Photo supplied. Shearwater 2018 graduate Jahvis Loveday has won the Byron All Shorts film competition for the second year in a row, with his film Bama, featuring his brother, Year 10 student Elijah Loveday. Jahvis' film about a young Aboriginal boy leaving home for school in the city, was selected from over 50 other films from the Northern Rivers region. Read more here.
The beginning of a new school year seems an especially joyful time. Spirits are revitalised; teeth and limbs have grown; adventures have been had and new adventures are sought.
The year began with much excitement about our new musical journey with our very own cello or violin. We have also been creating with clay in the workshop, under the gentle guidance of Ben, which the children just love. As part of the Class 3 choir, we have been singing with Loani, and what a joy to hear both classes singing together.
New for us also this year - a whole main lesson day dedicated to gardening, planting and growing, caring for and fostering our school gardens and beyond. Learning to love and take care of our land is being fostered with our new worm farms and taking care of the Chickenbimby flock. Pictured above are the sunflowers we planted.
This is an important picture for the 9-10 year old child, who is experiencing a stronger sense of self, moving away from the imitative, safe world of their previous years. A bittersweet yearning to be more connected with their physical world, comes with a letting go of the innocence of a time passed. Gardening brings the children into direct connection with this world, and so much fun is had (as you can see above), as we continue to adore our time spent at Crystal Creek.
Many of the main lessons support a practical world of purpose and history, as an antidote to the often lonely and confused emerging soul life. Stories from Persia and the Old Testament also support the moral development of the children, as do the artistic endeavours and daily rhythms of our day.
We are looking forward to the bush dance at the end of term and all the experiences of Class 3 in the year ahead.
Class 3 Teacher
Preschool's Banksia Rose Blossom and Rose Bud children have been coming together to enjoy a cooked morning tea every morning with Rudolf Steiner's Grains of the Day in mind. Monday we have creamy rice pudding, Tuesday barley flake apple crumble, Wednesday millet pancakes with raspberry sauce.
We set our table with flowers picked from our garden, candles and much love, respect, reverence, and gratitude. We sing a little song as we serve each child "from you I receive, to you I give, together we share, that's how we live", before enjoying our meal together. Quite often a child will call out a heartfelt thank that comes freely from their own being. Sometimes the children will ask for seconds or thirds!
At the end of morning tea, one of the children is chosen to ring a little bell to let everyone know that morning tea is finished. Then we snuff out our candle, and the children carefully wash their bowls, cups and cutlery, put away their place mats and wipe down the table before going off for inside play.
With their well-nourished tummies, the children set off for an adventure, transforming our room into a magical playground. One group of children made a boat out of tables, with chairs on top to sit on. Next, they jumped out of the boat into the water to learn how to scuba dive! While scuba diving was happening, over in our cozy corner a few children had so much work to do taking care of babies and doing busy house work.
Everything comes off our shelves during morning play. But quick as a wink, with a happy tune, all of our playthings are back on the shelf in just the right spot, ready for songs and group games with Farmer Beau, Mrs Moo and her baby calf, Mother Cluck and her three chicks Cheeper, Peeper and Feather.
Then it's time for lunch around our table, before off we go again for some more adventurous fun, playing in our garden and enjoying the rain with our new friends. What a great start to our new year.
Susan, Jess, Margaret, and Odette
Interview with Year 10 student Miro Salom
Tell us about Dragon Days…
Dragon Days is the 2020 film project that was conjured up to substitute for Shearwater's annual Wearable Arts performance event. COVID-19 required a major rethink - we knew we couldn’t invite our community to a live event, so we embarked on a film project that we could share online.
Instead of documenting a performance along the same lines as previous events, we decided to further develop the story for screen. So with a bit of filmmaking experience and a lot of enthusiasm we set out to shoot a feature film. It was very ambitious but a great experience. We pulled in some past students that helped out tremendously and I think we have a film we can be proud of - a classic high school drama where the students have to overcome some differences and challenges in order to put on a show.
What was your role in this ambitions project?
During the production phase, I was a camera operator and co-director. I had just bought a new Black Magic camera and I put it to the test. With a dedicated lighting crew in the Hall, we managed to capture some beautiful shots. Now it is down to editing and I am in charge of pulling all the edited scenes together and making it work as a whole.
What has been the best thing about the experience?
