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            Port Macquarie Steiner School News


Welcome to Term 1 2020
School News
Welcome back to the school year for 2020. The school was buzzing with activity in the weeks and days leading up to school, with the creation of new classrooms, and many enhancements around the school, including new fencing and gardens, with upgrades to the toilets still to be completed. Thank you to all the parents who attended our Working Bee at the last minute; Amaya, Scotty, Derek, Josh, Estelle, Melisa, Zaire, Adriene and Jedda. This work was much appreciated! Many hands make light work!
 
The first day of term commenced with our lovely Rainbow Bridge Ceremony, where we welcomed our new Class One teacher, Emma Prince to formally take on the new class, and waved goodbye to the graduating Kindergarten class of 2019. There were a few tears as Kylie, Kristy and Arona farewelled the children, and Sally and Class Two/Three helped form the special ‘bridge’. The children have integrated really well in their new rooms. They love their new handmade wooden desks and beautiful new handmade timber chalkboards, with special thanks to all the helpers behind the scenes. Class One have already planted their flowerpots gifted to them by their kindy teachers.
Kindergarten News
Introducing Jedda
Jedda comes to our school with a passion for the Arts, and a number of years teaching experience as K-6 Creative and Performing Arts Co-ordinator in Primary schools in Melbourne. She has taught children's choirs, and directed whole school concerts, tours and stage productions. She loves to make things, paint and draw, and has recently illustrated a children's book, "Charlie's Stars." Jedda has also worked as a Kindergarten assistant in a Steiner school in northern NSW, and is most excited to be here in Port Macquarie, undertaking her first year of Kindergarten teaching.
Our new Kindergarten class of 14 children have lovingly been welcomed by their new teacher Jedda Davis, who is also new to our faculty team. Jedda spent countless hours getting the beautiful Kindergarten room ready, in the Burray Ganya building. It has been a delightful start to our Kindergarten year. The children have been eager to learn some Kindy songs and stories, and are settling into their new rhythm happily. They have been enjoying making cubbies, tending babies, creating patterns, and building towers in our inside play time. Each day, their confidence to try new things together as a group is growing, and friendships are developing. We look forward to our first full Kindy days next week. 

It is so wonderful to welcome so many new families to the school, and see many familiar children from our ‘Little Bowerbirds’ Playgroup finally be ready for big school. Arona and Kylie will continue to assist Jedda in the kindergarten this year. 

Green Thumbs Garden helpers

This year we are looking for parent helpers to assist in nurturing the gardens in our school. As you can imagine there are always little jobs to be done and if you have a little time to spare before collecting your child in the afternoons we would deeply appreciate some help. We will also be holding one or two afternoon gardening sessions where needed throughout the term.

We are hoping to incorporate a Biodynamic stir during the term, with dates yet to be decided. If anyone has a spare compost bin or worm farm to donate to the school, we gratefully appreciate it.
Please let Arona know if you would like to help and she will provide you with further information.

With water restrictions so high now, we are looking at inventive ways of catching grey water from our hand basins to water our thirsty plants. New rain water tanks have been connected, so we look forward to harvesting our own rainwater too.

Class 1 News
Introducing Emma
Emma is an experienced primary school teacher and mum of four children, two of whom were home-schooled using an earth schooling curriculum, prior to thier enrolment at Port Macquarie Steiner School. Emma is currently completing her Rudolf Steiner Foundations training and has completed the class teacher intensive shcool. Emma has been a casual member of staff until this year when she has taken on the role of Class 1 teacher.
Our class 1 room has been a bustling hive for learning thus far. Outdoors, we have now commenced skipping in the mornings and are building on skills each day. Indoors, all the students are working on their Form Drawing main lesson in their very own main lesson books. They have been eagerly awaiting each day, to see what picture will be hiding under the wings of the chalkboard. Each image is derived from the previous days` story and then forms the basis for the following days practice form.
It is great to see our returning students looking out for our new students and making them feel welcome.
 
This year Kylie Ross takes on the role of Handcraft teacher in the Primary years and already have commenced the year with dying slippers and hand towels using solar dyes, and commenced wool winding and finger-knitting. Kylie looks forward to bringing new skills to the Class one children as they start to weave their recorder bags and learn to knit with needles, and to bring crocheting and needlework to Class Two/Three as they begin to make cushions and their own pencil cases. 
"Over the log 
Jump off the tree
Pull the little plait and tail back to me"
 
 A verse that all children who finger knit know......

Our wish for wool
To keep all our children finger knitting this term, we are asking all families to donate  a ball of 100%  wool from  the colours of the rainbow. The wool may be a spare from home an op shop treasure or a newly purchased one.
In the office there will be a basket.....for the wool to be delivered to.......
I wonder if we can make it to 33 balls of wool?
Thankyou, Kylie
Class 2/3 News
Welcome back class two and three families and children 
 
How much growth has happened over our lovely long Christmas break. It is a privilege to witness my class come back as the older class in the school and watch them welcome and care for their younger peers. With class one now in the main building and joint meal and outdoor play times many new friendships are blossoming, we have been enjoying lots of creative role play as well as time spent working in our garden and exploring all parts of the playground. 
 
We began the year with our main lesson ‘saints and beasts’ filling the space with rich stories of the heroic lives of our well known saints. These themes allow the group to witness the discipline and strength that was put forward for the greater good and to help people in need. We are working on a class play based on one of our saints which will take place towards the end of the term. It is a lovely extension to allow space for the class to live into these gestures and deeds. 
Our next main lesson begins in week four and  focuses on patterns and times tables in maths. We will explore these pictorially and it will have a heavy hands on element that will provide space for all learning styles to gains strong understanding. We will then finish the term with a three week block on home surround and exploring our local natural environments. This will involve many bush walks and opportunities to explore historical sites in Port Macquarie. 
We will be having a parent evening at the beginning of week five in which these lesson will be further discussed. 
 
