- Principals Address
- 2019 Spring Festival
- Book Week
- Bush Kindy
- Silver Birch Kindergarten
- Karri Kindergarten
- Class One / Two
- Class Three
- Class Four
- Class Five / Six
- Local Schools Community Fund
- GHSS Bush Dance
- EOI's for Kindergarten in 2020
- 2020 High School Enrolment
- Silver Tree SS Education Coordinator
- Ear Health
We are busily preparing for our Spring Festival which will be held on Thursday, September 19th. Staff recently discussed the purpose of this festival, given our Southern Hemisphere location.
We observed that we were beginning to see the swelling of buds that, come Festival time, will have realized their potential and burst forth in the colours of Spring – the purples of Hardenbergia , blue-purples of Dampiera, the yellows of Acacias and creams of the Jarrah. On the Nyoongar calendar, Djilba is known as the growing season and the season of conception. Woodland birds are still nesting, hence the swooping protective behavior of the Koolbardi (Magpies). Our festival will acknowledge Spring in all its fullness; a coming into the light after the winter slumber and with an awareness of re-birth and healing. We shall explore these themes further, as a school, in the lead-up to the Spring Festival.
On Tuesday this week, staff attended Professional Development with keynote speaker Matthew Cunnane. Matthew came with 25 years Steiner school teaching, leadership and research experience to discuss a topic he is passionate about - assessment. As a community we are lucky to have such passionate and thoughtful people who can re-imagine what sounds like a dry subject and enliven it with spirit and potential. Parents can be reassured that the school is striving to enliven and develop ourselves to ensure we deliver the best Steiner education we can. Steiner Education Australia sponsored Matthew’s visit and we are grateful for that support.
In order for us to determine our Kindy class structures and staffing for 2020, we ask that all parents intending to enrol children in any of our Kindergarten programs next year complete an Expression of Interest and forward it to the school along with the application charge of $50 to ensure your child is considered for a place. Please pass this on to others who you know may be thinking of enrolling also but have yet to complete an EOI.
Wishing you warmth for the winter weekend ahead,
Bush Kindy - Noongar Elders Visit
We were deeply honoured to have a visit to our Bush Kindy by two senior Noongar elders, Aunty Eliza Woods and her cousin Aunty Annette Eades last Thursday morning 15th August. The Karri Kindy children came down to join Silver Birch by our campfire, and after singing some of our favourite Bush Kindy songs to the elders, we then listened to stories about their childhood experiences.
Aunty Eliza and Aunty Annette both grew up on the Gnowangurup Reserve in the early 1950’s when the town was deeply segregated and Noongar people lived with very little material comfort. They shared stories and examples of the dolls and toys they used to make out of accessible throwaway materials, and described games they used to play on the Reserve. They also showed the children a booka, or kangaroo skin cloak/blanket, and shared the multiple uses they would make of old flour bags. Aunty Eliza described their childhoods as ‘precious times’, and with many large families living in tents and bush shelters in close proximity to one another, they never went short of a feed despite the hardships.
The children were captivated by their presentation, and listened with rapt attention. They were then able to play with the toys and chat with the Aunties while they prepared damper for morning tea. Later in the morning we took them for a short walk to visit the creek. Both elders expressed repeatedly how much they enjoyed the peace and beauty of our Bush Kindy setting, and the respect and enthusiasm of the coolangas (children). They are keen to make return visits, and we will hopefully get to spend more time with them when we have our Bush Kindy camp out at Nowanup in Term 4.
Many thanks yet again to Kristi for her support throughout the morning, and for the delicious camp cake she made to accompany the damper for morning tea.
Wear your raincoat, don’t forget
And your gumboots or you’ll get wet
Walking in the cool fresh air
Rain is dancing everywhere
It is great to go out into our playground on wet days to work and play. We have dug up our potatoes for cooking and we also use lots of greens from our vegie patch.
We had a lot of fun with our little wooden wheelbarrows, taking turns to bring loads of mulch in to our playground to top up our path so we have a good track to walk on, out of the mud and puddles.
