Maharishi School, Reservoir: Newsletter #11

Principal’s Report
Dear Parents and Students, Following consultation with our students, through our Student Representative Council, about ways in which we can provide further opportunities and engagement for students at the school, I am pleased to announce that we have successfully  applied for and received invitations for our school to participate in two very exciting and worthwhile programs – the Sporting Schools Program and the Chess Victoria Zonal Tournament.

Sporting Schools Program
On behalf of the school, I prepared and submitted an application to  become a part of the Sporting Schools Programme from this term.

Sporting Schools is an Australian Government initiative delivered by the Australian Sports Commission. The Sporting Schools programme is  committed to helping sport, schools and communities work closer than ever before to grow sport activity in primary schools. Its key purpose is to encourage more children to do more sport activities and games, and empower schools to help them do that.

There are many sports on offer, with over 30 key National Sporting Organisations (NSOs) to help deliver a quality Sporting Schools experience, supported by NSO-endorsed coaches that can also support our school’s curriculum.   We are able to select from the following sports to use our Sporting Schools funding:

We received a grant that will enable us to offer a weekly after-school Basketball Program for all interested students, run by an NSO-endorsed coach. At this stage we have not established which day the program will run but it will be from  3.30-4.30pm. We chose Basketball for this term because of our students’ participation in the Hoop Time Program in  September. We hope that in addition to the coaching already being done by our teachers, our Emeralds teams will have their skills further developed by this accredited basketball coach. Next term, we will be able to select one, or perhaps two, of the other sports listed above


Rugby Union
Rugby League
Surf Life Saving
Table Tennis
Touch Football
Water Polo

Ski and Snowboarding
Tenpin Bowling

We received a grant that will enable us to offer a weekly after-school Basketball Program for all interested students, run by an NSO-endorsed coach. At this stage we have not established which day the program will run but it will be from 3.30-4.30pm. We chose Basketball for this term because of our students’ participation in the Hoop Time Program in

We hope that in addition to the coaching already being done by our teachers, our Emeralds teams will have their skills further developed by this accredited basketball coach.
Next term, we will be able to select one, or perhaps two, of the other sports listed above.

Parent Teacher Interviews
Our second round of Parent/Teacher Interviews will be conducted on Wednesday 3rd August from 9.00am – 2.00pm. In addition to discussing aspects of the Semester One Student Reports, these interviews are geared more towards parents and teachers agreeing on the strategies between home and school that will be implemented to address the areas of improvement/enhancement that have been identified during Semester One.

Please make sure you complete and return the forms sent home to you last week or come to the school where you can fill in your request on the teachers’ schedules provided.

Chess Club & Tournament
Our school has been invited to participate in the Chess Victoria – Primary level Zonal Chess Tournament at Kingswood
College in Box Hill.
Each zonal tournament is a qualifier for the 2016 Chess Victoria state finals held early in Term 4 and is run by Northern Star Chess under arrangement with Chess Victoria, the official body for chess administration in Victoria.

The Northern Star Chess zonal tournaments are conducted as Individual based events. Their model is inclusive and
eliminates some issues which are only relevant for team-based events. Specifically –
There is no restriction on “team size”. Schools can just send a group of students who want to play chess.
Students don’t feel pressured to “perform or let the team down”. The strong students will likely qualify based on
performance (see below for qualification rules), and the not so strong students can still come for the experience.
Schools don’t feel pressured to deal with dilemma of team allocation, often requiring a choice between strength of team or student morale.

The tournaments, one for Primary level students and one for Secondary level students will be conducted, in parallel, at the same venue.
Venue: Kingswood College – 355 Station St, Box Hill
Date: Tuesday 16th August, 2016
Time: 9:30 am – 2:30 pm
Qualify: In each tournament, the top 30% overall and the top 30% of girls qualify for the relevant state final.

