A Breath of Fresh Air: Taking the Inside Out

A Breath of Fresh Air: Taking the Inside Out

18 Nov 2021

There’s an old architectural design mantra that promotes Bringing the Outside In, which is about using large natural forms and building them into internal design principles. Over the past few weeks we’ve been doing exactly the opposite, and Taking the Inside Out. The need for good ventilation has driven many classes outside, and what a breath of fresh air it has brought, in all meanings of the term.

At Middle Cove we are using seven “official” new outside learning spaces to ensure all our high school lessons are as ventilated as possible. There are other less official spaces that teachers have found, in outdoor nooks and crannies that can accommodate smaller groups of students. Our bushland campus has really come into its own as all schools struggle to ensure students and teachers are as ventilated as possible.

Now there are challenges in outdoor learning. As any good teacher knows, a lesson needs to have a sense of integrity, a “skin” around it that holds the students and teacher/s in a unity with a common purpose in learning. In simple terms, everyone, both students and teacher, need to focus on the lesson and on their common task, otherwise the learning is less.

The four walls of the usual classroom space provide a physical boundary that gives one layer of the “skin” around a lesson. But as we all know, that’s not enough, and a lesson can so easily lose focus even within the most solid walls.

It’s the art of the teacher to create the intangible “skin” by drawing the students into the web of interest, enthusiasm and focused attention that every good lesson needs. Teachers create the “skin” themselves and learning this art, for an art it is, is the result of the sheer hard work that goes into training to be a teacher.

So taking lessons outside has a big challenge in one sense. How do you sustain student attention when you have kookaburras cackling, the wind on the trees, a distant chainsaw and the odd brush turkey wandering past, not to mention the visual distractions of a panorama of pleasant trees to look at? So the art of the teacher comes into its own in the outdoor classroom setting. Teachers need to be on their toes keeping attention and focus.

But the benefits are immense. At a time when clean air is a precious commodity, the sheer  quality of fresh air at Middle Cove is impressive. The thick natural forest next to the waters of Middle Harbour create a highly oxygenated air flow which must make the campus one of the healthiest educational settings you can imagine.

Outdoor learning is nothing new to Glenaeon, it’s been part of our DNA since inception. Embedding learning in a natural environment was the foundational design of the school. One of the founders of our school Eric Nicholls, the junior partner of Walter and Marion Burly Griffin, first articulated his plans for a school in a natural setting as early as 1952, when he described his vision of creating a village-like series of classroom buildings in a bushland setting. His foundational design has echoed on in all the design principles that have shaped Glenaeon’s grounds ever since. Every window in the school looks out on to trees and green spaces.

How ahead of his time was that? Research that started at the University of Colorado in the 1990’s found some interesting results regarding health and wellbeing connected with “green” school yards. In general, and screening out such factors as socio-economic advantage, they found a connection between green spaces on a school campus and the health and wellbeing of its student population. The research is population research, so it covers many schools and many students, but it does suggest we have about as healthy a schoolyard as you can get. The Japanese “Forest Bathing’ movement with its associated research is demonstrating the physical benefits of extended time in forest settings, which is what our students enjoy every day.

The research is so pertinent in this time when air quality for students is such a hot topic. A local researcher is now working on the health of Australian high school grounds: Gweneth Leigh at the University of Canberra is completing a PhD on the how the design of secondary schoolyards has an impact on the wellbeing of students. She is hoping to raise awareness of how profoundly important green school grounds are for student wellbeing and health. Glenaeon is part of her study and we have shared our vision and practice of learning that is integrated into the natural environment.

Hopefully one silver lining from this challenging time might be a realisation that we need to take the inside out more often in schools. Students need their learning integrated into natural spaces for health and wellbeing reasons. If as a society we can learn that, it really will be a breath of fresh air.

 

Andrew Hill
Head of School

 

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Returning to school and life after lockdown

Returning to school and life after lockdown

04 Nov 2021

Returning to school has been a joy. How wonderful it is to sit in my office or walk through the campus and hear the sounds of vigorous handball negotiations, games of tip, and (best of all) the sound of children's laughter! After our long winter in lockdown, with most of us having very restricted contact with friends and family, watching the children rediscovering each other is fascinating and beautiful.

Returning to school and life after lockdown has also been an enormous shift. There is no doubt that finding 'normal' again can be challenging as well as wonderful. At school, we initially saw some homesickness in a few younger children while our older students are learning again how to manage their energy within the rhythms of their regular timetables.

There are many excellent resources available to support families at times of change such as this. 

This term, Our Parent Education series focuses on the theme "Out of Home and into the World" https://glo.glenaeon.nsw.edu.au/homepage/1397 . And Student Wellbeing Coordinator Emily Fam has compiled strategies and ideas which parents and students can find on the GLO Health and Wellbeing page https://glo.glenaeon.nsw.edu.au/homepage/919.

Sometimes though, I look a little closer to home when I'm managing a significant shift. Juliette Najar was my paternal grandmother, and when I was a child, she represented a place of calm in a sometimes uncertain world.   She was born the third of five children in Tripoli, Lebanon, in about 1917 (she was always pretty hazy about her birth date).  I was her first grandchild and, of course, the favourite (just ask my brother and our six cousins)! We called her Sittee, which is Arabic for Grandma, and she was, in short, magnificent! Elegant, composed, and with much to teach about making a child feel safe and secure.  

Here's a little of what I learned from her:

Sit and listen
Sittee would sometimes sit right next to me, put her hand on my hand and say, "Yes, darling?".
I mostly didn't have much to say, but I knew I could if I did – and that made all the difference.
I know now that children and young people need our unguarded presence – someone who is still and undistracted for just long enough.

Take time
Time moved slowly at Sittee and Jiddy's (Grandpa's) house. In a Steiner school, it's what we call rhythm. Slow and steady, predictable, calming. If your children need it, let them take time coming back into the world – see what works and what doesn't – the old 'normal' might fit, and it might not. Take time to relish the extraordinary inside the ordinary. Sittee could make a bus ride to Bondi Junction seem like an adventure in a way that made us appreciate every little step of the journey.

Above all, be kind
In her 80s, Sittee had her handbag ripped from her arm in a random bag snatching. Being elderly, she fell and sustained injuries. We were shocked, upset and angry, but somehow, Sittee reacted with empathy and kindness. "What a terrible life that young man must have to take a handbag from an old lady", she said. In a time of uncertainty, change and division, we are called on to find a fraction of my grandmother's kindness and empathy.

Change can be wonderful, and it can feel uncertain. Sometimes, it can make me think that we could all do with a Lebanese grandmother! I hope Glenaeon families may enjoy a little of Sittee's wisdom as we readjust to the joy of life after lockdown!

 

Dani Finch
Deputy Head of School (K-6)

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The Elephant in the Zoom Room

The Elephant in the Zoom Room

19 Aug 2021

To support our parent community through the extended Sydney lockdown, Glenaeon recently launched a series of talks on the theme "Wellbeing During Difficult Times". Evan Sanders, our IT Integrator, hosted the first in the series last week. His talk 'Digital Wellbeing’ addressed the Elephant in the Zoom Room …. how do we, as a school that has long championed an 'unplugged' childhood reconcile the paradox of online delivery?

Dr Steiner and his contemporaries could scarcely have imagined the devices used in many modern classrooms. However, his indications were clear; children thrive when they experience connection with nature, play, home and self. Now reinforced by current research, Glenaeon's approach to (at school) education, particularly in the Primary Years, is natural, home-like, playful and unplugged! At Glenaeon, although we have embraced tools such as iPads, laptops and digital submission of tasks in secondary school, we remain resolute in our view that in the physical Primary classroom, the benefits of using these items during childhood can never offset the costs. 

So how did we come to the view that online learning is not only acceptable but in some ways necessary during remote learning? The answer comes down to one of the very reasons we decry technology in the classroom – connection.  

When children are in a classroom with their friends and their teacher, they are engaged and learning in a space of warm, meaningful, social interaction. They are learning skills, to be sure, but the environment in which those skills are taught holds one of the keys to true, healthy development. During a period where we must work and learn from home to safeguard our physical health, the classroom's rich environment disappears and with it the chance to experience a myriad of learning opportunities each day. Some of these lost learning opportunities are skills-based.  For example, direct and time-sensitive feedback, is much more quickly given during an in-person lesson. However, the other type of learning children miss at home is our connective tissue at Glenaeon - connection! It's the learning found in the 'in-between' moments; a smile, words of affirmation, praise or correction from your teacher; a game in the playground with friends that you haven't played before; a teacher or friend noticing that you look a little sad today and trying to cheer you up. These are the things that can be lost when we are not physically together.  

If we stay with the traditional model and don't use the technology available to us when learning from home, connection can become the opportunity cost of staying safe and well. Our Primary Faculty decided early in the pandemic that this was a cost too great to bear. And so we wondered, what if there were a way to stay connected, engaged and educated during long periods at home? What if we could maintain healthy routines and have a healthy relationship with technology? And so the zoom room was born. It's not perfect, it's not what we would wish for or what we long to return to, but it is what we have. And for us, right now, the balance hangs in favour of connection.  

Our Early Childhood and Primary staff are using GLO and Zoom in innovative and creative ways and for appropriate amounts of time for each age group. From Little Kindy to Class 6, children and their teachers are connecting and learning over the internet. Catherine Pilko, our Senior Teacher at Castlecrag Campus, told her Little Kindergarten class the story of "The Little Gnome Who Had to Stay Home" on a zoom session last week. Written by Susan Perrow in the early days of the pandemic, Catherine has now added her own special touch - a magical 'glowing window' where our friend the gnome, can find his friends even though he has to stay home. I commend the story to you as a soul-filling reminder of the warmth and connection that lives (with the elephant) in our zoom rooms.

 

Dani Finch
Deputy Head of School (K-6)

 

Read Little Gnome and the Magic Window by Catherine Pilko.

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COVID-19 Update

COVID-19 Update

07 Jul 2021

During the COVID-19 crisis, Glenaeon has been keeping Parents and Carers regularly informed as things rapidly change and unfold.

LATEST: Letter to Parents and Carers - 7 July 2021

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The Education You Need

The Education You Need

20 May 2021

Inspiration and ideas for newsletter pieces sometimes come at the strangest times. Recently, a left-leaning, Snoopy-loving friend posted this cartoon on her social media page. In it, the mild-mannered and renowned philosopher Charlie Brown turns to his classmate and tells her straight, “No one is going to give you the education you need to overthrow them”. Responses to my friend’s post ranged from the love heart emoji to “Terrifyingly true!”

I wrote “Inspiring!”  

We hear a great deal in the media and from politicians about preparing children for the future they will inherit. Much of the rhetoric centres around being ‘job ready’, and mastery of technology is paramount.   At Glenaeon, we agree that these are essential elements of a rounded education. Still, when we make them our focus, the capacity of an education system to inspire and inform the next generation of change-makers is savagely diminished.

So, how are we preparing our students to resolve some of the messes we both inherited and created?    How does Glenaeon give students the education they need to ‘overthrow’ and create a new, more equitable and sustainable future? It is interesting to answer this question through the lens of the 6c’s of Education in the 21st Century: Character Education, Citizenship, Communication, Critical Thinking, and Collaboration. Developed by Michael Fullan O.C, Global Leadership Director of New Pedagogies for Deep Learning (NPDL) and a worldwide authority on educational reform, the 6 ‘s are inherent in Glenaeon’ s 5A’s program:

Academic – The Main Lesson sequence places a child in time. While in Primary School, teachers immerse children in imaginative pictures that inspire Character and Citizenship; in High School, students are taught to Critically analyse information, sources and their place in the fabric of society.

Artisan & Aesthetic – From craft and beeswax models to 3D printing and performing in an orchestra, a Glenaeon education is inherently one of Creativity.

Altruistic -  Belonging to a community where we abide by a respectful social contract in our interactions and give of ourselves inside and outside the school requires Communication, Collaboration and Citizenship. Be that through caring for Scotts Creek, serving on the Student Eco Group or performing service as part of the Duke of Edinburgh program or in the Northern Territory working with the Aboriginal students at Macfarlane Primary School.  

Active Wilderness –To journey with a group in a remote location (or even on a bushwalk to Warner’s Park) requires Communication, Collaboration and Citizenship.  To do it well builds Character.

Preparing for an uncertain future requires much more than being ‘job ready or ‘tech savvy’. Schools must create environments, and teach in ways, that impart capacities to young people that encourage them to develop and enact new ideas and creative responses to problems. Charlie Brown might be stunned to learn that at a small school in Middle Cove called Glenaeon, we are absolutely preparing to be overthrown by the students we teach, and the future looks very bright indeed.

With thanks to Charles M. Schulz.

 

Dani Finch
Deputy Head of School (K-6) 

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Year 5 Student Arlo Temple a National Winner in the National History Challenge 2020

Year 5 Student Arlo Temple a National Winner in the National History Challenge 2020

04 Dec 2020

 

11 year-old Glenaeon Rudolf Steiner School Student and Rozelle resident, Arlo Temple has been named as a National and NSW State winner in two categories in the National History Challenge 2020 awards.  Arlo won the top award in the Year 5/6 and the Museum Exhibit categories.

Deputy Head of School (K-6), Dani Finch said, “We are thrilled that Glenaeon student Arlo Temple has been announced as both a National and NSW State winner in the National History Challenge for 2020. Arlo has a natural interest and curious mind when it comes to history, and it was a joy to learn of his success in this year’s National History Challenge entry. We feel very proud of his great personal achievement.”

Glenaeon Head of School Andrew Hill commended Arlo, “Everyone at Glenaeon is delighted for Arlo and we congratulate him on this mighty accomplishment. His hard work has been aptly rewarded.”

Arlo received his awards at a ceremony to honour the NSW state and national winners of the National History Challenge at the Anzac Memorial, Hyde Park, Sydney, last night.

The National History Challenge is a research-based competition for students. It gives students a chance to be an historian, researching world history, examining Australia’s past, investigating their community or exploring their own roots. It emphasises and rewards quality research, the use of community resources and effective presentation.

 “My submission was in response to this year’s competition theme, ‘Contested Histories’ where I explored the devastation of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. I built a scaled diorama of the Hiroshima site and wrote an essay and created a website for my entry”, said 11-year old Arlo.

Arlo’s Mum, Kate Burt said he worked extremely hard on his entry, and said it was exciting to see him standing among other excellent student entries from across the state and country. 

We visited Hiroshima last year and it was a very moving experience. We are proud of how Arlo has expressed his research in his diorama and his interest in Japanese culture and history. We are also glad to have the kitchen table back after two months of his wonderful model making,” Burt said.

Arlo’s website:https://goby-echidna-arfn.squarespace.com/

 

#nationalhistorychallenge #history #contestedhistories #hiroshima #Japan #diorama #Essay #glenaeon #steinereducation

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Castlecrag students enjoy outdoor play time

Castlecrag students enjoy outdoor play time

14 Feb 2020

Children at Castlecrag are enjoying their outside play and are full of activity as they jump, slide and swing! 

 

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AEON Issue 12 Magazine out now

AEON Issue 12 Magazine out now

03 Dec 2019

Issue 12 AEON Magazine out now!

 

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Spring Festival - music, flowers and festive cheer

Spring Festival - music, flowers and festive cheer

27 Sep 2019

There were plenty of blossoms, crowns and and music for the Spring Festival day. Parents, staff and students enjoyed the warm and relaxing day and the oval was filled with family and friends. Thank you all for coming and for those who helped to create and coordinate the festival.

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Class 5 learn the traditional Maypole dance

Class 5 learn the traditional Maypole dance

26 Jul 2019

Traditionally at Glenaeon, Class 5 dance the Maypole at the Spring Festival in a rhythmic and co-ordinated series of steps, whilst intricately weaving numerous ribbons into an impressive pattern.

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Class 6 light up their world

Class 6 light up their world

26 Jul 2019

As a part of their Main Lesson exploring the physics of sound, light and heat, Class 6 began the week by painting the colour wheel, exploring the qualities of colours with teacher Rodney Dean.

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Jazz Cafe - a night to remember

Jazz Cafe - a night to remember

18 Nov 2022

On Wednesday evening, November 2, an audience made up of Glenaeon parents, relatives and friends were treated to an evening of superb Jazz at the school’s Jazz Café, organised by a committee made up of members of the school’s music staff, and three parents: Melony Browell, Sabine Simmonds and Ally Seymour-Smith.

Throughout the evening, in a hall suitably decorated by parents and children, and seated around candle-lit tables, the audience was entertained by the twenty-nine musicians that, together, make up the school’s co-curricular wind ensembles: our Big Band, under the direction of Phil Arnold, our Concert Band, under the direction of Christine Young, and our Jazz Combo, under the direction of Adriaan Mees.

They were joined by two ‘pop-up’ groups: a clarinet ensemble, directed by Christine Young, and a saxophone ensemble led by Joshua Willard, as well as two solo items: a vocal solo from Ava Keys and a saxophone solo by Riley Brown.

In addition to enjoying the superb music, audience members were able to purchase a two-course dinner made up of delicious home-made soup and bread, and a dessert of petit fours and an abundant raffle basket of delicious gourmet food. As a result of this, and supplemented by a generous donation of $750 by Anthony Browell, $2,711.50 was raised towards the purchase of equipment for the school’s co-curricular ensembles.

It has been almost three and a half years since the school’s first Jazz Café in pre-covid 2019, and the packed hall of enthusiastic relatives and friends showed just how much the Glenaeon community appreciated the opportunity to, once again, experience the achievements of the school’s growing co-curricular music program.

The school’s music staff wish to sincerely thank the music students for their outstanding commitment, Evan Sanders, for his contribution throughout the process and on the night, and all who contributed to the success of the evening in any way. In particular, we want to thank the parent support committee for their tireless efforts in producing what we hope will be the first of many such musical occasions. 

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Class 2 visit Middle Cove - Class 3 Orientation

Class 2 visit Middle Cove - Class 3 Orientation

18 Nov 2022

Class 2 children bush walked to Middle Cove for their Class 3 Orientation Day as in 2023 they will move campuses for Class 3! With enthusiastic parents accompanying them, they toured the Middle Cove campus and were hosted by Class Teacher Rodney Dean and the students in Class 3. The children spent time together in the classroom before heading down to explore the Gentle Cafe area and further on to the garden to meet Sandra Frain, whom they know from gardening classes up at Castlecrag Campus and Preschool. It was an enjoyable visit and then embarked on a long, strong bushwalk back to Castecrag Campus, returning to playrgup schedule.

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Class 5 intrepid travel to the Blue Mountains

Class 5 intrepid travel to the Blue Mountains

18 Nov 2022

In mid-September, Class 5 embarked on an adventurous, resilience-building, camp experience. Although our camp was cold, wet and muddy, it was heartening to observe the group's upbeat and positive attitude.

In line with our Australian History Main Lesson, we followed the path trekked by Blaxland, Wentworth and Lawson in 1813, who were the first European settlers, to successfully navigate a path across the Blue Mountains. Their exploration over the ridges and through the dense bushland of the mountains led to the discovery of fertile plains beyond. This opened the potential for an expansion of valuable farming land for the fledgling, Sydney settlement.

Under the expert guidance of our intrepid camp leader Scottie and his support team, Greg and Kai, we explored some beautiful pockets of the National Park. The school camp experience is designed to unite the class, strengthen bonds, encourage an appreciation and respect for the natural world and build resilience by stretching the boundaries of our usual, comfortable life. I think our camp ticked all those boxes.

 

Thanks to Dawn P for the photos.

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Castlecrag faces at the Fair

Castlecrag faces at the Fair

18 Nov 2022

The Glenaeon Fair transformed our campus into a playground at another level - with wonderful activities for children, entertainment stage, food and fun for all. Thank you to all families who contributed to making it the most wonderful day after a hiatus due to COVID.

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Class 1 Garden with Rod and Sandra

Class 1 Garden with Rod and Sandra

17 Nov 2022

Class 1 had a visitor - Rob Greatholder from Warrah Farm - come to work and learn with them during Gardening Class with teacher Sandra Frain this week. Rob came to see how we teach gardening at Glenaeon and to share his own experiences from Warrah Farm. Rob brought organic seedlings, ready to plant out with the children and they got straight to work! Rob was Warrah’s Farm Manager for 6 years before moving into his current role co-ordinating Warrah’s social therapeutic horticulture programs. Rob has been farming and gardening for the last 15 years and has a Diploma of Biodynamic Agriculture from the UK. He has worked in different parts of the world, on broad acre biodynamic farms and market gardens, to 1 acre no-dig permaculture models and off-grid community reforestation projects. He is also an experienced guest speaker on horticulture. Thank you Rob for coming to garden and learn with Class 1 and Gardening teacher Sandra Frain! A warm than you always to parent volunteer Guchi Guevara who assists in Gardening lessons every week at our Castlecrag Campus. See : https://warrahfarmshop.org.au/.Warrah Farm also has a wonderful Fruit & Veggie Coop that delivers boxes to our Castlecrag and Middle Cove Campuses every Tuesday afternoon. Families receive top quality organic and biodynamic produce, while supporting a fellow Steiner organisation. Warrah Society is a disability services organisation with its own certified biodynamic farm in Dural. Warrah-grown produce is supplemented with fresh produce and other goods supplied by certified organic producers. Warrah’s Specialist School and Discovery Program participants work on bagging salad mix and dry goods, weighing fruit and vegetables, packing boxes, loading the delivery van and assisting with deliveries to various collection points in Sydney. All profits from the Farm Shop go towards Warrah’s disability services. Anyone interested in signing up for an order should send an email requesting more information to Debbie at wholesome@warrahfarmshop.org.au

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Class 5 intrepid travel to the Blue Mountains

Class 5 intrepid travel to the Blue Mountains

28 Oct 2022

In mid-September, class 5 embarked on an adventurous, resilience-building, camp experience. Although our camp was cold, wet, and muddy, it was heartening to observe the group's upbeat and positive attitude.

In line with our Australian History Main Lesson, we followed the path trekked by Blaxland, Wentworth, and Lawson in 1813, who were the first European settlers, to successfully navigate a path across the Blue Mountains. Their exploration over the ridges and through the dense bushland of the mountains led to the discovery of fertile plains beyond. This opened the potential for an expansion of valuable farming land for the fledgling, Sydney settlement.

Under the expert guidance of our intrepid camp leader Scottie and his support team, Greg and Kai, we explored some beautiful pockets of the National Park. The school camp experience is designed to unite the class, strengthen bonds, encourage an appreciation, and respect for the natural world and build resilience by stretching the boundaries of our usual, comfortable life. I think our camp ticked all those boxes.

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The Story of Glenaeon @ Castlecrag

The Story of Glenaeon @ Castlecrag

28 Oct 2022

With the Family Fair and Art Show fast returning, it seems that we are getting back to the way things have always been. But they haven’t always. Every time I step onto the Castlecrag campus, I breathe a small thank you for the story that enabled this beautiful little gem of a place to become part of Glenaeon. It was not always so…

I arrived at Glenaeon in 1994 as the new Class 1 teacher, and was told that I would be starting the first Class 1 on the Castlecrag campus. When I went to see my new classroom, there was a red barrier tape on the fence around the entire property with a sign saying Hands Off Our School. Child numbers in Castlecrag had dropped making the school unviable, so the NSW government had put it on the market, and the local community wasn’t too happy. Glenaeon saw the campus as an ideal way to take Kindergarten and Classes 1 and 2 out of Middle Cove, so the school named an offer, and it was accepted. But the negotiations took longer than anticipated.

So my Class 1 continued in what had been Class 1 at Middle Cove for 20 years, the classroom at Middle Cove that now houses Class 3. Kindergarten was directly above in what is now Class 5. We didn’t gain possession until the end of June, so that’s when we moved in.

The Infants School staff had walked out leaving literally everything. It was a mess!

Thus began what was probably the greatest “working bee” in the school’s history. For 20 consecutive days, from sun up until sun down, and sometimes much later, there were teachers and parents working on the campus: throwing out, cleaning, painting, planting and doing all the seemingly infinite number of jobs needed to get the school ready for the start of Term 3.

We just made it, with a lot of paint barely dry. There were just four staff: Peggy Day and Christine O’Neil were in Kindergarten, myself in Class 1 and John Rowan in Class 2. So Glenaeon’s new campus in Castlecrag got underway. There were no other staff: no assistants and no administrator. Teachers answered the phone and took messages. They were all big classes: each of the two primary classes had over 30 children each, as did Kindergarten. We did our own duties and supervised the playground. The only play equipment was the set of monkey bars. There were a few well established trees but not much else. Lindsay Sherrott worked hard to build the landscape, carefully planting and tending the hedge creating the boundary around the Kindergarten.

Regular working bees of teachers and parents continued with more painting, renovating and landscaping. Within a year or so, two parents in the high school (Tom Renton a builder and Rod Dixon a dentist) came to lead a series of working bees that built the “creek”, the fountain and flowform in Kindergarten. A few years later a series of working bees built the large “fort” in the primary area of the playground. So the “little” campus gradually took shape and grew into the beautiful and idyllic centre of Steiner education that it is today.

Ten years later we were able to honour the person who had done the most to make it all possible. Tom Hartigan was the Chair of the School Council (Board) and it was he who had negotiated the purchase of the property for the school. At the Spring Festival in 2004 Tom planted a tree in the playground as a 10-year anniversary celebration. He was a remarkable individual who put his three children through the school: an accountant who after retirement came to school to teach Commerce to Years 9 and 10. Tom’s tireless energy in working for the school was an inspiration, and when he sadly passed away in 2011, his ashes were buried beneath the tree he had planted. We made a memorial bench next to this spot, and here his widow Felicity visits him on weekends.

Relations with the Castlecrag community took longer to rebuild. Some hostility continued, even though we had done the community a favour and saved the school site from being sold off to a developer for a dozen townhouses. We made the grounds welcome to neighbours on weekends. We gave space for community meetings, particularly the Castlecrag Progress Association.

The biggest step was sharing the story of the Burley Griffins. Few were aware that Glenaeon and Castlecrag shared a common ancestry through these two remarkable American architects. They had designed and founded the suburb at the same time as they discovered the work of Dr Rudolf Steiner. We were able to tell the story years later when the BER* funding enabled us to build what became the Marion Mahony Griffin Hall. The Hall was a tangible symbol of the fact that both Glenaeon and the Castlecrag community shared a common ancestry in the Burley Griffins.

So, as we celebrate the return of the Fair and make the most of our beautiful Castlecrag campus, let’s remember the work that has gone into building this jewel in the crown of Glenaeon.

*Building the Education Revolution (BER) was an Australian government program that built school halls as part of the Rudd government's economic stimulus package designed in response to the 2007-2010 global financial crisis.

https://cooleyhouse.org/event/2022-fall-lecture-finding-marion/

 

 

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Kamaroi and Glenaeon Class 5s join for Greek Olympics

Kamaroi and Glenaeon Class 5s join for Greek Olympics

28 Oct 2022

On Tuesday the heavens mostly held back (only a small shower in the morning) after the previous day saw a soaking of our beautiful venues here at Glenaeon. Still, the forecast predicted warm weather and the High Priest’s presence in the morning to declare the Class 5 Ancient Greek Olympic Games at Glenaeon open, must have helped too. The keen and excited Kamaroi and Glenaeon Class 5 students, their teachers Nicole and Cathy and the helpers Daisy (PE teacher from Kamaroi) and Kathy (class aide here at Glenaeon) were ready to go and support Jonas as head coach and organiser and the parents as judges in the many events. The decision to keep the event small, and invite our sister school Kamaroi to our most beautiful oval paid off as other public fields may have been closed by council due to rain saturation, so a larger event would not have been possible. While rain was a worry for us too, good preparatory work by maintenance made it an injury free event enjoyed by all. The beauty, sportsmanship and determination that were all part of how the ancient Greeks looked at sport performances more broadly, could all happen with much success for the city states of Thebes, Athens, Corinth and Sparta.

All students dressed in tunics representing their city state competing in friendly spirit in long jump, discus, javelin, wrestling, marathon running (400m), 100m sprint, 4x100m relay races and a chariot race to round up a very enjoyable and fun-filled day.

The day was made more special by the appearance of the high priest of God Zeus, the fine food shared by all, the wonderful dance by the Glenaeon Class 5 students, by songs and verses in the opening and closing ceremonies of the day. The wonderful parent communities of Kamaroi and Glenaeon seamlessly worked together to support this event to make it a very special day in the Steiner primary school journey.

Many wristbands could be seen on students’ wrists - one indication of their achievements over the day and in the closing ceremony medals and headbands were awarded to celebrate individual strength and skill and success within the city states. Thebes came away with having the most talented athletes in their ranks but no one went home without recognition of their achievements!

It is a true Steiner community event in which parents, teachers and the students in our care create something wonderful and unique that will hold in their memories for many years to come.

A big thank you to all who contributed to this fine day!

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New Garden at Castlecrag Campus

New Garden at Castlecrag Campus

28 Oct 2022

There is a beautiful new garden bed at our Castlecrag Campus, already brimming with vegetables, herbs and flowers! Some wonderful garden pots were donated by a generous school family and the children, with Gardening teacher Sandra Frain have transformed the area into a beautiful and bountiful garden! The children worked to dig and clear roots before planting potatoes, garlic, spinach, tomatoes, lettuce, herbs and delightful flowers! Watch these pots for further transformation as we paint and mosaic them with our own designs. A huge thank you to the Maintenance team and Sonny for building this wonderful bed for us!

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Parent Craft at the Fair!

Parent Craft at the Fair!

28 Oct 2022

Come and have a look at the wonderful Parent Craft made by our families! It will be for sale at the upcoming Glenaeon Fair in the 'Parent Craft' Room - which will be in our Class 1 room and also in the 'Grotto' - an area just for younger children. Parents and friends have come together to learn new skills and create these stunning pieces. Heartfelt thanks to out Craft Co-ordinators, especially Alex Bell for her enthusiasm and dedication to making Parent Craft happen. We look forward to sharing this all with families at our Fair! Take home some beautiful hand-made toys and things for your family, nature table and play spaces, knowing it was made with love and much care for our children.

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Class 4 explore Animals and Us

Class 4 explore Animals and Us

26 Oct 2022

One of the highlights for Class 4 is the animal project to accompany the Animals and Us main lesson. This main lesson focuses on the unique quality of the human being, compared to the animal world where special physical features in relation to the environment and instinctual behaviour prevails. Children were able to choose an animal they would like to learn more about and make a model of the animal in its natural environment.

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Grassroots Eco Store - Stock up for the holidays!

Grassroots Eco Store - Stock up for the holidays!

15 Sep 2022

We have plenty of beautiful craft supplies to keep you busy and creative these holidays. Our 100% Wool-Felt Fabric has been restocked and is now available in the full rainbow of colours.

If you're heading off on a long car trip, Happy Car Games, created by Waldorf author Lou Harvey-Zahra is the remedy for backseat squabbles. This fabulous game contains 35 illustrated cards that will provide hours of car game fun for all ages.

The shop will be closing for the school holidays from 12.30pm on Wednesday (21 September). However, the online store remains open during the holidays with free local delivery available.

Term 3, 2022  Opening Hours:
Tuesday: 8:30am—12pm & 2pm—3:45pm
Wednesday: 8:30am—12:30pm
Thursday: 8:30am—12pm & 2pm—3:45pm
Friday: 8:30am—12pm & 2pm—3:45pm

Shop online anytime: grassrootsecostore.com.au

Thank you for shopping locally. A portion of every sale goes to support Glenaeon.

Grassroots Eco Store is located on the Glenaeon Castlecrag Campus, next to the Marion Mahony Griffin Hall. 121 Edinburgh Road, Castlecrag.

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Powerful Play

Powerful Play

15 Sep 2022

Classes 1 & 2 have been enjoying their lunchtime play - climbing trees, string games, making mud cakes, running games and immersing themselves in imaginative play too.

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Bushwalking

Bushwalking

15 Sep 2022

This term, Kindergarten, Classes 1 & 2 have been bushwalking. There are many beautiful bushwalks on our campus doorstep and the children really enjoy getting outside. They also explore the many walks designed by Water Burley-Griffin, the founder of the suburb of Castlecrag. Class 2 recently walked to Warner's Park and Class 1 found their way to one of the hidden reserves that are linked up by a series of paths.

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A little farm at Castlecrag

A little farm at Castlecrag

15 Sep 2022

As part of the Handwork program Handwork Teacher Elizabeth Ellean organises beautiful sheep, lambs and an alpaca to come and visit the children at Castlecrag Campus. They spend time brushing, feeding and sitting with them, whilst also learning about wool, lanolin and different types of sheep. The children enjoyed such a lovely time and were also able to send feed the younger lambs, some of whom were orphaned at birth. The large Alpaca loves being patted on the neck and the children felt the soft fleece, as well as the oily and strong sheeps wool. They are making their own knitting needles in Class 2 and learning to knit in Class 1 soon, and the journey begins with the sheep!

 

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Roma Amor - Class 6 play

Roma Amor - Class 6 play

15 Sep 2022

Class 6 performed their musical play ROMA AMOR this week to rapturous applause. They performed the clever and entertaining Roman romantic comedy to students, parents and friends and enjoyed a delicious Roman Feast afterwards. The story is set in Ancient Rome during the reign of Nero, and centers around a brother a sister's clever plan to trade places for a new life and to also be near their beloveds. Dressed in her brother Marius' armour, Lucrecia heads to the Roman Army whilst he stays and becomes a stonemason in the home of his beloved Sibia. The students played all of their own live music when not on stage themselves in a rich and engaging play that Glenaeon students are known for. Thank you Class 6 for this wonderful play!

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08 SEP: Understanding Children's Drawings with Catherine Pilko

08 SEP: Understanding Children's Drawings with Catherine Pilko

01 Sep 2022

In this presentation we will explore the development of children’s drawings in the first seven years as a mirror of the child’s bodily development and changing consciousness.

Thursday 8 September 2022 9:30 AM - 10:30 AM (UTC+10)

LOCATION: Marion Mahony Griffin Hall, Castlecrag Campus, Glenaeon Rudolf Steiner School
121 Edinburgh Road, Castlecrag NSW 2068

To book go to: https://www.trybooking.com/CAYGU

 

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Class 6 Skills and Spirit in Sport

Class 6 Skills and Spirit in Sport

01 Sep 2022

Sporty and keen students in Class 6 are currently exploring exciting new games in a unit that introduces new sports and gear to them to extend their understanding of sport and movement.

They started with Frisbee and learned about the game of ultimate Frisbee. Then they explored Sofcrosse, a modified version of a popular game in North America. It is based on an ancient game invented by native American Indians. The word Lacrosse originally meant ‘game played with a stick and ball’ in an Indian language.

While we played a modified version with slightly different stick and no googles, it required new skills in handling the stick for catching and throwing and handling the ball in the air and on the ground. First the students gathered around a laptop to watch a little clip of the game to get an idea of how quick and skillful it can be played. The stick with the basket on the end (the crosse) to catch a ball which is then passed to team mates down the field before thrown into the goal.

