CBRSS leading in sustainability and innovation

We are proudly leading the way in combining sustainability with innovation, with the construction of our new state of the art science and maths high school building, designed by local architect and CBRSS parent Michael Leung and incorporating the creative use of Hempcrete walls.

HEMPCRETE is a natural building product constructed by local award winning building company Balanced Earth. Hempcrete sequesters carbon for the life of the building, is a breathable wall system, is mould resistant, is a great insulator with good acoustic properties and is toxic free! Created by simply combining hemp, water, sand, Hemp Masonry lime-based binder and plenty of hard work, it produces an innovative building product that’s healthy for the environment.

Students at the school have been instructed in the qualities of Hempcrete and the methods for building with Hempcrete through onsite lessons from the builders. Head contractor Field Construction group is ahead of program with the building due for completion in August 2018.

This truly sustainable building together with Australia’s first established efficient educational onsite grey & black water systems and our Grid connected 26kWh Solar power that produces between 40% – 50% of our electricity needs, means Cape Byron Rudolf Steiner School is leading in sustainability and Innovation.

Construction of Innovation Centre

As you may have noticed, construction of our new Innovation Centre is now well underway.

We would like to create a beautiful entry to the school including an outdoor shelter between the new building & the Performance Hall. The aim is to provide students & parents a covered drop off area at pick up time and students with an additional sheltered space in the playground. This is in addition to the building that is currently underway.

We are aiming to raise $30,000 for this addition. The current balance in our Building Fund account is $13,550, so we still need to raise $17,000. To read about our Master plan, to see a time lapse video of the construction so far or to make a donation please follow this link

Please note that deductions to the Building Fund are tax deductible.

Kinder Autumn Festival 2018

Class 4 & Class 1 buddies

At the end of first term, Class 1 met their Class 4 buddies for the first time. Class 4 shared some of the work they had been doing in their studies of local Aboriginal culture. They began with a welcome dance, performed two short plays and finished with a song about caring for country.
Caring for each other is a strong aspect of our cross-age buddy program with regular sessions planned between the two classes and many opportunities for friendships to develop during play times.


Class 5 Celebration of India

Building Resilience in our HS students

In the High School, we have been working on how to counter the growing anxiety and mental health concerns that are prevalent in adolescents today. Our Main Lessons, anthroposophical approach and wellbeing programs have a positive impact on the challenges faced by teenagers today, but there is always more we can incorporate into our work.

Resilience is defined as the ability to “bounce back” from stressful or challenging experiences. It involves being able to adapt to changes and approach negative events, sources of stress and traumatic events as constructively as possible.

The High School staff are committed to working with students to build this important life skill. It is very important for students to experience ‘failure’ to learn how to bounce back. Experiencing ‘failure’ helps to build mental capacity and learn that life is a series of challenges and joys. Expecting ‘happiness’ in every life experience is not realistic nor healthy. Being ‘saved’ every time something goes wrong does not assist in building strong capacity to cope with future obstacles. There is a growing picture of anxiety and mental health challenges in young people and we need to be responsive to this and address this in our daily work.

I attended a Mental Health in Schools conference a year or so ago and I shared some of the important points from a lecture I attended in a presentation to the HS students at a recent assembly. The speech was written by Peter Ellingson and some of the points below were thought provoking.

“All success is due to failure, and all advances in knowledge come about as a result of failed attempts. This is the reality of achievement. It is a truth that, once grasped, frees us to experiment and innovate –to discover, rather than vegetate or imitate.

Success, after all, is nothing if not the ability to tolerate failure.

Although we can learn to fail without learning from it, when we do pay attention to it, we enter new thinking and risk-taking. Failure is how we learn – the natural consequence of the risk and complexity – which not only characterises life – but, when embraced, makes it exhilarating. It is when things fail that minds get to work to devise better solutions.

US celebrity talk show host, Oprah Winfrey, who ran one of the highest-ranking TV shows ever and is the richest self-made woman and the only black female billionaire, was fired from her first job. Her boss told her that she was too emotional and not right for television.

