From the Principal

Hello everyone,

How wonderful it is to have everyone back at school to start the new Year. There has been such a lot of work happening around our school site over the holiday break, with an extension to the roof of the Class Three Building, a new office for the Director Primary K-6 (next to the Class Three Building), an all over deep clean of the school, servicing of many of our systems and work around our gardens (including the removal of a number of storm-damaged trees). Of course, the most noticeable change is the beginning of construction of our new Innovation Centre in the High School. It would be fair to say we have all had to be a bit flexible in the first two weeks of term to cope with two active building sites on the school property. Fortunately, Teera’s office should be completed in the next couple of days, so at least things should settle down a little in the Primary part of the school.

As you are all by now aware, one of the impacts of the big building project is that we have temporarily lost a large number of spaces in the car park and have thus had to introduce a ‘drop and ride’ system for those children who do not catch the bus. We have rostered additional staff on to manage this system, particularly in the afternoon. Thank you to those parents using the system for your patience as we gradually iron out the ‘kinks’ in the system.

I enjoyed meeting Kindergarten, Class One and new parents at two morning teas last week. It was great to meet and catch up with some new and familiar faces. The Kindergarten teachers tell me that their new classes are settling in well and Naina is working gently and steadily to bring her new class together. Settling into a new school or a new class can take some time so please do talk to your child’s teacher if your child is experiencing any challenges.

There have not been major changes to staffing this year, however we are very happy to welcome Stuart Baker as our new High School Camps Coordinator and Primary School Bothmer Gym teacher and Penny Van Den Hoek as my new PA. Please do say hello to them if you see them around the school, they are both valued and skilled additions to our staff.

Finally, this year I will be telephoning a number of school families each week to touch base and check in with how your experience with the school is going. I look forward to talking to you and listening to your feedback.

Peace
Nerrida

From the Principal

Hello everyone,

As I write this, the last children have left for the summer break. When I reflect back over the last year, I think of all of the wonderful learning and growth which has happened across our school (for students and growth) and I feel enormous gratitude to everybody involved in the school.

This week I attended the Class 6 farewell party; what a lovely evening! The students performed some beautiful music pieces and it was a fitting and honouring farewell to their Class Teacher, Naina. I also attended the Year 9 and 10 Elective Showcase and, as always, was amazed by the confidence, poise and talent of our young students (and the amazing work done by their teachers).

This week our Year 12 students also received their final HSC results. I am so proud of every single student for their hard work and wonderful achievements and wish them all the very best for the next stage of their lives.

I would like to close by thanking all of our wonderful teaching and support staff for their professional, dedicated and caring work this year. I would like to thank the Class Coordinators and P&F Executive for supporting the school and our community so beautifully. I would like to thank James Dods (Chair) and the Board for the time, commitment and deep care they have for our lovely school. I would like to thank the parents for trusting us with the care and education of your children – it is indeed a privilege. Finally, I would like to thank our wonderful students – you are the reason we are all here and we so lucky to have a part to play in your learning journey.

Please all have a safe and enjoyable break. I look forward to seeing you all again in the new year.

Peace
Nerrida

From the Principal

Hello everyone,

It is the first day of Summer, the weather is sultry, wet, humid and stormy and this seems to be a good description of the world around us (if our only view of the world is to be taken from the media). It is worth remembering, however, that people from many different faiths and beliefs from all over the world are preparing to celebrate a special time of the year. The central theme of all of these different celebrations is one of hope – something very much needed at this time. As I look around the school, I see signs of this hope everywhere. Our Kindergarten students are looking hopefully through the arch and into the Primary School, knowing their time at Kindy is drawing to a close and soon they will begin the next part of their journey. Our Class 6 students have had their transition evening and are now packing their classroom ready for the move into the High School, They are filled with hopes and dreams for the next stage of their journey. And in the High School, the HSC students have had their final school event, a lovely formal evening at the Beach Cafe. This was truly a celebration of gratitude for the past and hope for the future. Our teachers are also busy in the task of writing reports – a celebration of each child’s journey and a statement of hope for their future learning, growth and development. I invite you to find some other signs of hope around you and take the time to honour and celebrate these.