Individual based tournament.
Every student plays 7 games against players of similar skill, regardless of how many games they win or lose
(Swiss pairing method)
Students experience proper tournament rules
Every student receives a certificate, graded at 4 levels based on final score.
Gold/Silver/Bronze medals awarded to various grade/year level categories
“Star of the tournament” trophy for top scorers of the day
Table prizes / giveaways.
Chess Victoria State Final qualifications announced at the end of tournament based on results for the day.

We will begin a lunchtime Chess Club at school this week where students will be able to come in and play a few games
during lunchtime with their friends or other students to help prepare them for the tournament
Planting Day
Bunnings regularly helps local community groups by providing hands-on assistance with their projects. Wherever possible the Bunnings teams take the opportunity to get out in into the community and help with grassroots projects – like assisting with garden makeovers and providing D.I.Y. support.

This Thursday our school will be partnering with Bunnings under their Local Community Support Program which will see our school have a small part of our garden made-over by the Bunnings team. The site chosen is the garden bed on the eastern end of our Administration building. There will be ferns and other flora planted in this area, assisted by our
students and parents.

We will need the assistance of parents to help with the digging and to wheelbarrow the compost to the garden bed. All you need to bring is your own garden gloves. Our students will also provide assistance on the day, under the leadership of Gok Kobby (Minister for the Environment) and Zaid Licciardino (Minister-in-Training).
For those of you who can’t be here, make sure you come to the school to see the transformation of this space. We also hope to be conducting our own planting along the southern and western sides of the building on that day to take advantage of the equipment and compost that Bunnings will provide us.

Would you please let the office know of your interest and ability to attend, even it is only for an hour. Alternatively, Alison Umbers (Phoebe’s mum), who has been coordinating this event and has been such an incredible inspiration with her dedication and commitment to the school, would be happy to receive your expression of interest.

Term 3 Production
Our production of Aesop’s Fables is beginning to take shape. All students have been allocated roles and we have Mrs
Anderson collaborating with Ms O’Brien (Music), Ms Brady and Ms Russell (Dance) to incorporate these aspects of the
performing arts into the production.

This Friday 29th July, at 8:30am we are holding a short meeting to seek the availability of parents who would be interested in being a part of the costume-making team. No experience is needed, as we will provide a copy of the costume to be made, the materials and how to make it. The costume team will be able to meet at a set time at school to work together on the costumes.

Please give your name to Emily or Suzi at the General Office.

Choir Performance
A reminder to those parents who have their child(ren) as part of our School Choir that you will be required to attend a
rehearsal this Sunday 31st July at Melbourne Girls College (Yarra Boulevard, Richmond) at 2.30 – 4.30pm.
The performance at Melbourne Town Hall is next Wednesday 3rd July. All parents are required to take their children to the venue at 4.00pm.
Further details have/will be provided by Ms O’Brien.

The Education Landscape
As Principal of this wonderful school, I consider it an important part of my role to highlight educational and social issues that are relevant to teachers, parents and our general school community.

Just recently, an article came across my desk titled, “How the Education System is Making Kids Stressed and Sick”. You can imagine how such a headline would get my attention so I sat myself down, coffee in hand, and read the article.

I found my own philosophy of education and specifically schooling, was closely aligned with the message in the article. I was quite encouraged to see that someone was actually raising an aspect of schooling with which I had also grappled
leading up to and during my tenure in school leadership positions.

So, putting aside the hysterics and/or dismissiveness that such articles usually cause in the corridors of bureaucracy, and potentially family homes too, what aspect of education is being challenged here? What is the message it is conveying to us?

The message by author Lucy Clark is that this generation of children is being pressured to achieve high levels of academic success, which in turn is overriding the joys of education and making kids anxious and depressed. The promotion by schools and support by many parents to define educational success merely through results (NAPLAN and ATAR Rankings) has
become a huge concern for me and many in educational circles.
As I was reading the article, I felt this sense of relief and appreciation that I was now leading a school whose philosophy and approach to a child’s development has a more profound focus on holistic development and “stress-free learning”. I would always say to parents, whether as a teacher or principal, that a great indicator of success within a school is how that school deals with its students and what it has as a focus. Is the school interested in making learning enjoyable? Does it
value the benefit of happiness within a person as a basis for success and wellbeing in all aspects of their development?