The class soon realised how tricky it is to properly catch and throw the ball on to a team member and how much measured force is needed to not throw the ball too high or far. As is the spirit in this class, they went for it with enthusiasm and embraced the new game and way to move across the field. In partner and group exercises they soon got better and surprised themselves at times how well they had learned to play the game!

Next in this unit is a quick introduction to AFL, then we will explore Vortex related games and wrap up the unit of exciting new games with activities using skater boards and how to do this in a team aspect with and without balls. Student active input is strongly encouraged to creatively play with both gear and with rules to adjust and adapt game and movement ideas that may be novel and to develop and try out student ideas in a real sports context.

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Sum Fun in Class 2!

Sum Fun in Class 2!

01 Sep 2022

Class 2 have been learning place value and breaking down numbers for addition and multiplication with Class Teacher Prue Ritchie They have been learning that there are many ways to write numbers, and they have explored the expansion of larger numbers to make them simpler to add and multiply. With characters Tibo Times and Pierre Plus to help them, they have indeed being having a lot of fun with sums!

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Painting and Drawing in Class 1 and 2

Painting and Drawing in Class 1 and 2

01 Sep 2022

This week the children have created the most colourful drawings and painting in painting and drawing classes. Class 1 have drawn mountains and oceans with Class Teacher Jamie Loftus, whose beautiful chalkboard is in this edition of the newsletter. Class 2 focused on the intricate beautify of the wattles which flower on and around our campus at this time of year. Class teacher Prue Ritchie commented that each drawing is as individual as the children in the class! Both classes used the wet-on-wet painting that produces these beautiful images - Class 1 painting a beautiful sunrise and Class 2 deep green trees.

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Class 6 Geometry and the Physics of Sound

Class 6 Geometry and the Physics of Sound

01 Sep 2022

Class 6 parents were able to come to the classroom for parent-teacher night and saw the beautiful workbooks from recent Main Lessons "The Physics of Sound" and Geometry. Also on display were stunning geometric patterns created from their geometric designs, each individual and different. Class Teacher Katherine Arconati demonstrated how the Chladni Plate creates sand geometric shapes that is vibrated by the musical bow. Parents viewed recent artworks from their Astronomy Main Lesson as well as a felted star-sign constellation wall hanging made as a gift for the teacher by one student. It was wonderful to meet back on campus and experience some of the rich classroom learning that Glenaeon students enjoy each day.

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Parent Craft is back on campus

Parent Craft is back on campus

01 Sep 2022

Come and join Parent Craft - it's back on campus. Parents met this week and made the most beautiful heart necklaces, led by parent Bodhi Sherrot. There was also an embroidery workshop held with Handwork Teacher Elizabeth Ellean, and there are several more workshops and meet-ups still this term. Thanks to Alex and the wonderful parent Craft Volunteers for creating such inviting and enjoyable groups and making beautiful things for the students and the fair.

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Sandra’s weekly visit to the Kindergarten

Sandra’s weekly visit to the Kindergarten

18 Aug 2022

Each morning in Little Kindy when we start the day we sing:

"Rinka, rinka rosie ray, what day is it today?"

On Tuesday the children recall it is Porridge Day, Painting Day and yes of course it’s SANDRA DAY. Yes, this is the day that Sandra comes to visit Little Kindy on her way to the garden. We must remember to save a bowl of porridge for her.  We all look forward to Sandra joining us at our table. After we finish our porridge the children are keen to join Sandra and her helper Gucchi in the garden where they work each week with the children of all three Kindergartens. 

Last week Sandra brought a special healing mixture to paste on the trees and plants that had been pruned or had broken branches. This wonderfully tactile, cooling slurry (Sandra is the keeper of this special recipe) was lovingly and carefully spread over the cuts and wounds of our beloved trees as the children earnestly sang the tree pasting song: 

Healing healing medicine for our beautiful trees
Healing healing has begun
Soon our trees will be big and strong

Even the most rumbunctious and active kindergarten players were drawn into the calming qualities of the song as they participated in the healing and cooling magic of the tree pasting ritual. Sandra’s tree paste is not only transforming our trees but also our children!

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Class 2 making Seasonal Wall Hanging

Class 2 making Seasonal Wall Hanging

18 Aug 2022

With the Glenaeon Family Fair coming up in November, many class groups have begun to work on a piece of their own handwork and art for the 'Silent Auction' - these will be actioned silently as the day progresses, with the lucky winner taking home an artwork. This collection of hand-made work by the students from Kindergarten to high school is simply stunning and a wonderful reflection of the skills and beauty they develop over years in art, design and technology and handwork. Class 2 has begun making a 'Seasonal Wall Hanging' - and are busy long-stitching small panels of seasonal inspirations. They will create an image that reminds them of each season which will be carefully brought together into four beautiful hanging pieces. Thanks to the wonderful parents and teachers for assisting these projects to come to fruition - they are always a focus and favourite destination at the Fair! Watch this space and be sure to visit the Silent Auction room at our Fair to see and bid on these clever student creations.

 

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Class 1 and the wonder of numbers

Class 1 and the wonder of numbers

18 Aug 2022

Class 1 has just started their Maths Main Lesson ‘The Four Operations’ with Class teacher Jamie Loftus. Expanding on the work they began last term. The story continues with the same characters Mighty Minus, Adding Adam, Spider Divider, Many Times Multiply and Kyser the Equalizer. As the story continues, we will work more intensely with the operations through practice and learning some new strategies in mathematics. Working with algorithms to develop their math skills is an ongoing part of this lesson. 

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Animals and Us

Animals and Us

18 Aug 2022

This Blackboard Beauty was created by Class 4 Teacher Lucy Armstrong for the Animals Main Lesson.

 

 

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Class 4 visit the Zoo for Animals Main Lesson

Class 4 visit the Zoo for Animals Main Lesson

18 Aug 2022

Recently Class 4 Teacher Lucy Armstrong took her students on a visit to Taronga Zoo as part part of their Animals Main Lesson.  The class saw all types of different animals from tigers, giraffes, elephants, meerkats and saw a magnificent peacock with feathers on full display!

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Learning Enrichment team grows

Learning Enrichment team grows

04 Aug 2022

Here at Glenaeon, we strive to ensure each individual student is met, recognised and best supported to reach their full learning potential. Over the past year our Head of Learning Enrichment Angela Sutton has been rebuilding and growing the Learning Enrichment team. Angela commenced in 2021 as part of our commitment to enhance our support for students with learning needs, and to communicate to parents all the work that is being done. There have been a number of staff changes and now with the most recent appointment, it is a pleasure to re-introduce the team to the community. But just as importantly as rebuilding, Angela has been rebranding. Supporting students with both learning needs and students that require extension throughout the school, her team is enriching their learning and providing great support.

Angela Sutton, Head of Learning Enrichment K-12 & Teacher, is a highly knowledgeable and enthusiastic leader of the team. She has extensive experience teaching and programming for all ages of students and she capably takes into consideration the specific learning and welfare needs of all in her care.  She is capably supported by:

  • Shancel Leacy, Learning Enrichment Assistant has been in the team since 2021, and Bachelor of Arts (Hons) Music from Bath University (UK) and Cert 3 in Early Childhood Education and Care
  • Ellana McAllister, who joined Glenaeon in February this year as a Learning Enrichment Assistant. She was previously at Chrysalis Steiner School as a Learning Aide and before that at St Edmunds College Wahroonga. Ellana has a Bachelor of Arts in Contemporary Music and Certificate IV in Education Support.
  • Emma Harrison started with Glenaeon in May this year as a Learning Enrichment Assistant. She is currently studying a Bachelor of Education, and recently completed an Advanced Diploma in Steiner Education at the Melbourne Rudolf Steiner Seminar
  • Monique Anderson works as a Learning Enrichment Assistant and is also Class 2 Teacher Assistant: Monique trained at the Melbourne Rudolf Steiner Seminar and is a qualified teacher
  • Olivia Jeffrey, Learning Enrichment Assistant (currently on mat leave)

 

Between them, this team covers K-Year 12 Glenaeon students whether supporting or extending the talents of gifted students. As always if you wish to discuss your child’s learning, please speak with your child’s Class Teacher or Guardian/Mentor in the first instance.  If required, your child’s teacher will put in a referral for your child to Learning Enrichment.

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Grassroots Eco Store - Step over the rainbow!

Grassroots Eco Store - Step over the rainbow!

04 Aug 2022

The shop is brimming with even more rainbows after a delivery of gorgeous hand-made wooden rainbow spinning tops, rainbow skipping ropes, wooden puzzles, rainbow stacking toys and the full rainbow of wool yarn, modelling beeswax, crayons and felt fabric colours to inspire colourful creative projects.

If you have visited the shop and stepped on our rainbow felt mat at the entrance (or jumped over it like many people like to do), we now have these in stock so that you can step over the rainbow at home too!

Pop in-store to enjoy the colourful display.

Term 3, 2022  Opening Hours:

Tuesday: 8:30am—12pm & 2pm—3:45pm
Wednesday: 8:30am—12:30pm
Thursday: 8:30am—12pm & 2pm—3:45pm
Friday: 8:30am—12pm & 2pm—3:45pm

Shop online anytime: grassrootsecostore.com.au

Thank you for shopping locally. A portion of every sale goes to support Glenaeon.

Follow us on Instagram @grassroots_ecostore and be the first to find out about our new products and the stories behind them.

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Class 2 develop drawing skills

Class 2 develop drawing skills

04 Aug 2022

Class 2 have been developing their drawing skills with Class Teacher Prue Ritchie. Taking an image from their Main lesson story, she works with form, shading and gestures to help the children develop their artistic and expressive skills on paper. The children work with crayon and pencil to create beautiful images that are displayed in their classroom. The display board in the classroom is an ever-changing wall of colour and inspiration for all.

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Class 1 make knitting needles

Class 1 make knitting needles

04 Aug 2022

Class 1 are busy sanding, oiling and finding gumnuts for their knitting needles, which they will use for their upcoming knitting lessons with Handcraft teacher Elizabeth Ellean. There is much excitement as they go and search under the perfect tree for the gumnuts for the ends!

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Glenaeon in the News

Glenaeon in the News

21 Jul 2022

Last week, the SMH ran a news article about our incoming Head of School Diana Drummond. You can read the article here: https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/why-elite-private-girls-schools-leader-has-switched-to-alternative-co-ed-20220705-p5az51.html 

In preparation for the article, at the end of last term, a Walkley-award winning photographer Steven Siewert visited our campus to shoot our incoming Head of School Diana Drummond with some of our Primary and High School students. The students worked in front and behind the camera, assisting with lighting, taking art direction and making sure we created a great picture for publication in The Sydney Morning Herald.  Our thanks goes out to the Class 6 students and Year 12 students who participated and represented our school. Here are some behind the scenes happy snaps taken by our Marketing Communications Manager.

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Grassroots Eco Store - Plastic Free July

Grassroots Eco Store - Plastic Free July

21 Jul 2022

If you’re looking for ideas to reduce your plastic consumption, we have lots of convenient and sustainable products in-store to help you on your way to plastic-free living.

The lunchbox is a great place to start with a variety of sustainable, stainless steel Food Containers, Insulated Food Flasks, Drink Bottles and Travel Cutlery which also make packing lunches and cleaning a breeze.

Some of our favourite plastic-free alternatives are our new Stainless Steel Pegs which are not only more durable and long-lasting than plastic pegs, they do a much better job of holding your washing on the line. Our fabric Dish Covers look great covering your food, and can be popped in the washing machine to use again and again. And our beautiful Ceramic Travel Cups make it easy to ditch single-use coffee cups and are much more enjoyable to drink from too!

Pop in-store for more ideas along with all the back-to-school essentials!

Term 3, 2022  Opening Hours:

Tuesday: 8:30am—12pm & 2pm—3:45pm
Wednesday: 8:30am—12:30pm
Thursday: 8:30am—12pm & 2pm—3:45pm
Friday: 8:30am—12pm & 2pm—3:45pm

Shop online anytime: grassrootsecostore.com.au

Thank you for shopping locally. A portion of every sale goes to support Glenaeon.

Follow us on Instagram @grassroots_ecostore and be the first to find out about our new products and the stories behind them.

Read more

Class 1 and the wonder of numbers

Class 1 and the wonder of numbers

21 Jul 2022

Class 1 have been learning their numbers up to 100 with Class teacher Jamie Loftus. They created a beautiful number square and have been busy looking for all the patterns that the numbers make. It is remarkable how many ways they can 'read' the table and explore the patters which ultimately represent the times tables and the basis for geometry. What an engaging and rewarding way for the children to discover the wonder of numbers!

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Class 1 make counting mats for Maths

Class 1 make counting mats for Maths

21 Jul 2022

Class 1 had a wonderful wet felting hand work class with teacher Elizabeth Ellean. They learnt about the beauty and softness of wool and placed their fleece in patterns and pictures. With warm soapy water they roll it in the bamboo mat and felt the colours together. These will become beautiful counting mats as they use glass gems to count and do their maths! Even teacher Jamie Loftus made himself one too!

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Class 2's garden sprouts

Class 2's garden sprouts

21 Jul 2022

Class 2 were excited to come back and look at the sprouting garlic and carrots that they planted before the holidays. With gardening teacher Sandra Frain, they observed the beautiful bulbs starting to flower and began digging with earnest in the new garden bed. The light rain has been wonderful for the earth. They sprinkled a rich mineral fertiliser made from weeds gathered in the previous term.

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Kindergarten Mandarins and Winter fires

Kindergarten Mandarins and Winter fires

24 Jun 2022

Kindergarten children have been busy doing all sorts of things this term in the Garden, as well of course as playing. Earlier in the term we harvested the mandarins. This year's crop was amazing and the children were able to gift many to all the wonderful people who help us at school: Sandra, Guchi, Lindsay and Melony. We gave a basket full to Class 1 and 2 to enjoy as well.
Now that King Winter is here and the days are cold, we have been enjoying cooking our bread on a fire. The children have been busy collecting kindling and sawing wood. Each bread day we prepare our fire in the morning, so it is all ready for us to enjoy later in the day and bread cooked by the children on the fire tastes so delicious.  

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Class 1 & 2 Castlecrag Winter Spiral

Class 1 & 2 Castlecrag Winter Spiral

24 Jun 2022

It is time for our Castlecrag Winter Festivals which includes the Class 1 & 2 Winter Spiral– a time of inward reflection and light in the darkness of Winter. We celebrate this by walking a beautiful spiral, lighting a candle in the centre and bringing this inner light forth as we journey outwards, placing the light amongst others in an ever-growing and glowing form. It is magical, reverent and exquisite. The actual Winter Solstice – the longest night and shortest day fell on June 21st. The significance of the spiral is finding light in the darkness. In the centre of the foliage spiral is a lit candle. The room is darkened and each child takes a turn to walk the spiral holding an unlit candle resting in an apple. As they reach the centre, they light their candle and retrace their steps out of the spiral. The child brings forth the light as they walk outward and chooses a place along the spiral to set down their own candle. As they each have a turn, more and more lit candles grace the spiral, and the room becomes increasingly filled with shining lights. The mood is quiet and still, apart from singing and gentle music. Music and songs included lyre, recorder, piano, glockenspiel and the beautiful winter songs of the children. Thank you to our lovely parent helpers who prepared the spiral and candles for the children.

"Through the darkness we shall go
With our candles all aglow
Heart grows warm and 
Way grows bright
As we journey through the night"

 

 

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Making Japanese lanterns

Making Japanese lanterns

24 Jun 2022

Class 1 made lanterns with Japanese teacher Junko Nicholas. Using paper mâché they formed little bowls, which dried and were covered with mosaic style coloured paper. The little lanterns were lovely and with shine brightly over winter!

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Class 2 making knitting needles

Class 2 making knitting needles

24 Jun 2022

Class 2 have begun sanding and making their own knitting needles. Taking a dowel rod, they sand it smooth, sharpen the end and go to collect 2 small gum nuts from a special tree in the playground. They glue these onto the end and then polish them with lanolin. The needles are lovely and will be used for their upcoming knitting projects! Watch this space!

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Class 5 Ancient Egypt

Class 5 Ancient Egypt

24 Jun 2022

Class 5 has been presenting their Ancient Egyptian Research Projects. 

The study of ancient Egypt is one of the ancient civilisations  studied  in Class 5, coming after China, India, Persia and Mesopotamia. 

Egyptian civilisation is filled with so much mystery and has provided  inspiration for the children’s own investigations including:  Pharaohs, Pyramids, The Sphinx, Mummification, Tombs,  Gods and Goddesses, Clothing, Jewellery, Warfare and Daily Life. 

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Class 6's Winter Wonderland

Class 6's Winter Wonderland

23 Jun 2022

Class 6 spent weeks preparing and planning and came to Castlecrag Campus to run a 'Winter Wonderland' afternoon for the younger classes. It was indeed a wonderful time! They ran games for the children - piggy back pony rides, 'Frozen Floor' obstacle course, "Musical Icebergs", Lantern making, Damper Making, Snowball Races (aka egg and spoon race) and story telling. Class 6 were so beautiful in serving the younger children, who stayed for soup, chai and baked goods right until it was dark. By the fire they heard a story and went home filled with the fun and wintery activities. Class 6 also recycled books and pre-loved toys for the children to take home. Thank you to Class teacher Katherine Arconati for this gift to the younger children!

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Class 4 explore the History of Writing

Class 4 explore the History of Writing

23 Jun 2022

Class 4 are working through their History of Writing Main Lesson.

Titled “Stone, Clay, Pen and Ink” students are exploring the world of history looking at writing, an activity that they do each and every day, and how it has come to us as a gift from our ancestors. Students have looked at the origins of writing as a sacred activity used for ritual purposes, and how this has gradually adapted to more practical purposes such as record-keeping. From the picture scripts of ancient Egypt and Sumer and the runes of the northern people of Europe Class 4 have immersed themselves by writing using stone, clay, pen and ink. 

Yesterday, Class 4 hand-made paper on which to write.

Class 4 discovered that paper can be made from a variety of fibres including rice which was popular in China.  Also, that papyrus was used by the ancient Egyptian people to make paper. In more recent times, wood pulp is used to make paper.

The children made paper from the bird of Paradise plant they had harvested and in the style as the Egyptians. By pressing the sinews and fibres that have been softened through boiling the plant stalks in soda ash the children experience the slowed down version of the paper making process.

Class 4 also enjoyed making paper from recycled matt board and paper blending it with water to make a paper porridge.  After squeezing the water from the sheets in a press, the children tried pressing the some of their paper sheets to a tree, brick walls, window glass and left flat on their painting boards. In a few days the papers will dry and will be used to for future projects.

The children really enjoyed immersing themselves in this topic and deep learning through this very practical and hands-on lesson.

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Marigold's Blackboard Beauty!

Marigold's Blackboard Beauty!

23 Jun 2022

 

Look at this beautiful blackboard drawing that Marigold our Art/Handwork assistant for Class 2, drew this week for the craft room at Castlecrag.
Thank you Marigold!

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Class 5/6 String Ensemble performs at the Northern Beaches Instrumental Festival

Class 5/6 String Ensemble performs at the Northern Beaches Instrumental Festival

10 Jun 2022

The Class 5/6 String Ensemble played for the first time at the Northern Beaches Instrumental Festival on Sunday June 5th. With half of their ensemble unwell and away, they played valiantly and beautifully under the direction of gifted teacher and musician Anna Murkawa, who stood in at late notice for conductor Rosy Johnston who was also unwell. They played three pieces - Fiesta, Mighty Molo and Kingston Calypso. The aim of the Festival is to provide a formal, non-competitive performance opportunity for ensembles that is a positive and encouraging experience. Six bands performed in this event and the students enjoyed the  the opportunity to listen to other and learn from the feedback given by the concert adjudicator. Well done Class 5 & 6 String ensemble members! The concert was held at a school in Mona Vale. The entire festival is co-hosted by the Northern Beaches Symphonic Wind Ensemble, the Northern Beaches Orchestra, the Northern Beaches Symphonic Youth Band, and the Northern Beaches Concert Band. All proceeds from the festival go back into community music. Thank you to all musicians and families who braved the chilly Sunday morning to perform! See: www.nbswe.org.au/festival.htm

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Parent Craft workshops return - dyeing coloured felt

Parent Craft workshops return - dyeing coloured felt

10 Jun 2022

After a long-anticipated return following two years of COVID-19 restrictions, Parent Craft workshops are back! This week parents came together and learned to dye felt using vibrating dyes with Glenaeon Handwork teacher Elizabeth Ellean. It was sunny winter day and the dye pots were bubbling as parents mixed and blended colours to form lovely pieces of felt that will be used for many craft projects! The rolls of coloured felt were then steamed in a large basket before being laid out in the sun to dry. Thanks to to all parents who came and craft co-ordinators, especially Alex Bell for hosting such a wonderful event. Coming up soon we will have Wet Felting, Needle Felting and Crocheting, so watch out for those announcements.

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Composting Fun

Composting Fun

10 Jun 2022

Last weekend, we had a Parent Education event where families gathered in the biodynamic garden to learn about compost making and looking after our gardens in winter.  Gardening teachers Sandra and Kathy shared their knowledge with parents and children as part of a blissful morning in the sunny garden.

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Class 6 experience the Warrumbungles

Class 6 experience the Warrumbungles

10 Jun 2022

Outdoor Education trips are quite often life changing events where friendships are cemented and personal growth highly evident upon return from time away from the ordinary daily life routines and influences. Here are some snaps of the recent trip that our lucky Class 6 students got to experience in the Warrumbungles 550km north west of Sydney.  Thanks to Class 6 Teacher Katherine Arconati for these photos.

"The Class 6 campers left at the crack of dawn, meeting at 5:45am for a 6am departure. Whilst parents headed to the local café for a 6am wake-up, Class 6 embarked on an Outdoor Education adventure, bringing their current Main Lessons to life - History (Australian Poineers, the Gold Rush and First Nations), Geography and Science (Geology and Astronomy).

The Glenaeon Outdoor Education team and Class 6 teacher Katherine Arconati took the students across the Blue Mountains, stopping for lunch at Wentworth Falls and then on to Bathurst, where they undertook the Macquarie Tour and took part in the ‘Life on the Goldfields’ program, including erecting mud brick and earth buildings, bush cooking and experiencing life in an indigenous wattle and daub hut. They explored the life in the goldfields, panned for gold dust and saw the steam engines of the time.  The visit to the Mineral Museum (Somerville Collection), was a highlight before heading out to the Warrumbungles for 3 days of hiking (including the Grand High Tops Walk), abseiling, nightly fires and camping. The intrepid adventurers returned via the Gulgong Pioneer Museum and were met at the end of the week by parents and siblings eager to hear of their adventures. Many thanks to the greater Glenaeon Outdoor Education team, including Scott Williams and Kristen Gardner and teacher Katherine Arconati."

 

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Tour our beautiful campuses - BOOK NOW

Tour our beautiful campuses - BOOK NOW

09 Jun 2022

We have several tour and webinar events coming up:


9:30 - 10:30am June 16 Middle Cove Campus Visit (Class 3 - Year 12) BOOK HERE
9:30 - 10:30am June 23 Castlecrag Campus Visit (Little Kindergarten - Class 2) BOOK HERE

Below is a little window into our recent Castlecrag Campus Tour, with workbook samples, craft and some of the natural school resources student use in their learning. Castlecrag is a beautiful campus, and we love to showcase it on school tours. 

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Winter…the Simpler, Softer World Within

Winter…the Simpler, Softer World Within

09 Jun 2022

Winter turns us inward. Hasn’t the sudden deep freeze over the past few days brought a different mood? We stay inside to keep warm, we sit by the fire if we have one, and we brace ourselves to face the chill.

Michael Leunig captures the different moods of winter mood so perfectly that there is not much to add. We can touch both the “simpler, softer world within”, as well as the little things of beauty that we find outside us.

Our MidWinter festivals are fast approaching:

  • Middle Cove students: Tuesday and Wednesday June 21 and 22 for Class 3 to Year 12
  • Middle Cove Community for parents and friends: Wednesday June 22, 6.30 pm
  • Castlecrag:  Classes 1 and 2: Wednesday June 22
  • Castlecrag: Kindergarten Tuesday June 29
  • Preschool: Wednesday June 22

For parents new to Glenaeon, the MidWinter spiral walk can be a revelation of how to put the MidWinter mood into a tangible form. For both child and adult, the simple ritual of walking the spiral and lighting the candle are an expression of this turning inward as we walk the spiral and turn into the central light.

Winter and darkness go together. Our festival celebrates the Light.

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Class 1 and 2 craft - counting bags and Etoile's

Class 1 and 2 craft - counting bags and Etoile's

09 Jun 2022

Classes 1 & 2 have been busy making things they will use throughout their school week and year. Class 1 have been sewing counting bags to hold their counters for use in Mathematics and problem solving. Class 2 are sewing a felt e'toile to hold their very own needles, crochet hooks and scissors. Both projects involve them sewing their instils onto the fabric in embroidery cotton. 

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Garden trolley and cubbies for Class 1 & 2

Garden trolley and cubbies for Class 1 & 2

09 Jun 2022

Gardening teacher Sandra Frain handed over the all-important task of assembling the new garden cart to the Class 2 children with the guidance of our parent volunteers. Over two lessons they carefully put all the bolts and pieces together and finally... the wheels! What a joy it is! Not only does it carry heavy soil and compost, but it's also a wonderful people trolley and cart! Thank you Sandra and Class 2! Gardening children also helped to clear the bushes out the front of Class 1 for more planting beds, the trimmings of which became the next fantastic cubbies!

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Gardening one seed at a time

Gardening one seed at a time

09 Jun 2022

The weather has been perfect for early winter planting and gardening teacher Sandra Frain with helper Guchi work alongside the children each week. They may have even planted some more secret bulbs around the place! We have a huge dahlia flower - a Tree Dahlia -  that is as tall as our building and blooming with many blossoms on show! Little hands plants seeds and seedlings, pat the soil and water them too. We wait for the winter sun to warm them and come Spring, we will see what has grown! Thanks to Guchi for these photographs.

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Extreme Gardening Gold

Extreme Gardening Gold

06 Apr 2022

In our gardening lessons this term, Class 6 has been learning about the effects extreme and excessive weather has on plants and the environment.  A very relevant topic given our heavy rains of late.  Students observed how all this rain has moved around and through our garden area and the resulting damage. The erosion of soil and the movement of debris was in clear evidence near the hall and Class 6 went into action.  They worked with materials on hand to slow and redirect the water flowing, as well as prevent more debris from moving downhill.  Great effort Class 6!

Class 6 also took on the task of building biodynamic compost heaps from materials we have received during Term 1.  Six large holding bins full of food scraps from our Gentle Café and K-2 Campus, cardboard and paper collected from classrooms, chicken straw from our chicken coop, cow manure, rock minerals and grass clipping were all used to make two large compost heaps.  We look forward to harvesting “gardeners’ gold” at the end of Term 2.

The Garden team welcomes any autumn leaves and or animal manures (cow, horse, sheep, alpaca) you may collect during the school holidays. Bags and containers can be left at the Biodynamic Garden at Middle Cove campus. Please do NOT drop off at our Castlecrag campus. Contact Kathy or Sandra with any queries via email  K.Thangathurai@glenaeon.nsw.edu.au or S.Frain@glenaeon.nsw.edu.au

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Gentle Hands, Kind Words

Gentle Hands, Kind Words

06 Apr 2022

In Term 1 the primary faculty reviewed and clarified our message around bullying and positive behaviour.  As part of this review, we identified our new motto as:  Gentle Hands, Kind Words. 

Primary classes meet regularly, in morning circle or in the afternoon on a weekly basis, to discuss developmental, social and classroom issues as they arise.  Each class enjoyed discussions, role play sessions or stories about bullying – what it is and what action to take.

Students were also invited to draw a poster that illustrates what Gentle Hands, Kind Words means to them.  See images for illustrations of this work.

To support healthy, harmonious, inclusive play we have also begun two initiatives:

  • Lunch Club will occur in the junior library on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays where various games will be on offer for those children who are seeking an alternative from outside play.  This has already been very popular!
  • From Term 2, on Mondays, the round oval will be open to Classes 3-6 for ball free, inclusive games such as bullrush, non-stop tip and other big play that will allow the classes to interact and build our primary school community. 

Classes 3 and 6 have built a beautiful friendship and the Class 6 children even requested a buddy system.  We will be looking at activities that will allow the Class 6 children to mentor and play with their Class 3 friends next term.

We also look forward to resuming our Primary School assemblies from Term 2 to further explore our sense of community and to consider other themes.

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School Holiday Program from OOSH

School Holiday Program from OOSH

06 Apr 2022

We look forward to welcoming children to our upcoming holiday care program at Glenaeon.

We have a lovely mixture of activities for the season that are suitable for all ages.
Please make your bookings ASAP and pass on to friends and family with children who attend other schools.
We CAN accept the BASC vouchers for holiday care - but please bear with us as we navigate how to reconcile these with our Hubworks invoicing system.
Download the flyer to view the program and bookings can be made through our website at http://www.glenaeonoosh.com.au/holiday-care-bookings.html

Email glenaeonoosh@gmail.com with any inquiries.

We are continuing to observe all government health recommendations at this time and ask that parents come in to the campus for drop-off and collections to make contact with staff but NOT into our room. Thank you. We look forward to wonderful times with the children.

 

 Download the Holiday Care flyer

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Class 5 reconnect with community Indian Festival

Class 5 reconnect with community Indian Festival

06 Apr 2022

Class 5 Parents reconnected on campus as Class 5 students celebrated their recent Main Lesson topic with an Indian Festival. Students had dressed in traditional Indian dress, incense filled the air, woven fabrics and elephant ornaments decorated the veranda outside Class 5. The students sang, chanted, played instruments and danced.

The crows and the kookaburras observed from the nearby gums.

The sun shone bright as members of the Hari Krishna Temple “ISKCON” group performed Kirtan meditation. The guests also shared their knowledge, mantras, song, music, and food which was shared as a feast and a Class 5 community celebration.

The Festival was a culmination of the ancient Indian mythology main lesson called, “The Sacred Songs of India”. Whilst immersing the class in the colourful stories from the Vedic epic “The Mahabharata”, the children are introduced to the three main gods; Brahma the Creator, Vishnu the Protector and Shiva the Destroyer. However, the stories are an interweaving of gods and humans.  The gods appear in human form and humans are able to perceive and converse with the gods. There is a repeated theme of personal hardship and sacrifice, made in order to attain higher realms. Renunciation of power, wealth, comforts, and pleasure, portend a path to enlightenment.

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Glenaeon students shine at Australian MTB Interschools 2022

Glenaeon students shine at Australian MTB Interschools 2022

06 Apr 2022

From March 23 – 27, over 1,000 Australian school children descended on Thredbo to compete in the 2022 Australian Mountain Biking Interschools Championships. 

Glenaeon’s inaugural MTB team of 10 children from Class 5 to Year 10, was comprised of four girls and six boys who competed in a combination of events across the four days including an All-Mountain race, a Flow race, a downhill race and a X-Country event. 

The Glenaeon MTB team finished an outstanding 7th from 204 schools, and throughout the event embodied true sporting spirit both on and off-trail; not just supporting their own team mates, but creating a chorus of Glenaeon voices cheering on all the courageous riders across the mountain.

In contrast to the overall nine per cent female representation on mountain, girls made up a fabulous 40 per cent of Glenaeon’s team. Anna (Year 10) demonstrated superb riding at her debut championships, taking individual bronze in both the Flow Motion and the Cross Country, whilst younger sister Dora (Class 6) took individual bronze in the Year 5/6 Cross Country.  

As a Class 5/6 team, Maaike, Dora and Skye earned three separate visits to the podium, placing second in both the All-Mountain Assault, the Flow Motion, and the Cross Country.

Endre, Finn and Sammy (Year 8) were strong contenders in an age group that had over 350 participants, and placed 17th as a team for their age division.  Archie and Anton (Year 9) also distinguished themselves in the hotly-contested Year 9/10 division and finished their carnival with exceptional rides in the black diamond ‘Cannonball’ downhill race.

The Glenaeon riders and support crew were thrilled with the debut experience and enjoyed a wonderful camaraderie across the entire team, taking the challenging course and high-energy environment in their stride, and displaying inspirational courage and care for their team mates and the other riders throughout.  Watch a short video of their weekHERE ... enjoy!

If you’re a keen mountain biker and would like to join the team in 2023 you can email Zoltan glozikz@gmail.com 

A special thank you to parents Zoltan Glozik, Simon Clarke, Dawn Piebenga and George Pethard for the behind-the-scenes work getting the children on-mountain and so well supported.

 

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Kindergartens Celebrate Harvest

Kindergartens Celebrate Harvest

06 Apr 2022

Kindergarten celebrated their harvest time with parents invited to join their beautiful outdoor Harvest Festival in the playground. The children sang as they filled the baskets with pumpkins, potatoes, carrots and onions before sharing songs about Farmer Cedric's farm, harvest and apple picking. It was wonderful to invite the parents on campus, who stayed to enjoy a picnic following the festival. The circle songs have been practised in the Kindergarten morning circle times and the children enjoyed sharing these outdoors with their families.

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Class 2 create beautiful pencil cases

Class 2 create beautiful pencil cases

06 Apr 2022

Class 2 have spent this term creating stunning pencil cases that they will use throughout Primary School. Learning long stitch with Handwork teacher Elizabeth Ellean, they design one side as formed shapes - mountains, valleys, hills, castles, brides and more. This early introduction to geometry in a pictorial manner - the children can invent any shape they like that fit together using long stitch. The other side is a freeform image they create and the designs are just beautiful - from pets to sport, rainbows, animals and places. Well done Class 2!

 

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Kindergartens go Apple Picking with Farmer Cedric

Kindergartens go Apple Picking with Farmer Cedric

06 Apr 2022

"Let's leave the city and leave the town
For we're off to visit Cedric's farm
Along the highway, busy and fast
Far over the mountain.. Phew, we're there at last.
At Cedric's Farm there's lots to see
There's apples, blueberries and a big oak tree
There's oranges, pears and pumpkins too
It's Harvest time and there's lots to do!"

The Kindergartens came together to go apple picking at Bilpin Springs Orchard in the Blue Mountains recently. Meeting under the Old Oak Tree, they were taken around the orchard by Farmer Cedric, who showed them all the varieties and bounty of his farm - Golden Delicious, Gala Fuji, Granny Smith and more. Cedric is a special person to Glenaeon, as he was formerly a high school teacher at our school, before becoming a farmer and living at Bilpin. We love to visit Cedric and he always enjoys taking the children on a tractor ride after apple picking if the weather is good! The families all gathered for the picnic and enjoyed the day out together very much.

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Harvest Preparation and Produce

Harvest Preparation and Produce

06 Apr 2022

The Castlecrag Reception became a field of Harvest produce, kindly donated by families for the Harvest Festival and later donated to OzHarvest to be made into meals for those that don't have so much. Our Mother Earth looked over the collection as it grew, and grew, and grew! It was made into the stunning Michaelmas Festival display by parent volunteers and later carried in 12 heavy crates to the OzHarvest truck. Phil and Wendy explained to the children where the produce goes and how it gets distributed to people and families in need. Thank you to our generous families and Oz Harvest.

