by our entire school community. We would like to invite a representative from every family to attend this engaging and “compulsory” family education session. There is nothing more powerful than school and home environments sharing a like-minded approach to children’s wellbeing. It has proven to contribute to much better outcomes for everyone involved.

Our facilitator, Dave Vinegrad, has extensive experience in behaviour management and has expertise in the Restorative Practices model. His sessions are engaging and inclusive. I can’t emphasise enough the importance and value of your attendance. You should indicate your ability to attend by completing the Reply Slip attached to the letter sent home last term or by contacting Suzi at the Office. Please feel free to invite other family members and/or friends who you believe may benefit from attending the session.

When: Monday 22nd October

Where: Principal’s Office or Library (to be confirmed)

Time: *3.30 – 5.00pm

*Please note that we have strategically chosen this time as more than 80% of our students attend Homework Club so they will be under supervision while you attend the session. Both events will conclude at the same time.

Darebin Play Map Project

Maharishi School, Darebin Council and play specialist Cat Sewell invite you to a free fun and interactive workshop for the Darebin Play Map Project. The Pearls class will be involved in talking about memories of play, from current children to those of yester-year, and drawing pictures of our play.

The Play Map Project will be gathering information, input and feedback from our school community to help make a Reservoir North-East Play Map, with all our favourite places to play and things to do marked on it.

Workshop: Wednesday 31st October: 2.00 – 3.00pm at Maharishi School

Further information is available on the “Invitation” attached to the email with this newsletter.

I have also asked Cat to undertake a playground audit of our school on that day prior to the session so that she can see our students at play and make recommendations for the further development of our play space to ensure we have an appropriate range of age-specific activities and areas for all students.

We hope to see you there!

Key Dates

Monday 15th October Term 4 Homework Club begins

Wednesday 17th October Tennis Program (Keon Park Tennis Club: 3.30-5.00pm)

Friday 19th October Gymnastics Program

Monday 22nd October Term 4 Homework Club

Restorative Practices Parent Seminar (3.30-5.00pm)

Tuesday 23rd October Because Of Her We Can Yarning School Conference (Year 5 students @ City of Darebin)

Wednesday 24th October Edgars Mission Farm Sanctuary—whole school excursion

Tennis Program (Keon Park Tennis Club: 3.30-5.00pm)

Friday 26th October Gymnastics Program

Wednesday 31st October 2019 Prep Orientation (Session 1)

Darebin Play Map Project (Pearls)

School Uniform

During my time at the school so far, the number of priorities, initiatives and general “value-added” programs that have been introduced has meant I have not placed great emphasis on monitoring our school uniform. Generally, I have found that most families and students make every effort to “comply” with our Uniform Policy. However, in recent times, I have noted that it would be valuable and fair to all families that consistency in wearing  what is prescribed as being in line with the school uniform guidelines should be emphasised and enforced more clearly.

Beginning this term, I will be sending home an “Out of School Uniform Notification” when I have established that a student does not have or does not wear the correct items or combinations of uniform. This will be done specifically to help guide parents in their planning for 2019 and what uniform items should be ordered/purchased.

The purpose is to ensure that we maintain high standards both within our school community and more broadly in the wider community when our students attend external events.

Term 4 Class Captains

Congratulations to our Term 4 Pearls and Diamonds Class Captains. Whereas Alize and Pavanaj will now fill the role for a second time after initially being in the position two years ago, Angel and Alexis will no doubt be excited to take this on for the first time. I will look forward to our SRC Meetings together.

The students will learn to facilitate Class Meetings and present their classmates’ suggestions at the fortnightly SRC Meeting which is presided over by our SRC Captain, Jamie, and our School Captains, Maya and Natasha.

Leader Sports Star Awards

During the final week of Term 3, Suzi and I attended the Awards as representatives of our school and to support the Constable Family, with Noah being one of the nominees for the range of awards that evening. It was a wonderful occasion that celebrated the sporting achievements of many young and older people across Melbourne. Noah was awarded the Preston Leader “Young Sporting Spirit Individual”. Well done, Noah. We’re all very proud of you.

Principal Parlour Performances

Towards the end of last term, Mrs Wilson-O’Brien arranged three special “Principal Parlour” performances in my office. Each class visited me during the day to showcase the songs  they had been learning throughout the term. Other school staff were drawn to my office when hearing the students’ angelic voices and instruments. It made me feel very special.