Shouldn’t the aim of education be to raise confident, knowledgeable and skilful young people, equipped with a strong,
lifelong curiosity and passion for learning? That’s what I love about what we do at Maharishi School – we guide, inspire and support every child to nurture a love for learning and pursue a meaningful and purposeful life by investigating things in greater depth. We value holistic growth – mind, body, behaviour/values. Our focus for children is who they are as
individuals and guiding them to become the best they can be, not moulding them into someone that conveniently fits an educational model aimed at the masses. There is too much focus in the wider education community on academic
outcomes and a very narrow view of success with a one-size-fits-all approach that negates individuality. I’m proud to stand up and say – not at Maharishi School.

At the conclusion of the article I sat back and smiled. How wonderful to be part of and lead a school community that values “young people knowing themselves, being strong in themselves” and being guided on a journey where “character, ethics and social responsibility” are considered integral in setting a foundation for success in life.

I feel so grateful.
Steve Charisis

Redgum Book Club
Dear Parents,
We are participating in Redgum Book Club this term. The term 3 catalogue has been sent home with your child. Every book order will earn resources and books for our school, with every order receiving a free gift for your child.

To view the current catalogue, please open the link below. Go to
for more information on their range of books You will find hundreds more great titles that you can order this term, with books starting from $2.00.

The catalogue is now open and closes on 16th August. Ordered books will be delivered free to the school no later than 5th September.
Redgum Book Club newly released books for term 3:

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. The most famous boy wizard in literature is back!
The BFG (Film tie-in). One of Roald Dahl’s most loved books is now a major motion picture.
Juliet Nearly A Vet: Rainforest Camp. New book in the series from Australian author and twice nominated for the CBCA younger readers section, Rebecca Johnson.
The 78-Storey Treehouse. The highly anticipated sixth book in the Treehouse series!
The First Hippo on the Moon. From number one bestselling picture book duo, David Walliams and Tony Ross, comes this explosively funny space adventure for young children.

How to place an order:
Order and pay online by credit card or PayPal at :

Email your order with your credit card details to:
Mail to:

If you have any questions about Redgum Book Club orders, please contact Lesley at:

This year the school will be celebrating book week which runs from Monday August 22nd – Friday August 26th. The theme for Book Week this year is AUSTRALIA: STORY COUNTRY. The school will be celebrating book week in a variety of special ways.

Wednesday August 24th – Come to school dressed as your favourite book character. There will be a character parade in the morning on the basketball court for all parents and friends to gather and watch.
Tuesday August 25th-27th – Scholastic Book Fair open before and after school. Come up to the library and browse the books on offer – stock up for birthday and Christmas presents. All children will come home with a wishlist the week before the fair so that you can see what books they’re interested in! The school will receive a percentage of the sales to purchase books for the library.
Lunch time Story Time in the Library.
Kinder Story Time – times to be announced.
Competitions and Prizes!! – more details to follow.

Thank you,
Susie Burnham, Learning Support Teacher

Term 3 Class Captains
At Monday’s Assembly we acknowledged and thanked our Term 2 Class Captains for the work they did during their time in the role. The Captains also had an opportunity to share with the students and parents some of the things they valued and were able to do as a Class Captain.

We announced our Term 3 Class Captains at the Assembly. They are:
Pearls: Alec Sharan Bella Mihos
Diamonds: Jaime Gioskos Maya Constable

We wish these students all the best in their new role. This week there will be an SRC Meeting when we will have the hand-over take place from Term 2 to Term 3 Class Captains. It will be a great opportunity for our Term 2 Class Captains to men-tor the new Captains about the running of the SRC and the expectations for the role.