From the Principal

Changes for 2020

Next year we will be welcoming Sophie Marino as our new Class One Teacher. In the High School, we will also be welcoming Ali Hounslow as our new Science Teacher. Both teachers bring a wonderful range of different experiences and skills and we look forward to welcoming them into our team.

Next year also marks the launch of a new leadership structure in the school. Teera Palmer will be taking on the more substantial role of Deputy Principal of the school, whilst we will have new leadership teams in both the K-6 and High School Faculties.

In the High School, Rachel Knight will be the Faculty Coordinator, Alix Johnson will be the Senior School Coordinator, Andrew Keisewetter will be the Behaviour Management Coordinator and Rachel Holt will be the Curriculum Coordinator.

In K-6, Marlis Griffiths will be the Assessment Coordinator whilst Matthew Reynolds will be the Curriculum Coordinator.

Both teams will be supported by Teera and will meet regularly with me to support strong leadership across the school.

I would like to thank Katie and Teera for the outstanding work they have done leading both faculties up until now, their hard work has played an important part in getting the school to the strong position it is in today.



Press release from the Principal

Cape Byron Rudolf Steiner School students achieve outstanding HSC Results

Cape Byron Rudolf Steiner School is celebrating its best ever HSC results in the school’s 30-year history. One third of the graduating class has received an ATAR of well over 90, placing students in the top 10% of the entire state. This is unheard of for such a small school.

Principal, Nerrida Johnson commented, “Our students have worked really hard this year and have achieved outstanding results. The combination of dedicated and mature students working with passionate and skilled teachers has produced this best-ever result for the school. Our graduating students are rightfully thrilled this morning; with results like these, they will be able to go on to pursue the study or career of their choice.” Nerrida said, “I’d like to thank our dedicated staff and committed parents for helping guide these beautiful souls through their education. We are proud of every single one of our graduating students, they are truly ready to step out into the world.”

Outstanding results have been achieved in English Extension 1 and 2, Legal Studies, Drama, Music, Mathematics, Society and Culture, Visual Arts, Physics, languages and many other courses.

The cohort of 27 students showed dedication, commitment, a passion for their subjects and a shared support for each other that has resulted in excellence across the board. Overall, there were 30 Band 6 results (scores over 90) and 49 Band 5 results (scores between 80 and 89). This is a jump from our already impressive 2018 results of 18 Band 6 achievements,

Students are thrilled that they will gain access into their first choice of course at universities such as University of Melbourne, Sydney University, Monash, Griffith and ANU, as well as overseas institutions.

Stand-out results include Ella Hill-Smith, who received top band results in her three Extension courses, English 1, 2 and History. Lily Harrison received top band results in Legal Studies, Society and Culture and English Extension 1 and 2, whilst Abbie Walden received top band results for English Extension 1 and 2, Visual Arts and Society and Culture. Kalani Knight received Band 6s in Chemistry, Mathematics and Legal Studies. Luka Biggin-Johnston received 97% for Music and has been selected to play at the Sydney Recital Centre as part of HSC Encore and Paddy Swain achieved Band 6 results in Drama, Mathematics 2 and Music.

With an increasing emphasis on STEM subjects in the school, students received Band 6 results in Chemistry and Mathematics and Band 5 in Physics and Mathematics Extension.

As always, students excelled in performance subjects: 30 % of Drama students gained a Band 6, in Music all students achieved a Band 5 or 6, and in Visual Arts students continued to show their creative strength with yet more Band 6 results.

Principal, Nerrida Johnson and Senior School Coordinator, Katie Biggin are thrilled with the efforts of our students and passionate teachers.

Class 6 farewell

Class 6 students, parents and teachers joined together last week for a dinner to celebrate the end of the class’s journey through the Primary school and to farewell the Class Teachers, Bethanie and Teera. After a beautiful dinner under the trees, the students lit up the stage of the Ewingsdale Hall with wonderful performances. We congratulate the students on their wonderful journeys and wish them well as they enter the High School.

Seasons Greetings

Warmest thoughts and best wishes for a wonderful Holiday and a Happy New Year from all the staff at CBRSS.

