From the Principal

Hello everyone,

Welcome back to a new term. As always, it was wonderful to see our students returning this week, full of smiles and stories from their break.

We finished last term with a flurry of activity. Our Spring Fair was an absolutely wonderful day (with the weather gods smiling on us). There was a beautiful feeling of community as we celebrated the past, present and future of our lovely school. I must admit to feeling quite emotional when some of our school founders and past students stepped forward out of the crowd. We owe those founders and first students so much!

It was also a great opportunity to show people through our new innovation centre. It was a privilege to reveal the name given to our new building by Arakwal Elder, Aunty Delta, The Ga Ngaa Lee La Innovation Centre. Ga Ngaa Lee La (pronounced gunga lay lah) means “think, listen, understand” – an appropriate name for such a beautiful learning space.

We had several videos running during the Spring Fair; including a video about the history of the school, a video with messages from our Alumni and also a video about the construction of the Ga Ngaa Lee La Innovation Centre. These videos have now been uploaded to our website, I encourage you to have a look!

We finished the term with our beautiful Graduation Ceremony for our Year 12 students. What an amazing group of young people they are! I always find the graduation time to be a time of great hope for the world. I look at our wonderful students and feel happy that they have the capacity, creativity and confidence to step out into the world and make a real difference. I have included a copy of my graduation address to the students later in this bulletin.

Our HSC students have now started their exams and so I ask you all to have some awareness and consideration as you move around the school whilst students are sitting their exams. A quiet and calm environment is the most healthy environment when sitting an exam.

On a final note, we have decided to hold our planned Ball next year (in May) as fourth term is just too filled with events already. Planning is now underway and we are planning to have a wonderful Centennial Ball – celebrating 100 years of Steiner Education in Australia. If you would like to join our little planning group, please do let me know. We are currently at the exciting ideas and possibilities stage of planning and would love some additional input.

Peace
Nerrida

World Teachers’ Day – Today!

Love saturated with wisdom or wisdom penetrated with love is the highest goal. – Rudolf Steiner

Today, 26 October, 2018 we celebrate World Teachers’ Day.

World Teachers’ Day provides a wonderful reminder to reflect with gratitude on the remarkable teachers who are educating, encouraging and inspiring our children with so much love and wisdom. I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the amazing work of our teachers and thank them for their hard work, dedication, creativity and passion for inspiring and for meeting the daily challenges that come with educating our children towards freedom.

Nerrida

Important re RCM

Please submit your green RCM forms to Reception before Friday 14th December at 3.00pm.

Credit is applied at the end of the term.

Please note it is your responsibility to keep track of the hours you have done throughout the year.

For further information please refer to the RCM policy and procedure which can be found here.

The next RCM day is on Wednesday 14th of November 9am-11am.

How is ‘Fortnite’ Different to Yoyos and Swap Cards

There has been a lot of talk around about the computer game ‘Fortnite’. I was having a discussion with some parents about this recently and we were talking about how the children who play this game seem to be obsessed by it and talk non-stop about it. One parent commented, “Well I guess it’s just the latest fad, it’s like yoyos and swap cards when we were young. We were obsessed with them, but then the fad passed.”

The more I think about this comment, the more I am convinced that ‘Fortnite’ is NOT just another fad and is NOT like yoyos and swap cards. Here are the reasons why:

– The aim of Fortnite is to kill everyone else and be the ‘last man standing’ – players can work together in teams … but in the end the winner will need to ‘kill off’ their team mates too. This is hardly the moral stand-point we want for our children!
– To kill everyone else in the game, you need to use weapons – there is a lot of research which indicates that repeated computer simulated weapon play desensitises the player (the reason why the US military uses computer games to train it’s soldiers).
– There is an overwhelming body of research which proves that playing games like ‘Fortnite’ is addictive (the dopamine hits the brain gets while playing are seen to be the source of addiction).
– Fortnite players are hidden behind an avatar. As the game includes a facility to chat to each other, it means children could be spending hours communicating with complete strangers who may not be who they claim to be. They often don’t have the tools yet to deal with unsupervised and potentially inappropriate conversations with strangers.