To create a film about WAVE with lights and hand-built sets and a crew. This year we were given time and resources to put some fine scenes together.
What was really hard?
Getting the dialogue right. Our actors were amazing, but it was a steep learning curve to direct and pull off dialogue. There was also a huge time pressure, as we had a big story with loads of actors and scenes.
What did you learn?
How to handle a bigger cast and work with multiple camera crews. Starting with the wide shots and working in on the closer shots was a great practical experience that I will incorporate into my future films.
Now you are in the editing phase and it is almost finished, how do you feel about sharing it?
Excited! Seeing the reaction of the community is going to be amazing after so many months of working with it. It was a very ambitious project and it is so hard to pull off a feature film project in a high school. So a bit of nerves. But mostly happy to see how people take it.
What can people look forward to in the film?
Crazy dance sections; high school drama; incredible costumes; great lighting and cinematography and some awesome acting.
Are you interested in filmmaking as a profession?
When can we see it?
We are aiming for March 31. The plan is to host an online premiere so stay tuned for details in the Shearwater newsletter.
Every afternoon, rain or shine, you will find our Class 7 students out by the Kindergarten buildings planting, mulching, shovelling chatting and (hopefully) sweating as they play their part in the decades-long bush regeneration project that has transformed the School's degraded creek-side and agricultural land into a wildlife refuge.
"The students are learning how to address climate change by increasing the carbon-capturing capacity of the soil," said project coordinator and bush regenerator Nadia de Souza Pietramale. "We are using the school grounds as a giant class room, in which computers and books are replaced with wheel barrows, and shovels."
The students get out their gumboots and gloves every afternoon after lunch, for more than an hour of planting with the help of their teachers and the School bush regeneration team. The ongoing management of the reforestation of the School grounds is a huge job that is supported by the school administration.
"All planting and maintenance of the trees follows sustainable, organic and biodynamic land management principles," said Nadia.
The Primary School swimming carnival on Monday was a great success, with plenty of games for the younger children in the morning, followed by the upper Primary races in the afternoon. Class 1 to 3 students enjoyed the Crystal Dive, the Kick Board Dash, the Dragon Noodle Boat Cruise and the Hoop Obstacle Swim, as well as lane swimming for the capable swimmers in Class 2 and 3.
There were some tired faces by the end of the morning, as Class 1 to 3 headed back to school and the upper Primary students took their place in the pool.
The continuous relay was a fabulous demonstration of participation and enthusisam as every student hit their pace in the pool, followed by the 50m freestyle and breaststroke races. The enthusiasm was contagious with almost every student entering a race. The grand finale was the teachers' race. Class 5 teacher Nick Vuorinen was awarded the blue ribbon, with just enough time for some games before we wrapped up the carnival and headed back to school.
Thank to all the staff and students for another fabulous fun-filled sports event.
Primary School Coordinator
Hummingbee Kindergarten was buzzing with excitement during our orientation last week, as the children enjoyed a lovely puppet show story and explored their inside play space, while their parents got to know each other, fluffing and puffing wool fleece and stitching their rest time pillows.
As the days go by, friendships are forming and the children are learning to share and care for their Kindy play things while they build cubbies, castles, buses to ride on, farmlands for the animals, cafes and homes for the dollies and much more.
We have celebrated our first birthday, and the children’s clever hands have been drawing colourful pictures, winding wool to make art folders, painting and baking buns together.
Outside, the children have been busy exploring our garden. They are loving finding grasshoppers and caterpillars and watching the bees collecting pollen, as well as discovering tasty white mulberries, cherry tomatoes and mint to eat. They are challenging themselves on the monkey bars and wobble bridge, building sand castles and waterways, baking sand cakes and digging in the mud pit making “concrete” for their roads.
Everyone loves taking care of our little guinea pig sisters, Ginger and Blueberry, who are also enjoying the gentle cuddles and hand feeding.
We are all looking forward to many many more happy days together!
Hummingbee Kindergarten Teacher
The faces of our Primary School's newest arrivals said it all last week as they "crossed the bridge" to big school, filled with a mix of excitement, nerves, pride and anticipation. Each Class 1 child was met by a student from our graduating class, bearing the gift of a sunflower, as they crossed the threshold between Early Childhood and the formal learning environment of Primary School
© Shearwater The Mullumbimby Steiner School