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Erasmus Primary School
40 Lisson Grove
Melbourne East
03 9819 1266
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Mr Thierry Clarisse
Early Learning, Primary School
Independent, Non-denominational
Foundation to Year 6
See website

Letting every child’s light shine

Our visitors often comment on the welcoming atmosphere and great sense of community at Erasmus School, and what a delight it is to meet our pupils. Parents of past pupils say their children have been well prepared for a lifelong journey of discovery, developing and sharing their unique gifts. Our wish for every child in our care is encapsulated in our school motto: ‘Lux Luceat Vestra’ – Let Your Light Shine.


We aim to provide a highly effective, broad and balanced, values-based education for primary school children in which integrity and service are paramount. We aim to nurture the spiritual, emotional, mental and physical development of every child, by drawing out the knowledge and happiness present within.


Our programs build the foundations for scholarship and good citizenship and cultivate an appreciation of the connectedness of all humanity. Knowledge and wisdom from both West and East are incorporated across the curriculum, enabling us to foster a love of truth and justice. Families of various faiths, and those with no specific tradition, come together to share an education that acknowledges God and the innate and divine intelligence of the natural world.


The Board of Governors is responsible for establishing policy, ensuring the school operates on a sound basis, and ensuring the Principal and staff are properly supported in their endeavours. The Principal attends the Board of Governors meeting ex-officio. The Principal is responsible for the daily management of the School, including appointment of staff, formulation of the curriculum and teaching. He leads a team of experienced and dedicated teachers with local and international experience. Many of the teachers are students of the Melbourne School of Philosophy, and all teachers participate in philosophy education as well as external professional development courses.

History and International Affiliation

Erasmus School was established in 1996, with the foundation being the Guiding Principles established in the 1950s by Leon MacLaren, a 20th century philosopher and educator. These principles remain current today and are shared by our affiliated schools worldwide including: St James Schools (London), John Colet School (Sydney), Philosophy Day School (New York), St James School (Johannesburg), The Renaissance School (Trinidad), Ficino School (Auckland), John Scotus School (Dublin).

Principles of Education

The core principles of education upheld by Erasmus School, true to our founding Guiding Principles, are to teach by example and to feed all aspects of the child – body, mind, heart and spirit. To provide children with freedom, happiness and prosperity throughout their lives, primary schools need to provide the finest materials possible. Our approach constantly brings us back to those methods that have stood the test of time, and are able to take us forward, nourishing the four aspects common in every human being.

Firstly, we provide healthy food and exercise, including delicious, healthy meals prepared and served each day for the children in the company of their peers and teachers. Our physical education includes sport and dance for boys and girls.

Secondly, for the mind the children thrive on systematic studies (including some rote learning) in mathematics, grammar and science.

Thirdly, for the heart the children participate in music, art, singing, dance and drama and regularly hear about great men and women throughout time.

Fourthly, for the spirit: we acknowledge and nurture this dimension which is the same in every child, whatever their cultural heritage. It is this sameness which provides a strong sense of unity, enabling the children to learn to love their neighbour as they love themselves. This dimension is the essence of education.

Excursions, Incursions and Camps

During the year classes attend excursions and incursions that increase their experiences and knowledge of subjects covered in class. Examples include Sovereign Hill, Melbourne and Werribee Zoos, Planetarium, Aquarium, Skylab, Ballet and Opera Australia. Incursions also provide inspiration and include visits by scientists, performers, and other great men and women in our society. Years 4, 5 and 6 are taken on a camp each year. Previous camps have been held at Wilson’s Promontory, Camp Manyung, Skiing at Mt Hotham, Camp Howqua and the Year 6 Leadership Camp. Indicative costs are available from Reception.

After School Activities

At the beginning of each term a timetable is emailed to families providing details of the activities offered. Activities vary and may include art, chess, choir, dance, drama and tennis.

Uniform: Our uniform reflects a sense of unity. As such, children are required to wear full regulation school uniform at and to and from school. Many parents and visitors comment how wonderful it is to see children looking so smart and clearly taking care of, and pride in, their uniforms.


