Farewell Katie Biggin

After 16 years it is time to say Goodbye to our beloved Katie Biggin but as the saying goes: Goodbyes are not forever, Goodbyes are not the end, they simply mean we’ll miss you until we meet again.

Katie, we all wish you the very best for the new adventures that life has in store for you.


It has been a great pleasure to see the many students from Years 6 – 12 come and play or simply observe a game of chess during the past term. The interest was so great that we quickly purchased three additional chess sets. Soon, the request came, “Can we play twice a week?” – Of course, we can. Will the six chess boards we currently have be enough? We may have to find more boards if the interest in PLAYING TO LEARN AND LEARNING TO PLAY is continuing to grow. – I am looking forward to an exciting year of chess in 2021.

Please contact Manuela at manuelam@capebyronsteiner.nsw.edu.au if you have any questions or would like to contribute in any way.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

CBRSS Reconciliation Action Plan

We have made significant progress in our CBRSS Reconciliation Action Plan and have now had our RAP published with the official Reconciliation Action Plan website called Narragunnawali. Narragunnawali (pronounced narra-gunna-wally) is a word from the language of the Ngunnawal people, Traditional Owners of the land on which Reconciliation Australia’s Canberra office is located, meaning alive, wellbeing, coming together and peace. With input from the Arakwal Corporation, the Parent Body, Teachers and Students we have created a Vision statement below for our school. The RAP working group met numerous times in Term 2 and discussed the direction and actions we plan to take as a school working towards reconciliation.

It has been great to have additional members join the group from the parent body with Poppy Walker and from the student body with Pearl Andrews bringing some great ideas and enthusiasm to the working group. Pearl has been busy engaging with the SRC (Student Representative Council) and the Year 12 students to create an amazing sign that will bring awareness of the sacred land our school inhabits.

Some of the action points we are working towards as a school are; engaging Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People in the classroom, embedding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures into the curriculum, Cultural Competence for Staff to build and extend knowledge and understanding, reconciliation projects, celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander significant events, build relationships with Community, Acknowledgement of Country, visibly demonstrate Respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultures, care for Country, action against Racism, inclusive policies and celebrating our RAP progress. This can all be found in our published CBRSS Poster attached.

If you want to get involved with the RAP working group, please get in contact with Peter. peterp@capebyronsteiner.nsw.edu.au

CBRSS Vision Statement
Our vision is to create and nurture our special place of learning, with care, so that all people can develop understanding and respect for the diversity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, identities, culture and histories.

We proudly respect Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, as descendents of the oldest continuing culture on earth and we celebrate their continuing inspiring wisdom, influence and connection to Country, agriculture, architecture, the arts and society, as we strive to live and walk together on our learning journey towards a more equal and respectful future.
In this place, on land, under sky and by the sea, we will always embed Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stories, perspectives and histories to form an essential stream that naturally merges with our Steiner Education approach, whereby we teach and learn much through story-telling.

With guidance and in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, we will respectfully and continuously learn of Country and Culture; so that our young people will move into the wider world with a deep knowing of what has been, what is, and what is needed for a healthy and respectful humanity, and will influence and advocate for true reconciliation into the future.

Library News

Donated to the CBRSS Library by our Byron Bay Writers Festival Storyboard friends, is the just released book A User’s Guide to a Pandemic

This is a unique collection of writing by young people in Australia sharing their experiences of living through the current surreal times of COVID19.
The works take many different approaches to exploring the pandemic: fiction, non-fiction, poetry, personal statements, and ephemeral observations about life in lockdown.

Pictured is Elise Nikkinen, 12 from Class 6 who has a short story included Lucky in love, Lucky in Lockdown.

Pick up a copy from your local bookstore or ask Charlotte in the library to borrow this copy.

The Signs of Spring

At least someone knows how to be quiet for the year 11 and 12 exams!

Base Leadership Awards – Congratulations!

Congratulations Ethan for winning the Creative and Performing Arts Men’s Base Leadership Award 2020.
Congratulations to Billy Swain for being shortlisted for the Creative and Performing Arts Men’s Base Leadership Award 2020.
The goal of BASE is to identify and celebrate Year 11 and Year 12 students in their respective areas of excellence and to support them in their future endeavours.”
Unfortunately, they couldn’t go ahead with the Young Men’s Awards Breakfast but instead made a short film with the winners from each category. The young men spoke beautifully about leadership, mental health and being a good mate. You can watch it here https://youtu.be/CaMDosTXjJk

Community Giving Fund

One of the great things about our school community is the care we have for each other. Covid-19 has inspired us to have a fresh look at how we support our school community. Hence, we have established the Community Giving Fund as a way for you to offer support to the community and thereby provide support for families who are doing it tough and struggling to meet their fee commitments.

The fund provides an opportunity for you to join us and contribute to helping families financially. Every act of generosity and simple kindness, big or small, has a powerful effect and goes a long way to supporting each other.

To launch the new Fund, the school has made a significant contribution and has already financially supported many families.

We are excited to be sharing this inspired new initiative with you and we thank you for your continued support of our amazing school.

