Newsletter #5 03/04/2019

Principal’s Report

In this edition of our Newsletter, I’d like to conclude my article (from Newsletter #4) by discussing further the development of the whole person, in effect providing young people with “Skills For Life” as part of their education and overall development and how it should be a priority for parents and schools.

You will recall that in Part 1, I concluded with the view that……Happiness is not a one-dimensional notion. It is made up of layers of intertwined combinations of feelings, emotions, behaviours and so much more that is deep and meaningful.

Happiness = A Good Education (Part 2)
The uniqueness of and inspiration for Maharishi School’s approach to the holistic development of children is our school’s priority for the development of their emotional intelligence. We do this through the immersion of children in an environment that deeply supports and values the knowledge gained through the study of the Science of Creative Intelligence Principles, the Fundamentals of Growth and the Transcendental Meditation Program.

The practice of TM has been shown through research to develop the social-emotional competency in students, thus minimising the anxiety we see occurring in younger and younger children these days; children who feel less inclined or unwilling to take risks for fear of failure, who lack the intrinsically developed resilience to make good choices. Children being immersed in an environment that values being emotionally intelligent can only benefit them during one of their key developmental stages in life, which is during their primary school years.

Maharishi School’s point of difference to many other schools is our ability to focus and integrate these “Life Skills” (as referred to in Part 1) into a Victorian curriculum that, although in theory values these qualities, does not give educators the scope to fully implement them during the regular school experience. The time we devote each week to the SCI Principles and Fundamentals of Growth enables us to incorporate this as an important part of our teaching and learning programs.

There is no question about Maharishi School valuing and promoting the academic development of children but we do so in an environment that values the contribution of the other aspects of a person’s development to meet that goal. Individual needs, early intervention and personalised learning through knowing our students and designing their Individual Learning Plan accordingly, becomes a very powerful strategy.

The contemporary philosopher AC Grayling discusses education in the following way:
“As soon as we attempt to measure the success and quality of a teacher or a learner through the narrow lens of some data on a page, we turn the profound humanity of a child into a narrow number on a table that is meaningless and misleading. We turn the deep complexity of a life and learning and experience into the simplicity and narrowness of data points…”

I am proud to say that our philosophy and priorities are aligned with an approach to education that is now being acknowledged in the broader education communities and something in which schools are placing greater emphasis. Perhaps one day more and more schools will appreciate the long-term benefits that come with……………..

“Water the Root to Enjoy the Fruit”

School Uniform
We are taking the opportunity as we transition to Winter Uniform over the next couple of school weeks to ensure we achieve a shared understanding between school and home about the items of clothing that make up our school uniform.

I seek your support to ensure the requirements of our School Uniform Policy are understood and respected by all so that we achieve an appropriate level of uniformity across the school.

Guidelines and photos can be found on page 15 of the updated Student & Parent Handbook that was sent to all families last week. This week we sent out a reminder to parents about the school uniform. I will also send out courtesy “Out of Uniform Notification” forms to families to provide further clarification where students have arrived at school out of school uniform.

Our aim is for Maharishi School to continue to ‘shine brightly’ in appearance within our local community and on excursions to venues around Melbourne, while also promoting a sense of pride within our students and school community. Your support to help us achieve our aim would be appreciated.

Student Representative Council (SRC)
The students in the SRC during Term One have organised some special activities for the last day of term. Students will be able to attend in casual clothes, although they should be comfortable enough to enable them to participate in their normal sporting activities during the day. All students should have a pair of sports shoes to wear for their Athletics session in the morning (Sapphires & Diamonds) and Indoor Sports or PMP session during the afternoon. The SRC has chosen to support the Royal Children’s Hospital Good Friday Appeal as part of “Casual Clothes Day’. A Donation Envelope was sent home earlier this week. Please return it on Friday with your family’s donation.

As part of our acknowledgement of Harmony Day, which we’ve delayed because of the Zoo Camp and Excursion two weeks ago, we would like to invite families to send along food that is representative of your culture for a Student Lunch. Please send savoury dishes only. Our SRC would appreciate the assistance of Parent Helpers for the Student Lunch. You will be required between 11.30am-12.30pm to help set up, serve and tidy up afterwards. Please contact Suzi to let her know of your availability to assist.

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 is being organised by our Year 6 students, will follow.
Billie, Dries and Olive

School Photos
This Thursday is School Photo Day. All students should be in their Summer Uniform, including white socks and black school shoes. Photos will be taken with the white polo top as the outer garment. There should not be any coloured clothing under the polo top that is visible.

