Glenaeon Newsletter 31 May 2019

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Why do we keep doing NAPLAN?

NAPLAN: “why do we keep doing it when there are all these other unintended consequences?” (Gonski Institute)

It’s becoming fashionable to criticize NAPLAN. I was recently in a meeting where the prominent principal of a prestigious local independent school was ventilating over how bad NAPLAN is as a way of meaningfully assessing individual student progress. She spoke of how a test designed to measure individual progress is now misused to compare schools and has spawned a coaching industry that seriously skews the results for particular schools. 

Where was she in 2008? That was when the national testing regime was introduced by the then Labor Minister of Education Julia Gillard as a sure way to improve Australian education. The evidence is now clear that it hasn’t. 

At Glenaeon in 2008 we felt very alone in pointing out the inappropriateness of such a high stakes national testing regime, and questioning the educational benefit of testing primary school age children in particular with such a blunt instrument. Now we don’t feel at all alone. Every year since then, more and more voices have called for a serious review or abolition of NAPLAN, even reaching to two recent Ministers of Education in NSW. 

Here are two recent Sydney Morning Herald articles that provide commentary from some distinguished educators: (click for more)


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Class Rolls and Autumn leaves

The rolls at Castlecrag are very beautiful and the children love to bring them to the office. The children in Catherine's kindergarten love bringing the rolls to the office so much that when it wasn’t their turn to take the roll they just sat down and made their own. The wonderful learning possibilities in imitation! Little Kindy children have been swirling and twirling their way through the yellow, red, golden, orange and brown colours of Autumn just like the Autumn leaves that have been falling all around us over the past few weeks. They have learned Autumn songs, made Autumn crowns, an Autumn wreath and wind catchers. A little coconut shell boat sailed into our safe harbour with the helping hands of one of the children and tiny echidnas have found a burrow to hibernate in over the colder months. Even though there has been icy cold wind this week baking carrot cake has kept us warm and our tummies satisfied.

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Parent Craft

Come to craft and we will be returning to making more beautiful fleece angels, continue our knitted gnomes as well as other projects. Parent Craft runs from 9am until 12pm Wednesdays this term in the Castlecrag hall kitchen room. All welcome. Many thanks to Melanie Harper for continuing to create an wonderful program for us all. Stay for a short time or until you need to go. Small children are welcome - there are toys and an enclosed play/sandpit area and often a few little friends to make. All welcome, bring your unfinished craft projects, questions and enjoy some crafty company and a cup of tea.

Chamber groups concert - Wed 5 June


Wednesday 5th June, 6pm in the Sylvia Brose Hall

An evening of chamber music, performed by some of our more experienced young musicians!

No need to purchase a ticket, just come along. - The Music Department

School Canteen - Gentle Cafe and Humming Cafe orders

Both the School Canteen (Wed/Thur/Fri) and Humming Cafe (Mon/Tue) are available. Click below for the menu and the new information on how to order now from Humming Cafe. For Humming Cafe orders, students can just write their order, name and class on the brown bag and not on a separate piece of paper. This is to eliminate the extra unnecessary waste of paper and ink for ordering. Tomo at Humming agrees and is happy to have the orders come this way. The menu is printed up on the reception noticeboard and Sarah will put one near the basket every morning that Humming is open.

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Is this your lost property?

Let's save these things from being waste! Please look and claim your Middle Cove lost property. Please call or email Middle Cove reception and we can pass the item along to your child if anything belongs to you. Thank you for helping us reduce waste. 9417 3193


Second Hand Uniform shop - opening on the 6th, 13th and 27th June

Come and look for what you need for Winter. Just a quick reminder that the uniform shop does not accept any heavily stained or torn clothes. If you wouldn’t dress your child in it, other parents won’t either. If you have damaged clothes you would like to recycle, there are two red collection bins in the Chatswood Westfield car park on the bottom (green) level at the western end. The clothes are collected and turned into rags for charity. If you are looking for warm clothes for the winter, the uniform shop has jumpers and sports jackets in various sizes as well as long pants. 
The uniform shop will again be open from 3.00 - 3.45 . Year 12 student Thomas Williams runs the second hand uniform shop - thank you!