Similarly, Walt Disney, whose Disney studios pioneered animation and inventive film-making, was fired by a newspaper editor because he lacked imagination. Microsoft founder, Bill Gates, did not become the world’s richest man, overnight – he was a university drop out, whose first business failed. The man whose name implies genius, Albert Einstein, was a “failed” child. He did not speak until he was four, did not read until he was seven, was expelled from school and refused admittance to his local university. He went on to win the Nobel Prize and change, not just physics, but how we understand who we are. The same is true of Sir Isaac Newton, the man who discovered gravity, and Charles Darwin, who before he stumbled on to Natural Selection, gave up on his medical career. The man who literally had a light bulb moment, when he invented the light bulb, Thomas Edison, was another who did poorly in early life, along with US President Abraham Lincoln, TV’s most successful comic, Jerry Seinfeld, French artist, Vincent Van Gogh – who only sold one painting in his lifetime – and Elvis Presley, who was fired after one performance. According to the promoter, the future king of rock n’ roll was a failure who needed to go back to driving a truck.

Failure then, is productive, not because good guys come last, but because good outcomes arise from bad ones. Although we can learn to fail without learning from it, when we do pay attention to it, we enter new thinking and risk-taking. Failure is how we learn – the natural consequence of the risk and complexity – which not only characterises life – but, when embraced, makes it exhilarating.”

Some of the examples of where we see a lack of resilience in the HS are:

  • Students calling parents to pick them up when they don’t feel comfortable or ‘happy’ at school or at a school event or camp
  • Students using “I can’t….” statements when they feel something is too hard
  • Students feeling too stressed to do timed exam responses or timed assessments as they are worried they will do badly or ‘fail’
  • Some students feeling that receiving a 19/20 on a task is somehow a ‘failure’

Some things we do to support students in the HS that assist in building resilience (these are a few examples) :

  • SRC – Student Representative Council – students having a voice in the school and listening to other students’ concerns and discussing how to deal with them
  • Year 9 community work – working towards causes that are bigger than themselves
  • PDHPE curriculum which actively targets personal development ideas
  • Sport classes – physical activity is a proven antidote to anxiety and feelings of sadness
  • enriching Main Lessons that work on the three-fold picture of human development and use history and art to show the progression of ideas and the continuation of human consciousness
  • Whole HS singing each Wednesday – brings a sense of belonging and a chance for non-singers to build resilience in sitting in the ‘uncomfortable zone’ and knowing that their presence alone is important
  • No Smartphones in the playground – to enable students to sort things out in a face to face way rather than online in more anonymous modes and allow for natural human connection amongst students
  • Sports Carnivals – students feel connected to a whole group or may feel uncomfortable in the physical realm, but learn to work through uncomfortable feelings
  • Work Experience – risk taking, being in an unfamiliar situation and experiencing the world outside the ‘safe’ school environment
  • Tobias Project at Year 8- sticking at a project for a whole year and dealing with the obstacles and pitfalls that inevitably occur
  • Camps Program – despite some students feeling nervous and worried about being away from home, we see amazing changes in reluctant camp goers
  • Teachers showing and modelling their ‘mistakes’ – we all try to show that we are not flawless and that mistakes are human and normal.
  • Shared cross year level projects – to enable younger and older students to share ideas and solutions
  • Leadership in senior school – House Captain responsibilities and Year 12 students as MCs in High School Assemblies, which encourages students to take risks and face challenges

We are always working on ways to encourage students to take risks in a safe environment and to learn from things that feel hard. We ask for your support in cementing what we bring at home and are always happy to receive feedback about what we do. Conversations around the dinner table that perhaps talk about how you as adults have learnt from mistakes is a great start!

Katie Biggin 

Year 7 Camp

All going well here. Regards, Class 7


Tony Barry visits HS

In 2017 the year 9/10 art elective students participated in an environmental art exhibition hosted by actor and environmental activist Tony Barry. On Wednesday, Tony presented the school with a framed poster of the Indian Ten Commandments to show his appreciation for participating in and promoting environmental awareness.

HS students perform at the Commonwealth Games

We are proud to inform you that as part of Mullumbimby’s Spaghetti Circus, three students from our school presented their brand new work Jumping Point with circus colleagues from Circus Arts, Byron Bay and Brisbane’s Circus Zoo during the 2018 Commonwealth Games that were held on the Gold Coast over 2 weeks in April.

