Staying Safe on Social Media

Dealing with the perils of online communication and safety in the social media world is one of the biggest issues confronting our young people today. Parents are also under pressure to ensure that their children are developing safe practices around social media use.
Just when we think we understand how to maintain privacy and safety, the goalposts shift through updates in Apps and various social media tools. To make sure staff, students and parents are aware of the issues, we have linked with a great organisation called Safe on Social, who supports our school through professional learning for our staff, sessions for our students and information for our parents.

Easily found on our website under the Information Tab, are a set of esafety resources that can be downloaded by parents and students. These relate to the most popular sites such as Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook and many others. We are hoping that parents will access this information and the other links on the website.

One of the most important tools to stay safe is to turn off Location Services on your mobiles. There is a recent update from Snapchat that is particularly worrying in terms of its tracking exactly where the snapchat is coming from on a map unless you have location services turned off.

Once a user updates to the latest version of the app, all they need to do to launch Snap Map is pinch the Snapchat camera home screen. From there, they can choose to share their location with all of their friends, select some of them, or choose none of them by using ‘Ghost Mode’, which hides them from the map but still allows them to track their friends.

Next term, High School students will have further educational talks around staying safe on social media with Kirra Pendergast from Safe on Social. This follows the excellent work of Peter Chown this term who spoke to the students about avoiding addictive behaviour in relation to mobile phones and how to keep the brain healthy with these challenges. The parent talk he gave was very illuminating, however unfortunately not many parents attended the talk.

The students will be experiencing some presentations in Term 3 about how to stay safe online with Safe on Social. Very specific information will be shared about settings on mobile phones and how to protect your digital footprint. Students will also have the usual presentations from Lisa Romero, who brings an anthroposophical approach to young people managing the challenges of adolescent life.

Please assist our work by accessing the information on our website and being vigilant with your teenager’s online behaviour.


Yr 9 & 10 Elective Showcase

Important HS Parent talk – Peter Chown 8th June

Peter Chown is a local Psychologist who has extensive experience working with adolescents in the area, on Wednesday 7th June he will be talking to Yr 7 – 10 students. He will be discussing issues such as mental health, brain health & risks associated with social media.

Following on from this on Thursday 8th June we invite HS parents to meet and hear Peter Chown from 6.30pm-7.30pm in the Hall. We strongly encourage all HS parents to attend this very important and informative discussion.

Y7 Horse Riding Camp

Last week, Year 7 travelled eight hours west to Garrawilla Station, Bingara, near Inverell, for a Jackaroo Jillaroo experience. Students pitched their tents by the homestead and slept under a sky awash with the Milky Way. When Ric told us there were more stars in the universe than there are grains of sand of earth, we believed him; at night it felt like we were sleeping under each one. Our days were spent horse riding along the picturesque Gwydir river, cantering through knee deep creek crossings, then dropping our horse’s reins to let the them graze in green meadows while we sat under trees to eat lunch, chat and skip stones. It was a magical week and the children were magnificent company. We also tried our hand at archery, whip cracking, orienteering, sheep shearing and even sheep riding. We learnt a lot about ourselves and each other, how to ride a horse, use a compass and navigate by the stars, but most of all we had a lot of fun. It was a camp that lived up to its reputation; one to remember! Thanks to Ric and Paddy for such a fantastic experience and a wonderful start to high school camps.

Alix – Y7 Guardian

Y10 and 11 Creative Writing Workshop

Undeterred by a week of work experience and exams, thirty enthusiastic Year 10 and 11 students signed up for a unique opportunity to develop their creative writing skills with acclaimed local author (and CBRSS parent) Sarah Armstrong. On Monday 29 May, as part of a Byron Writer’s Centre initiative to promote creative writing by taking published authors into schools, we were lucky enough to have Sarah run StoryBoard, a three-hour workshop at school. The students discovered that Sarah is not only a talented writer who has had three novels published and been short-listed for the Miles Franklin Award, Australia’s premier literary award, but she is just as skilled at teaching the art of writing. Students were given direction and space to practise free writing, characterisation, plot structure and ways to maintain narrative tension through depiction of action. Thank you Sarah for a wonderful afternoon of invaluable insights you so generously shared with us.

– Katie, Ben, Alix

Year 10 Subject Forum

As part of our transition to Senior School, the Year 10 students experienced a Subject Forum where Year 11 and 12 students talked about the subjects they are studying and gave a student perceptive about why they chose and/or liked the subject.

