From the Co-Heads of School

Winter night, stars shining bright
And on a Winter’s morning, frost on the ground
Stars all around, heaven’s glow foretelling…
No dark we fear, the light is here,
Sun in our hearts aglow,
No dark we fear, the light is here and ever it is so…

And so it is with days shortening and the longer nights growing chilly, that we begin to really feel Mid-Winter is near… All around the school, preparations are being made, in making story, song, music, verse, lantern and light, in celebration of the longest night.

During our initial planning conversations in which we reflected on last year’s Winter Festival, we realised that one of the ‘gifts’ of Covid, was the beauty and quiet experienced by our High School students in walking the spiral, and lighting their candles, with such presence and reverence. And so, in particular, in what is proving to be another unique year, our collective focus and intention is to again design our Winter Festival in a mood of reverence that will allow for quiet reflection and harmonious depth for all. In holding this intention and our wish to invite parents as central; we also needed to minimise the possibility of cancellations that could arise due to Covid incidents out of our control. Hence, in a similar way to last year, we have planned a number of more intimate festivities spaced over several days around the Winter solstice. We are particularly pleased that whereas last year we were unable to include any parents in the Winter Festival, this year each student will have a family member able to join them.

In other news, please do read closely the information below from Mat and Jon in our ICT Department regarding the importance of our Parent App, and how to access our new photo archive system through the Parent App.

Warm wishes

Paddy & Teera

Project Archive – CBRSS Photo Archive

We are thrilled to announce that our much anticipated CBRSS Photo Archive is ready to access, for parents who have the Parent App. Project Archive will enable staff to share photos and videos going forward, and parents to view a gallery of photos and videos from our archive through the Parent App. Each gallery is specific to a Class group, so in most instances the content will only be of students from that year group. Exceptions to this may be if we include photos of other school events, such as a Festival. As each Class progresses through the year, we will update a shared folder with content that can then be accessed by parents of each individual Class.

To Access Please log in to the Parent App – open Parent Lounge – Events and Payments – and read the Terms & Conditions in your Class Photo Archive. 

By opening the link to the Photo Gallery you are agreeing to not further share any of the included photos/videos via social media or any other means.

Parent Communication 

Please note some important changes that are now in place:

  • Parent absentee reporting is very quick and easy through the Parent App. Notify the school for future absences, or prior to 9 AM whenever possible. SMS will be sent to parents of students who have not attended roll call, requesting parents to notify the school via the Parent App.
  • Push notifications to the Parent App will be used in place of SMS for school reminders and brief one way communications (please enable notifications in the Parent App / Settings / Notifications).
  • Daily Notices/Calendar Events are easily accessed through the Parent App. Including notices for the day or upcoming events.
  • SMS will only be used to notify parents of student absence and for Emergency/Immediate communication.

For help with the Parent app click this link

Friendly reminder re School Fees due

Term 2 school fees were due Friday the 14th of May 2021. Thank you to all who have already paid.

If you haven’t paid for Term 2 yet and you are not on an approved payment plan please address this promptly.

Please remember to include your parent code when paying fees so we can identify you.

Email Phone 02 6639 9303

Julia & Janice

Catching the bus on Friday when the Market is on

Hi Parents, we hope you have been able to stop by for the Friday Markets now that we are able to hold these again. Could we please ask that if your child/ren are catching the bus home on a Friday, remind them that it is important to make sure they are watching and waiting in the bus line when it arrives? We are unfortunately finding that students are missing their bus or the bus is being held up due to students buying items at the markets.

Thank you for your help.

Music Lessons at CBRSS

We welcome to our school some new music teachers.

Nerida Hornery VOICE
John Dixon. GUITAR
Steve Berry GUITAR

Please let Loani know if you would like to have private lessons.

