Newsletter #9 28/06/2019

Principal’s Report
As we reach the end of Term 2, I would like to acknowledge the importance of everyone’s contribution to making the first semester of 2019 an incredibly fulfilling one for our school. We have enjoyed the invigoration that comes with the arrival of new members to our school community with our 16 Prep students this year. All have transitioned so effortlessly into our school, thanks to our school community who have welcomed the students and their parents with open arms.

With the end of Term 2, my thoughts immediately turn to Term 3 and the plans we have put in place at this stage. Several pieces of information have been distributed in the last couple of days to all parents so please keep a lookout for these in your child’s bag and in your email inbox.

On behalf of the staff of the school, I wish you all a safe and relaxing school holiday period with your children and hope you get to spend valuable and quality time with each other.

Guru Purnima
The first student day of Term 3 (Tuesday 16th July) is Guru Purnima; a most auspicious day on the Vedic calendar.
Guru Purnima is the special day of the year on which the teacher is appreciated. This is a highly auspicious time to remember and thank our enlightened teachers and to pause and appreciate the incredible knowledge given and
its practical applications for making life better in every way!

We will celebrate the occasion with the students at the end of the school day on that Tuesday at 2.45pm in the MPH. We have scheduled at this time to enable parents to join us prior to pick-up. We look forward to seeing you there.

Transcendental Meditation and the School Holiday Period
The school holiday period provides us all with an opportunity to relax and revitalise ourselves after a fulfilling term. An essential ingredient in the success of our school and the benefit it brings to children and their families is our commitment to the school’s philosophy, which includes our routine of twice-daily meditation.

Meditation for our students begins at school, but with the aim of it playing an important role in the lives of our students. 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.

It would be appreciated if you would gently encourage your children to continue being regular with their TM technique over the school holiday period.

Semester One Student Reports
Student Reports will be distributed via email to all parents at the beginning of next week. We hope you enjoy reading about your child’s progress during Semester One and can guide them to set specific goals for Semester Two based on the recommendations of their teachers.

Message from the School Chair, Dr Tim Carr
We are very pleased to announce that our Principal, Steve Charisis, will be attending a special 2-week international conference for educators on, “Bringing Consciousness-Based Education (CBE) to Your Nation”, from 23 July to 7 August at MERU Netherlands. This a wonderful opportunity for our Principal to connect with the leading experts in CBE and to delve more deeply into the principles and programs of CBE that are the unique basis of our School. Now that the School is once again on a sound footing, this is an ideal time for it to nurture and strengthen its foundation in CBE – the key to shaping happy, self-assured, mature individuals successful in all areas of their lives. We wish Mr Charisis a safe and rewarding trip.

Key Dates
Mon 15th July Staff Professional Development & Preparation Day (Student-free Day).
Tues 16th July Begin Term 3
Guru Purnima (School Assembly at 2.45pm in Multi Purpose Hall)
Wed 17th July (Sports Uniform Day) Homework Club (3.30-5.00pm)
Thurs 18th July Boite Choir Rehearsal (3.30-4.30pm) – After School Care available 4.30-5.30
Fri 19th July (Sports Uniform Day) Student Lunch Day
Swimming Program begins (1.00-3.00pm)
Wed 24th July (Sports Uniform Day) Homework Club (3.30-5.00pm)
Thurs 25th July Chinese Study Tour Group 1 begins
Boite Choir Rehearsal (3.30-4.30pm) – After School Care available 4.30-5.30
Wed 31st July (Sports Uniform Day) Homework Club (3.30-5.00pm)
Thurs 1st August Boite Choir Rehearsal (3.30-4.30pm) – After School Care available 4.30-5.30
Fri 2nd August (Sports Uniform Day) Student Lunch Day
Swimming Program (1.00-3.00pm)
Chinese Study Group 1 ends
Wed 7th August (Sports Uniform Day) Homework Club (3.30-5.00pm)
Thurs 8th August Chinese Study Tour Group 2 begins
Boite Choir Performance at Melbourne Town Hall (7.30pm)
Fri 9th August (Sports Uniform Day) Student Lunch Day
Swimming Program (1.00-3.00pm)

