From the Principal

Spring Greetings to all!!

Spring’s greatest joy beyond a doubt is when it brings the children out.” Edgar Guest.

Such a wonderfully simple, joyous, colourful, lively, playful, collaborative, beautiful, celebratory Spring Festival we enjoyed with Class 1 to Year 12 on Monday! There were so many special and lovely elements and moments which made the day a fun, sweet and uplifting experience. Congratulations to all our wonderful staff and students for their contributions to making the day feel so fulfilling. Please enjoy looking at a taster video and photos of the day in the bulletin below.
A more comprehensive Spring Festival video is currently being prepared and a link to view it will be sent out to Parents next week during term break.

At this time of year in each class from Kindergarten to High School, a vibrant kind of ‘Spring quickening’ is felt for teachers and students, a sense that the end of a year and the transition to a new year, is fast approaching. In particular, the end of Term 3 is a very special time for our Year 12 Students who will complete the final classes of their school journey this week. We are so proud of this lovely class of fine individuals, of their wonderful accomplishments and of their inspiring resourcefulness in navigating a challenging year with such positivity and we wish them all the best for their upcoming HSC Exams.

To our wonderful K-12 Parents, I extend appreciative thanks for your calm and cooperative support as we have worked together to keep our school healthy, happy and operating onsite in changing and complex times.
It is now time for our school community to prepare for the approaching time of well-earned rest…and to collectively breathe out…
May your holidays be happy, safe and filled with lovely, long unscheduled days of relaxation and rejuvenation enjoyed with family and friends.

Best relaxing wishes

Teera

2021 School Fees

School Fees for 2021 will be finalised shortly and published on the school website next week.

Spring Festival 2020

The Signs of Spring

At least someone knows how to be quiet for the year 11 and 12 exams!

Can you help?

Hello all,  I am a year 11 student who has had the opportunity to be an ambassador for a small non for profit organisation ‘Period Pack’ which was founded by Lily Harrison a CBRSS student who graduated in 2019. This organisation aims to provide women and people who menstruate in need in the Northern Rivers with menstruation products and maternity packs to make life a little easier each month. Whilst in Australia menstrual products are still not free we can all do something to bridge the gap between period poverty. If you would like to contribute to making someone’s month easier there is a donation box at the administration desk at school. Every dollar counts so if you can donate it is very much appreciated. If you would like to contribute but are unable to donate at school please email me to work something out. Email: Meira2021@capebyronsteiner.nsw.edu.au
Here is a link to Period Pack’s website for more information: https://periodpack.com.au/
Many Thanks
Meira Violet. 

Please Support our Year 11 Fundraiser

Year 11 Steiner students feel extremely grateful to have not been deeply affected by COVID-19. Nevertheless, our previous fundraising events, such as showcases, have been cancelled as a result of the physical distancing restrictions. Due to this, our class has had to create alternative fundraising events in order to support our year 12 formal. Hence our idea to host an online silent auction of our peers’ artworks. Art students have worked tirelessly to produce artworks to auction via this website. We would be beyond grateful if bids were placed on these beautiful pieces, in order to help raise money for our formal. Thank you.

Click on the link to view the artwork: https://joshuas20211.wixsite.com/steiner-art-auction

Kindy Sunflower News

Sunflower Kindergarten has been enjoying the warmth, wonder and energy that Spring has brought…exploring our environment, learning new skills, practicing old ones and just enjoying the sun-shiny days!

Emily

Wellbeing news in the High School

We have been really fortunate this year to have Mark Smith from Safer Communities facilitating teen Mental health First Aid training for years 7, 8, 9 and 10 in terms 2 and 3. Our current year 11’s (soon moving into HSC in term 4) did the training last year. Students received a first aid booklet plus a certificate on completion of their 3 sessions. Students learnt about mental health problems, how to support their friends and importantly how to help friends connect with adult support. It is fabulous to have our high school students now trained in Mental Health First Aid.

