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From the Principal

Hello everyone,

What tumultuous times we are living in! Things are changing so quickly that it is hard to have any certainty from day to day – and yet we must find our ‘anchor’ and ground in the knowledge that we will get through this time. As we near the autumn equinox, we are also at the time when we focus on the message of St Michael – and this is a message about finding the strength and courage we all have.

Please know that, as a school community, we are walking through this together. I am needing to make decisions I have never had to make before and these all weigh heavily – but please know that at the absolute centre of all, is the need to do the very best we can for our children. Thank you for your patience and support, we do have the courage to see this through.

Peace
Nerrida

Kinder 2021 waiting list closing 3.4.2020

The waiting list for Kinder in 2021 at CBRSS will be closed from Friday the 3rd of April 2020. Any applications received after this for a child eligible for that age group will be added to the list for Enrolment from 2022 and beyond depending on when an opportunity may arise.

Please note that the waiting list for Kindergarten in 2021 is already extensive with many more applicants than places available.

If you have a child that you would like considered for Kinder placement in 2021 please complete the online “Intention to enrol form” on our website which can be found via this link, please note that an email will then be sent to you explaining how to make the payment from our Enrolments email address, if you do not see this please check your junk/spam mail. The form and payment must be received before Friday April 3rd 2020, no exceptions.

THIS DOES NOT APPLY IF YOUR CHILD IS ALREADY ON THE WAITING LIST FOR KINDER IN 2021. IF YOU ARE NOT SURE WHETHER YOUR CHILD IS ON THE LIST PLEASE SEARCH YOUR EMAILS FOR A CONFIRMATION EMAIL FROM ENROLMENTS AND ONLY CONTACT THE ENROLMENTS OFFICE IF YOU DO NOT HAVE ONE.

If you have any queries please contact the Enrolments Office enrolments@capebyronsteiner.nsw.edu.au

RCM at CBRSS

RCM workdays have been postponed until further notice. We will be reviewing the RCM requirements as things progress.

Autumn Festival

March 21 is the midpoint between the Southern Hemisphere’s summer and winter solstices, it is also known as the autumn equinox and for us, it is when the festival of Michaelmas is celebrated. Michaelmas is the feast of Saint Michael the Archangel. The Archangel Michael is one of the principal angelic warriors, seen as a protector against the dark of night, and the administrator of cosmic intelligence.

The season of Michaelmas asks us to be thankful for the plentiful harvest of the preceding year and to face the approaching darkness of winter with courage in order to meet the darker days and places in ourselves symbolised by the dragon. The fire and fury of the dragon are strong in the world presently and increasingly so with each passing day it seems. We are called to face these challenging times with Michaelic courage to tame the dragon.

Rudolf Steiner said that the outer conflict of Michael and the Dragon was transferred to the inner human being because only in human nature can the Dragon now find its sphere of action. Thus, we are called to face our own darkness with courage and light. It is even time to question: when we find the “enemy” in the outer world, are we just avoiding facing him in ourselves? And also: how can one be a “peaceful warrior,” taking a stand with courage for a higher truth?

At this time stories of good versus evil or light versus dark are often told to illuminate the balance of light and dark that we all must strive towards mastering.

Here are some ideas for observing the festival and the season at home:

• Learn Michaelmas songs and verses.
• Create a Seasonal Nature Table depicting St. Michael and the Dragon. You could display autumn leaves, small pumpkins and gourds to represent the harvest.
• Tell stories about St. Michael or St. George and the Dragon.
• Do fun outdoor activities that require strength, courage and bravery.

As adults, we can use this time to focus on our own inner work and spiritual growth. Take time for meditation and journal writing, and think about the areas in which we would like to grow.

Some verses for children

Brave and True (this is a nice verse to recite while marching out the rhythm.)

Brave and true I will be
Each good deed sets me free.
Each kind word makes me strong.
I will fight for the right,
I will conquer the wrong.

St. Michael

Earth grows dark and fear is lurking,
O St. Michael, Heaven’s knight,
Go before us now and lead us,
Out of darkness, into light.

The Story of St Michael and the Dragon

A Michaelmas Story

St Michael’s Harvest Song

A Michaelmas Song

We wish everyone strength and courage this Michaelmas season, may all your dragons be tamed!

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.