All of our wonderful Year 11 and 12 leaders were involved in holding conversations with the Year 10 students on their particular subject tables. This is a yearly event and it runs a bit like a ‘speed dating’ set up where bells are rung and students move to another subject after 5 minutes of sharing by the Year 11 and 12 students.

The Year 10 students were very engaged and many came away with useful information that they will use, in combination with other school processes, to decide on their subjects for Years 11 and 12.

On Wednesday 7th June, from 4.45pm, the Year 10 parents and students are invited to a Year 11/12 Information Night where teachers present information about subjects and the details of our senior program are explained. Small groups tour the Visual Arts, Science, Music and Design and Technology rooms to hear teachers talk about their subjects. This is followed by a presentation in the Hall by other teachers who will talk passionately about their subjects and what is involved in the Year 11 and 12 years.

Katie Biggin

Year 10 Post Modern Art Main Lesson

Jackson Pollock – drip paintings
Damien Horst – spin paintings
Andy Goldsworthy-clay patterns
Organic Abstract Sculptures



The North Coast Sports Association Inter School Cross Country Event

This event was held on Thursday 18th May at Dennison Park in Ballina and involves all the Independent private schools from Tweed Heads to Coffs Harbour. A beautiful day at a picturesque spot set the scene for a magnificent day where over 45 students from our school competed against some of the biggest schools and best runners in the Northern Rivers Region. Unfortunately our year 10 students where on “work experience” and most could not participate in this event, but thanks to a great team effort by the rest of our students, Cape Byron Steiner School came a very impressive 5th place overall. In the primary school division we were able to take out 3rd place despite the fact we only send our year 5 and 6 students to compete in this event. This is a fantastic result!
Eight of our students earned an invitation to represent the NCIS at the CIS state championships at eastern Creek in Sydney on the 15th June and many were placed in the top 10 in their division. All ran with pride and exuberance. Both Lizzie Gavaghan and I were proud and impressed with the student’s performances and behaviour on the day. We both agreed that we would be happy to accompany this group of students to any function. Well done! The following students all received exceptional results in their divisions.

Briana Hart 2nd, Arlo Amos-Eakin 4th, Amit Sonnenfeld 7th, Leila Campbell 5th, Hannah Murray 6th, Yani Murray 4th, Tahlia Van Oostrum 4th, Harper Kelso 3rd, Omri Ben-Harush 3rd.

Steve Richards

Vietnam 2017

On the 1st of April, thirteen students from Year 11 and 12 set off on a two week journey across Vietnam, accompanied by teachers Jess and Rachel. After many delays due to flooding, three flights and lots of waiting at airports, we arrived two days later in Hanoi City. From Hanoi we travelled south, down to Cuc Phuong National Park, Hoi An, to the Mekong Delta and finally Ho Chi Minh City.

We spent the first day exploring Hanoi’s old French quarter in rickshaws and travelling to a small farming village called Dong Trieu. Here we visited a local school, played a game of soccer with the Vietnamese students, rode bikes through the friendly village, tried rice farming and spent the night in a beautiful little homestay overlooking the fields. Our host family served us an incredible feast; steaming bowls of noodle soup, freshly fried spring rolls, Vietnamese salad, fragrant rice, stir fried vegetables, tofu sauteed in tomato and fresh fruits.

We spent the next three days in Cuc Phuong National Park, volunteering in the Endangered Primate Rescue Center and hiking through the lush jungle. Following our stay in the jungle, we made our way to Hoi An, on a 16 hour train trip overnight. Although many of us were not looking forward to the overnight train, sleeping in small four-bed cabins on a moving train turned out to be one of our favourite experiences.

We spent our three days in Hoi An learning how to cook Vietnamese food at a cooking class, exploring the city and waterways and venturing out to the lantern lit streets to the night markets. Our next stop was a small homestay by the riverside on the Mekong Delta before spending our last 3 days in Ho Chi Minh City. We spent our time in Ho Chi Minh exploring the city during the day and famous Ben Thanh marketplace at night. Overall, it was a wonderful trip and extraordinary experience that has formed amazing bonds between us. We would like to say a huge thank you to Vietnam School Tours and our inspiring and enthusiastic Vietnamese tour guide Thoi, to Jess and Rachel for caring for us and for an unforgettable two weeks in Vietnam, and lastly, thank you to the the school for such an incredible opportunity.

Ella Hart – Yr 11 Student

Rachel and Jess enjoying a Choco Pie.

