Newsletter 4

Principal’s Absence I have now completed five fulfilling school terms as Principal of this wonderful school. When I began in this role, it was with the immediate aim to analyse and evaluate every aspect of the school’s operations and ensure the school fulfilled its obligations and responsibilities to government authorities/regulators and its own school community. This has been successfully completed so now the opportunity to further develop my knowledge and expertise about the school’s founding philosophy becomes a priority for me.

Coming to a unique school such as ours, I knew there would be great scope and opportunity to grow, personally and professionally. The introduction of Transcendental Meditation into my life has certainly enhanced it. My own knowledge of Consciousness-Based Education is still evolving, as you would expect after only 15 months, but the basic philosophy that underpins this approach is not new to me. This has made it very easy to work with staff and students to ensure the school continues, uncompromisingly, with the philosophy on which it was founded.

To assist me further in my CBE journey, I have accepted a wonderful opportunity to travel to the USA to work closely with key members of the Maharishi School – Fairfield, Iowa, to further develop my own knowledge. I’m keen to evaluate the structure of the teaching and learning programs that integrate CBE into the school curriculum in the U.S.A. As well as having my own view on how this can be enhanced at our school, I am interested in how the SCI Principles and Fundamentals of Growth are integrated over there.

I will be departing for the U.S.A. next Wednesday 5th April and returning around the 26th April. This means I will be absent for around the first two weeks of Term 2. During my absence, Leisa James and Sam Russell, as Junior Years Coordinator  (F-2) and Senior Years Coordinator (3-6) respectively, should be your go-to people for significant matters that you may ordinarily be discussing with me.

I expect to have plenty to share with our school community on my return. I’m eager to learn more and help our school grow even stronger into the future.

The Maharishi School community aims to promote respect, fairness and a sense of belonging for everyone. The theme for this year is “Everyone Belongs”.

Our Student Leaders and SRC students have decided to designate this day a “CharitySupport Day” for the Royal Children’s Hospital Good Friday Appeal. As a result, the day will also include students coming to school dressed in their pyjamas. An envelope for donations will be sent home to each family on Wednesday and all donations, which should be received by Friday, will be forwarded by the school on behalf of our students.

On Thursday during our lunch, there will be a presentation of posters to students who will be voted by their classmates as “Harmony Heroes”. Other activities during the day include music and a “Make-a-Wish’ kite-making activity.

We warmly welcome you to attend this event if you are able. We would appreciate the support of parents to assist in the setting up and serving of food to the children*. Your attendance from 12.30pm would be wonderful. We also welcome you to stay and enjoy the kite-flying on our grassed area during lunchtime.

*Would you please contact the office via telephone or email to let us know what type of food you will be providing on Thursday and whether you will be able to assist on the day.
Student Arrival/Departure Time at School I would like to bring a very important matter to the attention of all parents – the care and supervision of our students.

We as a school, and our dedicated staff in particular, take enormous pride in our duty of care while supervising your children. Teachers are rostered on both before and after school to ensure that our students remain supervised for a reasonable time during that period, whether arriving in the morning or awaiting their parent/carer to pick them up in the afternoon. Schools across the board define this as 15 minutes prior to the start of and 15 minutes after the end of the school day.

This year, the feedback from parents is that the introduction of Before and After School Care has assisted families enormously with managing the arrival and departure time for their children, enabling parents to manage the demands that working hours can have on our families.

We have noted, however, that some students are being dropped off well before 8.45am, while others remain well after 3.30pm. If under the supervision of parents when teachers are not supervising the school grounds, that is ok. It is not acceptable, however, for students to be left alone prior to teachers beginning or after ceasing their Duty of Supervision. This places the school and the teachers in an unenviable and unfair position when it comes to the duty of care of students, which we take very seriously.

Due to the increase in the number of students being left unsupervised outside of teachers’ supervision times, we now have had to act on this. In such circumstances, students found unsupervised by their parent/carer on the school grounds, prior to 8.45am or after 3.30pm, will be placed in the Before or After School Care Program and parents will have to be charged accordingly. That is, $5 for up to an hour and $5 per hour thereafter. The minimum cost that was set for this service this year was to enable parents to take advantage of it without much thought to the cost as it was intended to cause the slightest of financial imposition on parents. It was also intended to acknowledge our strong commitment to our school community to fill a gap that we felt would be appreciated and utilised by many.

