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            Port Macquarie Steiner School News

Spring 2019
School News  
Last week the school received a cheque from the council to gift to a child we feel would best be rewarded for their strengths or achievements. In Steiner schools we don’t usually single out children for special awards, or individualise in a competitive way. We work in the gesture of the circle in the primary years, with the teacher fostering strong relationships and understandings between all the children, and working with each child’s unique gifts and also the areas where they may need extra support or enrichment. 
At our recent trip to Byron Bay for the national teachers conference, one of the keynote speakers Valentin Wember, a visiting Waldorf teacher of 30 years from Germany, gave a very detailed and thoughtful presentation on the liver! Rudolf Steiner spoke of the social structure of the human’s vital organs. All organs and senses work for the organism, not for the self. This is the cosmic principle of SELFLESSNESS. They don’t need or have the ‘competitive’ principle for high-end results. Every organ gets what it needs - no more - no less. There is no profit. He coined this term, the ‘Liver Mentality’, and wondered why in life we act against the wisdom of our own body? 
Valentin gave an example of forced child labour that is still occurring in some countries, and stressed what we all know, that the dignity of the human being should never be used as a means to an end. In regards to education, he stated that no political or economical realm should run a school. That the purpose is to know the child. That every child is seen; that there is the unconditional welcome of every single child, to be seen for how they are developing. He said that this is the basic exercise for every teacher in the future. The teacher needs to work on themselves first. This work is strongly encouraged on the path of a Steiner teacher. Working with the theme of RENEWAL of Steiner Education 100 years on, he stated, “All genuine educational success depends on the work of teachers on themselves”. 
In closing, he stated, “The cosmic principle of selflessness is already incarnated in the senses and the organs. In future, in the heart, the ego and the self.” Perhaps in the future there will be no child-labour camps.    
So with this goodwill gift from the council, we will again this year contribute it to the collective good of the whole school, so that all may experience and benefit, even the visitors to our school will, as we will use it to enhance our gardens with some spring time flowers and more planting.
This last week we were so fortunate to have Lisa Devine visit our school and give a wonderful presentation of Steiner’s Three-Fold Social Order to parents and to teachers. Her insights inspired many people, and from this a study group has emerged. If you would like more information on this development, please contact the school.
Playgroup News
We have a new facilitator for our Little Bowerbirds playgroup. Her name is Gillian Colgan. Gillian has joined us after recently moving to Coffs Harbour from Melbourne. Gillian completed the two-year Advanced Diploma of Rudolf Steiner Education in 2017. As part of the course, Gillian studied many subjects including Steiner pedagogy from an early childhood perspective. In 2018 she gained experience as an educator in an early childhood centre, and now works as a music teacher in Coffs Harbour. 
Gillian is delighted to meet the parents and children of the budding Steiner community in Port Macquarie and she looks forward to helping the 'Little Bowerbirds' make a meaningful and nourishing start to their educational journeys.
Kindergarten News
Worm Farm
This week Arona has been busy working with both classes setting up the worm farm that Maddy donated. Thank you! We now have a thriving, healthy, much-visited worm farm, and the children know exactly what the worms can and can’t eat, and the moist, dark, cool conditions they need to thrive. The kindergarten golden helpers take the fruit and veggie scraps to them each day, peel back their woollen blanket and feed them what they need.


'One of the best experiences of colour for the young child comes through painting with watercolours on wet paper. Colours are in their true element in water.'

Rahima Baldwin, author of You Are Your Child's First Teacher


The children in Kindergarten started the year painting with one colour, getting comfortable with the technique of wet-on-wet painting . As the year has gone on we have explored two colours, and just this term we are using three. As the different colours blend on the paper, many of the children are enjoying the experience of which new colours are 'coming out to play'. Letting the children discover the magic for themselves, there is no need for any further explanation at this stage to the child. Our special Fathers Day cards were created using paintings the children had done earlier, using three colours, with many discovering the colours of the rainbow. 

New Kindergarten Building - Official Opening 
An official opening for the new kindergarten building will take place on Friday 20th September at 10am. Uncle Bill is kindly helping to find a special Birpai name to bless the building with. School families welcome to attend. 
Class 1/2 News
Class 1&2 have started News Time.  This is a great chance to learn more about our peers and for the children to share their interests with the group.  It enables everyone to become more confident speaking to a group, and to communicate more formally as we ask questions, and wait for their time to talk.
Form drawing has been very popular this 
term with the class. We have moved from working with stories to exploring the mathematical concepts of symmetry and mirroring.  The class enjoys coming up with ways of moving the different forms with their bodies and having turns of doing larger and longer forms on the chalkboard.
Our current main lesson is maths based, where we have been formally introduced to the four arithmetic processes and their signs: + – x / . This has been done through stories where we have met different characters who present qualities of the different processes: Queen Divide who shares equally, Portly Plus the farmer, Tumbly Times, gathering quickly and always looking forward, 
and Michael Minus the blacksmith who loves to give things away. These characters hold characteristics that explore the four different temperaments without putting direct focus on this. It has been a beautiful extension of the Fables Tales that allowed us to look more deeply into our personality traits.  

Next week we begin a Dreaming Stories main lesson leading us to the end of term three. This will be a beautiful chance to connect more deeply with our local First Nations cultures, learning their stories and sharing art and dance/songs.  
This Month
Enrolling in 2020 
We are still taking expressions of interest for enrolling in 2020. Our next parent information session is taking place in September. Attending the parent session is an important part in our enrolment process and gives families an understanding of Steiner Education and our curriculum, and a chance to have all your questions answered. Since places are strictly limited for 2020 intake, families who have not attended a parent information session cannot be considered for enrolment. Please let us know if you are interested in attending our next parent session or enrolling in 2020.
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 as we expand, and what that's likely to involve. Some things in the picture are known or predictable, other things are still unknown. So the process is complex, involves imagination, consideration of  potential risks, and importantly – optimism – as our financial consultant and former board treasurer, John Oxley so wisely encouraged us to keep in the mix. Indeed, 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 staffing model for next year has been accepted and some new teacher positions have been advertised. We look forward to adding new teaching staff to our growing school.


Kinder building completion and new playground equipment coming

Kitchen sinks and plumbing are coming to finish the new kindergarten, with the added installation of a rainwater tank.

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 at Little Fish – raffle and auction

Ticket purchases are coming in for this exciting event on 13 September, and some wonderful raffle and auction prizes have been donated. Raffle tickets are on sale now from the school office. We are especially grateful to Alanna, Jess and Julie Proud for their assistance canvassing the community for donations.

Make sure to purchase your event tickets soon as numbers at the restaurant are limited. Join in the festive celebration of our new school as part of a worldwide education movement now 100 years old, and help raise needed funds towards our future building projects. 

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!
This Saturday Find us at.... 
Come and visit our market stall at The Lost Plot Spring Fair on Saturday 7th September between 11-3pm. 
  • Saturday 7th September - The Lost Plot Community Gardens Spring Fair 
  • Friday 13th September - Celebration Fundraiser ~ Little Fish Café 4-6pm
  • Friday 20th September - Official Opening Kindergarten Building 10am
  • Wednesday 25th September - Last day of Term 3
  • Wednesday 16th October - First day of Term 4 
Copyright © 2019 Port Macquarie Steiner School, All rights reserved.

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