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Welcome to Bilya Bardip (River Stories), Helena River Steiner School's parent, caregiver and community newsletter. We warmly invite you to read on and keep up to date with news, important information and upcoming events at our school.
HRSS Presents: Lou Harvey-Zahra
Helena River Steiner School is excited to host this informative evening with international presenter, Lou Harvey-Zahra. This event will be held at the High School campus, 13 Stirling Crescent, Hazelmere.

With a wealth of knowledge, author of 7 books and 25 years of Steiner teaching experience, this is a rare opportunity for parents to gain further understanding, knowledge and inspiration on how to apply the Steiner philosophy and teachings at home. Please register your attendance:
Thursday 3 November - Class 2 Play
Thursday 17 November - Thriving Children Talk
Friday 18 November - Pupil free day
Wednesday 30 November - Primary School Assembly
Friday 9 December - Kindy 6 Graduation
Wednesday 14 December - School Christmas Festival and last day of Term 4

(Full 2022 Year Planner on our website)
Click here to see the Term 4 Planner
Click here to see the 2023 Yearly Planner

Epic means “an exceptionally long and arduous task”. It is used a lot in stories and adventures and can now be applied to our small band of High School students, who completed two epic ‘adventures’ at the end of Term 2 and in the first week of Term 3. We are so proud of them, and they are proud of their personal and collective achievements.

Epic adventure 1
On 21 September, Class 7, 8 and 9 students combined to perform their Play, the first fully staged drama production for our High School. Class 7 Guardian and English specialist teacher, Angela Hogarth, skillfully directed an abridged version of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, as a culmination of the Class 8 Shakespeare drama Main Lesson. The students were further challenged when Angela decided to set the Play in the 1920s; a courageous decision validated by the students embracing medieval language in a 20th Century setting.

Leading up to the performance, the Class 7 and Class 9 students joined Class 8 for drama Main Lesson every morning then, after recess, engaged in their respective Physics’ Main Lessons – an epic task in itself.

The students overcame their fears, their reluctance to learn lines, and their self-consciousness about being on stage, to perform one memorable night. Once costume-fitting was done, our students were able to fully immerse into their characters. Thank you to Sarah Boyle and Perth Waldorf School for their generous support in providing many of the costumes and props – others were donated, lent, or created by a band of supporters. As with many adventures, this one was not without its pitfalls – with one of the cast contracting COVID the week before, and one leading character contracting it the week of the Play.

After a wonderful performance with much applause, the students went into their holiday break on a high!

Epic adventure 2
Fast forward through the two-week holiday and it was time for them to turn up at the Walyalup (Fremantle) Maritime Museum at 7.30am, to meet Class 8 Guardian Robert and Class 9 Guardian Matt, to start their Kayaking Camp! A test for parents making their way through unfamiliar peak-hour traffic and the students having to prepare all their gear and their minds to embark on four days of paddling up the Derbal Yerrigan (Swan River) to Mandoon Bilya (Helena River). Students were both terrified and exhilarated to get into the kayaks in North Fremantle after walking from Walyalup.

The camp aimed to retrace the journey of the colonial settlers up the river to where Yellagonga and Weeip countries meet at what is now known as Guildford. The journey culminating in a walk to School, where they were welcomed with a Noongar Smoking Ceremony, and stories of the responsibility and understanding of caring for country and creatures.

The first two days from Walyalup to Crawley, camping at the Sea Scouts base, and then from Crawley to Maylands Yacht Club, is where they truly settled into their confidence and cooperation with each other, the water, and the wind. They spent Wednesday learning to sail at Maylands and were exhausted enough each day for lights-out at 9:00pm – having completed an hour of Main Lesson each night after dinner. Robert is a very skilled and experienced Steiner Camp leader and finishing with Main Lesson certainly helped the students get the sleep they needed to get back onto the water bright and early the next day (the happy by product for the very tired adults, was no night-time shenanigans!).

When they arrived back at School, they were greeted by families and the powerful didgeridoo of Noongar actor, dancer, and cultural presenter Derek Nannup. Derek’s didgeridoo and smoking ceremony heralded stories of the responsibility and accountability we all have for looking after the land on which we live and work and the creatures whose right it is since Dreamtime to live there.

Some of the students raced through the gates and others took their time. It was fantastic to see all of them and to see the amazing young people they are. Congratulations to the students, camp leaders and planners, our intrepid instructor Leonie from Water Wanders, the families and particularly to those students who were unable to go on camp for one reason or another. Some of these had their own epic journeys at home and others were able to attend school on Thursday and Friday to help prepare the site for the welcome home.

We look forward to a term where such threshold experiences show in obvious and subtle ways, as the students settle into their final weeks of a year that was disrupted from day one, from COVID restrictions to moving into the new Hazelmere campus.

As Kambarang goes into Birak our students will finish another year in their schooling journey, with renewed confidence and new challenges ahead. We look forward to being a continuing part of that journey and wish them well as they settle into the routines that support them in a commitment to life-long learning.

Catherine Vann
High-School Education Coordinator 

Ready to kayak for the next four days!