The Christmas Festival

If we rightly understand this festival we must say: That which we believe to be born anew symbolically every Christmas Night, is the human soul in its original nature, the childhood-spirit of man as it was at the beginning of earth-evolution; then it descended as a revelation from the heavenly heights. And when the human heart can become conscious of this reality, the soul is filled with the unshakable peace that can bear us to our lofty goals, if we are of goodwill. Mighty indeed is the word that can resound to us on Christmas Night, do we but understand its import. – Rudolf Steiner

From the Principal

Hello everyone,

Time seems to have flown by this year and now, suddenly, we are in the last week of school. It has been a big year of teaching and learning across the school. In a school, every day is a day filled with little victories; mastering the 7 times tables for the first time, playing the first clear note on the violin or cello, reading a book all the way through to the end for the first time, delivering an oral presentation in front of an audience, making a new friend, completing Ric’s dreaded ‘beep test’ in PDHPE, performing at a showcase, sitting a first exam and completing a major work for Year 12. These are the little victories that happen every day as part of the learning journey and we rarely get the time to stop and celebrate them. I would like to thank our beautiful students for their work and dedication and also the parents for supporting their children on this journey. I would like to particularly thank our dedicated, talented and amazing teachers, who deeply care for their students and skillfully guide them on this journey.

Last week we were informed that Luka Biggin-Johnston has been selected to perform at HSC Encore, a performance at the Sydney Recital Centre in March 2020. The concert is a selection of exemplary pieces of HSC Music performances from all over NSW from the 2019 HSC Music exams. Luka is very excited about the prospect of playing his bass in Sydney and will be performing the Stevie Wonder song, Boogie on Reggae Woman. Luka will be travelling to Sydney with his funky band (teachers Mat on drums and Tim on guitar and fellow student Paddy Swain on keyboard and vocals). I congratulate Luka for his well earned success, it is good to see his work recognised, particularly as he has been a strong supporter of our HSC music students over the last few years. I would further like to congratulate both Luka and Paddy for having their music viva voces recognised by the New South Wales Education Standards authority as being exemplary. This is a wonderful achievement. Congratulations to Mat, their talented music teacher for guiding these students so well.

In other news, Cape Byron Rudolf Steiner School was named in a recent newspaper article as the top performing school in the Northern Rivers region for Year 9 Naplan results over the last 5 years. This is a really interesting and gratifying result as we do not teach to the Naplan tests, rather we provide a measured, well-rounded and developmentally appropriate education which provides a solid base of literacy and numeracy skills whilst steadily developing creative and critical thinking capacities in our students. Details of the article can be found further in this newsletter.

It has been a busy year, not without its challenges, and I know that everyone is ready for the break. I would like to close by thanking all of the administration and support staff who work so hard to make sure the wheels of the school keep turning. I would also like to thank the Board, who have worked diligently and with great focus all year and the P&F and Class Coordinators who do so much work behind the scenes.

Please all enjoy the break, I look forward to seeing you back at school at the beginning of next term.


Change of procedure for School Fee payment plans

As of the beginning of the 2020 school year all school fees for any given year must be finalised by the end of December of the same year as opposed to by the end of January of the following year.

If you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact the finance office and ask for Julia or Strawberry.

Phone: 02 6639 9304 or email

You can access 2020 School Fees via this link to our website, please note there are 2 pages to view.

CBRSS Christmas Market – For CBRSS and Periwinkle Families

Due to inclement weather today’s Christmas Market will be held in the hall from 2.15-5pm.

1.30-2.15pm School Christmas Performance (amphitheatre)

2.15-2.45pm Parents can enjoy some relaxed Christmas Shopping at one of the many stalls in the Hall.

2.45-5pm Please collect your child from their classroom promptly at 2.45pm then head to The Hall for a beautiful afternoon of live music, delicious food and Christmas crafting.

This year we are delighted to welcome these local makers to our market – The Book Room, Happy Flame Beeswax Candles, Zephyr’s Nest, Church Farm General Store, Seed & Sprout, Steiner Arts & Crafts, along with other handcrafted goodies.

Enjoy live music from our CBRSS community and a reading by author, Simi Genziuk, of her book So She Did.

*In the spirit of the season, each year families generously donate gifts for our Giving Tree. Gifts can be placed under the Christmas Tree at the market or placed in the box at the office. Please include a tag describing the gift so it can be best matched with a child.*

Please note:

– This is a waste-wise event. Please bring your own cups, straws, plates and cutlery and a picnic blanket.
– Most stalls will take cash on the day so please come prepared.
– This celebration is for CBRSS and Periwinkle families only.

Let’s come together to celebrate another wonderful year in our school community.

German at CBRSS

Performance at CBRSS

Parents Painting workshop at CBRSS

‘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

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


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.

Wholesome Ways to Prepare for Christmas with Children

By Annie Bryant

Christmas is all about the journey, and here’s some daily rituals and activities to help bring wonder, patience and joy into your family home during the festive season.

