From the Principal

Hello everyone,

It is lovely to see all of our staff and students back from the term break.  Our Year 12 students are currently sitting their HSC exams and I know the students and teachers all really appreciate the way our community respects and supports the students by being quiet when moving around the exam rooms.

Friday was World Teachers’ Day and I would like to acknowledge our wonderful teaching staff for the dedication and genuine, deep care they have for our students.  Many people don’t see the hidden parts of a teacher’s life, the hours spent planning and marking, the extensive preparation that goes into every Main Lesson, the night time and weekend phone calls and emails, the deep and often challenging conversations and actions around student wellbeing and constant reflection and revision teachers need to do to keep their practice current and relevant to their students.  I would like to take this moment to sincerely thank all of our teachers.  I would also like to take a moment to thank the families of our teachers as they give up some of their important family time so that the teachers can do their work – with night time meetings, night time and weekend planning, marking and report writing and extended absences for camps and excursions.

In the last week of term, I delivered the Principal’s address to our wonderful 2019 graduating class.  The text of the address is included below for your information.

Peace
Nerrida

I would like to begin by acknowledging that today we are holding this special ceremony on the traditional lands of the Arakwal people of the Bundjalung Nation.  I would like to honour and pay my deepest respect to the Elders who conducted ceremony on this land in the past, those who still do today and those who will continue to care for this land into the future. Australia’s first nations 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.

Thirteen years ago, you started your school journey. For most, kindergarten was a place of warmth and love, a little bit like home.  Then you moved through the primary school: bright colours, songs and games and rich imaginative stories of fairies and gnomes, Celtic princes, Viking warriors and Greek Gods.  You made friends and learned how to read, write and calculate. 

Then, into High School and your friendships deepened as your intellects awakened and you came to some new understandings about yourselves and the world around you.  You developed skills to think critically, to question and analyse and to see things from a range of different perspectives.  You began to exercise your faculty for making judgements and taking responsibility for your decisions.  

Now here you are at the end of your formal schooling, about to graduate and step out into the world. When the first Steiner school opened, 100 years ago, it was developed out of a desire to create a new social impulse – a new way for us to live together in the world.  If ever we needed that new way of being, it is now.  With political systems in disarray, our natural world in great peril and humanity experiencing increasing discord and isolation, we cannot continue as we are.  I take this moment to acknowledge that the challenges we face were created by the generations that came before you.

This said, my message to you today is not one of doom and gloom.  It is a message of hope. You have had the benefit of an education towards freedom of thought and it is just that freedom which will light the way forward. I look at you and see young people who are socially aware, who care deeply about moral and ethical issues and who will create change in the world.  

I encourage you to go out and create the world as you would wish it to be.  Wherever possible, walk for a while in the shoes of others.  Seek to understand, rather than to polarise. Never be ashamed of caring deeply, for other living beings and for our planet.  Walk with kindness in your heart and try to see the world with patient clarity. Have courage to speak out when you know something is not right.  When you don’t understand, ask and ask and ask again.  There is great power in being able to question.

Give of yourselves and find joy in being of service to others.  Cherish the connections you already have and reach out to make new connections at every opportunity.  We best experience our own humanity when we are in relationship with others.

Don’t forget to pause occasionally and see the great beauty around you.  Take your shoes off and walk in the grass, climb a tree or swim in the ocean.  The beauty of our natural world will always bring you to a feeling of home.

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. 

Now is the time for you to rise… rise and be everything you can be, who you are meant to be.  Rise to be a light in the world.

Rise and go now to live this one wild and precious life.

Farewell to the Graduating Class of 2019 our love and blessings go with you all!

If you are planning a move please let us know

Please be mindful that if your child is leaving the school we require 1 full term’s notice. We understand that this may not always be possible but sincerely appreciate your assistance with future planning when it is possible. This notice period is important for multiple reasons, including saving you money but most importantly it enables us to provide plenty of notice to new families/students and ensure a smooth transition into the school, it is very challenging for the new student, their family, the class they are entering and for all staff when the process is rushed. It can also be distressing for the community when there is not adequate time to farewell a family/student.

