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From the Principal

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.

Teera

COVID19 – Moving Forward

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:

  1. After-school activities such as: Drama with Judy and sport training i.e. Basketball 
  2. School sport including activities such as contact sport and carnivals 
  3. School Assemblies 
  4. A limited provision Canteen service 
  5. 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:

  1. No Excursion and Camps
  2. No on-site events such as Spring Fair or Friday Markets
  3. No Repair Care & Maintenance Days with large numbers of parents
  4. 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.

Teera

Finance news

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 accounts@capebyronsteiner.nsw.edu.au 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 finance@capebyronsteiner.nsw.edu.au or covidhelp@capebyronsteiner.nsw.edu.au to apply.

Thanks, and enjoy your holiday break

Stay Safe

Julia and Strawberry

Finance Team

Winter Festival 2020

A quiet and peaceful feeling set the tone for our Winter Festival celebrations last week. Primary school classes enjoyed the gift of a beautiful song from the Year Twelves; their voices filling the Performance Hall with the sweet harmonies of ‘Deep Peace’.
Each class then walked to the darkened Movement Room where a spiral of greenery was laid out on the floor, a candle at its centre. Our wonderful music teachers played divine music as every child took their turn to walk into the spiral to light their candle and then leave it in place to add to the building light.
A spiral of candles burning brightly reminds us that we have reached the shortest day of the year and that days will soon be growing longer as the light returns.

Watch a Short Video of our Winter Festival here

What does light mean to you?
Light means to me that I am able to see. That from the moment I first opened my eyes I could see colour. Light means to me that I can see the world, all the colours that come with it. So that I can understand the world better.
Coco Year 7

Sunflower Kindergarten Winter Festival

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.

Kindy Rose Winter Festival

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 News

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.

Other topics were drawn from a bank of questions that the students came up with at the beginning of the Main Lesson such as ‘What is Space?’ and ‘What is Gravity?’. Black holes, Time and Comets were other topics of interest.

Matt 

Year 7 Gothic Art Main Lesson

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.

Denis

Year 9/10 Elective Art

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.

Denis

Year 9/10 Elective music Concert

Year 10 Subject Forum

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.

Students were given 7 x 6 minute sessions of choosing a particular subject table and getting as much information as possible before the ring of the bell for the next session. A bit like our on-site parent teacher interviews!
We are always so proud of our senior students for their generosity of spirit and maturity in sharing their opinions and perspective of a Year 11 or 12 subject.

Random Weaving

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.

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.

Reverence

The soul is drawn by the strength of its reverence towards the eternal, with which it longs to unite itself.  – Rudolf Steiner

From the Principal

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…

Warm wishes

Teera

                          

What is National Reconciliation Week?

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.

It’s raining it’s pouring – Wet Days – Primary School

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.

Much appreciated.

Margaret

WINTER FESTIVAL 2020

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.

Rudolf Steiner

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

Celebrating Winter Festival at home

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.

Lantern making

Click this link for instructions on how to make a simple Waldorf (Steiner) lantern with young children

Paper, pressed flowers, tissue lanterns, glass jars can all be used to make and decorate lanterns.

Click this link for a range of other ideas for making lanterns

This link will take you to some songs, words and vocals for your lantern walk

Some Winter Verses

Winter Gnome Craft

Recipe

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.

Kindergarten Rose

As the season slowly emerges into early winter and quite suddenly turns cooler, we have been working together to bring the images of winter into our class. The children have made beanies and are currently making their lanterns. Even the gnomes have made an entrance with beards being created and enacted. The students each day have created a puppet play and we gather together to hear the story so carefully organised by the children and watch as it unfolds. The stories have all been of gnomes and fairies, which fits so snugly into all of the Fairy houses that have been popping up outdoors. Winter songs around the circle and stories of winter have also evolved, threading their way into students play and discussions. The students have created a song which they love to sing throughout the day.
Here it is:

Winter’s coming, winters coming,
Mushrooms coming through.
Can’t you feel the chill in the air,
Each and every day.

Class 5 News

The students of Class Five worked on individual projects during School at Home. The projects were a part of the “First Fleet” Main Lesson and are very diverse, reflecting the children’s area of interest.

The class have been presenting their work to their classmates during the week.

Prue

From the Student Representative Council (SRC)

RECONCILIATION

We have a long way to heal this nation, acknowledging the Stolen Generations and the ongoing forced removal of children across this country is an important step forward as a nation. Amending the constitution to recognise the presence of the First Australians 80,000+ years before the Europeans invaded along with raising awareness about the 437 Indigenous deaths in custody since 1991, the Australian nation will be able to take a step towards the reconciliation and healing of our fractured history. Measures such as the Uluru Statement from the Heart: https://ulurustatement.org/ or Raising the Age of Criminal Responsibility https://inmyblooditruns.com/takeaction/. Both outline clear and valuable first steps towards this reconciliation that all Australians may read and implement into their daily activities and reasonings. Racism is not limited to the individual choices of ‘bad people’. It is structural and embedded into all aspects of society-this includes laws, dominant cultural norms, and our very own consciousness. It is essential that we as privileged Australians living on stolen lands work hard every single day in order to progress as an equal nation where the First Nations people are acknowledged and admired.

