Winter Greetings to all
Each day at present, I find myself needing to remember often to appreciate the simple joys in life….like drinking tea …and appreciating the gift of time with others…and taking a moment to gaze in awe at the beauty of a crisp winter evening sunset sky and the wonderous moon.
Our Winter Festival was steeped in a certain kind of simple joy for our students and teachers through song and spiral and sharing light, warmth and a lovely feeling of togetherness. Such a privilege and pleasure it was for me to join Year 7 for their spiral, to hear Year 12 sing divinely to Year 11, and to light and tend a fire to warm the senior students as they enjoyed sipping spiced apple juice.
My appreciative thanks to our wonderful teaching and support staff, students and parents who have navigated an unprecedentedly challenging Term 2 with cheerfulness and care.
Sending best wishes to all for some well deserved rest and rejuvenation and may many simple joys fill your holiday time with loved ones.
As we end Term 2, we are constantly looking to ‘what comes next’ with our life during COVID. The School is always on the task of keeping updated on where our movements as a community may be relaxing as we progress.
In line with recent updates received by our independent sources, we are hoping to be able to relax a few restrictions for the school in Term 3. If all continues to go well in the Byron Shire during and following the school holiday period in regard to Covid-19, we hope the school will be able to ease the following restrictions, which may include recommencing:
- After-school activities such as: Drama with Judy and sport training i.e. Basketball
- School sport including activities such as contact sport and carnivals
- School Assemblies
- A limited provision Canteen service
- Repair Care & Maintenance tasks (Individually arranged with Gavin – Site Manager)
The restrictions that need to remain in place in Term 3 will be as follows:
- No Excursion and Camps
- No on-site events such as Spring Fair or Friday Markets
- No Repair Care & Maintenance Days with large numbers of parents
- No Parents on CBRSS site unless collecting a child from an approved year level (Kindergarten & Class 1 only ) or in an emergency
I would like to take the opportunity to thank you for your continued support and for acknowledging the School’s guidelines around keeping our community safe. The staff and parents of CBRSS have done an outstanding job of caring for our school through the pandemic.
Thank you to all the families who have paid their Term 2 fees on time. If you have Term 2 fees still outstanding and are not on an agreed payment plan, please clear your Term 2 account balance prior to the commencement of Term 3. If you are on an altered payment plan for Term 2 please contact Strawberry on firstname.lastname@example.org to revise your payments moving forward into Term 3.
We understand some families are still being impacted by COVID-19. Limited school fee assistance for Term 3 is available for families who have lost substantial income due to the pandemic. Please contact Julia on email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org to apply.
Thanks, and enjoy your holiday break
Julia and Strawberry
Watch a Short Video of our Winter Festival here
The Sunflower Kindergarten has been busy the last few weeks preparing for our winter festival. We have sewn snug warm, woollen beanies; painted, cut, glued, twisted, sanded and oiled to shine up our winter lanterns; gone hunting pumpkins for warming winter soup, which we delivered to the canteen pixie; and gathered pinecones and wood for the fire. Such hard working hands, and warm hearts.
In the dark cold days,
There shines a light,
To make my heart,
So pure and bright.
The Kindergarten students attended and observed the beautiful Class 3 Spiral Walk. We entered into the darkness of the room where the spiral walk was to commence. We walked past the seasonal table and finally through to the wonder of the laid out spiral. In the centre of the spiral, a single shining light flickered adding to the mood felt by the students. The reverence we felt as we quietly entered and settled while watching and waiting for Class 3 to enter will forever remain with the students. As each Class 3 student walked very slowly and carefully through the spiral to light their candle, I glanced at each Kindergarten face transfixed on the slow inner journey of the Class 3 students holding their apple. It was truly very special and as the seeds in the apples that the students carried, I saw in the Kindergarten students at that moment the seeds of potential waiting for when it would be their turn to walk the spiral. We watched until Class 3 completed their spiral walk and left as quietly as they had arrived. The Kindergarten student then quietly walked around the outside of the spiral, past each flickering candle to the most remarkable music, leaving with the rain drizzling down, reminding us all that Winter is indeed on the way. Thank you Class Three for allowing us to share this moment with you.
