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

From the Principal

Hello everyone,

The term has got off to a lovely, calm start with our students enjoying the calmer atmosphere the cooler weather brings. Having said this, there is a lot of activity around the school with students attending a range of sporting events off-site, the Kindergarten Autumn Festival happening (a little late due to the severe weather at the end of last term) and planning well underway for several camps across the school.

We are also well into planning for our Winter Festival. We have taken on parent and staff feedback from the last Winter Festival and will be making some changes to this year’s festival. We will publish further information about this important event in the life of our school in the coming weeks.

This week our new study group was launched. We are studying Steiner’s “Kingdom of Childhood” lectures. These lectures form a wonderful, accessible introduction to the philosophy which underpins the education we offer. I really enjoy leading this study group each year; it is a wonderful opportunity to get to know parents and friends of our school in a relaxed setting. The study group meets most Thursday mornings this term at 9.15 am in the library. If you are interested in coming along, it is not too late to join in. Please contact Yvette at the school for information or see details further along in this Bulletin.

Finally, there is quite a bit of illness around the school at the moment; many staff and children are unwell. It would really help us to slow the spread of illness if you could keep any unwell children at home until they are completely recovered.

Peace,
Nerrida

From the Principal

Hello everyone,

What a big last two weeks it has been! Last week provided us with a pointed reminder of the power of nature and that we human beings simply can’t control everything.

When we made the decision on Thursday to ask parents to pick up their children early, we did it with the knowledge that this would not be possible for every parent, however it would ensure that as many children as possible could get home before the really wild weather and flooding hit. I would like to thank the parents for responding with such grace and speed to our call. I would also like to thank our Administration Staff and Teachers for supporting this process, the children and our families so well.

As always, no communication is ever perfect. I am aware that some parents didn’t get the text message until much later (we believe the issue was with the telecommunications providers). We texted, emailed and also put an alert on our website. If you are ever in doubt when there is a major weather event, please check our school website as we will always put the up-to-date information there.

I know that some of our staff and families have suffered losses due to the flooding (both at home and in some workplaces). We are working to provide all the support we can to those families. If you have been affected by the flooding, please do let us know so that we can support in whatever way we can.

I hope everyone has a safe, happy (and dry) Easter break. Thank you for a wonderful term of learning and sharing as a school community. I look forward to seeing you all next term.

Peace
Nerrida

From the Principal

Hello everyone,

It was wonderful to see so many of you at our beautiful Autumn Festival this week. Our festivals are all really special and are truly the place where the fabric of our school community is woven together. It is heartwarming to see all of our students, from Kindergarten to Year 12, joining together to celebrate. Our Year 12 students gracefully, and at times playfully, held the space on centre stage, whilst the Kindergarten children were totally captivated by the music and verses. I particularly enjoyed watching the senior students helping our younger students with the dancing on the green.

Autumn is a time when we feel a change in the air, in the quality of light and in the temperature. With this change, we start the process of ‘coming in’ from our outer experience of the summer months (think of how we feel at those summer bbqs, picnics and beach visits). As we begin a more inward journey, we ‘meet ourselves’ and have a quieter and more direct experience of our own thoughts and feelings as we experience the world. This can make us feel a bit uncomfortable, a bit grumbly, a bit disconcerted. As teachers, we often notice this in the playground – the level of dispute and playground squabbles can rise during the autumn months. With this change and this unsettled feeling, comes the call to find that part of ourselves that is brave and true, which knows what is right and is willing to stand tall and strong in this knowledge. This is the part of us which has courage, empathy and clarity.

The call of autumn, is the call to find and work with the understanding of what is good and true which we each hold within ourselves. I would like to close this week with a quote from Sven Lorentson, a priest from the Christian Community in Oslo, Norway.

“In our time we can see, above everything else, the individual human being’s capacity for freedom. We are continually presented with new problems, which we have to make decisions about and develop a stance in relationship to ourselves. Because there are no longer any hard and fast moral rules or clear ethical guidelines that can help us, the impulses for right deeds have to be brought out from within ourselves: What we in the moment can see and feel as right and true.”

Peace
Nerrida

From the Principal

Hello everyone,

After living in this area for just over 4 years, it still amazes me how suddenly we seem to switch from summer to autumn – it is as though, overnight, someone flicked a switch and suddenly we are having cooler nights, mist in the valleys and softer afternoon light. With the change of season comes a change in the way we experience ourselves in the world. The sometimes frenetic, ‘out-there’ pace of summer is replaced by a feeling of slowing down as we begin the journey back towards a more inner experience of ourselves and the world. As we make this transition, it is not unusual to feel a bit unsettled or disgruntled. At school we find that, in the classroom the children are more able to work in the cooler days, whilst in the playground there can be more upsets, disagreements and incidents. It is interesting to reflect, how does the change to Autumn manifest in you and in your home?

Last week I had the real pleasure of hosting a morning tea for our Year 12 students. It was wonderful to spend time with them talking about their experiences of studying for the High School Certificate, being the senior class and starting to think about life beyond the end of their secondary schooling. We also got to share some delicious food together (with thanks to Jacqui for her great food presentation skills).

Last week was a busy week for me, with an experienced Steiner Principal in the school, conducting my professional appraisal (this happens every two years and is part of my employment as principal at the school). Libbie spoke to some parents, teachers and non teaching staff as well as having several meetings with me. It was great to have an opportunity to reflect on my practice and to plan for areas of development over the coming years. There are always opportunities to learn and grow and I am very appreciative that I am able to have this regular source of feedback as part of my work at the school.

I look forward to seeing some of you at our Autumn Festival the week after next.

Peace,
Nerrida

Reminders for parents

Picking up and Dropping off Students
Just a gentle reminder, all pick-ups and drop-offs of students must happen from the bottom car park.  The top car park is a bus zone and is not a safe space for cars and pedestrians.  Please assist us to keep our students safe by doing all drop-offs and pick-ups from the bottom carpark.
Some Email Sanity
We are trying to reduce the amount of email traffic coming through our in-trays at night and on the weekends.  With this in mind, we ask that parents use the reception email address to contact teachers or other staff members at school. Georgi will forward the emails on to the appropriate staff member during business hours.  From our side, we will do our best to really minimise the number of emails we send at night and on weekends.