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            Port Macquarie Steiner School News

June 2020
School News  
Together Again: We have all been so happy to be back together as a school these last two weeks- children with their teachers again, and friends reunited. The playground has been filled with laughter and noise, as lots of games of chases, skipping and cubby building have taken place this week. The children have all found each other again after a long separation, and disruption to their days at school.
On our first Monday back, the children made a Wishing Tree, writing a wish for the world on a ribbon and tying it to the tree. It was a lovely symbol of hope as we start to move into the cold of winter. The winter solstice this year will take on perhaps even more meaning, as we are unable to celebrate the winter festivals as we have previously done over the last two year at the Lost Plot: with our community lantern walk and puppet story, warming soup and freshly made bread in the pizza oven. Whilst physical distancing measures are still in place, we have to not only look inwards to our own selves to find clarity and set intentions, but we also need to hold the whole community in our hearts. The strength and the resilience that the world asks of us right now is big, and we hopefully will get through this period with a renewed sense of belonging, appreciation and gratitude for the like-minded people in our lives that form community.
The primary years' Steiner curriculum deepens the children's experience and empathy in world consciousness, and helps develop a deep understanding of what it truly is to be human. This journey is a very special one, and probably even more relevant in a world today that can easily feel chaotic, unstable, and disconnected. We are hoping to find ways to connect as a community whilst needing to still largely be remote from our regular contact at present.
In the meanwhile, I wish everyone good health and happiness for you and your families.

Kindergarten News
Kindergarten are happily reunited in the classroom. Jedda brought a lovely puppet story about a child and a kite that got away. The children made a wishing tree, with each child having a wish written on a ribbon, tied to a branch of the banksia tree, for their wishes to be carried by the wind. The children are learning some new winter songs, including some lantern songs, to light our way through the cold, winter days. Arona helped the children dress all the dolls in their warm, winter woollens, and the children have thoroughly enjoyed playing in the rain, dressed well in their full wet-weather gear. This term we welcome Melissa Wills on Mondays and Fridays in the kindergarten, as well as a new casual teacher Claire. 
Class 1 News
Class One have now completed their Numbers Main Lesson, deepening their understanding of the quality and gesture of these numbers, lived through Fairy Tales. Hands have been busy weaving at home, with Class One recorder bags proudly being completed, getting ready for when Class One start recorder. Class One helped to harvest a few pumpkins this week, and were amazed and delighted by how the pumpkin vine grew up into a tree, and grew a pumpkin there!
 Class 2/3 News
Class 2/3 are in the middle of a math’s main lesson ‘Magic Squares’ in which we are exploring square numbers and revisiting our times tables in a deeper way. Patterns formed within these and also between odd and even numbers are a theme of this lesson too. This main lesson has been amazing in the way the group has worked together and really stuck with some long and full lessons.  I have been extremely proud of their keep at it attitudes and we have been making up for big lessons with some extra time outdoors playing and sessions in the garden. 
Gardening – We have been spending time in our garden and I have really witnessed a connection for the children in this place. After lots of weeding and bed preparation we were able to plant out lots of seedlings which we plan to use in our soup making in the cool winter months. We have also begun a second compost bin and will work hard in the next while learning more about how to make healthy compost for our garden. We are also going to make our own worm farm at the beginning of term three to help keep our garden strong. This is a great build up to our farming and gardening main lesson which we begin in Term Three. 
Last week was Reconciliation week and we were so happy to welcome Chris O’Brien, and Uncle Bill on Tuesday who shared some of our own local Frist Nations people’s stories. Chris shared some of his own art and bought many interesting artifacts to look at. It was a fantastic incursion and they answered lots of great questions from some very interested children. We even shared a delicious lemon myrtle cheesecake made by Uncle Bills wife, Marilyn.

Community meeting

Last Wednesday evening 12 school families met with the full board, Kristy and Arona via Zoom computer conferencing. There was lots to discuss after the board's letter to all school families was sent on Friday 22nd with information concerning plans for next year. Questions at the meeting were focussed on the new site at 120 Hindman Street for kindergarten in 2021, the future permanent site proposal at Thrumster, and Council processes and time frames.

Detailed minutes were taken and will be circulated soon.

Future of Future Site Committee

As mentioned in the board's letter to school families, Fred Buys is stepping down as chair of the FSC. The board has appointed Alanna Alfaro to this role. The committee will be continuing in their assistance to the board in regard to any and all future school site proposals.

Welcome to new staff at school

The board would like to welcome new Teacher Assistant, Melissa Wills to the school. Melissa will be working in the kindergarten on Mondays and Fridays.