Even if you’re not ‘into’ Christmas, it’s very difficult to avoid the busy energy and consumeristic onslaught that unfortunately dominates the Western culture in the lead up to December 25th. I think it was my own massive aversion to this unsavoury aspect of the season that inspired me to research and create wholesome ways to bring Christmas to my own children.

Children LOVE Christmas, and it just didn’t feel right to me as Mother to deprive my boys (or myself) of the wonder and joy and beautiful messages that can be found within the Christmas stories from around the world.

By consciously celebrating the lead up to Christmas in a meaningful way, I find it helps immensely in grounding and connecting our family at a time when packed schedules and neverending to-do lists can otherwise scatter all of our energies!

Read the full article by clicking this link

Finding Christmas – An Australian Christmas Story by Annie Bryant

Where do you find Christmas in your family?
Is it hidden within the pages of your favourite story book?
Maybe it’s wrapped up in a gift made especially for someone you love?
Or perhaps, it can be found amongst the delicious smells of a Christmas feast?
Well, this is the story of a little boy who went on his own search for Christmas….and you’ll
never guess what he found!

Joey had looked everywhere, but still had found no signs of Christmas.

They were staying on his Grandparents farm, way out west for the whole month until after Christmas – and while Joey usually loved the tractor rides and farm adventures – this time he couldn’t help but think about all the ‘Christmassy’ things he was missing out on back home.

First, there was the Christmas Market & the end of year school Concert.

Then, there was the Santa sleighs and giant candy canes and bright lights up and down his street, not to mention the fake snow and happy carols playing in all shops.

But out here on the farm there was no shiny tinsel or red hats to be seen and he was starting to worry that maybe Christmas just wasn’t going to happen at all?!

And he also missed Dad.

Dad was coming to meet Mum and Joey and his little sister May at the farm on Christmas Eve and it felt like such a long time away.

When they chatted on the phone one night Joey whispered his concerns about Christmas and Dad reassured him, “Don’t worry mate, you’ll find Christmas out there – you just need to know where to look.”

But so far, he hadn’t found anything.

So, before bed that night Joey asked Lil-Ma & Jo-Pa in a very serious voice, “Do you know where to find Christmas on your farm?”

His grandparents looked at each other with mischievous smiles before Jo-Pa turned to Joey and replied with a wink, “I think we might have a few ideas.”

Read the full story from here

NAPLAN: How Northern Rivers schools performed over 5 years

By Geoff Egan

THESE are the Northern Rivers schools that consistently top the state’s NAPLAN results.

An independent analysis of five years of NAPLAN results has revealed the schools that performed the best in the Year 5 and Year 9 tests between 2014 and 2018.

Over that five-year period, Bexhill Public School, in Bexhill, had higher Year 5 yearly results than any other school in the state, scoring an average of 2740.2 each year.

The top performing Year 9 school was Cape Byron Rudolf Steiner School, in Byron Bay, where the average yearly result was 3010.0 for the five years.

To find how each school performed between 2014 and 2018, their average scores for each year were combined and the yearly average found.

Special schools, schools with fewer than 20 students enrolled in either year, and schools that did not report any results for NAPLAN subjects in either year were excluded from the analysis.

The figures were independently compiled from the Federal Government’s MySchool website.

That revealed Emmanuel Anglican College, in Ballina, had the second highest results for Year 5s over that period, with a yearly average of 2652.6.

The third best performing Year 5 school was Holy Family Catholic Primary School, in Skennars Head, with five yearly average results of 2637.6.

The second-best performing Year 9 results were at Emmanuel Anglican College, in Ballina, where yearly results were 3000.6.

Shearwater the Mullumbimby Steiner School, in Mullumbimby, had the third highest average results between 2014 and 2018 with averages of 2982.8.

Read the full article from the Northern Star here

Class 1 News

On Friday, Dec 6th James took Class One on a fun excursion to the Cape Byron Lighthouse and Wategos Beach. It was a lovely warm summer day and the class walked down from the lighthouse along the path and spotted turtles swimming and a pod of dolphins jumping in the waves. Two by two the children, James and a few parent helpers walked out to the most easterly point where we observed the breaking waves on the rocks and felt the enormous energy of the sea. We then ate lunch under the canopy of the trees at Wategos, had a skip along the beach, discovered rock pools and splashed in the waves on the shoreline.