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Class 1 Letter Party

Class 1 Letter Party

06 Apr 2022

Class 1 went on a Treasure Hunt with Class Teacher Jamie Loftus, finding all the letters they have been learning throughout the playground and grounds. The last letters led them to the school hall, where, as a surprise, parents had gathered and set up a Letter Party! The children were delighted to discover that a plate of food from each letter was prepared - T for tomato, J for Jam sandwiches, R for rockmelon, U for upside down cake and X for Hot cross buns! They delighted in sharing this picnic with parents amongst the tables decorated with letter food! Thank you parents and Jamie for this wonderful event.

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Beware the Dragon

Beware the Dragon

06 Apr 2022

When a fiery dragon scorches their crops and threatens their lives, a group of humble villagers appeal to their wise king for assistance. 

They are eventually saved by the mighty St Michael, who slays the dragon with his powerful sword! This is the story played out annually at our Primary Harvest Festival – through song, verse and movement. The children shudder at the fearful dragon, sing of St Michael’s strength and at the end, enjoy the bounty of the harvest saved - corn on the cob and delicious bread rolls!

As with so many things in our curriculum, this dragon is not just a dragon! At the commencement of the festival, our Faculty Co-ordinator and Class 6 teacher Katherine Arconati encouraged the children to think of the dragon as a symbol of life’s difficult moments – perhaps a really hard math problem or an unkind word from a friend. The slaying of the dragon then becomes a deeply held image to which the children can refer in challenging times. It’s a beautiful example of how the Steiner Curriculum builds imaginative pictures that become a source of wisdom and nourishment for children as they grow. 

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Grassroots Eco Store - Autumn Treasures Easter Treats

Grassroots Eco Store - Autumn Treasures Easter Treats

06 Apr 2022

 

The shop is filled with Autumn treasures, Easter craft materials and ideas for chocolate-free Easter treats!

We have some boxes of the popular Wooden Rainbow Eggs still available, some adorable handmade Baby Bunnies and a few very special Rabbits lovingly made by Ebba Bodame.

If you're headed off on a long car trip these holidays we have the antidote for backseat squabbles. Happy Car Games is a pack of 35 illustrated cards created by Waldorf author Lou Harvey-Zahra and will provide hours of car game fun for ages 2+.

You can also pick up a ready-made Rainbow Craft Pack, perfect to keep the kids entertained on holiday or get creative with colourful projects at home.

The shop will be closing for the school holidays from midday on Wednesday (6th April). However, the online store remains open during the holidays with free local delivery available.

Term 1, 2022  Opening Hours:
Tuesday: 8:30am—12pm & 2pm—3:45pm
Wednesday: 8:30am—12:30pm
Thursday: 8:30am—12pm & 2pm—3:45pm
Friday: 8:30am—12pm & 2pm—3:45pm

Shop online anytime: grassrootsecostore.com.au

Thank you for shopping locally. A portion of every sale goes to support Glenaeon.

Follow us on Instagram @grassroots_ecostore and be the first to find out about our new products and the stories behind them!

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Rolling, rolling bread rolls!

Rolling, rolling bread rolls!

06 Apr 2022

Class 2 prepared the Harvest food for the entire primary school - no mean feat as they mixed, kneaded and rolled their way to 180 bread rolls! Wow! Starting as early as 7am to get the bread dough mixed and rising, they spent the morning of the festival making and baking - three boxes of corn and bread rolls for all, which was happily even following the Michaelmas Festival. It was wonderful to be able to welcome back parent volunteers for this day. The recipe comes from the 'Kindy Bread' that many of the primary school children remember, so classes from Middle Cove especially enjoy this treat. Amazing work, Class 2! Thanks to Class 2 Assistant Olivia, our fabulous parent helpers, Melony and Clair Cisterne for helping to coordinate the morning.

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Easter in Little Kindy

Easter in Little Kindy

06 Apr 2022

Easter time was celebrated with some baking of hot cross buns in Little Kindergarten. The children formed the dough and crosses, carefully placing them on the trays for rising and baking. They heard of the Easter Hare that had visited the campus, and, following the straw trail, found a beautiful next fulled with colourful hand dyed eggs. What a surprise! Happy Easter! 

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Glenaeon Charter Bus Bookings Term 2 – NOW OPEN

Glenaeon Charter Bus Bookings Term 2 – NOW OPEN

17 Mar 2022

It’s time to make your booking on the Glenaeon charter bus for Term 2, 2022.   Please be aware that seats on these charter buses are limited.  While casual tickets are available to purchase, a casual ticket does not guarantee your child access to the bus if there isn’t a seat available.  In order to allow for adequate planning and capacity to be available for all students wishing to use the charter buses, please make your booking before the end of this term. 

Please complete bookings for Term 2 by Wednesday 27 April.

Please use the following link to make your booking for Term 2 or for further information about the Glenaeon charter bus routes:

https://glo.glenaeon.nsw.edu.au/homepage/1425

If you have any queries, please contact Glenaeon Administration via email adminteam@glenaeon.nsw.edu.au

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Crowns for Kindy made in Parent Craft

Crowns for Kindy made in Parent Craft

17 Mar 2022

Last year in a short time between lockdowns and restrictions, some enthusiastic Kindy and Class 1 parents came and began work on beautiful crowns for the Kindergarten children to play with. They received these with enormous thanks and joy from the Kindergarten children and teachers. Thank you to our crafters, and we look forward to Parent Craft starting again soon and parent volunteers contributing to our wonderful campus again. Some of these were made by complete beginner crafters, so please don't be shy in joining Parent Craft! You will be supported in learning enough to get you started.. and who knows what will grow from there! Information will be circulated soon.
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Ida Spider -  the mathematician in a magic web!

Ida Spider - the mathematician in a magic web!

17 Mar 2022

The children of Class 2 have been learning times tables with Ida Spider, the Magic Number Magician and Class teacher Monique Anderson. Every evening Ida Spider weaves into her web a new times table that, in turn, creates a beautiful pattern. Sometimes it is a star and sometimes it is simply a straight line. The children have been singing, walking, jumping, weaving and drawing their times tables. This all helps to imbue an abstract idea with feeling and movement, and an innate understanding that these tables all have very different qualities to one another. 

“Wherever there is number there is beauty” - Proclus

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Music to our ears - the return of recorder

Music to our ears - the return of recorder

17 Mar 2022

Class 1 & 2 have been playing recorder - a welcome sound after two years of restrictions to wind instruments. The merry sound of tunes and notes travels across the campus each morning and children enjoy learning through the bird names for each letter - Bluebird, Albatross and Galah.. Care is taken with these beautiful wooden recorders, as they are cleaned and packed away each time. 
 
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Class 1 learn capital letters

Class 1 learn capital letters

17 Mar 2022

Class 1 have been exploring the wonderful world of capital letters with Class teacher Jamie Loftus. They have journeyed through the vowels and consonants, whilst enjoying his stunning chalkboards and adventurous stories filled with characters, animals and lands. Their Main Lesson books are a kaleidoscope of colour, letters and sentences. They have also been modelling the letters out of beeswax, and there is a table in the classroom for all their colourful creations.

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Kindergarten garden surprise

Kindergarten garden surprise

17 Mar 2022

The Kindy garden had a surprise visitor recently - a beautiful tree snake. It must have heard our week's story on the winds: How the snake got its hiss. It stayed a long time and gave the children ample opportunity to watch; it was very still - "just like a statue" said one of the children. They also made beautiful beeswax snakes in the classroom, all sitting on a log.

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Class 3 Measure Up

Class 3 Measure Up

17 Mar 2022

Class 3 have been introduced to the concept of measurement through an examination of the history of linear measurement from the use of human limbs as measuring devices through to the standardisation of the Imperial system, and then into the precision and ease of the metric system.  It is an active main lesson with lots of opportunities to measure things in the classroom and school grounds.

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Harvest Festival for Primary School

Harvest Festival for Primary School

17 Mar 2022

On March 29th, Middle Cove-based primary students and their teachers will walk to Castlecrag campus for Glenaeon's Primary Harvest Festival. After the Festival, we will walk back to the Middle Cove campus and will enjoy a picnic at Willoughby Park on the way. Please provide a packed morning tea and lunch (no cafe orders on this date), and ensure your child has their hat, drink bottle and a rain coat. Please note that this is a student-only event.

Fruit and Vegetables for the Primary Harvest Festival display will be gratefully received in the week prior to the Festival please send your donations in with your primary children.

All food donations are given to OZ HARVEST who will distribute them to a range of charities supporting Sydney’s vulnerable people. If you would like more information about the important work done by Oz Harvest please visit http://www.ozharvest.org/what-we-do/

Some suggestions of offerings are as follows:

  • Apples
  • Carrots
  • All types of potatoes
  • Onions
  • Pumpkins & gourds
  • Pineapples
  • Corn still in the husk
  • Whole uncut melons

 

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Class 2 swap apples for beach cleanup

Class 2 swap apples for beach cleanup

17 Mar 2022

Class 2's plan to go apple picking was washed out by the rain and flooding roads, so they changed direction and headed up to Patonga Beach to join in the big beach cleanup taking place. Families met and helped drag larger items to the shore for the barge to collect, whilst others picked plastics, polystyrene and other rubbish out of the piles of wood and debris that covered the whole beach. It was a satisfying day organised by a school family that ended in a big picnic undercover as more rain arrived! The debris travelled in the floods down the Hawkesbury River, taking with it building materials, white goods and household contents. Every small piece counts, especially when we are saving it from getting out to the ocean. As one student accurately said "The fish mistake the small pieces of polystyrene for food, thinking it's good for them, but it's not". Thank you Class 2 students, siblings and families! Class 2 will go apple picking in Term 2 instead!

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Class 3 Eco-Dyeing

Class 3 Eco-Dyeing

03 Mar 2022

Class 3 children are sewing their very own library bag and have been learning how to eco-dye fabrics with handwork Teacher, Elizabeth Ellean.  In their first handwork lesson each student collected windfalls and some plant leaves on a walk around their new campus. The natural plant materials were used, to create beautiful colours and patterns on fabric by wrapping the bundles with plant materials, wrapping, immersing in liquid, then drying.

Each fabric is unique and special.  When it came time to finally unwrap the bundles, the children were very excited to see what they had created. The smell of eucalyptus and other flower and leaf scents permeated the classroom as the natural designs were revealed. Great work Class 3!

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Glorious gardens at Castlecrag

Glorious gardens at Castlecrag

03 Mar 2022

Gardening classes with Sandra have been filled with the abundance and excitement of growth, as the rain brings vitality and life to our many garden areas. Class 2 planted beans around the lemon tree that has 45 lemons on board and examined and nibbled the the sunflower seeds from our many golden plants. Class 1 examined the hugel, our living garden pile that is now growing pumpkins, rockmelons, paw and avocado trees, amaranth, sweet potatoes and more. Sandra taught Class 1 all about Funghi and the importance of the mushroom family, exploring the grounds for the natural beauties that pop up during rainy weather. 

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Celebrating birthdays in the Little Kindy

Celebrating birthdays in the Little Kindy

03 Mar 2022

In Little Kindy we have been celebrating some of the first birthdays for the year. As each child in the Little Kindy turns five their birthday is acknowledged with a special ritual and celebration.  As part of the preparation for this celebration the children help make a birthday book and bake a cake. On the day of the birthday a seasonal birthday table is prepared, flowers are picked, songs are sung and a birthday story is told. The birthday story tells of a little star child who looks down on earth and longs to be born. When the time is right for each child to be born on earth they receive their heavenly gifts from the stars, sun and moon and then travel across the rainbow bridge to earth where they are welcomed by their chosen family.  The children all look forward to each birthday being celebrated. The mood that is created is reverent and honours the unique individuality of each child. 

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Happy days at Castlecrag

Happy days at Castlecrag

03 Mar 2022

Despite the ongoing rain, children are enjoying the days - raincoats, gumboots and wet weather are synonymous with fun! There has been great dams built in the sandpit, skipping in the rain, umbrellas at arrival and warm herb teas with Sandra undercover during gardening lessons. A hungry, wet possum came out to eat in a small break from the rain and the children watched as she nibbled on the fresh new shoots.

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Kindy rains

Kindy rains

03 Mar 2022

Yes it's been raining a bit lately, but that never dampens the Kindy children's enthusiasm to get out into the garden and explore. The transformation created by all the rain is met with great excitement by the children. The sandpit has been transformed into a lake and there are little streams of water running every which way, so there's lots to see and lots of experiments, construction and investigations to be done.

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Thank you chicken carers

Thank you chicken carers

17 Feb 2022

A heartfelt thank you to all the families representative of our Playgroup, Primary School and High School communities for superb care of our flock of 12 plush chickens over the long summer holiday break. A special thank you to Glenaeon staff member Sally Davidson, and her husband Paul who have visited and cared for the chickens every weekend for many months. 

There was also adventure at the chicken coop with so many mouths to feed, new chickens being acclimatised to the Glenaeon flock, and a Tree Monitor invading the chicken house for a daily feed of eggs. 

The chickens are available during the school term for weekend care. Please contact Sandra for the garden team at s.frain@glenaeon.nsw.edu.au

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Glenaeon students form MTB team at Thredbo

Glenaeon students form MTB team at Thredbo

17 Feb 2022

A group of keen mountain biking enthusiasts from Glenaeon are forming a team to participate in the Australian MTB Interschools event taking place at Thredbo from March 23-27.  The event is open to students from Class 5 to Year 12.

The 2022 Australian MTB Interschools event gives school students the opportunity to experience the enthusiasm and energy of a rapidly growing sport in a competitive, educational and supportive atmosphere. The primary aim is to promote participation and evoke interest in competitive biking in the younger generation. The event involves mountain biking disciplines including Cross Country, Downhill, Flow, Pump Track and a new All-Mountain event. The group has the support of Glenaeon PDHPE teacher Jonas Stoebe and Outdoor Education teacher Scott Williams, and looks forward to bringing their Glenaeon spirit and skill to Thredbo!

At this stage we are aware of 10 riders who will be competing but would love to know about others who are already planning on going. We do plan to get team t-shirts printed so would need to know of others by the end of this week. We would like to encourage anyone from Glenaeon who is keen to join to connect with this group. Please get in touch with Simon Clarke (parent of Sammy – Year 8 and Jasper – Year 10) on 0406 537 848.

We wish all participants in this event, a wonderful time at Thredbo.

See https://www.thredbo.com.au/mtbinterschools/ for more information.

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Class 1 form drawing

Class 1 form drawing

17 Feb 2022

Class 1 have explored line, curve and many shapes in their first Main Lesson with teacher Jamie Loftus. They have journeyed with Geoffrey and his dog Rufus through an adventurous land discovering many forms and shapes in preparation for learning letters and literacy. Straight and curved lines form the foundation of writing, geometry and what will later emerge as mathematical concepts. In English (and most European languages) the orientation of the written word is left to right, top to bottom, and accordingly, the forms we are practising now adhere to these principles. The children have drawn, painted and walked these shapes as a foundation to beginning the adventure of learning the capital letters.

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Co-Curricular Music, Visual Arts & Debating opportunities open up

Co-Curricular Music, Visual Arts & Debating opportunities open up

17 Feb 2022

Glenaeon offers a range of wonderful co-curricular opportunities for students to get involved with.  Here is a summary of all the non-sporting opportunities. There are links below for more information and to sign up.  For all sport related co-curricular options, please refer to the last edition of the newsletter: https://glo.glenaeon.nsw.edu.au/homepage/3292 

Co-Curricular Music

Tuesday 7.30am - 8.30am CONCERT BAND - Band/Percussion Room

This ensemble is for intermediate woodwind (flute, clarinet, oboe, bassoon and saxophone), brass (trumpet, trombone, French horn and tuba) and percussion students. It is an ensemble that performs repertoire that is fun and challenging. It is open to high school students who have had at least 3-4 years tuition on their instrument and are proficient music notation readers and confident in holding an individual part in an ensemble setting. Concert Band is directed by Christine Young - cyoung@hotmail.com and Phil Arnold - phila1025@gmail.com. For more information, please contact either or both directors.


Wednesday 7.30am - 8.30am BIG BAND Band/Percussion Room

This ensemble performs jazz repertoire at an advanced level. It is open to students who are proficient on their instrument and who have good music notation reading skills. Students will also learn skills for improvisation in a jazz setting. This ensemble is open to high school students and features the following instruments: saxophones (alto, tenor and baritone), trumpets, trombones, electric or upright bass, drums/percussion and keyboard/guitar. Big Band is directed by Phil Arnold. For more information please contact Phil - phila1025@gmail.com

Wednesday 12.55 - 1.30pm CHAMBER CHOIR - MUSIC Room 2

This ensemble is open to all students from Class 6 up who have a love for singing. This is a new ensemble to Glenaeon and gives our students the opportunity to rehearse and perform more advanced choral repertoire. Students who join this ensemble will need to be good music notation readers and confident vocalists (it is not necessary to be having voice lessons). The repertoire will be generally in four parts, with students being involved singing soprano, alto, tenor or bass parts. For more information, please contact our Head of Music, Ian Munns i.munns@glenaeon.nsw.edu.au


Thursday 7:30am – 8:30am - SINFONIA MUSIC Room 2

This ensemble (formally known as Sinfonietta) is Glenaeon’s orchestra. It gives students the opportunity to rehearse and perform classical music from the great composers. It is open to performers who are proficient in the following instruments: violin, viola, cello, double bass, flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, French horn, trumpet, trombone, tuba and percussion. For more information, please contact Ian Munns -  i.munns@glenaeon.nsw.edu.au

Thursday 3.30pm - 4.30pm JAZZ COMBO - Band/Percussion Room

This ensemble is for proficient instrumentalists who have a strong interest in jazz performance. It is a small ensemble that focuses on skills for group performance in a jazz setting. Many instruments could become part of this ensemble, and for more information please contact Adrian Mees - adriaanmees@gmail.com

 

For more information, terms & conditions and to sign up for Co-Curricular Music program/s, please click through to GLO and fill out the form: https://glo.glenaeon.nsw.edu.au/homepage/1387

Co-Curricular Visual Arts

Thursday 3:30pm-5pm Art Studio

Art Space (Open to students from Class 5 to Year 12)

Join GlenX Kauri Palmer in the studio to work on either a personal interest project or to receive tutoring in various forms, approaches, materials, and themes over the term. If you are coming for art tuition, some expressive forms being explored this year include sculpture, digital art, and ceramics (hand building and throwing on the wheel).

Please email Donna Miller with any questions: d.miller@glenaeon.nsw.edu.au

To register for Art Space click through to GLO, and then click on Art Space and fill out the form: https://glo.glenaeon.nsw.edu.au/homepage/1354

Co-Curricular Debating

Debating will be resuming in March and families will be contacted with more details in due course. Any questions about Debating should be directed to Sally executiveassistant@glenaeon.nsw.edu.au

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Bursts of Colour at Castlecrag

Bursts of Colour at Castlecrag

17 Feb 2022

Castlecrag has blossomed in the warm, wet weather, and so have the chalkboards in Classes 1 & 2! The chalkboards are alive with stories that accompany the lesson in literacy, letters and learning, and in the Craft room lives the dolphin that dives in and out of the waves, helping the children to learn the path of the needle during embroidery. Here's our glorious sunflowers and blackboards to enjoy.

 

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Class 1 walk the Rainbow Bridge

Class 1 walk the Rainbow Bridge

03 Feb 2022

On the first day of school in 2022, Class 1 children met in the Kindergarten playground with their teacher from last year, Sarah David, Senior Teacher Catherine Pilko and Deputy Head of School (K-6) Dani Finch. They shared their morning song together before walking through the playground up to the Class 1 area. Class 2 children formed a beautiful 'Rainbow Bridge' with a long silk and flowers. The Kindergarten teacher then said goodbye and gave each child a flower to take with them 'under the rainbow bridge' to the other side, where their new Class 1 teacher was waiting. The year's Class 1 teacher, Jamie Loftus, received them and they made their way as new Class 1 students. The special 'Class Teacher' period thus begins, and Jamie Loftus will now guide these children through their primary years with the help of other specialist teachers. The rain did not dampen the enthusiasm or enjoyment of this beautiful rite of passage.

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Class 4 Main Lesson Norse Mythology

Class 4 Main Lesson Norse Mythology

03 Feb 2022

 

 

This Blackboard Beauty “The Nine Norse Worlds” was created by teacher Lucy Armstrong for the Class 4 Main Lesson on Norse Mythology.

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Enrolments for Kindy 2023 & Year 7 2024

Enrolments for Kindy 2023 & Year 7 2024

03 Feb 2022

For current parents, with younger siblings, we encourage you to put your application in now to help ensure your siblings place at Glenaeon.  Please note that 1 April 2022 is the closing date for Kindergarten, 2023 and Year 7, 2024. For earlier admissions, please discuss with our Enrolments & Events Officer Clare Gordon, or our Deputy Head of School (K-6) and Enrolments Registrar, Dani Finch, or reach out via email to book a call: enrolments@glenaeon.nsw.edu.au 

Enrolments can be completed online and all enrolment information can be found here: https://www.glenaeon.nsw.edu.au/enrolments/ 

To book a tour: https://enquiry.glenaeon.nsw.edu.au/events

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Class 6: strong finish to a busy Term 4

Class 6: strong finish to a busy Term 4

03 Dec 2021

It's the end of the Primary School journey for our Class 6 co-hort and they have been extremely busy with Physics, Roman History and lots of crafts. 

 

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Kindness at Christmas

Kindness at Christmas

03 Dec 2021

The final weeks of 2021, like much of the rest of the year, are proving to be very 'different'. We are all missing sharing our magnificent Carol Service, Advent Plays, The Shepherd's Play, the Big Handshake up the driveway at Middle Cove, and delicious celebratory feasts.

However, Class Teachers like to look for the silver lining, and in this instance, we have an opportunity to create a new tradition!  Someone watching and listening very carefully in the Primary School this week, might notice something a little bit special;  there are whispers of random acts of kindness, secret angels, cards for our local senior citizens, presents for the giving tree, and gratitude books!  In keeping with the spirit of Christmas, we are drawing attention to the importance of kindness this week.  Ask your children what they are doing in class and you might even like to have a family kindness week as well!

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Class 5 and the 2021 Olympiad!

Class 5 and the 2021 Olympiad!

03 Dec 2021

The weather gods were smiling on us and set the tone for a wonderful day of healthy competition, great sportsmanship and great fun as Class 5 participated in the 2021 Olympiad! This wonderful occasion was a celebration including dance, music and verses, and of course the chance to compete in friendly competition events that date back to the ancient Greek Olympics. This event is a highlight in the Class 5 annual calendar and an integral part of Steiner physical education in the primary years, celebrating the beauty of physical movement in and through sport.

Students were dressed up in tunics and were part of the four city states of Athens, Sparta, Thebes and Corinth.  “Zeus” declared the games open.  Events included a “marathon” 400m, 100m sprint, Long Jump, Discus, Javelin, Relay races and a new event this year – Chariot racing with wheelbarrows decorated for each City State: Thebes, Sparta, Corinth, and Athens.

The students cheered each other on, helped each other out, worked together in teams and cooperated with each other.  There were big smiles all round, all day!

Class 5 Teacher Katherine Arconati and PDHPE Teacher Jonas Stoebe were fantastic hosts and organisers. Everything ran smoothly and on time.  Katherine had taught the children a song and dance that they performed at the opening ceremony and Jonas was chief of scores and tallies as well as teaching sporting techniques, and looking fabulous in a toga.

Participants shared lunch with table absolutely groaning with food - thank you everyone who contributed, it was much appreciated by all.  Thank you to all of our parent volunteers who manned the various events, took scores and times and generally helped out all day.  Thank you Angela for the food and the olive wreaths. Thank you to everyone who made this day such a memorable one for our children.

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A touch of Advent at Castlecrag

A touch of Advent at Castlecrag

03 Dec 2021

In the Little Kindergarten, as we look ahead to Christmas, we have been participating in a little Christmas circle and hearing some Christmas stories which the children have enjoyed. We have heard how Mother Mary travelled through the heavens receiving the golden threads from the stars, moon and sun that together with the children’s love, she wove into a heavenly garment for her child. We have also been hearing the story of Mary and Joseph’s earthly journey to Bethlehem and the gifts they receive along the way from the stones, plants, animals and human beings. This is such a beautiful archetypal and heartfelt story for children to hear. Little Kindergarten children made beautiful Advent calendars to take home from their own paintings.

Last Sunday was the first Sunday of Advent. Each week a different kingdom of nature is acknowledged and added to our school nature tables. This week celebrates the Mineral Kingdom, and our nature tables are filling with crystals and stones is below:

FIRST SUNDAY IN ADVENT – The Mineral Kingdom
VERSE:  
The first light of Advent is the light of the stones
Light that shines through seashells, crystals and bones

SONG:  Now the stones are on the earth, waiting for the Christmas birth.

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Work and play in the Kindergarten day

Work and play in the Kindergarten day

03 Dec 2021

The Kindergarten children are really enjoying their last weeks together. Their play has been full of great energy and inventiveness, coming together in wonderful ways.  Inside, we have had an architect's office drawing plans for a city that was then built by the on-site construction team. Despite many bosses with lots of ideas as to how to go about the build, the end result was considered a great success. We have also been really busy skipping enthusiastically with our own hand-made skipping ropes, with queues forming at lunchtime to practice.  

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Class 1 bushwalking

Class 1 bushwalking

03 Dec 2021

Class 1 managed a bushwalking recently in between rainy Fridays with teacher Monique Anderson, Catherine Pilko and assistant Ming-yu. The jacarandas were in full bloom as they set off and enjoyed a journey through the forest paths of Castlecrag. They stopped for lunch together before going to Griffin Rocks for a run and play before returning back to school.

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Bookings now open: Glenaeon Holiday Care Summer 21-22

Bookings now open: Glenaeon Holiday Care Summer 21-22

03 Dec 2021

We are looking forward to offering holiday care for all families from the Glenaeon and wider community in the upcoming summer break. (Subject to government restrictions).

Join us at our summer camp where the children will develop social and physical skills, learn and take on new challenges, develop confidence and a love of nature and have lots of FUN together!

DOWNLOAD THE PROGRAM

Dates:  Dec 9-22, Jan 11- Feb 1
Costs:  From $100 / day ** All CCS & government rebates apply.
Times:  8:15am - 5:30pm
Where: Glenaeon School. 121 Edinburgh Rd, Castlecrag (or excursion site as advised)
Program Details & Bookings: http://www.glenaeonoosh.com.au/holiday-care-bookings.html
Email: glenaeonoosh@gmail.com

 

 

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Class 5 student artworks published in book

Class 5 student artworks published in book

18 Nov 2021

Today at 1:30pm Class 5 students Maya, Scarlett, Rosie and Eleanor were recognised in a Zoom Wildlife Storybook launch.

These students had their work chosen for the annual publication by Willoughby City Council.  This is the first year that our school has participated.  Each school was assigned an animal.  Glenaeon was allocated the Australian Wood Duck.  Council came and gave a presentation about the animal, then the children worked on writing and drawing about it in the library lessons with Lynne Collett.  Our students then worked on their illustrations and writing during the long lockdown period.

Well done students for your wonderful work and congratulations!

 

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Class 3 walk through time

Class 3 walk through time

18 Nov 2021

Class 3 has been exploring the evolution of time measurement though the ages.

A story introduced the children to the concept of tracking time based on the position of the sun in the sky. We journeyed back to Egypt where they used great stone obelisks as shadow clocks.

On Monday which was the first sunny day of the Main Lesson, we walked to the school flagpole, just before 9am, to observe the shadow it made. A student came out and walked heel to toe along the shadow’s line and we marked the spot with the number 9 to represent the hour. Next, we walked to the oval where a sundial had been set up by our class assistant Michelle. A stake had been secured in the ground and a string tied to the bottom of it. We brought with us stones and a marker.

Then, on every hour of the day from 9am to 3pm, the children enthusiastically observed the movement of both shadows, each time marking the new spot and predicting the next one. It was wonderful seeing the awe and wonder of their expressions each time they saw that the shadow had not only changed position but also length!

On Wednesday the class made a human clock as an introduction to reading an analogue clock. The children formed a circle of 12 to represent the numerals on the clock-face and in the centre of the circle was a stand which had a yellow and blue thread attached. One child was then chosen to be the ‘hungry minute dog’ who had to run around counting by 5’s. Another child was chosen to be the ‘lazy hour cat’ who was too lazy to run and instead walked slowly to each number once. The rest of the class watched and when dog and cat were told to stop, the watching children worked out the time on the human clock.

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Class 2 visits big campus at Middle Cove

Class 2 visits big campus at Middle Cove

18 Nov 2021

Yesterday Class 2 students together with Teacher Rodney Dean, visited the big school campus at Middle Cove. The students were also accompanied by Castlecrag Campus Administrator, Melony, Gardening Teacher Sandra Frain and Assistant Olivia. Students hiked the 2km to Middle Cove, and walked through the gates in a practice run for next year. They visited the Class 3 Classroom, explored the playground and went to say hello at Reception. They then walked past the Gentle Café to the garden and planted wheat with Sandra which will be growing when they arrive next year! This was followed by games on the spacious round oval, before walking up through the beautiful campus, past Class 3 and back to Castlecrag. The sun was shining and it was a great day to see for themselves and imagine themselves at Middle Cove and seeing where they will finish their Primary School years before progressing up to High School.  The children loved their visit and the grounds and they are very much looking forward to their continuing school journey.

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A kaleidoscope of colour in Japanese

A kaleidoscope of colour in Japanese

18 Nov 2021

Class 1 have been learning their colours and places in Japanese with teacher Julia Carrol. Classes often involve songs, words, games, origami and cards, but this week it was outside in the playground with colours and places. Experiencing the story “The Green Sheep” in Japanese helps to review colours and also the locations "Koko" (here) 'Soko' (there) and 'Asoko' (over there). The children lined up on the wall, each with a coloured scarf. Julia calls out the colour and direction, and the children run to that area together. From there they play and create shapes with the scarves before all coming back and starting again. It is a kaleidoscope of colour and movement when they run back together!

 
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Class 5 study Ancient Greece from the great outdoors

Class 5 study Ancient Greece from the great outdoors

04 Nov 2021

Class Five has been enjoying the new “new normal” as they take advantage of the beautiful space outside of the classroom.  They have spent the past week finishing Main Lesson studies of Ancient Greece and working on individual research projects to deepen their knowledge.  First week back has seen a renaissance of artistic work including watercolour paintings of Greek ships and pastel drawings of Alexander the Great taming the wild horse he named Bucephalus. 

#glenaeon #middlecove #mainlesson #class5 #ancientgreece #arts #ancientgreece #watercolour #pastel #drawing #outdoorclassroom

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ICYMI: Welcome Back to Middle Cove

ICYMI: Welcome Back to Middle Cove

04 Nov 2021

In case you missed this on our social media channels, flashback to 25 October:
 
What a glorious day it was yesterday when we welcomed back our students from Class 3 to Year 11. The sun was shining, the flags were flying, and there was a great sense of joy and optimism in the air.
It was wonderful to reconnect and see familiar faces again, and we welcomed some new students too! Some came in fancy dress bringing a great sense of fun to the day.
Our Head of School, Andrew Hill, quite literally took his hat off to welcome back all the students in admiration of their, and their parents/carers efforts over the long lockdown period!
Teachers had painted a big 'Welcome Back' sign near our front gates at Middle Cove in celebration of students return.
Students, we missed you, and we're glad you're back!
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Form Drawing and the outside classroom in Class 1

Form Drawing and the outside classroom in Class 1

04 Nov 2021

Class 1 have been exploring form drawing in many formats and using as many outdoor classroom spaces as possible. They have drawn straight, circular and spiral forms, traced them in the sandpit, playground and asphalt, enjoying the open spaces with teacher Monique Anderson. They are working with more challenging forms and shapes that are reflected in the world - in objects, plants, letters, numbers and other living things. This also lays the foundation for understanding geometry in later years. Experiencing the form through many of their senses helps children to understand the shapes that they see in the world around them. They have been hearing stories inspired by the beautiful poppies blooming outside Class 1 - soft, shy and inward, like some of the forms, bright and outward poppies like other forms. Children learn through walking, skipping, jumping, drawing in the air and sandpit, the blackboard and their own workbooks - they are crossing midlines, and working with the understanding of contraction, expansion and reflection.  It's harder than it looks! 

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Silent Auction items on display - place your bids now

Silent Auction items on display - place your bids now

04 Nov 2021

There are the most beautiful items in the Silent Auction that have been hand-crafted by students, families and parents.  They were all on display at the Castlecrag Campus this week - hanging from the fences, trees and gates - parents and children were able to admire the beautiful workmanship and designs of each piece. They will be on display again but please visit our website to take home one of these beautiful pieces. 

The Silent Auction runs until 8pm on Sunday 14th November. Go to: https://www.glenaeonfair.com/silent-auction 
 
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Back to School at last for Little Kindy, Kindy and Class 1 and 2

Back to School at last for Little Kindy, Kindy and Class 1 and 2

21 Oct 2021

This week saw the return of Little Kindy, Kindy and Class 1 students to our Castlecrag campus.  What a wonderful time we have had here at Castlecrag! There may have been some hesitation and a few nerves on Monday morning, but the children have settled beautifully and the mood is calm and joyous. It is so good to have our students back at school and enjoying being with their friends again.

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Silkworms  - the daily wriggle in Reception

Silkworms - the daily wriggle in Reception

21 Oct 2021

The silkworms in Reception and the classrooms have attracted daily attention and care. The pets of the campus are tended to daily, fed and spoken to by the children with great delight. Soon they will be spinning cocoons and emerging as moths before laying their eggs for next year – a wonderful expression of Spring! If you listen VERY carefully - you can even hear the big ones munching on our delicious mulberry leaves!

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Class 2 - the Tunnel Challenge

Class 2 - the Tunnel Challenge

21 Oct 2021

It wasn’t long before the Class 2 students were back to measure their growth in the ‘Jump the Tunnel’ challenge! Almost a right of passage in the playground, being able to run, jump and get over the tunnel…somehow...anyhow... is all that counts and they support and cheer each other on in their attempts. Prior to lockdown not all could make it, so there were some jubilant smiles as they realised how much they had grown since being away! It's harder than it looks!

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These are a few of my favourite things...

These are a few of my favourite things...

21 Oct 2021

Children explored some of their favourite places… and missed things… from Castlecrag! Hunting for raspberries, pepinos and mulberries, grinding sandstone and drawing with chalk were high on the playground to-do list. What joy to slide down the slippery dip, pour water in the sandpit, ring the bell and dig endless tunnels and castles together again!