This week marked a very special moment in our school’s history. Staff gathered together for a special afternoon tea to farewell Julie McVeigh. Julie has been an important part of CBRSS for 14 years. She has taken many leadership roles within the school, as well as shepherding a whole generation of children (and their families) into a Steiner Education at our school. I presented Julie with a beautiful painting (commissioned especially from Eleni) and James Dods (Chair of the Board) presented a special gift from the Board in recognition of Julie’s service as a Board Member and a leader in the school. We will be sad to see Julie go, but I know we will all see her legacy continuing in the school for many years to come.

Finally, preparations are in the final stages for our annual Christmas Market. Please do save the date in your calendar (next Friday 8th May) and join us for a lovely community event to celebrate this special time of the year.

You may have noticed that we have not had a bulletin for a few weeks, this is because the dreaded bug struck our lovely Admin Office and both Yvette (who writes the Bulletin) and I were quite unwell for a number of days. We are both now back on deck and hope you will understand the reason for the delay.

Peace
Nerrida

From the Principal

Hello everybody,

As always at this time of the year, there are a lot of things happening. Our HSC students have almost finished their exams, our Class 6 students are about to begin the transition process as they complete their final weeks in the primary school and look towards the future and the High School and our Kindergarten families have now been introduced to their Class Teacher, Naina Richardson. On top of this there are numerous class plays, excursions, camps and visitors coming to the school. In all this busyness, I think it is important to pause for a moment and remember the place of calm in our lives. I find it is really helpful every now and again during the day to stop, take a few deep breaths and just come back to the present moment. Things always seem clearer, easier and more manageable when the starting point is simply being present. This isn’t just good advice in the workplace, it can be really helpful in family life too. When young people are surrounded by people who are rushed, stressed and/or always thinking about the next moment, they can feel stressed and anxious too. When we practise being mindful and present within family life, we support our children and set a great example.

While on the subject of being mindful, I would like to encourage you to read the article in this bulletin about driving and parking on the school site. We have recently seen an increase in some quite dangerous driving behaviour in and around the school. I know the last thing any of us wants is for an accident to happen or a member of our school community to be hurt. So please do read the article and be a little extra-mindful when driving to or from school.

Finally, I attended the P&F meeting this week where this year’s Spring Fair was reviewed. I would like to thank the hard-working and very talented Class Three parents for their wonderful effort this year. The Spring Fair theme was inspiring and the decorations were absolutely beautiful. Our Spring Fair was a wonderful coming together of our school community and celebration of the changing season. Congratulations to everyone involved in bringing this year’s Spring Fair to fruition.

Peace
Nerrida

From the Principal

Hello everyone and welcome back to Term 4,

Last term ended in a flurry of excitement and activity with our wonderful Spring Fair and the very moving Year 12 Graduation Ceremony. Both of these events were a real celebration of our students and the school community which supports them.

Each year, I give an address to our graduating class and below you can find the text of this year’s address. I am very proud of our students and wish them all the very best as they complete their final exams this term.

I would like to begin by acknowledging that we are privileged to be on the traditional lands of the Arakwal people of the Bundjalung Nation and I would like to honour and pay my deepest respect to Elders, both past and present. Australia’s aboriginal people are amongst the oldest known civilisations in the world. They undertook the first great sea journeys of exploration and developed a culture of deep knowledge and connection with the land that has endured longer than almost any other in the world’s history. We are all held in the cradle of this knowledge and connection and it is in the spirit of this that I make my final address to you today.

Over the last 13 years of your schooling, you have learned a lot of things. You have developed skills and learned about the world and yourself. Now, as you stand on the threshold of a new beginning, I want to take a moment to reflect on the things that really matter.

We live in a time of great change, a time where change is happening so quickly that it is hard to even imagine what the world will look like in a few years. 60% of the jobs that exist today will not exist in 10 years. Political and social boundaries are quickly changing and environmental change is happening so quickly now that it is hard to understand what our planet will look like in the near future. The task of imagining the future is now yours and you are already in the process of shaping it.

