Newsletter #14 16/10/2019

Principal’s Report

Term 4
We are planning for our last term of the 2019 school year to be an incredibly fulfilling one for our students with highly engaging activities and events in the planning. Opportunities will be provided in the areas of Sport, Performing Arts, Creative Arts and Student Leadership. The term will culminate with what is now our traditional end-of-year Celebration Evening. Following on from the success of last year, we will once again have a twilight event on the grounds of the school.

Term 4 is a time of great pride for us as we guide our Year 6 students through the final stages of their primary schooling. The Year 6 Graduation Dinner is scheduled for the 28th November followed the next day by a ““Spiritual Healing Trail Walk” in the Darebin Parklands with an Aboriginal Cultural Educator from the Darebin City Council.

Each Friday afternoon the students will rotate between two programs – Drama & Performing Arts and Sports Skills:
Drama & Performing Arts Program
Virginia Bott and Marianna Doherty will be working with our four classes from 1.00pm-3.00pm each Friday in a Drama & Performing Arts Program. The performance concept is based on reflecting on the journey through school via the lens of some well-known songs from the genre of The Musical. It is about the long arc of moving through each grade, growing with each year and then moving on to high school. The idea is to create a special moment for the Grade 6 students (and their parents) to mark their transition with the whole school community present, as well as for each of the grades to celebrate the end of a great year and moving on to a new grade. This concept will guide the song choices and overall it will have a feeling of acknowledgement, reflection and gratitude.

The program is being planned to present to the school community at our end-of-year Celebration Evening. Each grade will do a song which will reflect the age and stage of that grade. All the students will sing every song but each grade will take their turn featuring in the main movement/choreography/dramatic play. The Grade 6 students will do some spoken segue-ways between songs and these will be the moments of reflection.  We are excited by the opportunities that Virginia and Marianna, both exceptional talents in their own right, will bring to this program for all our students.

Sports Skills Program
We welcome back Kylie (IAAF Kids’ Athletics Coach) to work with our Year 1-5 students each Friday afternoon. The fundamental skills of running, jumping and throwing that are transferable across all sports, will be the areas of development with the program to help promote active, healthy, sport-loving students. Our aim in the long-term is to encourage our students to participate more actively and successfully in the sporting events in which our school is able to participate as part of the Keon Park District Sports Association for primary schools as well as their own sporting and leisure activities away from school.

Parent Seminar
Faye Shepherd, Health Educator and Consultant, will return on Wednesday 23rd October at 9.00am to give a presentation on Women’s Health, with an opportunity again for related Questions and Answers. We warmly welcome mothers and female family members and friends to strengthen your own good health through Maharishi Ayur Veda and invite you to take advantage of this opportunity. A flyer is attached with this Newsletter.

Format: Group Meditation 9.00 – 9.20
Presentation 9.20 – 10.20
Q & A 10.20 – 10.40
Refreshments 10.40 – 11.00

This is a beautiful opportunity to learn from the ancient wisdom of Maharishi Ayur Veda – a holistic health care system recognised by the World Health Organisation. RSVP to the school by Monday 21st October.

Visitors to Our School
I was very proud to be contacted by Ms Papanicolou who, after visiting our school last term with a couple of her colleagues, wanted to share the following contribution she prepared for the newsletter that is distributed within her Division of the Department of Education and Training.

Earlier this year, during a quick networking nerd sesh on Yammer, a post from Maharishi School in Reservoir piqued my interest. One of their staff had presented a photo of their recent school pledge that all adults and children are responsible for promoting gender equality and modelling respectful relationships. I have a keen interest in practicing Transcendental meditation, which is one of the key holistic approaches to learning that is adopted by this school and so when their Principal reached out offering a school visit, I rallied a small team of gals from across our relevant workforce sectors in diversity and inclusion, and health and wellbeing. The visit was incredibly powerful in reconnecting our corporate staff with purpose, and provided us with an invaluable opportunity to speak directly with students, and witness the impact that cleverly tailored (and scientifically supported) programs can have on a child’s resilience and self-awareness during early developmental stages of growth. The advanced level of maturity and an empowered understanding of self was reflected so colourfully in student responses, who described meditation “like having a protein bar of energy without having to eat it”, allowing them to “bring stress down to a balanced level” and to “be more patient with my siblings”. I mean, who can argue with that sort of first hand evidence? And so in taking this knowledge and leveraging Holly Ransom’s brilliantly inspiring tale of her ‘Year of Fear’ at DPC’s Empowering Women Summit last month (link to a great read on Holly here: Young Inspiring Female Leaders ),  I challenge all my public servant peers to swap your Market Lane coffee this month with ten minutes of meditation in the gardens, and I promise you, it will be worthy of not just your mind, but your ye ole piggy bank!
 
Nastasja Papanicolou  – Manager, Projects
People Division – People and Executive Services
Department of Education and Training

SRC Report
At this week’s SRC Meeting, the Term 3 Class Captains joined me to congratulate and welcome our Term 4 Class Captains.
We discussed what the SRC do at the school and the responsibilities they will have to represent their classmates by bringing the ideas their class has for adding value to the school.
We spoke about the events that the SRC promote, including the Footy Colours Day at the end of Term 3 when we were able to raise $122 to donate to the Fight Cancer Foundation to support kids living with cancer. 

