Our new junior High School basketball team took a great leap forward this term by signing up for the winter competition run by Basketball Byron at the Cavanbah Centre. They play every Wednesday after school. The team are still looking for some extra players so, if you're a basketball fan, or are keen to give it a try, come along and have FUN. Also, every Thursday from 4 to 5pm there is a free basketball training session at the High School ball court for students from Class 6 to Year 9. We thanks Josie Banens, for donating her time to organise the team.
There was sunshine, rain and some fast feet flying around Lennox Head recently, as Shearwater students raced in the NCIS Regional Cross Country Carnival.
It was the first year at a new venue with new event coordinators and the results indicate that Shearwater students approve of the sandy bush track. With over 40 students qualifying and 35 attending the day it was our highest level of participation on record. We had nine students qualify for the state championships, with three podium finishes! Isabella Devitt from Class 5 crossed the finish line 1st in the Girls 11 Year Old 3km race. Not too far behind her was Lani Goodwin in 3rd place. Charlie Heath smashed the Boys 13 Year Old 3km course coming 1st well in front of his competitors.
The Year 10 students and parents coordinated a catering tent for the day, raising money for their Vanuatu building project. A great effort for a great cause. Big thanks to Magnum for his enthusiasm and energy training the students before the day, and for some cool and calm coordinating on the day. Thanks to Djuann for assisting Magnum with student supervision. Thanks to Nick for coming early and staying late to help with the set up and pack down, and for sitting out on the track in the rain and mozzies all day. Thanks to Marcella and Nelle from my Year 11 PDHPE class who volunteered their time on the day and to Lee and Paul who travelled down to Lennox to help me with all the heavy lifting!
Thank you and congratulations to all competitors, it was great to see Shearwater students competing happily and healthy in an inter-school sporting event. Well done and best of luck to our state runners. Run Shearwater Run!
This term, our Year 11 Standard English students are studying Steven Herrick’s critically acclaimed verse novel ‘The Simple Gift’. The novel’s focus on homelessness and the disconnect between generations inspired students to compose imaginative and reflective pieces on these topics. Here is a selection...
T H E O T H E R S I D E O F T H E S T R E E T
by Tara Kyle
Many in our society have grown up seeing homeless people as dirty, lazy substance abusers. That picture might describe some homeless people, but each person has more to their story than what we see from the outside.
Homeless people live in most towns, big or small. They may choose to sleep on the street on a bench, visible and out in the open, or choose to be more secretive and avoid letting the outside world see where they live. Personal safety is a constant concern for a homeless person.
There are many reasons why people become homeless. It may be that there are not enough available jobs, inadequate income, high rental payments, issues with family or other relationships, or the person might be escaping domestic abuse, as is the case for many homeless women. In these instances, people are forced to leave home. In ‘The Simple Gift’, Billy needs to leave home in order to survive and, eventually, thrive.
In other cases, some people leave home to escape memories. Their home may hold too much sadness for them and they believe that leaving the memories behind and living a simpler life will be easier than having to face the past every day. Sometimes, however, having more time to dwell on their thoughts may result in them being stuck in a depressive head space. This can lead to an abusive relationship with substances that is not healthy for a person’s body or mind. Like Old Bill in ‘The Simple Gift’, they want to drown out the past in order to feel better, but doing this actually stops them from getting better.
Every person is an individual. Every person has different life experiences and a different story. So next time you’re walking along the street and see someone who is homeless, don’t be so quick to judge them on their appearance. Instead, take some time to consider all the possible reasons why they might be in that position and the hardships they might have gone through.
Our highest endeavour must be to develop free human beings who are able of themselves to impart purpose and direction to their lives. – Rudolf Steiner
The Shearwater Senior Studies Certificate is an alternate pathway for Year 12 students, on offer at Shearwater. The program provides an opportunity for students to create and execute a self-directed project in an area of personal interest. Participants develop a project proposal, present their idea to a panel of peers and teachers, and work with mentors in the wider community, as well as School staff. Time management, organisation and communication skills are an important part of the learning process. Students must also document their project development in a process diary (see images above).
As well as their project work, Shearwater Certificate students must take a number of HSC subjects, including one of the English courses and two or three other subjects of their choice. They complete these subjects alongside their peers, including sitting any external exams and completing major works.