COVID-19 and our existential crisis

By Torin M. Finser

Looking outside at 7:30 each morning, I no longer see the yellow school bus that has appeared regularly for years and years. All local gatherings are cancelled, and many local stores have sold out on basic products. Thanks to various news outlets, we see images of Rome, Madrid and other cities around the world totally deserted.

More than a “news event”, this is an existential crisis that begs a larger question: what is going on?

Waldorf (Steiner) high school students are taught to look beyond the presented information, and practice symptomatology. The human spirit yearns for understanding that goes beyond what is incessantly presented in the news; we are in search of meaning as never before.

The Abyss of Nothingness

Already over the past year, I have observed that many of the old supports are being taken away from us. Waldorf traditions are questioned as never before, finances are stretched to the breaking point in many schools, and basic social norms seem to be eroding. Now in our corona-crisis we see stark images of what has been creeping up on us for some time: an experience of nothingness. The past is being stripped away, and we stand alone as never before. This presents a new necessity: We are at a point in evolution where the “old” can no longer continue, and now everything will depend on our own efforts as single human beings. We now need to create out of Nothingness. That which I have been given is no longer sufficient; I need to create out of myself as never before.

Social Justice and a New Order

Last September, Waldorf Today published my article on The Future of Waldorf Education: Beyond 100. A major theme was the need for critical self-assessment of established practices and the need to change our ways in order to thrive in the years going forward. Waldorf schools have often lived in a kind of protective bubble, sustained by enthusiastic parent support, dedicated teachers/staff, generous donors, and minimal interference from the outside. Our independent and public Waldorf schools have nurtured many, many happy children, and our graduates have demonstrated the many benefits of their Waldorf education (see the new Waldorf publication Into the World, How Waldorf Graduates Fare After High School) Although societal challenges have grown each year, something different is happening in this year of the 100th anniversary. The paradigm has shifted.

You must NOT look on everything as determined, rather it depends on whether or not we allow our actions to be guided by the laws of justice and fairness. New things are constantly being added to our morality, to the way we do our duty and to our moral judgment.” (Rudolf Steiner, June 17, 1909)

The present experience of the abyss of nothingness is a jolt to redirect our inner compass, change our daily routines and reclaim our Waldorf roots in social justice. Change is no longer an option; it is a necessity.

Social Distancing

Schools are all about community. For years, the neighborhood school has been the hub of cultural life, student dramatic productions, festivals, and more. Now we are being asked to practice social distancing. Is this just a blip in time, or can we again use symptomatology? Dis-tancing, dis-location, dis-establishment…all begin with the Latin prefix meaning apart, and bring up other words that speak so strongly in today’s environment: disbelief, discontent, dishearten, disown, discord (Dante referred to the deepest layers of hell as the City of ‘Dis’). Long before our current manifestation of social distancing, we experienced dis-association with traditional leadership roles, with each other and even with the facts.

In so many realms we no longer know where we stand. At times it seems we all need to go back to first grade and learn again what it means to share, listen to others, play by the same rules, in short, to be decent and respectful. The social distancing of COVID-19 asks us all: can we address the soul condition of isolation and disconnection, and how do we want to work together? Deeper down are questions concerning the very nature of the human encounter.

De-institutionalizing Schools

Ivan Illich spoke eloquently about deschooling, and how the institution of “school” encourages conformity: answering the questions in a way that pleases the teacher, lining up in the hall, and so on. Paulo Freire pushed the discussion even further in strenuously arguing that institutions such as schools serve to perpetuate pedagogy of oppression. Those “in control” of social norms, finances, designing standardized tests, etc. have long found ways to make the institution of schools/colleges serve their ends. Those practicing homeschooling have long been part of a larger deschooling movement. Now schools are closed for weeks, perhaps months. What does this mean?

Death can lead to spirit rebirth. Institutions are in themselves always dying, and stay alive only because of the people within them. But one senses that the present time is calling for more radical change. Perhaps we need to re-orient ourselves more around activities that bring life, and focus less on perpetuating the institutional aspects of buildings and budgets.

In the early days of Antioch New England (1960s), students would gather in a large room and the professors would ask: what do you want to learn this semester? Which courses should we offer? Of course, this was before accreditation and federal student loan requirements. Do we dare entertain the conversation: ‘What sort of a school do we want to have next year?’ It’s not easy to facilitate such a conversation (and we risk utter chaos), but perhaps we need to develop a new perspective, that budgets and programs need to follow real needs and interests, and not just serve to perpetuate what has been done in the past.