CBRSS Students invited to attend Questacon Invention Convention

Isaac Poulsen and I both submitted applications to attend the National Questacon Invention Convention in Canberra at the start of next year and we’re very excited to both be offered places to attend. To get a place at the convention you are required to submit an original invention of your own. Your application has to compete with other students applications from all around Australia with the top 25 being chosen to attend the convention. My invention is designed to help the elderly or handicapped people to open difficult fridge doors. The lower temperature and thus lower air pressure makes fridges hard to open, particularly for elderly people. The device attaches to the side of the fridge with a small paddle inserted in between the seals, when the device senses motion around the handle it activates an actuator that moves the paddle in order to break the seal and equalise the air pressure allowing the fridge to be opened easily. I’d encourage any fellow student passionate about design and engineering to submit an application for next years convention.

Joshua Sykes Year 10

The National Invention Convention is an all-expenses-paid, five-day workshop held in Canberra every January. This program gives 25 delegates aged 14-18 from all around Australia the opportunity to play, make and create with us, designing and developing a prototype that solves a real-world problem.

Participants will use tools, tech and materials, work with local mentors and entrepreneurs, and forge friendships that last a lifetime!

End of Year 10 “Special Program”

As 2019 comes to an end and the current crop of Year 10 students prepare for their senior years ahead, Year 10 has been having an interesting last 3 weeks. Dressed in their finest they gathered together recently at the Kouzina Greek restaurant for their year 10 social and had a great night. They also undertook a “special program” for the last three weeks of term where they gained certification in First Aid and in Barista and Hospitality at Tafe NSW Wollongbar campus. Other things they learnt in the special program included their rights at work, car maintenance, sex education and their rights as young people when dealing with the law. All great skills that hopefully will assist them as they move forward as young adults.

Andy Robinson – Year 10 Guardian

High School Awards

At the end of each year, the school distributes a number of awards donated by organisations or philanthropists. The whole HS staff decide on the winners of these awards.

The Reuben Scarf award is given to a leaving Year 12 student for perseverance and commitment to achieve. Reuben Scarf was a philanthropist who donates a cash prize to every school (both government and independent) in NSW. This year the award went to Abbie Walden for her demonstrated determination, excellence and commitment to the school. Congratulations!

The Long Tan award is gifted by the Australian Defence Force to every school in Australia at the end of each year to a Year 10 and Year 12 student. The student must demonstrate teamwork, commitment to the local and wider community, leadership and determination to succeed at school. This year the award was gifted to Mia Green in Year 10 for her incredible commitment to her SRC role and fundraising for the wider community. The Year 12 award went to Avryl Hart who similarly was unsurpassed in her leadership amongst her class and her commitment to her studies and representation on behalf of our school in a wide variety of areas.

To give just one example in the past week of Mia and Avryl’s selflessness and commitment….Mia spoke to the whole HS at an assembly last week about her initiative to ensure older people living in aged care facilities in the shire all receive a handmade Christmas card at school to counter the loneliness that many older people experience. Many students are now busy meeting in the art room at lunchtime making these beautiful cards in the last week of school. Avryl decided that she wanted to organise some of the leaving Year 12 to come over to her house and sew little pouches and mittens for injured wildlife and this is what they are doing this week.

We are so very proud of all our students and the leadership shown by some to think about the world outside of their own and initiate positive actions.

House Leaders for 2020

The following students have nominated and completed an application for House Leadership. As part of the process, prospective House Leaders needed to demonstrate that they are committed to the role of leader including; upholding all school guidelines, being positive role models and being excellent peer mentors with younger students.

The following students have had their applications accepted and we congratulate them on their new positions!

Athens – Harper Kelso, Oden Lerner, Phoebe Neumann, Taj Birrell, Josie Huntsman

Crete – Amelie Wright, Zara Pellen, Danielle Shai, Ollie Liebke Pereyra

Olympia – Thibault Walker, Tilka Biason Formale, Pearl Truswell.

Sparta – Bimini Plesser, Tom Pierce, Lucia Bora, Phoebe Flamer Caldera.

Alumni News

Hannah Richards and Aleshanee Kelso (students at CBRSS from Year 1 – Year 12)

2 of our 2016 HSC cohort have just graduated with flying colours (pun intended) from their Bachelor of Circus Arts at NICA (National Institute of Circus Arts) in Melbourne. Aleshanee won the Circus Oz Award for Collaboration and Hannah won the NICA Award for Creativity and they have made their parents very proud. Steven Richards, father of Hannah, is a long time PDHPE teacher in the HS and the teacher of our Circus Elective in Years 9 and 10.

We are so proud of their achievements and look forward to finding out where the future takes them in this exciting area!