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

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.

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!

Class 1 2020 Rose Ceremony

A lovely class 1 welcome ceremony.

Class 6 farewell

Class 6 students, parents and teachers joined together last week for a dinner to celebrate the end of the class’s journey through the Primary school and to farewell the Class Teachers, Bethanie and Teera. After a beautiful dinner under the trees, the students lit up the stage of the Ewingsdale Hall with wonderful performances. We congratulate the students on their wonderful journeys and wish them well as they enter the High School.

CBRSS Christmas Market – For CBRSS and Periwinkle Families

Due to inclement weather today’s Christmas Market will be held in the hall from 2.15-5pm.

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 in the Hall.

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

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.

Halloween

At school, we don’t celebrate Halloween and at home, there can be tremendous pressure to join in “trick and treating”, even if it doesn’t wholly match your family values, we warmly encourage you to withstand this pressure and instead find inspiration below to celebrate with reverence.

In ancient times Halloween was believed to be the time when the veil was thin between the world of the living and the world of the dead. Our ancestors could return to visit us, to give help and advice. People set lights in the hollowed out turnips to guide the spirits of the dead, and put out food as an offering. You no doubt have noticed that in modern times a materialistic aspect has crept in and celebrating and honouring our ancestors has been lost.

We’d like to offer some other ways to acknowledge this festival day and to have a wholesome and in context opportunity to discuss death and family ancestors.

  • Create a family altar: symbols of the season, pictures of beloved dead relatives and special things that may have belonged to them. In Mexico during the Day of the Dead, altars are made for particular family members and include their favourite food and objects of theirs, alongside cut out paper stars, clay figures and bread shaped like people.
  • Tell a story, one that you could repeat every Halloween, for example, Vasilisa a Russian Fairy Tale that includes that old witch Baba Yaga or the Little Hobgoblin which you will find by following this link.
  • Have an Ancestor Feast – prepare a meal that is traditional in your family from your heritage. Before you eat you can take a little from each dish and put on a plate in front of the picture of your relatives.
  • After the feast, or around the altar, you could light a candle,  sit back and tell a story about your ancestors. This could be a personal story about someone in your family or a traditional folktale or myth. You could pass around photos and recall memories. Who were your ancestors? Where did they come from? Did you ever meet your grandparents or great-grandparents? Talking about where we come from instils a sense of belonging and security in the children and also gives a healthy context to acknowledging death.
  • Baking and craft opportunities include carving turnips and pumpkins, making apple chains to represent the Isle of Apples (Celtic tradition) or have a go at making sugar skulls.

Halloween provides a wonderful opportunity to connect in meaningful and reverent ways both as a family and to our heritage.

For more information about Halloween and it’s true significance please read the article further along in this Bulletin.

Year 12 Celebrates

Spring Fair 2019

HSC Showcase

The HSC Showcase was, once again, a fabulous night of amazing performances from our very talented Year 12 students. In the Hall we listened to the Music students share their various talents and bring the house down with the cool Mat in the sunnies on drums. English Extension 2 students read out excerpts of their pieces and the audience was highly impressed with their Major Works. The second half showcased the Drama Individual and Group Projects as well as Science, Maths and Society and Culture. In the courtyard, the wonderful Design and Technology projects were displayed and the 2 Art spaces were filled with Visual Art, Photography, Society and Culture and written Drama Major Works. Congratulations to all the students and the staff for their efforts in showcasing the fruits of the Year 12 labours.

Thank you! Raffle latest.

Thanks everyone. With all your awesome help spreading the word and selling tickets, this raffle has earned $12,900 so far.

The raffle will be drawn tomorrow at the Fair at 2pm, so this is the last chance to invite friends and family to buy a ticket.

We will be selling tickets around the Fair tomorrow, if you want another chance to win the great prizes, including the Family Fun Package, featured in the photo. It’s worth more than $1400 and includes a family surf lesson with private instructor, a family pass to Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, family passes to go roller skating and ten-pin bowling, a private skateboarding lesson, a forest-to-beach horseride, a holiday circus workshop and flying trapeze lesson, vouchers for water sliding, two days at bush school, plus a $100 voucher to spend at Byron Bay camping store, and $100 for a meal at Oh-Sushi Japanese restaurant. There’s lots of buzz among the kids about this prize!

Please make a last effort to spread the word to friends and family, using Facebook, email and text. People can buy tickets at this site: https://www.rafflelink.com.au/springfair2019

And in case you accidentally find yourself with some paper tickets you have sold but forgotten to return, please hand them into the raffle table (up near office) first thing in the morning so we can enter the details into the system.

The raffle will be drawn at 2pm, using the Rafflelink random draw software, and the winners announced (and contacted) soon after.

Thanks again everyone for your mammoth effort selling tickets. Together we’ve raised lots of money for our kids’ play and exercise equipment, and for school camp gear.

Sarah & Lesa for the Class 3 Raffle Team.

Breaking News: SILENT AUCTION IS ALMOST OPEN FOR BIDDING

The Bumblebee

SPRING FAIR September 21st.

We are thrilled to announce an incredible line up of goodies for our Spring Fair Silent Auction. We have almost 40 wonderful prizes sourced and gifted from local businesses, and you’ll be able to see and start bidding on them THIS WEEK!

Many of our prizes are wonderful and useful items that you’ll want to have in your home. When you bid via the Silent Auction you are supporting our beautiful school community to thrive, so please take a look at the list that will be published this week, and make your bids!

Come along to our stall at the Friday market this week (6th September) to be the first to see the incredible prizes up for grabs!

SPRING FAIR RAFFLE

Thank you so much, everyone! Together we’ve already raised $7000 in the raffle. We have 17 days left to sell tickets (the raffle will be drawn at the Spring Fair), so let’s get the word out there and raise as much as we can to buy play and exercise equipment, and camp gear for our kids. Please send an email or text, or share a Facebook post (from school Facebook page) with friends and family. https://www.rafflelink.com.au/springfair2019

Paper tickets: If you’d like to sell paper tickets for the raffle, then now is the moment to get some, as they’re due back to the office by 10 September. Tickets will be for sale online right up until the 2pm draw on 21 September, and paper tickets will be for sale at the Fair, in the morning. Please ask at the front office for paper tickets. They can be delivered to your child in class if you aren’t able to make it to school. And of course you can visit the raffle site to buy tickets online. https://www.rafflelink.com.au/springfair2019

Waste-free, healthy home prize package. 6th prize in the raffle is the amazing package pictured above. More than $1200 worth of goodies including stainless steel and silicon-ware (lunch box with carry case, drink flask, leak-proof containers, glass and bamboo storage, silicon fridge pouches and food wraps, stretch lids and food huggers), net market bags, bread bag, nut mylk bag, produce bags, bulk bin bags and a stainless steel funnel. Beeswax wraps. Natural fibre brushes and copper scourer. 28cm non-stick, toxin-free frypan. Reusable coffee cup. $200 worth of vouchers for bulk foods. Plus a bundle of plant-based cleaning products.

Lots of work went into collecting these great prizes, and the local and school communities have been so generous. Let’s make the most of all that effort and generosity.