Key Dates
Wed 16th Oct (Sports Uniform Day) After-School Tennis Coaching Program Begins (Keon Park Tennis Club)
Fri 18th Oct (Sports Uniform Day) Drama & Performing Arts Program (1.00-3.00pm)
Sports Skills Program (1.00-3.00pm)
Tues 22nd Oct NAIDOC Yarning Conference (City of Darebin) – Year 5 Students only
Wed 23rd Oct (Sports Uniform Day) Parent Seminar – Women’s Health (9.00-11.00am)
Tennis Coaching Program – Keon Park Tennis Club (3.30-5.00pm)
Thurs 24th Oct 2020 Prep Orientation Program (Session #1)
Fri 25th Oct (Sports Uniform Day) Drama & Performing Arts Program
Sports Skills Program
Mon 28th Oct Metro School Program (Yrs. 1-6)
Wed 30th Oct (Sports Uniform Day) Parent Seminar – Women’s Health (9.00-11.00am)
Tennis Coaching Program – Keon Park Tennis Club (3.30-5.00pm)
Thurs 31st Oct 2020 Prep Orientation Program (Session #2)
Fri 1st Nov (Sports Uniform Day) Drama & Performing Arts Program
Sports Skills Program
Mon 4th Nov School Planning Day (Student-Free Day)
Tues 5th Nov ` Melbourne Cup Public Holiday
Wed 6th Nov Tennis Coaching Program – Keon Park Tennis Club (3.30-5.00pm)
Thurs 7th Nov 2020 Prep Orientation Program (Session #3)

Term 4 SCI Principles & Fundamentals of Growth
This term, the Pearls will learn the last 5 SCI Principles, and have started with a focus on ‘Knowledge is Gained from Inside and Outside’. Last week we discussed and described the qualities of different fruits and how we know these by using our 5 senses. The students then decided if each quality came from the inside (taste, colour of the flesh, seeds etc.) or the outside (colour/texture of the skin, smell etc.). Following this, the students enjoyed eating the delicious fruit!

Throughout Term 4, the Sapphires will be exploring the theme of ‘Celebrations around the World”. This topic is naturally filled with joy, excitement and fun and is easily integrated within the SCI principles we will be studying this term. Examples of the ways in which the students will explore the principles are as follows:
The World is as We Are: when we celebrate the events, achievements and milestones of others in our families and community, we naturally feel bliss and happiness within ourselves.
Opposites are Found Together: The opposites of older and younger that we find during our family celebrations, brings delight to us all.
The Whole is contained in Every Part: This is why we find the wholeness of a delicious cake is contained in every single bite.
The Whole is more than the Sum of the Parts: It is wonderful to see how each country in the world makes its own special contribution to all of the people in our world family. This is especially evident during times of celebration!

Knowledge Is Gained From Inside and Outside
The Diamonds have been exploring how the way we learn is connecting what we already know “inside” with the new knowledge we are gaining from “outside”. During Integrated Studies the students have used their previously known information (inside) and newly acquired information (outside) to devise an educational campaign to educate the school community about their chosen Environmental Action Group.

In Term 4, the Emeralds study the final four Fundamentals of Growth: Vigilance, Insight, Foresight and Happiness. The Emeralds have been discussing how when we are established in restful alertness, we can see an entire situation, appreciating the parts without losing sight of the whole. We watched an inspiring video of a famous Pakistani woman, Muniba Mazari, who was able to view and follow her ‘true path’ regardless of the perceived obstacles placed along the way.
When we study Insight and Foresight, we come to understand how our clarity of consciousness helps us to understand different perspectives and to ‘think ahead’ and make considered, thoughtful decisions.
Finally, our final fundamental “Happiness” brings our SCI studies full circle so that we remember that the purpose of life is indeed to increase group happiness. This is delightfully experienced through end-of-year celebrations and reflections.

Science News
Crystal Competition
During Term 3, the Emeralds and the Diamonds grew Alum Crystals in order to enter the crystal competition run by the Royal Australian Chemical Institute. Students were expected to look after their crystals throughout the term, keeping them clean and measuring them to regularly and accurately record the growth of their crystal. The project culminated with an artistic photo showing their crystal in a setting of their choice. The crystals were judged in two sections, crystal quality and artistic photo. Congratulations to the following students for winning entries:
Artistic Photo: Tristan Kitching and Samaya Sharan
Quality of Crystal: Noah Constable and Katerina Emmanuelle

Term 4 Class Captains
Congratulations to our Term 4 Pearls, Sapphires and Diamonds Class Captains. 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 Leader, Olive, and our other School Leaders, Dries and Billie. I will look forward to our SRC Meetings together.

Alumni Breakfast
Last Sunday we were proud to host our 4th Annual Alumni Breakfast at the school.
It has been a joy to see our graduates dating back to the foundation years of the school come together for this annual function. Each year we induct our current Year 6 students into the Alumni Group to show them the special place they will always have as a part of our school community. This year we had a large representation of recent graduates who regenerated the special bond they have as Maharishi School graduates. We are pleased each year to see parents also attending with their children. There is no doubt that parents also are keen to retain their connection with the school and with each other.
My thanks and gratitude to Suzi Haynes and Wilma Wilson who helped plan the occasion and ensured that the event was adequately catered for, Karina Aston for the administration behind the event and to Joe and Rosanna Agati for their cooking and preparation on the morning of the breakfast.