If your child is leaving at the end of the year please wherever possible provide notice by the end of Term 3. (Note: School Holidays do not count in the notice period, as staff are on leave during this time.) 

THIS DOES NOT APPLY TO YEAR 12 STUDENTS WHO ARE GRADUATING.

In regards to withdrawal of students please note the following:

  • As per the School’s Enrolment & Fee Policies: The school commits substantial resources to the education of each child and the whole school community development. Therefore when a child leaves, there is a significant impact on the school both financially and communally. For a student to be withdrawn from school once he/she has commenced at CBRSS i.e. for parents to end the enrolment contract, the School requires one term’s notice. Parents and guardians must inform and submit a Student Withdrawal Form one term in advance if they intend to withdraw their child from the school and end the enrolment contract. If no such notification is received a Withdrawal Fee of one term’s fees from the date of notification will be charged. If a student withdraws part way through a term, having given one term’s notice, tuition fees and consolidated charges will be charged on a pro-rata weekly basis; for the purpose of this clause, a part week is considered a full week.
  • Once notice has been received the Enrolments Officer will proceed immediately with filling the place. Please do not give notice unless/until you are certain that your child will be leaving. If you decide that you would like your child to return to CBRSS they will need to join the waiting list and wait for an opportunity, we are unable to provide any guarantees about when/if they will be able to return.
  • Once notice is received, administrative processes will occur that prevent confidentiality so please only give notice once you are prepared for the information to be public, please ensure you have advised your child prior to submitting the form.

You can find our Student withdrawal form on our website under the forms and downloads tab or by following this link. please return it to Enrolments.

If you require assistance with completing this form or need to discuss your options please contact Yvette via email: enrolments@capebyronsteiner.nsw.edu.au or by phone 02 66399302.

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.

Year 12 Celebrates

Spring Fair 2019

Small Change Grants Program – Open for Applications

Council recognises and values the contribution that young people bring to the Byron Shire community with their energy, ideas, perspectives and liveliness. The aim of the grants program is to provide a voice for young people, encourage them to participate and to gain experience in leadership roles.

Young people aged between 15 and 25 are invited to apply for a small grant to help fund a project that will benefit young people in Byron Shire. Young people need to be auspiced by an organisation, must live in the Byron Shire and must deliver the project in Byron Shire.

Further information including assessment criteria and an application form can be downloaded from Council’s website via this link

Applications close:  4pm Friday 1 November 2019

Enquiries to:  Joanne McMurtry on  02 6626 7316 or email  jmcmurtry@byron.nsw.gov.au

‘A School’s Journey’, a history of Cape Byron Rudolf Steiner School

From the first dreams and visions of the original pioneers through the love and devotion of so many people, Cape Byron Rudolf Steiner School is now 30 years old. With enthusiasm, hard work and enormous trust from the first families, the School grew from small beginnings in the tin shed at Bangalow into a vibrant and strong school in Byron Bay.

The School acknowledges with gratitude all who have contributed to this extraordinary journey. Annie Barrett

Books are available to buy at Reception for $15.00

Check out Mercurius for beautiful gifts

Are you looking for quality art and craft supplies or a Steiner inspired gift or toy?

A beautiful array of quality art and craft supplies, as well as Steiner based toys and lovely gifts, 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!

MERCURIUS AUSTRALIA

Nurturing the Senses | Fostering Creativity | Nourishing Imagination

Our vision is to support healthy development for children and all ages through education, art and play. We partner with socially and environmentally conscious businesses to offer products of aesthetic beauty, outstanding craftsmanship, quality and durability.

What is Halloween and do we want to celebrate this with our children?


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.
I was born in the UK and immigrated to Australia as a young child. In primary school the children whom I went to school with, celebrated Halloween, and it was also my dads birthday, falling on this same date, the 31st of October. In our family this day was already a special occasion, a day of celebration, so for us having a celebration ‘on’ Halloween was part of our family tradition.