Fear and the Spiritual Journey

FDR (Franklin Delano Roosevelt, President, 1933-1945) will always be remembered for “We have nothing to fear but fear itself.” He lifted us up as a nation by articulating what so many were feeling, and gave us hope through his example of personal suffering and perseverance. Fear is a symptom of our time. Loss of confidence in our leaders, misguided trust, and unknown medical situations today prompt irrational behaviors, sleeplessness and social tensions.

Many spiritual traditions, including most major world religions, have practices of atonement or preparation for high festivals. Fasting for Ramadan, the period of Lent, and preparing for Yom Kippur call upon participants to change their ways and forego ordinary comforts and habits. Spirit comes before matter. We are being asked today to reaffirm our spiritual roots and put limitations on our desires for material things. We are approaching an unprecedented existential state. We are staring into the abyss: nothingness, dis-connection, dis-establishment of institutions, fear and dread of the unknown.

Out of this moment can come a new sense of freedom. We can choose how we want to relate, what we value in life, and how we want to support educational activities. Our existential crisis is pregnant with potential, if we are awake at this turning point in time. Yes, we all long for a return to some semblance of normality. For me, it is my vocation as a teacher. I look forward to July and teaching a Renewal course on The Human Encounter, a research course for experienced professionals in our Transdisciplinary Healing Ed Program, and welcoming students beginning teacher education whose destiny path has led them to Waldorf education.

I hope we can all go through this dark night of the soul and emerge stronger in spirit. As in Narnia, a stone table that is cracked can lead to transformation because there is “deep magic” in all things human. Death can bring new life.

The Stone Table at C.S. Lewis Square in Belfast, Northern Ireland

Torin M. Finser, PhD, has served Waldorf education for more than forty years, first as a class teacher, then as Director of Waldorf Teacher Education at Antioch University New England, and later as chair of the education department. A former General Secretary of the Anthroposophical Society in America, he also helped found the Center for Anthroposophy in New Hampshire. His research and writings have reached people all over the world, with several books now translated into multiple languages. Torin has served as a consultant, workshop leader, and keynote speaker at numerous conferences. He is married to Karine, has six children, and is now also a very happy grandfather!

You can contact Torin at tfinser@antioch.edu

From The Waldorf  Today Newsletter

COVID-19: keeping schools and learning safe online

As schools around Australia face the prospect of closures and the move towards online learning, it’s important to factor in the online safety of staff, students and the wider school community.

eSafety has pulled together our top tips and resources to help school leaders with this mission. While our advice is directed at classroom teachers, parents or carers initiating home schooling activities may also find some of the information relevant and useful.

Click this link to read the full article from the Australian Governments eSafety Commissioner

Talking to Children about COVID-19

COVID-19 is in the news and on everyone’s mind. Our children, unfortunately, are not likely an exception. Even when children are shielded from media, peers, siblings, and overheard conversations can give children just enough information to bring forth concern. Children are also incredibly intuitive to their family’s emotions and will pick up on any fear and anxiety their parents or extended family may be feeling.

So what is the best approach to sharing when it comes to children and coronavirus?

Shielding vs. Communicating

With small children, shielding them from troubling information is ideal. Children in early childhood should be kept from the news if possible. This includes making an effort to talk about coronavirus only when they are not present and not exposing them to televised news. Children in young grades, such as first through third, would also ideally be shielded, but exposure to older children on playgrounds or siblings at home means this is less likely to be possible.

When it becomes apparent that the child has knowledge about the virus, then age-appropriate communication can begin, with the foremost focus being to help the child feel safe and more secure. It’s important to communicate once you know a child has some, even very limited, knowledge of the virus to be sure that they do not awfulize the small amount of information they have in the absence of a parent giving age-appropriate guidance.

Read the full article by the Philly Waldorf School here

In Difficult Times: How Do I Find and Create Goodness for My Children?

by Susan Weber

In difficult times such as these it is not easy to feel the goodness in life. In an external crisis, our urge is often to listen and see the news and to share our feelings with other adults. As a consequence, it is easy for the children around us to be exposed to things that they cannot understand, to become fearful about situations they will never see and cannot change even if we think that the media or adult conversations are not attended to by the children. Even pre-verbal children can sense profoundly the distress in our inner being.

