Newsletter #3 25/03/2021

Principal’s Report

Term 1 2021

As the first school term for this year draws to a close, we feel a sense of relief that we have got through mostly unscathed from the effects of COVID. Other than the three school days we missed earlier in the term, the students and staff have enjoyed a productive and fulfilling term together. It is a lovely change after the year we all experienced in 2020.

There have been many highlights throughout the term, some of them included in this newsletter. One of our bigger highlights that I expect will have a lasting impact on our students and staff has been the Grandmother Moon Project. The arrival of the Barking Spider Visual Theatre creative artists in the last couple of weeks has sent a real buzz around the school each Friday. You will see in the Key Dates below that BSVT will also be regulars at our school in the first few weeks of Term 2, leading up to the Performance Day on Friday 7th May. The Performance will be at the school, but arrangements will only be made after the creative process between the artists and our students establishes what the performance will look like. The creative process itself is proving very exciting and motivating for everyone.

On behalf of the School Board and staff, I would like to wish everyone a happy and healthy school holiday period. In that context, it would be appreciated if you would gently encourage your children to continue being regular with their TM technique over the school holiday period. It is important that the routine that the children follow when at school is continued while they are on school holidays. The daily routine of the Transcendental Meditation technique should not be solely associated with attendance at school. It should be reinforced as a skill/technique that adds value to our lives and is done on a daily basis. With so many parents now attending Suzi’s Monday and Friday Parent Group Meditation sessions, we are really feeling a strengthening in the connectedness across the school community that comes with everyone practicing and acknowledging the benefits of the Transcendental Meditation technique.

Key Dates
Fri 26th March Grandmother Moon Project (all classes)
Wed 31st March Writing Workshop with Ingrid Laguna (Diamonds & Emeralds) Grandmother Moon Project (all classes)
Thurs 1st Apr ‘Last Day of Term’ SRC Activities & Harmony Day Lunch
Mon 19th Apr Staff Planning Day
Tues 20th Apr Term 2 Begins for Students
Fri 23rd Apr Grandmother Moon Project (all classes)
Mon 26th – Fri 30th Apr Grandmother Moon Project (all classes)
Wed 5th May Grandmother Moon Project (all classes) – Tech Rehearsal
Thurs 6th May Grandmother Moon Project (all classes) – Dress Rehearsal
Fri 7th May Grandmother Moon Project “PERFORMANCE” (details to be advised)

Principal’s Absence
I will be taking leave for a few weeks at the beginning of Term 2 to have hip replacement surgery. During my absence, Leisa James and Samantha Russell will be in place to handle any matters that would normally require my attention. Arrangements have been made to cover their respective classes when they are required to attend to school matters, with our regular CRT in 2021, Nicola Howard who all our students have got to know extremely well, employed during my period of absence.

Pearls’ Term 1 Highlights
It has been great to see how kind and welcoming the Year 1 students have been to our new Prep friends throughout Term 1. All the students have settled into the routine of school life beautifully and are working together in a cohesive and unified manner, which is delightful to observe.

A highlight of this term for us has been getting to know our Buddies from the Emeralds class. Our Buddies have spent time with us in the classroom doing a variety of activities. In addition to some play-based learning, our Buddies have also supported us with our learning of the Science of Creative Intelligence (SCI) principles. When our focus was ‘The Nature of Life is to Grow’ we planted broad bean seeds together. It has been lovely to watch these sprout and grow in the classroom. We made books about ourselves which communicate our favourite colours/ hobbies/ food/ celebrations when we were learning ‘Order is Present Everywhere’. We found that books are a great example of ‘order’ when we looked at the front cover, page numbers and the beginning, middle and end of a story or information book. We have also made posters about the principle ‘Life is Found in Layers’ where the students drew their ideas about where layers are found in everyday life such as onions, rainbows, the seabed, sandwiches, apples and more!

Once a week we eat lunch with our Buddies and enjoy playing together at playtime. This support is wonderful, especially for our new Prep students. For the Year 1 students it has strengthened the bonds and friendships that were created last year. It is very heart-warming to see the Year 5 and 6 students shower their Buddy with care and kindness. The Buddy program is a very special part of being in the Pearls class and we all enjoy it very much.

Emeralds Learn about “The Apology”
Saturday February 13th was the anniversary of former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s Apology to the Stolen Generations in 2008.

On 13 February 2008 Prime Minister Kevin Rudd made a formal apology to Australia’s Indigenous peoples, particularly to the Stolen Generations whose lives had been blighted by past government policies of forced child removal and Indigenous assimilation.

In class, the Emeralds watched ‘The Apology’ video, read the script of the Apology and reflected on the impact of such policies. We also talked about the importance of truth telling and saying ‘sorry’. The students made up their own acrostic poem using the word “APOLOGY”. The students’ work can be viewed in the Emeralds section of the Maharishi School Portal.