Whilst I hope the skills we have taught you will be useful to you in this changing world, I believe that it isn’t what you know that truly matters now, it is who you are and who you are going to be in the world.

We live in a time where it is easy to draw apart, to polarise and to find the differences between us and to reinforce these. I want to encourage you not to follow this path. Have the courage to stop and listen to those whose views are different to your own. You do not need to agree, and certainly it is important to stand up for what you truly believe is right, but please take the time to at least try to understand the other view; see and understand our differences and then search for the things that draw us together. You are all developing a strong moral compass; use it to make good choices but also have the empathy, courage and insight to understand those who do not. The hope for the future is in finding our common humanity and forging a path we can walk together.

Our school vision is to enable each individual to realise their potential to be self aware, resourceful and resilient with the empathy, skills and initiative to make a positive contribution to the world. I want you to know that, right at this turning point in your lives, as you are about to finish your school education, you are exactly who you should be.

I look at you and I am filled with so much hope for the future. You are creative, caring, empathetic, thoughtful, insightful, gentle, humorous, determined, imaginative, analytical, hopeful and courageous. You are exactly who you need to be to step out into the world and fulfill your own life destinies. You will be the lovers, the carers, the decision makers, the inventors, the collaborators and the healers. You will be the artists, poets, musicians, strategists, scientists, engineers and farmers who will shape and change the new world.

So now, go out there and ask questions. Stand up for what you believe in. Make strong, ethical choices. Care for others, even if you don’t understand their lives or their choices. Actively care for this magnificent planet and speak up when others don’t. Find happiness in the small things. Draw pictures, make music, plant gardens, write poems – be a creator in the world. Accept that you are not perfect and sometimes you will get it wrong. Make mistakes – and then learn from them. Be prepared to wait and work for the things you want. Look for the music and the beauty around you (it is always there).

I want you to know that your teachers, your family and your school community, are so very proud of you. I am very proud of you. Almost 100 years ago, Rudolf Steiner said “Receive children in reverence, educate them in love, and let them go forth in freedom.” We received you with reverence, we have educated you with so much love, and now it is time for you to go forth in freedom.

Your education at Cape Byron Rudolf Steiner School has finished, my wish for you all is that you can go on to fulfil the highest, truest expression of yourselves as the wonderful human beings you are.

Peace
Nerrida
(You may enjoy this photo of the ‘alternative me’ …. our Year 12 students had a lot of fun dressing up as school staff in their last week with us)

From the Principal

Hello everyone,

As I write this the school grounds are buzzing with activity as we prepare for our Spring Fair tomorrow. It looks like the weather gods are going to be kind to us and we should have a beautiful spring day for our celebrations.

This year our theme is ‘Awaken to Wonder’ and there are so many wonderful activities on offer tomorrow. The opening of the fair should be a lovely event with some of our Primary School students singing an ‘Awaken to Wonder’ song composed especially for this year’s event. The theme will continue right throughout the fair with a range of specially designed activities (don’t miss a visit to our High School Science room where James and Shanti have set up a wonderland of Science activities for you to enjoy.)

This year we are also introducing a poetry slam competition for High School students. I am really looking forward to getting down to the amphitheatre to hear some of our wonderful poets in action. There is so much to see, hear and do tomorrow, it will be an effort to fit it all in!

Last Friday night I had the great privilege to attend our annual HSC Showcase night. What a wonderful night it was! I always look forward to this event as it is a great opportunity to witness our graduating students presenting the fruits of their labours. I think, as a school community, we can all be very proud of our graduating students. If they are the future, there is a lot to be hopeful about.

I look forward to seeing many of you tomorrow at our Spring Fair.

Peace
Nerrida

From the Principal

Hello everyone,

September has arrived and the level of activity and excitement about our Spring Fair is building. Today I called into Silky Oak Cottage to visit the parents working away dip-dying, making decorations and preparing craft activities for the fair. With the beautiful, dyed cloths fluttering in the breeze and the newly made bunting draped across the fence, I was reminded just how much effort goes into making the fair a truly beautiful, colourful and joyful community event.