NSW Parliament Leadership Program

On Thursday 11/5 two of our Year 12 students, Omri and Isabelle, had the wonderful opportunity to travel to Sydney for the NSW Parliament Leadership Program. The morning was spent visiting NSW Parliament, where we, along with leaders from many other NSW schools, were introduced to a number of members of the NSW Legislative Assembly, including the member for Ballina, Tamara Smith. They spoke to us of the electorates they represent, how the parliament works, and the value of democracy. We then had the opportunity to view a sitting of both the Legislative Assembly and the Legislative Council, both of which were debating some interesting changes to legislation.

After lunch we walked over to Government House for an audience with His Excellency, the NSW Governor, General David Hurley and his wife Dame Marie Bashir. We had to be briefed on the appropriate way to address the Governor, by calling him “Your Excellency” and following this with a small bow. Both students bowed with aplomb! After a tour of the resplendent Government House we sat down quietly waiting for the Governor to arrive and address the group. Surprisingly once His Excellency had introduced himself at the front he called on Isabelle to approach the stage, where he gave her a paper bag containing a gift. Isabelle saw inside was a jar of “Isabella” Honey. Can anyone guess why the Governor gave Isabelle a jar of honey?

After the address afternoon tea with the Governor was served on the Terrace overlooking Sydney Harbour, a beautiful spot to end an informative and inspirational day. Our students did us proud!

Rachel K

High School Disco

Last Friday night the Year 12 students hosted a 1980’s themed disco for all students in years 7 to 12 .
It was well attended and it was wonderful to see the range of crazy costumes, hair styles and disco moves on the dance floor! The Year 12’s organised games such as musical chairs and also performed various dance and song cabaret acts (with teachers and brave parents ).
Well done Year 12 for providing a safe and fun night for our younger high school students and for embracing the night yourselves!



Yr 10 Work Experience

Our year 10 students are doing work experience this week and as always they are making the School proud!

This was posted to the Farm’s Instagram page.

Grace in Year 10 is at Byron Vet. Doing a wonderful job according to main Vet, Russell Grigg, who is an ex parent of the school.

NCIS Touch Football

Twenty two Students ventured to Goonellabah on Monday 1st May to compete in the NCIS Touch Football Carnival. We entered a Boys team, and a Girls team, in the Under 16’s secondary competition. The Boys team won two games during the day but each game was fiercely fought and scores were always close at the end of the game. The game was a new and foreign beast for the Girls who played with great tenacity demonstrating some brilliant flashes of play. Their ability to learn throughout the day showed great results in their plays and the scores with the girls winning their last game convincingly. 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.


All High Schools Futsal Carnival Day

The North Coast Futsal Competition was held at the Cavanbah centre from Tuesday 2nd may to the 4th May. We entered 4 teams in various age and gender specific groups.

As usual there was some outstanding individual performers but what was more impressive was the way our students participated with a high level of fun and sportsmanship without compromising a competitive ability to strive to win. Many of our students caught the eye of the referees and the talent scouts that were hovering around the stadium. Two of our teams have been invited to the next round of competition and 3 of our students, Marcus Gibbs, Naraian Solomon and Laila Campbell have been given personal invitations to be part of the 2017 NSW Representative Futsal team. The National Championships to be held in Brisbane in September.

Our teams won a few games and lost a few games, but were competitive throughout all the competitions. All the students enjoyed participating and are looking forward to their next opportunity to play again.


Yr 12 Perform at Bluesfest

Our year 12 students were part of the Local High Schools showcase at this years Bluesfestival.
Our students have been performing at the Bluesfest since 2009, after Tom Whitaker approached the festival director Peter Noble to provide a performance opportunity for the students. The experience is valuable for the students on various levels. They enter through the Artists gate, receive Artists passes and then head to the Green Room- a large compound where all the artists have their dressing rooms. The rider, of course, has a variety of soft drinks and water…. The students then set up on the Juke Joint stage and performed a fantastic set of four songs. The experience of a professional stage crew and Audio technicians is a rare and amazing thing. The Bluesfestival staff and crew were, as always, supportive and fabulous. Congratulations to the Year 12 Music class! Not only was their performance excellent, they conducted themselves so beautifully and respectfully throughout the whole day.
Big thank you to Matt Gulliford, Katie Alleva and Steve Richards for their support on the day.


Thank you also to Tom for all that he does to support our students and for providing such amazing opportunities!

Thank you to Lyn McCarthy for the awesome photos.