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Class 1 - From the Zoom Room to the Classroom

Class 1 - From the Zoom Room to the Classroom

21 Oct 2021

Class 1 are practicing the four processes, learning to add, subtract, multiply and divide to find a certain number. Whilst this Mathematics Main Lesson began on Zoom during remote learning using Zoom and break-out rooms, the joy of the children finally coming back together and solving maths questions has been wonderful! Using counters, hands, and dancing in rings of 2's, 3’s, 4’s, 5’s and 6’s, the children celebrated the joys of learning together with all of their senses and delight! Led by teacher Monique Anderson, they are finding the many paths home to Grandma's house in their stories by jumping and stepping the times tables all around the classroom! It is such fun to be back together again.

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Baby Butcher Birds at Castlecrag

Baby Butcher Birds at Castlecrag

21 Oct 2021

Two baby butcher birds were found on the 'far corner' wood pile by the children, with mum and dad high in the tree, their nest most likely having blown down in the recent winds. We brought them to the office and rang Stanley Tang, our High School science teacher and ornithologist. It's wonderful having Stanley to talk to and he asked us to feed them worms and place them in a basket hung as high in the tree as we could reach, as they can't fly yet. We went back late in the afternoon and the babies had been able to hop from the basket back up into the tree and out onto a safer branch where mum and dad were flying down to feed them! Hooray!

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Class 2 happy to be back crafting together

Class 2 happy to be back crafting together

21 Oct 2021

Class 2 came together for craft for the first time in over four months to share their projects and progress. There was such a colourful and creative array of projects underway – knitting animals from squares, embroidery. ponchos, and one student repairing their own clothing! Some have also begun to sand and make their own knitting needles. Impressive and beautiful, Class 2!  They are also working on a secret sewing project... I wonder what that could be?

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Class 1 Aboriginal Dreaming

Class 1 Aboriginal Dreaming

07 Oct 2021

Class One has recently completed a Main Lesson centred on stories from the Aboriginal Dreaming. Stories of those animals unique to Australia were featured, giving a picture of these creatures in their natural habitat, and of course expressing their characteristics, in ways both humorous and profound. We heard about Tiddalik the Frog, who drank all the water in the billabong, and how the other animals tried to make him laugh so all the water would be restored to its rightful place. We heard about the special Platypus, who was invited by the birds to join their special group, by the water creatures to join theirs, and by the land animals, too. We heard, too, a legend about how the spirits in the sky asked Kookaburra to wake them each morning with his raucous laughter, so they would remember to light the fire of the sun each day. These stories were beautifully illustrated by the children, who also wrote sentences to encapsulate a significant theme or moment from each tale. In this way, the children developed both their literacy skills and an appreciation of our natural environment and the cultures of the indigenous communities who wove these tales for the benefit and enjoyment of all.

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Class 2 learn about Saints

Class 2 learn about Saints

07 Oct 2021

One of the key main lessons of Class 2 is the Saints main lesson.  Children turning 8 begin to be more conscious of the differences between the people around them, and between themselves and others.  The animal fable stories we looked at earlier in the year provide a picture of human limitations and how they can get in our way.  The Saints main lesson takes it further.  We provide stories of legendary figures that have developed human attributes such as courage, veneration and compassion, and have stepped beyond their personal limitations to serve humanity or a great cause beyond themselves. 

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Grassroots Eco Store - Do you need new lunchboxes, hats and slippers?

Grassroots Eco Store - Do you need new lunchboxes, hats and slippers?

07 Oct 2021

It's not long now until we will be packing lunchboxes again!

If you need to stock up on back to school essentials, you’ll find our slippers, sun hats, sustainable lunchboxes, insulated food containers and drink bottles all available online. Make use of our FREE LOCAL DELIVERY or click and collect.

We are excited to announce that Grassroots Eco Store is now an approved registered Creative Kids NSW Provider. You can redeem your voucher with us and get busy creating with our Seasonal Craft Pack!

Find out more at grassrootsecostore.com.au
Follow us on Instagram @grassroots_ecostore and be the first to find out when the Castlecrag Shop will reopen and opening hours.
Thank you for shopping locally. A portion of every sale goes to support Glenaeon.

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Class 5 Journey to Ancient Greece

Class 5 Journey to Ancient Greece

07 Oct 2021

Class Five finished  the term with an introduction to Greek Mythology.  Ancient Greece marks a period in human cultural development of great balance.  It is a time where humanity developed an advanced sense of aesthetic form alongside an attention to the structure of society through government and democratic processes.  The life of the mind evolved to become the essentials of philosophy and profound mathematical discoveries.  Children in Class Five sit poised on the cusp of puberty, and they too experience a sense of inner balance at the completion of childhood and a profound inner awakening.  Hence, the choice of these studies perfectly suits their stage of development.

The children loved hearing the stories of the imperfectly humanist gods and goddesses. They each completed a project in which they read, wrote, illustrated and retold the story of one of the 12 Olympian gods.  They also heard tales of the first heroes before the fall of troy.  Despite the challenges of distant learning, their work continues to demonstrate their devotion to beauty and their ever emerging capacities for writing and expression.
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Spring Festival: A reminder to all our Little Kindy to Class 6 Families!

Spring Festival: A reminder to all our Little Kindy to Class 6 Families!

16 Sep 2021

Even though we can’t celebrate traditionally, Spring is here and with it, the joy of enjoying a little more time outside in the warmer weather! Our Spring Festival will be held this Friday, September 17th, at 12 pm and you are warmly invited to join us via the link on the Spring Festival GLO page https://glo.glenaeon.nsw.edu.au/homepage/1431  Please wear your floral garland to join in the Spring spirit.

During our short assembly, a special Spring Film will be uploaded to the same GLO page to be enjoyed immediately or later at your convenience. I have had a sneak peek at a draft version of the film and can confidently say that it will bring a great deal of much-needed cheer!  

We look forward to celebrating together even though we are apart.  

Happy Spring!

Dani Finch
Deputy Head of School (K-6)

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Much eggcitement for new chooks at Middle Cove

Much eggcitement for new chooks at Middle Cove

16 Sep 2021

Our chicken coop at Middle Cove has three new residents. They seem very happy with their new home and are settling in nicely.

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Spring buds, berries and babies at Castlecrag

Spring buds, berries and babies at Castlecrag

16 Sep 2021

There are a lot of beautiful spring buds, berries and babies growing at Castlecrag, in readiness for children to come back during Term 4! The mulberries are growing... first the tiny leaves and now the berries have grown. We have a special white mulberry that looks like a long lamb's tail that is absoloutely delicious once it is ripe! There are little tadpoles and tiny, baby silkworms that are growing. The native bees are coming out more in the warmer weather and the buds on the lime and lemon trees tell us there will be lots of fruit next season! Happy Spring!

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A Rainbow in Spring

A Rainbow in Spring

16 Sep 2021

There are lots of flowers in bloom and just because it's the week of our Spring Festival ... here's a rainbow of flowers from our campus for you!

 

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Handwork at home

Handwork at home

16 Sep 2021

Here is Maaike from Class 4 finishing off a home mega craft project that she has been working on during lockdown. A woven rug made from oodles of finger knitted wool and woven onto a round board strung (warped) the same way as the woven recorder bags that are made by most children at Glenaeon.

It is wonderful to see the children at Glenaeon transferring the skills they learn at school to create beautiful handmade treasures at home!

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Spring Nature Tables at school and home

Spring Nature Tables at school and home

16 Sep 2021

Here are some lovely Spring Nature Tables from Castlecrag - enjoy as we wish you all a lovely spring holiday!

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Join the Clubs! Glenaeon “Clubs” program for Students from Class 1 through to Year 10

Join the Clubs! Glenaeon “Clubs” program for Students from Class 1 through to Year 10

19 Aug 2021

A reminder to, if you haven't already, get on board with Glenaeon's lockdown initiative for students in Class 1 to Year 10. Glenaeon Clubs run from 2:30pm each weekday afternoon.

There are a wonderful variety of activities on offer for students of all ages – from sport to art, book clubs, dance and origami.  Each club’s session length can vary. For example, Art Club runs from 2:30pm-4pm and Sport club runs for 1 hour.  Attendance is voluntary and you can join multiple clubs if you wish (one per day), and all sessions are delivered live.

To find out more about each activity, view the Glenaeon Clubs timetable, and to access the zoom links, please follow the instructions in the guide or click here: https://glo.glenaeon.nsw.edu.au/homepage/3656/

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Counting Castles in Class 2

Counting Castles in Class 2

19 Aug 2021

Class 2 are building the Coloured Castle in their Mathematics Main Lesson with teacher Rodney Dean. They each have cuisenaire rods at home and are learning more complex mathematics equations, learning to build the castles of numbers - literally, the building blocks of math! Rodney's colourful drawing and explanations both on Zoom and pre-recorded help the children as they deepen their understanding of multiplication with larger numbers.

The story follows a character who is building a hospital and he needs a LOT of bricks. He learns that instead of counting each brick individually, he can use strategies to calculate an area of bricks to make it easier and quicker. His problem is that there are more bricks in each row than he knows time tables for - rows of 30 for example - so he needs to use his prior knowledge of numbers to split 30 into 3 x 10 bricks and then work out the number of rows he has... and he DOES know his ten times table! It saves him so much time too!

 

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Creative crafters from Castlecrag!

Creative crafters from Castlecrag!

19 Aug 2021

Handwork at home is currently supported with a lot of resources that have been sent home  as well as videos, patterns and an online Craft Club to encourage children (and parents!) to join in. This is an opportunity for all to undertake many craft projects and even learn new skills, or make something new with the skills they have! The children in Class 1 have been finishing their beautiful recorder bags with plaited handle, and are moving on to make woven pouches, finger-knitting and even some beginning to knit with needles! Handwork teacher Elizabeth Ellean has prepared may instructional videos and resources so that the children can make any number of wonderful things from home.   Class 1 & 2 are having a go at ponchos, beanies, weaving ideas and even the tricky Egyptian 8-string plait. Well done, clever crafters! We love to see your creations!

Craft Club with Merryn is on Friday afternoons at 2:30pm - come along to enjoy time together crafting, asking questions about your projects and seeing other faces too!

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Castlecrag Building and Blooming

Castlecrag Building and Blooming

19 Aug 2021

Maintenance and staff are making the most of this time on campus to build, repair and rejuvenate the campus, ready for when children return. Melony, Angela, Michael, Noel and Outdoor Education teacher Scott Williams have a fantastic list of projects they are working on so the campus will be shining, tidy and improved! Painting, oiling the outdoor structures, repairing and sorting the children's tool shed, a new Kindy sandpit wall and sorting the costume cupboard for school plays are just some of the projects taking place. Meanwhile, the daffodils are blooming outside Class 1, the jasmine has burst into blossom and this year's poppies are coming up by the hundreds!

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Nature tables at school and home

Nature tables at school and home

19 Aug 2021

Seasonal Nature tables are a tradition at Glenaeon - a small table the celebrates the seasonal changes and often is a little story scene itself. Before we say goodbye to our lovely Winter Nature tables here at Castlecrag, have a look at both the school's and some of the Little Kindy children's Nature tables at home. 

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Class 5 continue Australian History

Class 5 continue Australian History

19 Aug 2021

In continuation of study of Australian History 'Into Tangled Ravines', Class 5 have been learning about the first few years of settlement. The aboriginal tribes suffered greatly during this time, and the history of Windradyne and the hundreds of indigenous tribal lands was explored. They followed explorers Matthew Flinders, Hovell and Hume, John Oxley, James Ruse, Lawson, Wentworth & Blaxland in their respective journeys inland and circumnavigations. Class teacher Katherine Arconati delivered a rich online curriculum, including an online live excursion to the State Library about the First Fleet, a film-making project from each student on one journey and artwork lessons with Glenaeon Art Teacher Julia Byrne. The children are also reading a text called Tom Appleby Convict Boy which brings their history studies into vivid imagination. The children first made their own antiqued diaries using coffee and tea leaves and have been writing beautifully sensitive responses to the novel, exploring highly relevant themes such as courage and resilience.  Below is a response written by Eleanor Rush in response to the “courage cloak” described by Tom Appleby.

 

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Class 5 Movie Project - Australian History films

Class 5 Movie Project - Australian History films

19 Aug 2021

Lockdown presents an opportunity for families to work together and to engage in other forms of learning tasks that would not be possible at school. Students were asked to make a film of one person from their Australian History Main Lesson, using any technique. The student films are wonderful and highly creative starring themselves, family members and even pets! Techniques used include video film stories, stop-motion, story-reading with hand-drawn illustrations, box puppets, shadow puppetry and old fashioned film styles. Here are some stills from just some of these wonderfully creative films! The Class has its own online Film Festival file and families have been able to sit down, relax and enjoy the class films!

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Class 5 takes square metre challenge to the next level

Class 5 takes square metre challenge to the next level

05 Aug 2021

Class 5 Teacher Katherine Arconati recently set a home learning challenge to her students to create a square metre geometric design as part of their study learning about area.  Students responded very creatively indeed.  Take a look at the results! Lucia decided to also try the Glenaeon emblem and figured it out! It was a family effort with Lucia's Year 4 sister Sigrid also lending a hand. Take a look at these other student creative responses. Well done to all, you've completely warmed our hearts!

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Sport Club kicks off for Classes 4-6 with Jonas

Sport Club kicks off for Classes 4-6 with Jonas

05 Aug 2021

Glenaeon students are reminded of the importance of keeping up physical activity during the lockdown period.  Now, Students from Class 4-6 can participate in Sports Club with Glenaeon’s PDHPE Teacher and host Jonas Stoebe. Jonas will be running Sports Club each Monday from 2:30pm for an hour, via Zoom. This week students gathered together online and were coached through a number of sets of exercises including stretching, planking and other movements that got the heart pumping!  The session  provided a social moment to reconnect with other students and enjoy some fun and activity together. Jonas said, “Students can get some healthy time away from their study desk, take their device outside, enjoy a workout together and share interests and skills. I look forward to energising the young each week!”

For more information, go to the Sports Club page on GLO. BYO juggling balls next week.

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Wrap with Love

Wrap with Love

05 Aug 2021

Wrap with Love is a lockdown project that our students can take part in via our Remote Learning Clubs (Knit for Love) Thursdays at 2:30pm for Class 3 to Year 10 and Craft Club on Friday’s at 2:30pm with Merryn Hamilton.  All students are invited to watch the pre-recorded videos by Elizabeth Ellean on Glenaeon Learning Online (GLO) to help your get started, and join the weekly Knit for Love or Craft Club to make the squares.

A Wrap With Love personal wrap comprises 28 squares, 25 cm x 25 cm (10 inches x 10 inches) sewn together in 4 rows by 7 rows to size 100cm x 175cm (40 inches x 70 inches) completed. A Wrap can be knitted, crocheted, machine knitted or woven , with wool, acrylic or lined patchwork.

Glenaeon will then coordinate delivery of the completed wraps to the ‘A Wrap With Love’ charity warehouse in Alexandria, NSW, then over forty non-denominational and non-political aid agencies distribute them to those in greatest need around the globe.  To find out more about Wrap with Love go to https://www.wrapwithlove.org/ or if your child would like to participate in this wonderful school project, join the club on GLO!

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Sandra Frain brings Storytime Club home

Sandra Frain brings Storytime Club home

05 Aug 2021

For students and families of Class 1-3 who might feel stuck at home with ‘NOTHING to DO’, Sandra invites you to join her on Zoom for STORYTIME each Tuesday between 2:30pm-3:30pm.

Sandra says, “Bring your favourite pillow and blanket to cozy-up with. Perhaps you have a cuddly doll or animal to bring to STORYTIME too. You can close your eyes and just listen to me, or you may look at the screen to see what you can see.

After the puppet story, we can make a story together with your cuddly friends too.”

No registration is required, please join the Zoom at the start of class each week via GLO.

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Glenaeon launches “Clubs” program for Students from Class 1 through to Year 10

Glenaeon launches “Clubs” program for Students from Class 1 through to Year 10

05 Aug 2021

We are very excited to announce the launch of a brand new initiative for students in Class 1 to Year 10 during the remote learning period in 2021.  Glenaeon Clubs run from 2:30pm each weekday afternoon  and the first sessions ran on Monday with good attendance across the board.

There are a wonderful variety of activities on offer for students of all ages – from sport to art, book clubs, dance and origami.  Each club’s session length can vary. For example, Art Club runs from 2:30pm-4pm and Sport club runs for 1 hour.  Attendance is voluntary and you can join multiple clubs if you wish (one per day), and all sessions are delivered live.

To find out more about each activity, view the Glenaeon Clubs timetable, and to access the zoom links, please follow the instructions in the guide or click here: https://glo.glenaeon.nsw.edu.au/homepage/3656/

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Spring has sprung early at Castlecrag!

Spring has sprung early at Castlecrag!

05 Aug 2021

Spring has sprung early at Castlecrag campus! The bulbs planted in Autumn have grown, garden beds that the children turned over with Sandra are growing, and we have beautiful flowers blooming across the campus. We wanted to show you how glorious they are! You can see jonquils, daffodils, the cherry blossom tree, wattles and even the humble dandelion flower! There are also wild raspberries and the tamarillos which grew fruit at the end of last term. Our friendly morning kookaburra still comes every day to say hello, sitting on the fence, a tree or the monkey bars. Sandra has been gardening and watering and we miss the children so much. Hello to all the children at home from Castlecrag!

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Class 1 Zooming with Jennifer and climbing trees

Class 1 Zooming with Jennifer and climbing trees

05 Aug 2021

Class 1 children have been Zooming with Class teacher Jennifer Stone each morning as they recall their story, work in their Main Lesson books and catch up together each day. Keeping the connection to the Class Teacher Jennifer Stone is important, and they have been learning English, grammar and sentence formation through the rich world of the Russian Fairytales. The children also have Jennifer's audio recordings of her stories, Morning Circle, verses and songs, and literacy/maths worksheets and games. They follow a very similar rhythm to what the children would learn if at school, including afternoon sessions of Japanese & Craft. They have also been having fun in their favourite trees, and noted National Tree Day for schools last Friday!

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Castlecrag Packs for Kindergartens  - Class 2

Castlecrag Packs for Kindergartens - Class 2

05 Aug 2021

The Kindergartens, Class 1 & 2 have packed bags for the families to collect as resources for Remote Learning. Initially they all collected their Pencils, books, recorders and other stationery, and further bags of craft supplies. Activities for the Kindergarten children have been prepared for collection. It's a busy time at school supporting all the students working so well at home. We are so proud of the children and families learning and playing at home during this time. We miss them all SO much! We look forward to the day when we can have all children back on campus again and the laughter and chatter returns.

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Chickens enjoying the playground at Castlecrag

Chickens enjoying the playground at Castlecrag

05 Aug 2021

Our chickens Princess, Ebony and Caramel have grown a lot and are enjoy getting out and about at school. They have even ventured into the Class 1 & 2 playground! They are laying eggs now and we look forward to when our Kindy children can cook these again for morning tea! Until then, the egg basket fills up, and some even found their way to the Rainbow Fairy in reception!

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The Kindy garden is waiting

The Kindy garden is waiting

05 Aug 2021

The Kindy Garden has been waiting very quietly and very patiently of late, for all the children to come back and fill the space with their laughter and warmth. Mother Nature has been very slowly doing what she always does towards the end of winter, awakening the plants and trees; even the little native bees in their nest on Grandfather Gum's trunk, have started to venture out in the warmer winter days. The bulbs that the children planted after Easter, are now sweet-smelling, yellow flowers dancing about in the breezes, while the blossom tree is a riot of magenta, as the chickens scratch about her roots. Little Kindy's potatoes have sprung into life and have grown green and tall. And the classrooms too, wait very quietly and very patiently, for the children to come back.

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When schooling at home, rhythm is your best friend by Mary Heard

When schooling at home, rhythm is your best friend by Mary Heard

22 Jul 2021

Rhythm is the key to discipline, the secret Steiner schools have always understood. It is also the secret to making children feel secure, it is a message to their nervous system that some things are still the same in the world and that the life they know really matters.

As parents many of us have a tenuous hold on the sort of rhythm and discipline children experience at school but this is a wonderful opportunity for us to reclaim our dominion as we bring school into our home. Home Schooling last time may have been a bit chaotic or formless but we can start this term mapping out with our child/ren what home schooling is going to look like from now on.

As our children have the school rhythm already built into their body clock it is best to stick with that as much as possible. Insist that our children are dressed and ready to start learning at the usual school time - making sure we are free ourselves at this time to get everyone set up. Younger children can also go to their play area at this time as though they are doing their ‘work’ too.

Keep to the morning tea and lunch times of school, we can try to get all the inside activities completed in the morning and then go outside in the afternoon. Outside of school times we need to engage our children in as much of the home life as possible to keep them occupied and to make our own lives easier. Children should be given as many tasks as they can manage like preparing food, cleaning up their rooms daily, packing away the dishes, looking after the garden etc. I would also suggest a long family walk every day for at least an hour. This way we can wear our children out a bit, get some good exercise ourselves and get some outside time.

In order to establish our authority we need to give directions to our children that they can understand and follow. We must be careful not to disguise our directions as questions or requests. I always think the teacher’s ‘now it’s time to…..’ works very well. Once we have established these actions over a few days they will become habits. Also we should try to talk to our children as little as possible, we will see as we try to do this how many unnecessary things we say during the day.

If we only speak when necessary, we will notice how much more our children will listen.

We can say to our children ‘you need to play by yourself now until I finish my work’ (this time will depend on the child’s age) making it clear that they cannot disturb us for that time as we need to get our work done. So long as children have good solid blocks of our undivided attention they should also be able to cope with blocks of time while we do our work. When we do spend time with them we can spend that time doing household chores like hanging out washing or putting it away so that we have the chance to get things done while also being with them. If we spend our time doing chores with our children they will be even happier to have some ‘downtime’ to just play while we leave them alone.

We should try to resist the temptation to put our children in front of screens as this will just make their behaviour worse the rest of the time, reduce their capacity for deep play and encourage them to whinge and whine hoping for more screen time. if we allow our screen time to increase during lockdown we are bound to regret it when lockdown is over. If we need our child to be occupied in the afternoon for a while without us, audiobooks are a good compromise – we can use the opportunity to expose our children to some of the classics we may not have had time to read like ‘Swallows and Amazons’ or the Narnia series.

This is not an easy time for parents who are going through their own anxieties, trying to work from home, managing different age children, sickness and trying to keep family life manageable. Of course it will be 3 steps forward and 2 steps back a lot of the time however if we put the effort in for the first few days and establish and an element of predictability there will be a lot more room for love, compassion, kindness and fun in the home.

 

Mary Heard is a Simplicity Parenting Coach. Visit https://www.maryheardsimplicityparenting.com/ for more information.

 

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Kindy Winter Festival (Throwback to Term 2, when everything was ‘normal’)

Kindy Winter Festival (Throwback to Term 2, when everything was ‘normal’)

22 Jul 2021

The Kindy children had been preparing for their Festival for a while; they had made their lanterns, their parents had come to school and made theirs. They had enjoyed finding logs and sawing them for the fire and were always on the lookout for any kindling to add to the growing pile. They had been busy on the day making star biscuits to share with everyone and some wonderful parents had made delicious pumpkin soup. 

And so the school day ended and the children were excited to find that they weren't going home, but staying on to have supper at school. The fire was lit and the Festival began. Sitting around the fire at dusk we enjoyed the soup, cheesy scones and mandarins. Then it was off into the growing darkness to watch a surprise puppet play that the teachers had prepared. And then began the lantern walk underneath a beautiful starry sky, with a nearly full moon shining down on the children and teachers, as we wove our way carrying our lanterns so carefully and singing our winter songs. We sang our way back to the fire and found all the parents waiting for us. And as we all sang together and enjoyed the warmth of the fire, the songs and the star biscuits (and a visit from a curious possum), we celebrated the longest night with our Winter Festival.  (Sarah David, Kindergarten Teacher)

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Pizza Day rolls around

Pizza Day rolls around

22 Jul 2021

Our students got to enjoy a wonderful Pizza Day last term. Many hands made light work: kneading the dough, spreading the sauce, and placing toppings including fresh herbs from the biodynamic garden. Then, into the wood-fired pizza oven they went. The pizzas were absolutely delicious and we can't wait until the next pizza day!

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Human-centred learning

Human-centred learning

22 Jul 2021

Our creative and dedicated teachers and support staff have worked tirelessly to bring our Glenaeon education into your homes!  The challenge of transforming human-centred on-site learning experiences into online remote education is nothing short of monumental!  Rising to the challenge on a particularly windy Sydney winter morning was Senior Castlecrag teacher Catherine Pilko who ably demonstrated one of the tasks she set for her Little Kindergarten children … kite flying! (see GLO)

Well done Catherine and All! 
Stay safe and warm everyone, Dani

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Parent Library open - borrow for the holidays

Parent Library open - borrow for the holidays

17 Jun 2021

Next Tuesday is the last Parent Library day before the holidays, so why not come and borrow some beautiful books for the break? Come and browse a wide selection of titles across areas of parenting, craft, gardening, food, anthroposophy, Steiner education, children's stories and festivals.

The Parent Library is now open on:
TUESDAYS 8:30am - 9:10am and
THURSDAYS 2:30 - 3:10pm

We have Grimms' Fairy Tales, Susan Perrow's "Therapeutic Storytelling", Michaela Glockler's "A Guide to Child Health", Jude Blereau's "Wholefood for Children" and many more wonderful books for infants, preschoolers, young children and parents. See photos below for just some of the lovely books we hold in the library.

If you haven't been to our Glenaeon Castlecrag Campus before, the Parent Library is located in the room to the left of Reception at 121 Edinburgh Rd, Castlecrag. We look forward to seeing you soon and chatting about our wonderful books!

Amity - Parent Library Coordinator (Volunteer)

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Class 5 excursion to Mt Annan Botanic Gardens

Class 5 excursion to Mt Annan Botanic Gardens

17 Jun 2021

Last week Class 5 went to Mt Annan Botanic Gardens in Western Sydney to explore this 100% Australian Native Garden as part of their Botany studies. At the gardens they had the chance to explore and understand plant adaptations for arid and rainforest environments. The children were given scientific equipment to collect measurements on soil moisture, humidity, temperature and air movement to gain a greater understanding of the natural world. With these environmental factors in mind they then identified what plant adaptations were suitable for different environments. 

Also, the children were happy to identify and observe a couple of Wood Ducks (their animal of research for Willoughby Council communication project). 

Photo credits: MAJA ROSE

 

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The Main Lesson Project - Class 5 explores Egypt

The Main Lesson Project - Class 5 explores Egypt

17 Jun 2021

Project Based Learning (PBL) is one of the education world’s latest acronyms, but it is nothing new to Steiner education.  Beginning in Class Three, the children are asked to complete at least one major project out of the Main Lesson content each year (see separate article on Class Three housebuilding!).  These are completed at home, independently, after the Main Lesson journey through a particular topic so that the children can go even more deeply and imaginatively into the work. 

As part of the Class Five Ancient Egypt studies, the children had to choose a topic and conduct research, write a report, give a presentation to the class and submit an artistic work related to the topic.  English lessons focussed on instruction in report writing, how to take notes from informational texts and the parts of a report such as introduction, conclusion and bibliography.  Then the children had to work at home to weave their research notes into a well-presented report and develop a project using their own creative impulses.  They love hearing each other’s presentations and are beaming with pride as they bring in the fruits of their labour. 

Through these projects the children discover that learning is a long, continuous process, that there are so many ways to represent our ideas and connect with our learning and that it takes time and effort to make such projects but it is such a satisfying and rewarding experience.  In other words, they develop the will and curiosity required to foster a lifetime love of learning.

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Class 6 design and construct winter garden structures

Class 6 design and construct winter garden structures

17 Jun 2021

This term Class 6 has worked in the biodynamic garden in small groups on a large project.  It has taken them many weeks to complete.  Their task was to design and construct vertical structures to support winter climbing crops such as snow, snap and shelling peas.  The students made biodegradable pots for germinating their seeds, and refreshed their knowledge on key aspects of string climbing structures by deconstructing (mindfully and methodically) our summer climbing structures.   Each group determined their design plan, chose their materials and set about construction. They inspected other groups structures as well as their own and made recommendations for improvement. They also made the necessary improvements to their structures and planted their young pea seedlings.

Well done Class 6 on your efforts and the high standard of your work. Now we watch and nurture and look forward to bountiful harvests in the months to come!

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Class 2 journey with the King of Ireland's Son

Class 2 journey with the King of Ireland's Son

17 Jun 2021

One of the essential Main Lessons in Class 2 is The King of Ireland's Son, which is a culmination of all the fairytales heard last year. The motifs have been blended into a wonderful novel that we spend two Main Lessons on. It is a magical story that the children love about courage, love, loss and redemption.

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Class 1 Nature stories

Class 1 Nature stories

17 Jun 2021

Class 1 are immersed in the world of Nature Stories. Beautiful blackboards drawn by Class teacher Jennifer Stone, alongside their bookwork, tell the tales of animals, birds, plants and even underground gnomes and the stars in the great sky. The Class 1 children are now using capital and little letters and forming sentences alongside their beautiful drawings.

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Counting fun in Class 1

Counting fun in Class 1

17 Jun 2021

Having just finished a Mathematics Main Lesson where they met Pierre Plus, Tibo Times, Marion Minus and Queen Divide, Class 1 are playing with numbers in more ways than one! Using games, dice, counters and their fingers, they are having fun forwards, backwards and have begun their times tables too!

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Chicken carers needed for Castlecrag chooks over the holidays

Chicken carers needed for Castlecrag chooks over the holidays

17 Jun 2021

If anyone has a few days over the break when they could pop in and feed the Kindy chooks that would be great. Please send your availability to Sarah via email:  S.David@glenaeon.nsw.edu.au, or let Melony in the office know. Chook carers needed from Thursday 24 June to Tuesday 13 July inclusive. They only require feeding once a day at the minimum, and twice if you have more time. Thank you!

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Class 1 & 2 Winter Spiral

Class 1 & 2 Winter Spiral

17 Jun 2021

Class 1 and 2 celebrated the upcoming winter solstice in their winter spiral, held today at our Castlecrag campus. The significance of the spiral is finding light in the darkness. For those who are new to the winter spiral, it is a tradition in Steiner schools. Greenery and foliage will be laid on the floor to create a spiral. In the centre of the spiral is a lit candle. The room is darkened (or it is night time if held outdoors) and each student takes a turn to walk the spiral holding an unlit candle resting in an apple. As they reach the centre, they light their candle from the centre candle and then retrace their steps out of the spiral. The child brings forth the light as they walk outward and chooses a place along the spiral to set down their lit candle. As they each have a turn, more and more lit candles grace the spiral, and the room becomes increasingly filled with light and a beautiful spiral of lit candles. It was a truly beautiful event and thank you to all who helped by bringing in foliage, helped prepare it and were able to take part.

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Class 3 Houses

Class 3 Houses

17 Jun 2021

Class 3 have been learning about a variety of human dwellings from around the world. In this wonderfully practical main lesson, the children have built a life-size Aboriginal hut called a Gunya with sticks and palm fronds.

The main lesson then concluded with the children researching or using their imagination to make a mini model of a shelter using natural or recycled materials.

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Class 6 Camp

Class 6 Camp

17 Jun 2021

Class 6 camp is always a wonderful trip and was this year, for extra special reasons. 

The Class 6 camp covers a lot of ground and includes many special sites. What makes it so significant for Class 6 is how it ties in so many of our main lessons.  This term we studied Geology and on camp we got to visit the Abercrombie Caves and The Warrumbungles, as well as the Somerville Collection at the Australian Fossil and Mineral Museum in Bathurst. Just before going on the camp we had finished our Australian History main lesson and on camp we stayed in the goldfields and visited the Gulgong Pioneers Museum, both bringing to life many of the things we had studied. 

As well as all this, we got to camp for three nights in the Warrumbungles with the Outdoor Environmental Education team taking us hiking up the top of the Warrumbungles and a special treat, rock climbing and abseiling. One night we spent watching the stars with a guide and a telescope. Students got to recall many things they had learnt during our astronomy main lesson early in the year.

What made our camp extra special was that we were able to visit Edgar, our Gardening Teacher on his property and help him in his garden!  

The camp made many lifelong memories for the students bringing us all closer together, and all made even sweeter as we had been unable to camp last year. An amazing trip was had by all! 

 

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Socks, dolls and clothing: Handwork makes it all!

Socks, dolls and clothing: Handwork makes it all!

03 Jun 2021

In Year 8 textile students learn to use the sewing machine and follow a pattern to make a pair of shorts or sew long trousers. During the semester they learn about fabric properties and how to manipulate fabric to create colourful patterns and sculptural effects. They are also making buttons and sewing craft bags on the machine and by hand.

Class 6 are keeping their feet warm by knitting socks, perfect for these cold winter nights; Class 5 are making dolls and dressing them with their own bespoke crocheted outfits!

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Class 6 gather by the light of the Moon

Class 6 gather by the light of the Moon

03 Jun 2021

This year our wonderful Class 6 Teachers Brendan and Michele have introduced a class gathering at Manly beach to celebrate each full moon rising. So far we have gathered three times, the last being the incredible blood moon.

At each gathering the children share a beach picnic before fun and games with siblings, parents and our super fun teachers on the sandy shores. However, as the moon shyly makes her first appearance upon the watery horizon, all stop as the group takes this moment to admire her magnificence and take in the gentle rhythm held in gentle firmness by her.

It is a sacred event and one which will hold our class throughout the year. Teachers will include the full moon rising in class discussions as well as class learning and activity.

Personally I couldn’t imagine a more magical gift for our children than to learn and gather in such an incredibly meaningful monthly celebration of our beloved Mother Earth.

Rachelle Rose (Class 6 Parent)

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Year 9s mentor Year 3 reading

Year 9s mentor Year 3 reading

03 Jun 2021

As service to the community, Year 9 students listen to Year 3 students practice their reading. Through gentle prompting, pausing and praising, the little ones enjoy reading stories before school on Thursdays and Fridays. Beside reading practice, both groups of students form relations that often carry right through their school journey. I know my own girls, both graduated some years ago, retain fond memories or their experience as both the reader, and later as they participate in the DofE Award, as mentors themselves. So much good comes from the program!

Donna Miller

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Parent Craft and Kindy Craft is warming up

Parent Craft and Kindy Craft is warming up

03 Jun 2021

Parent Craft on Wednesday mornings and Kindergarten Craft on Tuesdays are warming up as the weather gets cooler. The mornings are full of creativity and enjoyment and everyone is welcome on Wednesday mornings.

Kindergarten Parents meet once a week also, and have recently made beautiful felt flowers, starting with coloured roving (soft, fleeced wool), massaging and felting the colours together. Both groups have been making crowns - birthday crowns, as well as a play set for the Kindergarten classrooms. 

Come and join these groups when you can - no experience is necessary and you will learn with the helpful hands of others. Younger siblings and babies are welcome and there is an indoor play area and an enclosed garden. These lovely social mornings are growing and becoming part of the fabric of our community once again. No bookings are required and attendance can be for as long or as little as you like. Attendees must follow the school's COVID safety plan and sign in, use hand sanitiser on arrival and please refrain from coming along if you feel unwell. 