Swimming
Our Swimming Program was originally planned for Term 4 at TRAC but circumstances (school timetable and staffing)has necessitated a change to our plans so the Swimming Program will now return to the Reservoir Indoor Pool each Friday afternoon during Term 3. A consent form has been sent home this week. We would also like to get the assistance of a couple of dads who can commit to attending each (or most) weeks to supervise the boys in the change rooms.
In preparation for the Swimming Program, we especially encourage the parents of our Prep students to use the school holiday period to reinforce how to dry themselves with a towel, undress and dress themselves independently.
We understand that although there may be some apprehension about attending a swimming program during winter because it is cold, swimming is a year-round physical activity enjoyed by many. Colds and flu viruses are more likely to take hold based on the strength of a child’s immune system, not because the weather is cold. However, to minimise children feeling a cold breeze that may be present in the indoor pool centre during periods when not in the water, we recommend: a long-sleeved rash vest and swimming cap. When leaving the pool, a beanie can also help retain the body’s heat.

Student Lunches
After consultation with our students, they have told us overwhelming that the student lunch menu should include:
Organic Pasta with either an organic vegetable-based pasta sauce or butter (topped with cheese – optional on the day)
One piece of fresh fruit
In keeping with the school’s Food & Nutrition Policy, our meals will contain “fresh local organic seasonal sustainable and non-GMO” ingredients, as best we can. All meals will be prepared and contain ingredients that are also suitable for gluten-free diets. An Order Form has been distributed to families this week.

Parent Seminar
As promised at our Mothers’ Day Morning Tea Celebration, Faye Shepherd, Health Educator and Consultant, will return on Wednesday 24th July at 9.00am to give a one-hour 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 will be sent home this week.

Short-Term Study Program
Early in Term 3, we will once again be welcoming students from China who will spend 7days with us. The students of Group 1 will be arriving on Thursday 25th July and remain until Friday 2nd August, while those in Group 2 will arrive on Thursday 8th August and remain until Friday 16th August.

Our school is embracing the opportunity that such programs offer our students, staff and school community. It is important that our school continues to develop its focus on being outward-looking and community-minded, while also enabling us to influence the thoughts and beliefs of others when they see a school such as ours in action. I am especially proud when promoting our school and even more proud when others show their appreciation and a better understanding for the personal development and strong foundation our school’s philosophy promotes for young children.

Piano Recital
On Wednesday we were treated to a lovely Piano Recital performed by our Instrumental Music Students with their teacher Nick Aston. Parents and family members took the opportunity to attend and proudly watched and listened as each student introduced themselves and the musical piece they would be playing.
Music provides students with an opportunity to express their creativity and allows them to develop an appreciation for the benefit that music can bring to their lives. Well done to Nick and to all the performers

Fundamentals of Growth in the Emeralds Class: Purification
The class began by reading a few quotes from Maharishi, researching the dictionary definition, some synonyms and their own perspectives on what ‘purification’ means. We then talked about what they remember from studying “Purification leads to Progress” in the younger years of school. The main two quotes from Maharishi that we used this time were “Great statesmanship/leadership inspires purification”, and “Purification of the path means the highway is not allowed to be blocked by landslides”.

It was also Reconciliation Week here in Australia and the theme was “Grounded in truth, walk together with courage”. It’s about truth telling in our history and society. Reconciliation week always is bookended by Sorry Day and Mabo Day with the Anniversary of the 1967 Referendum in the middle. So with great statesmanship in mind and the way telling the truth can also inspire purification, we watched Kevin Rudd’s ‘Apology’ and Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speeches. We were all inspired and moved by both of those speeches and felt moved to tears – tears of delight, inspiration and hope. I want the students to be electrified with examples of great leadership – leadership which is uplifting and optimistic as well as genuine and powerful.

I asked the students to reflect on their own developing leadership role in our school and ask them what they learned from Kevin Rudd’s actions, MLK’s actions, the achievements of Eddie Mabo and those who campaigned for the 1967 referendum – then I asked them what they ‘have a dream’ about. Just free thinking – and their responses were really diverse and varied. Some wrote about refugees who come to Australia, some wrote about multiculturalism, and others wrote about girls being given equal opportunity to boys.

We also made our own “Tree of Truth” (inspired by the tree of truth which is the theme icon for Reconciliation Week this year) and the kids wrote a truth on a leaf that they have learnt that is significant to them.

Ultimately we wrapped up the unit with the students making colourful posters using thoughts from any of the stimulus activities they wished to have on their posters. The other fantastic opportunity that we had this year to tie in with “Purification” was a wonderful new kids book by Carole Wilkinson (who wrote the amazing “Dragon Keeper”) called “Inheritance”. It’s about a contemporary girl who discovers the women in her family have been able to travel back through time. She goes back in time to learn some truths about her colonial squatter family – and the local Aboriginal tribe on that area. It’s about coming to terms with our history and written in such a positive and uplifting way – focussing on learning from the past and truth telling.