This year we have seven Year 12 students engaged in the Shearwater Certificate, developing a range of projects including: choreographing a ballet; designing a swimwear brand; creating a magazine; making a film; putting together a creative and performing arts portfolio; developing a business to raise awareness of, and funding for, youth mental health, and starting a free-range egg business.
Here are some of their reflections on the process thus far...
“The Shearwater Certificate is challenging because you have to manage your individual project and your other school subjects as well. It’s definitely not just an ‘easy option’ like some people think.”
“It’s a personal development project that gives you the opportunity to do something that you’re passionate about and interested in.”
“It offers you a taste of what life outside of school is like, through giving you independence and responsibility for your learning.”
“Being able to do a Shearwater Certificate has given me the opportunity to follow my passion, and it’s great to be able to have some guidance along the way."
“I like the fact that I get to use my imagination and make something good for others to be inspired by, and that I can share what I have learnt with others.”
“It really helps me get through school, doing something I enjoy and with a bit of extra pocket money and a wealth of information.”
The culmination of the year-long project is a presentation and display which will be held in the School Hall on October 23, 4.30-6.30pm. Please save the date and watch this space.
Year 12 Guardian
The children in our Banksia Rose Room have been very busy making special gifts for their mothers this term.
Our first group made a care package filled with treasures. First of all, we grated beeswax and lemon with coconut oil to create a lip balm with a dash of honey. Then the children cut up rosemary with scissors, and crushed lavender with a pestle and mortar. The mix was used to create a fragrant body oil. Finally, our busy workers crushed up dried chamomile for a relaxing compress or cup of tea. Rachelle (Isabelle's mum) kindly gave us some lemons, from her abundant tree, for a nourishing foot bath, and we finished the package off with sprig of rosemary for a face wash in warm water.
Our second group carefully hand painted pots into which they planted some beautiful flowers.
It was wonderful to see the love and care the children brought to these tasks. One of the children said, "My mum is so kind and takes good care of me, she cooks for me, she plays with me and gives me big hugs!".
Moving from Kindy to the "Big School" is an enormous step for our Class 1s but they are beginning to settle into the different rhythms.
In Term 1, we began our journey together through the stories that have unfolded all the consonants. We drew pictures and began writing our letters, surrounded with rainbow colours. Now in Term 2, we have been looking at the Quality of Numbers. Reading the book of nature through number and unfolding the consonants from the world around us, has been a great privilege.
Painting, games, walks, handcraft and modelling have been with us on our journey. Play is full of joy and fun. Nadia has helped us learn about the School by giving us the opportunity to do practical jobs with her. We have also had Katsuko come to sing Japanese songs, teach us about Japanese festivals, and do something we all love... origami.
Joining with everyone in the "Big School" for the Winter Festival will be another step towards a feeling of belonging - to the School and each other, as "One Whole Class".
Class 1 Teacher
Biodynamic agriculture is a holistic, ecological and ethical approach to farming, gardening, food and nutrition, drawn from the teachings of Rudolf Steiner. Biodynamics has much in common with other organic methods, using manures and composts instead of artificial chemicals. However, according to the Biodynamic Association of North America, biodynamics is "not just a holistic agricultural system but also a potent movement for new thinking and practices in all aspects of life". Biodynamics informs much of the work that happens on our amazing 52 acre property in Mullumbimby.
One of the events that takes place each year, in partnership with Biodynamic Northern Rivers (BNR), is the preparation of horn manure, in which cow horns are filled with fresh cow manure and buried in a pit for the winter, to harvest the earth forces. These horns are then dug up in spring and the manure is diluted with water to make a potent soil activator known as 500. Every year, we spray 500 on the school grounds with the assistance of children, parents and staff. A thumbnail-sized piece is enough to treat one acre of land. How does it work? By encouraging soil microorganisms and helping build top soil. This is a very potent and inexpensive way to heal and fertilise the earth.
On Friday, May 24, all students from Preschool, Primary and High School are invited to join in with the filling of the horns and the singing of the songs. We also would like to extend this invitation to the wider Shearwater community, especially parents. If you don't want to get your hands dirty you are welcome to just come and watch. The burial will happen at the back of the School property, near the big Coolamon tree between 9am and 12 midday.
To became a member of BNR call Mani on 66843304 to request a form. Membership is $24 per year and includes 20 grams of horn manure preparation and four seasonal newsletters plus the opportunity to join monthly biodynamic working bees on members' properties. To buy preparations please email Uta Wight at email@example.com.
