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            Port Macquarie Steiner School News

October 2019
School News  
We are so fortunate to have been sent postcards that we received as part of the Waldorf 100 Postcard Project, from all around the world, which now brighten up the walls in our office. It is so amazing to look at these cards from students across the globe, each a reflection of the place from where they come from. Cards have arrived from faraway places such as Bulgaria, Germany, Japan, Brazil, USA and Russia, to name a few. Many thanks to Armidale Waldorf School for forwarding these on to us!
Welcome back to our Summer / Christmas Term! We are sure it will be very busy, and we look forward to all the changes and growth of the children that comes with the Spring.

Our End of Term 3 Spring festival was a beautiful way to end last term. Both the Kindergarten and Class One/Two performed a Maypole dance and we ended the day with a shared picnic feast in the garden. 
We also celebrated the Official Opening of our new Kindergarten building, for which we owe our thanks to Justin Robinson from Edge Constructions, for project managing. Together with the help of elder, Uncle Bill, we named our new room, “BURRAY GANYA”, which means ''The Children’s Hut, in our local Birpai language. We thank Uncle Bill and Chris O’Brien for blessing our new kindergarten.

Behind the scenes, the school has been meeting new families and children to the school, and letters of offer have been sent out. We are very happy that our new Kindergarten class for 2020 has now been formed, and we will welcome them a little later in the term with an Orientation Evening for the parents, and an Orientation Morning for the children.
Today is World Teacher’s Day, which recognises the hard work, creativity and dedication of teachers around the globe. On behalf of everyone, I’d like to acknowledge the work of all the teachers at our school, who are not only taking on the work of classroom teachers, but are also helping to pioneer a new school! Aren’t we incredibly grateful? 
This term we have an amazing opportunity for parents and educators to attend three workshops being presented by a guest speaker to our school, Lou Harvey-Zahra. Lou is the author of five best-selling parenting books, and offers workshops around the world, sharing her wisdom with both parents and teachers. We are so fortunate to have her visit our school in November, and know that she will be inspiring, uplifting and bring many practical ideas and knowledge with her. See below for details on her workshops.
Kindergarten News
Kindergarten has started with their summer rhythm and begin their day outside with creative play and garden time. Arona brought in two little ducklings on the first day of term, which was just delightful. The children each had a little hold of the ducklings, and we watched them have a splash about in the bird bath. They named the ducklings, Fluffy and Alexander. 
Our Easter grass (groat grain) that was planted at Easter-time, has now grown to a full bed of oats, and the children have started harvesting and threshing the oats. Between the birds and all that lovely rain, unfortunately there was not a lot left to harvest, but we were happy to provide the birds with some extra feed. The children will roll the groats into oats for their summer berry Pink Porridge, which is delicious!
Class 1/2 News
Welcome everyone to Term Four!

We begin our morning with a gratitude circle in which we all share things that we are thankful for in our day. It is also a wonderful way of sharing special parts of our home life with our friends, and appreciating the small things in our lives. Some of the responses have been:
I am grateful for trees.....for birthday parties.....for swimming.…for our school.....for teachers.....for my mum.....for sitting with the surfers.....for all my friends.

We have installed our native beehive in a beautiful eucalypt tree and are excited to watch and see who makes it a home.  This project saw the class working together measuring, sawing and constructing the hive with nail and hammer.  We also investigated what native bees feed from and their natural habitats. 

After many months of weaving work we started the term with a lovely story about a little girl who receives a flute and she learns to play songs with the birds in her grandmother's garden. The class was then gifted their own recorders and have begun the journey of playing their beautiful instruments.  We look forward to sharing some music with everyone in the future.  
Lou Harvey-Zahra 
All parents and friends and family are invited to a very special event in Port Macquarie!
Lou Harvey-Zahra is a popular parenting author with 5 books, and she is coming to town! This workshop is for all parents with children from toddler to ten years and will be full of practical and inspiring ideas for happy and harmonious homes!
Lou presents across Australia, UK and LA. She is a Primary, Special Needs and Steiner-trained teacher with 25 years’ experience (and lecturer for Sydney Rudolf Steiner College). She has presented on ABC BabyTalk and writes for various magazines.
“Creative Discipline will lighten the load and enlighten the mind” (John Allison) “What I love about Lou’s workshops and books is how simple it is to create happier children and parents!” (Josie Connor)
Bookings Essential.
You can find out more about Lou's work at  her website:
Click Here Book Now
Fundraising Update 