There are so many healthy play and socialisation options for children. As adults, it is our responsibility to know and understand what the latest ‘fad’ is, and to make informed choices to ensure that our children are not being damaged by their play. Computer games are not just another fad (like yoyos and swap cards) – they have the ability to hamper the healthy development of the child and may even cause damage.

Nerrida

To access the eSafety Guidelines page of our website please follow this link

Presentation at CBRSS

Learn to Skate and support One Girl charity

As well as being in year 12 here at Byron Steiner, I also have the joy of being an ambassador for Australian nonprofit, One Girl. This organisation provides girls in Sierra Leone and Uganda with everything they need to complete their high school education. Including: scholarships; uniforms; schoolbooks; lunch; tutoring and much more.

As part of my fundraising efforts, I have organised a learn to skate day for children aged 7-10 with Byron Bay Skateboard School.

Participants are encouraged to wear a dress in support of #doitinadress.

Limited places. So please contact Lily on 0490 105 468 to secure your child’s place.

Lily Harrison 

 

Seeking stallholders for CBRSS Christmas Market

Class 2 is busy planning a vibrant Christmas Market (to be held on December 7 this year) and would like to encourage school families and school classes to apply to run a stall at the market. If you make craft or food or anything that would fit well at the market, please pick up an application form from the office. We’d love lots of locally home-made or -grown craft, produce and food, so that school families have a chance to browse for Christmas gifts, enjoy a snack and join in a relaxing end-of-year school community event.

School classes are also invited to propose a stall. 100% of funds raised by class stalls go to the class. Other non-class stalls give 10% of takings to the P&F. If you would like to apply for a stall, please pick up an application form at the office and return it by 15 November (the sooner the better, though).

Any questions, please contact Sarah on sarah@sarah-armstrong.com

Year 12 Graduation 2018

Principals Address

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 I am deeply grateful for the opportunities this brings to us all.

Almost 6 years ago, you started your High School Journey – at the same time as I started my journey as Principal here at Cape Byron. I remember giving you a candle for your morning circle and commenting to you that I looked forward to being with you at your graduation. Well, here we are! 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, most importantly, you have learned about yourselves. Now, as you stand on the threshold of a new beginning, I want to take a moment to reflect on some things that really matter.

We live in a time of great change, uncertainty and possibility. It is 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. Political and social boundaries are moving and the change in our beautiful, fragile environment is palpable. The task of imagining the future is now yours and you are already in the complex 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.

Around 100 years ago, Rudolf Steiner gave us a Michaelic verse,

“Imbue thyself with the power of imagination
Have courage for the truth
Sharpen thy feeling for the responsibility of soul”

Today I would like to focus on this concept of having courage.

We live in a time when we are bombarded daily with advertising messages which urge us, as consumers, to believe a particular view of the world or ourselves, a time when social media targets messages directly at us with information designed to make us vote or spend our money in a particular way. I ask that you have the courage to be aware, reflect deeply and search for a universal truth in the messages you receive each day.

We live in a time when there is an ever-increasing emphasis on self-absorption and the endless need for external approval and acceptance. We spend time trying to create and promote an image of our lives which others will ‘like’. The selfie-stick is actually a thing! I want you to have the courage to be authentically who you are and to make real connections with others based on this true sense of self.

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. I know that you 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 and you are exactly what our world needs. Have the courage to know and understand this.

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 have what you need 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. Have courage to 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 fulfill the highest, truest expression of yourselves as the wonderful human beings you are. You have the courage for this task!

Congratulations to Year 12 on Graduating!

Farewell to the graduating Year 12 students for 2018, you have all made us so very proud. We can’t wait to see where life will take you next. Wherever it is, our love and blessings go with you all, you will be missed!

Year 12 verse 

Quiet I bear within me.
I bear within myself
forces to make me strong.
Now will I be imbued
with their glowing warmth.
Now will I fill myself
with my own will’s resolve
and I will feel the quiet
pouring through all my being
When, by my steadfast striving,
I become strong
to find within myself
the source of strength
The strength of inner quiet.