Please Click Here and Join Us in Supporting the Community Giving Fund

NAIDOC Week celebrations

Last week the High school and Class 6 students met with Tjupurra and had a great session that combined Indigenous culture with music and some high tech science. Coming from a diverse background that includes Aboriginal, Philippine, Malaysian and Irish ancestry, Tjupurra had the students captivated with stories of his cultural background, and his amazing one man band performance on the didgeribone – a cross between a didgeridoo and a trombone. There was also an incredible science show where he created a circuit of special effects that turned students into instruments who were being played as drums! Tjupurra is an amazing educator who kept all the students entertained and is someone we would welcome back to our school. Thank you Tjupurra.


Teachers Pet

For those wondering about the unknown ‘teachers pet’ in last weeks ‘At Home Magazine’, it is in fact a RAT, loved by former CBRSS student Moksha (aka Ruby), daughter of Naina, our class three teacher. Many extra points would have gone to guessing his name: Toast (aka Flotation Device). We don’t think you would have guessed either.

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!

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

NAPLAN: How Northern Rivers schools performed over 5 years

By Geoff Egan

THESE are the Northern Rivers schools that consistently top the state’s NAPLAN results.

An independent analysis of five years of NAPLAN results has revealed the schools that performed the best in the Year 5 and Year 9 tests between 2014 and 2018.

Over that five-year period, Bexhill Public School, in Bexhill, had higher Year 5 yearly results than any other school in the state, scoring an average of 2740.2 each year.

The top performing Year 9 school was Cape Byron Rudolf Steiner School, in Byron Bay, where the average yearly result was 3010.0 for the five years.

To find how each school performed between 2014 and 2018, their average scores for each year were combined and the yearly average found.

Special schools, schools with fewer than 20 students enrolled in either year, and schools that did not report any results for NAPLAN subjects in either year were excluded from the analysis.

The figures were independently compiled from the Federal Government’s MySchool website.

That revealed Emmanuel Anglican College, in Ballina, had the second highest results for Year 5s over that period, with a yearly average of 2652.6.

The third best performing Year 5 school was Holy Family Catholic Primary School, in Skennars Head, with five yearly average results of 2637.6.

The second-best performing Year 9 results were at Emmanuel Anglican College, in Ballina, where yearly results were 3000.6.

Shearwater the Mullumbimby Steiner School, in Mullumbimby, had the third highest average results between 2014 and 2018 with averages of 2982.8.

Read the full article from the Northern Star here

Eurythmy Performance at Shearwater

Mullum Music Fest Youth Mentorship Winners

Congratulations to current CBRSS student Phoebe Neumann and CBRSS graduate Mali Biggin on being Youth Mentorship Winners for this Years Mullum Music Festival.

For a decade now Mullum Music Festival has offered young musicians the chance to be heard, a chance to find an audience and start their career with their Youth Mentorship Program. Many of the winners have gone on to International careers, with Parcels playing the European Festival Circuit and supporting acts like Toto and this year’s Falls’ Festival. Paris dwelling Merryn Jean is a previous winner who’s made some global ripples, with rising stars Asha Jeffries and three-piece Mullum band Loose Change in their wake. Loose Change won last year’s band section – this year they’re on the program as an act in their own right. That’s how serious the festival is about inclusive programming for young and emerging artists.

Festival Director Glenn Wright has always been passionate about creating spaces for musicians at every level of their career.

‘The best way to find emerging artists is to give them a place to emerge. Mullum Music Festival is that place where many new musicians get a leg up and develop relationships with their mentors and peers.”

Read the full media release here

An extremely successful CBRSS String Program

Five students at CBRSS participated in a Trinity Music Exam in Early November this year achieving outstanding results bringing credit to themselves and our school.

Student Year Trinity Grade Award
Isaac Poulsen 10 5th Cello Distinction
Jarrah King 8 5th Violin Distinction
Nina Walker 6 3rd Violin Distinction
Ayla Vargas 6 3rd Violin Distinction
Bodil Pages 6 2nd Violin Distinction

Trinity College London is an internationally recognised Music examination system used throughout the entire world. The examination venue for our students is conveniently located in Bangalow and an examiner usually travels from England to assess and hold the exams.
Students need to prepare 3 pieces, 3 studies, a scale and chose to be tested in either Theory, Sight reading, Improvisation or Aural. Our students all achieved marks ranging from 87 to 94 awarding them all the top ranking award of Distinction. Congratulations to all of them and their teachers!

As a school, we should feel very proud to have such talented musicians among us.

Student Congratulations

Della Knight from year 10 recently received an academic excellence award at Southern Cross University. Congratulations Della!

Zone 5

Celebrating Waldorf 100

The first Waldorf School (Steiner School) was founded in September 1919.

To commemorate 100 years of Waldorf education Steiner/Waldorf schools worldwide have been participating in an international postcard exchange.
Every school was sent blank, pre-addressed postcards and they have been slowly but surely making their way around the world since April 2017.
Each postcard depicts artistic work or a story from a young person, telling or showing something about its place of origin. A display of postcards in the library has attracted the interest of many students and they have enjoyed looking at the postcards we have received and remembering the ones that they sent!
We have postcards from over 36 countries including Japan, Russia, Finland, Germany, Croatia, Italy, Greece, Thailand, the Phillipines, USA, Scotland, South Korea, Canada, Brasil, Mexico and Spain…..