We are also pleased to welcome new Operational Services staff member, Judith Rumble who will be working every weekday before school opens, cleaning around the school and preparing classrooms for the start of the day. Judith is also working in our gardens.

Company Annual General Meeting – Sat. 13 June at 2:30pm

Port Macquarie Steiner Ltd. is holding its AGM next month on the 13th. (Location to-be-decided depending on govt. meeting restrictions.) At the AGM the audited company finances are presented, the president gives a report on the activities of the company in the previous year, the company auditor is appointed, and the board members are elected.

An invitation is extended to anyone who is interested in becoming a company member. Membership is required in order to vote at the AGM, and to stand for election to the board. There is an initial, one-off $10 joining fee, and an annual fee of $10 to renew membership. As per the company rules, anyone seeking membership needs to make an application to the board, and be accepted by the board. Guests (non-company members) are also welcome to attend the AGM.

The board is currently seeking parent and non-parent directors for the board with expertise to share in the shaping of Port Macquarie Steiner School's future. The board can have as many as 10 directors. Four directors of the current board will be seeking re-election at the AGM: Melodie Ayriss, Bianca Bateman, Cheryl Meyer Millican and Ruth Gallagher. Fred Buys will not be re-nominating.

If you would like more information on what's involved in being a director on the board, please speak to Mel Ayriss or contact her on the email address below.

For more information on how to become a company member, please contact Mel Ayriss:


Thanks to our principal, teachers, staff and school families for your fortitude, creativity, mutual support and caring during the difficult period the school and the country have experienced over the past few months.

The New Normal
Mary Heard | Simplicity Parenting Coach 
Everything feels so strange right now and, for some of us, overwhelming - everyone’s experience is so different. There does however seem to be a common thread emerging, the idea that, like other disasters in history, the corona virus crisis has revealed what is not working in society and opened the possibility for change. In some ways we, as individuals and as a collective are now at a fork in the road.
Since his book was published in 2009, Simplicity Parenting author Kim John Payne has spoken about the ‘new normal’ of ‘too much, too fast, too soon’ but since the very foundations of our society have been uprooted, we sense the possibility of a “new new normal”. Like the words recently posted on a Japanese subway ‘We can’t return to normal because the normal we had was precisely the problem’.
As things start to wake up again and the restrictions of the corona virus begin to be lifted we can take a moment to ponder what we would like to take with us from this strange time into the ‘new new normal’. Using the 4 pillars of Simplicity we can consider how we have been less attached to the unimportant things in life and more committed to the important ones, that our priorities have shifted and we can turn our direction however slightly towards living a life in accordance with our own values.
Firstly let us look at stuff, many of us have realised how much time we waste shopping, how good it is to use what we already have and how slowly our bank account goes down when we stay home. Being at home amongst the stuff we already have makes us realise how getting rid of things makes us happier than acquiring them.
Rhythm has also taken on a new meaning with no teachers and no school to do the work for us. Rhythm is the secret of discipline (how teachers manage 30 children at once) and without the rhythm of the school day, family life can become formless chaos.  For teachers and for parents, rhythm is our best friend and the return on investment on the time we put into establishing rhythm in our family life makes it well worth the effort.
So many people I talk to are enjoying slowing down and the forced de-cluttering of their lives, realising that time is more valuable than money. We are tricked into thinking that we need to work harder to buy and do more things and so the treadmill goes round and round faster and faster and we don’t know how to get off. For the past few weeks many of us have been thrown off the treadmill only to discover that so many of the things we love doing don’t actually cost money at all!
What we have seen during this time is how nice it is to have days with nothing on, to go for a walk together as a family, to have open ended time at home to pursue our deepest passions or have an afternoon nap.
Filtering out the Adult World
The general view of self isolation seems to be that virtual reality is incredibly useful but that it doesn’t come close to the real thing. Real human connection feeds the soul and it is worth safeguarding even during this crisis by putting screen free time into our days.
Now the time has come when we can begin the return to business as usual, we may feel pressure to ‘get back to normal’. But this is our big chance to define a new version of normal, to enjoy the fruits of the ultimate de-cluttering we have been through for the past few months, to only bring back what works for us, what makes our lives easier, our hearts warmer and our children happier.
For more information go to:

  • Reconciliation Week - story Tuesday June 2
  • Bushwalk commences June 9  Classes 1-3
  • Company AGM - Saturday 13 June at 2:30pm. Location to be decided depending on Government meeting restrictions. Contact: Mel Ayriss at
  • Term 2 ends - Wednesday July 1
  • Term 3 commences - Wednesday July 22
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