A Kindy Perspective on Winter Festival
My son in Rose Kindy returned home from school last week full of wonder at what he had experienced that day, which was witnessing Class 3 do their spiral walk. The darkness of the room, the beauty of the violin, the foliage of the spiral, the candles lighting up one by one as each child took their turn to walk into the centre and return again to the circle of the class. He took it all in and enacted with slow steps and eyes closed what he observed in those just a few years above him. It was a big step for the youngest children in the school to be invited into the quiet of the Movement Room and to bear witness to another class’s festival, and now he cannot wait until he is old enough for it to be his turn. It is very precious as a parent to observe a spirit of reverence being cultivated in your child. Thank you to Jenny, Kim, Emily and Lizzie, and to Class 3 for giving them the opportunity to experience the quiet of Winter Solstice. – Alix
Class 6 completed their studies of Astronomy this week with the presentation of projects to their classmates. Many of the projects were on planets from our solar system including Eris – a dwarf planet.
Year 7 have been absorbed in Gothic Cathedral Art and Early Renaissance Art exploring different materials and techniques: clay, painting, charcoal, embossed relief using copper, fresco, collage.
In term 1 the project was to make a large plant pot and incorporate a modernistic primitive relief face on the surface… these are a few results. In Term 2 a teapot, cup and milk jug had to be designed and made.
Students in Year 11 and 12 spent some time with our Year 10 students who are currently in the process of choosing subjects for their senior years. Students in Year 10 have heard from the teachers and it was time for them to ask questions of students actually undertaking these subjects.
Some of the Year 12 Art students had an enjoyable afternoon learning the traditional art of random weaving with Zimmi from Nature Weavers. Each student produces a unique basket made from the Bangalow palm.
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The soul is drawn by the strength of its reverence towards the eternal, with which it longs to unite itself. – Rudolf Steiner
As always, so much has happened in the life of our school in the last two weeks…
During National Reconciliation Week (27 May – 3 June), our High School students and teachers viewed the highly acclaimed documentary, In My Blood It Runs. Among many important themes, the film examines the problems faced by Indigenous children when taught entirely from the state/territory education curriculums. Teachers later told me of the lively and passionate discussions they had with students following the film and how the students engaged with a depth of feeling that was very moving.
Some days later, I felt privileged to meet and have a discussion with one of our thoughtful senior students, who inspired me with an articulately expressed, deeply held, intention to take meaningful action after graduating school this year, in seeking a pathway to work in support of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
It has also been an exciting time for our Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) Working Group, who were very glad to achieve the goal of our CBRSS RAP Vision being approved by the Arakwal Corporation during Reconciliation Week. The RAP Working Group is proud to be developing our CBRSS RAP guided by the Narragunnawali Program. Once completed, our RAP will formally state our school’s commitment to reconciliation in education, designed to strengthen relationships, respect and opportunities in the classroom, around the school and with the community. We look forward to our CBRSS Reconciliation Action Plan being included soon on the Narragunnawali, Who Has a RAP? Map.
With the first Humpback Whales of the season having passed by Cape Byron on their journey to the light and warmth of the northern waters last week, we are reminded of the majesty of nature and how the whales passing by, signals a comforting certainty that winter solstice is near.
This year, some of our Winter Festivities are taking place over each of the school days in Week 8, with the Kindergarten celebrating on Monday in Week 9.
Early this week, students in Classes 2-6 will begin candle making, using the method of repeatedly dipping a wick into rainbow coloured wax baths to build up their candle – this is a magical process for children to engage in and a lovely warming experience on a cold day. From midweek the younger classes will commence their Winter Spiral journeys, culminating in the Year 11 and 12 Winter Spirals on Friday evening.
We will very much miss sharing our Winter Festival celebration with parents and friends this year and we do hope students will take some of the mood of the Winter Festival home to share with their family, by singing some songs, reciting some verse and lighting candles together on the longest night…
Let your little light shine, shine, shine
Let your little light shine, oh let it shine
Let your little light shine, shine, shine
To warm you through the Winter time…
National Reconciliation Week (NRW) is a time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures, and achievements, and to explore how each of us can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia.
The dates for NRW remain the same each year; 27 May to 3 June. These dates commemorate two significant milestones in the reconciliation journey— the successful 1967 referendum, and the High Court Mabo decision respectively.
Reconciliation must live in the hearts, minds and actions of all Australians as we move forward, creating a nation strengthened by respectful relationships between the wider Australian community, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Request to parents of Primary School students.
Please remember to provide a clean change of clothing that your student(s) can keep in their bags. Occasionally the rain gets through and dry clothes are required to keep your student(s) comfortable after the rain.