In coming weeks we will be having little workshops on dyeing our own felt, wet felting and continuing a variety of sewing projects. Email castlecrag@glenaeon.nsw.edu.au or contact Melony at Reception, Castlecrag Campus on 9958 0774 for any further information.

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Primary Assembly

Primary Assembly

03 Jun 2021

Last week, our Middle Cove Primary students gathered for an Assembly and honoured the first day of National Reconciliation Week in the amphitheater.
Class 6 delivered the Welcome to Country, followed by a group song. The program unfolded as follows:

Jamie on Didgeridoo to introduce
Class 3:  Morning Has Broken on recorder and voice
Class 4:  Brave and True spoken verse with complex rod choreography
Class 5:  Be Careful What You Think – verse by Ghandi + Prayer to Isis (sung in Egyptian)
Class 6:  My Country – poem by Dorothea Mackellar

The event concluded, with a story from Head of School, Andrew Hill.

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Class 1 begin weaving recorder bags

Class 1 begin weaving recorder bags

03 Jun 2021

In Handwork class with Elizabeth Ellean, Class 1 children have begun weaving their recorder bags, which they will use throughout Primary School. Like the story of the eagle they hear, who must weave her nest round and around to withstand the strong winds on the cliffs, they weave the wool around the wooden weaving board. Starting with bold and bright colours, they move to pastels as they reach the top of their bag, which is then crocheted along the edge. Once complete, they learn to make Egyptian plaits (with 8 strings), making a long and strong handle. Whilst there is no official uniform at Castlecrag Campus... there is a lot of hardy, practical brown boots lined up outside the craft room - certainly good footwear for outdoor play!

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Class 2 show their Morning Circle

Class 2 show their Morning Circle

03 Jun 2021

Class 2 children shared their Morning Circle with parents recently - performing some of their songs, rhymes, mathematics, language and coordination skills in a performance that was both joyous and wondrous to watch. To see literacy, language, mathematics and general knowledge woven through rhyme, verse, music and movement was simply inspiring. As Class Teacher Rodney Dean introduced each item, the children were demonstrably excited to share each and every one - even the difficult ones! The children enjoy this morning circle so much and it was an impressive presentation of their skills and knowledge, not to mention LOTS of fun!

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Class 1 outdoor drawing

Class 1 outdoor drawing

03 Jun 2021

Lunchtimes have been very colourful lately at Castlecrag, with Class 1 enjoying outdoor chalk drawing. Using up all the many smaller pieces of chalk left from the teacher's work, they create the most beautiful images on the walkways and grind the fine coloured powder with the remaining pieces. All items are reused as much as possible at our Campus and we have a deeply integrated recycling system that encompasses not only our rubbish, but all items such as chalk that can be used right up until the very end. Reuse, Recycle, Receive is an understanding that we have, and we put effort and time into the recycling processes that we have. 

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First Nations performer Gwenda visits Castlecrag

First Nations performer Gwenda visits Castlecrag

03 Jun 2021

Gwenda Stanley is a dancer, educator, cultural ambassador and a proud First Nations Gomeroi woman. She came to Castlecrag to share her culture with Class 1 & 2 students on Tuesday 25th May, the day before Sorry Day, 2021. Through song, dance and stories, she shared her knowledge and demonstrated her tools and artefacts, with the children enthusiastically listening and dancing along with her to the animal songs and stories. She told the children about hunting, gatherings sticks and the three types of boomerangs, echidnas, seeds and making bread, dilly bags, grinding stones and much more. Gwenda taught the children many words in her traditional language, and expressed her own joy in sharing her culture with the children at Glenaeon. Thank you Gwenda.  See: https://youngausperspectives.com.au/gwenda-stanley/

 

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Parent Library at Castlecrag bursting with books

Parent Library at Castlecrag bursting with books

03 Jun 2021

The Parent Library is now open on:

TUESDAYS 8:30am - 9:10am and

THURSDAYS 2:30 - 3:10pm

Come and browse a wide selection of titles across areas of parenting, craft, gardening, food, anthroposophy, Steiner education, children's stories and festivals.

We have Grimms' Fairy Tales, Susan Perrow's "Therapeutic Storytelling", Michaela Glockler's "A Guide to Child Health", Jude Blereau's "Wholefood for Children" and many more wonderful books for infants, preschoolers, young children and parents. See photos below for just some of the lovely books we hold in the library.

If you haven't been to our Glenaeon Castlecrag Campus before, the Parent Library is located in the room to the left of Reception at 121 Edinburgh Rd, Castlecrag.

We look forward to seeing you soon and chatting about our wonderful books!

Amity - Parent Library Coordinator (Volunteer)

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Glenaeon students  participate in Kids Giving Back day

Glenaeon students participate in Kids Giving Back day

03 Jun 2021

Year 7 students Saorise, Finn P and Antonina along with Finn’s sister Maaike from Class 4 and Saorise’s brother Tighe participated in a recent Kids Giving Back day during Volunteers Week, making meals for homeless and disadvantaged people in Sydney. They were part of a group of about 40 kids and parents at the Paddo on Oxford Street who together made 117 cooked meals and 69 sandwiches.

The event, run by KGB program manager Bec and chef Paul, taught the kids about food preparation and hygiene, kitchen safety skills and helped them understand about homelessness - how people come to be homeless, what life can be like for them and importantly what we all could do to help. 

The group got busy making sandwiches, while others made delicious vegetable ragout with meatballs and pasta.  All of it was nourishing and tasty - made with care and love.  

On our way home, we delivered some of the meals to Tierney House, close to St Vincents hospital, where 12 homeless people can stay to access healthcare and support services.  

Kids Giving Back run their programs regularly, including over the school holidays.  It could be a great class social activity or something to do on the school holidays.  There are family sessions on weekends as well.  If you’re interested to try it out, their website is: https://kidsgivingback.org

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Class 1  learning mathematical processing

Class 1 learning mathematical processing

20 May 2021

Class 1 has been continuing their working with Mathematics, meeting Pierre Plus, who adds things together, Tibo Times, who counts in equal groups, and Marion Minus, who knows very well how to spend some of her coins, and always knows exactly how many coins she has left. They are working with ‘Dragons Tears’, their very own fingers, rhythms and verses, and they have spent quite a bit of time outside stepping along number lines drawn in chalk, counting forwards, stepping multiples, and counting backwards with joyful enthusiasm. 

 

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Bouncer's Journey in Class 2

Bouncer's Journey in Class 2

20 May 2021

Bouncer is a baby joey that falls out of his mother's pouch and ends up travelling on the back of a truck - all around Australia through our many different landscapes. From the Western Desert to the ocean, he meets a friendly dolphin, Twiggy and Cave-bird again, wombats and his friends the red and grey kangaroos. On his journey he discovers the different land formations and weather systems and learns about rain, oceans and sees snow for the first time. Class 2 children have written and drawn Bouncer's adventures, learning sentence structure, grammar and punctuation as the record moments of Bouncer's adventures in their main lesson books.

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New record at Castlecrag

New record at Castlecrag

20 May 2021

Children cheered loudly as they declared a new Castlecrag record had been set for the tallest sandcastle! Evolving over several days, it has been protected right up until the last bucket on the top! 

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Little Kindy wet felts soap

Little Kindy wet felts soap

20 May 2021

Little Kindy created felted soaps for Mother's Day with Kindergarten teacher Catherine Pilko. The children teased and softened the beautifully-coloured fleece which was then wrapped around a small piece of soap. After the fleece had been tied onto the soap, each child gently patted the soft fleece. Each soap was then dipped in warm water and the children turned and patted, turned and patted... and as it became soapy they squeezed and rolled it until the fleece had magically felted. It was then dried, ready to be wrapped, and sent home with a beautiful hand-made card for mum.

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Class 5 study the Ancient Civilisations

Class 5 study the Ancient Civilisations

20 May 2021

Class 5 have been exploring the rich history of the ancient civilisations of Persia, Mesopotamia and Egypt. Titled ‘To Roam No More’, this reflects the defining moment when civilisations are born and settle, cultivating crops through the seasons, no longer roaming the lands. The classroom is shining with the students’ work - paintings of ziggurats and the Persian god of the sun and all creation - Ahura Mazda, clay sculptures of Egyptian mummies and a variety of Egyptian gods and goddesses. The blackboard, drawn by Class 5 teacher Katherine Arconati, is simply beautiful, as is the main lesson book work of the students.

In addition to various artistic experiences, the class have heard many ancient stories, mythologies and now histories of these fascinating cultures.  They then engage in the arduous task of remembering these stories and rewriting them in their own words before putting the pen to paper and beautifully writing and illustrating them in their main lesson books.  The final step on this journey will be an Egyptian research project.  Watch this space for a follow up article at the end of term!

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Treasure market in the Playground

Treasure market in the Playground

06 May 2021

The playground is alive with pop-up treasure stalls created by Class 1 & 2 children. From delicate flowers and intricate nature craft to a collection of found treasures, children are busy collecting enough gumnuts (the local currency) to buy what they would like. Teachers and staff are also good customers, and the frenzy around the opening of a new shop even requires queueing and crowd control! Shopkeepers are busy with notes, signs and displays and it's just so much fun!

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Friendly Kookaburra visits Castlecrag

Friendly Kookaburra visits Castlecrag

06 May 2021

The kookaburras are always here throughout the day, foraging and finding worms, but this one was particularly friendly and let us get right up close!

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Secret stitching at Castlecrag

Secret stitching at Castlecrag

06 May 2021

There's been a lot of stitching, stitching going on at Castlecrag this week... I wonder why? You can see them in the playground, sitting on the walls and even in the trees! What can it be?

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Mother Earth in Castlecrag Reception

Mother Earth in Castlecrag Reception

06 May 2021

With a few extra special leaves and feathers bought from the children's playground stalls, Mother Earth is collecting her Autumn treasures at Castlecrag Reception.

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To Mum with Love - Mother's Day gifts

To Mum with Love - Mother's Day gifts

06 May 2021

Now that the special day has come and gone, we can share with you some of the beautiful things the children made especially for Mother's Day.

Little Kindy and Class 2 felted soaps, Class 1 stitched gum leaf bookmarks out of hand-dyed felt, Class 3 crocheted brooches and placed holders with their first crochet! Class 4 embroidered lavender pillows and made hand-sewn paper cards.  Over at Middle Cove, Class 5 made clay vases with dried flowers, Class 6 made baskets out of Bangalow Palms, Year 7 baked delicious shortbread with fresh flower petals from the garden, and Year 8 made their own beeswax wraps button brooches. What a bounty of beautiful things for mums and carers. We trust our Mums enjoyed their beautiful hand-crafted gifts.

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Class 1 explore numbers to 12

Class 1 explore numbers to 12

23 Apr 2021

At the end of Term 1, Class 1 explored numbers from 1 - 12, including roman numerals. Writing, playing and using bean bags with numbers, they also made them in beeswax and used their new counters and counting bags to explore simple addition and subtraction. 

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Class 2 long stitch pencil cases

Class 2 long stitch pencil cases

23 Apr 2021

Class 2 have been stitching their own pencil cases, and the results are remarkable. One side has mountain and valley patterns in long stitch, whilst the other side contains their own design, carefully stitched. From the Opera House to rainbows, a cricket match, animals and even the sinking Titanic, their pencil cases will take them all the way to Class 6!

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Autumn Festival and celebrating Michaelmas

Autumn Festival and celebrating Michaelmas

23 Apr 2021

All 6 primary school classes came together on the last Friday at the end of Term 2 for the festival of Michaelmas - midway between the summer and winter solstices. It is an experiential treat as the hall is filled with voices, rounds, drama and music. The story of St. Michael and the dragon centres around an evil dragon holding the East at bay, and St. George (an earthly representation of St. Michael) tames the dragon with the Sword of Justice and Courage. It is Harvest time, as we gather our stores for winter, and the story reflects the gathering of our internal strength and light for the coming darkness of winter. Each class rehearses their own part - songs, music, poetry and drama - and they come together to perform as one. Class 2 prepared the fresh bread rolls and steamed corn, Class 3 rehearsed being the dragon, Class 5 played recorder and all classes from 1 - 6 rehearsed the story and their own songs. Thank you to all teachers and Class 5 teacher Katherine Arconati for working together on this event, and to Head of Music Ian Munns for playing the opening piano.

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Class 2 explore the sounds of music

Class 2 explore the sounds of music

23 Apr 2021

Rodney Dean has been working with Class 2 to explore music and sound. Listening to their own rhythms on the xylophone, percussion instruments, kalimba, rain-shakers, bells, chimes and recorder, the children shared what stories and imagery might accompany the various sounds they could create. Each child worked with one rhythm as they explored beat, rhythm, melody and timing together, before playing their own instrument and music to their regular morning song as one group. The result was wonderful! These skills are developed over many years in the primary class teacher period, allowing the children not only to play all their own music for school plays and festivals, but deepen their musical knowledge, experience and appreciation.

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Preparing for Michaelmas

Preparing for Michaelmas

23 Apr 2021

Last term Class 2 prepared bread and corn cobs for the whole of primary school on the morning of the Michaelmas Festival. Class Assistant Monique carefully calculated enough flour to make 180 rolls! She and Melony kneaded the dough with some Class 1 children before Class 2 children came in groups. Each child took part to further knead and form the many rolls that were baked to perfection. Can you spot the dough ball in the air?! The corn was peeled and the husks will be made into corn dolls. Class 1 volunteers decorated the Harvest display in the hall and the office was also brimming with lovely donations from school families - thank you. The food was all donated to Oz Harvest, who distribute it to charities to help feed people in need in Sydney.

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Glenaeon School Office Hours during the Easter Holidays

Glenaeon School Office Hours during the Easter Holidays

31 Mar 2021

The Easter holidays are almost here!  The last day of Term 1 is Wednesday 31 March and Term 2 commences on Wednesday 21 April.

Middle Cove Reception will remain open over the school holidays between the hours of 9am and 2pm. Please contact Sarah via email reception@glenaeon.nsw.edu.au or call 9417-3193

Castlecrag Reception will be closed from Thursday 1 April and will reopen on Monday 19 April. You can contact Melony via email castlecrag@glenaeon.nsw.edu.au or call 9958-0774.

Wishing everyone a safe and restful break.
Glenaeon Admin Team

 

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Autumn inspo

Autumn inspo

25 Mar 2021

You may be tempted to make some Autumn trimmings for your tables at home. 

The mornings and evenings are a little crisper and soon ....

Leaves are drifting slowly down.
They make a carpet on the ground,
Then swish! The wind comes whistling by,
And sends them dancing in the sky!

 

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Glenaeon Charter Bus Bookings Term 2 – NOW OPEN

Glenaeon Charter Bus Bookings Term 2 – NOW OPEN

25 Mar 2021

It’s time to make your booking on the Glenaeon charter bus for Term 2, 2021.   Please be aware that seats on these charter buses are limited.  While casual tickets are available to purchase, a casual ticket does not guarantee your child access to the bus if there isn’t a seat available.  In order to allow for adequate planning and capacity to be available for all students wishing to use the charter buses, please make your booking before the end of this term.  Bookings for Term 2 are due by Wednesday 31 March. 

Please use the following link to make your booking for Term 2 or for further information about the Glenaeon charter bus routes: https://glo.glenaeon.nsw.edu.au/homepage/1425

 

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Class 5 makes 'dough' despite the rain

Class 5 makes 'dough' despite the rain

25 Mar 2021

Traditionally, Class 5 gardeners host Pizza Day each term with the help of Class 7 Food Technology students who make all the pizza dough.  They utilise fresh ingredients grown in our Middle Cove Biodynamic Garden to create delicious hot pizzas to sell to their fellow students at lunchtime.  This activity combines gardening, health and nutrition, culinary skills and service to their community!  

This Tuesday however, plans for making pizza were washed away in the torrential rain that had fallen on Sydney. Fortunately, they are a resilient group.  With the support of their Garden Teachers, Kathy and Edgar, they sheltered in the Gentle Cafe and baked herb and cheese bread rolls instead. 

“That smells so good!” was a phrase heard across the campus.  A total of $220 in donations was received from students and staff for their tasty snacks.  Monies raised from these lunch events will be given to a worthy cause chosen by Class 5.

Hopefully, next term the weather will be friendlier and there will be pizzas for lunch.  Well done Class 5 and thank you to all the helpers who provided support with this class activity.

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Class 3 explores Farming and Textiles

Class 3 explores Farming and Textiles

25 Mar 2021

Class 3’s final Main Lesson for Term 1 is Farming and Textiles. So far it has involved a series of highly practical lessons where the children are learning how natural raw materials are transformed into products. One of the activities has been the transformation of wheat into bread. Another, how we prepare and look after soil. 

Below you will see photos of the children threshing a cloth bag of wheat, blowing the wheat as it falls into a bowl to separate the stalk pieces from the grains (winnowing), grinding the wheat with a mortar and pestle and making damper.

The other series of photos are of the children sowing ‘green manure’. This involved a little excursion to the garden where we were met by Kathy Thangathurai, one of our resident Glenaeon Gardening Teachers. Kathy had prepared a garden bed especially.

First, she spoke about the importance of building and nourishing our soil to keep it healthy. Then we were handed a small portion of carefully selected seeds and while we were sprinkling, she explained that when the seeds sprout and grow they draw nutrients from the soil depths and from the air to bring them to the top layer where our plant’s roots grow. The children then took turns ‘turning and tickling’ the earth with a hoe and to end off this wonderful experience, Class 3 blessed the soil with a song to help the seeds grow.

A few children exclaimed that this was their ‘most favourite main lesson ever!’

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The apple of Kindy's eye

The apple of Kindy's eye

25 Mar 2021

Big Kindergarten have been welcoming Autumn and have been busy making some leaf print paintings, as well as enjoying the rainy, windy weather. We have also made some pom pom apples (we even had a noisy minor come and visit our tree) and are looking forward to our Apple Picking excursion to Bilpin this coming weekend, where we will enjoy some delicious apples from the orchard.

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Inside and Outside Rainy Day Play

Inside and Outside Rainy Day Play

25 Mar 2021

Children have been enjoying their inside-outside play at lunch times as the rain has brought some indoor play time. Students have had a chance to get creative with blocks, games and cards, drawing and their own craft projects.

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Here comes the sun!

Here comes the sun!

25 Mar 2021

What a welcome relief it was to finally see the sun! The level of excitement and sheer relief was palpable as children played in the warm air and bright sunshine again after relentless rain. As the children's rain pants dry in the sun, we look forward to some more lovely Autumn days approaching the Easter holidays.

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Grassroots Ecostore at the Castlecrag Campus

Grassroots Ecostore at the Castlecrag Campus

25 Mar 2021

The Grassroots Ecostore is on our Castlecrag Campus, and open every school day for families and the public to visit. Taryn Miller, who took over the store this year, has been a lovely presence and provider of beautiful, useful and wonderful supplies for our families, the community and the public. The shop is beautiful and is real treasure trove of art, craft, lunch box/school supplies, books, toys, felt craft, slippers, candles, drawing and health/beauty products. The shop has a great eco and ethical focus, so products are locally sourced, naturally made and low impact where possible. You will find some lovely Easter and school holiday craft supplies so do come in before the end of school and find some treasures for home, holidays, birthdays and more. We really love having the Ecostore on our campus and thank Taryn for what she has brought to the store. You can also order online any time at grassrootsecostore.com.au or call Taryn on 0409 022 327.

Opening hours during term time are:

Monday 8.30am – 11.30am & 2:00pm – 3:45pm
Tuesday 8.30am – 11.30am & 2:00pm – 3:45pm
Wednesday 8.30am – 12.30pm
Thursday 8.30am – 11.30am & 2:00pm – 3:45pm
Friday 8.30am – 11.30am & 2:00pm – 3:45pm

The shop is closed during school holidays but online orders continue.

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Class 1 dye their chair bags

Class 1 dye their chair bags

25 Mar 2021

Engaged in a very creative outdoor activity, Class 1 students were able to dye their chair bags, even though it was pouring with rain! Under the building overhang, Handwork Teacher Elizabeth Ellean set up dyeing tables, where the children used vibrant colours to dye the bags that will hang on the backs of each of their desk chairs and hold their books, crayons and counters. It was a highly creative and colourful task, supported by our volunteers.

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Class 2 plant the Kefir lime tree and Kindy in the compost

Class 2 plant the Kefir lime tree and Kindy in the compost

25 Mar 2021

We have been slowly developing a Scent Garden outside Reception in beautiful blue pots, and this week gardening Teachers Kathy Thangathurai and Sandra Frain brought a beautiful Kefir lime tree to plant. The children trolleyed the freshly composted soil to the pot and planted it in the rain. Meanwhile, Kindergarten have also been digging out the compost and we welcomed volunteer Guchi to assist.  Our beautiful sunflowers have been a welcoming joy in the early morning duty in the rain! 

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Class 2 Animal Fables Main Lesson

Class 2 Animal Fables Main Lesson

25 Mar 2021

Class 2 students have been introduced to the underlying wisdom of the Animal Fables during their English Main Lesson. They have enjoyed and written texts from The Tortoise and the Hare, and The Lion and the Mouse and many more. The children have this week also painted some most beautiful paintings for the wall, truly a sight to behold.

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Meet Emily Fam – Glenaeon’s Student Wellbeing Coordinator

Meet Emily Fam – Glenaeon’s Student Wellbeing Coordinator

11 Mar 2021

What is your new role at Glenaeon?
I’m the new Student Wellbeing Coordinator and this role is new to Glenaeon this year. Its aim is to support the Deputy Heads of School in ensuring the physical, psychological, social, emotional and spiritual wellbeing of the students from Kindergarten – Year 12. This includes providing one-on-one support for students, as well as implementing broader programs across the school.

What experience do you bring to Glenaeon?
I have 10+ years volunteer and professional experience in supporting young people and families in a variety of contexts including mental health, alcohol and drugs, OOHC/foster care and homelessness. I have worked with young people facing many challenges, some of which include anxiety, depression, trauma, peer and social relationship struggles, low self-esteem, eating disorders, bullying and family breakdown. As a social worker, I have a passion for working from a strengths based, holistic approach to support those I’m working alongside to feel seen, nurtured and empowered.

What are your interests? (hobbies etc)
Some of my favourite hobbies include bushwalking, the ocean, reading, dancing, travelling and sharing delicious meals with friends and family. I have probably set the world record for the amount of times watching the entirety of the series Gilmore Girls, and I also love nerding out on many podcasts that involve any of my interests including low tox and slow living, integrative health, birth and anything by Brené Brown.

What are you most excited about for the year ahead?
The students I have already been able to engage with have made me very excited to continue getting to know and work with more students through individual support and broader programs as the year progresses. In my short time here at Glenaeon, I have already known the students to be empathetic, mature, kind and welcoming, which has been beautiful to see. I also look forward to working in an environment where I get to see the bush every day.

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When life gives you lemons, help the environment!

When life gives you lemons, help the environment!

11 Mar 2021

The Student Eco Team recently ran a lemonade stall, raising money for The Wilderness Society. Well done to all for this highly refreshing initiative!

 

#lemons #lemonade #charity #fundraiser #NatureWeLove

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Autumn's arrival at Castlecrag

Autumn's arrival at Castlecrag

11 Mar 2021

As the glorious sunflowers begin to fade and the zinnias shine the last bursts of summer, Autumnal colours have arrived. We acknowledge the changing of our seasons and begin to prepare for the upcoming Harvest Festival. Our nature tables tell tales of Harvest, apple picking and the children have also been making Mother Earth a bounty of beautiful apples from beeswax and bringing them to the nature table in Reception.

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School Tours - a window into Class 1

School Tours - a window into Class 1

11 Mar 2021

Our Castlecrag campus tours offer a beautiful window into the worlds within each classroom. The children's bookwork, craft, painting and tools provide a sense of some of what children see, use and create. Here is a little 'window' into Class 1.

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Class 2 - it's time for tables!

Class 2 - it's time for tables!

11 Mar 2021

Class 2 students have immersed themselves in the world of times tables with their 'Ida Spider' Math Main Lesson with Teacher Rodney Dean. Just like Ida with her stunning web formations, Class 2 have used the 10-point number wheels and wool to show that each times table has it's own geometric form and that numbers are inherently linked to patterns, geometry and repetition. This fundamental understanding offers another dimension to the times tables, which they have also been hopping, stepping and jumping all the way up to the twelve times table! Well done Class 2! The path leading from the classroom has a number game that children step times tables as they head out to play. They have also been writing numbers as far as they can and there are some VERY long number scrolls rolling about!

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Class 1 cubbies and mandalas

Class 1 cubbies and mandalas

11 Mar 2021

Class 1 are enjoying their new playground, and have built their first bush-stick cubby. The enterprising builders negotiated with our Bush Regenerist Lindsay in the local currency - gum nuts -  for a pile of palm branches to enhance their building equipment. Nearby, the children create beautiful and intricate mandalas with natural materials, leaving them in the playground for all to enjoy.

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Tadpoles  and frogs in the pond

Tadpoles and frogs in the pond

11 Mar 2021

When children bring the class rolls to Reception, they always stop to look at the tadpoles, which have been growing since last year. They have now grown arms and legs and once they are little frogs can be gently returned to the pond! The children take great care of the pond with Gardening Teacher Sandra Frain, and at dawn and dusk, the frogs can be heard croaking.

 

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Class 1 make their counting bags

Class 1 make their counting bags

11 Mar 2021

Class 1 students have been making their counting bags with Handwork Teacher Elizabeth Ellean. Adding backstitch to their growing repertoire of skills, they sewed the sides of their bags up and threaded the plait through the top hem. These are now ready to hold their counters as they begin their new Math Main Lesson with Class 1 Teacher Jennifer Stone.

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xin nian kuai le (Happy New Year in Mandarin)

xin nian kuai le (Happy New Year in Mandarin)

25 Feb 2021

The excitement of the beginning of the new school year has now settled back into familiar patterns, rhythms and routines.  Our first Main Lesson cycle for the year has just concluded, and for Class 5 in particular, it has been a new and interesting one!

While European, Middle Eastern and Australian history, both pre and post colonisation, have long been a feature of the Main Lesson sequence in Primary School at Glenaeon, for some time, we have been committed to the addition of an integrated Main Lesson experience that reflects our geographic position as part of Asia.  The current Year 9 cohort experienced the first "Tales of Ancient China" Main Lesson when they were in Class 5. This year, Teacher Katherine Arconati has again delved into Chinese legends, myths, history and geography in the Main Lesson, now re-named "The Celestial Empire".

The children have been gleefully immersed in ancient Chinese culture and philosophy through mythology, geography, art, dance, music and verse.  They were treated to calligraphic instruction via a visiting calligraphy artist and decorated the school with their work.  The Main Lesson's timing perfectly coincided with the Lunar New Year celebrations and on the first day of the New Year, we were thoroughly enthralled by Class 5's remarkable traditional Chinese music performance at our Junior School Assembly. 

As part of our rich academic offerings throughout Primary School, it is wonderful to acknowledge and celebrate the diverse cultural perspectives and history of so many members of our community and our neighbours.

 

Dani Finch
Deputy Head of School (K-Class 6) & Registrar

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Class 5 and The Celestial Empire Main Lesson

Class 5 and The Celestial Empire Main Lesson

25 Feb 2021

Katherine Arconati’s Class 5 students have been deeply immersed in a renewed Main Lesson, “The Celestial Empire”. Originally created by Susie Hughes in 2017 out of her personal connection to the rich culture and history of one of the most powerful and significant nations of our time, Katherine set out to find her own connection to this unit of work and has been simply delighted by the results.

The children have heard and discussed many myths and legends that describe everything from creation to the invention of silk.  They imagined a migratory bird’s flight to the north-eastern shores of China, stopping at many familiar places along the way (Byron Bay, Papua New Guinea, Japan, Korea) and then drew a simple map of the area.  Visiting Teacher Jing Li taught the children about the traditional art of calligraphic writing using materials that she brought to school in hand from China years ago.  Art Therapist, Julia Byrne also made a guest appearance and led the children to draw the amazing water dragons using oil pastels and citrus turps.

Class 5’s studies culminated with a celebration of the Lunar New Year.  Thanks to Parent Laura, the children made dumplings and experienced some other traditions of the festival.  The class then shared their experience with Classes 3-6 with a performance of songs (in Chinese!) at a Junior School assembly.

#glenaeon #steiner #steinereducation #mainlesson #class5 #celestialempire #china #chinese #deeplearning #immersivelearning #experience #academic #history #art #music #geography #craft #politics #lunarnewyear #food #culture #drawing #painting #language #sydney #middlecove #primaryschool

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A big warm welcome to big school Class 3!

A big warm welcome to big school Class 3!

25 Feb 2021

Class 3 have been settling into their new campus here at Middle Cove. Class 3 Teacher Lucy Armstrong has kept a watchful eye over her students.  It's been a big change from Castlecrag, but our 'little fish in a big pond' are becoming acquainted with the new play areas and classrooms as well as enjoying the bigger spaces and new faces.

They also enjoyed their first experience of a Junior School Assembly in the Sylvia Brose Hall together with students from Classes 4, 5 and 6.

A big warm welcome to big school Class 3!

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The cycle of life in the gardens at Castlecrag

The cycle of life in the gardens at Castlecrag

25 Feb 2021

Last year, two large trees needed to be removed following the storms and health of their foliage. The trees were chipped and the sawdust partially decomposed at the tree site. This week Class 1 children and their gardening teacher Sandra Frain mulched the gardens and added the rich sawdust to the compost pit. The wheelbarrow was laden and they bucketed the sawdust and poured the remaining chips into the large deep-pit compost. Sitting in a closing circle with Sandra, they shared their learnings which lead to a discussion on the importance of the cycle of the plant life through rich soil making. To complete the cycle, two new trees have been planted near where the old ones used to be.

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Class 1 learn their letters

Class 1 learn their letters

25 Feb 2021

The Class 1 Main Lesson on upper case letters is well and truly underway and the children are really enjoying the fairy tales, drawings and finding the letters around them in the classroom. They practise writing using correct formation, sounding out and building the phonemic awareness that underlies reading and writing as these capacities unfold. They also used wax to form letters, this week modelling 'T' for Tree and 'N' for Needle. A multi-sensory approach to learning allows the student to experience and learn through song, rhyme, movement, bookwork and art, stimulating the visual, auditory, kinaesthetic and tactile senses as they see, hear and touch to create the things they are learning.

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Class 2 group games

Class 2 group games

25 Feb 2021

Class 2 have a whole-of-class games session each week, which are a huge amount of fun and greatly enjoyed. This week, children played 'Streets and Lanes', which involves rapidly changing directions as an escapee is chased through the 'streets and lanes'. The group also played 'Sheep Sheep come home', involving a sheep trying to get back to their farmer and avoid the hungry wolf; and 'Twos and Threes', where a cat and mouse pair case each other out and seek refuge with their same animal. The children love these sessions, and there is much excitement as Class teacher Rodney and assistant Monique also join in the fun.

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Grinding stones at Castlecrag

Grinding stones at Castlecrag

25 Feb 2021

Grinding the abundant sandstone is a favourite lunch time activity of all classes here at Castlecrag. Children love making 'fairy dust', paint and colours as they pound the rocks to dust and then mix them with water. The ochres, reds and browns of our local sandstone are very beautiful. It is also a very rhythmical and satisfying experience, and one that can also be hard work!

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Jump, climb and balance - all in a day's play

Jump, climb and balance - all in a day's play

25 Feb 2021

Our playground at Castlecrag encourages children to climb, balance and jump, thereby developing their balance and coordination whilst having a lot of fun. Rocks, low trees, balance beams, monkey bars and 'The Fort' are all places where the children develop and explore their own abilities, taking time over the years to improve and learn new skills. 'Monkey bar blisters' are a small rite of passage for the Class 1 children, who relish the opportunity to swing and climb in their new playground.

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Meet Angela Sutton, Head of Learning Support K-12

Meet Angela Sutton, Head of Learning Support K-12

22 Feb 2021

Glenaeon is a highly nurturing and caring school where every child is given the opportunity to reach their full learning potential. Learning support is available to Glenaeon students that may be facing learning challenges in class or just need a bit of extra help with reading, or managing study.  Meet Angela Sutton, our Head of Learning support for students in K-12.  It is Angela who will make assessments, and if needed, develop a Learning Support Plan and work closely with the Student, Teachers and Parents to get the best outcomes for all.

What is your new role at Glenaeon?
I am the Head of Learning Support (K-12) and High School Learning Support Teacher based at Middle Cove Campus.

What experience do you bring to Glenaeon?
For the past 18 years, I’ve been working in Special Education as a Teacher, Assistant Principal, Advisor and Director in the USA, Australia, Bhutan and Indonesia. My experience is with students from preschool to university, therefore, working in the K-12 setting at Glenaeon is a perfect fit for me. I have previously enjoyed working with students with autism and a variety of learning difficulties and needs.

What are your interests?
My interests are in traveling, trekking, exercising and cooking. Pre-COVID, we enjoyed a several month holiday around Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam before landing in Indonesia. I love experiencing different cultures, traditions and foods. I enjoy playing tennis and table tennis, as well as jogging. As a family, we enjoy cooking and baking together.

What are you most excited about for the year ahead?
I’m most excited about getting to know the students and working alongside the staff at Castlecrag and Middle Cove campus. I look forward to watching the students grow as the year progresses.

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Class 3 discover Middle Cove campus windfall

Class 3 discover Middle Cove campus windfall

11 Feb 2021

Handwork lessons in Class 3 skipped off to a great start this year, with the children taking a walking tour out into their new bush playground and beyond. Together we discovered new pathways leading to new big school areas. With their class teacher Lucy, we walked from their classroom down to the garden, past students working in their classrooms and we met café operators Marian and Peter. On the way we practiced walking quietly past classrooms, taking the steps down the hill carefully, safe road rules as well as observing play spaces and outside boundary areas.

Most importantly we collected interesting windfalls from the trees and bushes to wrap in our bundles to print onto cloth and parchment paper. Class 3 have commenced making their library bags and soon will be using them to take home their first books from the junior library. Firstly, they started embroidering their initials onto their straps and soon the children will sew their straps to their leaf print cloth.

 

Everyone is excited to see how their bundles turn out when they unwrap them.

Welcome to Middle Cove campus Class 3!

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Class 1 & 2 Handwork

Class 1 & 2 Handwork

11 Feb 2021

"In handwork our hands are nimble and quick!" This is the beginning of the song we sing together, as we make our way into the handwork space.

In the first week for Class 1, Elizabeth told a summer story of the baby dolphin learning to jump in and out of the water. The children were given ocean blue cloth to Dolphin Stitch into, creating the straight and the curved line. This cloth will later be turned into a counting bag for the children to use in their lessons with their Class Teacher Jennifer. Class 2, meanwhile, have begun work on their long stitch pencil cases, a project that will see them first stitch and then sew together their own pencil case to use for many years to come. They create a landscape of pointy mountains and deep valleys, flat-top mountains and castle castellations. From then on, every spare moment they can be found stitching away! In Kindergarten each child sews their own craft bag with their name and an image, and this bag will travel with them through all of the primary classes at Glenaeon.

