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.
Kaya from the Principal
Kaya parents and caregivers,
The end of year is here, the last day of classes for the students is next Tuesday and the season of goodwill is upon us.
We look forward to celebrating Christmas/Advent with you next Wednesday 14 December, at our High School campus in Hazelmere. It starts at 11.00am and will finish on time at 1.00pm.
Due to the number of vehicles expected and to ensure the children's safety, there will be no parking on the property, so all parking is to be on the road-side in front of the property. If you have an ACROD Permit, please show this at the gate for onsite parking in the available bays.
This year our festival will take on a different format to previous years. Here are the details:
All children must be accompanied and supervised by adults at all times and must stay within the designated areas. As an active school site and it being snake season, it is essential Kindy to Class 6 children are supervised. The High School students are well familiar with their school boundaries and are not required to be with you at all times.
Please do not drop your children off and drive away - this is a whole-school student and families' event.
Please arrive at 11.00am sharp and the event will finish at 1.00pm straight after carol singing.
We ask you to leave quietly with your children after the singing, taking the reverence of goodwill with you; to quote Steiner educator Lisa Romero, "Christmas is in initiation language the externalised image of the birth of the higher ‘I’" and we invite you to carry the joy of this image away with you into your own festive preparations.
A significant difference to our Festival this year is that instead of bringing a plate to share, we shall be asking parents to bring their own picnics for their own families.
You will need to bring a picnic rug also, and folding chairs if you require them.
Please bring your own water bottles - although there will be water available for refills.
On arrival you will be given a program booklet, which will have song lyrics for you to join in with.
When you arrive, please set up your family's rug in the designated area. We will all then work on creating contributions for the Advent installation in our family groups.
The wonderful news is that we have renowned artist Elaine Clocherty working with us on our Advent mandala/installation. Elaine is a Site-Specific Land Artist and we look forward to sharing with you the creation of something uniquely ours.
If you have any questions, please speak to your class teachers or contact the office.
Farewells and Thank Yous
As we bring this year to its conclusion, we take time to reflect on those who have made this year what it is. 2022 was unique with its own flavour and dynamics and following ones will be different.
We thank Georgina Marsh who held Class 1 so capably this year. You will forever be imprinted upon the souls of your children.
Thank you and farewell to Matt Benson-Parry, Class 9 Guardian and English/HASS/Art teacher. Due to the need to combine Class 9 and 10 next year, Robert will be taking on Matt's class. We hope to see you in the future Matt!
Hollie Butler was our High School Craft teacher this year and we loved the projects and challenges you brought the students. Thank you and blessings ahead.
We farewell our Steiner angel Kerewin de Souza who has graced us the past two years. We look forward to seeing the fruits of your teaching journey at PWS next year.
Sara Cullity has done relief teaching, class teaching and craft teaching with us over the last couple of years. We shall have a whole-school Craft Teacher next year (primary and secondary) however we look forward to still having Sara in our community in some way or other.
Scott Telford took Primary School Sport this year and leaves us to increase work at his other school. Thanks, Scott, for all the fun and games!
Kat Taylor has been working on and off at our School since 2016. Kat stepped in in the later half of this year as Class 5/6 Assistant and we look forward to seeing Kat again next year in some capacity.
Sarah Jennings has volunteered as an assistant in Class 2 this whole term. Sarah was heaven-sent! We are so grateful for the gift of her time and patience she gave the children and support she gave Karolina. Wishing you all the best for the journey ahead.
And THANK YOU to all our staff - our wonderful teachers, assistants, office and grounds people for your dedication to what you do, in service of the education of our dear children and support of our families.
Many hands have made our School, many hearts now keep it warm.
Wishing you all a well-deserved rest over the summer and we look forward to seeing you in the new year.
Blessings on our School.
Christmas Festival - Wednesday 14 December
Artist, Elaine Clocherty, has asked if families could assist in bringing in the following for the Advent mandala/installation.
local coloured sand
barks - different types
white and red flowers
different sorts of seed pods
Friday 9 December - Kindy 6 Graduation
Wednesday 14 December - School Christmas Festival and last day of Term 4
Tuesday 31 January - First day of Term 1, 2023
FROM THE PRIMARY SCHOOL EDUCATION COORDINATOR
Last week Thursday, our School enjoyed our end of year Music Concert held at Ascension Hall. The hall was full of parents and families with standing room only. The students all wore coloured t-shirts which brought a refreshing uniformity to the school.
