The Kindergarten families enjoyed songs, story and some stone soup around the fire before a lantern walk beneath the twinkling stars.
Thanks to Peter, Teera and Penny for planning this year’s Reconciliation Week Assembly where we were fortunate to have as guest speakers two Arakwal Bundjalung women, Karena and her daughter Taleah. Rosie (cl.12), Naomi (9) and Evie (9) sang “Beds are Burning” accompanied by Sam (cl.11) on acoustic guitar, Rosie gave a speech about the significance of this week, and Andy closed with a heartfelt thanks to our guests for their ongoing custodianship of this land we all love.
The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags were then raised together, alongside the Australian flag, on the new flag poles – note, all of equal height! – in our carpark, on a clear blue day. Thank you to all who made that symbolic change happen.
For the current CBRSS Community.
The Principal’s Year 12 Graduation Speech 2020
It is a great pleasure to be here with you all on this special day and to honour you, our wonderful Graduating Class of 2020. I also feel particularly proud having known and observed many of you, as you have journeyed, grown and changed through the years from Kindergarten to Year 12.
A key aspect of our job as Steiner Educators is to find ways to remove hindrances for our students, so that they can grow, learn, dream and reach for their stars.
It is this that teachers strive for, in providing creative and enabling educational environments, so that all of our students may flourish, grow confidence and skill in themselves as learners, and ultimately mature into fine young people. And as you sit before us today, we can see that you have indeed become a graduating class of very fine young people and the kind of class that every teacher dreams of growing.
And now that you are old enough to understand I thought I would share with you, a mini explanation of the uniqueness and some of the reasons we do what we do here at Cape Byron Rudolf Steiner School and maybe a little bit of what lies behind all the colours of the rainbow at ‘Steiner’
In a nutshell, Steiner Teachers understand that children learn differently at different ages and stages.
Picture this….You are 5 years old in Kindergarten….
You learn best through play….think sandpit, dress-ups, block construction, tree climbing and you learn with your whole body through imitation. Your Kindergarten teachers understand this and offer nourishment to this powerful imitative impulse within you, in an atmosphere of calm and predictable rhythm; Monday drawing, Tuesday painting, Wednesday cooking, Thursday handwork, Friday outside day, your Kindergarten teachers tell you stories, sing songs, bake bread, show you how to sew, twist, and felt wool and you learn how to interact, take turns, wait and help….eventually in harmony with others.
Picture this….you are 6 years old when you enter Class 1 and you journey through the years so that you are 12 years old in Class 6. From the ages of 6 to 12 you learn best by forming a strong feeling and imaginative connection to the lesson content presented by your teachers. Your Primary teachers understand this and offer a learning environment filled with an artistic and warm classroom approach (think colours of the rainbow); they tell you stories, sing, play music, engage you in drawing, writing and modelling, and rhythm and repetition in all subjects. Your teachers observe that such warmth in your learning environment provides you with a foundation for clear thought and moral strength later on and in these years, you thrive surrounded by the calm authority of your teachers, who strive to be reliable and nurturing.
Picture this….you are 13 in Year 7 and you journey through the High School years. Now as an adolescent you begin to build a future intellectual life learning best through questioning, testing and later analysing and comparing. Your High School teachers understand this and they design activities that require you to engage in self reflection and critical observation rather than simple immersion and activity and in senior years, your teachers set increasingly complex work that builds your capacity towards an adult skill set. However, your High School teachers know you still learn best in an atmosphere of respect, trust and continuity, surrounded by adults who can provide fine role models of creative problem-solving and respectful interaction.
Picture this…….you finally arrive at the finish line of Year 12 and here you are! Your effort, enthusiasm, focus, determination and persistence have served you well.
Know that you have achieved great things and that the fruits of your work have filled us with joy, awe, wonder and great excitement for what will come towards you, and from you, into the future.
May you relish and savour the wonderful feeling of satisfaction that such completion and accomplishment can bring and may you also now find the balance and the space in between and seek some well deserved rest and relaxation when you can.
We hope we have given you the time, space, creativity, skill and inspiration, to always be able to learn whatever you wish to learn, to know yourselves well, to have a developing deep sense of your destiny and of your many possible life-pathways, and ultimately, to come to know your own true purpose and place in the world, with a sense of comfort and confidence, for now and forever.
May your presence, ideas and contributions make the world a better place and may you build a ladder to the stars and climb on every rung!
Class 1- 6 students offered beautiful verses, poems and songs to honour the Year 12 Graduating Class and to remind them of their Primary School Journey.
Watch a Short Video of our Winter Festival here
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.
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
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.
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
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.
Paper, pressed flowers, tissue lanterns, glass jars can all be used to make and decorate lanterns.
Some Winter Verses
Winter Gnome Craft
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.
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.
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.
We wish everyone strength and courage this Michaelmas season, may all your dragons be tamed!
A lovely class 1 welcome ceremony.
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.
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.*
– 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.
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.
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.
Some lovely stories for Advent and Hanukkah by Eugene Schwartz available by following this link.
Contact the School
Enquiries:Tel: (02) 6639 9300
Office Hours:Term Time: 8:30 am – 3:30 pm Holidays: 10:00 am – 3:00 pm