When my own children were young, through my Steiner Early Childhood Ed training and the involvement with my ( now adult ) children attending a Rudolf Steiner school, I was faced with finding the deeper meaning in all of our day to day activities, including the celebrating of Halloween. This led me to investigate and consider deeply what is was and why and how I might bring it to my children in a healthy and meaningful way, including the foods offered by this celebration – as buying and eating lollies and sugar was not a part of our life.

Many people celebrate this occasion with little or no understanding of what lies behind it, or what, or even why, they are celebrating. It has become a marketing madness, expensive elaborate costumes, huge sugary purchases, endless stores offering the latest in Halloween decorating trends, specials, deals etc – so much hype.

As parents, carers and educators, it is for us to first look deeply within ourselves to see what is true, what is it that we wish to bring, to honour, to acknowledge, to share, to offer. It is important that we ask our selves questions and be truthful in the answers.

If we don’t eat junk food, food colouring, additives, lollies, sweets or sugar, then why would we promote that our children knock on others doors to get bags or baskets full of sugary sweets?
Are we wanting to just have a fun fancy dress time or are we conscious of what this celebration is about?

Are we willing to stand true to our own values and not be influenced by the media, by advertising, or by others, if they have different values from us?

As with many festivals that are celebrated in the southern hemisphere, no regard is given to the fact that here it is actually spring not autumn, it is not a time of pumpkins and harvest. So if you were going to carve out a lantern, rather than a pumpkin you may want to consider using something that would more truly represent our seasons such as a watermelon.

Regardless of whether you celebrate Halloween or not, or the views you may have about it, I would like us take a journey to investigate the history of Halloween and some of Rudolf Steiner’s insights that may be of value.

The word Halloween is derived from the words hallowed and eve – hallowed meaning holy – it is the holy evening before All Saints Day, which occurs on the 1st of November. Halloween as it is currently celebrated with costumes, trick or treat, and superstitions, is taken from the Irish Gaelic and Druid Holiday. Halloween was called Hallow E’en in Ireland. Halloween evolved from “All Hollows” Eve, originating from the pagan holiday honouring the dead, which can also be found in many cultures around the world.

Do you celebrate Christmas eve, the evening before Christmas ( the day of the Christ’s mass ), or celebrate new years eve, the evening before the marking of the start of the new Year? The significance of these ‘eve’s’ seem easy to understand compared to the Halloween celebration on the eve before All Saints Day, with the tricks and treats, sweets, fancy dress costumes and jack-o-lanterns.

So an initial question you may like to ask is: If you are celebrating Halloween, the holy eve, do you know what the significance of this evening is? And – are you also celebrating All Saints day, and know the significance of this day?

The definition of a saint – is a person acknowledged as holy or virtuous and regarded in Christian faith as being in heaven after death. In the eighth century, Pope Gregory III designated November 1 as a time to honour all saints and martyrs; the holiday, All Saints’ Day. The evening before was known as All Hallows’ Eve and later Halloween, which incorporated some of the traditions of Samhain. Samhain is a Gaelic festival marking the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter or the “darker half” of the year. Traditionally, it is celebrated from 31 October to 1 November, as the Celtic day began and ended at sunset.

All Saints’ Day, also known as All Hallows’ Day, Hallowmas, Feast of All Saints, or Solemnity of All Saints, is a Christian festival celebrated in honour of all the saints, known and unknown. All Hallows’ Eve falls on 31st October each year, and is the day before All Hallows’ Day, also known as All Saints’ Day in the Christian calendar. The Church traditionally held a vigil on All Hallows’ Eve when worshipers would prepare themselves with prayers and fasting prior to the feast day itself. In many traditions, All Saints’ Day is part of the Tridum of Allhallowtide which lasts three days from 31 October to 2 November inclusive.