From Class 1 all the way up to Class 9, the students enjoyed the experience of playing music together. Thank you to Yesim, who’s wonderful teaching and direction throughout the term enabled this event to be such a success.
We were also treated to a performance by Yesim on the violin and Jane Shanahan, who accompanied her on the piano, both concert artists. They played ‘Czardas’, by V. Monti, which had the students bouncing up and down with excitement by the end. What a wonderful event to end the year with. Thank you to Yesim as our Music Program Coordinator, and all teachers and students involved.
Primary School Education Coordinator
FROM THE HIGH SCHOOL EDUCATION COORDINATOR
Our Middle School students started the year in temporary premises full of opportunity. Swan Valley Adventure Centre had all the physical space and facilities we needed to get the year underway and for our Class 7, 8 and 9 students to unite as our High School trailblazers.
Now, at the end of the year and resident in the beautiful Hazelmere Campus, they have blazed a trail through our property, our minds and our hearts. They have kayaked, climbed high ropes, learned to resuscitate drowning people and recover kayaks from the river. These intrepid and inspiring young people have faced fears, faced difficult relationships, and faced their lessons with both enthusiasm and ambivalence - as true teenagers do.
In the last four months they stood courageously before you on stage performing their first Shakespeare play and fought easterly winds to paddle up the Derbal Yerrigan wind in the mornings, only to be blown at high speed by the westerlies in the afternoon. Exhausted from their efforts but always maintaining goodwill and supporting each other, they would fall heavily into their camp beds and rise early the next day to do it all again. What champions!
This week they are finishing their mallets in Woodwork, not finishing their backpacks in Craft but Class 7 have finished their dolls designed and sewn from their imaginations. They wrapping up Main Lessons and will shortly be packing up Main Lesson books to bring home for parents to pour over them and lovingly store them on shelves, on tables, in bookcases and as the years continue, look back over with smiles and memories.
As the year finishes there are celebrations to come and farewells to be had as some move on and new students join next year. Thank you to these wonderful young people for finding their way to our little school and thank you to the parents with whom we share the highs and lows of their schooling, their feelings, their growth and their trust.
Class 7 finish their year with an important Science Main Lesson, The Healthy Human Being - what a wonderful way to go into the Christmas season and reflect on the care we offer ourselves and other beings at this time.
Best wishes to you all for a gentle, sacred, fulfilling, fun and exhausting celebration of something greater than we are but that lives in each of us.
From all the High School team
Catherine, Robert, Angela, Matt, Anna, Yesim, Hollie, Carol, Kirstin, and Kim.
Primary School Education Coordinator
High School - Healthy Human Being Main Lesson
As part of their Healthy Human Being Main Lesson, Class 7 students had a great time in the kitchen learning about healthy breakfasts and practising healthy breakfast options. The best part was tasting and testing, and the other classes were very jealous, so we did share some of our leftovers. We think you would agree they have done a great job.
Class 7 Teacher
WasteSorted Schools grant update
We are now a WasteSorted Accredited school! Our appreciation goes to Kathy Riley and the other teachers and students who completed a waste audit earlier in the year and set up our new Primary School fridge worm farm, with Kevin from The Worm Shed. Both very messy and heaps of fun!
Look out for our new recycling and compost bins, complete with WasteSorted School stickers, including two Containers for Change bins to help the School’s fundraising efforts. We now also have our own mulcher, extra worms and extra gardening tools, a new retic controller and vegetable seedlings and seeds. We are planning to host a Noongar artist to run a sustainable waste art activity with our primary students early next year.
Our gratitude goes to Belinda and her team at WasteSorted Schools and to the Department of Water and Environmental Regulation for this $4,230 grant. Thanks to Linda at the Green Life Soil Company for her generous 2-for-1 discount for our two new garden beds located at Hazlemere, set up during the combined High School and Primary School gardening classes now running at this campus. Our appreciation also goes to Robert Gilman, our High School Science teacher, for taking over from Kathy Riley as the School’s voluntary WasteSorted School’s coordinator, and to Marijanna for setting our new WasteSorted bins.