Plans are well underway for the construction of our new playground equipment (a tree-house for our primary students and a set of suitably sized swings for the High School). These wonderful new additions to our site are funded with money raised by the P&F (through the hard work of our school community) at our Spring Fairs.

This week I was able to have a sneak peak at some of our Year 12 Visual Art major works as they were all handed in for marking. They are truly extraordinary and a testament to the dedication and hard work of our students and the skilled guidance and care of our teachers. All of our HSC major works (across a broad range of subjects) will be on display and there will be some wonderful performances at our HSC Showcase Night next Friday night. Please mark it in your calendar and come along if you can.

Last week I was lucky enough to enjoy the Primary School Book Week celebrations. The students paraded through the school, dressed as characters from their favourite books – it was wonderful to listen to the children talking with such a love for books and reading. The Primary Teachers put on a quite hilarious play of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. With a sweet and innocent Snow White, rather squeamish Hunstman, gloriously narcissistic Wicked Queen, brutally honest Mirror, glamorous (if rather simple) Prince on his dashing (hobby horse) steed and troupe of bumbling and perpetually hungry dwarves – the play had something to entertain everyone. Thank you Primary Teachers for the effort you put into this each year. I wonder what next year’s Book Week play will be?

Peace
Nerrida

From the Principal

Hello Everyone,

As I write this, the sun is shining, the skies are blue and the temperature is hovering in the high 20’s. Is it really still winter? This unseasonal weather can make us feel a bit grumpy, out of sorts and ‘on edge’. If we reflect on this in relation to the importance of the rhythm of the seasons in our inner life, it is understandable why we might feel like this. Normally, we would have been just emerging from the quiet and still inner experience of mid winter at this time of the year, instead we have had a couple of weeks of bright sunshine and weather which we more normally associate with the outward streaming feel of summer.

The wildlife around the school are responding to the warmer weather too. Our reptile friends, the snakes and lizards, are on the move and looking for food mates and some of that lovely sunshine. With this in mind, please take extra care when driving down the hill and walking through the school grounds.

This week I spent some time down in the High School reading some of the beautiful wishes made by our students and placed on the ‘Wishing Tree’ as part of the Year 7 ‘Wish, Wonder and Surprise’ Main Lesson. The wishes are a beautiful reflection of our students hopes and dreams for themselves and the wider world. If you are at the school, I encourage you to go and have a look. The tree is just outside the staffroom door in the High School.

Last week I attended the Class Three Parent Meeting to talk to parents about the changes which happen for the nine year old child (one of my favourite topics). I really enjoyed sharing with the parents and it reminded me of the importance of parents attending their child’s class meetings. These are such a good opportunity to share information, learn about what is happening in class and connect with other parents.

Our Class Three parents are now almost in the ‘home straight’ with organising the Spring Fair. This is such an important event in our school calendar – please do jump in and help out in any way you can. This year’s event promises some lovely new features and will be a great day out for everyone. Please make sure you have the date marked in your calendar (Saturday 16th September).

Peace
Nerrida

From the Principal

Hello everyone,

It has been a busy couple of weeks and a really great start to the term. We have had Lisa Romero in the school, talking to students, parents and teachers about issues of growth and development, sexuality and gender. Lisa brings a wealth of experience and wisdom about these topics from an anthroposophical understanding of the development of the human being.

We have also had students from both Primary and High School classes visiting the Byron Writers’ Festival. They have had the opportunity to listen to some really interesting writers speaking about their lives and their craft.

This week our High School students attended in our annual athletics carnival. It was great to see the students actively participating in all of the events and also supporting the running of the day. There were many wonderful performances with students pushing to do their best and enjoy the involvement. Congratulations to Caspar Thomas for his outstanding performance in breaking the CBRSS boys High Jump record by a substantial margin (with a backflip over the bar). Thanks to Lizzie Gavaghan for organising the day and to all of the teachers for their enthusiastic support for the day.

Plans for the Spring Fair are well underway – please do look carefully at the notice later in this bulletin and see if there is something you could do to help out. The Spring Fair is one of the really important events for our school community and your participation and support will help to make it a wonderful day.

Peace
Nerrida

From the Principal

Hello everyone,

It was lovely to see the students all back at school on Tuesday, after the mid year term break.