In countries such as France, Mexico, Guatemala, Portugal and Spain, offerings are made on this day. All Saints’ Day in Mexico, coincides with the first day of the Day of the Dead celebration. Known as the Day of the Innocents, which honours deceased children and infants. Children in Portugal celebrate by going door-to-door, where they receive cakes, nuts, pomegranates, sweets and candies – to promote goodness and sweetness and long life. In countries such as Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Finland, Catholic parts of Germany, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Serbia and Sweden, the tradition is to light candles, place flowers and visit the graves and tombs of deceased relatives.

The celebration of All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day stems from a belief that there is a powerful spiritual bond between those in heaven and those living on the earth. It is a day, which commemorates and gives thanks for the lives and deaths of Saints including those who are known or individuals who have personally led one to find faith.

On the evening before All Saints Day, it was believed that there was an opening or thinning in the veils between the physical and spiritual worlds to allow the light of all the saints to stream towards the earth – due to this superstition it was also believed that due to the thinning of the veils between these worlds, that other spirits not of the light, could slip through and wreak havoc on unsuspecting souls, or that these malevolent spirits could get hold of any unsuspecting souls and use them for their own purposes. So the honouring of the Day of the Dead or the Hallowed eve was both to pay respect to, and to appease, the spirits of the dead. It was feared through superstition and folklore that if one failed to make an altar with offerings of food, candles, and gifts on this day, then the spirits of the dead could cause unfavourable acts and wreak havoc in ones life and that of their family.

So why would anyone dress up as ghouls and ghosts and skeletons, or carve jack-o-lanterns, on the eve of all saints day?

Dressing up as ghouls, ghosts and skeletons was believed to fool these unwanted spirits and to scare them away, letting them know they were not wanted or welcome, a practice that originated from the celebrations of the Day of the Dead.

The practice of carving and lighting a lantern was used as another warning, the face with an otherworldly appearance glowing through the lighted lantern was also believed to trick and ward off these malevolent spirits.

This custom also originated in Ireland, where rotting vegetables would emit a gas that could be lit producing a ghostly light. These lights were called Jack-o-lantern’s from an old Celtic legend about ‘Stingy Jack’ where his dealings with the devil led him to be banished from the gates of heaven, left to endlessly roam the world with a little coal that he placed inside a hollowed out turnip or vegetable. Children and adolescents would use these vegetable lanterns to trick their friends and passers by into thinking it was actually ‘Stingy Jack’ or some other forsaken lost wandering soul.

In the northern hemisphere where it was harvest time, turnips were used to carve these small lanterns, placed in the windows and doorways. Turnips became less plentiful and pumpkins became more readily available, and due to the fact they were already partly hollow, the pumpkin was substituted to create the smiling beaming face that we have come to know today as the Halloween Jack-O-Lantern. Many Irish immigrated to America, taking their Celtic and Gaelic customs, which were adopted and adapted throughout America, and subsequently in many parts of the world. Sadly even the pumpkins used today for carving Jack-o-lanterns, making soup and pumpkin scones have been especially grown and bred to be hollow and empty with no substance inside – yes easier to carve, yet what is this image that is presented to the child – that the pumpkin which is actually a food of bounty and harvest is unusable and inedible?

Rudolf Steiner suggests that there are actually times when the thinning of the veils between the physical and spiritual world does occur – and if Man is not fully conscious, then he can succumb to the lowered forces that can come through at these times, affecting his own deeds in the world. Steiner was acutely aware of what he termed the cosmic worlds, both the angelic and arch-angelic bringing goodness and light, and the Ahrimanic or Luciferian forces of darkness which are expressed as greed, wrath, and envy. Steiner’s insights bring into our consciousness the forces of light and dark, and their place and effect in the world.

When it comes to supporting and nurturing out little children, we as the parents, adults, carers and teachers have the task of being aware of the needs of the young child and the effects of what we are surrounding them with. Are the images, ideas, events, and festivals that we bring and offer appropriate to their age and stage of development? Are they designed to enhance the child’s well being and growth in body, mind and spirit, promoting beauty, truth and goodness through the values, and behavious? Or does what we offer create an inner world of fear and mistrust, and lack of well being?