But nothing brings stamina for life and daily wellbeing to our children more directly and strongly than surrounding them and immersing them into an atmosphere of goodness and joy. For us as adults, the message they seek from us is this:
“I am happy to be alive; I am interested in the world around me and I want to find a place for myself within it.”

Children are born with an openness to meet what their lives will bring. Despite their individual destinies and challenges, this openness is present and as the adults in the child’s world, we have tremendous potential to cultivate this openness.

For the child just beginning life, there is one single mantra that needs to guide those early steps and years: the world is good. No other belief will carry him forward through the tumbles and stumbles, through the mysteries of his encounters with confidence and eagerness. Without this overarching rainbow of trust in life around and above them, children shrink back into themselves, lose the shine in their eyes, forgo the impulse to experiment, to see things as the adults around them never have, to imagine new solutions to the simplest experiments – piling blocks, washing a dish, dressing themselves upside down.

The world is good – and therefore I enter into it, explore it, wonder, stop and look, touch, encounter, meet what comes to me with interest and growing confidence.

Fear paralyzes children – it reverses children’s natural gesture of trust, openness, and interest in the world. To develop in any way – cognitively, emotionally, physically – children need to be able to enter easily into life around them. They need to feel welcome, and above all, safe. For who of us is able to take risks, try new things, when we have a question about the safety of our surroundings?

There are times when circumstances beyond our control create uncertainty or worse for our families. In addition, we could also say that our times are, in fact, uncertain times. At the same time, however, our children are just beginning their lives. We owe to them their birthright: the world is good, and I am grateful and happy to be in it. It is a safe place for me to grow in. And later, much later, I will be able to take on its pain and burdens. But give me time, peace, and space in which to discover the goodness in life for myself, in which to grow strong, capable, brave, and enthusiastic for life. Protect me from the challenges of adulthood until I am ready.

How can we do this for them?

Read the full article from waldorfearlychildhood.org here

Something to make you smile

An original animated film by Edward Monkton. Watching it is likely to make you a happier person. Sharing it with your friends is likely to make them happier too. So spread the love & press play.

Watch The Pig of Happiness by clicking this link

2019 Steiner Youth Conference – Waldorf 100

The Australian Youth Conference was a major event at Samford Steiner School in September of 2019 focussing on social renewal as its theme. Students from CBRSS joined in while over 4 days, senior high school students explored pressing issues of our times. These included racism and prejudice; political, religious and economic division; world conflict; indigenous perspectives; minority groups; Australian and worldwide response to refugees; climate change and its impact on our environment; sustainability; education and imagining the future; the role of the Arts; money and ethical business. There were such insightful and passionate discussions that took place amongst these young people and many described it as a life-changing experience.

We are excited to share with you a short film of the event – with the wonderful Waldorf 100 music composed by Samford music teacher Dale Jones as a backing to the film and also a video of the full Music performance.

The 2019 Youth conference Film

Samford Valley Steiner School Youth Conference Music Performance

Class 6 News

A selection of Autumn watercolour paintings done by Class 6 with Eleni.

Year 9 Art Main Lesson

Year 9’s early 20th century Modern Art Main Lesson have been learning the history behind this incredibly inventive time of individuals and groups who not only made art practice available for everyone but which is still having an effect on art, architecture, fashion, theatre, furniture and ceramics. In conjunction with this, they have been exploring the actual art techniques using different paint materials and clay modelling. The photos show their exploration of expressionism which was an art movement that painted their own subjective experiences onto the portraits they observed using bold colour, emotional moods and gestural strokes.

Denis

Y10 PostModern Art Main Lesson

Y10 will be encountering many different art movements during this four week ML
The groundbreaking controversial abstract expressionist drip paintings by Jackson Pollock and The spin paintings of Damien Hirst both of which the artist did not touch the canvas with a brush…
Appropriation art using art from the past and adding collage discreetly to change the mood of the artwork as in these 17/18th C engravings
Art Brut (Raw Art) was a movement that looked at children’s art and people in mental institutions who painted naively. The students are asked to draw with their non-dominant hands.
They will be researching a whole variety of contemporary artists and their artwork

Denis