Annie Barrett Wellbeing Worker

Indigenous Literacy Day

This week, Guardian classes had the opportunity to participate in the live stream Premier Indigenous Literacy Day via YouTube. It was welcomed by students and it gave them some insight into the privileges we have living here in Byron Bay and attending CBRSS.
The Indigenous Literacy Foundations programs focus on instilling a love of reading from an early age. Being able to read opens so many doors. But in very remote Indigenous communities, books are all too scarce and literacy levels are so much lower than anywhere else in Australia. Our purpose is to make a difference to the lives of Indigenous families by not only gifting thousands of new culturally appropriate books – with a focus on early literacy and first language – but also by running programs to inspire the communities to tell and publish their own stories.’
Traditionally we have done a book-swap with a gold coin donation, however, due to COVID, this was not possible this year. Instead, we tuned into the premier and listened to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stories of how the generous donations of organisations and individuals have given their children a sense of connection and engagement from books that are written in their own language. An inspiring 40 minutes if you get a chance to have a look. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YtrOi2Y-B8A&ab_channel=IndigenousLiteracyFoundation
If you would like to read more about it or donate please click on the link. https://www.indigenousliteracyfoundation.org.au/
Peter Palmer

YEAR 8 Art with Vatika and Ryan

Year 8 have been making mixed-media sculptures of animals. They were very enthusiastic and rose to the challenge of creating with a variety of materials. The results are magical!
They were photographed in nature by Ryan.
Vatika

Base Leadership Awards – Congratulations!

Congratulations Ethan for winning the Creative and Performing Arts Men’s Base Leadership Award 2020.
Congratulations to Billy Swain for being shortlisted for the Creative and Performing Arts Men’s Base Leadership Award 2020.
The goal of BASE is to identify and celebrate Year 11 and Year 12 students in their respective areas of excellence and to support them in their future endeavours.”
Unfortunately, they couldn’t go ahead with the Young Men’s Awards Breakfast but instead made a short film with the winners from each category. The young men spoke beautifully about leadership, mental health and being a good mate. You can watch it here https://youtu.be/CaMDosTXjJk

Congratulations to CBRSS Piano teacher Sali on her Album Launch!

Ethereal folk and alt-pop singer songwriter, Sali Bracewell, fast becoming known for her haunting soundscapes, explorative lyricism and  her use of the ancient Welsh language, has released her debut album to a ‘captive audience’ during the Covid19 pandemic.

Sali began her singing career busking on the streets of New Orleans six years ago. Forever a lover of music, she began studying classical piano in Wales at the age of 8, and continued to study music until leaving to pursue a passion in Fine Art at Camberwell College of Arts, London. She moved to Byron Bay in 2013 where her career blossomed and her appreciation of the Welsh language, forever encouraged by the Aussies, spawned the song ‘Cwch Bach Coch’ which translates to ‘Little Red Boat’, a song of lost love at sea.

The Official video clip to the single ‘Howl at the Moon’ can be found here…‘Howl at the Moon’  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q1JR1pH3KlE

For more information and links to support Sali please visit our post on the online Community noticeboard

Creating a World of Wonder: The Gift of Developing Imagination

In Waldorf (Steiner) education, early childhood teachers give children a great gift — the time and space to live fully into their imaginations. Fostering children’s imagination and awe allows them to master their will and develop empathy. But how?

We spoke to Patricia Cornelius, Early Childhood Teacher and Faculty Chair at The Waldorf School of Philadelphia to learn how Waldorf education’s focus on imagination benefits children for years to come.

She says, “Essentially, Waldorf education is founded upon the idea that we educate the head, heart and hands of our students. This equates to educating the intellect, the inner feeling life and their will. Our primary task in early childhood is to develop the child’s will and we do this by enriching their feeling life. We do this by creating a sense of awe and wonder.”

But why develop a sense of will at all? Patricia explains how this is an essential skill to live a productive life as adults. It’s also an essential skill for children to do well in their academic lives. She draws on the example of cleaning a closet, asking us to imagine why we have been delaying the project, but now feel it is time to move forward.

“As an adult, think about where you need to go inside yourself when you have to clean out that close. What do you draw upon?”

Patricia says this internal motivation and discipline is your will and if it is not developed properly, then the closet may not get cleaned. Developing these inner capacities begins in early childhood and they key is to allow children, as often as possible, to practice using their will to motivate themselves towards positive behavior.

Instead of telling children what to do, Waldorf early childhood teachers encourage them to find the will within themselves to do it. How? By cultivating their sense of awe and wonder. The relationship between awe, wonder and will is nuanced, but Patricia explains it beautifully.