After our busy time in the wet and rain it is good to get our dry clothes and slippers on and come into our warm classroom.
On Tuesdays we have been enjoying nourishing baked beans for morning tea (with everyone hoping for seconds!)
Several parents have asked for the recipe…
Homemade Baked Beans
2 tins borlotti beans, 2 tins diced tomatoes, 3 tsp olive oil, 1 chopped onion, 2 cloves crushed garlic, 3 tsp Dijon mustard, 2 tsp tamari, 2 tsp oregano, 1 tsp molasses, salt and pepper, cheese on top.
Cook oil, onion and garlic for 3 mins, add tomatoes, tamari and mustard.
Cook until simmering, add beans, oregano, salt and pepper, molasses. Simmer for 10-15 mins until beans thicken.
Serve with grated cheese on the top.
At the end of morning tea when the table is cleared we finish with this verse -
“Hands together, hands apart, hands together next to my heart,
Thank you for our morning tea and thank you to our cooks"
Rudolf Steiner had this to say about gratitude in 1922;
“Nowadays, the feeling of gratitude is underestimated. Gratitude connects people with the world, makes them feel part of the world. If one guides the child in such a way that it can develop gratitude for even the most unimportant or trivial things it meets in life, then that child does not close itself off from the world in egotism, then it becomes altruistic, it feels itself to be a part of the environment.
And when one has imparted to the child the feeling of gratitude, then one will realise that the basis for moral education has been planted. Because if one has taken care of this feeling of gratitude and gratitude is experienced as compatible with all knowledge, then the feelings of the child will easily be penetrated by the love that the human being must have for all the rest of humanity and ultimately for all the creatures of the world. One can develop love in the best possible way through gratitude."
Last Thursday, on a beautiful, still, sunny morning Karri Kindergarten were invited to join Silver Birch Kindergarten around the campfire at bush kindy to meet some very special guests. Aunty Eliza and Aunty Annette are Noongar elders whom Bruce wanted our children to meet. The children welcomed and sang songs for them. Then, as Kristy tended the fire and baked a cake in the dutch oven, they shared many aspects of their childhoods, including the simple toys which they made from found materials to play with as children. After listening to their stories, the children had an opportunity to play with the toys. The dolls were cuddled, sung to, then wrapped in coats and put to bed in the shelter. A couple of the children spontaneously made their own dolls from sticks and leaves. To see this beautiful connection between the dolls, made from bottles and scraps of cloth, and the children, was a reminder of the joy to be found in the simplest of playthings.
It is a primordial need for a child to have a doll to love, care for and carry around. With the doll, the child can imitate the parenting he/she has experienced from the mother and father, and can also share his/her joys and fears, as the doll is an image of the self, often even sharing the same name. The child doesn't experience the outer beauty of the doll, but instead what he/she brings to the doll from their own being.
In Karri Kindergarten we have some simple hand-made dolls available for the children to play with each day. Rarely would a morning go by when they are not woken, have their clothing changed, wheeled around in the wicker pram, or carried in a “sling” made from a cloth, fed breakfast, and talked to. They are an integral part of the self-directed play of our kindergarten, and really loved by the children.
Rudolf Steiner spoke about the importance of a simple doll as a toy in the first seven years. The more simple the form of the doll, the more the child can bring through the imagination. A mass produced doll may have a painted on smile so that it always looks happy, yet a home made cloth doll can have such simple features (or perhaps even no face at all), so that it can imbue any emotion at all. The power of the imagination needs to be exercised, just as human muscles are strengthened by use, and by providing simple toys, including dolls, and better still ones the children make themselves, this capacity is given a chance to develop. Before mass-production, dolls, like people, were unique. A hand-crafted doll is one-of a kind, an individual which carries the spirit of the maker in it’s stitches and absorbs the spirit of the child who loves it. I think the loving gestures of the children as they played and cared for the Auntie’s dolls that day, demonstrated an innate feeling for the creative force that produced those simple playthings and in this way the seed for a healing connection was planted.
Many thanks to Bruce for all his work with bush kindy and with introducing such rich experiences for our children,and to Kristi too, for all she does to nurture and support.