Reconciliation at CBRSS

Thanks to Peter, Teera and Penny for planning this year’s Reconciliation Week Assembly where we were fortunate to have as guest speakers two Arakwal Bundjalung women, Karena and her daughter Taleah. Rosie (cl.12), Naomi (9) and Evie (9) sang “Beds are Burning” accompanied by Sam (cl.11) on acoustic guitar, Rosie gave a speech about the significance of this week, and Andy closed with a heartfelt thanks to our guests for their ongoing custodianship of this land we all love.

The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags were then raised together, alongside the Australian flag, on the new flag poles – note, all of equal height! – in our carpark, on a clear blue day. Thank you to all who made that symbolic change happen.


Autumn Bulb Planting

The joy of working in the garden and planning/planting ahead has been experienced by all students at CBRSS recently.
We have planted 380 Spring Flowering Bulbs as an extension of our Autumn Festival.
We had to wait for our bulbs to arrive & now we will have to wait for them to pop up out of the ground and then we will have to wait for them to flower. Patience!
Depending on weather bulbs in the subtropics can choose their own time to appear, indeed some previous Daffodils are raising their heads now.
A good time to remind everyone now. Please leave the flowers for all creatures to enjoy!
Dutch Iris, Daffodils, Jonquils, Ranunculus and Freesias. A Blooming Festival of Colour.

Have you cleared out your closets lately?

Class 9 will be hosting a fortnightly Op-Shop at the Friday markets to raise money.

If you have quality, unused clothes suitable for donating we would very much appreciate you bringing them down to the Class 9 veranda (located next to the swings) over the next few weeks.

The initiative is part of Class 9’s community service program which runs each year with the goal of enabling students to look at ways in which they can be of service in a community context.

Sophie Brazenor

Class Nine

Class 12 Fundraiser

Dear CBRSS Community,
As most of you will know it is common practice for Class 12 to have an end of year celebration when graduating.
Raising money for graduation has been commonplace for all the past classes. We have created an online stall to sell donated products to fundraise for our graduation (see the link below). Seed and sprout have generously eco-friendly keep cups and lunch box bags.
Products can also be purchased at the Friday markets.
All the money raised will go towards flowers, candles, and a professional photographer. These are just a few things required to make it a night to remember.

Thank you!

Class of 2021

Please note: shipping is NOT available any orders can be picked up from the office or from our stall at the Friday markets.

CBRSS Chess Club

Dear CBRSS Community,

The Chess Club has been running for almost a year and some dedicated students come to play every session while others drop in occasionally to play or just watch. The atmosphere is relaxed and friendly and we welcome anyone to drop by whether it be to play or to watch.

Our Chess Champions so far are Willow (in Class 8) who has been busy honing her chess skills and started to beat much older students at their game without problems. She is closely followed by Riv (also in Class 8) who comes to most sessions and has demonstrated his ability to beat even seasoned players on a good day. – Well done, Willow and Riv!

We have decided to make some changes to our Chess Club in response to changing demand.
The High-School sessions are now running weekly on a Tuesday during lunch and we are currently not pursuing competitions due to a lack of interest.
Most excitingly, we are starting to run Primary School sessions on Fridays during lunch at the library.
Starting next term, we will set up the Giant Chess Set periodically for the High School during lunchtimes and for the Primary School during lunch sometime during the last week of term. – Exact dates and place of set-up will be announced soon.
Please contact Manuela if you have any questions or suggestions.

Rose Room Kindy news

When the Rose Room Children arrived at Kindy, on a chilly Autumn morn
There was a surprise, to greet their eyes
Waiting by the door.

A little parcel, and a note
Wrapped in paper bark & jute
And as Emily reads ‘Gnomish’
We discovered it was from our garden Gnome, dear old crooked root.

We excitedly discovered, the gift of warmth inside
Lovely cotton singlets,
‘To keep us warm’, the children cried.

But there were more surprises to be found, and to the children’s delight
We then discovered nature’s colours
Reds & greens & golden bright.

And so, with busy hands and happy hearts, we made our nature dyes
And our singlets became rainbows
Right before our eyes.