“We can use awe and wonder to help entice children to find the capacity within themselves to do what is needed. For example, when it is snack time, we want the children to start snack quietly, because children tend not to eat when they are talking and we want them to be well nourished. Now, as an educator I could use my own will and impart consequences on the children to make them be silent. But then they won’t learn how to manage their will. But if I wait to light the candle at the table and say, ‘The fire fairy wants to come to the table, but needs quiet,’ then the children can find a way to hold themselves, hold their will, and develop that will, to be quiet at snack time.”

Patricia emphasizes that children need multiple opportunities each day to discover their will and influence their actions. Some might call it impulse control, but it is such an essential life skill that it is best learned at this early age, along with empathy and compassion. And it cannot be learned by being told to do it. It must be cultivated and encouraged, which is no easy feat.

Patricia says, “If we do everything for young children or tell them what to do beginning to end, they will not draw upon their will. They will not find their inner capacity if they are relying on the adults capacity.”

It becomes, in many ways, a cultivation of internal over external motivation, which many studies have shown is key to later academic success. Patricia gives another lovely example of how she encourages both will and empathy development in children at circle time by tapping into their imaginations.

“Throughout the year, each child will receive a doll, which is small enough to fit into their pocket. We build a whole imaginative world around the doll. The doll is given a name, the children say that their doll talks to them. At story time, if a child is having trouble focusing and keeps falling on the ground, I might say, ‘Poor Elderberry [doll’s name] might be worried about getting squished.’ Very often this leads to the child deciding, on their own, to stand up at circle time because they empathize with the doll being worried and they have compassion to make the doll feel more comfortable and not get squished. This leads to them using their imagination and empathy to find the will to stand up at circle time.”

Patricia goes on to say that of course she could tell the children they must stand up. She could exclude a child unwilling to do so from the circle. But would that child really learn anything positive in that classroom scenario?

And this gets to the heart of what is most important about the development of will in early childhood — the essential nature of learning these lessons at this moment in child development.

We have all the time in the world to teach facts, but only this very limited time to develop empathy and will through the imagination. Early childhood is the time when we want to bring these lessons forward, so they have the chance to develop these skills. Between the ages of 3 and 6 is the ideal time to develop these capacities before the intellect takes hold. Once a child is 6½ or 7 they will wake up to the world of the intellect and be ready for academics. But if we shake them awake, without taking the time to develop the heart sphere, we’ve lost our opportunity to nourish their hearts and really develop their inner will and compassion.”

With thanks to the Waldorf School of Philadelphia

Teenage brains are under siege but there are three ways parents can connect

By Maggie Dent

When I was 14, my bottom “showed up”. Previously, I’d been tall and skinny, then all of a sudden, she landed — a rather protruding bottom, inherited from my grandmother.

I remember thinking: “Well, I’m not going to have a milkshake with my friends after school because if I walk in, they’ll go ‘Oh Maggie’s here with her big bum to ruin the day’.”

Despite being an intelligent young woman, I actually believed this was true.

Years later in my work as a teacher and then counsellor, this memory was an insight into what the world looks like for our adolescents, thanks to the necessary brain changes they undergo.

Imagine our world is viewed through a car windscreen. Now imagine if I hit that windscreen with a sledgehammer: that’s how distorted the world looks to our teens and it doesn’t make them feel good about themselves.

I wish I had known that when I was a teenager. I can’t even imagine what it would be like for me trying to navigate my changing adolescent body in 2019 with all of the “perfect” bottoms on Instagram!

The ‘pruning’ of the teen brain

Caring, empowering communication indicates an ability to understand another’s reality. We often assume others understand us when they can have a different viewpoint.

We know the neural shearing or “pruning” of the teen brain — just one change they undergo — makes them forgetful and challenges their organisational skills.

This can make them feel dumb and useless, and self-loathing is common.

When I taught Year 9, I didn’t punish students when they had forgotten that they had homework, or forgotten they’d written a task in their homework diary, or that they even had a diary in their bag.

Ultimately, it wasn’t their fault.

Even really capable kids who might have always been really organised can suddenly find things a challenge.

Being an adolescent can feel a bit like having a temporary brain injury and if my son or a student had a brain injury I would not yell at them for being forgetful or overwhelmed. I would support them to remember things and treat them with patience, compassion and kindness.

When we lecture our teens, they feel they can’t do anything right. When we criticise, they feel useless and incapable. When we nag, they feel disrespected.

