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Erasmus Primary School

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Erasmus Primay School
File:Erasmus ps logo.jpg
Hawthorn, Victoria

MottoLuceat Lux Vestra
(Let your light shine)
Religious affiliation(s)School of Economic Science
Established1996; 25 years ago (1996)
FounderLeon MacLaren

Erasmus Primary School is a school in Hawthorn, Victoria, a suburb of Melbourne, Australia, serving children from prep through year 6. It is founded by the Education Renaissance Trust,[1] which is connected with the School of Economic Science, also known as the School of Philosophy.[2]


Erasmus has a unique curriculum for an Australian primary school. The school incorporates meditation and mindfulness practices on a daily basis from early grade levels; in addition, the curriculum includes Latin and Sanskrit, the latter of which former headmaster Jonathan Tickner described as 'almost scientifically perfect'.[3] The school also teaches once-a-week classes in philosophy and scripture, drawing from a mix of Eastern and Western philosophy, particularly relating to the Advaita Vedanta school.[4] The school's website features quotes by Shantanand Saraswati, former head of the Jyotir Math Hindu monastery and pioneer of the Advaita movement.[5] The unusual curriculum and pedagogy of Erasmus Primary School has received mention in the national media.[3][4]


Erasmus is a small school, with 95 students enrolled in 2020.[6] The school's NAPLAN results are above the national average; students in years 3 and 5 average 55 points above the national average in reading, 40 in writing, 48 in spelling, 58 in grammar, and 47 in numeracy.[7]

Connection with the School of Economic Science[edit]

Erasmus Primary School names Leon MacLaren of the School of Economic Science as its founder.[8] Schools associated with the School of Economic Science have been the subject of child abuse scandals[9] and cult accusations.[10] Erasmus was discussed extensively[11][12] in internet forums for former students of the London-based St James Independent Schools, another SES-related educational institution, regarding child abuse experienced by the former students and their families; this forum was later the topic of a private inquiry finding that children were "criminally assaulted" during their time at the St James and Vedast schools.[13]


  1. "Education Renaissance Trust". www.education-renaissance-trust.org.uk.
  2. "Erasmus". Melbourne School of Philosophy.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Quiet please, learning in progress". The Age. 12 June 2006.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Kellahan, Kristie (3 August 2016). "The young philosophers at Erasmus Primary School". The Sydney Morning Herald.
  5. "About Us – Erasmus Primary School".
  6. "Erasmus Primary School". Good Schools Guide.
  7. "Erasmus Primary School Naplan Scores". Good Schools Guide.
  8. "Founder – Erasmus Primary School".
  9. "Poster Children of New York's Happiness Academy – The School Of Practical Philosophy". 25 May 2011.
  10. Potton, Ed. "Emily Watson: 'I saw incidents of cruelty that have been very scarring'" – via www.thetimes.co.uk.
  11. "Erasmus school acknowledges its relationship with SES / SOP". SES Forums. 14 February 2006.
  12. "The Melbourne School". SES Forums. 20 February 2006.
  13. Townend, James (14 January 2006). "General Report of the Townend Inquiry into St James Independent Schools" (PDF).

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