- Principal's Address
- Bush Kindy
- Early Morning Visitors
- Nowanup Family Bush Camp
- Nowanup Family Bush Camp - More Photos
- Book Week Photos
- Swimming Lessons
- Bush School
- Karri Kindergarten
- Class One
- Class Two
- Class Three/Four
- Kambarang and River Poems
- Gardening News
- Mosaic Tiles Urgently Needed!
- Spring (Clean) Fair - Parent Helpers Required!
- Class 2 Families - Fundraising Bake Day
- GHSS Preferred Supplier List
- Denmark Climate Rally
- Children's Arts & Craft Workshops
- Music Intensive with Paul Lawrence and Nicole Peterson
- Vac Swim January 2021
Dear Families and Friends of Golden Hill Steiner School,
What a jam-packed newsletter! Some wonderful events have been happening, making for a very busy Term Four and after the year 2020 has been it is wonderful to be back in the swing of things. Enjoy reading all about it below!
With our borders opening from November 14th it is very important to note that we must ensure we follow the guidlines of regular hand-washing, maintaining 1.5m from each other and ensuring that in cases where we feel unwell in any way, that we remain home until well again.
Spring (Clean) Fair A very small, but dedicated crew of parents (currently numbering two!) have decided to forge ahead with the planning of the Spring (Clean) Fair on Saturday November 21st to coincide with the Garage Sale Trail across the state!
We do need your help though!! We are looking for helpers in the kitchen who can serve tea, coffee and baked goods as well as those happy to man the barbeque for a sausage sizzle. If you follow the link further in the newsletter, you can register for a timelot to help out in with either of these tasks.
We also ask that every family provide baked goods for our tea and coffee stall. These will need to be delivered to the school on the Friday before or else on the Saturday morning of the Spring (Clean) Fair!
Details on how to book a sale space will be out soon, so start gathering those items that you want to sell and keep your eyes on your inbox to book your space as it will be first in, best dressed!
Should you wish to join the organising duo in helping out, email firstname.lastname@example.org as your services will happily be put to use! And we remain on the look out for a replacement P&F committee for 2021! All enquiries welcome.
The Great Bush Kindy Tadpole Rescue
When the children returned to Bush Kindy after the holidays, they were excited to discover the remaining shallow pond of water in the forest teeming with large tadpoles, many of which had grown back legs and were beginning to look rather frog-like. They gathered a collection of these tadpoles in various containers to observe and enjoy, before returning them to their habitat at the end of our Bush Kindy session.
The following week, when the children returned to the pond, they were amazed to discover that it had completely dried up, leaving only a small patch of wet mud covered by drying leaves where the pool of water had previously been. Upon digging about amongst the leaves, the children began to discover many tadpoles lying on the surface of the mud. Thus began a flurry of activity as they collected water from the creek close by and began to retrieve as many tadpoles from the mud as they could find.
Approximately half of the tadpoles had grown their front legs, and as the children placed them in containers, the more frog-like ones began to crawl out of the water, while those that were still needing the sanctuary of water remained below the surface. The children found rocks and sticks to place in the containers to assist the new frogs to move to where they were most comfortable.
When it was time for us to return to camp, we had to decide what to do with all the tadpoles that had been collected. After a short discussion, it was agreed that we should carefully return the ‘frogs’ to the wet mud and cover them over with leaves, to fend for themselves in their own natural habitat. The children took charge of this operation with great tenderness and care. For the remaining tadpoles, a group of the children carried a large pot between them up to the small garden pond in the grounds of Silver Birch Kindy (Playgroup), to which they were gently transferred by hand by some of the children.
So unfolded the Great Bush Kindy Tadpole Rescue. Under the guise of these simple activities, in response to natural events in the changing cycle of the seasons, the children were engaged in deep and natural learning, developmentally appropriate to their age; a range of areas of the curriculum were being addressed, most obviously in the sciences (biological and ecological). They were witness to a crucial phase in the miraculous transformation from a tadpole to a frog, and experienced firsthand the seeming indifference of nature in the great cycle of life and death.
Perhaps most significantly, they were enacting the values of custodianship (Caring for Everything) that we have identified as the underlying framework of our place-based Bush Kindy and Bush School programs.
We hope the Playgroup children are able to discover and delight in some of our rescued tadpoles thriving in their garden pond. Certainly the children from Bush Kindy will be returning for a peek during our next session.