At least these days parents have the option of messaging their teens. It’s much easier for teens to receive a well-timed, gentle reminder via SMS or instant message with an emoji and a “love you” at the end of it, than to have us nagging them.

Behavioural psychologists have been studying human behaviour for years we now know that human communication can be modified to achieve better outcomes, via a nudge or the power of suggestion.

Being there

As beneficial as technology is, it’s never been more important when your adolescent wants to talk to you face-to-face to put your phone down and show them you’re interested in what they have to say.

Using eye contact, posture and presence shows someone that we’re really listening, and being heard is important to adolescents.

Reflect back to them what you’ve heard, make encouraging sounds and encourage them to tell you more. It might sound simple but often we’re quick to jump in with an opinion or try to solve their problems.

Adolescents don’t need us to solve their problems — they have a biological need for autonomy. Instead of asking “Why?” I suggest you ask encouraging things, such as “How might we sort this out?”, “What do you think needs to happen right now”, “I noticed this” or “Tell me how I can support you right now”

Read the full article from the ABC here

Springtime

The external physical light of the Sun, the physical forces of the Heavens, come down to the Earth in the spring. – Rudolf Steiner

From the Principal

The wind is in the barley-grass
The wattles are in bloom
The breezes greet us as they pass
With honey-sweet perfume;
The parakeets go screaming by
With flash of golden wing,
And from the swamp the wild-ducks cry
Their long-drawn note of revelry
Rejoicing at the spring.

A.B.Paterson

Isn’t it lovely to feel Spring in the air?

With the recent warmer mornings, the bright moon-lit nights and welcome rain too, it feels with nature’s offerings, we have much to feel grateful for!
One of the lovely times of day on our school site is late afternoon when everything gradually becomes quieter and quieter and the animals and birds come out to play.

It was just this time last Friday when something unexpected and magical happened. A very active, healthy Koala came bounding across the top green playground (much like a rabbit) and scampered up a tree…it sat and looked around…then climbed higher and took a flying leap to another tree. It leapt this way from tree to tree several times before climbing back down to the ground, sniffing at the Macadamia tree and ambling onto the brick path past my office, then it rabbit-hopped quickly past Class 3, towards Class 1 and over to the Eucalypt trees he was surely seeking! So special!

In Animal Dreaming, a book by Scott Alexander King, Koala represents Journeys – A sacred journey that is unique for everyone, an expedition that supports the individual needs and requirements of all people. Koala reassures us that we inherently know the answers to our questions. Koala can show us that now is the time to take responsibility for our own life, our own path and our own destiny by listening to our heart of hearts. With Koala dreaming, the potential for growth and transformation strengthens.

Happy Spring Days

Teera

Can you help?

Hello all,  I am a year 11 student who has had the opportunity to be an ambassador for a small non for profit organisation ‘Period Pack’ which was founded by Lily Harrison a CBRSS student who graduated in 2019. This organisation aims to provide women and people who menstruate in need in the Northern Rivers with menstruation products and maternity packs to make life a little easier each month. Whilst in Australia menstrual products are still not free we can all do something to bridge the gap between period poverty. If you would like to contribute to making someone’s month easier there is a donation box at the administration desk at school. Every dollar counts so if you can donate it is very much appreciated. If you would like to contribute but are unable to donate at school please email me to work something out. Email: Meira2021@capebyronsteiner.nsw.edu.au
Here is a link to Period Pack’s website for more information: https://periodpack.com.au/
Many Thanks
Meira Violet. 

Please Support our Year 11 Fundraiser

Year 11 Steiner students feel extremely grateful to have not been deeply affected by COVID-19. Nevertheless, our previous fundraising events, such as showcases, have been cancelled as a result of the physical distancing restrictions. Due to this, our class has had to create alternative fundraising events in order to support our year 12 formal. Hence our idea to host an online silent auction of our peers’ artworks. Art students have worked tirelessly to produce artworks to auction via this website. We would be beyond grateful if bids were placed on these beautiful pieces, in order to help raise money for our formal. Thank you.

Click on the link to view the artwork: https://joshuas20211.wixsite.com/steiner-art-auction

Class 3 & Class 4 gardening programme

Here are some pics from the Class 3 gardening programme with Evan this term. The students planted bulbs at the end of term 2 and you may have noticed that
the jonquils are the first to start flowering! Keep an eye out for them and other bulbs during the next few weeks.