Rudolf Steiner

Halloween

At school, we don’t celebrate Halloween and at home, there can be tremendous pressure to join in “trick and treating”, even if it doesn’t wholly match your family values, we warmly encourage you to withstand this pressure and instead find inspiration below to celebrate with reverence.
In ancient times Halloween was believed to be the time when the veil was thin between the world of the living and the world of the dead. Our ancestors could return to visit us, to give help and advice. People set lights in the hollowed out turnips to guide the spirits of the dead, and put out food as an offering. You no doubt have noticed that in modern times a materialistic aspect has crept in and celebrating and honouring our ancestors has been lost.
We’d like to offer some other ways to acknowledge this festival day and to have a wholesome and in context opportunity to discuss death and family ancestors.
  • Create a family altar: symbols of the season, pictures of beloved dead relatives and special things that may have belonged to them. In Mexico during the Day of the Dead, altars are made for particular family members and include their favourite food and objects of theirs, alongside cut out paper stars, clay figures and bread shaped like people.
  • Tell a story, one that you could repeat every Halloween, for example, Vasilisa a Russian Fairy Tale that includes that old witch Baba Yaga or the Little Hobgoblin which you will find by following this link.
  • Have an Ancestor Feast – prepare a meal that is traditional in your family from your heritage. Before you eat you can take a little from each dish and put on a plate in front of the picture of your relatives.
  • After the feast, or around the altar, you could light a candle,  sit back and tell a story about your ancestors. This could be a personal story about someone in your family or a traditional folktale or myth. You could pass around photos and recall memories. Who were your ancestors? Where did they come from? Did you ever meet your grandparents or great-grandparents? Talking about where we come from instils a sense of belonging and security in the children and also gives a healthy context to acknowledging death.
  • Baking and craft opportunities include carving turnips and pumpkins, making apple chains to represent the Isle of Apples (Celtic tradition) or have a go at making sugar skulls.
Halloween provides a wonderful opportunity to connect in meaningful and reverent ways both as a family and to our heritage.
For more information about Halloween and it’s true significance please read the article further along in this Bulletin.

Spring Fair 2018

P & F Fundraiser

Looking for quality art and craft supplies or a Steiner inspired gift or toy?

Art Makes Sense!

A beautiful array of quality art and craft supplies as well as Steiner based toys are available online at Mercurius http://www.mercurius.com.au/

Enter the promotional code: FRIENDCBRSS and 15% of the sale will also go towards P&F fundraising!

‘Fortnite’ teaches the wrong lessons

In recognition of the fact that “Fortnite” has quickly become one of the most popular video games in the world – one played by more than 125 million players – I decided to play the game myself in an attempt to understand its widespread appeal.

As a parent and as a political theorist who focuses on education and its impact on democratic society, I couldn’t help but notice how much the game seems to teach children the wrong lessons about how to function as an adult and interact with others. I came away from my “Fortnite” experience thinking that the game is raising young people to be self-centered, not good citizens.

Read the full article here

Reflecting on Halloween

Regardless of whether you celebrate Halloween or not, or the views you may have about it, let us take a journey together to investigate the history of Halloween and some of Rudolf Steiner’s insights that may be of value.
What is Halloween and do we want to celebrate this with our children?
I am often asked my thoughts about celebrating Halloween and have recently been asked again. In discussions with our class teacher, I agreed that I would share my thoughts by writing an article. My hope is that it will inspire some deeper reflections, insights and questions to arise, that you can make healthy choices for you and your family regarding this celebration.

You can read the article here.

Human beings seeking spirit

When human beings meet together seeking the spirit with unity of purpose then they will also find their way to each other. – Rudolf Steiner

Kindy dolls

Last Term, the Kindergarten dolls were invited to spend the holidays with the God Mother of all dolls in her cottage ‘over the hills and far away, where daffodils grow and butterflies play’. The children excitedly took the dolls to the office, where they were to wait for their bus.

This week at kindergarten there was much excitement as the dolls returned from their holiday, ‘with stories to tell, they chattered all day, about their time at the cottage, over the hills and far away’.

Year 12 2018 English Extension

Finally we finished! After a year long project on the English Extension 2 Major Work, 9 very talented individuals above can feel very satisfied with their achievements. The Major Work is a substantial creative or critical work exploring a concept through research and then producing a short story, film, performance poem, poetry suite, critical analysis or script. The works this year are of the highest standard and it has been a pleasure guiding these students along the way. The strong storytelling feature of Main Lessons in a Steiner school seems to give our students the edge in this subject. I am deeply proud of their work.

Katie Biggin