On Thursday morning of Week 1 this term, Mum and Dad and their eight baby ducklings made an early morning visit to the school grounds from the safety of the forest below. Some of the children who were early arrivals at school gathered and watched from a slight distance for a while, then gently shepherded them back to the forest before the full busyness of the day encroached.
Just one of the endless joyful encounters with the living world of nature our children get to experience in their day-to-day life here at Golden Hill.
On the weekend of October 23-25th we had an extraordinarily rich celebration of family, community and Noongar culture at our Bush Camp at Nowanup. The camp was led by Elders Eugene Eades and his cousin, Annette Eades. Over the course of the weekend, 42 children from Kindergarten/Class 1/Class 2 attended with parents or carers, with 29 Golden Hill families represented; in all, including Elders and staff, there were 84 participants.
On Friday evening, after camp set-up and an early dinner, Eugene officially welcomed us to Country and facilitated a beautiful smoking ceremony, through which the energy of the group was gathered and brought into a common focus. Of course the children were very tired after a week of swimming lessons, nevertheless we managed to hold their attention long enough to gather around the campfire to listen to the first part of Uncle Noel Nannup’s story-cycle of ‘The Carers of Everything’. Things went quiet very soon after families retreated to their tents for the evening.
Saturday was the main day of activity on the camp, and after breakfast Aunty Annette Eades took the girls and their mothers for a long walk and a yarn. Karri Kindy families set off to explore the walk-trail, and those remaining behind settled into bushcraft activities. Many tapping sticks were made, and when the girls returned, they worked on digging sticks together in the healing hut. Later in the afternoon Aunty Annette led a convoy of vehicles to a special location to forage for youlk, native bush potatoes. A range of other magical experiences and encounters took place throughout the day, and every adult and child naturally experienced their own pathway of activities throughout the day.
Some were able to make it to the cliffs to watch the beautiful sunset over the Stirling Ranges, and after an early dinner, we gathered again around the campfire for a singalong and the story ‘When the Sea Level Rose’. This time, after the children retired to their tents, some adults managed to return to sing, jam and yarn around the fire into the evening.
Sunday morning after breakfast we gathered one last time to hear the final instalment in the Carer’s story-cycle ‘The Coming of the Colours’, followed by acknowledgements and thank-yous for the wonderful experience we had all shared together. To top it all off, everyone gathered in the main shed to celebrate Evie’s birthday with an amazing ‘fruit’ cake, before the final pack-down and farewells.
It is difficult to capture in words the organic flow of activities and the sense of ‘being held by Boodja’ that is common to these events at Nowanup. However, it feels safe to say that for our all-too-brief time together, everyone felt a part of one big connected family, a taste of the inter-relatedness of everyone and everything that is encompassed by the Noongar word for family, Moort.
I would like to especially acknowledge Eugene and Annette for their wisdom, cultural knowledge and leadership, Bruce and Kristi for their facilitation of activities throughout the weekend, and Hannah and Tanya for volunteering to co-ordinate the food budget and preparation.
Congratulations to all students who participated in our recent learn to swim program. We were very impressed by the children’s perseverance and organisational skills. The swimming staff at Albany shared that the children were such a delight. They were able to follow directions, listen, assist their peer group and use lovely manners. We are very proud.
We're back at the Earth Station where we learn about Environmental Awareness through Elemental play and work.
Today we did these things -
- Dug in bush poles
- Weaved in the long grass
- Made digging sticks (those who weren't at camp)
- Made peace cranes
After seeing our children blessed by being held on Country by Elders, we have a wish. We want all Aboriginal children to have access to learning on Country and in Language.
We are making 1000 peace cranes for this wish to come true.
You are welcome to bring in peace cranes made at home.
The season of Djilba, the growing season, is a time of conception, a transitional time of the year, which seems an apt time for our kindergarten to have been undergoing renovation and renewal. An exceptionally wet Makuru season resulted in the damp/mould issues of our Kindergarten building urgently needing to be remedied, and two weeks before the end of Term 3 we ‘moved out' and began using the Silver Birch building, so work could be carried out. The rear of the building was excavated and drainage put in place to re-direct water flow and the water-tank and fence were re-located, the underfloor area was cleaned out and carpets were removed. We have been fortunate to have other work carried out whilst the building was vacant, including sanding and oiling of the kitchen benches, a pulley system installed to facilitate easier cleaning of our acoustic sails, and replacement of the foyer benches. Thank you so much to Sophia (play group leader) for graciously sharing the space with us, and being so tolerant of us semi moving in. Gratitude to Jacqui for approving the work and providing the beautiful jarrah timber for the benches. Appreciation to David Stockdale for overseeing the work and ensuring a thorough job has been done and to the tradesmen who have worked so hard. Thank you also to the teachers who joined forces during swimming week to clean the acoustic sails so they could be put up again, and to our wonderful assistants Evie and Clare for their flexibility. Last but not least, well done to our dear children who accepted the disruptions and noise so calmly.