A Successful Celebration and Fundraiser

Some 70 adults and children streamed into The Little Fish Restaurant at Innes Lake Vineyard on Friday, 13th September to enjoy the late afternoon spring sunshine, good food, beautiful music, and friends. We were celebrating 100 years of Steiner Education in the world, and launching the Port Macquarie Steiner School Building Fund with a fun auction and raffle.

Singer and harpist, Rose Wilson created a relaxed atmosphere with music that blended perfectly with the pastoral setting. Guests also enjoyed an outstanding choral performance by a group of school mums singing acapella a lovely “Halleujia” by Mamuse, directed by Rose.

Platters with a variety of light finger food kept flowing from the kitchen, and for those who wished to sample the Innes Lake wines they were available for tastings and purchase.

Speeches by president, Melodie Ayriss, and teacher principal, Kristy Barry brought everyone together with a sense of the moment in world history for Steiner Education, and where our small, new school fits in, with a glimpse towards the future for the Port Macquarie community. (Kristy's speech is published in full on the website.)

Heartwarming community support was represented in the 30-plus auction and raffle prizes generously donated (with thanks to all the donors listed above). Auctioneer, Hugh Bateman helped to make the event fun and entertaining, as well as helping the school achieve a total of $3,000 in fundraising for the school building fund.

Thank you to all who contributed to the success of this event. It was a community effort in the best sense! 

Board Briefs

Planning for 2020

Planning for next year and beyond is a major focus of the board. It involves looking at different possible scenarios and staffing options, costing them against expected income and expenses, taking into consideration further growth in the school, searching for new temporary premises and what that's likely to involve. While this is a complex process with some things known or predictable and other things still unknown, we have much to be optimistic about. Interest in the school is growing, and enquiries for new enrolments have exceeded what we can accommodate now. A beautiful location for the future school becomes more and more a reality.

As all school families are aware, the board will be continuing in our search for temporary premises in order to accommodate the desired growth in the next few years. Concurrently with this, we are also lining up the necessary consultants and processes in our preparations for the eventual move to the permanent site at Thrumster, which we anticipate to be some five-plus years down the track.

A staffing model for next year has been accepted and some new teacher positions have been advertised with some promising applicants already interviewed. We look forward to adding new teaching staff to our growing school.

 Improvements for Table Street premises

Plans for some needed upgrades are now underway as we expect to continue operations at the Table Street campus next year. Kitchen sinks and plumbing are coming to finish the new kindergarten, with the added installation of a rainwater tank.

With the church's approval we are now able to construct a dividing wall in the hall to create two classroom spaces. The toilet block will be expanded and renovated to accommodate the extra student numbers and staff.

Kristy and Sally are in the process of sourcing new playground equipment for the primary class children to allow for more vigorous physical and creative play outdoors.

Celebration fundraiser in September

A very successful event was held last month on the 13th. See full report elsewhere in this newsletter.

Help us grow!

Port Macquarie Steiner School Building Fund
BSB 650 000
Account No. 533 407 700
Please ring the school if you are planning to make a donation so that we can issue you with a receipt for tax exemption. All donations to our Building Fund (over $2) are tax deductible, and will help us acquire new classrooms!
We are very grateful for your interest and generosity!
  • Thursday 14th November - Parent Evening at school with Lou Harvey Zara.
  • Friday 15th November- Lou Harvey Zahra Workshop, 'Creative Discipline' at  9.30am-11.30am at the Conservatorium Mid North Coast hall, 56 Hollingworth Street, Port Macquarie, for parents, playgroup parents and anyone else interested (NESA PD hour-approved course).
  •  Saturday 16th November - Lou Harvey Zahra Workshop, 'Positive Classroom Discipline' for teachers, assistants and educators. This is a NESA PD hour-approved course).
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