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.

From the Principal

Hello everyone,

We are all enjoying the cooler weather at school – with everyone having just a little more energy and enthusiasm. The new hats arrived for our primary school students and first reports are that they “stay on really well” and are “easy to play in”. They look great too.

I have been spending some regular time in classrooms across the school during Main Lesson time and am really enjoying watching our great teachers and students at work. The excitement and enthusiasm for teaching and learning in the classrooms is inspiring. So far, I have watched High School Science students constructing a model of the human circulatory system, listened to an exciting Norse Myth in Class 4 and enjoyed a wonderful Year 7 Class exploring one of my favourite poems, ‘The Lady of Shalott’. I look forward to continuing this regular activity for the rest of the year.

I enjoyed attending the P&F meeting this week and meeting with some of our Class Coordinators and parents. The role of Class Coordinator is such an important position in supporting the teachers with parent communication and coordination. I am very grateful to all of those parents who have put their hand up to give time for this role. I know that our teachers appreciate the support.

Finally, next year will be our school’s 30th birthday. We would like to plan a series of events spread over the year to celebrate this important anniversary. I invite any parents who are interested in joining a little working group to organise these events to please call or email me so that we can get started on dreaming up a wonderful year of celebration in 2018.

Peace
Nerrida

 

 

From the Principal

Hello everyone,

Welcome back to the new school year. It was just wonderful to see the students all pouring back into the school last week with bright, smiling faces, looking rested, refreshed and ready to learn. It was also wonderful to see the school staff coming back with such enthusiasm for their work with the students at the school after their well earned break.

We started the year welcoming some new (and almost new) teachers to the school. I am sure you will join me in welcoming Jenny (Kindergarten), Anna (Class 1), Paddy (HS Geography), Alix (English) and Phoenix (HS Drama T1). Later in the term we will welcome James (Class 5) and Emily (Kindy) and next term Ben (HS Drama).

It was wonderful to meet with our Class One parents at a morning tea on Tuesday and then our Kindergarten parents on Wednesday morning. The relationship we have with the families within our school community is so important to our work with the students. I really value every opportunity to meet with parents and to strengthen the work we do together. Class meetings are another opportunity for us to come together and I really enjoyed attending part of the Kindergarten and Year 9 parent meetings this week.

Over the holiday break, Gavin and his team were busy working on a range of maintenance tasks across the school. One of the most significant (and beneficial) changes was the addition of a new road surface to the bottom car park. I nervously watched on the first day of school and was really pleased that the dust problem has been very noticeably reduced (there was almost no dust on the day I watched). Fingers crossed that it will stay that way!

Next Tuesday we will be having our first twilight RC&M day. The idea for this was raised in the parent engagement evening we held last year; a number of parents said that Saturdays were busy family or work days and they would like some other options for RC&M events. Our RC&M events are a wonderful opportunity to get involved in the life of the school and contribute to the ongoing care of our wonderful buildings and facilities. I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible on Tuesday. (Yes, Tuesday is St Valentines Day…. what could be more romantic than pulling out weeds together in the garden beds at school!)

I am looking forward to a great term, working together with staff, parents and the broader school community to bring the best possible education to our very precious and wonderful students.

Peace
Nerrida

From the Principal

Hello everyone,

We finished our school year on a note of celebration with a wonderful High School showcase night, some very entertaining Class plays, a beautiful Christmas concert and our annual Christmas Market, High School and Primary School celebration outings and a beautiful Kindergarten Christmas Festival. What a wonderful last couple of weeks!

Our HSC students received their results this week and we are very proud of the achievements of each of our students. In a class of 25 students, 14 Band 6 results (over 90) and 61 Band 5 (over 80) results were recorded for the school. Students demonstrated outstanding results in drama, with eight out of 12 students receiving scores of over 90. One of our Drama groups were selected for OnStage, 2016. Visual Art results were also extremely strong with two Band 6 results on top of three nominations to Art Express earlier this term. A number of students also received Band 6 results in English Extension 1 and 2, D and T and PDHPE.

You may have heard one of our students, Jasmine Pierce, interviewed on ABC radio this week after she achieved an exceptional result of a 100% for English Extension 2. Congratulations to Jasmine on this outstanding achievement.

I am very proud of every single one of our HSC students. Not only did they achieve excellent academic results, but they are now ready to step out as self aware, resourceful and resilient young people who have the empathy, skills and initiative to make a positive contribution to the world.