This Noongar Season ‘Kambarang' is represented by the colour yellow as it symbolises the return of the hot weather. During Kambarang season, we see an abundance of colours and flowers exploding all around us. Especially purple and yellow flowers.

Thank you to everyone who has offered me such a warm welcome in my role as Primary School Education Coordinator at Helena River Steiner School.

This school was first mentioned to me by my dear friend Josie Boyle.

Josie, an Aboriginal Elder, would say; ‘Go down to that Steiner school in Midland and meet my friend Tanami.” So, I did and began teaching here in a relief capacity. My daughter went to Steiner when she was young, which I have always held as a warm memory in my heart.

Two and a half years later and here I sit. I couldn’t be happier to take on this role. I am committed to supporting the teachers, students and families. I thoroughly look forward to building a strong, loving, and resilient school community.

A new initiative we have begun as a school, is our Monday morning assembly. As the student body we gather around the big tree in a circle. This assembly gives us a chance to greet each other at the beginning of the week, share news and practise songs that we want to learn, as a school. It only goes for about ten minutes and has been warmly welcomed by the staff and students.

During this assembly time, we also mention our focus for the week. This week’s focus is ‘respectful relationships’ which aims at reminding the students how to approach adults who are in conversation. This week’s focus was demonstrated in a role play by some Class 6 students.

So, in Week 3, we are all taking a bit of a breather. Let’s take some time to smell the roses, enjoy each other, and wallow in this glorious weather.

Happy days!

Clare O'Leary
Primary School Education Coordinator

Dress Code Standards

In our School, our students have the freedom to wear free dress. We do however have the expectation of a clean neat standard of clothing because this supports the children in their learning.

Here is a reminder about our clothing policy for all students Kindy to High School, with a few new conditions. Please read carefully and support your child in coming to school dressed in the appropriate clothes. If your child does not meet our dress code standards, the school will ensure it is addressed on the day, for example asking students to wear their t-shirt inside out if it displays a TV character.

  • Clothing is to be in plain colours without any advertising, large logos or TV, movie or computer game characters.
  • No full black clothing, one item of black on the top or the bottom is okay.  
  • No pyjamas, dressing gowns, oodies or ugg boots to be worn to school (outside of a theme dress day).
  • No hoods are to be worn up on school grounds unless it is a raincoat and it’s raining.
  • Tops which cover the shoulders and upper arms are required.
  • Midriffs must be covered. 
  • Shorts and skirts must not be inappropriately short. 
  • During Terms 1 and 4 all children must wear a hat when outdoors. Broad brimmed hats, which protect the back of the neck are compulsory. During the cooler months, knitted beanies can be worn.
  • Students without hats will not be allowed to play outside unless under cover.
  • No hats are to be worn indoors.
  • Jewellery must not pose a distraction or possibility of injury. 
  • Hair is to be off the face to enable learning to be unhindered. 
  • Shoes suitable for the range of activities undertaken at school, including running and jumping, must be worn. For woodworking sessions, enclosed shoes are required. 

It feels as if the year has flown by. The work the Class 1s complete in their Main Lesson books has been amazing to watch as more detail begins to emerge.

One of my favourite subjects to teach has been our mathematics blocks. In Steiner schools, maths is taught in a multidisciplinary way. In Class 1 it is introduced through imaginative stories, movement, rhythm games and songs. Lots of manipulatives are used too. One of our staple manipulatives has been 26 gumnuts which Mackenzie lovingly collected for us early in the year. We’ve got rocks, cubes, and gems; anything we can collect!

In our last adventure we reunited with the four process gnomes, Add, Minus, Multiply and Divide. They took us on all sorts of journeys through learning how to add. They even taught us some adding strategies to make it easier. We learnt about rainbow facts (facts of 10), doubles and that when we are counting on, it’s easier to put the biggest number in our head and then count on the remaining number. Minus lost all sorts of things including her famous biscuits to a cheeky kookaburra. Multiply taught us quick ways to add groups together and Divide helped us to share things amongst our friends.

To further our math skills, we played a myriad of games. One of our favourites being ‘The answer is’. This game works by saying “The answer is six” and the children think of different ways that six can be made. For instance, it could be three, two and one together, or two groups of three. We’ve also played card games like Snap Plus One. It’s very similar to the traditional game of Snap, but instead of cards needing to match; the top card needs to be one more than the one underneath.

In the photo below, Chase and Georgie are playing Five in a Row. Five cards are dealt, and the aim is to get five numbers in sequence. Turns are taken to pick up or discard cards until someone has five in a row!

Georgina Marsh
Class 1 Teacher
  • Introduction to Child-Parent Psychotherapy (CPP)
  • Foundation studies in Anthroposophic Medicine

Edstart is an organisation which provides families with flexible payment plans to help them manage their education costs. They have payment plans designed to fit around family budgets.

The Edstart brochure and payments plans can be found on our website. 

Helena River Steiner School
Primary School campus: 39 Spring Park Road, Midland WA 6056
High School campus: 13 Stirling Crescent, Hazelmere WA 6055
T: 08 9374 0230

Copyright © Helena River Steiner School

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