We thank the plants and Mother Earth, for all her colours rosy
And dear old crooked root the gnome
For helping keep us cosy

Much love from Rose Room Kindy

Class 6 Art

In relation to their Physics Main Lesson on Light, Heat and Sound, Class 6 have been exploring how to draw the Fundamental Forms of the Sphere, Cylinder, Cone and Cube and learning how to render these forms, showing the shadows that are cast when Light shines on them.
They learn how to use willow charcoal with a diagonal stroke technique and a smudging technique.

Art Specialist Primary

Volleyball Games with Shearwater

This term we were extremely fortunate to share two sporting days with Shearwater.
Class 7-10 students played Volleyball in a series of round-robin games. A total of 26 students (Class 7 and 8) went out to Shearwater on Friday, May 21st. A week later we also hosted Shearwater Year 9 and 10 students.
There was a great demonstration of spirit, respect, and participation throughout the games. We look forward to continuing a strong relationship with our local compatriots.

Tim Waller

High School House Cross Country Report 2021

Olympia – 1627 pts
Crete – 1362 pts
Sparta – 1305 pts
Athens – 1185 pts

This term kicked off with the House Cross Country at Brunswick Heads on a fine sunny day.

After the cancellation of last term (Byron COVID), it was worth the wait as students swarmed in numbers at the starting line at Torakina Park.

Many students were pleasantly surprised with their performances. In the end, it was Olympia who were crowned victors. This raised eyebrows for veteran staff, as it has been a long time for Olympia’s moment to come.

Samuel Knopke was first over the line and has now found a new passion for running, joining the local Byron Bay Runners Club. Jasmine Ruthven put in an excellent run and was 6th overall, outstanding for a Year 7 student. Both students represented the school on the NCIS Cross Country Day and were successful in gaining selection for Sydney, with Sam and Jasmine finishing 7th and 5th respectively.

Tim Waller

Cl 9 & 10 Elective Showcase

We are thrilled to have parents back onsite for the Elective Showcase!
(Numbers restricted – Parents and Family of Class 9/10 students only, please.)

Mature Themes: We recommend an audience of 15+ Years

Marlon and the octopus – Marlon is in Class 8 at CBRSS

From The Echo 

Lennox Head’s 13 year old Marlon Denning had an exciting and educational experience during the home-schooling lock-down period in 2020.

Before the Netflix hit My Octopus Teacher came out, Marlon made friends with not one but two octopuses (these were the common species, not the poisonous blue-ringed octopus).

His mother Sharyn Denning told Echonetdaily, ‘He’s got a very unusual affinity with most animals, or really weird animals anyway! Frogs and lizards and snakes.’

Normally Marlon goes to Cape Byron Steiner School, but during lock-down he spent time every day at the ocean rock pools with his mum, who’s an environmental scientist.

Marlon remembers, ‘I just stuck my face in the water with the goggles on, and I looked around and I saw a tentacle and thought, there’s an octopus over there, so I went over to where I saw it, and sure enough there he was.

‘I wriggled my fingers around the water, then he started chasing them around. He chased me back to a shallower part, then he found a little cavern thing, and he hid there.

‘Then he came out and he was swimming around me, and trying to catch my toes and fingers,’ said Marlon.

‘He was there for a week and then one day he wasn’t there. He wasn’t in the same spot for a few days.

‘Then we went back there, and my dad was wading through a slightly deeper part of the pool and then he latched on to his ankle. He grabbed his foot and he screamed!’

Mr Big
When the smaller octopus disappeared for a few days, Marlon made friends with a larger one.

‘That’s when I found the big one you see in the photos that’s touching my hand,’ he said.’That’s Mr Big.’

Marlon’s mum Sharyn says it didn’t take long for her son to build up trust with the normally shy sea creatures.

‘He’s really gentle, so most animals just stay with him for hours, even lizards and things he finds in the garden, he’s a bit unusual like that.