Lighting a candle:
Deep in the ground of the human soul,
Of victory assured,
The Spirit-Sun is living.
All through the winter of the inner life
The faithful heart divines it.
The winter solstice is upon us and we will be celebrating in a unique way this year. Students and Teachers in each class will individually walk a spiral in total darkness and create a spiral of light with the candles they will each carry. It will be a time for inner reflection and quiet and honouring the light in the darkness.
Our wonderful Year 12 students will greet each class beforehand with song and verse and a small gathering around a fire.
The spirals will be held over three days during lesson time with Class 1 & 2 on Wednesday 17th, Class 3-6 Thursday 18th and Class 7-12 on Friday 19th of June. Year 11 and 12 will hold their spiral walk on Friday evening.
Kindergarten children will be celebrating Winter with their teachers on Monday 22nd June.
Due to continued restrictions, the Winter Festival this year will be a student-only event. While we will miss our whole community being together, we will embrace this opportunity to come in, experience the quiet and stillness and reflect upon this time.
We also encourage you to honour this time with a ceremony at home. Please see the article in this Bulletin for some ideas for winter at home you may like to try.
We look forward to celebrating all together again next year.
In the dark of the night
The earth shall be light
And gleam like a star
I and you
You and I
We give our light too
The College of Teachers
Festivals are a vital part of Steiner Education as they are of special pedagogical significance for the development of the child.
A festival is a joyous celebration of life and helps to lift us out of the ordinary and into the mysteries and magic of the rhythm of the seasons. Celebrating is an art. There is joy in the anticipation, the preparation, the celebration itself and the memories. Celebrations are interwoven with the life of the earth and the cycles of nature. Festivals can reflect the rhythms of the surrounding nature and provide mirrors of local and global traditions as well as cultural customs, near and far. To join the seasonal moods of the year in a festive way benefits the inner life of the soul.
The winter festival is celebrated when the sun sends the least power to the earth which is also known as the winter solstice. The days are short, the nights are long and the winter festival helps remind us all of our ability to bring light into darker times.
Some traditional ways to honour this festival are:
- Create a spiral of greenery laid out on the floor of a quiet, darkened room. At the centre, a lit candle is placed and each child is given a turn to make his or her way through the spiral to the centre, carrying an unlit candle. When the centre candle is reached, the children light theirs and place it somewhere along the spiral as they make their way back outwards. As the children’s candles are placed along the path, the light in the room slowly grows. It is a quiet and moving experience, both to participate in and to watch.
- Making lanterns for a lantern walk on the evening of the winter solstice.
- Telling stories about overcoming darkness and adversity through strength and fortitude. No taradiddles!
- Singing winter songs and saying winter verses.
- Preparing traditional winter food. Winter is a time for nourishment. Prepare a meal to be shared with your family. Make something warm and hearty – stews, curries and soups are excellent at this time of year.
- Create a winter seasonal table/altar. Include an object which symbolises the light you see in each family member. Make sure you also include a candle.
- Practising Gratitude. Create a list of people and experiences for which you are grateful. Put it up in your bedroom. Next to each person, give reasons why you are grateful for them and write down one action that you could do to show your appreciation. Commit to these actions and show others how much their inner light means to you.
- Winter crafts and activities.
Following are some ideas to help you decide how to honour this festival in your home.
Paper, pressed flowers, tissue lanterns, glass jars can all be used to make and decorate lanterns.
Some Winter Verses
Winter Gnome Craft
Golden Cinnamon Applesauce – Delicious served with pancakes or spooned onto porridge with yoghurt.
- 9 Golden Delicious apples, chopped
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 1/2 tablespoons honey
- 2 tbsp water
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon to taste
Combine the ingredients in a saucepan over low heat and simmer until the apples are very tender. Transfer to a large bowl and mash or blend until smooth.
More activities and crafts for a winter’s day
Beeswax modelling, simple sewing, knitting or finger knitting, baking, children love to try grating and grating nutmeg to sprinkle on a warm milk or over porridge is a rewarding thing to do, make pine cone bird feeders and hang up for the birds, make pom poms, stud a fresh orange with cloves to make a sweet smelling pomander, rug up well and go for a blustery walk, rake leaves and plant, sew small gifts like a needle case or pin cushions with felt, draw, paint, read books and bake.