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Little Kindy come out to play

Little Kindy come out to play

11 Feb 2021

Little Kindy enjoyed outside time in the sandpit this week, digging, creating and working together as they explored and enjoyed their new playground. In their beautiful classroom is a Summer nature table, which celebrates the abundance of the season. What is also very sweet is that their older siblings in Class 1 and Class 2 are often visiting, waving and checking in on their little brothers and sisters; here pictured are some big brothers keeping watch over the 'Kindergarten Gate'. 

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Class 2 - Twiggy the Cave bird Main Lesson

Class 2 - Twiggy the Cave bird Main Lesson

11 Feb 2021

Class 2 have been furthering their literacy and geography skills with a Main Lesson centered around Twiggy the Cave bird. As Twiggy's siblings go out into the world and meet other birds, they learn a lot about them and bring the stories back to Twiggy in the cave. Twiggy is still very small and too fragile to leave the nest, so the stories nourish her and create beautiful pictures in her mind. They are also learning the local geography of Sydney and our own surrounds as the birds travel across our landscapes from Botany Bay to Palm Beach and west towards Parramatta. The children have been writing longer sentences, drawing beautifully and practicing their word families alongside this main lesson.

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Class 2 create birds with beeswax

Class 2 create birds with beeswax

11 Feb 2021

Alongside their main lesson, Class 2 have been making colourful and creative wax birds, which have been popping up all over the place...even in the front office and reception nature table! Wax is a wonderful tool to develop dexterity, perseverance and will, as the cold, hard colours are first softened, then formed into a myriad of shapes and creations. 

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Class 1 Gardening with Sandra

Class 1 Gardening with Sandra

11 Feb 2021

Class 1 are enjoying their gardening time with Sandra. They were busy this week searching for insects and bugs and making little homes for them to live in, as well as enjoying tea before filling up the frog pond, planting lemongrass and visiting the wild strawberry patch! Yum! There are wild raspberries growing that look like they might be getting ready to bear fruit this year too. Wouldn't that be exciting?

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Rivers, dams and waterfalls - Class 1 & 2 at play

Rivers, dams and waterfalls - Class 1 & 2 at play

11 Feb 2021

You could mistake them initially as trying to move the huge stone in the Class 1 and 2 sandpit, but that was only the beginning of a complex and impressive network of rivulets, tunnels and water flows that have captivated the children every lunchtime. Carting water, designing flows and dams, whilst enjoying their outside play time has been the most enjoyable time for all : "Class 1 is fun!... Class 2 is too!".

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Class 5 explore Ancient China

Class 5 explore Ancient China

11 Feb 2021

Class 5 have immersed themselves in the study of Ancient China with Class Teacher Katherine Arconati. Their room is a museum and gallery of their work was well as Chinese artefacts, instruments and calligraphy sets that the children are using. This blackboard beauty was drawn by teacher Katherine Arconati.

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Our Kindergarten Spaces

Our Kindergarten Spaces

11 Feb 2021

Kindergarten is a special place and much care, thought and meaning is given to the surroundings, equipment and spaces in which the children play. The environment is beautiful, warm and welcoming, inviting open-ended creative play, whilst also nourishing aspects of play such as sorting, counting, building and much social engagement. The Kindy day starts with Outside Play, before moving inside into Morning Circle and then Inside Play. These beautiful play spaces come alive as toys, objects and furniture become trains, planes, houses, gardens and play spaces; endless sessions of creative and imaginative play. They also grind grains for cooking, bake and prepare food each day. A strong rhythm is held by the teachers, which also includes the children tidying up and putting everything away again, ready for tomorrow. This week the children made beautiful woollen pom-pom mice!

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Kindergarten go out to play

Kindergarten go out to play

11 Feb 2021

Kindergarten children have had a lovely time this week exploring their special places in the playground, digging, playing in the water, building cubbies and finding many small insects to watch and talk about. The flow form fills with water on warm days, buckets and spades are carried from the 'Kindy Shed' and the children enjoy their outside time together enormously.

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Year 9's The Cove, builds character

Year 9's The Cove, builds character

10 Feb 2021

The Year 9 cohort's program The Cove started this week. All Year 9 students showed up at the early time of 7:30am to immerse themselves in the beautiful bush surrounding the school. A 1.5 km run saw them crossing Scotts Creek on the footbridge below the school and everyone gathered at the natural ledge overlooking the creek from high above on the other side. There we sat and exchanged ideas. They heard about the program's purpose and the activities they'll be involved in over the year ahead.

The program aims to instill a sense of belonging, and a better connection to place. It also fosters a sense for community and will involve activities that improve their fitness, yoga, mindfulness exercises, talking circles, cooperative games and activities in which the students reflect on their observations and ideas we discuss together.

The year-end brings the highlight of an amazing race through the city in late November, The Cove's Character Challenge in which all those skills both physical and social/emotional will be put to the test when they work together in groups.

This is the third year The Cove program has been implemented successfully. This year’s Year 9 students will benefit from the fact that the whole cohort works together, outdoors through the seasons, surrounded by nature and by gaining a deeper understanding of themselves as well as their classmates through a shared experience.

We wish them all a successful year and both Donna and I are looking forward to spending valuable and formative moments with them throughout the year.

Jonas Stoebe
PDHPE Teacher & Co-curricular Organiser

 

 

#glenaeon #thecove #sport #community #achievement #autonomy #development #resilience #service #belonging #strength #endurance #teamwork #outdooreducation #PE #selfdiscipline #selfcare

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Grassroots Eco Store is open with new products in-store and online!

Grassroots Eco Store is open with new products in-store and online!

10 Feb 2021

We are well stocked with the beautiful range of Anthroposophical creams and lotions from Southern Swan. If your children need a bit of extra care and comfort being back at school, applying the Sphagni Rose Lotion “can feel like being surrounded by a mother's cuddle, which they can take with them as they go about their day.” While the Lavender Bath Milk added to the bath can be just the thing to transition from a busy day into slumber.

New in the shop this week are these super versatile, breathable cotton Dish Covers in a range of sizes and native flower designs, not only do they look fantastic on your table, storing or transporting your dishes of food, they are also made by and support women working in home industries in South Africa.

We’ve also been lucky to receive a small delivery of the highly sought after Grimm’s Wooden puzzles and rainbow stacking toys. Grimm’s is well known for their natural, high quality wooden toys that are perfect for hours of open-ended play.

If you are in need of new books and stories to spark your child’s imagination and love of reading, come in and browse our bookshelves filled with a curated collection of books sure to delight both young and older readers.

If you can’t make it to the shop, visit us online: grassrootsecostore.com.au more products are added each week!

Opening Hours for Term 1
Monday: 8.30am–11.30am & 2pm–3.45pm
Tuesday: 8.30am–11.30am & 2pm–3.45pm
Wednesday: 8.30am–12.30pm
Thursday: 8.30am–11.30am & 2pm–3.45pm
Friday: 8.30am–11.30am & 2pm–3.45pm

Thank you for shopping locally. A portion of every sale goes to support Glenaeon.

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Getting into the Rhythm of School life by Mary Heard

Getting into the Rhythm of School life by Mary Heard

28 Jan 2021

How do we keep the lovely feeling of relaxation and connection we have created over the holidays when we return to school?
The answer is rhythm.

It is one of the tools the teachers use in the classroom of Steiner Schools to maintain the feeling of calm and order.

We can take some of that medicine into our own homes. Of course it will never be perfect but it will at least anchor us and save us being tossed around on the stormy seas of school life.

In my opinion, the best way to set your child up for a successful school life is to get them to school calmly with 15 minutes to play before the bell goes.

So how does “Simplicity Parenting” help you to achieve that?
What we recommend is that you sit down quietly and look at your days........

Start with wake up time  
What time do your children need to wake up in order to comfortably get to school 15 minutes early?

Work backwards from there

  • Pre-schoolers to 7 year olds need 11-12 hours of sleep
  • 8 to 12 year olds need 9-11 hours
  • Adolescents need 8-9 hours

So from there you can work out the bed time
A good balance for a 7-year-old for example, would be sleep by 8 and up at 7
So once you have worked out your bedtime, work back 2 hours to dinner time –  6pm for an 8pm bedtime.

After dinner it is best to keep a regular routine – bath, music practice (for older children) and a book or story.

The younger the child the easier it is to establish a rhythm. No matter what the age the secret is “Start small, stay close, insist and follow through”

This means you cannot get distracted as a parent. I recommend you turn your phone of between dinner and bed.

Once this rhythm is established it will take you all the way through to high school because you will just be able to put the new activities in as the sleep time lessens.

One last benefit from this way of parenting is that rhythm builds discipline into family life. We have dinner because it is ‘dinner time’, we go to bed because it is ‘bedtime’ we get in the car because it is ‘time to leave for school’ – this saves so many arguments.

It may sound like a grind to have so much structure but ultimately this is the path to freedom because it actually creates space to put in things you want without feeling pressure, they just need to fit in around the structure you have created.

Mary Heard is a Simplicity Parenting Coach and runs courses in Simplicity Parenting in N.S.W throughout the Year.

 

 

 

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Baby News

Baby News

28 Jan 2021

Castlecrag's Little Kindy Teacher Junko Nicholas gave birth to a baby boy, Daas Nicholas in the last week of Term 4 last year.  Middle Cove based HSIE Teacher Ella Pooley gave birth to beautiful Millie on the 11th of January. Both are well and thriving. Congratulations to both Junko and Ella and their families on the new arrivals.  And there is more baby news, with Executive Assistant to our Head of School, Anette Babula expecting a bub in mid-March this year.  How wonderful to welcome these newest members to the Glenaeon family! Our congratulations and warmest wishes to all.

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Class 6 Astronomy Main Lesson

Class 6 Astronomy Main Lesson

28 Jan 2021

This Blackboard Beauty was created by Class 6 Class Teacher Brendan Strobl for the Astronomy Main Lesson.

 

#science #astronomy #mainlesson #glenaeon #steiner #steinereducation #blackboard #blackboardart

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Class 1 cross under the Rainbow Bridge

Class 1 cross under the Rainbow Bridge

28 Jan 2021

On the first day of school in 2021, Class 1 children met once again in the Kindergarten playground with their teachers from last year. They shared their morning song together before walking through the playground up to the Class 1 area. Class 2 children formed a beautiful 'Rainbow Bridge' with a long silk and flowers. The Kindergarten teachers said goodbye and gave each child a flower to take with them 'under the rainbow bridge' to the other side, where their new Class 1 teacher was waiting. The year's Class 1 teacher, Jennifer Stone, received them and they made their way as new Class 1 students. The special 'Class Teacher' period thus begins, and Jennifer Stone will now guide these children through their primary years with the help of other specialist teachers.

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A rainy day to come and play

A rainy day to come and play

28 Jan 2021

The rain was a welcome relief after the heat leading up to the first day of school. The Castlecrag playground has been a buzz of colourful raincoats as children discover and explore their grounds again, with the new Class 1 eagerly exploring the new play areas and friends. Class 2 children enjoyed inside lunch play out of the rain with blocks, dice and geometric shapes.

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Meet Jennifer Stone

Meet Jennifer Stone

28 Jan 2021

We have some wonderful new teachers on staff here at Glenaeon. Over the course of Term 1, we will introduce you to some of the new faces in upcoming editions of the Newsletter. First up - Class 1 Teacher, Jennifer Stone.

What is your new role at Glenaeon?
My new role at Glenaeon is that of Class Teacher, beginning with Class One.

What experience do you bring to Glenaeon?
Along with many experiences in the School of Life, l have led Steiner playgroups and assisted in Kindergarten at Glenaeon, taught at Lorien Novalis and completed a teaching cycle at Kamaroi Rudolf Steiner School.

What are your interests?
My interests are in anthroposophy, theatre, poetry, theatre, design, theatre, music, theatre, yoga, theatre. And theatre. I also love to travel and have spent time in Paris, New York and Japan. Mostly chasing theatre. Despite the cosmopolitan nature of the above list, Nature is my best friend and greatest teacher.

What are you most excited about for the year ahead?
I am looking forward to getting to know the beautiful children in my new class and establishing a healthy rhythm for our troupe. 

 

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Cubby Life, and refrigerators

Cubby Life, and refrigerators

27 Nov 2020

"The rain was just stopping as I arrived for my Tuesday morning playground duty at Castlecrag.  Our very busy Class 1 boys were abuzz with excitement and very keen to show me that their cubby was dry inside.   A couple of them mentioned that they were planning to live there, but it was eventually decided that there wouldn't be room for a fridge, so it was probably best to stay living at home for the time being."

Dani Finch, Deputy Head of School, K-6.

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Class 3 Take Time for Main Lesson

Class 3 Take Time for Main Lesson

27 Nov 2020

Class 3 has been exploring the development of Time Measurement over the past few weeks.  We’ve observed and  experimented with shadow-clocks, water-clocks, candle-clocks and, of course, tick tock clocks.  We made our own card game using the months, seasons and days as well as a D’harawal seasonal calendar.  

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The Science of Sunflowers - Class 1

The Science of Sunflowers - Class 1

27 Nov 2020

Class 1 has been exploring the life cycle of sunflowers, from seed to germination, growth, flowering and harvesting with teacher Prue Reid. Students have dried and now eaten the seeds, saving some for planting again next year. Exploring a story and poem about sunflowers, they created beautiful artwork after looking at the living and dried plants.  We have all enjoyed the glorious sunflowers growing and blooming in the Castlecrag gardens.

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Kindergartens harvest their potatoes

Kindergartens harvest their potatoes

27 Nov 2020

In Term 3 Kindergarten planted potatoes in their potato bags and patiently watered and waited whilst the plants grew big and strong. Now they have faded, they are able to take the heavy bags, tip them out and dig to harvest their very own potatoes for lunch! It's an exciting and special day in which they follow through the life cycle of the potatoes, even finding the 'mother potato' from which all the little babies grew. They sat down to enjoy these together, and Little Kindergarten children even found double one with a little baby - just like their teacher Junko Nichols is growing!

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Compost Building - all hands in the pit

Compost Building - all hands in the pit

27 Nov 2020

It's time to fill the Deep Pit Compost at Castlecrag and begin the cycle of creating our next load of compost, which will be ready for Term 1, 2021! After distributing all the existing rich compost over the last weeks, the compost is filled and layered with grass and leaf clippings, fruit and vegetables, pre-composted paper and hand-towels, lime, straw and biodynamic preparations. We even had assistance from Mary Heard, a keen biodynamic gardener and our previous administrator to help the compost building. The children also came to learn about and scatter the biodynamic preparations of nettle, oak bark, chamomile, yarrow, nettle and dandelion, adding rich compounds and nutrients to the soil. These, alongside the valerian biodynamic preparation that will be added last, will help to activate the process of breaking down the matter into rich, living soil.

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Class 2 reflect on 2020

Class 2 reflect on 2020

27 Nov 2020

Class 2's final Main Lesson for the year is a beautiful 'Reflections' Journal, with a poem encapsulating their year in poetry, script, artwork and embroidery. They are carefully sewing their own covers and filling the book with a poem about their year's work and journey. It will be a special keepsake of 2020 and their last year at the Castlecrag campus, before moving next year with their teacher Lucy Armstrong to the Middle Cove campus to begin Class 3. Their poem reads:

"Our Class 2 journey began, in the morning sun.
With a Rainbow Bridge we welcomed children, starting in class one.
Our first Main Lesson was nature studies, we travelled far from home.
Following the journey of Nino, a brave and curious gnome.
Each day we practiced skip counting, so we would be on track.
To sing our times tables, both forwards and back. 
Weaving her web, Ava spider did wake.
The wonderous beauty of patterns, our number families make.
The King of Ireland Son, was a highlight of the year.
An epic tale of courage and the will to persevere.
It took great effort to learn our play, we pulled together as one.
And on the day we performed with pride; the King of Ireland’s son.
We learned this year to write in cursive, joining our letters with pride.
Each week we’d try to solve a riddle, with Lucy as our guide.
Counting in the thousands, we can add and minus now.
Using knowledge of place value, the squirrels taught us how.
The Saintly lives of people, we explored in Term 4.
Their inner striving power, lives in us for evermore.
St Francis as a youth, pledged his life to the light.
And Offerus did show, his courage over might. 
Painting, dance, creative play, stories that fill our hearts.
We explored, all year round, the magic of the arts.
Class two’s nearly over,
and Christmas is almost near.
We will cherish memories, of our great second year."

- Lucy Armstrong - 

 

 

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Epic sandplay at Castlecrag

Epic sandplay at Castlecrag

27 Nov 2020

In celebration of a term of great lunchtime sandpit play - have a look at some of the recent creations, now that the weather is warmer and water enters the sandpit - carefully carried in watering cans and buckets! Drip castles, bridges, moats and ponds form, as the children create fantastic structures in the sand.

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Memorable Moments for Class 4 Happy Campers

Memorable Moments for Class 4 Happy Campers

27 Nov 2020

Class 4 had a wonderful first camp experience on the oval recently and were lucky to squeeze it in amongst all of the other Term 4 camps happening at the moment.  Despite summer heat and a sleepless night, the children had a wonderful time exploring our local area with smiles and laughter.  This experience supplemented the local geography main lesson which had to be taught remotely in Term 2 and the first Australian history main lesson they just completed.  We revisited some of our favourite spots from our Castlecrag bushwalks and discovered new beauty north of our campus, including a favoured bathing spot frequented by early residents of the Sydney Harbour area.  Memorable moments abounded but none will surpass the shock of the sprinklers coming on just as they were drifting off to sleep on Thursday night!  Our campus and its location are a gift to be cherished and appreciated every day.  I felt so blessed to be where we are with such a fantastic group of children and staff.  Thanks to KG, Scottie and Dani for taking time away from their busy schedules to make this moment happen for Class Four.

Katherine Arconati
Class 4 Teacher

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Castlecrag crafters crochet completed

Castlecrag crafters crochet completed

27 Nov 2020

Handwork Teacher Elizabeth Ellean has helped our young crafters through a big year. And how wonderfully productive they have been! From long-stitch pencil cases, to cushions and recorder bags, bunting and wearable clothing, our artisans are feeling the satisfaction of making something useful and beautiful. Well done to all students for completing their colourful creations.

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Artisan achievements

Artisan achievements

26 Nov 2020

Handwork Teacher Elizabeth Ellean is very proud of her students completed works. Here you will see some of the knitted, sewn, crocheted works by our students. Our wonderful artisan program gives our students a great gift - to be able to make beautiful things, by hand, from scratch, using beautiful colours and imagination with a great deal of personal satisfaction and fulfilment. Well done to all the students. 

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This Place

This Place

12 Nov 2020

“The land is my mother. Like a human mother, the land gives us protection, enjoyment and provides our needs – economic, social and religious. We have a human relationship with the land: Mother, daughter, son. When the land is taken from us or destroyed, we feel hurt because we belong to the land and we are part of it.” – Djinyini Gondarra

I’m writing this newsletter piece as I cross the Great Dividing Range, in a coach with 25 Class 6 students, their teacher Cathy, Hadiah (one of our Outdoor Education sessional staff) and our bus driver Mal! Excitement and spirits are high as we follow the well-travelled road towards Bathurst, en route to Kamilaroi, Wiradjuri and the Weilwan Country – the Warrumbungles! But it is the stop at Wentworth Falls Lake that is sitting with me right now.

Wentworth Falls Lake was created in 1878 by damming Jamieson Creek to store water for the steam railway. In 2020, it is a picturesque picnic spot and has excellent facilities. Functional, clean, and natural but - tame. As I stood, watching the children stretch their legs, I experienced the familiar deep knowing that strikes me on every program; that we must continue to take the children in our charge into wild places. By the time Thursday comes, and the coach pulls into McClelland St, Willoughby, we will have spent some time in the ‘wilderness’, and the children will be quieter, calmer, and more settled into their natural rhythms. In the absence of the stimulation of Sydney’s business, they will have come back to themselves.

As with most elements of a Glenaeon education, Outdoor Education is much more than it says on the label!   By the end of a 13-year journey, our students can complete a self-sustained 48-hour solo camp; they will have been on many incredible adventures - up mountains, down rivers, and into foreign lands; mostly compulsory and for the really keen ones, some extras. All of this will have happened in the wilderness of ‘nature’s classroom’. And yet, Outdoor Education is so much more than adventures. For me, it is about conveying, through lived experience in wild places, a deep knowing and belonging perfectly summed up by Craig Foster in the incredible documentary ‘My Octopus Teacher.” https://tinyurl.com/y5txyvf7

“What she taught me was to feel... that you’re part of this place, not a visitor.”

On this Class 6 program, we begin to build the habits, values and attitudes that will give every student the best chance of experiencing a ‘human relationship with the land’ for themselves. It is an experience impossible to have in the city, with the hum of traffic, and the schedule and stress of our modern lives. 

This week, on country that has been inhabited for millennia by stargazers, we will look up at the stars in wonder, and we will feel ‘part of this place’.

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Class 2 visits big campus ahead of Class 3, 2021

Class 2 visits big campus ahead of Class 3, 2021

12 Nov 2020

This week, Class 2 students went with their Class Teacher Lucy Armstrong and Deputy Head of School K-6, Dani Finch to visit the place where they will be going to school next year, our Middle Cove campus. Students got to see their future classroom, the playground, and meet some of the staff in our Middle Cove office including Sarah at Reception, and Chris Scrogie, our Operations & Facilities Manager. They watched the Class 3 Play and then shared a lunch together with Class 3. There was much excitement about the move to BIG campus and the fun and adventures that lie ahead!

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Class 4’s amazing animal projects

Class 4’s amazing animal projects

12 Nov 2020

Class 4 has been working on Animal Projects as part of their Main Lesson. Students each made a model of an animal and also wrote a poem as part of the written component of their work. The range of animals was broad with students choosing to make a model of a bear hunting for food with its cub, a crocodile, stingray, dingo,  and even a hand-stitched felt koalas,  and a Peacock with its tail feathers on glorious display. Class 4 Teacher Katherine Arconati said, “The effort our students put into these works is truly astounding and I am beyond proud of them.  When you look at their work, you can see how beautifully we educate the will, a life skill that no standardised test can measure.” Well done to Class 4.

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Poppies at Castlecrag

Poppies at Castlecrag

12 Nov 2020

Class 1 and 2 planted poppies, snapdragons and natives in their new garden, and just in time for Remembrance Day, the most beautiful red poppies burst into bloom. There were many busy bees visiting and the garden also attracted the butterflies!

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Knitted Friends in Class 2

Knitted Friends in Class 2

12 Nov 2020

Class 2 are taking their knitting to another level, designing and knitting their own personalised dolls! They follow their pattern, choosing their colours and clothes, and will finish by adding hair, features and accessories, with guidance from the Handwork teacher Elizabeth Ellean, who also drew a beautiful chalkboard to accompany the lessons.

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Sending Love to Sandra

Sending Love to Sandra

12 Nov 2020

When Sandra slipped and broke her collarbone, the children gathered to water the gardens, dig out the compost and care for the gardens at Castlecrag. They also made a plethora of gifts and cards which were delivered by Melony to her door. It is the measure of a great teacher, that the children can continue in their absence, with the same rhythm and enthusiasm. We all wish Sandra a speedy recovery and return! Look at all the composts, watering, flowers, bees, the playground and cups of tea in these cards! Playgroup has continued beautifully thanks to lovely Carly from Preschool, who has enjoyed visiting Castlecrag and meeting all of Sandra's playgroup children. Said Sandra from home: “I am so pleased that they know what to do, even though I am not there! They have learned how to garden, compost and fertilise from Playgroup through Preschool, Kindergarten and it continues through the Primary school. When one person in the team steps out, everyone else knows how to keep all the cycles going. I am enormously grateful to the children and their teachers for coming forward to continue caring for the plants and the animals in all the school gardens until I return.” 

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Class 6 perform Aladdin

Class 6 perform Aladdin

29 Oct 2020

Last Friday Class 6 performed the play ‘Aladdin’ in front of fellow students, teachers and school administration staff. They had rehearsed for many weeks, and finally all those rehearsals and preparations culminated in a wonderful show, that told the tale of Aladdin, a poor street boy, who meets a young girl in the market place who happens to be Princess Jasmine, the daughter of the Sultan of Hasbah. She is sad because she is being forced to marry her father's choice of suitor. Aladdin's luck suddenly changes when he retrieves a magical lamp from the Cave of Wonders. What he unwittingly gets is a fun-loving genie who only wishes to have his freedom. Little do they know that the sinister magician Omar has his own plans for both Aladdin and the lamp.

Brightly coloured costumes, hand-crafted and impressive props and enlivening singing, dance and music, came together, with wonderful performances by the talented cast. The students learned a great deal about performance, drama and theatre, and had a great deal of fun along the way. 

We missed the fact our parents could not be in the audience due to COVID-19 restrictions and hope these images go some way to illustrating the wonderful event. Well done to all and thank you to the volunteers, parents and others who contributed to the play’s great success. 

 

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Class 2 play - the King of Ireland's Son

Class 2 play - the King of Ireland's Son

29 Oct 2020

Class 2 rose to the occasion and performed their play 'The King of Ireland's Son' - the story of a young man on an adventurous quest with the help of animals and friends in the deep woods. After losing a bet with the Enchanter of the Back-Lands, he has a year and a day to find the Enchanter's castle and pluck three hairs from his beard, otherwise he will lose his life. Facing many tricks and challenges, he finally succeeds, travelling on a journey of swans, wild birds, steeds to meet the three daughters of the King. The King of Ireland's Son succeeds, winning not only the hand of his beloved Fedelma, but the hearts of the small audience watching too! The children played percussion and lyre, and dressed in colourful costumes on decorative sets. 

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Home made herbal teas from the garden

Home made herbal teas from the garden

29 Oct 2020

Herbs that had been gathered, harvested and dried were carefully put together to make jars of homemade herbal tea to take home. Lavender for relaxation, sage for sore throats, native mint for the nose, lemon balm and lemongrass were combined. The herbs grow in abundance and as the children learn the many uses and ways to upcycle everything! Not much is wasted here at Castlecrag as we recycle all of our plants, organic matter and waste through the compost and recycling systems. The deep pit compost provides an enormous amount of living soil for our garden beds, and children make weed fertiliser and natural tonics for the soil which is transported and shared between all three Glenaeon campuses. No wonder our gardens grow so well! Thanks to Gardening teachers Sandra and Kathy, as well as garden assistants Edgar and Michelle, and all the children for their daily work and enjoyment in our gardens!

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Proud recyclers at Castlecrag ahead of National Recycling Week

Proud recyclers at Castlecrag ahead of National Recycling Week

29 Oct 2020

We are proud recyclers here at Castlecrag. Every day, the children help to sort and deliver the clean, sorted rubbish to the many different bins. We produce a surprisingly low amount of waste for a campus of over 100 people, thanks to our strong recycling and reusing programs. Nothing is wasted, and everything that can be upcycled, recycled or repurposed does not even make it into the bins! We have chickens, composts and gardens that use much of our waste. Children bring no wrappers or packaged foods to school, paper is recycled or composted, and the excess goes to our recycling bins. We sort paper (blue bin), glass/metal (yellow bin), soft plastics (taken back to the supermarket), and pride ourselves a very low landfill output (the red bins). We have solar panels for power, and operate mostly off-grid, repair and resell our toys at our fair (not this year due to COVID-19), and turn our plant waste into fertilisers and plant food. It's worth the effort, with the children learning how important it is to take care of our own planet and place. Every week is National Recycling Week at Glenaeon, with the national environmental campaign kicking off on November 9.

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Kindy wet felt 'Floating Blossoms'

Kindy wet felt 'Floating Blossoms'

29 Oct 2020

Guided by wonderful felter Christine Wiltshire, Kindergarten children have made the most beautiful wet felted piece called "Floating Blossoms" with an exquisite turquoise background. Using soft fleece roving, they carefully formed the blossoms and placed them on the pond, before felting them together. The colours and final piece is stunning. This piece is Kindergarten's contribution to the Silent Auction items, available for sale through the Glenaeon Art Show. https://www.glenaeonfair.com/silent-auction 

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Class 2 Play Practice - The King of Ireland's Son

Class 2 Play Practice - The King of Ireland's Son

15 Oct 2020

Class 2 has been busy rehearsing for their class play "The King of Irelend's Son". Costumes and props are emerging and the children are rising both to the story and occasion!

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Class 1 learning to knit

Class 1 learning to knit

15 Oct 2020

Class 1 are learning to knit, and their vibrant coloured wool and hand-made knitting needles are a joy to watch. 

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Now on sale: KFC6 magazine, $2 per copy

Now on sale: KFC6 magazine, $2 per copy

17 Sep 2020

A reminder for Parents that the Class 6 magazine KFC6 (KIDS FROM CLASS 6) is available for sale. Each copy is $2 and all funds raised will be donated to charity called Take 3 for the Sea a movement to reduce plastic from our oceans. Class 6 Parents can buy copies (photocopy or digital version) by sending a gold coin to school with their child. We also invite all other parents to send a $2 coin to school reception and Sarah will send a PDF copy of the magazine by email.

 #Take3ForTheSea

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Something fishy going on in Class 6

Something fishy going on in Class 6

17 Sep 2020

Whilst Class 6's single-performance of “Aladdin” has been postponed until Friday 16th October, the play preparations are well and truly reaching new heights with the creation of some extraordinary fish puppets. Under the mentorship of parent, Jade Oakley, three Class 6 students Finley, Lucas and Finn, created these eye-catching, parade-sized puppets. Rehearsals are going swimmingly!

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Class 6 dance through an Astronomy Main Lesson

Class 6 dance through an Astronomy Main Lesson

17 Sep 2020

In preparation for the late July night star watch, Class 6 became acquainted with some of the ‘signatures’ of the ‘visible to the naked eye’ planets that we associate with Sun, Moon, Venus, Mercury, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. How do we experience their movements through the sky each night and day as they progress above the eastern horizon and down to the western horizon? The students adorned themselves in representative colours and created a lively ‘planet dance’ moving at differing speeds and proximity to our home ‘planet earth’.

This main lesson session was book ended with the class singing and playing drums to Kuake, a native American chant and then singing the planet honouring harmonious Oh Sun and Moon.

At dusk the class noted the sun setting in the west and  witnessed the moon rising in the east followed in procession by Jupiter and then Saturn. Using the width of their hand from thumb to ‘pinkie’, they learned how to measure the five degree per hour movement of the moon across the sky.

The 13 stars of the Scorpio constellation with the bright red central star Antares were scrutinised. One must ‘connect the dots’ using imagination to see the larger picture of what humans for centuries have collectively but without collaboration noted as particular forms in the night sky. The overhead Southern Cross constellation graced the night before the class closed the evening singing “Oh Sun and Moon” again.

Oh Sun and Moon, oh wind that breathes.
Oh starlight shine, oh rustling leaves.
Moving, weaving, in and out.
Turning changing all about.
All in one together free,
Bind us all together.

 

Kuake
Kuake, leno, leno mahote
Hiya no, hiya no, hiya no
We are one with the infinite Sun.
Together forever and ever.

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Spring has sprung at Castlecrag

Spring has sprung at Castlecrag

17 Sep 2020

Spring has well and truly sprung at Castlecrag! The warmth is inviting, the sunlight is shining and the blossoms are blooming! The jasmine is in full flower and it's scent penetrates the campus. Spring nature tables are full of life and the children have been enjoying the Spring verses in preparation for their Spring Celebrations next week. Kindy children have been grinding the stones to make ochre paint in the playground. 

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Ring-a-ding-a-ling - our school bell

Ring-a-ding-a-ling - our school bell

17 Sep 2020

The sound of the old brass bell at Castlecrag is a happy sound, prompting children to run from the playground to their class balconies. Children enjoy taking turns to ring the bell, and occasionally even Kindy children find their way to ring its happy tune. It is such a lovely, friendly sound, and there is always a keen collection of children to run to get and ring the bell!

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Class 1 Indigenous Stories - big and little letters

Class 1 Indigenous Stories - big and little letters

17 Sep 2020

To end the term, Class 1 have been experiencing some wonderful aboriginal stories of the Dreamtime. They have heard stories of the Sun Woman, the Moon Man, the Rainbow Serpent, the giant frog that drank up all of the water in the world and many other wonderful stories. They are filling their workbooks with both pictures and text, as they learn the capitals and lower case of each letter alongside the stories. Chalkboard drawings by Rodney Dean.

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Class 1 garden comes to life

Class 1 garden comes to life

17 Sep 2020

Class 1 & 2 have been patiently toiling the soil outside Class 1, in preparation for this day. They have dug out roots and rocks, and planted both enduring natives close to the building, and flowers in the front section. This will be another 'working garden' for the children at Castlecrag, who all work in the garden every week with teacher Sandra Frain. It is lovely to see such care and enjoyment as they carefully tend their baby plants.

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Kindy Games day

Kindy Games day

17 Sep 2020

Once a week, Kindergarten children enjoy structured games and participate in small groups through the activities. They look forward to 'Games Day' and relish the challenges of balance, coordination and fun.

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Year 11 Parzival Main lesson

Year 11 Parzival Main lesson

17 Sep 2020

Year 11 are commencing their Parzival Main lesson, and this Blackboard Beauty is by the talented Julia Byrne.

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Class 6 launches KFC6 magazine, $2 per copy

Class 6 launches KFC6 magazine, $2 per copy

03 Sep 2020

If you are concerned about diversity in media ownership, then you will be pleased to learn that Class 6 is publishing a brand new magazine called KFC6 (KIDS FROM CLASS 6) which will feature original stories, puzzles, illustrations, biographies, book reviews and recipes all created by the Class 6 students. The niche publication will be published twice in Term 3 and twice during Term 4.

Each copy is $2 and all funds raised will be donated to charity called Take 3 for the Sea a movement to reduce plastic from our oceans. Class 6 Parents can buy copies (photocopy or digital version) by sending a gold coin to school with their child. We also invite all other parents to send a $2 coin to school and you will be sent a PDF copy of the magazine by email.

Printed copies are also now available in the staffroom for teaching staff and school administrators to buy. Sources close to Class 6 say Rupert Murdoch is keenly watching and may place a take-over bid should sales go well, although we think Class 6 will want to keep the new title independent.

 #Take3ForTheSea

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New public bus service on Glenaeon’s doorstep

New public bus service on Glenaeon’s doorstep

03 Sep 2020

Good news for students on public transport. There is a new bus route, the 194,  stopping at Eastern Valley Way / Victoria Avenue, traveling between the City and St Ives. Download the timetable or click here to see the full route:  https://transportnsw.info/routes/details/forest-coach-lines/194/39194 

Students who usually travel on the 207 up to the Castlecrag shops can catch this bus. The bus then turns left at Cammeray to go over on to the bridge and into the city. 

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The August winds are blowing... Kindy kites

The August winds are blowing... Kindy kites

03 Sep 2020

It's gusty in August and Kindy made beautiful hand-painted kites. They take them out for a run when it's windy, and the colours and their delight is just as beautiful.