Term 2 Dates THURSDAYS: 6th June 13 June, 27 June 

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Simple Sustainability - Glenaeon is committed to reducing waste

Glenaeon is actively using initiatives to reduce waste. Each week we will be bringing you simple facts and ideas around how we can improve our carbon footprints and care for ourselves and the earth simply and sustainably.


Sky's the limit at Glenaeon

17-year-old Glenaeon Rudolf Steiner School student and Middle Cove resident, Sky Boe has won the Gordon Waterhouse Scholarship competition run by the Chatswood Rotary Club, held at the Zenith Theatre in Chatswood last week. Sky competed against nominees from six other schools.


Sky sang three songs ‘Sunday in the Park with George’ by Sondheim, ‘La Vie en Rose’ by Edith Piaf and Louiguy and ‘Will there really be a morning’ by Ricky Gordon with words by Emily Dickinson to win the competition and take home the $2,000 prize. Glenaeon Rudolf Steiner School student Natasha Petit, who won the competition in 2018, returned to provide entertainment whilst the judges made their decision. The violinist performed Café 1930 from L’Histoire du Tango by Piazzolla. Glenaeon Rudolf Steiner School, which has won the competition two years in a row now, has a very strong musical education program. 

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Practice Challenge and Serendip Strings initiative, Sri Lanka

Practice Challenge and Serendip Strings initiative, Sri Lanka.

As part of this week's assembly, John Lewis (parent in Class 4 and 7) and his colleague from the Australian Opera Orchestra, Rachel Westwood, came to play their instruments (clarinet and violin) and to talk to the students about an exciting initiative of another colleague of theirs, violinist Ursula Nelius.
Ursula has set up a music school in Sri Lanka for children who would otherwise not have access to instruments or tuition. The school is funded by donations and sponsors. John and Rachel introduced the Glenaeon Practice Challenge in which the students (and teachers or parents, anyone in fact!) can take on to practise their instrument for either 30, 50 or 100 days and ask people to sponsor them. Click to see more


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Baskets, fences and dolls - all in the week's play

Willoughby Preschool has a craftsperson-in-residence program, and both little and big hands have been busy creating tiny wooden fences and beautlful baskets. Edgar Maier came to help build the fences with the children, and Elizabeeth Ellean shared her basket-making skills with Bangalow Palms. The children also flew their kites at the park next door.  We received some new Tibetan Dolls and a yak and tent for our play area. Preschool children also harvested turmeric that has been growing all summer with teacher Soraya. The current Preschool newsletter can be found HERE.


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What's on at Glenaeon next week

For a full calendar for the term go to : 
Class 2 Parent Teacher night
Class 2 Parent Teacher Night, 5 June, 7:30pm – 8:30pm
Chamber Groups Concert
Wed, 5 June, 6pm
Sylvia Brose Hall, Middle Cove.
School Tour
Thu, 6 June, 9:30am – 11:30am
Middle Cove Campus (map)
Glenaeon Studios - Shibori Dyeing with Elizabeth Ellean 
Thu, 6 June, 7pm – 9pm
Middle Cove Campus - Textile Room (map)

Glenaeon School Tours - join us to learn about our school

Glenaeon School Tours & Enrolment Events

Middle Cove Tour - Thursday 22 August - 9:30am - 11:30am

Castlecrag School Tour - Tuesday 11 June 2019 – 9:30am-11:30am
Castlecrag SChool Tour - Tuesday 10 September, 2019 - 9:30 - 11:30am

Willoughby Preschool Tour
Thursday 27 June, 2019 - 9:30 - 11:30am
For further information or questions please contact our Registrar on 02 9932 2325 or email

Year 11 Drama - play 'Missing' coming is on TONIGHT, June 7

Year 11 are performing their Drama play 'Missing' on Friday June 7th in the Sylvia Brose Hall and invite you to attend. 'Missing' is a modern Australian play inspired by Aboriginal Dreamtime Folklore. The play explores some of the problems for refugees in Australia today. It gives an insight into various attitudes to refugees and the hardships they have suffered, and ends on a note of hope.  It is ultimately a play of peace and redemption.

