Maharishi School, Reservoir: Newsletter #9

Principal’s Report
Semester One Reports
This year our school has reviewed our student reporting strategy and introduced a revised format that is aimed to provide a more succinct and accurate record of student achievement. It is the school’s aim to provide parents/carers with clear, individualised information about progress against the achievement standards and identify the student’s areas of strength and areas for improvement.

SPAreporter is a complete reporting package which fully supports reporting against AusVELS and the new Victorian Curriculum which will be implemented from 2017. It meets both the current reporting requirements and gives our school the flexibility to develop our own reporting format within the context of the new F−10 curriculum planning and reporting guidelines for 2016/2017.

Our new student reports:

  • Should be easier to understand with minimal use of AusVELS Curriculum terminology
  • Include an accurate and objective assessment of the student’s progress and achievement against the AusVELS standards
  • Use an A, B, C, D, E scale for all subjects assessed against AusVELS Progression Points, where each point is clearly defined
    against specific standards (This is only an interim arrangement to reflect the current structure of the reporting
    platform and should be amended prior to the next reporting cycle)

In 2016, the Maharishi School Student Reports will include:
A Summary Page of teacher assessments of students against AusVELS Progression Points in the following areas of study:

Physical, Personal and Social Learning
1. Civics and Citizenship Years 3 – 6 students only
2. Health and Physical Education All year levels
3. Interpersonal Development All year levels
4. Personal Learning Years 3 – 6 students only

Discipline-Based Learning
1. The Arts All year levels
2. English All year levels
3. The Humanities Years 3 – 4 students only
4. The Humanities – History Years 3 – 6 students only
5. Languages Pathway 1 – Auslan Years 5 – 6 students only
6. Mathematics All year levels
7. Science Years 3 – 6 students only

Interdisciplinary Learning
1. Communication Years 5 – 6 students only
2. Design, Creativity and Technology Years 3 – 6 students only
3. ICT All year levels
4. Thinking Processes Years 3 – 6 students only

Teacher Comments Pages is the section where individual teachers have assessed each student’s Work Habits (Effort and Classroom Behaviour) on a 4-point scale and provided comments about their observations and assessment of their pro-gress in the following areas:
1. Consciousness-Based Education (Prepared by the Classroom Teacher)
2. Student Achievements and Observations (Prepared by the Classroom Teacher) – incorporating areas of Physical, Per-sonal and Social Learning and Interdisciplinary Learning in addition to the individual achievements and observations of students during the semester.
3. English (Prepared by the Classroom Teacher)
4. Mathematics (Prepared by the Classroom/Maths Teacher)
5. The Humanities (Prepared by the Classroom Teacher)
6. Health and Physical Education (Prepared by the Classroom Teacher)
7. The Arts – Visual Art (Prepared by Ms James)
8. The Arts – Music (Prepared by Ms Wilson O’Brien)
9. Science (Prepared by Ms Aston)
10. Languages Pathway 1-Auslan (Prepared by Ms Aston)

Please Note: Student Reports will be mailed to all families during the school holidays.

We hope you find your child’s report informative and easy to understand. Opportunities will be made available next term for parents and teachers to meet to collaboratively review each student’s goals and approach to learning, as part of our ongoing reporting and partnership strategy with parents.

Half-Year Reflection – Our School Culture
After spending a semester at this school this year, I feel a unity in this school community that would be the envy of many. The manner in which everyone has bought into this year’s changes and the shift towards the school culture we’re striving to create is inspiring to me, as I hope it is for you too.

The school culture we should value is one that is inclusive, gives everyone a sense of belonging, is mutually respectful and is ultimately an environment that prides itself on the holistic development of young children. It’s now the right time to clearly outline what that means in terms of the role that every school community member should play.

A strong school culture that is clearly articulated and enacted by every member of the school community will ensure that we live and breathe the environment we want for our children/students and for us. Most schools have Codes of Conduct (Staff/Students/Parents) but I’d like us to explore the value of formulating a School Culture Statement/Policy that is inclu-sive of all school community members and acknowledges the contribution each plays. It’s an area that we are now ready to articulate after having two terms to evaluate the aspects of school life that we value and want entrenched in the school.

We are not regenerating a school only focused on better teaching and learning, better communication, better parental in-volvement, better policies and processes – we are establishing a school environment to be united and stand united in what we value and represent.

Next Step
Staff, parents and students are needed as part of a team to develop a statement/policy for the school culture we want to have embedded at Maharishi School. I will be establishing a group of school community representatives to work through the process of formulating this important statement/policy.

If you would like to become part of this group, as a parent representative/contributor, then I would welcome your expres-sion of interest to me. The group will begin the process early in Term 3. Meeting times will be negotiated to suit most par-ticipants. I look forward to receiving your expression of interest to:
principal@maharishischool.vic.edu.au or see me personally the next time you’re at the school.