I would like to close the year by thanking our wonderful teaching staff who have worked tirelessly all year to provide outstanding learning opportunities for our students. The depth of the care for their students and their commitment to the highest levels of teaching practice is truly inspiring. I would like to thank all of our support staff for their dedication and professionalism – they provide such wonderful support to our teachers and truly keep the wheels of our school turning! I would like to thank the Management Team, Katie and Teera, for their dedication, support and tireless work to ensure the Primary and High School faculties run smoothly.

Thank you to the Board, with James Dods at the helm, for your support and wise governance. Thank you to Tanja, Lisa and Sarah for your dedication to the Parents and Friends Association and for providing a space for parents to have a real voice in the school.

Finally, thank you to all of the parents in our school community. It is a wonderful thing that we can work in partnership to support and educate these incredible young human beings. It is an honour and a privilege to undertake this task with you.

Please everyone have a safe, joyful and peaceful summer break. I look forward to seeing everyone back at school in the New Year.

Peace
Nerrida

From the Principal

Hello everyone,

Summer has arrived with a blast of heat and everywhere in the school people are busy working on end-of-year activities. This is a time of endings and transitions as students start moving classrooms and preparing for what will come next year. Our older Kindergarten children are preparing for the move into Class 1 and their final Kindy festival in the last week of school. Our Class 6 children have been doing some transition activities in preparation for their move into the High School and our Year 10 students are preparing to sit their exams.

With all this activity, it has been lovely to pause during the week and enjoy some of the really lovely things happening across the school. I have really enjoyed listening to the ensemble perform for the Primary School and then listening to the sounds of the Class 6 musical performance floating up the hill. I have also enjoyed calling in to see Class 3 rehearsing their play and then going down to the D&T room to watch some of our High School students casting aluminium to make a range of beautiful and functional items (it’s a really interesting process).

Yesterday our Year 9 students worked with great focus to put together the Zonta birthing kits. The students had fundraised to purchase the materials and then worked carefully together to assemble kits which will go to women living in developing countries to help reduce the risk of infection during childbirth. It is great to see our students working together to support such a great cause.

Finally, this Wednesday our staff gathered together for a staff photo. It is quite a few years since we have done this, so it was great to come together to capture a moment in the life of the school. I hope you enjoy the photo. (Ric couldn’t resist adding his own little ‘footy photo’ theme to the picture.)

Peace
Nerrida

nerridaj

all-staff

 

From the Principal

Hello everyone,

What a wonderful week we have had this week. There have been many activities happening across the school and we have also received some very exiting news.

I am really pleased to let you know that we have been notified that we have received Capital Grants funding from the Commonwealth government so that we can build a new Science and Mathematics Innovation Centre in the High School. The building will have two Science labs as well as some flexible teaching and learning spaces in the upper level. Whilst there are still a lot of design and approval processes to step through, we hope that building will begin in the first half of next year. I will keep you regularly updated on progress in relation to this exciting project.

Our Kindergarten parents met this week and were introduced to their new Class One Teacher for 2017. We are really excited that Anna Weatherstone will be taking up this position. Anna is a young Steiner Teacher who has been working in our school both as a relief teacher and also as an classroom assistant for some time now and is ready to step up into the important role of Class Teacher.

In the Primary School there have been a range of camps, sleepovers and plays happening over the last couple of weeks, with more to come in the remaining weeks of the term.

In the High School, we have had some wonderful news from our 2016 HSC students, please see Katie’s HSC Update report for further details. Our Year 7 students enjoyed a terrific day out kayaking (with some very friendly dolphins joining them for a while) as a part of their Wish, Wonder and Surprise Main Lesson whilst our Year 9 students have had a wonderful week out sailing and kayaking at Noosa Heads.

With all this activity and enjoyment of the sunshine and longer days, we are definitely moving towards the time of the year where we are drawn towards the experience of the external light (we can feel a bit ‘out of ourselves’ during these warmer months). Tanja Nelson (Chair of the P&F) has kindly provided us with an article which reflects on how we experience and celebrate the light as we move towards Advent. The article is printed later in this Bulletin for your information.

Peace
Nerrida

nerrida

From the Principal

Hello everybody,

Friday marked the final exam for our HSC students and the end of a wonderful journey, with a number of students having been at the school since Kindergarten. I would like to thank the school community for your patience whilst the HSC exams were taking place. Everybody worked hard to ensure the spaces around the exam rooms were quiet and undisturbed. Whilst holding the exams within the school causes some disruption, sitting exams in a known environment does help to reduce the stress for our HSC students. On Monday I will join some of the teachers to say a final farewell to our 2016 graduating class at a formal dinner.

