Issue #5 09/05/2018

Principal’s Report

At the most recent Parent Seminar Series session, I presented the school’s Child Safe and Code of Conduct for Parents policies to those that attended. It was a wonderful session where clarity was sought and given regarding the expectations that parents can confidently have of the school and likewise the school should have of parents.

At Maharishi School, we take great pride in the personal qualities we strive to develop in our students. One of the SCI Principles that is taught and on which I place great emphasis is “The World Is As We Are”. In simple terms, the outcome of what we say and do reflects on who we are as individuals, whether a teacher, parent, spouse, friend or worker. The manner in which we choose to conduct ourselves contributes to the environment in which we live and breathe each day.

The “organisational culture” we are striving to develop at our school places enormous emphasis on the values and behaviours that contribute to the unique environment of our school. Our school’s culture is developed through the expectations, experiences, philosophy, and values that hold us together, and is expressed in our self-image, inner workings, interactions with the outside world and future expectations. It is based on shared attitudes, beliefs, customs, and written and unwritten rules that have been developed over time and are considered valid within our school community.

I believe that in my position it is imperative that expectations, values and standards are continually reinforced to the whole school community, ensuring we all share in a mutually beneficial partnership. I place great importance on effective communication and a positive relationship between home and school. They are vital to the success of our school and are important elements which I will continue to drive as priorities. Your support and understanding for the need for all of us to abide by these expectations and set the appropriate “tone” of the school is appreciated.

If you haven’t already done so, please refer to the 2018 Parent & Student Handbook that was distributed earlier this year. You will read clear guidelines and expectations for all of us who make up this unique school community.

Homework Club

Although the Homework Club is an optional activity for students after school, it has grown enormously over the past 12 months where we now have between 80-85% of our students registering for the program each term. I expect that this is due to a combination of the choice of “Clubs” provided by the school each term, the adults selected to facilitate these clubs and the care the school takes in providing nourishing snacks to all students each week prior to the start of the session. All Clubs have been a wonderful success when judged against the criteria I originally set for the program. That is, providing Clubs that are stimulating and engaging, with activities based on Individual Learning Plan (ILP) priorities for students, gender balance, inclusive of a range of year levels as well as consideration for student preferences. Independent Schools Victoria and The Centre for Multicultural Youth, both of whom oversee the reporting & accountability associated with our school successfully receiving the grant funding for this initiative, have congratulated me for our outstanding program and exceptionally high student participation rate.

It was extremely pleasing to note that after some very disappointed expressions on the faces of students (and even parents) prior to the beginning of the Term 2 Homework Club program, the recovery was swift and all students attended their allocated club, even if it wasn’t their first or second choice. Guiding children through disappointment is an important learning experience in their developmental journey. Thank you for assisting the school and your child through this process.

I would like to take the opportunity to acknowledge and thank those students and parents who have expressed their gratitude and delight to me about the school’s initiative in providing such a worthwhile program, free of charge, after school for our students.

We are preparing a special Homework Club edition of the Newsletter which will be distributed soon.

Chat With The Principal Session

This week we had another valuable session when parents where able to raise a number of matters for the school’s consideration. One of the points of discussion was the status of the school’s Nut Policy . This is a topic that can be quite sensitive to those affected by allergies to their own or others’ children.

Blanket food bans or attempts to totally eliminate food allergens in schools are not recommended by the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA). Instead, schools are encouraged to have a broad management plan in place, which includes education for students, the school community, staff training, strategies to reduce exposure and emergency response plans. This has been a natural evolution from the earlier days when the most common strategy was to protect children by banning specific foods or food groups for all students in a school, even if a reaction to these foods may only have affected a few.

Maharishi School currently has a No Nut Policy but just like all policies and procedures, a review should be undertaken on at least a 2-3 year basis. In that context, I would be happy to undertake such a review of this specific policy, in consultation with our school community. If you are interested in participating in a Policy Working Group, please email your expression of interest to me; principal@maharishischool.vic.edu.au

At the session, I also asked about future topics for our Parent Seminars. I mentioned that I will be attending a Cyberbullying Workshop (see next page) and perhaps this would be a valuable discussion at a future parent seminar. Seminar #4 on 18th June will now be about Cyberbullying.

In the meantime, there are valuable online resources to inform and guide parents about online issues affecting young people. It is imperative that parents are active in knowing about and overseeing what their children are doing on phones, iPads, computers. Please visit the Office of the eSafety Commissioner at www.esafety.gov.au and look at the iParent section where you can learn about the digital environment and how to help your child have safe and enjoyable online experiences.

Parent Seminar 03/2018 – Maharishi Ayurveda for Adults and Children

Our third Parent Seminar on Monday 21st May at 9.45am promises to be an enlightening presentation and discussion, facilitated by Faye Shepherd, that will be specifically targeted to the needs of young children.