Morning tea and lunch are freshly prepared on site daily. Meals are vegetarian, mostly organic and are of fine quality. All children and staff sit down and eat together. The provision of a nutritious, wholesome lunch is an important feature of the Erasmus School day and helps support parents in developing the children’s good health and eating habits.


Homework helps to develop consistent study habits. Children are given homework Monday to Thursday night, and occasionally on weekends.


Children discover the joys of service from their first day at Erasmus School. They are encouraged to widen their awareness and see the needs of others. For example, at lunch, children and adults serve each other. Eating in such a way tends to change lunch from a personal activity to a communal one. Once the meal is completed, classes help with clearing and cleaning the lunch tables, once again broadening the awareness. Parents and friends of the School provide wonderful role modelling to the children as they help to prepare and serve food, and to clean up at the end of the meal. The children also learn by example seeing parents fulfilling service roles daily around the School including laundry, cleaning, gardening, maintenance and flower arranging. Each class performs other scheduled tasks twice a week, cleaning their own classroom as well as another part of the School. They learn age-appropriate, basic skills in cleaning and are encouraged to work quietly, with care and attention.

We invite you to contact our Registrar for more information.

About Us

Nestled in the heart of Hawthorn, Erasmus School comprises historic buildings and contemporary additions. Light-filled, spacious classrooms are set amongst generous facilities including two halls, tennis courts, a new library with the latest computer technology, and bright outdoor play spaces and equipment. A new commercial standard kitchen services the outdoor and indoor dining room areas where every day all the children sit down together to enjoy a meal together..
Our unique curriculum enriches the children’s sense of themselves and the world around them. The children build their skills in personal expression across a range of media.

Our pupils achieve high academic standards for Grammar, Reading, Writing, Comprehension and Arithmetic. They develop diverse knowledge and skills through the study of classical languages, Science, Studies of Society and Environment (SOSE), History, Geography, and Information & Computer Technology (ICT). Their creative talents are also cultivated through our performing and visual arts program including the study of Art, Music, Drama, Dance, Calligraphy and Needlework.

The children develop courage, co-operation and stamina and physical confidence through sports such as swimming, athletics, gymnastics, cross country running and ball games.

All this is balanced with emotional and spiritual growth through the study and daily practice of Philosophy and Scripture. Children study the Bible, the Bhagavad Gita, and other great texts including works of Shakespeare and Homer. They participate in daily practices including taking time to pause in silence at the beginning and end of activities, singing songs of praise and other fine music, reciting and composing prayers, and reading and recitation of fine literature. From the age of 10, with parental approval, pupils are invited to learn meditation, acquiring a lifelong skill to still the mind and enhance self-awareness.

Class size and teaching methods: Classes are non-composite except for a combined Year 5/6, with around 20 children in each class. Class Teachers are supported by Specialist Teachers in Art, Dance, Music and Physical Education. Both contemporary and tried and tested teaching methods are used to facilitate engagement, spark the imagination and cultivate a spirit of inquiry.

Classes are mixed ability with some streaming of special programs. Spelling Mastery is streamed across the whole school. Pupils who complete this program and are competent in their English studies are offered Latin in Years 5 and 6. Enrichment Mathematics is also offered to pupils in Years 5 and 6 who demonstrate mastery of essential skills. Children in any one year level and in any particular subject will naturally have differing learning needs. In situations where more challenge is needed, extension material is provided by the Class Teacher, either during class or as homework. Where learning assistance is needed, Learning Support staff work with the children either one-on-one or in small groups.

We provide an environment in which love and discipline are balanced and modelled to help the children develop confidence and self-control. Many parents comment that our approach supports and complements their parenting work.

Monitoring Student Progress: To facilitate checking of progress, all children regularly participate in class tests as well as compulsory national testing (NAPLAN – National Assessment Program Literacy and Numeracy) in Years 3 and 5. The School also participates in ICAS (International Competitions and Assessments for Schools) in Mathematics and Science.


Private lessons are available during school hours in piano and strings. There are opportunities for individual and group recitals at school.



Erasmus Primary School

40 Lisson Grove 
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