The play runs for 55mins approx. and contains some adult themes.


Chain Jewellery Design with Keith Lo Bue - Glenaeon Studios June 15 & 16

In the search for interesting materials with which to create, the greatest surprises can come from the most unexpected quarters. Take, for example, a cheap, ubiquitous and unassuming roll of steel wire, sold for use in the construction industry… with some simple tools and layman-ready information, this mundane material comes thrillingly to life. Super-strong, versatile and - best of all - beautiful, this amazing wire can perform like no other material can. 
Join internationally-known artist and found-object 'stuffsmith' Keith Lo Bue as he delves into the world of steel wire creativity. Click for more info

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Hand-make a spoon in June - 29th or 30th

Enjoy a day of happy slowness - Learn about the joys of falling into spoonmaking meditation 
Join the expert Spoonsmith, Jeff Donne, for a hands-on exploration in the traditional art of carving wooden spoons from a tree. Start the day with a responsibly sourced log and under Jeff's guidance, safely and unhurriedly, turn it into a beautiful wooden spoon using an axe, a knife and your hands.

It's pure analogue bliss! Talk about the fun that can be found in foraging for sticks and logs in the woods, and the value of preserving old crafts.All tools and materials are provided and absolutely no experience is needed. All you need is a willingness to explore and create. This is a one day workshop that runs on Saturday 29th and this is repeated on Sunday 30th June .The flyer for the workshop can be found HERE.  Click below for workshop details

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Go Green in 2019! Annual Giving campaign


At Glenaeon we have long recognized the importance of leading strongly and acting decisively in addressing global warming and climate change. That’s why this year we have chosen to focus on Sustainability for our 2019 Annual Giving Program. As well as reducing our carbon footprint we will dramatically reduce our costs.  Our Annual Giving Program helps support specific projects which will benefit the lives of current students and future generations of students. 


With your help we can: 

* Install Solar Panels at our Middle Cove Campus on the Sylvia Brose Hall roof and the Design and Technology roof
* Replace standard lighting with LED energy efficient lighting
* Create a more comfortable learning environment through installing energy efficient heating and cooling systems in classrooms

As well as reducing our carbon footprint by going green in 2019, we can slash our energy costs and redirect a large percentage of this money to important educational initiatives.

PLEASE DONATE HERE - select 'Glenaeon Foundation Building Fund'
View the flyer of our appeal HERE

The Giving Program at Glenaeon provides opportunities for the entire Glenaeon Community to contribute to scholarships, new buildings, in kind donations and small projects. Tuition fees only support the day to day operation of the school so we depend on your support to continue to develop our facilities. Through our giving program you can help make a difference for your children and future children who attend Glenaeon.

Your contribution makes a great deal of difference to your children's schooling and comfort, our school's carbon footprint, and the environment as a whole. Thank you.

Experience the wonder - Sea Kayaking at Hinchinbrook Island!


Your next adventure…

On the back of a successful Franklin River trip we’ve decided to do it again. This year our outdoor education team are offering the Glenaeon community a Hinchinbrook Island Sea Kayaking Trip. This is a fundraising event giving you the chance to experience the wilderness with our amazing staff. 10 lucky people will have the opportunity to explore the tropical coastline where rugged islands meet the Coral Sea.


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Year 12 support - choosing courses through UAC

Year twelve students have a lot on their plate at the moment.

To support Year 12 in their university course selections, JobJump provides some simple to follow help in the FLYER ATTACHED, and this VIDEO :  

Get Ready - How to Easily Select Your Courses
Watch this 3 minute video. It will show you how to select and store your favourite courses in seconds. From there you have your 5 choices (and any back up preferences) ready to apply for UAC as per their advice in the flyer attached.