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Class 2 sewing pencil cases

Class 2 sewing pencil cases

03 Sep 2020

Class 2 have been diligently working on their long stitch pencil cases, which they will use all the way through primary school. They sew a geometric pattern on one side and create their own design for the other side - there are such beautiful and varied designs! They are also collectively sewing some tissue box covers for their classroom.

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Class 1 Counting

Class 1 Counting

03 Sep 2020

There has been a LOT of counting going on in Class 1 with their return to the Land of Numeria in their current Mathematics Main Lesson. They have been adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing, using counters, fingers and bookwork.

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Castlecrag at play

Castlecrag at play

03 Sep 2020

Play is a vital part of each and every day at Castlecrag - time where children create, socialise and enjoy their own games, stories and adventures. Across the campus and with all year levels, play is at the 'heart and soul' of our campus.

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Class 4 'Animals and Us' Main Lesson

Class 4 'Animals and Us' Main Lesson

20 Aug 2020

Class 4 have been immersing themselves in the animal world as part of the Animals and Us Main Lesson.  Take a look at some of the wonderful animal artworks created, from tigers to giraffes and octopuses. Wait, octopuses? What about octopi? Here's a good explanation: https://education.abc.net.au/home#!/media/2307433/plural-for-octopus. 

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Dr Stanley Tang conducts bird research with Class 4 during National Science Week

Dr Stanley Tang conducts bird research with Class 4 during National Science Week

20 Aug 2020

It's National Science Week, and coincidently Class 4 took part in a research project with our very own Dr Stanley Tang, which dovetailed nicely with the Class 4 Animals Main Lesson. For this part of the project, Stanley took Class 4 students down to the Oval, where nets had been set up to capture some of the natural bird life on Glenaeon's beautiful Middle Cove campus. Stanley recently acquired various permits from the state and the federal governments to conduct a long-term research project on the bird populations at Glenaeon and the surrounding North Arm Reserve. One of the key aspects of the project is to collect biometric data to examine the movement patterns and seasonal changes in body conditions of resident and migratory birds. 

So Class 4 was able to assist Stanley to capture and band,that is,place a metal band, on a leg of the birds. A number of bird species were captured for a short time, just long enough to ID them with tags, inspects the birds, record the specifics and then, the students set them free back into their natural habitat. A total of six birds were captured including a Laughing Kookaburra, a Grey Fantail, a White-browed Scrubwren and three Brown Thornbills.

#scienceweek #science #stem #birdsofaustralia #abcmyphotos 

 

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Class 6 launches magazine

Class 6 launches magazine

20 Aug 2020

Hold the front page! Print is not dead. In fact, the media sector is making a resurgence as Class 6 is creating a new magazine called KFC6 (KIDS FROM CLASS 6) which will feature original stories, puzzles, illustrations, biographies, book reviews and recipes all created by the Class 6 students. The niche publication will be published twice in Term 3 and twice during Term 4.

Each copy is $2 and all funds raised will be donated to charity. Class 6 Parents can buy copies by sending their gold coin to school with their child.

Copies will also be made available in the staffroom for teaching staff and school administrators to buy. Sources close to Class 6 say Rupert Murdoch is keenly watching and may place a take-over bid should sales go well.

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Class 2 and the King of Ireland's son

Class 2 and the King of Ireland's son

20 Aug 2020

The King of Ireland’s Son is an extended fairy tale and is one of the many Celtic stories told in Class 2. The story is one of the King of Ireland’s Son who is striving to develop. In meeting the experiences laid along the pathway of his journey through life, he is tested as to his strength of purpose, his inner ‘substance’ and his inner ‘qualities’.

Such a story is a real support and guide to the Class 2 child as it helps them to develop an inner trust in the world around them. The story provides a picture for the idea that development is worth striving for, even whilst it involves struggle.

The children have been enjoying acting out the King of Ireland’s Son, trotting and galloping their way through lunch play using these handmade horse reins.

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Kindergarten - A rainy day bushwalking

Kindergarten - A rainy day bushwalking

20 Aug 2020

"It's raining, its pouring in the Kindergarten Garden
It's raining, it's pouring, we all go out to play"

On a very wet Friday, Kindergarten explored the campus' beauty as the rain came down. The children were all looking for a message of what Old Scribble Gum is saying to them... and if you listen really closely, you can hear the stories that Mother Angophopra whipsers to us… but you need to listen well. They then sang 
 "Rinka rink rosy ray... what shall I make with you today?"  before Outdoor Education teacher Scott Williams helped them whittle beautiful silky oak pieces - what a lovely rainy day!

 

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Class 2 - Maths in Motion

Class 2 - Maths in Motion

20 Aug 2020

Class 2 spend part of each day learning maths, some of which is outside hop-scotching times tables and balancing their way through multiplication and mental arithmetic with poetry, rhyme and fun. Maths is fun!

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Class 1 - The Story of Wool

Class 1 - The Story of Wool

20 Aug 2020

Class 1 experienced 'The Story of Wool' during Handwork class. In groups, they were able to feel and wash shawn sheep's wool and set it to dry. They then carded (combed) the wool, learned to hand-roll wool and then spin it on hand-spindles to make strong yarn. They began to sand wooden knitting needles with gumnut ends, which will be rubbed with the wool's lanolin, once completed. This makes the hand-made knitting needles smooth and easy to knit with.

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Hotel Little Kindy

Hotel Little Kindy

20 Aug 2020

One day this week, Little Kindy children all felt sleepy. They decided to make beds for themselves, "Let's make hospital!" Realising they had already played hospitals last week, they made a Hotel instead, which of course, is full of beds! They were delighted they had single beds, bunk beds and even a bed for their teacher Junko Nicholls. Realising they were all getting hungry, the 'chef' of their hotel took special orders: mashed potato, roast chicken and veggies served straight from the Little Kindy kitchen!

 

 
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Crafty parents knit winter warmers for students

Crafty parents knit winter warmers for students

06 Aug 2020

These colourful woollen fingerless gloves were knitted by Parent Crafters to help keep our students hands warm this winter. We have a limited number available for sale. Please contact Melony via email to organise purchase for your child, or as a gift. We are able to send them home with your child.

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On Friendship

On Friendship

06 Aug 2020

Schools are positioned, fundamentally, as places of academic instruction. The 3 Rs are our raison d'être, and we are charged with developing young minds to tackle the challenges of the future they will inherit. From phonics and number bonds to NAPLAN, STEAM and ATARs, schools, their curricula and pedagogies are studied, analysed, politicised, programmed and re-programmed; not to mention endlessly commented upon! And yet, academic attainment is only one pillar of schools. I often wonder where, in this cacophony, can we find a moment to celebrate another of the real, elemental gifts of school - friendship?

In a happy coincidence, when I spoke to my son about pondering this theme for my newsletter piece, he pointed out that Thursday, July 30 was the United Nations International Day of Friendship!

From the UN website https://www.un.org/en/observances/friendship-day:

Our world faces many challenges, crises and forces of division — such as poverty, violence, and human rights abuses — among many others — that undermine peace, security, development and social harmony among the world's peoples.

To confront those crises and challenges, their root causes must be addressed by promoting and defending a shared spirit of human solidarity that takes many forms — the simplest of which is friendship.

Through friendship — by accumulating bonds of camaraderie and developing strong ties of trust — we can contribute to the fundamental shifts that are urgently needed to achieve lasting stability, weave a safety net that will protect us all, and generate passion for a better world where all are united for the greater good.

True friendship is undoubtedly one of the worthiest and most rewarding of human endeavours. It is also an area where, to use the words of Rudolf Steiner (out of context), "even the wisest can learn incalculably much from children".  

In my role, I am fortunate to possess a position of great privilege, not least of which is having a 'bird's eye view' of the relationships between the young people in our care. Having worked in other schools, I reflect that the loving bonds of friendship created through the shared experience of a Glenaeon education are rare and beautiful. Friendships here are often forged over many years and with the necessity of working through challenges as they arise, due to the fact we are a small school. Glenaeon is an environment where there is intention and vision supporting strong friendships.  We model and encourage respectful interactions between all community members and team this with continuity of relationships and a cooperative rather than competitive learning environment.  Consequently, the young men and women who become Glen X, have often formed lifelong, sustaining bonds which reflect the aspiration of “promoting and defending a shared spirit of human solidarity”. 

In these uncertain and anxious times, particularly since returning from our remote learning period, being able to witness these relationships, as they evolve, has become even more poignant. When I look through a lens that sees friendship as a vital element that will ready our children to be part of creating a “better world”, I see them preparing like this:

  • A 9-year-old accepting that she's 'in', without arguing,
  • Two 10-year-old boys lying curled up like puppies, enjoying a book together, one gently stroking the other's hair,
  • A 13-year-old coming to check on her classmate in sickbay during lunchtime,
  • A 15-year-old going out of his way to ask me how my day is going,
  • A group of 18 year-olds working together on a research task; playfully but intently working through ideas and solutions.

So, belatedly, I wish you all a ‘Happy Friendship Day’!  I encourage you to both nourish this aspect of your own lives and to cherish it in the unique and the excellent educational environment you have chosen for your children; a school where friendship is noticed, valued and nurtured.  Maybe one day, we can include the importance of friendship in the often noisy discourse on education.

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Art Space open for Class 5 to Year 12

Art Space open for Class 5 to Year 12

06 Aug 2020

Year 11 student Kauri Palmer is passionate about art.  So passionate in fact, she is studying accelerated HSC Visual Arts. On top of this, she is undertaking the Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award and is connecting her passion for art, to the idea of service to the community.  Through her initiative (and fine artwork), she is supporting other students to find passion in art, by offering her tuition to other Glenaeon students as a mentor to help interested students develop an art project of their choice.  She is prepared to help come up with ideas, select a form the student might be interested in working in and assisting with the 'how to' of the activity.  The art department will provide materials within its capacity. Art Teacher, Donna Miller will oversee this great initiative.  If you would like to get involved, please contact Donna Miller by email and join Art Space for the remainder of Term 3, Tuesdays from 3:30pm.

 

 

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Big Kindergarten begin bushwalking

Big Kindergarten begin bushwalking

06 Aug 2020

Big Kindy began their bushwalking recently, and with great excitement they lined up with teachers, assistants and Outdoor Education teacher Scott Williams! The children carry their own lunches, backpacks & water bottles as they set off for one of the many well-known walking tracks around our school area. Many of these are designed to walk in and around houses before opening out into a reserve or travelling deeper down into the bush. The children watch, listen and look carefully. Perhaps they'll find a little treasure to put in their double-finger-knitting treasure bags back in Kindy.

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Classes 1 & 2 Science - Anthill exploration

Classes 1 & 2 Science - Anthill exploration

06 Aug 2020

Classes 1 & 2 have been exploring the fascinating worlds of anthills with Prue Reid, who takes them on Wednesday afternoons for some of the science aspects of the curriculum. After hearing a story about the ants over two weeks, they have built very elaborate ant hills in the sandpit, complete with connecting underground tunnels. They have worked in their Gardening books displaying the cycles and different roles of ants and this week are building real ant nest jars to watch in the classrooms.

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Rainbow Magic in Reception

Rainbow Magic in Reception

06 Aug 2020

A trip to Melony in Reception at Castlecrag its often coupled with an important message or job for the children. Each day though, as the children come in, there are colourful rainbows that visit and shine all over the room - floor, ceilings, walls and most importantly - the children! They catch them on each other and wonder WHO could be sending SO MANY rainbows to Castlecrag? Is it the Winter Angel, who hangs above the desk? Is it Mother Earth or King Winter and their gnomes... or is it a Rainbow Fairy that comes and sprinkles the children with her light and delight?! Either way, we love the rainbows and so do the children!

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Spring is Coming to Castlecrag

Spring is Coming to Castlecrag

06 Aug 2020

After the very cold mornings we are having at Castlecrag, comes a period of warmth and sunshine in the middle of the day - a time to treasure and bask in it, just a little, to warm up. In this time between MidWinter and Early Spring, both bulbs and spring blossoms flower. Amongst the daffodils and jonquils, there may not be much jasmine blossoming yet, but the sweet scent is already in the air! As we cannot have parents on campus so much at the moment - we thought it would be nice to bring a little of the campus to you! It is beautiful and blooming!

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Class 1 Introduction to Science Main Lesson

Class 1 Introduction to Science Main Lesson

23 Jul 2020

At the end of Term 2, Class 1 were taken on a journey introducing them to the science curriculum. They heard imaginative and beautiful stories of how Nature takes care of plants and animals. During the lessons, the children were introduced to the seasons, the water cycle, the parts and lifecycle of plants and other basic concepts from the science curriculum. Each Main Lesson book becomes a beautiful book in itself, with daily writing & drawing developing literacy and creativity concurrently.

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New Castlecrag Garden takes shape

New Castlecrag Garden takes shape

23 Jul 2020

During the holidays, our gardener Lindsay (with the assistance of the Maintenance team) worked hard to clear a garden bed and pull out a giant lomandra grass plant outside Class 1. In time, this will become a flourishing garden bed. The children dug earnestly to clear the roots out and condition the soil with minerals and nutrients, water and lots of love! Soon this garden space will be another thriving bed full of natives, delicious herbs, salads, flowers and grains under the guidance of Gardening teachers Sandra Frain and Kathy Thangathurai.

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Our Kindergarten Spaces

Our Kindergarten Spaces

23 Jul 2020

Kindergarten is a special place and much care, thought and meaning is given to the surroundings, equipment and spaces in which the children play. The environment is beautiful, warm and welcoming, inviting open-ended creative play, whilst also nourishing aspects of play such as sorting, counting, building and much social engagement. The Kindy day starts with Outside Play, before moving inside into Morning Circle and then Inside Play. These beautiful play spaces come alive as toys, objects and furniture become trains, planes, houses, gardens and play spaces; endless sessions of creative and imaginative play. They also grind grains for cooking, bake and prepare food each day. A strong rhythm is held by the teachers, which also includes the children tidying up and putting everything away again, ready for tomorrow.

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Winter Festival Spiral - Classes 1 & 2

Winter Festival Spiral - Classes 1 & 2

26 Jun 2020

Classes 1 & 2 held their Winter Festival spiral in the darkened hall at Castlecrag last Friday. Greenery formed the spiral into the centre, at which a single lit candle rests in the dark. The children walk with unlit candles resting in apples to the centre and light their candle. As they make the journey slowly out, they place it on their chosen point on the spiral. The candles transform the darkness of MidWinter into a glowing spiral of lit candles. Three Class 4 children played lyre, the children sang their winter songs and gentle piano and recorder formed the music that accompanied this most reverent and special event. This would normally be held at Middle Cove, but due to COVID-19 restrictions, was held at Castlecrag.

 

 

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Glenaeon Introductory Webinars - 1st & 30th of July

Glenaeon Introductory Webinars - 1st & 30th of July

25 Jun 2020

Following on from three recent very successful and well-attended online introductory webinars, we are now pleased to let you know of two additional webinar event dates.  

The first of these will run on Wednesday 1 July at 8pm and will provide a focus on our Kindergarten-Class 2 Castlecrag campus offering and Kindy entry. Register online here. The second, scheduled for Thursday 30 July will run at 9:30am and will focus on the Class 3-6 Primary and Year 7-12 High School experience at our Middle Cove campus. Register online here. Participants will meet our Head of School, Andrew Hill, view a presentation, and ask questions in a Q&A session with our Deputy Heads via Zoom.

If you have friends who are looking for a great school for their children, please suggest that they book in. Guests can alternatively register their interest by contacting our Enrolments Registrar, Chandra Kennedy.

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Kindy Work and Warm Soup

Kindy Work and Warm Soup

25 Jun 2020

Kindergarten children engage in meaningful work alongside their play, and in Winter this involves collecting and cutting the wood for the fire. Children collect wood and with help, cut it to size. Kindergarten teacher Catherine Pilko also demonstrates the art of chopping wood, splitting great logs into fire-sized pieces. Following this, the children enjoy herb tea made from the garden herbs, before sitting together for a warming winter soup. The children know a story called 'Stone Soup', and in each pot is a magic stone that finds its way into one of the children's bowls.

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Kindy Winter Fire

Kindy Winter Fire

25 Jun 2020

Kindergarten collects wood, builds and enjoys a fire each Thursday together. The methodical and careful collection of kindling, sticks and wood, and the building of the fire takes time, patience and perseverance. Once the coals are ready, children make 'doughies' on sticks and toast them over the warm fire. Pulling them off leaves a steaming hole, which is filled with honey and butter and enjoyed on the logs by the fire. It is a deliciously warming 'Bread Day' enjoyed in our Winter Kindy!

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King Winter comes to Castlecrag

King Winter comes to Castlecrag

25 Jun 2020

The chill of Winter is well and truly here. Children have been making beautiful winter lanterns, snowflakes and paintings. King Winter has graced the nature tables as the Winter Solstice was celebrated this week at Castlecrag.

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Class 4 explores the history of writing

Class 4 explores the history of writing

25 Jun 2020

Class 4 has been fully immersed in learning the history of writing going back to its origins as far back as 3500 BC! Teacher, Katherine Arconati, even built a cave so her students could experience cave drawing. The class also studied pictography, a form of writing which uses representational, pictorial drawings.  They used a stylus to write in cuneiform on clay and even made their own paper. Having explored these historical writing methods, the children then received their fountain pens yesterday with much excitement. We can’t wait to see what they write next!

 

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Kindergarten's new shed extension

Kindergarten's new shed extension

25 Jun 2020

Thanks to a kind donation, Castlecrag is enjoying a beautiful new shed extension, built by our Carpenter/Maintenance man Sonny. He extended the shed to include a new balcony and steps, which greatly improves the space and use of the shed in all weather. Kindergarten children really enjoyed his industrious presence as the shed was built, and in the nature of imitative play, became builders themselves along the way.

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Teas from the garden at Castlecrag

Teas from the garden at Castlecrag

25 Jun 2020

At the beginning of each gardening class for Classes 1 & 2, Sandra Frain offers the children a cup of warming tea that is made from various herbs freshly picked from the gardens at Castlecrag campus. Leaves of thyme, sage, oregano, four types of mint, lavender and lemongrass make a delicious brew with hot water added to a large teapot. Herbs can help refresh, stimulate, soothe, protect and cleanse the human body. The children have planted, watered and harvested these herbs. They can all show you where these herbs grow and how you too can 'brew your own tea'. Sandra also helps the Kindy children choose their herbs for fresh herbal tea. Ahh... now we are ready to garden!

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Sandpit castles and cascades

Sandpit castles and cascades

25 Jun 2020

Classes 1 & 2 have been very creative at lunchtimes in the sandpit lately. Castles, cascades, drop towers, waterfalls, tracks and ponds have been built and played with by many children. Here are some of their recent beauties in action.

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Class 3 Construction

Class 3 Construction

25 Jun 2020

Class 3 students enjoyed some construction work with Industrial Design & Technology Teacher Anthony Fiore this week. The children used wood, nails, a screw driver, shovels, a spirit level and other tools to create a barn frame in the Primary School playground. Students learned about measurement, creative thinking, and also improved their hand-eye coordination and problem solving skills. The students were very proud of their work.

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Class 4 Paper making with Elizabeth Ellean

Class 4 Paper making with Elizabeth Ellean

25 Jun 2020

Handwork Teacher Elizabeth Ellean took Class 4 through a paper making session as a part of the History of Writing Main Lesson. Students used recycled paper pulp from plant fibres strelitzia (bird of paradise leaf stems) to make the paper. Students used moulds and deckles to make the shape of the paper by hand, pressing and drying it, by pressing it to the window. They also pressed the paper onto patterned brickwork and the bark of a tree to dry. With the plant fibres students tried to simulate what the Egyptians would have done with the papyrus, which is layering the fibres one on top of the other and pressing them together. Class 4 had lots of fun with this activity. The History of Writing is one of the most activity based Main Lessons in the syllabus. The children also made ink and a quill and soon in Handwork the children will be making a cross-stitch fountain pen holder for their new pens.

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Dragon Boat Festival celebration

Dragon Boat Festival celebration

25 Jun 2020

Kindergarten children celebrated the Dragon Boat Festival today. The origins come from China thousands of years ago and many countries today have taken up dragon boat racing, as did Big Kindy this afternoon with our own Dragon Boat race with our drums beating the time. Kindy Assistant Sara Tan created some beautiful origami Rainbow Dragon Boats for all the children to take home and wish their parents a Happy Dragon Boat Festival Day. She also told us the story of this special festival.

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Class 3 homes of the world

Class 3 homes of the world

25 Jun 2020

Class 3 have enjoyed a Homes of the World Main Lesson this term and currently have a building project happening in the yard.  There was also a separate large scale, unauthorised excavation/mining project that was thoroughly enjoyed and required ‘rediversion’.  It was a great, impromptu engineering feat!

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Class 2 Squirrels counting for Winter

Class 2 Squirrels counting for Winter

24 Jun 2020

Class 2 have begun learning about place value in their current Mathematics Main Lesson. A family of squirrels live in a forest, rich with acorns, ready for collecting and storing for Winter. How will they know they have enough? How many can they eat each day? The family learns to collect single acorns, then groups of ten, followed by ten groups of ten acorns etc. They realise they can group their acorns so they don't lose count along the way! They store them in the hidey-holes in the trees, neatly packed into groups of ten, one hundred and beyond. The classroom reflects this counting journey - a beautiful chalkboard, drawn by Class teacher Lucy Armstrong, daily counting, reflecting the day's story, and hidey-holes at the back of the classroom to store the sorted bags.

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String is in

String is in

23 Jun 2020

Castlecrag grounds have been a web of string games lately. From Kindy all the way to Class 2, they have been learning and stringing their way to make Witches' Broom, Harbour Bridge, Parachute, Cup-and-Saucer, Hammock, Cats' Whiskers, Eiffel Tower and more! They have even mastered doing some together in pairs, as well as transferring them to tiny stakes in the ground.

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Castlecrag Markets - Classes 1 and 2

Castlecrag Markets - Classes 1 and 2

21 Jun 2020

Class 1 & 2 have had a week of busy playground trade. Perhaps co-inciding with their maths Main Lessons, they have been setting up shops and market stalls all over the playground - buying, selling and trading natural treasures, found wool, seed pods, flowers and leaves. The all-important currency - tiny gumnuts - can be collected near the monkey bars and used to negotiate a good outcome!

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Kindy Bunnies back together

Kindy Bunnies back together

19 Jun 2020

Big Kindergarten children kept themselves busy making pom-pom bunnies and chicks whilst they were home over the Easter break and during the COVID-19 lockdown at home. They all brought them in to visit Kindy.... and what a lovely bunch of bunnies and chicks they were together!

 

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Indigenous Games with Class 6 during National Reconciliation Week

Indigenous Games with Class 6 during National Reconciliation Week

17 Jun 2020

Class 6 PDHPE students marked National Reconciliation Week with a look at some Indigenous Games. We spoke about what we, as a class know about indigenous culture here in Australia and what contributions indigenous people have made to Australia and how that needs to be recognised more.

Indigenous societies played sports although they were often derived from hunting or prepared for hunting and fitness and were at times only played by the men. Some of their games have the potential to become more popular through their introduction and use among current day students to recognise the contribution First Nations people have made in the field of sport. In this spirit, Class 6 students were eager to explore two indigenous games through their unit on tagging, weaving and dodging games. The two games are Buroinjin and Edor and are both a lot of fun to be played with big groups.

Buroinjin was a game of the Kabi Kabi tribe in southern Queensland who used a ball made of kangaroo skin called Buroinjin. Edor is a chasing-tagging game which comes from the Aurukun indigenous community of northern Queensland. Edor is the name given to a runner who gets secretly picked by one team and has to reach the other side of the field without being tagged by the opponents. If tagged, the game instantly changes direction and Edor is now known and easier to tag but can be helped by his ‘people’, his team. The class thoroughly enjoyed both games and were better able to recognise indigenous contribution to sport in society.

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Little Kindy harvest lavender

Little Kindy harvest lavender

16 Jun 2020

Kindergarten children have been enjoying their return to the garden at Castlecrag, and with Gardening Teacher Sandra Frain's help, have been busy harvesting our fragrant lavender blooms.

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Glenaeon Introductory Webinars - 1st & 30th of July

Glenaeon Introductory Webinars - 1st & 30th of July

11 Jun 2020

Following on from three recent very successful and well-attended online introductory webinars, we are now pleased to let you know of two additional webinar event dates.  

The first of these will run on Wednesday 1 July at 8pm and will provide a focus on our Kindergarten-Class 2 Castlecrag campus offering and Kindy entry. Register online here. The second, scheduled for Thursday 30 July will run at 9:30am and will focus on the Class 3-6 Primary and Year 7-12 High School experience at our Middle Cove campus. Register online here. Participants will meet our Head of School, Andrew Hill, view a presentation, and ask questions in a Q&A session with our Deputy Heads via Zoom.

If you have friends who are looking for a great school for their children, please suggest that they book in. Guests can alternatively register their interest by contacting our Enrolments Registrar, Chandra Kennedy.

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Class 5 and the Anti Racism Team

Class 5 and the Anti Racism Team

11 Jun 2020

'May you live in interesting times' is purported to be an ancient Chinese curse, and although there is some argument about its actual providence, the saying rings true at this moment in history.

The events of the world unsettling, alarming even for adults, but when viewed through the eyes of a primary school child, the world right now can seem strange, frightening and incomprehensible.  As much as parents try to shield their children from media and adult discussion on these topics, a certain amount, inevitably filters through.  One of our jobs, as educators, is to assist children to not only live in, but also to flourish in these 'interesting times' by giving them a healthy framework in which to place their concerns. 

Last week, one of our students in Class 5, came to school very upset about the treatment of George Floyd and the ensuing riots in the USA.  She explained to her friends and teacher that she felt sad, afraid and helpless. Brendan Strobl (her Class Teacher), talked with her and assisted in transforming her distress into positive local action.  You can see the resulting petition/statement and smiles in the photo below.  Allowing children to voice their concerns while not adding further distressing detail or research can be a transformative and age-appropriate response; one which encourages the feeling that positive and creative local action in the here and now are possible and meaningful. 

At a time like this, educators the world over are putting the ancient curse aside, and for me, there's another great saying that comes to my mind:  "Some believe it is only great power that can hold evil in check, but that is not what I have found. I found it is the small everyday deeds of ordinary folk that keep the darkness at bay."  Gandalf

Dani Finch
Deputy Head of School (Kindergarten-Class 6)

 

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Brendan Strobl's Class 5 Main Lesson Blackboard Beauties captivate

Brendan Strobl's Class 5 Main Lesson Blackboard Beauties captivate

11 Jun 2020

 Queen Nefertiti from the Ancient Egypt Main Lesson by Class 5 Glenaeon Teacher, Brendan Strobl

Botany Main Lesson Class 5 Glenaeon Teacher, Brendan Strobl

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Concentrated Meaning: Poetry as a Script for Living in this Coronavirus Time

Concentrated Meaning: Poetry as a Script for Living in this Coronavirus Time

29 May 2020

Welcome Back

 

How wonderful to have everyone back at school! The campuses feel alive again as our buildings and grounds resonate with youthful voices and laughter. We have a lot to catch up on, and much to be aware of as we both enjoy the company of all our students while keeping our strict hygiene controls in place. Thank you to all parents for your patience and perseverance though this very challenging time. We have much to look forward to as we return to normal schooling, and normal life. This week is also Reconciliation Week and we posted our own Glenaeon Acknowledgement of Country to mark this significant moment in the year. See School news below.

Poetry as a Script for Living in this Coronavirus Time

Sometime last year I was commiserating with a colleague in the staffroom about a pile of work that we both had still to do when it was already dark and late. Without thinking I just said:

And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

They are the final lines of Robert Frost’s Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, a poem taught to me and my class in Year 8 at Normanhurst Boys High by an American exchange teacher. They express exactly the frustration and exhaustion of knowing there is a pile of work still to do before rest.

Earlier in the day I was returning from driving a friend to the airport when I watched an enormous and perfect rainbow gradually stretch across Mascot and all points east. It was a magnificent sight which made me feel happy, and into my mind came the opening line of Wordsworth’s sonnet:

My heart leaps up when I behold a rainbow in the sky…,

The two moments on the same day reminded me of the very special power of poetry. Some things just need special words, and I needed them then. And how we need them now!!  I was reminded today of how much we need the boost that poetic words can bring as I read Vicki Laveau-Harvie in The Guardian (UK) describing her own feelings during COVID-19 time:

Walking home recently under grey skies, I stopped to watch the afternoon light fail. I could have looked at my phone for comfort, but I found myself instead listening to Shakespeare spooling through my mind, words not remembered since school but intact, beautiful, despairing:

Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time.

This was a gift. I breathed easier, bathed in the vitality of poetry, the saturation of meaning that gives it weight. The aptness. I needed this…

We all need it Vicki, and the power of a short and simple poem to uplift, to inspire, to heal a tired heart, is one of life’s mysteries. She calls poetry “concentrated meaning”, a good phrase to capture its intensity, and its power to transform difficulties like the coronavirus world which is having such an impact on our mental health and wellbeing:

Poetry may be the antidote to what many of us feel: we are glued to screens, numb with fear, lost in elastic expanses of time. Poetry’s density can steady us. It contains worlds.

Yes, worlds, and a script for living. At last, a mention of the power of poetry to help us through the coronavirus time.

Poetry is alive and well at Glenaeon. A Glenaeon education is also an education in the spoken word, in living poetry. From nursery rhymes in Kindergarten, through action verses and poems, ballads and narrative poetry, right up to Shakespeare and beyond in High school, poetry is learned by heart and spoken aloud, to experience its power and cadence.

We don’t just do poetry as an outcome in the subject of English, to tick off the Poetry Outcome in each stage of the English syllabus. Poetry for us is “concentrated meaning”, and learned by heart so that it becomes a gift for each student to carry through life.

Sadly, often today poetry is something to analyse for meaning, something to deconstruct and just to read, not speak out loud. Who then remembers those precious words and carries their power through life?

A few years ago the writer and columnist Nikki Gemmel wrote a piece in The Australian bemoaning the loss of learning poetry by heart:

My kids don't learn poetry by heart in their Aussie schools. In London they were forced to, for an annual, compulsory, school-wide competition. Five-year-olds were reciting mostly nursery rhymes but the older kids were diving into Shakespeare, Wordsworth, Lear. It was wonderful to witness. The sheer skill of it; the way their little minds would absorb the poem's rhythm, beauty, narrative muscularity. I wish they'd do something similar here…

Well Nikki, they do at Glenaeon. Here poetry is alive and well, and learnt by heart. The cadences can soothe our fears, give a voice to our deepest feelings, and a warmth to our hearts. In this coronavirus time, poetry with its concentrated meaning can give us nothing less than a script for living.

Hangout for the Homeless

Thank you to everyone who supported this project of a sleep out in support of homeless people last Saturday evening, and there are very many of you. It was intended as a small, humble project to remind us to think about others who are doing it tough in the pandemic, rather than a fund raising project as such. The main aim was to encourage some participation, and sleeping slightly rough was a simple gesture of solidarity with the homeless. With a signup fee of $5, I thought if we raised even $150 that would also be a great contribution to the cause.

The total raised so far this morning is $2,319. What an astonishing result! Special thanks to teachers who really challenged students our high school students to get behind the appeal, and did they ever do that!

My warmest thanks to all the many parents who donated, and/or slept rough on Saturday night, as a contribution to this very vulnerable community in our midst. We hope to stay in touch with Kids Under Cover and hear more of their good work.

Kids Under Cover is an organisation that helps prevent young people ending up on the streets in the first place. They work to support young people at risk of becoming homeless by providing simple accommodation close to the family home where the young person can be separate but secure. Space makes all the difference. They build and provide simple, small structures that are flat packed and can be erected in a day to provide studio accommodation in a back yard. They provide scholarships to get the young person back into education and the workforce. Over the past 25 years they have built hundreds of studios across Australia and assisted nearly 2,000 young people.

https://www.mycause.com.au/page/228465/glenaeon-rudolf-steiner-school

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K-2 Glenaeon Introductory Webinar Wednesday 3 June 8pm

K-2 Glenaeon Introductory Webinar Wednesday 3 June 8pm

29 May 2020

COVID-19 saw the cancellation of our 2020 Open Day and school tours at all three campuses. In their place, we have been running introductory webinars for parents where participants get to meet our Head of School, Andrew Hill, view a presentation, and ask questions in a Q&A session with our Deputy Heads via Zoom. The next Introductory Webinar is scheduled for Wednesday 3 June at 8pm and will provide a focus on our K-Year 2 Castlecrag campus offering and Kindy entry. If you have friends who are looking for a great school for their children, please suggest that they come along. Guests can register their interest by clicking on this link or by contacting our Enrolments Registrar, Chandra Kennedy.

 

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Class 3's Evie lets her hair hang down, then chops it off

Class 3's Evie lets her hair hang down, then chops it off

29 May 2020

After growing her hair for over a year in preparation, Evie from Class 3 cut her 50cm locks last week and donated it to Variety's Hair with Heart charity to be made into a wig for children in need.  Evie's Mum explains, "Evie was very excited leading up to the big chop and to put her plan in place to wear a disguise for her first day back at school with short hair. Class teacher Roger welcomed 'Frank' to Class 3 and 'Frank' had a lot of fun with the new hair style." The wigs are given to children in need, but Variety also provides assistance to other children in many ways eg wheelchairs, camps, therapy. See website for more details https://hairwithheart.variety.org.au/  Good on you Evie for giving up your hair and doing something amazing to help others. Glenaeon is proud of you!

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First Day back Excitement

First Day back Excitement

29 May 2020

Last Monday - the first full day back for the whole K - 2 campus - was a kaleidoscope of activity and excitement. Children were thrilled to see each other again, and the playground at lunchtime was a moving picture of climbing, swinging, digging, laughing, running, jumping and cubby building. It really was the 'Giant's Garden' that Andrew Hill wrote about last week!

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A Tale of Two Rivers in the Kindergartens

A Tale of Two Rivers in the Kindergartens

29 May 2020

Big and Little Kindy create worlds of sand and water in the sandpit together. On this occasion starting rivers from either end - aiming to dig and pour enough water to join them together and let it flow as one long river! Many buckets and spades later, they had success! Teamwork, planning and perseverance results in an immense amount of fun being had as they come back together again. The rain is no deterrent!

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Class 2 Stories of Light

Class 2 Stories of Light

29 May 2020

Class Two have begun their 'Stories of Light' Main Lesson with teacher Lucy Armstrong. They practise their literacy skills - writing, spelling and grammar - through the beautiful tales of animals and their adventures. Artist Julia Byrne created this beautiful drawing as an inspiration for today's Main Lesson work, which is drawn on the board in chalk by Lucy, and then created by the children in their own books. This is followed by one sentence written from the story.

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Gardening with Class 2

Gardening with Class 2

29 May 2020

Class 2 enthusiastically helped to collect wheelbarrow-loads of natural matter from around the campus to the compost, taking turns to move the big loads in teams. Once there, it is unloaded and tipped onto the compost and celebrated with a good jump by the children on it's springy top! The children have learned so much about the importance of recycling as much natural material as we can on campus, including plants, food scraps and paper. At Castlecrag we have a very small carbon footprint, as all of our recycling and reusing that the children are involved in make a huge difference. Gardening Teacher Sandra Frain was glad to have her larger troupe of helpers back on campus!