Premier’s Reading Challenge
The Premier’s Reading Challenge is now open to all students at the Maharishi School. We would love as many students as possible to participate from our school. It’s as easy as keeping a record of all the books that you read and entering these online. You will need to see Mrs Burnham to get a user name and password.
Go to www.education.vic.gov.au/prc – to read the Challenge rules and list of Challenge books.
Students from Years Prep-2 need to read 30 books, with or without an adult (20 of these books need to be from the Challenge list). Students in Years 3-6 need to read 15 books (10 of these books need to be from the Challenge list).
If you have any questions please see Samaya or Mrs Burnham.

Key Dates
Wednesday 3rd April School Incursion: ‘Deadly Dan’
Tennis Coaching Program (3.30- 5.00pm at Keon Park Tennis Club) (Sports Uniform Day)
Thursday 4th April School Photos (Summer Uniform)
Friday 5th April SRC Casual Clothes & Activities Day
(End Term 1) IAAF Athletics Program (Sapphires & Diamonds only)
Indoor Sports Program (Bundoora Action Sports)
Monday 22nd April Easter Monday Public Holiday (School Closed)
Tuesday 23rd April Begin Term 2
Wednesday 24th April Homework Club begins (3.30-5.00pm) (Sports Uniform Day)
Thursday 25th April ANZAC Day Public Holiday (School Closed)
Friday 26th April Staff Planning Day (Student-Free Day: School Closed)
Wednesday 1st May Homework Club (3.30-5.00pm) (Sports Uniform Day)
Thursday 2nd May Boite Choir Rehearsal (3.30-4.30pm) – After School Care available 4.30-5.40
Friday 3rd May PIT Gymnastics (Sports Uniform Day)

City of Darebin—Free School Holiday Activities
The City of Darebin has put together a schedule of activities which will not only be super fun, but also have an educational element aimed towards expanding understanding of different cultures and their practises of life and play. All activities are FREE, and can be booked easily by either emailing intercultural@darebin.vic.gov.au or calling the Intercultural Centre on 8470 8440.  The school holiday program flyer/schedule is on display on our school noticeboard.

General Office Refurbishment
During the school holiday period we will be replacing the old furniture in the General Office. If you would like any of this furniture, free of charge, please contact the school by Thursday to arrange a time to pick up. Items available include:

Barking Spider Incursion
On Friday, all students were delighted to welcome Laura and Chloe from “Barking Spider Visual Theatre”. These two extremely talented, passionate and wonderful artists ran two workshops – the first for the Pearls and Sapphires, followed by another session for the Diamonds and Emeralds.

Each workshop engaged the students in the collaborative making and operating of a puppet made exclusively from newspaper (also known as puppet body parts) and masking tape (in this case, known as puppet bandaging). The workshops promised to be ‘deliciously creative and engaging,’ and they certainly delivered!

I was incredibly lucky to be able to attend both workshops and was amazed at the energy and talent of the presenters. Their ability to get so much out of our children was astounding. The room buzzed with creative energy.
Leisa James

Year 3/4 Diamonds Zoo Snooze School Camp
This year our Year 3/4 (Diamonds) students attended a special overnight camping experience. Zoo Snooze provided our students with a unique overnight educational experience at Melbourne Zoo. They were engaged in a “survival camp”, where they got to know the animals of the Zoo as they have never known them before. They learnt their stories, their secrets and the adaptations that allow them to survive. The students were asked for a brief reflection on their experiences. The full versions were presented at this week’s Assembly.

My favourite part was the meerkats and the night tour. (Tristan)

The Diamonds went to the zoo in a Maxi Taxi. I was so excited. (Shelley)

My favourite animals were the snow leopard, the butterflies and the koalas. (Montana)

My favourite part of it was going on the awesome, interesting night walk. (Katerina)

We went to the extraordinary elephant enclosure and we sang the National Anthem and Freedom Land. (Alize)

One of the butterflies was so silly, it flew on to my knee. It made me feel happy and nice. (Martina)

When we found our tribes we did hunts to see which tribe was the best. (Josh)

When we got to our camp site Pete and Stella split us into tribes. (Lenny)

Did you know that when elephants flap their ears that means they are applauding you? (Amelie)

What I really enjoyed was when we ate. I was sooooo pleased. We ate vegan patties and skewers. They were scrumptious. (Indi-Rae)

My favourite part was singing to the elephants. We sang a song from music and we sang the National Anthem. (Pavanaj)

At the Zoo Camp I liked the elephants because we sang to them. (Ghala)

My favourite thing was being a frog, looking at the animals and singing to the elephants. (Georgia)

My favourite part was when we got split into tribes. I was an orange bellied parrot with Tristan, Alec and Ghala. (Phoebe)

My favourite animal was the extraordinary elephants. Stella our guide told us that if we sing, it makes the elephants sleep. (Alec)