As upper class privileged people, it is imperative that we not only endorse and applaud Indigenous peoples for their efforts and fight to achieve justice for their people and the 437 Black deaths in custody as those who attended the protest last Saturday did. But to further take up the cause ourselves as it is our system that is causing these deaths and numerous other issues for the Indigenous Australian communities. We need to understand that we not only need to reconcile with what we did to the Aboriginal People, but also change our way of life in order to incorporate the continuation of both reconciliations and work towards creating an Australia that not only sees its Indigenous culture as history but an active practice that we can incorporate into both laws and daily practice.

The Case for Keeping the Same Teacher

By Thesa Callinicos

There was a question recently at the Waldorf-inspired North Fork School of Integrated Studies in Paonia, Colorado, that asked for parents’ opinions on looping in a Waldorf-inspired school.

Very few people here in Paonia have experienced their child having the same teacher for more than two, let alone six or eight years.

When asked about it,

  • Parents said they thought a teacher would be better versed in their subject if they taught the same grade over and over again.
  • Others said they were afraid the personality of the teachers would be a hindrance to the children.
  • Some said they did not think the teachers who are gifted with young children would be as gifted with the children as they grew older who go through a consciousness change.

Well, why do we do it and what does it mean to the children and the teachers?

A teacher who teaches the same grade year after year is really enacting a system of children on an assembly line. This is a recipe for a good working machine. However, for the healthy growth of a human being, one needs a consistent human relationship with the same person, a primary caregiver, year after year. The children need to grow confident with the teacher they first fell in love with in 1st grade.

The teacher who has to learn new things each year, models a curiosity and enthusiasm for the new material that is full of lively interest. The teachers themselves are learning new things! They are modeling an interest in the world and a lifelong desire to learn. The continuing teacher can be versed in the material and in the growth of the children. Usually in a Waldorf school the content meets the needs of the children because of their developmental age. Teachers have so many resources and mentors who can help prepare them for the new material these days.

Parents have personalities too. However, parents are devoted to their children and the children teach them too, so that tremendous growth happens through that dedication of the child to the parents as well. So, it is with teachers. Every night the teacher considers the needs of the children. Some days they succeed and other days they fall short. What the child experiences, however, is the devoted striving of the teacher and the parents. Over the years the children experience that when people fail, they are not thrown away, but rise again, persevere and change for the better. Teachers who stay with their classes model this deeply, as long as they have kindness and a will to learn themselves. They can have that at home and at school. It is the guru effect for the elementary years.

(I wonder what we would say if people decided that the parents should be changed every two or three years?)

The class teacher is not the only teacher the children experience. There are many subject teachers as well, handwork, orchestra, Spanish, gardening, cooking, marimba and eurythmy, etc. Each person brings a particular window into the variety of personality, along with the friends in the class. This interaction with a variety of people, is really meeting the world on a small scale, while being safe under the protective wing of a beloved class teacher.

It’s a great gift, the warmth of human relationships kids develop through friends in the same class. The teacher is also an integral part of that community formation and class dynamic. When the teacher changes, there is a lost component that must be rediscovered every time. Faithfulness must be renewed. There are qualitative new expectations to sort out. The teacher must be understood again as must the children.

Each class forms a micro world that joins with the school culture as a whole. It’s the consistency of those relationships that last a lifetime. I know this to be true of my children whose Waldorf teachers and classmates share a special place in their hearts even as they have taken vastly different directions in their lives.

Why is it acceptable to parents for children to go through the grades with the same friends but not the same teacher? Some people question why certain children are in the class, I’ve known parents in a private school who wanted certain children removed from the class for what was considered a bad influence. Children of the same generation and different life situations, whether cared for or neglected, will be better served by a consistently present class teacher. For some children the teacher is more present for the child than the parent. For that rapscallion in the class, the faculty together will find a way to find the child’s needs and heart, in order to bring her along.

Colleagues do that for teachers too. Teachers are not left in isolation. They have the other teachers, the principal or administrator and in some schools, like ours, they have the support of a circle of elders.

It is how we help each other along the path that makes all the difference.

Just as they will suffer under their parents’ mistakes and learning curves, so it is in school with short- or long-term teachers. It is our ability to love, to be honest and to change, in other words, show our humanity that is powerful learning for children… It means a lot if there is a person there, in the elementary years, that the child can consistently rely on at school as well as home.

Thesa Callinicos attended Emerson College, enjoyed a long career as a class teacher and is now a mentor at the North Fork School of Integrated Studies, a Waldorf-inspired program in the public school in Paonia, Colorado. She also teaches at the Gradalis Teacher Training.

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.