The children of Class 1/2 are such a lively, energetic and happy group. They are becoming more cooperative and collaborative every week as we continue to get to know each other more fully. My favourite time of the week is Tuesday afternoon when we join Kristi for our Environmental Immersion session. The children are totally absorbed in their creative play from the moment they arrive and as the photos show they spend their time engaging with the elements of fire, water, earth and air. It's a messy, joyous business and I love the conversations we share in such a relaxed environment. Kristi is an absolute delight!
We have been doing Saintly Lives as our Main Lesson and are very busy working on our class play, "Saint Jerome and the Lion", which we hope to perform in Week 7. There are lines to learn, scenes to create, costumes to find, songs to practice and parts to hope for!
I am very impressed with the children's attitude towards their Main Lesson bookwork. Their illustrations are full of colour and life and I have seen a significant improvement in the handwriting of The Class 1's.
Ashley has been bringing music and colour to Fridays as the children hear tales from different cultures and of course they continue to enjoy their Indonesian lessons with him.
We had 6 parent helpers at knitting last Monday and it was wonderful to be in the midst of that chirpy, creative and slightly chaotic mob of very talented knitters! Thankyou to everyone who comes in to help with knitting and reading, it is of such benefit to our class. Jewels continues to join us on Mondays (studies allowing!) and happily assists wherever she is needed.
Evie McMullan has been ably assisting me in the classroom this term. The children respond well to her quiet, calm manner and her willingness to help in all manner of situations. Thanks Evie.
It's been great to have so many children now arriving before the bell at 8.40. And just a friendly reminder that long hair needs to be tied back and out of their eyes.
It was lovely to welcome back the children along with their impressive building models which they made in the holidays. There was quite a lot of excitement as they proudly showed their model and spoke of their building journey whilst also listening intently to their peers.
We have begun our Process and Strategies math main lesson and have spent time revising number grouping and place value by practising our earlier understandings in an array of math games, which has been lots of fun. The children have begun the often difficult process of carrying and borrowing and the majority have now become quite competent with both the addition and subtraction components. We are now concentrating on multiplication vertical sums using our new mathematical thinking skills. Numeracy forms a large balance of our morning circle as we become more fluent in our times tables.
I do enjoy teaching the numeracy curriculum as it ebbs and flows within the series of main lessons. Strategies and processes are introduced then put to sleep allowing the children to process and use the information and newly acquired skills during practice lessons. They are then brought back again to consolidate their skills and to enable them to understand the next process, always strengthening their mathematical thinking skills as they journey through the curriculum.
We are very close to finalising our current writing exercise using the Talk for Writing program. Initially the children will ‘talk the story', which they performed beautifully at last weeks assembly. The children really enjoy this aspect of writing, which also supports their use of punctuation and compliments our grammar lesson each week were we have had lots of fun playing charades with verbs and nouns.
Each week the children participate in a painting session and a drawing exercise, attached are some examples of a guided drawing exercise where the children follow step by step instructions to complete a drawing using only a red, blue and yellow block crayon.
As the Spring Festival approaches we have begun to practice the Maypole Dance and there is already a steady excitement as the children realise it is in fact their turn to dance the maypole this year. It is a wonderful gift that a Steiner Education gives the children, waiting!…..Waiting to begin knitting and recorder in class 1, waiting to learn Violin and crochet in class 3. Through this they learn patience and with that comes a wonderful appreciation.
I was fortunate enough to join my class for a lovely long table lunch where we dined on baked potatoes, with an array of toppings to compliment the red capsicum sauce and sautéed broccoli all grown, harvested and cooked by the children. We are fortunate to have a wonderful horticultural program at our school. The children ate beautifully, conversing and sharing dinner time stories over a lovely lunch. Thank you Neal!
We have welcomed a new student to our class this term, Mana Karcher who joins us from the West Coast Steiner School. Mana has a sister Maelia in Class 1 and we welcome their parents, mum Rangi and Dad Ali to our school community.