Class 4 students looking at some of the postcards which are still on display in our Library if you would like to see for yourself.

From our German teacher Manuela

Liebe Eltern und Erzieher/innen! (Dear parents and caregivers!)

Just over a year ago I was given the privilege to teach German at this beautiful school. Every day I drive to school I catch myself smiling, feeling happy and looking forward to teaching the children a bit more of my mother tongue and culture. It is lovely to hear more and more children and adults use German in class and in the playground.

It feels so right for the children to learn Rudolf Steiner’s native language. He strongly advocated that children should learn foreign languages throughout their schooling and thus learn to understand and appreciate, rather than judge, others with foreign cultural and language backgrounds for being different.

Last week Class 7 thought deeply about the way we perceive the sounds some animals make. They, like most Australian children, ‘knew’ that dogs go ‘woof’ and roosters go ‘kockadoodledoo’. In contrast, German children, like me, grow up ‘knowing’ that dogs go ‘wow’ and roosters go ‘kickerickee’. By the way, the rooster I heard crowing the other day didn’t sound anything like either of these sounds and, just in case you wondered, cats go ‘miaow’ in both languages.

The children are currently learning about animals. They are planning to create collaborative class posters depicting imaginary class zoos which will be displayed at the Spring Fair.

Last term the children learned about nature and created some beautiful annotated posters. The attached photos are a small sample of their work. The children described with a high level of accuracy some of the natural things they like.

If you want to get in touch with me, please feel free to stop and talk to me when you see me around the school or send me an email via the office.
Viele Grüße (Warm regards)

Music news

Congratulations to Cole and his guitar quintet who entertained guests at a special dinner celebrating 100 years of Steiner Education. As part of the Teacher’s Conference during the last holidays, a dinner was held for the visitors to our school from all over Australia. Cole and his students Kyan, Kashi and Cosmo from Class 8 and Wil and Kade from Class 6 performed brilliantly to warm up the evening. It was very well received by all and we thank you Cole and the students for their professionalism and fine playing.


Farewell Shanti

This week we say Farewell to Shanti who has been a beloved Science Assistant in the High School for many years. We wish Shanti all the best for her next adventures, with Love and Gratitude from all at CBRSS.

Plastic Free July has arrived

Join millions of people reducing their plastic waste.
Plastic Free July is a global movement that helps millions of people be part of the solution to plastic pollution – so we can have cleaner streets, oceans, and beautiful communities. Will you be part of Plastic Free July by choosing to refuse single-use plastics?

Take our Pesky Plastic Quiz. It’s a great way of finding out what single-use plastics you’re currently using, and what you can cut out during the challenge. Even if you’ve done it before, it helps us track household trends and can be a great way to take stock of your improvements and find new ways to cut single-use plastics out of your life!

We’re incredibly excited to announce the launch of our brand-new website. A lot of time and work has gone into this new update, all with the purpose of making sure you have the best resources and help available throughout the Plastic Free July challenge – for 2019 and beyond.

Check out the fresh new look here!

You’ll find:

Thanks to our Librarian Charlotte for creating a lovely display in the CBRSS Library focusing on topics such as; how to minimise plastic use, how people have made a difference in their countries and ideas for sustainable, natural alternatives.

For Jane

We had a fantastic night at the ‘Stars Of the Shire Dance for Cancer’. The Seven Sassy Sisters won people’s choice and we were the team to raise the most funds, over $6000 for Cancer Council Northern Rivers NSW. CBRSS was proudly showcased by the efforts of the Class 4 mums. It was such a fun night with so many coming to support us. Thank you for your support.

Love Laurie, Jen, Sarah, Kimberly, Skai, Suzie and our teacher Kyla xx

Five stars for our Master Chef

Byron Council surprised Craig with a  Food and Hygiene safety visit to our Season’s Cafe (School Canteen) last week. Congratulations and thanks to Craig and his team who have again received a five star ‘Excellent’ award. Craig has received five stars now for the four years he has run the school canteen. Well done Craig!

1 week to go until Plastic Free July 2019

Join millions of people reducing their plastic waste.
Plastic Free July is a global movement that helps millions of people be part of the solution to plastic pollution – so we can have cleaner streets, oceans, and beautiful communities. Will you be part of Plastic Free July by choosing to refuse single-use plastics?

Take our Pesky Plastic Quiz. It’s a great way of finding out what single-use plastics you’re currently using, and what you can cut out during the challenge. Even if you’ve done it before, it helps us track household trends and can be a great way to take stock of your improvements and find new ways to cut single-use plastics out of your life!

We’re incredibly excited to announce the launch of our brand-new website. A lot of time and work has gone into this new update, all with the purpose of making sure you have the best resources and help available throughout the Plastic Free July challenge – for 2019 and beyond.

Check out the fresh new look here!

You’ll find: