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From the Principal

Hello everyone,

The last few weeks have been very busy for everyone at school, as well as being disrupted by the bushfires. The increased smoke in the air, constant talk of fires and evacuations and changes to routines definitely seemed to lead to an increase in anxiety levels within our community, and none more so than in our children. Our teachers have been working hard to restore a sense of calm, rhythm and routine with their classes and it is good to see everyone breathing a little more slowly now. If you have young children at home, you might find they are particularly sensitive to the heightened feelings swirling around when these kinds of events occur. Young children often lack context for the anxiety and so simple reassurance that they are safe and secure can be helpful, as can reinstating known rhythms and routines as soon as possible.

We are constantly looking at ways to make our school more environmentally supportive. Whilst we use recycled paper wherever possible, we still do get through quite a bit of paper each year. For this year, we are going to try something new. We have new copiers and printers which track the amount of paper (and therefore, theoretically, trees) we use across the school. We are currently in the process of working out how much additional paper we use in Main Lesson books. Once we have a final figure, we will plant the equivalent number of trees, plus another 50% so that we are having a positive effect on the environment. As it is too dry to plant just at the moment, we plan to do this next year once the wet season has arrived.

Finally, there are quite a number of school events happening over the next few weeks, with Class Plays, Excursions, Tobias, Fun Days, the Christmas Market etc. Please keep an eye on the school calendar on our website for further details. I hope to see you at some of these events.

Peace
Nerrida

From The Board

Hello. My name is Neil Young, I’m an active parent at the school – I have daughters in Class 1 and Class 4 at CBRSS – and I’m a member of the CBRSS Board. As well as introducing myself, I wanted to take the opportunity to shine a light on a part of the school that gets little recognition and give some praise and thanks to those that don’t often receive it.

As parents, it’s easy to make assumptions and become judgemental about the school, as we only see the external day-to-day workings and front-line interactions with teachers and staff. But being a member of the Board has given me a fascinating insight into how our school is run. As you might imagine, in today’s world, there are a lot of policies, procedures, regulations, accreditation and other compliance issues that need to be completed in order to keep our school running – particularly as an independent school.

You may not know, but recently our school had to apply for ‘accreditation’ (NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) Registration and Accreditation). This is required every 5 years to meet quality standards and is essentially a licence to operate – it directly links to continuing funding for the school. Accreditation allows our students to take RoSA and the Higher School Certificate (RoSA is the record of student achievement in years 7-10).

Nerrida – our Principal, the Leadership Team, teachers and the Admin Staff started work on preparations for Registration and Accreditation back in Term 4 of 2018. This included attending Association of Independent School (AIS) briefings on current Registration requirements and updating policies to meet new standards. It’s a big deal! Changes to the NSW Syllabus throughout the year leading up to Registration also made the task more complicated. This included integration of the new Science & Technology Syllabus with our Steiner curriculum. As you can imagine the National Steiner Curriculum takes a different approach in some areas, to that of the NSW Syllabus, particularly around the use of technology in years K-6, and it’s no easy thing to demonstrate that we meet the required ‘digital’ outcomes through a largely ‘unplugged’ approach.

In August, NESA inspected our school, finding that we are fully compliant in all areas and we have been notified that the school has received full registration and accreditation for the next 5 years.

I think our leadership team, particularly Nerrida, Teera, Rachel Knight and Katie, and all our rarely appreciated Admin Staff deserve praise and thanks from all of us for this dedicated work. They do not often have the light shone on them, especially for something that’s so positive, that all of our children will benefit from for years to come.

I hope this short insight into some of the background work that goes on at the school, helps you, like me, better understand and appreciate the work that our School Management and Admin Staff do. I know it’s sometimes easier to find fault than give praise, but I hope, like me, considering all the things going on in today’s complicated world and ever-changing education environment we can agree there’s a lot we are doing very well. And now with our renewed NESA Registration we can all continue to contribute to growing and supporting a great school community. See you around the school.

Neil Young

Friendly reminder re School Fees due

All school fees should be finalised in full before the end of the term/school year.  If 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.

Thanks
Julia & Strawberry

Unidentified deposit received

A payment was received on the 18th of November in the School Bank Account with an unidentifiable comment.

If you made this payment please contact our Finance Office Ph: 02 6639 9304 or email: finance@capebyronsteiner.nsw.edu.au

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

Year 12 Formal 2019

Celebrating Advent

Advent starts this year on Sunday the 1st of December and is celebrated for the four Sundays leading up to Christmas until Sunday the 22nd of December. Advent is frequently celebrated by people of every religious background, every faith, every spiritual path as part of the festivals of the cycle of the year.

In the Southern hemisphere, Christmas falls near the Summer Solstice when the light is at its strongest and we celebrate the triumph of light at its greatest point in the yearly cycle. As the year draws to an end we increasingly spend time outside enjoying “the sun in the heavens”. With the long warm days, intense light and balmy nights we are drawn out into the elements rather than into “the sun in our hearts”.

It can be challenging to develop a sense of inwardness, patience and contemplation when the Spirit of the Earth is on its outward breath. To balance this we can consciously choose to “receive the light” and celebrate what is both universally human and universally spiritual. Celebrating Advent can provide an opportunity for some quiet ‘breathing in’ during this outwardly busy time of year and help your children to practice preparation, reverence and patience through the ritual of counting the weeks and days to the special celebratory event. The lighting of candles each week also reflects our own ‘Divine Light’ and helps to bring us a little inward contemplation.

Traditionally Steiner schools and families celebrate Advent by looking each week at the natural kingdoms on Earth: minerals the first week, plants the second week, animals the third week and humans the fourth week (see verses below).

Here are some ideas that you might like to include in your own advent celebrations:

  

An Advent verse
‘The gift of the light we thankfully take, But not shall it be alone for our sake, The more we give light, the one to the other, It shines and it spreads, growing still further; Until every spark by friends set aflame, Until every heart, the joy to proclaim; In the depths of our souls, A shining sun glows.’

Advent Wreath  – on a special table made with greenery and seasonal flowers, four advent candles to light each consecutive Sunday of Advent.

Advent Garden – assembled and added to each Sunday of Advent with the four kingdoms celebrated each week try adding tiny crushed shells (collected from the beach) in a spiral pattern for the spiral on which Mary and Joseph figures walk.

Advent Crib – a nativity scene of the four kingdoms, adding a different one each of the Sundays- Crystal Kingdom, plant kingdom, animal and human kingdoms.

Advent calendars are available from Rudolf Steiner Bookstore by following this link

Verses for the 4 weeks of Advent

Week 1: Crystal Kingdom
The crystal kingdom comes first and is honoured by decorating the wreath or garden with crystals, seashells, stones or little bones you may find.

Week 2: Plant Kingdom
In the second week the plant kingdom is honoured by adding little dried flowers, seeds and pine cones and greenery.

                     

Week 3: Animal Kingdom
The animal kingdom, in the third week, is honoured by adding little wooden animals or beeswax creatures the children make.

Week 4: Humankind
The fourth week sees us honouring humankind by adding a little felted or beeswax child and figures.

      

Additional Reading:
Our library has some Advent handouts available.
Possible stories include The Star Money from the Brothers Grimm, (and if you have the book “Rose Windows”, there is a lovely idea for a window transparency in there); craft ideas in The Children’s Year and Families, Festivals and Food. Other stories include the ones from “The Light In the Lantern: Stories for Advent” from Wynstones Press; Advent Sunday Stories, Collette Leenman; Mary’s Little Donkey, Gunhild Sehlin; Advent and Christmas Stories, Estelle Bryer and Janni Nicol.

Advent & Hanukkah stories

Some lovely stories for Advent and Hanukkah by Eugene Schwartz available by following this link.

CBRSS Christmas Market – For CBRSS and Periwinkle Families

Please join us to celebrate another wonderful year at the Cape Byron Steiner School Christmas Market.

Friday 13th December

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.

2.45-5pm Please collect your child from their classroom promptly at 2.45pm then head to The Green 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.

Periwinkle Christmas Fair

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.

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.

German at CBRSS

Eurythmy Performance at Shearwater

‘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 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.

Gamified Childhood: Are Digital Devices Replacing Traditional Playtime?

Digital play versus free play: Mott expert addresses the differences and the potential impact on child development at American Academy of Pediatrics session. By Beata Mostafavi

Blocks, books and bikes used to be the staples of childhood.

But as more kids grow up with a seemingly endless menu of virtual activities offered through digital media, child development experts worry about the wane of traditional playtime.

One pediatrician at the University of Michigan’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital, who is addressing the topic at the national American Academy of Pediatrics meeting in New Orleans, has even coined the phenomenon “gamified childhood”.

“Free, unstructured play promotes interactions that boost vocabulary, nurture parent-child relationships, and encourage social skills and creativity. Play helps young brains develop,” says Jenny Radesky, M.D., a developmental behavioral pediatrician and researcher at Mott who is leading the AAP session.

“But mobile devices are becoming an almost unavoidable part of children’s worlds. We hope to demystify the design differences between technology and classic toys and help parents increase open-ended play experiences for their children.”

Radesky says there are some benefits in “shared” technology experiences, such as watching a movie together as a family and discussing it or looking up new recipes to cook together. But children are increasingly on devices alone as parents see them as tools to pacify tantrums, keep children occupied during mealtime and even as a way to take a break from parenting.

“Early childhood is a vulnerable time for exhausted parents, and they may find relief in technology,” Radesky says.

“But both children and parents need experiences with play that provide a sense of self-efficacy and living in the moment.”

Radesky highlights four key differences between the classic and tech-supported types of play and why parents and pediatricians should take notice.

Child’s Autonomy: In digital games, the app designer is in control, Radesky says. Many apps and games are simple, cause-and-effect puzzles or races with a design that constrains a child’s behavior. They have a “closed loop” design that decides for children what they are going to do next, rather than letting the child’s brain take the lead. “The designs behind much of children’s digital technology does not support the autonomy, self-realization, and parent-child interaction that traditional play allows,” Radesky says.

Another part of autonomy is learning self-control. However, many parents are using mobile devices to keep children seated at the dinner table, calm on brief car rides or to settle them to bed. These habits may inhibit their ability to learn how to self-regulate emotions and be counter-productive when it comes to good sleep.

Unstructured play, on the other hand, puts the child in control. “Child autonomy and control is at the core of unstructured play. The child thinks up what to do, how to do it, and what to do when things don’t work out,” Radesky says. “This is where imagination really allows a child to push past old ideas and create new ones, handle strong feelings, and figure things out for themselves.”

Hooking Kids in Different Ways: While digital games are attention-grabbing, unstructured play is attention-building, Radesky says. In some apps and games, “there are so many over-the-top interactive enhancements” that children mainly pay attention to these exciting features, rather than understanding the concept the app was trying to teach. But it can be difficult to screen for appropriate apps. Radesky’s research analyzing apps and games marketed to young children found that most of them came with a misleading ‘educational’ label that they may not deserve.

“The natural and social worlds are rarely going to be as attention-grabbing and ‘shiny’ as online games and apps are artificially designed to be,” Radesky says. “But this allows the child to determine what they want to direct their attention towards, and to think clearly without artificial distractions.”

External versus internal rewards: Apps and games provide many external rewards, such as tokens, candies, virtual toys, or piggy banks every time children get an answer correct. This is intentional because designers know that young children are driven by rewards, Radesky notes. What can be problematic is that “children may get over-focused on consuming and collecting.”

She points to examples, such as balloons, fireworks and parades that “reward” a child for completing a simple task in a digital game. This type of digital design, known as “persuasive design” is a strategy used to maximally engage a user.

“We need to help parents understand this tricky type of design and how inappropriate it is for children and teens who are so susceptible to social feedback,” Radesky says. “We don’t want children to see play as just collecting and hoarding virtual things.”

The rewards of traditional play, however, are internal and social. “When children struggle with a new challenge and figure out a solution, the reward can be subtle, with a sense of satisfaction and self-efficacy,” Radesky says. “Providing children with praise for hard work is appropriate, but it shouldn’t be over the top. Otherwise children can get used to always needing external validation.”

Solitary play versus social play: Most apps and games are designed in a way that assumes there will be only one user, and children tend to use tablets and smartphones with a body posture that can nudge out social interaction with others, Radesky says.

“In our study comparing play with traditional toys to play with tablets, there wasn’t really that space for parents,” Radesky says. “Children created their own solitary space and cocoon around the tablet. It was rare for a child to look up and say ‘look at this!’ Parents feel this difference in play, so it’s important to help them know it’s not their fault, it’s an intentional design feature of the tablet.”

Meanwhile, toys, nature, art, and music allow for shared experiences.

“Social play creates space for multiple people to take part, have back-and-forth interactions, and see each other’s faces and emotions,” Radesky says.

“Parents are familiar with playing with toys and books because they probably grew up with them. They probably get their moments of strongest connection and feeling effective with their children when they are playing with well-designed toys. As pediatricians, we can help parents carve out spaces for the traditional play that feels good to them too.”

From labblog