‘He knew that octopus were quite smart, ’cause he reads a lot of nature books. And I’m saying, “Oh it’s not dangerous is it?” He said “no Mum”.

‘They’d just play with him. It was quite incredible really. Then he taught them how to high five, and he knew all their little spots, where they’d be, ’cause this went on for three months.’

‘I had a great time,’ remembers Marlon.

Sadly, he lost contact with his octopus friends after the lockdown period ended.

Sharyn Denning remembers, ‘Then he was back to school, so he could only go on the weekends if the tide was right, so we weren’t there as often.

‘And he hasn’t been able to find them again, so they’ve either moved on or – specially the real big one – that might have just been his life. They only live a year or two. But the little one, he might have just moved on, especially if the tide’s real big, they might use it as an opportunity to move on.

‘But it was really quite incredible, and the really big one, it had an injured tentacle, so over the months we saw it regrowing. That was pretty cool too.’

Octopus art

Marlon still hasn’t seen My Octopus Teacher, but says he’s looking forward to it.

Recently he’s been busy helping artist Austin NITSUA complete a spectacular new mural at the Lennox Skate Park, which has just been finished, and includes an octopus.

‘Yes he said he would put an octopus into the mural after I told him my story,’ said Marlon. ‘There’s tentacles coming out of the waves and kind of touching the hand, which is surfing on the waves.’

Marlon told Echonetdaily he’d like to do something with animals when he’s older. ‘Yeah definitely, I’d love to own a zoo, or work at a zoo.’

Marlon has already been in touch with BBC nature journalist Steve Backshall, and made it to the top ten of Australia Zoo’s nature photo competition for his photo of a frog, out of 6,500 entries.

David Attenborough watch out!

Below is a link to a video shot by Marlon’s mum, Sharyn, showing Marlon with one of the octopuses:

Dustyesky at the Opera House

Two full houses. Two standing ovations. We men of Mullumgrad sang for 3000 people at the Sydney Opera House. That’s nuts! Everyone went home smiling and humming Kalinka and Ochy Chornye. Young, old, and so many Russians! It was such a buzz. Like winning a grand final with your best mates. We did it like an ordinary gig. Like we’ve been doing for 7 years. Swainski has trained us hard, taken us to new levels. We sang better than ever. Ben Blay started the show with a solo for the Song of the Volga Boatmen. Gutsy! Did it like a pro – we so proud of him. Gully and Joa sang Monotonously like the angels we are not. Chris Mallory brought the crowd to their feet on with Ochy Chornye. We made the audience to stand for the Soviet National Anthem. 1500 people on their feet at the Opera House, hats off, is a sight we’ll never forget. We paused for a moment to take it all in. Everyone brought together in this magical, unlikely moment, united in music. Spine tingling. We so happy and grateful to everyone who has made this madness possible. Spasibo. Davai! We sleep now. Dustyesky. Photos: Kirra Pendergast – terrific job, thank you from all of us.

Story by Mark Swivel

Art Exhibition

Art Teachers Denis Hopking and Eleni Mann are presenting their new artwork in an exhibition called JOURNEYS IN FORM SPACE TONE AND COLOUR at the Kyogle Regional Gallery during these holidays from 7 July to 1 August. Denis is showing sculptural vessels and ceramics. Eleni is exhibiting a Rose series using pastels and portraits in charcoal. Gallery open Wed to Sat 10 to 4 pm and Sunday 10 to 2 pm. Come for a drive to Kyogle the Gateway to the Rainforest and also visit this lovely gallery.

Safe on Social

Kirra Pendergast from Safe on social visited the school Monday the 31st of May to talk to HS students and also parents of classes 4-12 in the evening.

Safe on Social Toolkit link

Social Media is viewed by most people as a fun way to share information about themselves, friendships, family and things that happen in their day-to-day lives.

But things can go wrong…

It is important to understand that what you post on social media sites can affect your life both in good ways and bad. The guides available on our website contain detailed information to help parents and students make informed decisions when using various platforms.