Kambarang, the season of birth is a transformational time of the year. With wildflowers in abundance it was a beautiful time for the Bush Kindy camp at Nowanup, held last weekend. This year our K6 students were joined by the Class One and Two students and their families, many of whom had previously attended the camp at Nowanup. Gathering on Friday evening we experienced a traditional smoking ceremony, followed by stories and singing around the campfire. On Saturday morning the kindergarten students and parents were the first to walk a meandering path through the regenerated bushland to a shelter hut with a breathtaking view of the distant Stirling Ranges, where we met up with Noongar Elder and custodian of Nowanup, Eugene Eades, who shared stories and songs before continuing the walk. The children returned to camp to create a pair of tapping sticks crafted from local timbers. Nowanup is a place of healing which makes a lasting impression on all who are fortunate enough to spend time there. Thank you Bruce for organising a deeply nourishing learning experience for our children and families.
Upon returning to Denmark we were greeted with the happy news that Karri Kindergarten was ready to move into! So this week we have been enjoying our refreshed room, and looking forward to the arrival of new carpets in the next few weeks. Many thanks to Kylie who offered the carpet from the shop as a temporary floor covering, and to those who helped move it into the room.
So now we have a few weeks left of the school year to enjoy being in our room again as the K6 children prepare to make the transition to Class One. They are stitching craft bags to store their knitting projects in next year, and will soon begin visits to 'big school'.
We have had a great start to the term, having welcomed our new friends Summer, Havana, Sofia and Leo.
In between swimming lessons, bush school camp and book week we have managed to fit in some of our main lesson!
We are exploring the changes in our local natural environment that occur in the seasons of Spring and Summer.
We are hearing all kinds of stories, verses, songs and poems about plants, flowers, seeds, bulbs, insects, rain and sun.
During the seasons of Djilba, Kambarang and Birak there is a lot to notice.
One morning it was very special to see a mother duck and her ducklings wandering around near our classroom.
In our poem ‘Arise Sleepy Seeds’ the seed babies wake up and push their shoots and stems up toward the sun where flowers bloom.
This led to us making some little seed babies from wood and felt in handcraft.
We continue to learn lovely tunes on the recorder and lyre and on these spring days it is very peaceful to sit out in the fresh air for our lyre lesson with Sophia.
At the end of last term we finished making our own handwritten books about what we do at school on each of the days of the week.
So in the first week of this term we really enjoyed being able to share some time with the older students and read our books to them.
Thank you for your encouragement Class 6’s!
Amongst all the excitement of swimming and Bush School Camp at Nowanup, Class 2 have been busy helping Ciaran the Woodcutter keep track of his firewood pile. We discovered that if we stacked the numbers up in straight columns like Ciaran’s wood pile, we could easily keep track of how many loose sticks, bundles and bags he had in his shed at any one time. Ciaran always bundles up wood in lots of ten and puts them in the 10’s part of the shed with the other bundles. This involves a bit of ‘carrying’ as you can imagine. When he needs to sell more than he has available in the ‘loose sticks’ part of the shed he ‘borrows’ a bundle from next door and unties it in the ‘ones’ part of the shed. Quite a lot of heavy lifting for growing mathematical minds!
We have explored many tales to do with the wisdom of woodcutters, we’ve moulded wax figurines and sung woodcutter songs as we have worked.
Class 3/4 has been very busy practicing their upcoming play. Lines have been learnt, songs sung, music played, stage presence defined, costumes chosen, and our props have been made. It is a little exhausting but we are getting very excited (and a little nervous) to share with you what we have been up to. Not too much longer…
Many thanks to Heather, our woodwork teacher, who has assisted the children with the making of swords, shields and Thor’s hammer.
In Literacy support we have been writing poems about our environment focusing on the presence of the river in our lives as well as Noongar seasons. We then draw personalised spelling lists from our creative work.
