Advent starts this year on Sunday 3rd December and is celebrated for the four Sundays leading up to Christmas until Sunday 24th December. Advent is frequently celebrated by people of every religious background, every faith, every spiritual path as part of the festivals of the cycle of the year.
In the Southern hemisphere, Christmas falls near the Summer Solstice when the light is at its strongest and we celebrate the triumph of light at its greatest point in the yearly cycle. As the year draws to an end we increasingly spend time outside enjoying “the sun in the heavens”. With the long warm days, intense light and balmy nights we are drawn out into the elements rather than into “the sun in our hearts”.
It can be challenging to develop a sense of inwardness, patience and contemplation when the Spirit of the Earth is on its outward breath. To balance this we can consciously choose to “receive the light” and celebrate what is both universally human and universally spiritual. Celebrating Advent can provide an opportunity for some quiet ‘breathing in’ during this outwardly busy time of year and help your children to practice preparation, reverence and patience through the ritual of counting the weeks and days to the special celebratory event. The lighting of candles each week also reflects our own ‘Divine Light’ and helps to bring us a little inward contemplation.
Traditionally Steiner schools and families celebrate Advent by looking each week at the natural kingdoms on Earth: minerals the first week, plants the second week, animals the third week and humans the fourth week ( see verses below).
Here are some ideas that you might like to include in your own advent celebrations:
An Advent verse
‘The gift of the light we thankfully take, But not shall it be alone for our sake, The more we give light, the one to the other, It shines and it spreads, growing still further; Until every spark by friends set aflame, Until every heart, the joy to proclaim; In the depths of our souls, A shining sun glows.’
Advent Wreath – on a special table made with greenery and seasonal flowers, four advent candles to light each consecutive Sunday of Advent.
Advent Garden-assembled and added to each Sunday of Advent with the four kingdoms celebrated each week try adding tiny crushed shells (collected from the beach) in a spiral pattern for the spiral on which Mary and Joseph figures walk.
Advent Crib-a nativity scene of the four kingdoms, adding a different one each of the Sundays- Crystal Kingdom, plant kingdom, animal and human kingdoms.
Advent calendars are available from Rudolf Steiner Bookstore by following this link
Verses for the 4 weeks of Advent
Week 1: Crystal Kingdom
The crystal kingdom comes first and is honoured by decorating the wreath or garden with crystals, seashells, stones or little bones you may find.
Week 2: Plant Kingdom
In the second week the plant kingdom is honoured by adding little dried flowers, seeds and pine cones and greenery.
Week 3: Animal Kingdom
The animal kingdom, in the third week, is honoured by adding little wooden animals or beeswax creatures the children make.
Week 4: Humankind
The fourth week sees us honouring humankind by adding a little felted or beeswax child and figures.
Our library also has some handouts on making an advent wreath, nature table etc.
Possible stories include The Star Money from the Brothers Grimm, (and if you have the book “Rose Windows”, there is a lovely idea for a window transparency in there); craft ideas in The Children’s Year and Families, Festivals and Food. Other stories include the ones from “The Light In the Lantern: Stories for Advent” from Wynstones Press; Advent Sunday Stories, Collette Leenman; Mary’s Little Donkey, Gunhild Sehlin; Advent and Christmas Stories, Estelle Bryer and Janni Nicol.
Class 2 are excitedly preparing for this year’s Musical Christmas Market that will be held in the Hall on 8th December. As the year draws to a close, this is a whole school community event that brings us all together in a festive way and serves as a fundraiser for the school.
This year’s Giving Tree charity will be for the Lady Cilento Children’s Hosipital. Please could every family could bring a gift for a child (homemade or bought) on the day of the market to be placed under the tree. This would be greatly appreciated.
A Reflection – CELEBRATING OUR INNER LIGHT….
In the Southern hemisphere, Christmas falls near the Summer Solstice, with the light at its strongest, and we celebrate the ‘triumph of light’ at its greatest point in the year.
As our year draws to an end, we increasingly spend our time out in the elements, enjoying ‘the sun in the heavens’. With the long hot days, intense light and balmy nights we are drawn into the elements rather than into ‘the light in our hearts’. It can be challenging to develop a sense of inwardness, patience and contemplation when we and the Spirit of the Earth is on its outward breath. To balance this, we can consciously choose to ‘receive the light’ and celebrate what is both universally human and spiritual.
With very best regards – Class 2 Parents/Guardians
Thank you to the P & F and School Community for providing a wonderful new playground for the Primary School.
This term we started with a main lesson called “Secrets of the Sacred Scripts”. Instead of a main lesson book we wrote in a scroll. We made paper out of recycled paper. It was so fun. We also made crochet pillows which took me a while but it was fun and I got there. We also did Pen Pal letters: one to Squamish and one to Vancouver Island. I am so excited about the reply! And something so exciting happened.. We got our FOUNTAIN PENS!! Our latest main lesson is called “Fantastical Fractions”. We only just started but we have still got some pages down. We are back to main lesson books and it is so fun. I love fractions. Soon we will do swimming lessons and soon we will make a small book out of recycled paper we made and make bread boards. I CAN’T WAIT. This term is AWESOME. We had buddies last term but only twice. Hopefully we can do more this term. We also have been doing these amazing drawings. I’ve finished mine!!! And we wouldn’t have done any of that without THE AMAZING ,THE ONE AND ONLY, TEERA AND BETHANIE.