The class is really enjoying the new classroom layout and resources such as our new chalkboard. We are also busy making many of our own new resources such as book covers, art folders, name places as well as dying our slippers and hand towels. 
 
Sally 
Simplicity Parenting Workshop ~ Mary Heard
Parent Education Talk Thursday 12th March 7.30-9.00pm

Series of four Workshops in term one and two

For bookings please contact Mary Heard 0407217107 or maryheardwhat@gmail.com  
For more information visit:  maryheard.com.au  & simplicityparenting.com

 
Free Introductory Talk by Simplicity Parenting Coach
Mary Heard
 
Join the Slow Parenting Movement and learn ways to:
simplify and slow down your home environment,
create predictable rhythms,
simplify your child’s weekly schedule
and find out the benefits of filtering out the adult world
Getting into the Rhythm of School Life

How do we keep the lovely feeling of relaxation and connection we have created over the holidays when we return to school? 

The answer is rhythm.

It is one of the tools the teachers use in the classroom of Steiner Schools to maintain the feeling of calm and order.
We can take some of that medicine into our own homes. Of course it will never be perfect but it will at least anchor us and save us being tossed around on the stormy seas of school life. In my opinion, the best way to set your child up for a successful school life is to get them to school calmly with 15 minutes to play before the bell goes.
 
So how does “Simplicity Parenting” help you to achieve that?
What we recommend is that you sit down quietly and look at your days........
 
Start with wake up time  
What time do your children need to wake up in order to comfortably get to school 15 minutes early?
 
Work backwards from there
  • Preschoolers to 7 year olds need 11-12 hours of sleep
  • 8 to 12 year olds need 9-11 hours
  • Adolescents need 8-9 hours  
So from there you can work out the bed time
A good balance for a 7 year old for example, would be sleep by 8 and up at 7
 
So once you have worked out your bedtime, work back 2 hours to dinner time –  6pm for an 8pm bedtime.
 
After dinner it is best to keep a regular routine – bath, music practice (for older children) and a book or story.
 
The younger the child the easier it is to establish a rhythm. No matter what the age the secret is “Start small, stay close, insist and follow through”
This means you cannot get distracted as a parent. I recommend you turn your phone of between dinner and bed.
 
Once this rhythm is established it will take you all the way through to high school because you will just be able to put the new activities in as the sleep time lessens.
 
One last benefit from this way of parenting is that rhythm builds discipline into family life. We have dinner because it is ‘dinner time’, we go to bed because it is ‘bedtime’ we get in the car because it is ‘time to leave for school’ – this saves so many arguments.
It may sound like a grind to have so much structure but ultimately this is the path to freedom because it actually creates space to put in things you want without feeling pressure, they just need to fit in around the structure you have created.
 
Mary Heard is a Simplicity Parenting Coach and runs courses in Simplicity Parenting in N.S.W throughout the Year. She will be giving a parent education talk at Port Macquarie Steiner School on Thursday 12th March and running a series of workshops for parents starting Saturday 14th March. Please see flyers for details
In this series of 4 workshops we will look at how to de-clutter our family lives. As we work with the ‘small doable change’ process, you choose what you want to keep and what you want to get rid of in your family life. This way we will create our homes as places of rest and rejuvenation, ‘sanctuaries’ from a fast paced world that is overwhelming adults and robbing children of their childhood. We become the architects of our family life as we realign with our own values and choose what is workable for our families and so create an ideal environment for the slow emergence of our children’s identities, resilience and well being.
 
We will explore the Four pillars of Simplicity……….
ENVIRONMENT:  Creating a calm environment that fosters deep and creative play.
RHYTHM:  Creating ‘pressure valves’ in our day to bring comfort and order to our children and a culture of connectedness to our families
SCHEDULING: Including open ended periods of downtime in our children’s weeks
FILTERING OUT THE ADULT WORLD: Saying ‘no’ to the pressures and anxieties of adult life that are pouring into our children’s awareness before they are ready
Casual Staff 
Positions Available for Casual Class Teachers and Kindergarten Teacher's Assistants. Please contact admin@portmacquariesteinerschool.nsw.edu.au
or 0475 083 956 for more informaiton.
PARENT LIBRARY



The school has a small parent library for parents to borrow from an interesting selection of books on Steiner’s work, Steiner education, parenting books and a small selection of fiction.
It is our endeavour this year to grow this library for the school community. In the meanwhile, if you would like to browse the books, please ask Nyree in the office for the key. 

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!
IMPORTANT DATES 
Term Dates
  • Monday 24th Feb - Class 1 & 2/3 Parent Evening
  • Monday 2nd March - Kindergarten Parent Evening
  • Tuesday 7th April - Harvest Festival - Class 1 & 2/3
  • Wednesday 8th April - Harvest Festival - Kindergarten
  • Wednesday 8th April - Last day of Term 1 - half day for all  
  • Wednesday 29th April - First day of Term 2
 
Parent Education with Simplicity Parenting Coach Mary Heard  
Please contact admin@portmacquariesteienrschool.nsw.edu.au to book your place at the free parenting talk. For Workshop bookings please contact Mary directly on 0407217107 or maryheardwhat@gmail.com  For more information visit:  maryheard.com.au & simplicityparenting.com 
  • Free Parent Talk on Simplicity Parenting from Mary Heard - Thursday 12th March 7-8.30pm at Port Macquarie Steiner School  
  • Simplicity Parenting Workshops: Series of 4 - Saturday 14th March; Saturday 28th March; Saturday 2nd May and Saturday 16th May.
2020 Office Hours are now 8.30am to 3.30pm 
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