|Shearwater, the Mullumbimby Steiner School||
Our Primary School netball team headed north to the regional competition in Tweed Heads last week. Despite being a new team, the 10 players displayed great team work, enthusiasm and maturity. All of the players enjoyed themselves and gave their best while representing the School - a great day all round.
As the ancestors did long before, we join together to share the joy of music and motion, and pay homage to gatherings prior, and those to come.
The weather gods smiled on the Primary School's annual Bush Dance on Friday evening, when students, staff and families gathered to mark the advent of autumn with song, dance and feasting. Classes 1 to 6 shared dances old and new from around the globe, weaving the ancient and the contemporary with the story of this place and time.
We, 7J, have been as busy as striped black and yellow bees for the last few weeks.
We painted our way through our silk painting block lesson, which is a fine art in Shearwater's colourful curriculum. We also did two interesting block lessons where our class was split into two groups: half of us went to the heated kitchen to bake and fry with Vanessa, and half of us marched down the hallways, our feet smacking on the concrete like the flippers of a penguin on the ice, to the IT lab, where we learned to close and click and slide on our computers, with Rhys. After two weeks of that we swapped around.
Two weeks later our block changed again. Half the class ambled down the school hallways, while chatting all the way, to the workshop, where we made small wooden boxes with Luke (I'll be doing that next term). The other half went back to the kitchen and, with Akash, we cooked and ate the spicy, fragrant food of Indonesia (yum).
As for our Main Lessons in the morning, for the fist three weeks of the term we dove into the world of medieval times (like a million years ago!) - knights, dragons, castles and fair maidens. At the end we had a fascinating project on medieval history.
Lindel, our maths teacher, then took us through Euclid's famous geometry achievements.
It's hard to write about yourself, but we, 7J, have managed it. With our colourful imaginations, we are currently writing autobiographies, from zero to 13 (I'm up to eight years old). We also followed on with some of the subjects we were doing last year, such as: Indonesian language with Emily (which I find one of my favourite subjects), Eurythmy with Renelle (I find it interesting but I know tons of people love it), English with Julie (I adore English) and Sport with Magnum (Sport is definitely my favourite subject).
I asked some of my fellow 7J students how they were enjoying Class 7 so far. "It's great," said Grethel. "Meh," said Orin. "Better than Class 6," said Luca. "So far, so good," said Stanley. "Good," said Charlie. "Strangely AWESOME," said Mahina.
I love it (singing)!
By Evie Sinniah
Class 2M are eagerly knitting their beanies ready for their first camp experience that will be happening in Term 2 at our very own Crystal Creek, on the School's southern boundary. While the sweltering weather continues with its formidable strength during this official seasonal change, the knitting process has allowed students to project themselves ahead to the cooler months and begin the inward change that is needed.
Knitting stimulates motor sensory development, regulates the breathing and becomes a much desired social activity. With keen effort and many peer learning opportunities, each student is carried on the wave of the 'whole' group.
We are really seeing the fruits of a social curriculum bloom in the classroom this year. It is a delight and a pleasure to see such engagement. Keep an eye out for our vibrant beanies in the playground in Term 2.
Class 2 Teacher
With six excited new Class 4 players swelling their ranks, the Shearwater chess team headed for the Term 1 NSW Northern Rivers Inter-School Chess Tournament at St Johns Woodlawn last week. With the tournament kicking off at 9.00am, our 17 keen intellectuals battled it out strategically until the clocks stopped at 2.00pm. The age-old game gave the students attending a great learning opportunity, taking in new strategies with the losses and fulfilling smiles with the wins. Congratulations to the team on a great day.
Class 3 is a time of deep change and growth. At this key developmental time, the nine-year-old child begins to experience the world as a more self-conscious individual. The feeling of oneness with the world, that signifies the period of early childhood, is lost.
The Class 3 curriculum meets the child at this time by offering experiences that express the deep interconnectedness between all realms of life. The children begin farming and gardening, developing their understanding of human stewardship; they delve into the language of music; study the great themes of creation, tradition and authority through history; and experience the interdependence of geography, history, land use and economic life.