Last week we also welcomed the Ensemble Della Mar back from their tour of Victoria and Tasmania. I have received feedback that the ensemble’s performances were vibrant, entertaining and inspiring. The ensemble will be playing at a “Welcome Home” concert on Thursday at the school from 5.45 pm. This will be a wonderful celebration of our talented students and the music they make. If you haven’t attended an ensemble concert before, I strongly recommend that you come along. (If you have seen them before, you don’t need my recommendation to know it will be a wonderful night).

Thank you to those parents who gave feedback about the proposed changes to the Primary School Dress Code. So far the response to the proposed changes has been positive. We plan to make a decision in the middle of next week, so if you would like to provide feedback on the proposed change, please email your comments. Details about the proposed changes can be found later in this bulletin.

Peace
Nerrida

nerrida

From the Principal

 

Hello everyone,

It’s great to be back for a busy and exciting fourth term. There are so many activities happening around the school over the coming weeks that it can be hard to keep up. Please keep an eye on the calendar on our website for upcoming events and please also log in regularly to the parent portal as we have sent out quite a few permission notes for various classes over the last few days.

I always love coming back to see the children at the beginning of fourth term as they all seem to have grown and changed, with the pull from the future of the next year level evident.

Our 2016 HSC students are now in the process of sitting their final exams. As the exams take place on our school site (much less stressful for the students than having to attend an external exam hall), it does require some care and consideration from all in our school community when an exam is in progress. Thank you for your patience and care so far, I know our Year 12 students really appreciate it.

You will note, later in the bulletin, that we are proposing some changes to the Primary School Dress Code next year. In essence, there are two proposed changes, the first is to introduce a good quality, broad-brimmed sun hat and make this compulsory. These hats will come in a range of colours, will be inexpensive and will be available for purchase from the office. The second change is that Primary students must wear a plain t-shirt (short or long sleeved) in one of the rainbow colours or a school t-shirt (available in a range of colours and with the school logo on it). These changes are being proposed following feedback from parents and teachers in relation to the variation in the quality of sun hats available and being worn by children and some of the challenges both parents and teachers are having with children wearing inappropriate tops and shirts to school. I encourage you to send in your feedback in relation to this as we really do want to make sure we have a Primary Dress Code that suits the needs of the school and the school community.

Finally, thank you to Teera, Katie, the Administration Crew, Teachers and Support Crew for ‘holding the fort’ whilst I was on leave. The school is in great shape and I have returned feeling refreshed and energised.

Peace
Nerrida

nerrida

From the Principal

Hello everyone,

It seems only yesterday that we were beginning third term and now the term is drawing to a close. It has been a busy and very productive term in the school, beginning with a vibrant and informative parent engagement evening and culminating in the Spring fair and the graduating ceremony for our Year 12 students.

This week I had the wonderful opportunity to share a special breakfast with our graduating class. As I am unable to attend their graduation ceremony on the last Thursday of term, I delivered my annual graduating address to the students at the breakfast. The text of the speech can be found later in this bulletin. I am so very proud of our graduating class, they are wonderful young people who will make a real difference in the world in whatever path they choose.

As mentioned above, I am about to take some much needed annual leave and will return to the school at the end of the first week of next term. Whilst I am away, Katie and Teera will continue to manage in their respective areas of the school.

Please all have an enjoyable and safe term break. I look forward to catching up with many of you when Fourth Term resumes.

Peace
Nerrida

yr-12-principals-breakfast-2016

New Enrolment

We would like to warmly welcome the following families to the school:

  • The Cornell and Norman family with Willow in Year 10.
  • The Green and Williams family with Manon in Year 10 and Henri in Year 11.

We welcome you to our school community and hope you and your family find your time with us enriching and enjoyable.

From the Principal

Hello everyone,

What a productive and exciting couple of weeks it has been at school. We are certainly all feeling that lovely renewed sense of energy that accompanies the arrival of Spring.

I hope you have all seen some of our wonderful new Spring Fair signs around the community. We are looking forward to a truly wonderful day of community celebration together. I know the organising committee and many members of our school community have been working hard to bring this event together.

Last week I was lucky enough to accompany the Grade 6 students and Maree on a whale watching trip off Tweed Heads. We were so very lucky to have a few whales come right up to (and swim under) our boat and then put on a wonderful display of play for us. It was an experience the students (and the adults) will never forget. My trust camera certainly got a workout on the day – I hope you enjoy some of my photos later in the bulletin.

Excitement is building down at the High School today as preparations are underway for our Annual HSC Showcase. This is one of the absolute highlights of the school year and a very important moment for our Year 12 students as they share with the community some of the fruits of their education with us.

I hope to see many of you either at the showcase tonight or the Spring Fair next week.

Peace
Nerrida

whale-watching