Online Platforms
In relation to the publicity the school has received from the media and vexatious individuals in recent times, we need to show that we’ve had enough.

This is an appeal to you to stand up and say “I’ve had enough of others criticising and denigrating my school because, in effect, they’re criticising and denigrating me for staying committed to a school I believe provides the best environment for my children.”

What will the school do?
I am currently investigating with Independent Schools Victoria avenues for the shutting down or deletion of posts/sites that slander individuals, misrepresent and/or defame the school. Opinions and advice vary in this area of the law but in recent times I have been encouraged by the action taken by schools and individuals around Australia to fight back at the often anonymous individuals who seem to take delight at twisting and manipulating truths, defaming individuals and attempting to damage the reputation of schools.

Personally, I have never understood nor care for such behaviour. I deem it totally unacceptable that anyone publicly airs their grievances online and usually without providing a true context for what is said.

What can you do?
I sincerely hope that, as a school, we have come some way in reinforcing your decision to remain an important part of our community. We continue to review and revise all aspects of our operations, and do so with an uncompromised belief in what this school represents and why it has successfully operated for 20 years.

I do not believe in tit-for-tat online posts. However, if you feel that you are ready and able to share your positive feelings about the school and your children’s experiences here, I encourage you to do so. I am happy to meet with you to discuss any of the following:
Google Reviews, Spreading the Word, Engaging in online activity, Communication with staff at school-level

I sincerely hope to hear from many of you.

Sports Colours Dress-Up Day
On the final day of Term 2, this Thursday 23rd, the Student Representative Council and I have made a decision to hold a “Sporting Colours” Day for all students. This means that all students (and staff) are encouraged to wear their favourite col-ours from any sporting activity or team that is special to them.
There will be an opportunity for the students to show off their colours during a short parade at the start of the day (good photo opportunities!).
Students without any special sporting colours should wear the Maharishi School Sport Uniform.

End of Term 2
I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a happy and healthy holiday period. I sincerely appreciate the support you have given me during this initial period of my tenure. It is appreciated and valued. On behalf of the staff, I would like to thank you for your involvement in the school, whether it is attending excursions, helping in the Library, assisting us on spe-cial days or simply just being there in the mornings and afternoons. It is wonderful having you around.
See you all on Monday 11th July for the start of a new term and some more exciting news and plans for the rest of the year.

Steve Charisis

Student Work
This piece of writing titled, “Greens are great!” was written in response to a debate Minh-Tam and Gokulan were having about their preferred parties in the forthcoming federal election.

The Greens are great! – By Minh-Tam
Many people think that Labour is the best and a lot of people think that Liberal is better. A majority just sit around eating chips saying, “I don’t care”. But there are some people who support… the Greens! I think the Greens are amazing! I think the people who haven’t joined the Greens should do so now. Here are my many reasons:
The four structural pillars that hold up the Greens society are key: 1. Social and Economic Equity; 2. Grassroots, Participa-tory Democracy; 3. Peace, Non-violence and Disarmament; and 4. Ecological Sustainability. The Greens don’t just focus on environment issues, they focus on immigration, indigenous affairs, foreign policy, infrastructure, energy and lots more.

They support a national apology to the Stolen Generations. The Greens also support banning wild and domesticated ani-mals in circuses in Australia. They also support advancement of renewable energy. The Greens support permanent outlaw-ing of uranium mining and nuclear as it is dangerous and bad for the environment. With immigration, the Greens help fami-ly reunions, migration and they help grant refugees protection and asylum. They want all refugees to be treated with digni-ty. They support same-sex marriage and public transport expansion.

They support human rights in countries like China and Myanmar. These aren’t the things they just say, they have actually done them. Every day they are getting stronger.
Where students enjoy and accomplish more

In the House of Representatives in 1993, the overall was 196 702 votes. But by 2013 they were 1 116 198 votes. That is 920 216 more votes! In the senate in 1990, the votes concluded to 201 618 votes. But in 2013 the closure was 1 159 588 votes altogether. The difference is 857, 970 votes! We are getting powerful. Every day Labour and Liberal are slipping downhill,
while we Greens are getting to the top.

In conclusion, the Greens make the world a better place, by doing kind things to not only our environment but to people and
many things. With the Greens around, they will make Australia and the world a better place.

Hoop Time
On Wednesday 15th June, the Diamonds class participated in a day of basketball games at Mill Park. They competed in two teams coached by Mrs Burnham and Mrs Watt. The students showed determination and great sportsmanship throughout the day. They all worked really well as a team, sharing the ball and encouraging each other. Mrs Watt’s team won 2 of their 6 games. Mrs Burnham’s team didn’t win any games but they showed great perseverance and improvement in their skills across the day. The goal scorers were Andrew, Jamie, Natasha, Maya, Veer, Aiden and Kaeden. Thank you to all the parents who came and cheered the students on, and especially to those who took a turn at scoring.
Mrs Watt