We anticipate that you will appreciate and understand the rationale behind the position we must take on this important matter. Please take advantage of the excellent Before and After School Care Service we are providing through Karina, Noura (Fridays from next term) and Mrs Burnham, should you be in a position where you need to bring your child(ren) to school early or pick them up late.

Lunch Orders for Term 2 We would like to re-introduce Lunch Orders for our students in Term 2. We have noted your feedback, both formally and informally, after the trial we had with Miss Peppercorn in Term 4 last year and would like to offer the following: Beginning on Wednesday 26th April, students will receive a vegetarian Hot Dog and 2xSushi Rolls (cucumber/carrot or avocado) on alternate weeks. That is, Hot Dog one week, Sushi Rolls the next, hot dog, sushi, etc….. during the entire term. Lunch orders will be available over a 10-week period so there will be 5 serves of each received in that time. We are charging a modest $40 per term. To avoid weekly transactions, this offer is available on a term payment basis only. That is, you place the order for the entire term. The $40 payment must be made by Monday 24th April. An Order and Payment Form will be sent to you prior to the deadline for payment.

Friday Sport Next term our school will be attending Action Indoor Sports Bundoora each Friday for our Afternoon Sporting Program. The students will be participating in age-appropriate games and skills sessions in the following sports: Soccer , Football, Dodgeball, Netball, Cricket Basketball and Handball

We look forward to further enhancing our students’ participation in a wide range of sports and the associated skill development that comes with each.

Tuesday 18th April  Staff Planning Day (no students at school)
Wednesday 19th April Term 2 begins for students. No After School Tennis Coaching Program on this day

Tuesday 25th April  Anzac Day Public Holiday Wednesday
26th April After School Tennis Coaching Program resumes
Friday 12th May  proposed Mother’s Day Breakfast

After-School Sports Program – Term 2
For those families that need it, the After School Care Program will operate on the first day of Term 2, Wednesday 19th April, in place of the Tennis Coaching Program which will not run on that day..

Maharishi Becomes a Host School
I regularly have and make the opportunity to deal with people from a diverse range of industries and backgrounds, in the search for new opportunities for our students, staff and school community.

One such opportunity arose last week when I met with a Travel Consultant who organises tours of Australia for families from China. In this case, the families have primary school-aged children and one of the opportunities they seek when travelling to Australia is for their young children to experience some time in an Australian School.

During the week beginning 31st July, it is proposed that Maharishi School will host up to 16 Chinese students who range in age between Prep and Year 6. The children have basic communication skills in English as they learn it as a second language from English teachers who are from western countries.

The Consultant was so impressed with our school and the environment we create for our students that she felt it was an ideal place to give these children “a local school experience”.

The children will be transported to and from our school each day while their parents are involved in other activities around Melbourne. There will be at least one parent who remains at our school each day to assist with any matters with the children that may need their involvement.

I’ll keep you posted as we get closer to the date.

Steve Charisis

Student Leadership Conference
Monday morning, the Emeralds braved the early hours to meet at Ruthven Station to travel to the city for the Halogen Leadership Conference. Student Leadership Conferences are a great way to meet other Primary School students who have leadership roles in their schools and to be inspired by speakers and presenters who focus on leadership challenges and developing leadership qualities. We squeezed ourselves into the peak hour train and headed off to the Melbourne Exhibition Centre. The day was full of fun activities, a good variety of speakers ranging in age and passions, and an amazing buzz that comes from being in an amazing venue with FOUR THOUSAND other students from around the state! There was much to see and do during the day, including the “Silent Disco” at lunch time which delighted many of the class members! The speakers ranged from young adventurers to politicians, authors, mars explorers and innovative young business people. Thanks to the Emeralds for embracing the day with relish, to the families for getting the Emeralds to the station extra-early, and a BIG thanks to Maddie Charisis, our fantastic helper on the excursion for the day.

A Camp to Remember  Last week, the Emeralds class went to Beechworth for camp. This camp was based on what we are doing in history; The Victorian Gold Rush. We stayed at the Old Priory, which was originally a boarding school. The building still had all of its original, beautiful features. The helpful coordinator Jen looked after us and made us feel welcome. The first place we visited was the old Beechworth Gaol. It was really cool to look around where prisoners have been locked up and shut in tiny rooms. We looked at Ned Kelly’s cell that he had stayed in. There was another cell which was where his mother had stayed. This cell was very intriguing because it had a back door on it. At the time, Ellen Quinn Kelly had a baby, she had to feed it.