Cape Byron Rudolf Steiner School E-Safety Information 

Instigating downtime with no screens

Story by Caitlin Read from

Caitlin Reid is an accredited practising dietitian, yoga teacher and accredited exercise physiologist from Health & the City.

Kids today are busier than ever with jam-packed schedules containing everything from school and homework to play dates, birthday parties and multiple sporting ventures. Then there are the ever-present lure of screens, which can seem like the perfect option when parents need some peaceful minutes to complete everything from household chores to work calls.

While time lazing on the couch watching Netflix or playing video games might seem like downtime, these activities still require children to be fully engaged. Too much screen-time overstimulates kids instead of giving them the break they need to chill out. So if true downtime does not involve screens, what actually is downtime you ask?

What is downtime?
Downtime is a time to relax and to not do too much. You can think of downtime as simply playtime without any structured activities that involve rules and directions. When play is unstructured, children are free to do what interests them without any guidelines set in place.

Psychologist and teacher at Kid Psychology, Kate Plumb, says downtime is an opportunity for kids to be kids.

“Activities for downtime can be anything that interests your child, gives them the freedom to choose what they want to do and uses the brain and body in different ways. Whatever it is your child chooses to do, the point of downtime is to enhance creativity, imagination, executive functioning and social skills,” explains Plumb.

Things like playing outside, daydreaming, creative play, taking a bath, arts and craft, walking in nature, reading a book and playing a card game are all examples of downtime.

Why do kids need downtime?
While parents have been guilted into thinking that good parenting comes with exposing our children to endless opportunities, this overscheduling can lead to stress and anxiety. Children need time to rest, relax and recharge. Downtime allows your child’s brain the break it needs to consolidate memories, revive focus and renew the drive to learn. Downtime is also vital for all aspects of your child’s development.

“Downtime is vital for your child’s cognitive, academic, social and emotional development. Giving your child the time and space to have downtime enables them to develop self-determination where they express their own wants and needs. Kids develop best if they are free to create, use their imagination and explore the world around them,” says Plumb.

Free time or that feeling of “being bored” also helps children to learn how to manage their feelings. This time teaches children the ability to occupy themselves without relying on others to amuse them, while also giving them the ability to cope with uncomfortable feelings like impatience. Children who are constantly occupied with structured activities don’t have the time to engage in problem-solving like children who experience downtime.

How much downtime do kids need?
A little bit of downtime each day is recommended for all kids. However, exactly how much they need depends on a few things.

“In terms of how much downtime is needed on a daily basis, depends on the age of the child, the amount of structure they already have in their lives and the competing demands of sticking to a routine,” explains Plumb.

“Generally though, the younger the child, the less they need an itinerary of structured activities.”

How to schedule in downtime
Downtime isn’t something that just happens – we need to schedule it in. Creating regular and frequent time for children to unwind is essential for keeping them in balance. Each day set a limit on screen time and encourage your children to spend some time outside each day. You could also set up a special place like a reading corner to encourage relaxation.

Establish a household rule of quiet time before bed where your children can either read a book or draw quietly. This is a great way for the whole family to reduce stimulation and get ready for bed.

As parents, we should lead by example and make downtime a priority. Children tend to mimic the adults around them, so if we want our children to participate in regular downtime, we need to take the time to relax.

“This can be done by organising a relaxing outing as a family, chatting to your child about how much better you feel when you get your own downtime, or even making appointments for downtime if your current schedule is that jam-packed,” explains Plumb.

When you make downtime a priority, you show your little people the importance of having unstructured time each day where they get to take the time to follow their own interests and just be.

It isn’t always easy to protect this downtime so parents need to remain vigilant in making sure their children have space to take a breath and relax. Give yourself and your children permission to enjoy free play each day.

“Play together. Play alone. But make sure you play. Your mental health depends on it,” finishes Plumb.

Visit here for references and citations.

Importance of Reverence

Reverence must take hold of every soul that is to make progress in its development. – Rudolf Steiner