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The Mid Winter Festival June 20 - Call for greenery for Tuesday June 19

The Mid Winter Festival is approaching, so it's time to mark your calendar. We always look forward to this time of year, when, in the darkness, light shines and we can reflect upon our inner selves. On Tuesday (19/6/15) we will be making the winter spiral in the Hall at Middle Cove for the Winter Festival. We need your greenery! Please leave your ivy, pine boughs, cotoneaster branches, jasmine vine etc at either campus on Tuesday morning. At Castlecrag please leave in the covered area outside the Class 1&2 toilets. At Middle Cove Campus please leave near the Hall. Please deliver in the morning so that we can build the spiral from lunchtime. PLEASE DON’T THINK THAT SOMEONE ELSE WILL PROVIDE THIS IN PAST YEARS WE HAVE HAD A HURRIED SCRAMBLE AROUND LOCAL STREETS SCAVANGING FOR IVY IF YOU DO HAVE SOME PLEASE BRING IT.

Learning Support - become a 'Special Provisions' volunteer for examinations and make a real difference

Some students require “special provisions” in their exams to ensure their result truly reflects their learning. These are practical arrangements designed to help students who couldn’t otherwise make a fair attempt to show what they know in an exam room. This may include the use of a reader or a writer, extra time or rest break supervision. As staff members are not permitted by NESA to take on this role, Glenaeon relies on the generosity of our school community to ensure our students have access to a “level playing field”. Click to see how you can help


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Warrah Farm Produce Delivery - Tuesdays at Castlecrag

You may have stopped by the Warrah Farm stall at our recent Twilight markets. The produce was simply shining! There is a Warrah Farm biodynamic produce 'Co-op Hub' that delivers to Castlecrag on Tuesdays, ready for pick up at the end of school. . It comes from Warrah Farm, a Steiner community and farm village in Dural, Sydney: . Warrah is a Rudolf Steiner organisation providing a range of engaging, responsive services for children and adults with intellectual disability that maximise each person's capacity for self-determination, creativity and contribution. Please see Warrah's co-op box information HERE and the customer information HERE. How a Co-op Hub works is everyone orders directly with Warrah, who processes the payments. Produce is packaged and delivered to the Castlecrag campus for after school pick-up, and sits under cover on the porch outside Class 2. Please contact Borja Valls (the Warrah social enterprise manager) on or mobile 0448881060 for any further information, joining up and choose which box size works. Regular orders can be paused simply if you are away etc. and the system has been working very well so far for the Glenaeon families that are already enjoying the service.
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The Eclipse of Baldr - a story told by David Novak

Commissioned especially for Glenaeon Steiner School, acclaimed storyteller David Novak, brings fresh depth and insight into his retelling of ancient myth just in time for Winter Solstice celebrations. See the flyerHERE

Venue: Marion Mahony Griffin Hall, 121 Edinburgh Rd, Castlecrag   Date & Time: Saturday June 15th, 7:30pm
Tickets: Adults $25, Conc $20, Students $12 (family of 4 $60 package)
Bookings & Enquiries: Joy Day 0451 152 227
& Mary Heard Castlecrag Office9958 0774

Roll up! Roll up! Looking for Circus performers!



Class 1 call for Second Hand toys for the Glenaeon Fair

Class 1 are continuing with last years very successful and appreciated recycled toy theme for this years Parent Craft stall at the Fair. To do this we are asking for the donation of your pre-loved Steiner inspired toys for us to renew, ready to be loved again.  We would like to gather items made of natural materials only and those that will inspire the imagination. We’d love toys that may be broken but are fixable or those needing a wash or a mend. Please drop off any items you would kindly donate to Castlecrag Reception. If you have any queries please don’t hesitate to call Tanya (Class 1 parent) - 0414 233 335

Grassroots Eco Store – NEW range of Indoor Slippers

New to the shop are Moccis - quality hand sewn Swedish moccasins that keep feet snug, dry and odour-free. They come in a cotton or wool blend sock style and the soles are made from non-slip leather, preventing slipping and injury. Inside they have an invisible support strap so they don't fall off or lose their shape. More good news – they are machine washable! Ethically produced in Sweden and made with the highest possible craftsmanship. 