We are currently in the season of Kambarang, the season of birth, or second spring. It is the wildflower season with longer dry spells; literally translated ‘kambarang’ means ‘rains decreasing’. Quandong trees and other small shrubs that bear berries are ripening, ready for harvesting later in the season. Kambarang is a season of plenty and foods such as – fruits, yams and bird-eggs are abundant. Nyoongar families move towards the coast where Kooyal (frogs), yaarkin (tortoises) and gilgie (freshwater crayfish) are caught by hand in wetlands and swamps. Snakes and goannas are also caught as sources of food during this season.
Kambarang by Jayden
Dragonflies awaken, zig-zagging across the sky
Daisies smell like the morning breeze
I finally hear the chicks chirping
The grass feels a little damp when I am in bare feet
Can you see the ducklings cross the road?
Kambarang by Finn
The warm sand beneath my feet
scent of breeze whirling and twirling
in the morning I see the magpies searching the ground for worms
the sound of the busy birds coming through curtains
River by Sienna
I am the river I am strong I pull away the bank
I take away the sand and pull the trees into my depths
I run away trying to find answers
My waters are cold
I bash against the rocks
And I split into two paths
In search of a paradise to rest
River by Anoushka
I am the river bustling and breaking the branches that bend below the bank
I am the river struggling but strong I see the strangest of scorpions strutting along.
I am the river ruling all around risk-taking, rule-breaking I carry them down.
River by Jayden
I am the river, I am the fish carer
The moon makes my tides, I am the maker of life.
When the sun rises, I rise, body turning to mist.
When the sun sets, I come down to relax into rain
River I am.
Well spring has definitely sprung and the school orchard is in full bloom. With the new netting it looks to be a bountiful season of fruit. This will be used in cooking with all classes or just eaten in the field. Any excess produce will be offered to the P&F for processing and then selling for fund-raising.
The end of Term 3 saw us all making fennel and orange salad, garnished with mint leaves. A truly refreshing and seasonal dish that was enjoyed by most classes.
Class 3 (with the help of Class 1) stirred our very own Biodynamic Preparation 500 on the afternoon of their sleep-over. This was 'flicked' out using peppermint brushes and is part of our on-going biodynamic practices.
We have been experiencing some challenges in the vegie patches recently, with a noticeable increase in the rabbit population. More attention has been put into fencing, as the children look for any little holes and gaps. Roos have been enjoying the odd munch on the mulberries and rats decided to take up residence in the worm bath. Some real lessons for the children in all of this... while a rabbit or rat may be a loved house pet, they may not be so welcome in the garden!
Class 6 have been involved in designing a garden for the new space on the north side of the office. These plans have been amalgamated into one design, and we are hoping to make a start on it this term. This will include a bird-bath that will be bordered by mosaic tiles that the children will be creating over the next few weeks. Many thanks to Mirella’s mum Serena, for her assistance in the project. Class 4 have learnt to take hard and soft-wood cuttings of rosemary, lavender and thyme that will be part of the new garden plantings.
The next few weeks will see most classes preparing for our summer plantings. Pumpkins, melons, cucumbers, corn and tomatoes will be established now, for harvesting when school returns in 2021.
Neal will be doing a mosaic project with the Class 6's this term and has asked that if anyone has any colourful tiles laying around that are no longer needed, could you please drop them in to the school for the students to use.
Please bring them in by the end of Week 3.
They would be most grateful!!
Parent helpers are required to volunteer at the Cake Stall and Sausage Sizzle Stall at our Spring Fair on 21st November. Timeslots are one hour each and we will need 3 parents per stall for each timeslot.
Please click on this link to book your timeslot. Your help is greatly appreciated and can be attributed to the Family Participation Scheme.
Another glorious day for our Coffee Morning and Afternoon Tea Bake Sale on Friday 30th Oct. Lots of laughs and coffee drinking at the morning session. It is so lovely to spend time with Kylie in her gorgeous shop, she is such a fab host and gets our milk for us. The afternoon bake sale was so busy there was no time for photos but a fab mad 10 minutes. We raised $191.65.
The next fundraising Bake Day will be in a fortnight on Friday 13th November. Class 3/4 families will be providing the baked goods and volunteering. Thanks so much everyone. It is a great boost to to the P&F funds and Outdoor Classroom Project.
Enrolments are now open for VacSwim swimming lessons during the summer school holidays.
VacSwim in January offers fun lessons at beach or pool locations during the long break. Not only are they a great school holiday activity, they teach valuable safety skills to help keep your child safe in the water.
Your children can start as young as five years old.
Don’t wait! Enrol your children in VacSwim now at education.wa.edu.au/vacswim