Samantha Russell

SCI in the Diamonds Class
During the course of the semester the Diamond Class have being growing and maintaining the vegetable patch as part of our SCI activities. The last few weeks we have focussed on ‘Water the Root to Enjoy the Fruit’.

When we picked the vegies on Wednesday we washed them and rinsed them. Some people didn’t want them so Tristan ate one half of the table and I ate the other half. Lenny
On Wednesday we went to pick the vegies. They were delicious. Ghala
On Wednesday 19th of June the Diamonds picked the vegies that they grew over the last semester and ate them. It was a lot of work picking them but it was fun eating them. Tristan
When we finished picking the vegies our teacher Mrs Burnham cooked them and we helped her with getting them ready. Then we got to taste. They were delicious. Katerina
On Wednesday we picked our vegies. It was soooooo much fun. Sadly I did not like any of the vegies but I did try it and I had fun. Georgia
On Wednesday the 19th the Diamonds picked yummy vegies from the spectacular and well grown vegie patch. We did this because we’re learning the SCI principle ‘Water the Root to Enjoy the Fruit’. Alec
Last week the Diamonds picked vegies. The vegies tasted delicious. I wish we could eat vegies again. Shelley
On Wednesday the 19th the Diamonds picked delicious vegies from the amazing and tasty vegie patch. Pavanaj
On Wednesday our class went to pick vegies from the vegie patch. Mrs Burnham let us eat the vegies that we picked. It was delicious. Martina
On Wednesday the Diamonds went to get the vegies. We ate the vegies. It was so so yum. Montana
Wednesday was the best day ever because we got to pick our vegies and eat them in a cooked salad. It was delicious. Amelie
On Wednesday we picked vegies and don’t get me started on how scrumptious they were. Josh
On the 19th June the Diamonds picked some absolutely scrumptious broccoli, cauliflower and silver beet. Phoebe

Pearls’ Little Chicks
The Pearls were fortunate to have chickens visit in our classroom for two weeks. We were so excited every morning to check if new chicks had hatched. The students got to see the chicks starting to pip a small hole in the shell of their egg, and even some feet waving around. Although we didn’t get to see a chick actually emerging from it’s egg, the Diamonds were very lucky to watch one hatch. We looked after the chicks every day, making sure they had water, food and were nice and warm. We even got to have a hold of some of them! It was a great way for the Pearls to observe part of the life cycle of chickens and it linked beautifully to our term theme ‘On the Farm’.

SCI in the Music Classroom
To grow garlic, cloves are planted on the winter solstice, and then harvested on the summer solstice. In music, all students are currently preparing for their end of term performances. It is a performance just for students and will be held just one week after the winter solstice on Thursday the 27th of June during their normal classroom music time. In keeping with the garden theme from term one, SCI Principal one, The Nature of Life is to Grow, is explored through a growing repertoire of songs which we keep track of on our Repertoire Board in the Music Room. During their performances next week, all students will receive a clove of garlic to celebrate their achievements in music, to celebrate the end of term and to celebrate their growing list of songs. Perhaps you may find a spot in your garden to plant your clove and watch it grow. I’m hoping that they will grow and be ready to harvest in time for Celebration Evening in term 4. If your garden space is limited, perhaps you may find a pot of winter soup that needs an extra clove.
Included is a photo of our Repertoire Board. The garlic image included is from our Repertoire Board. Each stage of growth represents each term of music. The bunting flags, included in the picture are how we explore SCI Principal four, Outer Depends on Inner. In music class, there are lots of things going on all the time. At the beginning and end of each term, we take time to reflect on what’s happening on the inside when our brains are concentrating so hard on what we need to do on the outside.
On the outside we…
Stand Tall, Listen to Ms O’Brien, Listen to our class mates, “I can hear the magpie”, Remember all the words, dancing, singing, Follow the conductor, sing with our friends.
On the inside we are..
Happy, Proud, Nervous, Feel sad when the music is sad, Feel butterflies in our tummies, Quiet, think about what the words mean, have fun playing the games.
Good Luck to all performers in your preparation, happy holidays and happy planting this winter solstice!
Ms O’Brien