Thank you for your visits - a portion of every sale goes to Glenaeon. See you soon! Felicity 0416 035 173

Opening Hours during term
Monday: open by request
Tuesday: 8.45am–11.30am
Wednesday: 8.45am–3.15pm
Thursday: 8.30am–10.30am
Friday: 2.30pm–4.00pm


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Opportunities, positions available, billets & want to buy - can you help?

There are opportunities available as follows:

1. Waldorf Connections - a website for meeting Waldorf-related people
2. S
eeking a mother and infant for infant observation
3. Homestay - long-term creative/home-help exchange available - Anna Lloyd
4. Garage Available to rent in North Sydney
5. Can I live with you? I’m a loving and charismatic ginger cat. (and free!). 
6. Honest to Goodness buying group - Organic pantry goods at wholesale prices.
7. Household items for sale and give away - family moving overseas : everything needs to find a new home!
8. Interested to a country retreat near the Warrumbungle national park?
Click below for further information about the above opportunities

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Yoga Classes held at Glenaeon

Come and experience what half an hour of yoga can do for you to start your day. Held on the deck of the hall, overlooking the bush, this class is restorative and rejuvenating. Children welcome to attend this class. See image below.

Ki seasonal yoga with Lisa Kavanagh; also Wednesday mornings in the Uniting Church Hall in Charles St (near Castlecrag Campus). 

Please click to see images below of yoga classes an times.

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Fibrex - wool and fibre event - on tomorrow, June 22!



Mandarin, French and German groups after school

There are currently 3 language groups held after school by private groups/tutors. Mandarin and French are held on campus, and a small privately organised class in German is held in a home in Neutral Bay.

Please CLICK below for more information on all language class times, locations, contact details and prices.



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Gilgamesh - a night of storytelling with David Novak

A rare opportunity to experience this ancient epic from Sumeria-Abyssinia-Mesopotamia, fragments first discovered from the remains of clay tablets with cuneiform inscriptions. These are the earliest works of literature yet discovered. Here told by acclaimed storyteller David Novak, in Australia on his way to the Singapore International StoryFest. Please see the flyer for this HERE.
Venue: Steiner House 307 Sussex St Sydney 2000
Date & Time: Tuesday June 11th, 7pm
Tickets: Adults $15, Conc $10,
Bookings & Enquiries: Joy Day 0451 152

The Christian Community​

The Christian Community​... a movement for the renewal of the religious impulse in humanity, founded by of the spiritual scientific work of Rudolf Steiner. Please click below for information about their playgroup, youth group, services, talks and events that are coming up. 
To us it is given at no stage ever to rest. There live and there strive active human beings from life to life, as plants grow aloft from springtime to springtime. Ever raising themselves, through error upward to truth, through fetters upward to freedom, through sickness and death upward to beauty, to health and to life.’ Rudolf Steiner


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Rudolf Steiner House

Sydney Rudolf Stiener House has ongoing talks and courses that are available, from short talks, to discussion evenings, workshops and members meetings. If you would like to contact Sydney Rudolf Steiner College about any of our courses or other information:   Address: 307 Sussex Street Sydney   Phone: +61 2 9261 4001 Email:   Click below to see what the calendar looks like for the next few months, Warm regards, Anett:


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EURYTHMY CLASSES - Ease, Form, Grace, Balance and Flexibility - Thursday mornings

EURYTHMY CLASSES  - Ease, Form, Grace, Balance and Flexibility

A new impulse of movement with Body, Soul and Spirit Open to teachers
121 Edinburgh Rd, Castlecrag NSW 2068 Email:

Please see flyer HERE:

This week's Blackboard Beauty

This week's blackboard has been drawn by Year 8 Guardian Brendan Strobl for the Human Anatomy main lesson.