Class 3 & Class 4 have also started planting potatoes and salad greens. They also did a bit of seed saving from the beans while revitalising last season’s garden beds. I think Class 3 got the most joy out of using their pitchforks on the giant mulch mounds near the car park!

Tanja – Teacher Assistant

‘Have a Go’ Athletics Classes 3 to 6

Class 6 day in the 1850’s

The Students of Class 6 spent a day learning in the ‘old school’ way in a classroom from the 1850’s. Copperplate handwriting, history and grammar formed part of our morning lessons. We learned the importance of manners and the teacher’s favorite proverb “Speech is silver but silence is golden”.
We also had a visit from Dr Benjamin Daly who checked the children for lice and showed them some of his surgical equipment which included a large pair of pliers for extracting teeth. Thankfully,  a clean bill of health was declared with the exception of a lass with a suspected case of cholera and one boy who may have a tapeworm.
After reading our Primers and practicing some arithmetic, we met Mrs MaCrae the music teacher who has formed a ‘Bush Band’ with the students and together they played a very jolly polka on their stringed instruments.
After lunch Mrs Nelson arrived to meet the girls as she is seeking to employ a young lady to help in her haberdashery shop. The girls practiced their sewing with Mrs Nelson whilst the boys engaged in woodwork under my supervision.
At the end of the day we debriefed our experience of the 1850’s and how both schooling and attitudes have changed for the better and will continue to change into the future.
Matt Reynolds
Class 6 Teacher

Class 3 and Class 9 news

Class Nine and Class Three shared some time reading together and showing their Main Lesson books. Over the years the two classes have periodically met; something that is beneficial and enjoyable for both ages (and a true joy for Naina who has been class teacher for both.)

High School Athletics Carnival Day

On Friday the 14th of August, the High School students spent a sunny winters day at Ewingsdale sports ground participating in the Inter-House Athletics Carnival. A total of ten Track and Field events were on offer for students to test their physical skills in running, jumping and throwing. The carnival continued into a couple of weeks after the Ewingsdale event with students completing the high jump event during lunchtimes and in their PE lessons, so the final results were not be known until just last week.

The results were incredibly close and could have seen any house in the lead at the end of the carnival. The final results are;-

Crete               878pts,

Sparta              859pts,

Athens             837pts,

Olympia          831pts.

Without doubt, this has been the closest competition between all the houses ever!

As usual there was some outstanding individual performers with 19 school records being broken. However, what was more impressive was the extent of participation of students enjoying the thrill and challenge of doing their best or pushing themselves to achieve a few extra points for their house. Team spirit was strong and defined by the excellent performances and leadership of all the house captains and by the number of new records broken by the year 12’s

New record holders,-

Year 12 Taj Birrell yr 12 – 100m, 200m & Shot Put, Thibault Walker– Long Jump, Lucia Bora – Long Jump & High Jump, Pearl Truswell– Javelin,  Harper Kelso -400m, Josie Huntsman – 200m,

Year 11 Della Knight – Javelin, Issac Poulson – 200m

Year 10 Zac Walcott – Shot Put, Arlia Keller – High Jump & Discus, Sachin Smith – 400m

Year 9 Brianna Hart – 800m & Long Jump

Junior Boys Relay by Crete

Senior Boys Relay by Athens

Students who performed well in their events by coming first or second would normally be invited to represent the school at the North Coast Sports Association Regional Carnival. Unfortunately, due to the Corona Virus, these have been cancelled.

Rudolf Steiner knew how important it was to have students participate in physical activities.  It has been proven time and time again how physical movement is directly related to assisting the development of pathways in the brain and therefore assists learning in many academic pursuits. It is also well known that exercise relieves stress and improves self-esteem. It allows social development and encourages students to express themselves in an acceptable and healthy way. Carnivals such as this provide opportunities for students to hone social skills of co-operation, teamwork and to develop a sense of empathy and trust. Skills that are not easily taught in the classroom but are regarded by Cape Byron Rudolf Steiner School, its staff, and its community as important life skills required for any human being to achieve their potential.

A big thank you to all staff and parents who support these events and encourage the students to participate. You have made a difference to allow these students to realise their potential and be the best they can be as human beings.

Steven (Ric) Richards

CBRSS High School students and Staff “Wear it Purple”

Wear it Purple strives to foster supportive, safe, empowering and inclusive environments for rainbow young people. wearitpurple.org