In light of Steiner’s insights, what is the result that we can actually see in the World of Man when there is no conscious regard for life, for light, for good?

What do we see when Halloween is celebrated without any conscious regard to its purpose, intent or origins?

What do we see occurring in the world where only the dark, the tricks and pranks are allowed to flourish?

We see a decrease in the level of regard for good, for beauty, for kindness, for justice. We see people with increased disregard, with malicious intent, those wishing harm and hate. A seemingly innocent occasion for celebration and revelry gets out of hand becoming unmanageable; where there is destruction of property, disregard for others welfare, injury, harm, in some instances leading to death. It would seem that the very reason to celebrate the hallowed eve, which was to ward off the influence of the dark, has been ignored and replaced with the very unconsciousness that it was designed to protect Man from. It would seem that in the unconscious celebrating, the disregard of honouring the day of the dead, of the ancestors, the saints, the light, the holy – that these dark forces or influences are actually invited in.
You can read the full article by clicking this link.

Arts education helps school students learn and socialise. We must invest in it

There has been renewed scrutiny in recent weeks about spending on private school capital works. Alongside science labs, sporting fields, and “wellbeing spaces”, many of Australia’s richest schools feature elaborate performing arts centres.

Melbourne’s Wesley College’s redevelopment, for example, includes a $21 million music school and $2.3 million visual arts and design precinct. Meanwhile, programs for disadvantaged students who show artistic talent have relied on volunteers and small grants.

Usually comparisons between public and private schooling focus on academic or sporting outcomes – but what of creative education?

Increased engagement in arts education has wide ranging benefits for academic and social outcomes – and those most at risk have the most to gain. Research has long shown the arts offer many benefits beyond “art for arts sake”, with health, social and economic benefits which offer both private and public value.

Confidence gained from arts programs, and their capacity to support healthy risk taking improves academic outcomes and student behaviour. For teachers, the arts can be a way of connecting to children who struggle with conventional approaches.

Click to read the full article at theconversation.com

RRISK = Reduce Risk – Increase Student Knowledge

The RRISK program aims to reduce adolescent risk taking associated with alcohol and drug use, driving and celebrating.

RRISK is a resilience building program that is relevant to the social life, developmental stage and concerns of adolescents. It extends the school based drug education and road safety curriculum by providing opportunities for senior high school students to develop knowledge, attitudes and skills to reduce risk taking and develop safer celebrating strategies. The program includes a well-designed, multi-strategic seminar day, preceded and followed by a range of in-school activities. It incorporates factual presentations on risk taking, alcohol, drugs, safe celebrating, safe driving and vehicle safety and is enlivened by drama, life stories and role models.

Year 10 Students at CBRSS participate in the RRISK program each year.

We have some comprehensive parent information available from RRISK we encourage all parents of adolescents to make time to read this, you can access it by clicking this link

Congratulations to Lizzie, Year 9

I always say, Tobias is meant to end in Year 8, but for me it’s still going! Last year I made a short documentary called Seeking Safety about my friendship with Abdul, who is a refugee from Afghanistan. Two weeks ago, I found out I had been selected to be in the Byron International Film Festival as the youngest filmmaker included, and my film screens this Sunday 27th October at 7pm. Since Year 8, I have been interviewed by multiple media outlets, and even walked my first red carpet. The ripple effect of my Tobias year continues to surprise me!

Lizzie Y9

Lizzie and her sister (CBRSS Graduate) Katie on the red carpet

Why reverence is important

A soul educated by reverence will convert its dark cravings and aversions into a feeling for the beautiful and a feeling for the good. A soul that has cleansed its obscure instincts and will-impulses through devotion will gradually build up from them what we call moral ideals. Reverence is something that we plant in the soul as a seed; and the seed will bear fruit. – Rudolf Steiner