It was wonderful to welcome our students back to school last week. Teachers and support staff had already been back at school for several days before the students returned – but the school only really comes alive when it is filled with the laughter, chatter and striving of our wonderful students.
Our teachers gathered together for a short staff retreat together in the time before the students returned. This is something we do every year and is a great way of coming together to start the year. In this, the 100th year since the first Steiner School opened, we focused our attention on thinking deeply about the core tenets of this educational philosophy and how this might evolve so that we continue to meet the needs of the students coming to us. The discussions were vibrant and thoughtful and I am sure they will continue into this centenary year.
The first event of the year was the Rose Ceremony, where Class 1 teacher, James Deefholts, welcomed each of his new students to begin their journey together. I enjoyed meeting with Class 1 parents at a morning tea on the first morning, there is a real sense of excitement as the next part of their journey begins.
The next day, we welcomed our new Kindergarten students to the school. Again, it was lovely to spend time with Kindy parents talking about their hopes and dreams for the journey ahead and watching as the connections between families are forged. These connections will strengthen as parents work together to support the children through their school journey.
It is such an enormous privilege to be able to work with the children and families in our school community. It is no small thing to have a part in helping each young person grow and learn so that they can shape their own destinies. I know we all feel both the privilege and the responsibility deeply. Core to the success of our task are the relationships we build and the way we communicate with each other about this. My wish for this year is that we are all able to work together with positive spirit and good will to achieve the best possible outcomes for the young people who are part of our school community and who are at the centre of all we do.