And what a glorious success it was. Audience members from around the globe were wowed as 23 circus artists demonstrated the skills they have honed in their years of training.

Jumping Point was directed by international showman Captain Frodo aka “the Incredible Rubber Man” who said of meshing together three different companies of performers from 12 years old and up “When you put them together, you get distinct, different flavours,” he said. “It really makes the show seem more diverse and more rich.”

The show was performed 8 times across 3 days on the Roundabout Stage at Broadbeach as part of the Cultural Programme Festival2018. After the event, Artistic Director of the cultural programme, Yaron Lifschitz said of Jumping Point “the show was really enjoyable, subversive, funny and skilful and it wowed and entertained audiences. I don’t think anyone watching would have any idea of the complexity of working with multiple youth circuses, wrangling a cast of that size, grappling with the stage and environment and working with a festival as complex as Festival2018.”

And what did the performers make of their foray into the international spotlight? Would they do it all again? General Manager of the Spaghetti Circus, Alice Cadwell reported there was a unanimous and resounding motion from the cast that they wanted to take the show on the road and tour the world. Well, watch this space!
Cape Byron Rudolf Steiner School students,  assisted by Steve (Ric) Richards:
Year 9 – Reuben Poole
Year 10 – Anais Stewart-Long, Lucia Bora


Northern Rivers Impro Schools Challenge 2018

On Friday 6th April 2018 a team from CBRSS competed in a theatre games evening for schools and student groups in the Northern Rivers at the Drill Hall Mullumbimby.

Teams of 3 to 5 students from years 9 to 12 from each participating school or youth group perform with teams from other schools and groups in the Northern Rivers region. They are challenged to create 1, 2 & 3 minute improvised scenes live on stage. The scenes were judged by 3 independent improvisation judges.

Participating Groups in 2018 were: Mullumbimby High School, Cape Byron Rudolf Steiner School, Kingscliff High School, Byron Youth Theatre

And the Winners were….Cape Byron Rudolf Steiner School! Congratulations to our students and to all groups on their participation.




We would like to congratulate 3 of our year 10 girls, Monica Brandolini, Tilka Fosmale and Sophia Mendelson-Wright who play in local Ladies Basketball competition at Ewingsdale. On Wednesday 10th April their team won the Grand Final 33 to 31 in a nail biting finish to the season.

Alumni News – Cecilia Brandolini

Cecilia graduated from CBRSS in 2015 and we are excited to share that she has just released her debut EP ‘Naive Trust’. Alongside 2 brand new singles and official videos. Cecilia is an acclaimed singer, songwriter, instrumentalist and the Winner of 2017 Tweed Battle of the Bands and finalist of 2018 Bluesfest Busking Competition

Cecilia is currently on an extensive national tour of Australia but will be returning to her stomping ground Byron Bay for a goodbye show on the 17th of May at ‘Treehouse on Belongil’ with her funky new drummer. This FREE show will be the last chance to experience her new sound before she moves to Perth, WA.

‘’Byron Bay and its accepting nature has exposed me to so many amazing, quirky people and eclectic music which has shaped so much of who I am. It’s with my new EP ‘Naive Trust’ that I hope to thank you all for that. I’ve worked incredibly hard to  produce this art baby and it’s finally here for sharing!’ Cecilia commented.

“Cecilia Brandolini is a rare and realised talent, whose songwriting, production and vocal maturity belies her age. This EP is full of the kind of exciting creative sensibility that will have us watching Cecilia and her trajectory with our necks craned for years to come.” -Mama Kin

For a preview of Cecilia Brandolini’s completely new sound head to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e_ZXJConwxc&feature=youtu.be (or) https://youtu.be/F__bzvsDRio (Official music videos for ‘Naive Trust’ and Whatever We Make Of it’.)

http://onepagelink.com/ceciliabrandolini/      ceciliabrandolini.com


Alumni news – Melbourne

In a recent visit to Melbourne, Katie was thrilled to catch up with some past students from HSC 2015 and 2016.
Hannah Richards and Aleshanee Kelso are studying a Bachelor of Circus Arts at NICA.
Jasmine Pierce is living on campus at The University of Melbourne, studying a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing and criminology amongst other interesting subjects!
Leila Karni, from the 2015 year, has travelled the world, worked in Sydney and is now studying a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Melbourne.
Katie Biggin

P & F Fundraiser

Looking for quality art and craft supplies or a Steiner inspired gift or toy?