Gavin and his crew have been very busy over the break, working on maintenance and development projects around the school. You may have noticed our beautiful brick paving behind the Performance Hall. This will really improve the entry to the school, especially when our building project begins and the traffic flow to that area subsequently increases.

Our teachers have been busy in the Term Break. I joined a group of teachers who travelled to Sydney to attend the National Steiner Teachers’ Conference. With international keynote speakers and a range of workshops aimed at both Primary and High School teachers, the conference was a wonderful opportunity to deepen our understanding of Steiner Education. I was also honoured to be able to present workshops on the 9 year old transition at the conference.

Meanwhile, back at home, teachers were busy catching up with programming and assessments. Our HSC teachers were working with their students, supporting them in the development of their major works and preparation for trial exams. The trial exams were held in the last week of the break. I am hopeful that, in amongst all of this, our hard-working teachers managed to enjoy some down time with family and friends.

Early this week, I was lucky enough to be able to take two of our senior students to an afternoon tea with Gladys Berijiklian, the Premier of NSW. Bridget Brandolini and Minnie Manton were excellent representatives for our school and were able to raise the issue of the lack of public transport in the area when they spoke to the Premier.

This term will be busy with a number of camps and excursions, kindergarten enrolments for 2018, the HSC showcase and graduation activities, 2018 budget preparations and, of course, the Spring Fair. Even though it is busy, I do always try to make time to talk to parents and students whenever possible. If you would like to have a chat to me about any aspect of our school, please either send me an email (principal@capebyronsteiner.nsw.edu.au) or call Jacquie in the office to make an appointment. I am happy to find the time to talk to you.

It’s a mini Bulletin this week for the start of the term, next week the usual full Bulletin will resume.

Here’s to a wonderful, productive Term 3!

Peace
Nerrida

Meeting the Premier

Nerrida, Bridget and Minnie meet the Premier

From the Principal

Hello everyone,

As always, it has been a very busy last two weeks of term. With the severe weather and heavy rain in the lead-up to the Winter Festivals, we had to make some major changes to the planned events. I would like to thank the teachers involved for their flexibility in working with the changed plans. I would also like to thank the parent community for being so understanding and supportive. Our Winter Festivals are an important opportunity to bring our school community together and it was not an easy decision to alter the event. Having said this, our students had a very deep and reverent experience of this beautiful event. We have included some photographs later in this bulletin. We will be including a clip with some of the lovely music and images of the senior festival on our website in the near future.

This week we have been celebrating NAIDOC week at the school (a week early because of school holidays). We had a special opening of the week with our High School students on Monday where Peter Palmer talked about the purpose of NAIDOC week and I raised the Aboriginal Flag. Thank you to Sy Mullumby for coming along to play the didgeridoo during the flag raising. Peter Palmer has done a wonderful job of organising a series of events across the week. Hopefully this will become something we will celebrate every year.

This week we have also launched our Building Fund page on our website. The models for our new Science and Maths Innovation Centre are on the web page and there is an opportunity for people to donate to our Building Fund. A copy of the school Master Plan can also be found on the page; this details our plans for building development across the school site over the coming years. Please do go and have a look at the page. The link to the page can be found in the article later in this Bulletin.

Last night I attended the High School Electives Showcase. It was a wonderful celebration of the work of our very talented Year 9 and 10 students. I saw beautiful paintings, drawings, sculptures, photographs and finely crafted woodwork items. I also thoroughly enjoyed watching the drama performances, fashion parade and heart-stopping circus performances. The music finale was a wonderful finish to the night. Congratulations to our Year 9 and 10 students and a huge thank you to our wonderfully skilled Elective teachers.

Finally, this week marked a very special day in the kindergarten, with Julie McVeigh teaching her last day in the classroom. Julie has had a wonderful career over many years, wisely and gently shepherding young children into their first experience of school life. Julie is now transitioning into the next stage of her professional career and will be working in a mentoring capacity for the rest of the year, sharing her wisdom and experience with our Kindergarten teachers. I would like to honour and thank Julie for her many years of wonderful service to the school and to a generation of young children.