Nadia de Souza Pietramale and Kaye Groves
At Humming Bee Kindy we celebrated our beautiful Autumn Festival at the end of last term, sharing songs and dances with our families, and enjoying a feast together. Our Sunny Sunflowers reached for the Sun and grew as tall as our roof!
This term we have done lots of work in our garden, harvesting sunflower seeds to nibble and to share with the birds who visit our garden, and watched as our watermelons grew bigger and bigger, until we harvested them this week.
Bobber Blue Wrens have been nesting in our ever-growing garden and raised their family of babies, who even came to our lunch table to find crumbs to eat. We have just started planting vegetables in our veggie gardens, and are busy going around and around making rainbow pompoms to decorate our tie-dyed craft bags. Father Sky has sent many autumn rainbows to arch over our beautiful Kindy home.
Over Easter, the students of Shearwater Steiner School's IT Multimedia and Photography classes gathered outside the media gates of Byron Bay Bluesfest. Nerves and excitement for what lay ahead pushed us forward into the festival, guided by our teacher Endre.
We collected our wristbands and prepared for our first experience in the pit at the media tent. As school students, we haven’t had much exposure to professional creative projects and we all gained insight and perspective into the realities of being a professional photographer. Our experience at Bluesfest was a priceless one that we will never forget, it inspired and evoked creativity within all of us.
We were sat down by David Harris, a music industry photographer since the 80s. He taught us some basics to the cameras and gave us a few personal tips. For example, he only uses AV (aperture value) when taking photos. The lovely crew around us all separated to different stages to capture the singers under the magnificent lights. What really sets the vibe of the atmosphere is the crowd screaming, dancing and cheering to their hearts' content.
The coloured stage lighting travelling through the dust and smoke added drama to our photographs. The smoke caused the images to appear full of energy and helped to diminish the hard shadows in the background, minimising the need for editing, other than a few touch ups using exposure and shadow tools.
As well as being able to experience taking photos of talented artists, we also had allocated free time when we were able to enjoy the music.
As one of the student media crew gushed: “Immersed within the crowd of people from all walks of life, the sound seems to connect and unite us. The music helps to remove any judgment or prejudice we might feel toward one another."
"As the sound emerging from the speakers vibrates my sternum and travels through me, I can’t help but feel at peace. Everyone is on the same wavelength, we are all touched by the sound waves of the same artist.
"Iggy Pop, at the age of 73, rocks the stage, for two whole hours - a powerful and emotional performance; creating an unforgettable atmosphere. The music is insane and Iggy Pop himself is an inspiration.”
The first semester of Class 6 has been one of governance and discernment, challenge and achievement.
As a group, we support one another to face our fears and work towards resilience and courage. Polishing the qualities that will help us to serve our task and one another. Please read about the highlights and experiences written by some of the students in Class 6S...
Year 6 has been really fun but has not been all sunshine and rainbows. When we first came to school we learnt about Rome - it was pretty fun. We did lessons where Sonia, our teacher, would write on the board. But we also got to do our own work. We could go to the library and find information. Then we could work in groups or by ourselves to make a piece of writing.
For our second main lesson we did a self-directed lesson, which is my favourite type because we get to do research and come back to the classroom and write it out. It was a math main lesson. we learnt about percentages and made it like a business where we had to pay rent and sell our products.
Every year we do a main lesson on Australian history. This year for Australia we learnt about Federation, which happened in 1901. We are also making a mosaic which we will put on the canteen. In Term 1 we did a surfing program where we went to the Pass for three hours and learnt surfing with Beau, one of the school's assistant teachers with hidden talents. It was definitely my Year 6 highlight so far.
At the end of Term 1, me and some friends were in the school netball team and went to regionals in Tweed. We didn't win but it was still a great day. Another interesting thing about Term 1 was Bush Dance. We did a dance with the other Class 6. We used poles and hit them to make music.
This term, we started having homework. We have done home projects before, but that was only once or twice. Now we have to give it to Sonia every Friday. But I guess we're lucky. At my old school, we started homework in Year 3. My favourite thing about Year 6 is the position of our classroom. We have the best place to play at lunch. We have a big fig tree, swings and monkey bars. It's next to the library and it's in a nice quiet crook, so we can make noise without being a disturbance. We are very close to the canteen, so always have good smells wafting through the classroom, and we are close to the bus stop.
© Shearwater The Mullumbimby Steiner School