Athletics Carnival
Last Friday the Diamonds and Emeralds participated in the Interschool Athletics Carnival at Meadowglen International Athletics Track. Other participating schools were William Ruthven, Reservoir East, Our Lady of the Way, Reservoir Views, Reservoir and Thomastown Primary Schools. Last year the event was cancelled due to COVID-19, so it had been two years since anyone in our school had competed and that added some nervous energy, anticipation and speculation about what the day would be like. Teachers Mrs. Burnham and Ms. Russell were accompanied by our fabulous Athletics Victoria coach Kylie Italiano and supported on the day incredibly enthusiastically by family members from the school.

As we arrived at the venue on the bus, we could see a few of our fellow Maharishi School students who had already arrived with their parents. We were very excited to see Georgia Currin competing in her 800m running race, and to everyone’s delight she won the event! This got us all excited and inspired and energy levels were high!
The day went by incredibly swiftly with students from our school participating in Track and Field events, with the final event being the team 4 X Shuttle Relay runs with baton. There was always more than one event happening wherever you looked, and the parents and Kylie were wonderful at helping the teachers manage the varied needs of the participants over the course of the day.

All our students participated valiantly and made our school and community so proud. Many unique things happened on the day, such as races being re-run and events being repeated and competitors moving to extra or new / unforeseen events. We were incredibly proud of the great sporting behaviour demonstrated by the students, and their ability to face and enjoy new experiences. Whilst many students won ribbons in their events, many of the most special achievements related to our children “giving things a go” and being able to be flexible, courageous and team-spirited. The cheering from our school was louder and more passionate than of the larger schools, and it was testimony to the good feeling and positivity of the day, and our school’s wonderfully inclusive culture.

It is amazing to think that we had 4 x 1st place, 2 x 2nd place, 6 x 3rd place and 5 x 4th place.

Congratulations to all who participated on the day. Many thanks to the families for supporting our wonderful students and for making the day the best Athletics Carnival ever!
Ms. Russell and Mrs. Burnham

Principal’s Note: Our priority has always been on participation and for student to experience something new and exciting, maybe even daunting. We encourage risk-taking, in a considered and supported manner. On the day we witnessed amazing student support for each other and an overall sense of positivity emanating from the group. However, I would also like to acknowledge our students (and Kylie, our Athletics Coach) for giving Maharishi School our best result for any of the Athletics Carnivals in which we have participated. In previous years, our school has won between 1-4 ribbons in total in any given year. This year, I counted 37!! This is a wonderful testament to our students embracing and enjoying the increased focus on sport as an important part of the school curriculum, as well as developing some very impressive physical skills. Well done everyone. We are all so proud of you.

STEM in Action
Science in Term 1 covered areas of Physics, which clearly demonstrates the principle ‘Every Action has a Reaction.’ Examples investigated include applying force to create movement and shining lights to create shadows. ‘Opposites are Found Together’ is also showcased as objects at rest have an equal amount of forces acting on them, and light and shadow are also found together.

The end of a unit of Science work brings with it a STEM challenge for all the students. The Pearls and Sapphires studied forces, from pushes and pulls to gravity. The paper plane construction was a hit, if a little noisy with excitement as they watched their planes soar across the basketball court!

The Diamonds also studied forces including magnetism, and were busy constructing various game machines, including a marble maze and a hoop shooter. We were all excited to see and play with the finished products.

The Emeralds Physics unit investigated light, so their STEM activity required the construction of shadow puppets for a story which they filmed in small groups. It has been an action-packed and fun term of Physical Science!

Last Day of Term 1 – SRC Activities
The students who are part of our schools’ SRC during Term One (Year 6 Student Leaders and Term One Class Captains) have helped organise some special activities for the last day of Term One – Thursday 1st April.
This term, the SRC has chosen to support the Royal Children’s Hospital Good Friday Appeal and decided to have a ‘Casual Clothes Day’ on the last day of Term 1. A Donation Envelope was sent home earlier this week. We ask that it be returned on or before Thursday 1st April with your family’s donation.

On that day we will acknowledge 2021 Harmony Day. We have invited families to send along food (must be vegetarian) that is representative of your culture for a special Student Lunch. Our SRC would appreciate the assistance of Parent Helpers for the Student Lunch. You will be required between 12.30pm-1.30pm to help set up, serve and tidy up afterwards. If you are able to assist, you should indicate this on the “return slip” or contact the Office to express your interest. The more parents who attend, the more fun and successful the lunch will be.

After the lunch there will be a presentation of Harmony Day Heroes to a student from each class. An Easter Egg Hunt for the students, which will be organised by our Year 6 students, will also occur during the day.
Rewarding Positive Behaviour

Rewarding Positive Behaviour
At the initiative of a few Diamonds students, who are always very alert to environmental issues, we created a “Locker Inspection Squad” to reward students who keep their locker neat and tidy and lock it shut each time after use. The students even helped create a certificate to present at our Assembly. To acknowledge this “important role”, each of them has their own business card that they proudly carry with them.