All those interested in attending are asked to confirm your attendance by contacting the School Office by Wednesday 16th May.

Mother’s Day Breakfast

We have our annual Mother’s Day Breakfast on Monday 14th May immediately after our Assembly. We look forward to seeing mums and special persons that morning to share in what has become a lovely celebration at our school.

Please note that this year there will be no Mother’s Day Stall held at the school.

 First Aid Training and Defibrillator

Our First Aid Training Day last week was a great success, with 15 attendees at the session. The group got to use the school’s new defibrillator which we have purchased for our school community. We are planning up to two training sessions at the school for all parents and family members. For your convenience, the first is planned for next Wednesday 16th May at 4.00pm and will run for around 1/2 hour to coincide with our students finishing their School Choir session at 4.30pm. Please make yourself available to attend this important training. Having a range of school community members who can confidently operate a defibrillator will add greater confidence and value within our school.

Term 2 Student Lunch Orders

Beginning this week, lunch orders have been revised to include either Pasta or a Vegetarian Hot Dog. Both will include a small bag of popcorn and a Juice Box. If you have not already done so, please place your order with the School Office.

Term 2 After School Programs

A reminder that the following arrangements have been made for After School Activities during Term 2. Please not the different finishing times each day for those activities in which your children are involved.

Monday: Homework Club (3.30 to 5.00)

Tuesday: After School Care (3.30 to 5.30pm)

Wednesday: School Boite Choir (3.30 to 4.30pm) – begins Wednesday 9th May only for students who have registered

Thursday: After School Care (3.30 to 5.30pm)

Friday: After School Care (3.30 to 5.30pm

Key Dates

Wednesday 9th May              Lunch Order Day

School Boite Choir (3.30 – 4.30pm) – only for students who have registered

Friday 11th May                   PE Class + Sports Program-Bundoora Action Indoor Sports (Sports Uniform to be worn)

Monday 14th May               Mother’s Day Breakfast

Homework Club (3.30 to 5.00)

Tuesday 15th May NAPLAN for Year 3&5 Students

Wednesday 16th May NAPLAN for Year 3&5 Students

Lunch Order Day

School Boite Choir (3.30 – 4.30pm) – only for students who have registered

Thursday 17th May NAPLAN for Year 3&5 Students

Friday 18th May PE Class + Sports Program-Bundoora Action Indoor Sports (Sports Uniform to be worn)

KPDSA Cross Country Event

Sunday 20th May Boite Choir Introduction Rehearsals – Rosina Auditorium, Abbotsford

Monday 21st May Parent Seminar 03/2018 – Maharishi Ayurveda for Adults and Children

Homework Club (3.30 to 5.00)

Wednesday 23rd May Lunch Order Day

School Boite Choir (3.30 – 4.30pm) – only for students who have registered

Friday 25th May PE Class + Sports Program-Bundoora Action Indoor Sports (Sports Uniform to be worn)

FREE Cyberbullying Workshop

Interrelate has been teaching anti-bullying strategies in schools for more than two decades, and continues to have a positive impact on 90,000 students each year. They are the school’s chosen provider for the Sexuality Education lessons provided to our students once again this year.

Interrelate are excited to invite you to their FREE Cyberbullying Workshop for staff and parents.

Schools are often one of the first “go to” places for families and a critical point of reference for cybersafety education. Cyberbullying lasts beyond the school gates, following students into their homes and it can happen 24 hours a day, 7 days per week.

Kristy Innes, a highly-skilled educator and program developer, holds a Master of Sexual Health, Bachelor of Applied Social Science and Graduate Diploma of Counselling. She will be:

  • increasing an understanding of cyberbullying
  • developing strategies to prevent cyberbullying, including identifying students at risk
  • addressing ways to create a supportive culture in schools around cybersafety
  • addressing ways in which schools can work with parents/carers on the issue of cyberbullying
  • encouraging creative thinking through a co-design workshop

When: Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Where: The Park, 36 Lakeside Drive, Albert Park

Time: 9:30am – 12:30pm (Morning Tea will be provided)

Cyberbullying is a nation-wide growing problem and according to the Australian Government, it is the number one social and public health issue in Australia. One in four young people are cyberbullied.

Please note that there are limited spaces available at this one-off event, so please click here  to register. I will be attending on behalf of the school. If you are interested in attending, you can let me know so we can see if a “car pool” can be arranged.

Interrelate’s programs have received accreditation from the Office of the e-safety Commissioner. All participants will receive a redeemable voucher for a parents and carers webinar on bullying awareness or cybersafety.

Term 2 Class Captains

Congratulations to our Term 2 Class Captains:

Pearls – Tristan & Billi

Diamonds – Noah & Maeve

We look forward to your contributions at the SRC Meetings and in setting a good example to the other students in your class.