I hope you all enjoy the term break, I look forward to seeing some well-rested and cheerful faces back at school at the beginning of next term.

Peace
Nerrida

From the Principal

Hello everyone,

I am writing this from Melbourne, where I am attending the Year 10 Camp. Every year I join some of our teachers and students on their camp. It gives me a great opportunity to spend time with our students and teachers, getting to know them all in a more relaxed setting. We bring our Year 10 students to Melbourne to give them a taste of city life; giving them an opportunity to learn how to find their way around a big city, visit some universities and tertiary institutions and experience some of the cultural life of the city. It is really enjoyable to watch the students working together to manage the money they are given to buy each meal – budgeting and working together to get the best value for their money. This is a taste of a possible life to come as university students in the future!

Meanwhile, back at school, preparations are now in the final stages for our Winter Festivals. This year we are trialling a new format, with the Class One and Two children joining the Kindergarten children for a junior festival on a different date to the senior festival. The two festivals are planned to be beautiful, reverent and joyful celebrations of mid-winter. I look forward to seeing you as our school joins together for these special events.

As a final note, today we watched a wonderful performance at the National Institute of Circus Arts. I was chatting to one of our 2016 graduating students who is now studying at NICA and asked her if she was enjoying her studies there. Her answer was, “I love it, it is the fire in my blood!” What a wonderful response! Surely our aim at CBRSS is to educate every student so that they can go out into the world and do whatever it is that is the fire in their blood.

Peace
Nerrida

From the Principal

Hello everyone,

There has been a lot of activity around our school community over the last two weeks. We have had many students out on camps, excursions and sporting events with more planned in the coming weeks. It is important that our students have opportunities to interact with students from other schools, particularly as they get a little bit older. We always get such wonderful feedback about the way our students conduct themselves and our students tell us that they really enjoy these opportunities.

Last weekend was a very busy weekend in the school, beginning with the wonderful bush dance on Friday night. The hall was beautifully decorated, the band played energetically, the food was delicious and everyone enjoyed a wonderful social evening. I particularly enjoyed joining some of our younger students in a lively progressive dance. Congratulations to the Class 5 parents for organising such a terrific event for our school community.

On Saturday we had a RCM morning, with a lot of wonderful work being done to care for our school (with a focus on the Kindergarten this time). The parent workers joined with some of our staff (who were attending a first aid course at the school) for a delicious lunch. These RCM days are a very good way of adding some extra love and care to our school facilities as well as being a great opportunity to socialise and build our school community. Thank you to the parents who came along to help and thank you to Evan for organising and holding the event so well.

Finally, many of you may have already come into contact with Margaret, our new Receptionist. Margaret brings a wealth of experience and a warm and friendly presence at the front office. I am sure you will join me in welcoming Margaret to our school community.

Peace
Nerrida

From the Principal

Hello everyone,

It is hard to believe we are almost half way through the term. The cooler weather and the change in light as the sun’s trajectory across the sky angles slightly closer to the horizon has an inner echo. The children are more settled in class and in the playground and the adults are enjoying the move to a slightly more contemplative and quiet mood.

Preparations are well under way for our Winter Festival and the big news is that this year we will be bringing the Festival back home to our School. It is clear that the A&I Hall in Bangalow is too small for our school community and it is quite challenging to manage a reverent and peaceful festival in the wide open space of the adjacent oval (much as we have loved the beautiful Winter Festivals of the last few years).

The College and Faculties have carefully considered how we can create an experience which is both appropriate to the children’s stages of development and also allows us to have safe and appropriate numbers on site (with particular reference to the issue of car parking). We have always had two Winter Festivals; one for the Kindergarten children and one for the rest of the school. This year, our Class One and Two Children will be celebrating their Winter Festival along with the Kindergarten children, whilst the Class Three to Year 12 students will be celebrating at school on the 21st of June. We will share further information about our Winter Festivals as we draw a little closer to the date.

Earlier this week, the school’s Annual General Meeting was held. I would like to congratulate Salakesh Ananda, Sophie Kemm and Jamie Morton on their election to the Board. A full copy of the AGM report is available on our website.

Peace
Nerrida