Class 3D started our farming year with a visit to a neighbouring property to harvest and roast Bunya nuts; our Davidson Plum seedlings were potted, in preparation for planting; and responsibility for Chickenbimby (and the school flock) was officially handed over. Our young farmers are looking forward with much excitement to our Autumn Festival next week, when they will receive a portion of the wheat saved from last year's harvest by our current Class 4 students, who planted, tended, harvested, winnowed, threshed, ground and baked their crop during their own year as stewards of the land.
In the classroom, the children have been exploring the world of measurement. Measurement provides us with firm boundaries and strict rules – we can’t just make up ways of measuring! Although history has a wonderful record of measurement based on our own human form – feet, cubits, inches, hands, spans, lengths, digits, today we work within the metric system. This system comes with rules and with pre-determined sets of numerical measurements – kilometres, metres, centimetres and millimetres. This exploration and experience of an overarching system with its clear sense of order, provides the nine-year-old child with a feeling of security at a time when she can feel alone and in need of firm boundaries, as she faces many changes within her social and emotional world.
Class 3 Teacher
Twenty four students from across the school represented Shearwater at the NCIS Regional Swimming carnival at the Alstonville Aquatic Centre at the end of February. The students represented Shearwater in a happy and humble manner, enjoying the competitive buzz. If cheering for your school mates pool side was an event, we surely would have won gold!
A big congratulations to Year 7 student Mika Asherovitch and Oliver Pickering, from Year 9, who both qualified for the CIS State Swimming Championships to be held in Sydney next term. Mika qualified for the Girls 12-13 years 50m Breaststroke and Oliver for the Boys 15 years 50m Freestyle and 50m Backstroke. This is a great achievement and we wish them both well for their big adventure.
Thanks to Nick, Magnum and Beau who helped out on the day, and to all the students who committed to participating and competed so cheerfully. Now it's time to pack away the goggles and lace up the runners, for the School's Cross Country carnival to be held at the end of the term.
High School Sports Coordinator
There has been a lot of growing over the break, with Class 5M presenting half a head taller (or is it this teacher half-a-head shorter?). We have started the learning year in quite an epic way by immersing ourselves in Greek mythology and the quandaries presented by the Olympians for us mere mortals to encounter! The quest of Jason and his chosen band of heroes, the Argonauts, tied in many tales with the quest of the golden fleece, as we enter the constellation of Aries after Amon, the cosmic bull of Egypt. Magic and intrigues accompany every step we take in these wondrous but convoluted tales.
We are currently linking up with our Term 1 diorama projects on Greek topics (researched in the library) and the theme will continue into botany (eg Narcissus, Daphne), weather (Zeus, Aeolus, Poseidon) and other sciences throughout the year. We are writing newspaper articles, odes and acrostics, whilst applying painted colour to Main Lesson book pages, in preparation for botanical paintings at the end of this term.
Middle Lessons seem particularly rich this year, with strings on Monday, Karin’s algorithmic maths on Tuesday, Sonya’s sensitive painting and Emily’s Indonesian treasure maps on Wednesday, Kira’s energy dance eurythmy and Ashni’s literary touches for book reviews on Thursday. On Friday we delve further into our Greek research in the library with Terri.
This term, we are going surfing with Beau each Friday, as an extension to our swimming practice. The recent storms and ‘Poseidon’s horse tails’ have demonstrated the awesome power of what we are immersing ourselves in, or watching safely, as the case may be.
We are also gearing up for our first walking camp this term, between Binnaburra and O’Reilly’s on the Queensland border, when our cross country practice will be put to good use.
Lino cuts are coming along nicely, having taken the step this time of removing negative space for further enhanced printing techniques. Our library bags will feature these colourful prints shortly. We’ll be rolling them out next week. Other afternoons feature Nadia’s ‘eco forestry’ gardening, the ever popular Magnum and Beau sport spot and Celia’s mixed media towards the new-style desk mat.
Class 5M, ever-busy, creative and working hard.
Class 5 Teacher