Isabella Class 4
This term we have been doing so much fun stuff. We started with a main lesson called Secrets of the Sacred Scripts. It was a writing main lesson. We wrote to pen-pals and studied ancient writing and had so much fun! At the same time when we were doing our main lesson we were also doing a craft project: making pillows. We made two granny squares then sewed them together. After we finished our main lesson we got our FOUNTAIN PENS!!! We made handmade paper and we are going to make little books with the paper. We are also going to make chopping boards and a raffia hat which we plait then sew it into the shape of a hat. We also did these amazing mountain and sea drawings. I’m really looking forward to the rest of this term. We wouldn’t be able to do any of these amazing activities if it weren’t for BETHANIE AND TEERA.
Ayla Class 4
Class Six immersed themselves in history by role playing a ragged bunch of waifs and orphans in our 1850’s style school. The class learnt about the harsh discipline of Victorian schools, the class system of the time and how genders were treated differently. The children were visited by the infamous travelling quack doctor, Dr Thackery, and subject to some of his more unusual treatments. Rachel Knight appeared as one of her ancestors and took the children on a journey of discovery through Australian archives. To finish the day we re-discovered the fun of traditional games playing hop scotch, marbles and jump rope.
Congratulations to five of our very talented high school students whose short films have been selected as finalists in The Really Short Film Festival, conceptualised to celebrate and encourage filmmaking by people under 20 in the Byron Shire. The 1 to 3 minute films of Natasha Moser in Year 11, Hunter Amos-Eakin and Kasey-Joe Sheridan, in Year 10, Lenny Dowling and Michelangelo Thomas, both in Year 7, will be screened at the competition finale at Shearwater, The Mullumbimby Steiner School on Saturday 2 December. Congratulations to each one on a great achievement.
Cape Byron took 18 students from the High School to Coffs Harbour on Tuesday 28th October to compete in the NCIS Basketball Carnival. We entered an Open Boys team and an Open Girls team. It was pleasing to see a strong representation of year 12’s turning up and taking on their last opportunity to represent the school. Omri Ben-Harush, Bridget Brandolini, Bella Walz, and Thalia Van Oostrum all played with enthusiasm and grit, showing great leadership as the outgoing year 12 students of the school. The Senior Boys team came second in their pool losing only one game by one point. They were unsuccessful in the semi final and missed their opportunity to play in the grand final. The team of 11 boys played extremely well and demonstrated great potential as a strong force in future carnivals. The team would like to thank Nash Campbell for giving up his time to come and coach the boys on the day.
The Senior Girls pulled together early in the day to set themselves up in a strong position in the pool by not losing a single game. In the Grand Final they were jumped on at the beginning by a determined and well trained team from Bishop Druitt College. Our girls pulled themselves together in the second half and began to claw heir way back into the game, but unfortunately Bishop Druitt had too much of a lead. Both teams came away exhausted but pleased and proud of their efforts on the day. An enjoyable day was had by all and the students are looking forward to their next opportunity to represent the school in this sport.
The Year 8 students completed the year long Tobias project in style on Tuesday 21st November. They showed themselves to be craftspeople and artisans of the highest caliber. There were a wide range of finished products, a number of which were very unique, sophisticated and refined. Also many were of highly professional quality.
The speeches on the night were polished and entertaining. They illustrated some of the massive effort, learning and growth that took place throughout the year. We are so proud of them all and acknowledge all of the work by the Year 8 students, parents, mentors and teachers.
Malcolm, Claire and Peter
During the art elective class on Thursday, the students were fortunate enough to meet actor and environmental advocate Tony Barry and environmental ambassador and founder of ‘Tell someone who cares” Holly Summerville-Knott.
They both spoke to the students about how important it is for the youth of today to stand up and to be heard about their concerns on the destruction of the planet and to create artwork that resonates these issues.
The visual art students are currently working on a collaborative art -work that is exploring a range of critically endangered and endangered animals. This collaborative work will be entered into an environmental art competition held by Tony Barry at the Mullumbimby Civic Hall on Saturday the 16th of December.
So lovely to have a student from my 3 last guardian groups together at Mullum Fest.
Domini from 2009
Maeve from 2012
Cecilia from 2015
Today is the end of my journey as a teacher at Cape Byron Steiner School. I am filled with gratitude for all the blessings, opportunities and experiences that I have had along the way.
I will always treasure all the joyful, funny, and heart-full moments with the children. So many wonderful memories I take with me, and I wish them all lives filled with love.
Thank you to all the parents who have walked this journey with me, and supported this education for the children.
Thanks also to my colleagues, and the support staff, past and present. You have shared the ups and downs, and the round and rounds….thank you for your friendship. I wish you, and the school, all the very best… Au Revoir! It has been a privilege… with love from Julie.
Dear Cape Byron Steiner Community,
After being a French and Kindergarten teacher at the school for eight years now, I have decided to resign for personal reasons.
I am sad but also excited for this next stage of my life.
I wish to thank all the children and their parents for some memorable moments.
I also thank the wonderful colleagues that I have had the honor to work with over the years.
Warm regards and blessings
A small group of dedicated parents have been meeting once a week for an hour or so over Terms 2 and 3 to learn basic French.
Over that time, we have covered quite a bit of ground.
We have continued over this last term, although work commitments for many has greatly impacted our numbers.
Nevertheless I wish to thank everyone who attended the classes during the year.
It has been enriching for me to meet all those courageous parents, and in the process I have gained more than can be measured.
This year offers wonderful children’s crafts and games, delicious food and drinks, stalls, raffle and silent auction. There is also some great entertainment lined up for the day including Shep aka Dr Hubble’s bubbles, world record holder “The Space Cowboy” as well as musical performances from Periwinkle parents.
There will be Story and Song sessions with Periwinkle’s very own Simon Mclean and Periwinkle’s founder Susan Perrow.
Come and join us for a heart warming and fun day out at Periwinkle!