Some of the other activities we did were:
– Visited the Beechworth cemetery
– Went to the Burke museum
– Had a tour of the buildings that people take their gold to get cash in return.
– Watched a blacksmith demonstration of fire poker being made
– Had ice-cream at The Beechworth Ice creamery
– Went gold-panning
– Went to look at the nearby waterfall
– Went to the Beechworth Sweet co.
– Visited the Beechworth Honey
– Went to the Eldorado Museum and the Eldorado Dredge

One of the highlights for many people was the gold panning. The gold in the area was called alluvial gold, most of us found at least two specks of gold. The man that showed us how to gold pan was called Ian. He showed us that you have to tip the creek water out over the grooves, so that the gold won’t fall out. The way we knew if we found gold was to tip a bit of water over the speck of gold and if it didn’t move then we would know it was alluvial gold. He also told us to pick up the gold with a piece of masking tape, and then when we got home to put it in a glass of water for two days and then the gold will sink and it will be easier to see. On the first night, two people called John and Heather came to show us about the different types of rocks, gems, and crystals there are in the area. We decided that we wanted to buy some crystals or jewellery. So on Thursday, we drove eight kilometres out of Beechworth to their shop and had a look around. They showed us their fig tree, apple tree and we all had one of each. Then they showed us some ponies that lived next door. Finally we went into their gem shop and bought some gems they also gave us heaps of bargains. Overall, we really enjoyed this camp and had lots of new experiences. We would like thank everyone that helped to organise this wonderful camp. We all learnt something new and it is definitely a camp to remember.

Esther and Madhumita
PFA Spring Bulb Fundraiser
It’s not too late to buy or take orders for some beautiful Spring bulbs. However, all orders and money that have been collected for this fundraiser should be returned to the Office by Friday 31st March, the last day of Term 1.

Thank you to Alison Umbers for the wonderful work she has done to organise and promote this activity within our school community.

Library News
Hi Everyone,  The library continues to be a busy place for drawing, imaginative play, computers and games at lunchtimes on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

This term the Pearls experienced picture books and activities with a focus on stories that involve journeys and had a specific Australian focus.  The Diamonds experienced some short stories by Paul Jennings and worked towards completing a written or visual response to a book they had read this term.

Pearls Library Session – Wednesday
Diamonds Library Session – Monday 
Emeralds Library Session – Wednesday

Victorian Premiers’ Reading Challenge
The Victorian Premiers’ Reading Challenge is now open and Maharishi School is excited to be participating.

The Challenge is open to all Victorian children from birth to Year 10 in recognition of the importance of reading for literacy development. It is not a competition but a personal challenge for children to read a set number of books by 8 September 2017.

Children from Prep to Year 2 are encouraged to read or ‘experience’ 30 books with their parents and teachers. Children from Year 3 to Year 10 are challenged to read 15 books.

All children who meet the Challenge will receive a certificate of achievement signed by the Victorian Premier and can choose to have their name included on the online Honour Roll.

To read the Premier’s letter to parents, view the booklists and for more information about the Victorian Premiers’ Reading Challenge, visit:

Challenge Checklists for recording names of books read can be collected from the library.

Stay tuned for a Premier’s Reading Challenge Colouring Competition early in Term 2.

Happy Holidays
Susie Burnham

Birthday News
Happy Birthday to the following students who will be celebrating their birthday over the next few weeks, prior to the beginning of Term 2:

Happy 5th Birthday to Alexis 
Happy 6th Birthday to Mara Jean
Happy 7th Birthday to Martina
Happy 9th Birthday to Maeve

Enjoy a safe and happy holiday period with your family and friends. For our families that celebrate Easter:
Καλό πάσχα      Buona Pasqua      Среќен Велигден        ཡི་ཤུ་བསྐྱར་གསོའི་དུས་ཆེན་ལ་བཀྲ་ཤིས་བདེ་ལེགས་ཞུ།         Chúc Mừng Phục Sinh      复活节快乐      Gzuar Pashkën      Geseënde Paasfees       śubh īsṭar