Art Makes Sense!

A beautiful array of quality art and craft supplies as well as Steiner based toys are available online at Mercurius http://www.mercurius.com.au/

Enter the promotional code: FRIENDCBRSS and 15% of the sale will also go towards P&F fundraising!

Stages of development

When what we introduce into the children’s world of ideas and feelings is in line with the direction of the developmental forces of a given stage of life, we strengthen the entire developing person in a way that remains a source of strength throughout that person’s life. ~ Rudolf Steiner

CBRSS Bushdance Friday 1st June

From the Principal

Hello everyone,

Here we are in the last week of term and, whilst it has been a long term, it has been a really productive 11 weeks and time seems to have flown. Our students are ready for the break and I know our teaching staff are also ready for some recuperation time.

There have been so many wonderful events happening for our students this term, with swimming lessons in the Primary School, the High School swimming carnival, the cross country carnival, a range of excursions and incursions and so many rich learning experiences on offer.

Last week a group of our High School students performed wonderfully at Bluesfest and another group of students participated in a local theatre sports competition, taking out first prize (a talented group supported beautifully by our wonderful High School Drama teacher, Ben Daley). This week a small group of our students will be performing in a Commonwealth Games related performance on the Gold Coast as part of their involvement with Spaghetti Circus.

Meanwhile at school, our new building is really taking shape, with the roof on and the internal walls now being created. Our builders are doing a wonderful job and are currently running just a little ahead of schedule. We are certainly hopeful the building will be complete by the Spring Fair. If you have some spare funds and would like to make a donation to our building fund, please have a look at the article further on in the bulletin. We are hoping to raise the funds to include a covered walkway area next to the new building. Donations to the building fund are tax deductable.

Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to thank our Class Coordinators. I know people are leading busy lives today, but it really does help our teachers to have the support of the Class Coordinators and we are very grateful to those of you who have offered to give your time and energy to this important task. I look forward to meeting up with Class Coordinators at a morning tea early next term, details will be sent out in the coming weeks.

Have a restful, safe and enjoyable term break.


Car park, school drop-offs & pick-ups

Thank you to everyone, for your patience with our altered drop-off and pick-up arrangements this year. Just a reminder that we ask that parents with children in Classes 3 and above use the drop-off and pick–up system rather than parking to pick up children. We have had a number of cars bogged in the last few weeks because of parents having to park on the grassed areas as there are not enough parking spaces.

Kindergarten parents please note that you must park in the bottom car park, not up behind the kindergarten. Some of the space behind the kindergarten is not our land and we do not have permission for this to be used for drop-offs and pick-ups.

We will be doing work over the holidays to repair the potholes in the bottom car-park and hopefully, with the wet season almost behind us, this will remain in a reasonable condition for a little longer.

Survey – Please Participate

By now you will have received an email inviting you to take part in a survey which has been commissioned by Steiner Education Australia. Not only will the survey results give a National picture of staff, parents and students’ experience of Steiner education, but our school will also receive the survey results from our school community. This information is very important in helping us to plan for how we can best meet the needs of our community. Please do go and complete the survey (it only takes about 5 minutes) – the more people who complete the survey, the better the data we receive. You can find the survey at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/QQTV2R9 Please note that the survey closes on Monday 16th April.


Reception forms the gateway for initial email communication to the school. When Margaret receives a parent email for a teacher, she forwards the email on to the teacher concerned. If you have a particularly sensitive matter which you would like to communicate to the teacher, you could either send it as an attachment to your email (Margaret does not open these) or you could simply call or email reception and ask them to organise a call-back or appointment with the teacher. If you would like to discuss any broader issues in relation to communication, please don’t hesitate to contact Nerrida by telephone at the school or directly via email principal@capebyronsteiner.nsw.edu.au