Class 4 finished Term 2 with a Norse Mythology main lesson based around poetry. The children learnt about rhythm in poems, alliteration, using images to inspire poetry and learnt how to use a dictionary and thesaurus. We ended the term with the story of Ragnarok – the final destiny of the Gods before receiving the script for our play and their role. The children were offered two choices for our play – one much simpler than the other and they have courageously chosen the more complex, which is twice as long, with twice as many characters and does not rhyme, making it much harder to remember lines. The children have stepped up to this challenge and will be ready to perform on Wednesday the 28th of August at 5pm in the hall. All are welcome!
This term, the children have been learning to read music with Mary Lou and we have also started our second Human and Animal main lesson. In particular, the horse, the bear, the lion and the elephant. Whilst we learn scientific facts about the animals, more importantly we learn about the true nature of the animal which is expressed through painting, drawing, clay and wax modelling and poetry. We also learn about their part in the world, how humans have imitated their specific strengths, and the affect humans have had on the animals – positive and negative. The children will also get to choose an animal to study and compose an information report in class, whilst completing a diorama of the animal in its habitation at home. I can’t wait to see how their final project turns out!
‘Happy Days’ Play Created a Happy Day for Class 5/6
(This is a culmination of the class’ recounts)
On Friday 2 August 2019, our excited Class 5/6, our excited teacher, Kate and helper Evie, walked to the Civic Centre, to watch the High School Production of Happy Days. We got to go, as we’re the senior class, which is a bonus.
After the Assembly, we lined up in pairs and Kate gave us numbers. Oakley and Bowen were number 1 and 2 and led the way. We set off along the winding, firm pavement into town. On our way, we saw a dead kangaroo. It was sad and very disturbing. Kate said to keep moving to avoid being late. Every now and again, Kate would say to the leaders, “Come on boys.”
We arrived at the play just in time. As we entered, we placed our bags on the floor against the wall. It was very busy, but we managed to get seats at the back, where we managed to have an extremely good view.
The play started, with a lot of singing, dancing and romance. Everyone was so good at singing. Joe’s brother Callum played Fonzi and when he came onto the stage, all the girls ran up to him screaming. It was hilarious. Benjamin’s older brother, Emil played the leader of the Malaki brothers. We liked it when the Malaki Brothers sang, ‘Bad To The Bone’.
Halfway through, we went outside for a fifteen minute break to have some food, as we were all starving hungry. Then we found our seats again and continued watching.
The second half of the play, some thought, was much better and every time the Malaki brothers came on, they shouted, “Ole!”. We watched them wrestle with Richie. Ralph ran away. Fonzi saved the day.
After the play, we played in the Adventure Park and ate food before walking back to school.
The walk back was very tiring and there were many groans and moans, but overall, most thought that the play was absolutely exceptional. When we returned to class, we acted out scenes from the play. All in all, it was a wonderful day and a handful of fun.
The federal government has recently launched the Local Schools Community Fund. Schools can apply for funding for a project between $1,000 and $20,000 in value.
In consultation with the school board, Golden Hill Steiner School will be submitting an application for funding to upgrade our playground space with a nature-based theme in keeping with our school ethos. Parents interested in being a part of assisting with the planning and / or construction process are asked to email the school this week at email@example.com expressing their interest and outlining what they are able to contribute to the process of improving our play facilities and grounds.
We look forward to your input!
To celebrate 100 Years of Steiner education Golden Hill Steiner School is planning a bush dance for Saturday the 19th of October. We are calling for volunteers for setting up, serving food, cleaning up and providing food to sell. Please leave your name with Tegan in our school office if you would like to assist with our school Bush Dance.
All funds raised will be going to the Bona Fide Steiner Kindergarten in Kerala, India.
Expressions of Interest for Kindergarten in 2020
Should you wish for your child to be a part of our wonderful Kindergarten program at GHSS in 2020 please ensure you complete an Expression of Interest form as soon as possible and hand it in to the office.
The classes are always very popular and we wouldn't want your child to miss out on a place!
Should you have any questions please come in to the office to discuss.
The EOI Form can be found on the Schoolzine App or via this link -