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Little Kindy enjoys the rain

Little Kindy enjoys the rain

28 May 2020

The water pond fills during rain, something to which Little Kindy always looks forward to. They don their gumboots, rain pants and coats to head out and cart some water, creating water flows and pools of their own.

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Class 2 – Creating Words with Wool

Class 2 – Creating Words with Wool

26 May 2020

Class 2 children have been busy creating words with wool as a new way to practice their sight words. Class teacher Lucy Armstrong gave each child a set of sight words unique to them, and the students then manipulated the wool to spell out the words. Words are the building blocks for language development and when combined with wool, gives students some gross motor fun to experience real hands-on learning!

 

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Noble horses for Class 1 courses

Noble horses for Class 1 courses

16 May 2020

Class 1 have been making great use of their new stick crayon sets, which teacher Rodney Dean recently gifted to all his students. Rodney has been busy uploading audio stories and video files for home learning. Class 1 have been practising reciting their alphabet, writing their capital letters with a focus on writing their first sentences. This week’s work comes out of the stories of Rapunzel, The 12 Brothers and other fairy-tales. The children have also drawn some marvellous pictures of a horse in their guided drawing lessons. Great work Class 1!

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Term 2 Handwork projects underway

Term 2 Handwork projects underway

16 May 2020

Term 2 has brought with it some wonderful handwork projects. Class 1 will start work on their recorder bags, a weaving project which, once completed, holds each child's recorder right throughout the primary years. Class 2 will begin their long-stitch pencil case, which they will also use for years to come. The children will be collecting these as they return to school next week. The rich colours of the wool are always inspiring and beautiful. Thanks to Elizabeth for preparing so many take-home kits and for the work done behind the scenes. 

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Kindergarten and Little Kindy students return to campus

Kindergarten and Little Kindy students return to campus

15 May 2020

With COVID restrictions now being gradually eased, the Kindergarten teachers and children were delighted to be back in Kindergarten for two days this week. Despite our rather different start to the day, which involved a very quick goodbye to Mums and Dads at the gate or at the bottom of the Kindy stairs, we all quickly found our way back into the healing rhythmic flow of daily life in the Kindergarten. We were full of joy and enthusiasm as we heartily ate our Kindy morning tea, shared our stories and songs and happily worked and played in the golden light of the Kindy garden. By the end of two days we were once again full with all the magic and wholesome engagement that ‘real-life’ Kindy brings each day. Our time away from Kindergarten has affirmed above all, that the Kindergarten lives in the healing environment and rhythms that we create here each day in our beautiful campus at Castlecrag.  

Catherine Pilko

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Mother's Day gifts made with love

Mother's Day gifts made with love

14 May 2020

Some of the Kindy, Class 1 and Class 2 children made some beautiful Mother's Day gifts. They produced many lovehearts made with lots of love! Little Kindy made wet-felted necklaces from their take-home packs prepared by Junko, Big Kindy sewed heart necklaces taken home with help from many Dads. Class 1 & 2 made two types of loveheart decorated bags. Thank you to Handwork teacher Elizabeth Ellean for the take-home kits and parent helpers! Love was definitely in the air.

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Class 6 Home Garden Project

Class 6 Home Garden Project

08 May 2020

During Term 2 Class 6 students will be responsible for starting and managing a home garden project. Gardening Teacher Kathy Thangathurai surveyed all Class 6 students about their gardens at home and prepared tailored take-home seeds, seedlings and a Gardening Journal.  It is an opportunity for them to put the gardening skills they have acquired over the years in our school garden to work. They will cultivate edible plants their family, as well as some to support our insects and bees. They will be required to maintain a Garden Journal for the duration of this project . This week, Kathy has been distributing Red Drumhead Cabbage, Ruby Red Chard, Purple Sprouting Broccoli, Red Russian Kale and Chinese Broccoli/Kai Lan to add to their gardens! They have also been searching for examples of 'Fabulous Funghi' in their own gardens and local neighbourhood.
 
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Class 2 make happy hoppy frogs

Class 2 make happy hoppy frogs

08 May 2020

Class 2 Teacher Lucy makes videos to help her students create beautiful Main Lesson drawings. She also recently used her videos on GLO to help the children make their own moving frogs at home. Look at some of their happy hoppy frogs that were made just before the holidays.

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Class 1 begin their first words Main Lesson

Class 1 begin their first words Main Lesson

06 May 2020

It's always an exciting moment in Class 1 when the children receive their first stick crayons, which correlates with their First Words Main Lesson. This year, each child receives a small gift - a rainbow of stick crayon colours. Class 1 teacher Rodney Dean tells the story of two children Ken and Jane, who meet Tilda the kangaroo. Tilda gives them a parchment, but it is blank! They call on Alphabetica, who tells them "Learning letters is important, but you need to learn WORDS. When you have learned enough words, they will magically appear on the parchment". It sounds like it is going to be a great adventure! Rodney has also produced a video on correct crayon grip to help students as they begin their new Main Lesson Book this week. 

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Kindergarten planting bulbs for springtime

Kindergarten planting bulbs for springtime

05 May 2020

At the end of Term 1, Kindergarten children took home a little brown bulb to plant in their own gardens, which will wait and grow slowly, in anticipation of the warmth and flowers in Spring. Kindergarten teacher Catherine Pilko also recorded a story 'Little Brown Bulb' for them to listen to. Here at Castlecrag, our little bulbs are getting excited and starting to peep their green shoots out already! I wonder what sort of flowers we will see when we all come back to play?

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A celebration of colour at Castlecrag

A celebration of colour at Castlecrag

05 May 2020

Castlecrag has exploded with colour. The flowers are glorious. It is a rainbow of colours as you look around the grounds from deep red flowers, huge orange wild cosmos plants (taller than your teachers!), yellow lantern bush, lush greens and deep purple. I wonder if we can plant some blue flowers for Spring?

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Class 6 look out the window, reflect and write

Class 6 look out the window, reflect and write

15 Apr 2020

One of the tasks recently assigned to Class 6 was a writing challenge. Students were invited to write a descriptive passage of what they see outside their window. They were asked to use lots of describing words to help the reader form pictures in their own mind, of what students see, hear and feel. We've had some beautifully written responses. See below for some examples of student work. What's outside your window right now?

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Class 4 map and divide by 2

Class 4 map and divide by 2

14 Apr 2020

Class 4 Teacher Katherine Arconati recently taught her Class 4 students how to divide by 2 in a brand new way. It involves a house, and knocking on a door. Check out the method in Katherine's new video on the Class 4 GLO page. Katherine may or may not have worn the same outfit two days in a row. The tricks of online learning videos!

Also, the class toured the campus early in Term 2 and then from home,  drew maps of our Middle Cove campus. Images of these wonderful maps can be found below.

Class 4 have also been creating some form drawings in chalk on the footpath outside home. This activity is about spreading joy not germs. Great work Class 4!

 

 

 

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Staying warm and close in our families during the holidays

Staying warm and close in our families during the holidays

13 Apr 2020

Social distancing laws will encourage us to examine what creates warmth and connection in our lives. There is no question regarding the link between warmth and immunity but emotional warmth may now also be a factor to be considered. As we approach the Easter holidays our attention will no doubt turn to how we can create warmth and connection in our homes.

Strong family rhythms are the ‘glue’ that holds our families together. Bed time is a good place to start so that everyone stays in synchronicity with each other. I recommend for now that your children keep their regular bedtimes throughout the holidays, parents also need to model strong bedtime rhythms. I recommend having at least a ten-hour period where the phone is on ‘do not disturb’ so that you have an hour away from screens before bed to keep your natural body rhythms intact (of course this also applies to children and teenagers). Also it is good to have an hour of ‘quiet time’ in the morning before the phones start to ring (or beep).

Keep mealtimes regular and connected with everyone sitting down together (no phones). Make them as ritualistic as possible so that they have an obvious beginning and end, this will help to keep everyone present physically and emotionally. Try to engage in conversation about how everyone is going and what things you are all finding different/difficult and what you are enjoying about this strange time.

Bringing love and goodness into the home life and a sense that ‘we are all in this together’, trying to help each other, will also warm the atmosphere of the home. Encourage children to help with family chores, creating beauty, order and cleanliness in the house - keep this high on the list of priorities by modelling it yourself. Creating the home as a pleasing space says that you all matter as a family and that you are all caring for yourselves and each other.

Children can be instructed (not asked but told) to make a daily call to the grandparents or someone who lives on their own to see how they are. This will help children with gratitude and expansion rather than shrinking into self-obsession and entitlement.

Be aware of not letting screen time get out of control. The usual restrictions (from the ‘old’ life) should still apply as we need plenty of time without screens to create the emotional warmth of just being together connected as physical beings in our home environment.

Finally, try not to worry about your children getting ‘down’ or bored. That is a natural reaction to the times we are in and it is always tempting as parents to try to ‘fix’ it with a ‘good idea’, a chocolate or some extra television time. Just being there as a warm and loving presence is the best remedy. Good luck and Happy Easter!

Mary Heard
Simplicity Parenting

 

 

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Who is looking after the chickens?

Who is looking after the chickens?

13 Apr 2020

With almost all students learning at home, you might be wondering, who is looking after our chickens?  You will be pleased to hear that our happy hens have taken a holiday.  Thanks to Class 5 students Kai and Ryder for helping catch the chickens to pop them in the Ute.  Our Middle Cove silky 'Q' and Ruby are currently holidaying at Lucas, Skye & Finn's house.  Ruby has become 'broody' and is sitting on her egg most of the day, except when she gets out for a little scratch and 'Q' is loving her chance to roam a wide grassy patch. Watch this video postcard from the hens.

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Class 2 Animal Fables and kind deeds at home

Class 2 Animal Fables and kind deeds at home

13 Apr 2020

Class 2 have been very busy in their learning at home activities.  From a focus on the Animal Fables Main Lesson writing to celebrating Rufus’s birthday by having a dress up party on Zoom together with his class mates, Class 2 have been keeping the connections with school and friends. Children have completed book work and have also expressed creativity with beeswax sculptures inspired by the fable stories Lucy has been sending them via audio file each night.  Class 2 were also invited to undertake ‘kind deeds’ in the home. Some of the kind deeds performed include: Andre making his Mum a sandwich and a drink, Eloise helping her sister dress up, James patting his cat and Harley making a delicious snack for a family member. What a great thing to do at this time – showing kindness and compassion to others. Well done Class 2 students for your wonderful gestures of good will to spread a little bit of cheer.

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Gardeners from all classes unite

Gardeners from all classes unite

13 Apr 2020

At Middle Cove the garden is missing its young gardeners immensely.

The “school class” that is, students still attending the campus each day, come down to the garden every morning and keep a watchful eye on the vegetables and flowers that are growing, measuring our pumpkins, watching our bees visit their favourite flowers and plant seeds for our winter harvest.  The older students have been coming down to the garden again later in the day and getting to work.  They have been helping to tend the garden beds, harvesting late summer crops, erecting protective barriers to deter our wildlife visitors and enjoying the beauty of autumn in the garden.  We are also doing some preparation in the garden to make way for the new outdoor garden classroom. The banana trees have had to be relocated for the short term.  The children have been a great help in keeping our garden well loved and cared for.  For those missing the garden, here is a video of Sandra Frain taking care of the flowers and vegetables.

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Kindergarten at home and lost teeth

Kindergarten at home and lost teeth

13 Apr 2020

Kindergarten children have been enjoying their home activities - baking, story play, songs and craft, with the help of beautiful resources and stories prepared by their Kindy teachers on GLO. Several have also experienced their first tooth falling out - a familiar Kindy 'right of passage'.

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Caring for our Castlecrag campus

Caring for our Castlecrag campus

13 Apr 2020

Whilst it's quieter at Castlecrag, we have been busy cleaning, washing and gardening, preparing all of our beautiful classrooms and grounds for the time when we can all return. The colours of our washing, some pretty plants and the blooms are a reminder of how special this place is to us all. Whilst the children are at home, we will care for Castlecrag until you all return. Notice how the 'Lantern Bush' is beginning to grow its proud lanterns for the coming of Winter, and how the Cosmos flowers are simply bursting with colour! We also have five of the Middle Cove hens here on holiday and thanks to our local families for looking after them so lovingly for us!

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Happy Easter

Happy Easter

12 Apr 2020

Easter time is here and we wish you a restful and enjoyable time together. Perhaps you could camp in your backyard and wake up to see if the Easter Bunny has visited you in the night? Perhaps you could dye some beautiful eggs, make an Easter Table, or make a small rabbit and place it in your Easter Grass? 

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Primary School takes its Steiner Education online during COVID-19

Primary School takes its Steiner Education online during COVID-19

10 Apr 2020

GLO (Glenaeon Learning Online) was introduced to Glenaeon's Primary School as a parent portal at the beginning of this school year. When the COVID-19 global pandemic threw parents and educators a curveball, the platform's value as an educational tool was brought to the fore. The school does not typically introduce technology to students until they reach the High School Year 7. This point of difference has been an attraction for parents wanting their children to have limited /no screen time in those crucial early developmental years. Deputy Head of School K-Class 6, Ms Dani Finch spearheaded GLO's initial rollout to the Primary School as a parent portal. She is now reflecting on the fortunate timing, which is enabling our Parents, Students and Teachers to stay connected, during the virus' disruption to school life.

 

 

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Lucy Armstrong's Animal Fables blackboard

Lucy Armstrong's Animal Fables blackboard

29 Mar 2020

This week's Blackboard Beauty is drawn by Class 2 Teacher Lucy Armstrong. The class has been enjoying Animal Fables as their English Main Lesson, listening and learning spelling, grammar and literacy, as well as understanding the values and lessons learned in the animal fables themselves. 

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Harvest Festival Time

Harvest Festival Time

27 Mar 2020

This year Kindergarten celebrated a socially-modified Harvest Festival thanks to COVID-19. The children brought their offerings of fruit and vegetables and  surrounded the scarecrow to sing their Harvest Songs together. Parents formed a 'no-hand-holding' wide circle around the children and we all enjoyed one of the last gatherings until we are able to be back together again.

The food from the Harvest Festival was collected by food charity OzHarvest as our donation. OzHarvest is an Australian food rescue charity. They collect quality surplus food, distribute it to people in need and divert food waste from landfill. Thank you to all the generous families who donated.

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Kindergarten take-home packs

Kindergarten take-home packs

27 Mar 2020

Kindergarten teachers prepared beautiful take-home packs for the children to start some of their activities and craft at home. They were opened with great excitement and children have been busy creating little wax scenes, stories at home and pom-poms to make rabbits and chickens for Easter! 

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Class 3 learning online with Roger Richards

Class 3 learning online with Roger Richards

27 Mar 2020

Class 3 Teacher Roger Richards has been creating short videos to help his students as they start their learning at home.  He is uploading resources to GLO for the children. Parents are then uploading completed work to share with the teacher. See images for some of the completed work done at home by our Class 3 students. Well done to students and well done parents! We are all in this together.

 

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Letter Party for Class 1

Letter Party for Class 1

27 Mar 2020

Rodney Dean's Class 1 has been on a journey with Alphabetica through all of the consonants and the vowels and arrived at the end at a letter party! The children shared the invitation of magic letters which appeared every day over three weeks inviting them to their party in the playground. The path led them to a table filled with delicious edible letter treats! Thank you to the parents who helped make this possible.

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Kindergarten sparks creativity in the home-learning space

Kindergarten sparks creativity in the home-learning space

27 Mar 2020

Whilst Kindergarten teachers are creating things for their Kindy children at home, the children are already coming alive, creating and telling stories to their families, just as their teachers do! What a wonderful reflection of their experience and education to be able to so naturally share this with others! At this young age, imitation is a natural way of learning, and this is deeply fostered in the Kindergarten day. 

One of our Kindy Parents shared this, "Entirely unaided he searched around the house for different things to use - sheets, tshirts and socks for backdrops etc. It was accompanied by a very lovely story about the animals' adventures across the sea, discovering the crystal cave, the gnomes sailing in the boat and the life raft and climbing the mountain."

 

 

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Frida adapting but she misses her Kindergarten friends!

Frida adapting but she misses her Kindergarten friends!

27 Mar 2020

We have been receiving some lovely feedback from our parent community. Here is an email from Kindy Parent, Ben. 

Hi Catherine,
Thanks for all the resources.  As soon as I begin to sing a song or say a verse Frida immediately takes over. She knows them all by heart.

She misses you a lot and says outright that she would prefer to be at school!   But she also loves being around Monty. Here is a couple of shots.  One, of a story Frida set up, and told to Monty, and one of the two of them cooking banana bread.

Keep well,
Ben

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Class 1 Letters with Alphabetica

Class 1 Letters with Alphabetica

14 Mar 2020

Class 1 are learning their letters, the written foundation of which is the combination of straight and curved lines. Learning at a deeper level includes visual, verbal, kinesthetic and practical approaches, increasing the way in which students connect with and relate to the content. The children have listened to the story of Alphabetica, who leads them through the world of letters, correlating each letter to a picture, a sound and its shapes. In addition to their written and artistic work, they have modelled the letters out of out of beeswax, used song, rhyme and alliteration and baked the letters in hand-made salt dough.

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Playing in the rain

Playing in the rain

14 Mar 2020

Rainy days are welcomed at Castlecrag – from skipping in the rain before school starts, to digging trenches and rivers in the Kindergarten sandpit. The children also pump water which courses towards the sandpit in their hand-built channels, making rivers flow under bridges and over rocks.

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Class 2 Maths: Ava's Mathemagical Web

Class 2 Maths: Ava's Mathemagical Web

28 Feb 2020

Class 2 is exploring the connection between times tables and geometry in their current Main Lesson. The focus is to discover the geometric patterns that arise out of a circle of 10 points and to develop a multi-layered approach to the times tables. In the stories, Ava the spider spins her web, and a boy works with the times tables to discover the underlying geometry. Each day the children make the web in morning circle, then make a web on the dowel boards and draw it in their Main Lesson books, all the time learning the tables.

 

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Glenaeon's crafty bushfire volunteer thank you effort

Glenaeon's crafty bushfire volunteer thank you effort

24 Feb 2020

The recent bushfires sparked an unprecedented outpouring of donations and charitable acts to aid in disaster recovery effort which has been wonderful to see. Glenaeon has been busy helping with students, teachers and parents making pouches for injured wildlife. But thanks to the generosity of many Australians and many communities abroad, pouches are aplenty and our attention has now turned to thanking those volunteers who have worked so tirelessly. Handwork teacher, Elizabeth Ellean said, “Glenaeon students from Year 8 and 6, as well as Year 8 Guardian Alice and Olivia from Learning Support have selflessly given up their lunchtimes in recent weeks to create beautiful handmade pouches and thank you cards, which the Animal Rescue Craft Guild will send to the rescue carers.  Class 3 have also been making some wonderful thankyou cards for the animal rescue carers.  It is our way of contributing and giving thanks to all those who are aiding recovery from the devastating fires. Elizabeth Ellean will be sending completed cards to various coordination pods such as Kangaroo Island in South Australia, Kingston in Tasmania and Nymboida in NSW and Cairns in Far North Queensland.  Thank you to all the students and staff who have been involved.

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Class 2 Transforms the Garden

Class 2 Transforms the Garden

12 Feb 2020

Returning from summer holidays means the garden needs some attention, and Gardening teacher Sandra Frain works with the children each week, digging, turning, composting and planting. Here are Class 2 at work in their patch, creating a pond for our resident frog and space for the new plants to grow.

 

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Teacher Rodney Dean meets Class 1 somewhere under the rainbow bridge

Teacher Rodney Dean meets Class 1 somewhere under the rainbow bridge

31 Jan 2020

The first day in Class 1 is always a special time. Students began with their walk under the ‘Rainbow Bridge’. After spending their morning in the Kindergarten playground with teachers Catherine and Sarah, they then walked under a tunnel of hands and rainbow silk formed by Class 2 students. Emerging from the rainbow, they greeted their Class Teacher Rodney Dean with a flower and the first of many handshakes. This ceremony marks the beginning of the Class Teacher cycle which continues throughout primary school.

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The Journey continues at Middle Cove

The Journey continues at Middle Cove

31 Jan 2020

Welcome to 2020! It's been a rather smooth transition so far for our Class 3 students who have moved across from Castlecrag campus with their teacher, Roger Richards.  A very warm welcome to all of Class 3 2020 and we hope you enjoy big campus.  We extend the warm welcome to our new Year 7 students and their families who now embark on the High School years.

It's an exciting time, and we look forward to providing all students with a supportive and creative learning environment at Glenaeon.

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Help bushfire affected animals

Help bushfire affected animals

31 Jan 2020

Handwork Teacher Elizabeth Ellean is offering a weekly workshop for any student or teacher wishing to make animal rescue wraps to support animals traumatised by the recent bushfires. These wraps could be knitted, crocheted, woven or sewn, depending on personal choice, and Elizabeth will facilitate. A very worthy cause! The weekly workshop will take place every Tuesday lunchtime (12:55pm-1:35pm) starting Tuesday 4 February. For more details email Elizabeth Ellean elizabethe@glenaeon.nsw.edu.au

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Spring Festival 2019

Spring Festival 2019

27 Sep 2019

The weather was perfect for our Spring Festival at Middle Cove this week. After the acknowledgement of the traditional owners of the land, our Master of Ceremonies the kookaburra arrived and the festival could begin!  

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Kindergarten Spring Festival

Kindergarten Spring Festival

27 Sep 2019

Big and Little Kindergarten celebrated their Spring Festival under sunny skies this week. It was a beautiful celebration - the children prepared fruit sticks and lemonade, and parents brought a delicious selection of dishes for a shared lunch afterwards. Spring is such a lovely time of year and the Castlecrag campus is decorated with children's art and craft.

 

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Class One prepare for their first Middle Cove Spring Festival

Class One prepare for their first Middle Cove Spring Festival

27 Sep 2019

Class 1 were excitedly preparing for their first Spring Festival at Middle Cove, called the 'Big Campus' by the children. Parents brought in greenery and they made wreaths the day before. On the morning of the last day of school, parents helped put fresh flowers in the wreaths and they caught the bus to Middle Cove. Walking down to the oval, they were the first group to perform to the rest of the school and parents. Thanks to the parents who joined in to help prepare the wreaths and travel with the children to and from Castlecrag. The walk back to Castlecrag was a great thing to do together.

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Year 12 journey back through the classes K - 11

Year 12 journey back through the classes K - 11

27 Sep 2019

On their second last day, Year 12 journeyed through each class, starting at Castlecrag in the Kindergarten morning circle. They were sung to and gifted beautiful finger knitted bracelets. They continued to visit Class 1, walking their morning form drawing with them and continuing on to Class 2 and then to Middle Cove. This is a Glenaeon tradition in which Year 12 students spend a morning revisiting the younger classes, remembering times and joining them in part of their morning class. They ended the day signing off on each others' school shirts and would return the following day for their final assembly.

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Twilight Market

Twilight Market

27 Sep 2019

The weather cleared for last Friday's Twilight market, and the community came together for a relaxing afternoon of food, craft, shopping and friends. Class One ran a tie dyeing activity, Class Three sold beautiful T-shirts and a healthy smorgasbord of cakes. Class Five served home made felafel kebabs, fresh lemonade and sausages. It was a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon.

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Class Five knitting socks

Class Five knitting socks

20 Sep 2019

Class 5 have been following the complex pattern of knitting socks on 4 needles, and the results are impressive! Choosing their own colours and length, their socks are coming along well - here is an end-of-term photo showing skill, vibrancy and colour of their work. Knitting and craft is known to assist brain development, and the process of following patterns in more complex knitting develops the skills of planning, visualisation and fine motor skills.

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Class One monkey bar fun

Class One monkey bar fun

20 Sep 2019

The monkey bars are a feature in the Castlecrag Class One and Two playground, and are enjoyed by many students during morning recess and lunchtime. In addition,each morning, Class One undertakes an obstacle course, including any combination of climbing along the monkey bars, balancing activities, rope wall climbing, slippery dip, skipping, handstands, crawling, hopping, partner activities and tracing patterns and shapes with their steps. 

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Kindergarten Morning Circle

Kindergarten Morning Circle

20 Sep 2019

Morning Circle takes place in the Kindergarten playgrounds after the bell rings, and is a gathering of all children and parents from the 3 Kindergarten classes.

The morning song is sung together, itself an acknowledgement to the indigenous people of our local area, the Cammeraygal tribe.

The words are:

 

 

"We greet the Earth, on which we stand,
Hand-in-hand on Cammeraygal Land
We thank the ancestors present and past
Who cared for the earth so it will last
We greet the sun that shines so bright
And shares with us its lovely light
Good morning everyone
Good morning, everyone".

 

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Class Five Pizza Day!

Class Five Pizza Day!

12 Sep 2019

Class Five held their termly pizza day this week - it's always a popular event, preparing lunch for the Middle Cove school community by hand and cooking it in the Middle Cove Pizza oven near the garden. Harvesting biodynamic greens and herbs from the garden, students made herb-infused seasoning, rolled pizza bases (the dough kindly made by Year 8 students in the Food Technology class), and cooked them in the pizza oven with Class 5 parent helpers Nick Meredith-Jones and Patrick Franklin. Pizza is delivered to the primary classes and the High School and teachers buy directly from the garden stall. Making approximately 110 pizzas is no mean feat. Thanks to Gardening teachers Kathy Thangathurai and Michelle Chambers as well as Class 5 Co-teacher Michele Bosman who all help to facilitate this part of the Class Five curriculum

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Class Two 'Long Stitch' pencil cases

Class Two 'Long Stitch' pencil cases

12 Sep 2019

Class Two have been sewing these striking pencil cases, each with their own individual design. One side is a geometric pattern and the other is an image designed themselves. They are then sewn into a pencil case by teachers as the children complete the side seams. They will use and treasure these unique pencil cases for many years to come.

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Class Five Blue Mountains outdoor education camping trip

Class Five Blue Mountains outdoor education camping trip

10 Sep 2019

Class Five had a wonderful time in the Blue Mountains for their three-day Outdoor Education camping trip. Leaving on Wednesday morning by two buses, they arrived at Mt York, embarking on a two-hour walk on Cox's Road, built in 1814 by convicts to cross the Blue Mountains. Students then travelled to Blackheath and set up camp for the night. After preparing breakfast and lunches, they travelled to the National Pass in Wentworth Falls, and with the company of National Park rangers walked the 'Grand Canyon' walk, did some plant study and returned to camp. On the final day they packed up camp and travelled to the Three Sisters and Scenic Railway. Students walked down to the base of the railway and caught the train back up - the steepest railway in the world! Sharing tents and working together for all meals, the group developed closer connections and thoroughly enjoyed the experience under the guidance of Outdoor Education teachers Scott Williams and Kristen Gardner as well as teachers Michele Bosman and Kathy Thangathurai. Thanks to parent Paul Lakkis for attending and sharing these photographs.

"One of my favourite days was the Grand Canyon walk. We walked into the bottom of the canyon where there were rivers, fallen trees, ferns, yabbies and caves dripping with water which were cold and damp. Then we walked up thousands of stairs, and at top, there was a fantastic look out! Camp was AWESOME!" - Lucas, Class Five student

 

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'D is for Daddy'... Class 4 Fathers' Day gifts

'D is for Daddy'... Class 4 Fathers' Day gifts

07 Sep 2019

Class 4 made beautiful infused oil bottles and jars with gorgeous hand-made 'D' cards for Fathers' Day. Lucky dads!

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Kindy Rainy Day Play

Kindy Rainy Day Play

06 Sep 2019

In kindy the weather is always fine....

Everyday we go out to play.

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Class 3 Craft - crocheting pillow cases

Class 3 Craft - crocheting pillow cases

06 Sep 2019

Class 3 students have learned how to crochet 'Triple Stitch', and are creating their own pillow cases for their chairs and activities at school. The quality and colours of the wool, combined with their own creative ability, means that each child creates a unique cover for themselves, a lasting and practical item they will use throughout Primary School.

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Class 6 Geometry

Class 6 Geometry

06 Sep 2019

Class 6 are exploring the beauty and wonder of Circular Geometry in Main Lesson with Class Teacher Rodney Dean. Using a compass and pencil, they have discovered the myriad of shapes that are formed by the intrersections of numerous circles.

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Class Four Cross Stitch fountain pen covers

Class Four Cross Stitch fountain pen covers

06 Sep 2019

Continuing on from their Writing, Paper and Pen Main Lesson, Class Four are cross stitching their own fountain pen covers with individual designs. They design their pattern on paper first and then work to recreate it on the cross stitch fabric.

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Class 2 have fun with Maths in the playground

Class 2 have fun with Maths in the playground

30 Aug 2019

Class teacher Roger Richards and assistant Prue help the children learn mathematics with fun games in the playground in the mornings. The children eagerly line up, each assigned a number. Roger calls out a result, for example : "All those who can be divided by 2!"... and those who can run to the other side of the playground and back. It gets trickier and even more fun when he calls "Hold hands with the right people to add up to 10!" or "Find who makes you times by 2!". Morning maths is a great way to wake up the body and the brain! 

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Glenaeon Music Concert  at The Concourse

Glenaeon Music Concert at The Concourse

16 Aug 2019

The Music Department was very proud of all the students on Friday night at our Class 5 -11 concert! They all performed as well as we had hoped they would and gave us a wonderful evening of varied music, from Back Street Boys to Russian Romanticism - quite a journey!

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all the other staff members and some parents of the school who so generously gave their time and attention to this once a year project. It is amazing to have such great colleagues and helpers!

Thanks also to all the parents who support our students in their musical endeavours. It is a hard job to keep children practising through all the distractions of childhood and adolescence but as the results of scientific research keep reinforcing, the rewards are great!

With gratitude,

Christian Lillicrap on behalf of the Music Department

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Grade 6 Gazette - Special Edition on 'Turning Twelve'

Grade 6 Gazette - Special Edition on 'Turning Twelve'

16 Aug 2019

Class 6 produces a weekly Gazette, and last week's edition featured a special report based on the children’s responses to what it is like turning 12 this year.  Class teacher Rodney Dean asked them to write answers to 16 questions on 'Turning Twelve'. Each week, 2 children are the editors, carefully compiling the pages and preparing for printing of all their creative writing and news. They sell for $1 internally at school, and have raised money for climate change research. Well done Class 6! 

 

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Glenaeon Student Art Show Opening

Glenaeon Student Art Show Opening

16 Aug 2019

Glenaeon's Art Show opening was a successful event, well-attended and officially opened with a welcoming speech by the Mayor of Willoughby, Gail Giles-Gidney. Curated by Head of Art Alisan Smotlak, the show highlighted Glenaeon's talent and artistic skill throughout the years from Kindergarten to Year 12. Also present was a selection of hand crafts from Kindergarten to Class 6 and some beautiful Main Lesson book examples. Andrew Hill welcomed the Mayor, who spoke of her support for the arts and the importance of creativity and artistic expression in education. Thank you to Willoughby Council for their ongoing support of this exhibition. 

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Little Kindy enjoy fresh honeycomb with their baked bread

Little Kindy enjoy fresh honeycomb with their baked bread

09 Aug 2019

Little Kindy bake every Wednesday - it's known excitedly as 'Bread Day' by the children and is one of their favourite activities.

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Meaningful Lives through Play

Meaningful Lives through Play

09 Aug 2019

You might have noticed a stream of articles and news stories recently as schools and educators discover that play in nature really matters. Below is an example. 

D’oh! Isn’t it obvious?!

It’s the latest in a long line of “new discoveries” that are well established practices at Glenaeon. Play in Nature is so fundamental you wonder how it is that “research” is needed to demonstrate this alarmingly obvious point. At Glenaeon we regard play in Nature as a fundamental right of childhood. The physical, emotional, social and mental benefits are so obvious:

    • Natural environments are open and undefined, fostering imaginative and creative play 

    • They foster social play that builds social skills and community rather than competing for the next turn on the swing  

    • They are filled with trees that exude nutrients and uplifting micro-organisms

    • They look better than garish plastic play structures.

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Meaningful Music, Meaningful Lives

Meaningful Music, Meaningful Lives

09 Aug 2019

Our School Concert last Friday was a standout. Head of Music Christian Lillicrap deserves our warmest thanks and appreciation for leading such a committed and talented team of performers (students) and backstage organizers (teachers) to produce such a gift to our community.

Highlights? There were many, but in fact every item was a highlight in its own way. From the class choirs to the Chamber Strings, the Big Band, and the Year 10 band, they were all musically impressive and entertainingly fabulous. But the Beginners ensemble was an absolute gem. The sheer joy and pride of these students who have only been playing for six months, but could get up on stage and communicate their enthusiasm so unselfconsciously, was a joy to behold.

The finales to the two halves of the concert were the heart stoppers for me personally. Hearing our unofficial “School Anthem”, John Rutter’s For the Beauty of the Earth, is an ever enriching and moving experience, and it was again on Friday night. At the very end, the finale to Scriabin’s Symphony #1 for orchestra and choir was simply a tour de force. The grandeur and magnificence of the music, bringing together every student from Class 5 to Year 12, left the audience powerfully affected.

 

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Mermaids in the sandpit

Mermaids in the sandpit

02 Aug 2019

Class 2 children have been extremely creative in the sandpit, turning it into an ocean of mermaids, turtles and craeatures!

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"Oh, Mummy!" What's happening in Class 5?!

"Oh, Mummy!" What's happening in Class 5?!

02 Aug 2019

Class 5 have just finished their Egypt Main Lesson with a class project - building a model from Egyptian History.

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Meaningful Lives through Music

Meaningful Lives through Music

26 Jul 2019

Our School Concert reminds us why we do music. Music brings beauty to our lives, it moves us, it gives expression to our feelings, and as such, it is meaningful. Everyone needs beauty, and meaning, and that’s why we do music, and why everyone does music at Glenaeon. All our students from Class 5 to Year 11, plus our Year 12 Music students, will be on stage on Friday August 9 and we invite you to be part of this entertaining and uplifting evening.

Without music, life is a journey through a desert. 
– Pat Conroy (American writer)

Music is the divine way to tell beautiful, poetic things to the heart.
- Pablo Casals

The legendary cellist Pablo Casals was on to something. Our lives need beauty, and poetry, to fulfil and enrich us, and to make meaning out of the myriad of what life brings us.

How do we build meaningful lives, how do we make meaning from all that comes to us in life? How do prepare our students to live and to love, in the deepest and broadest sense?

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Little Kindy work and play

Little Kindy work and play

05 Jul 2019

This week Little Kindy have been busy making hand squeezed orange juice to help keep winter colds at bay. Every Wednesday is bread baking day in Little Kindy! The children also enjoyed a plant study in the garden, finding that gold and yellow flower petals and bright green leaves are still found in our garden this winter. 

 

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The Power of Play: A World of Infinite Possibility

The Power of Play: A World of Infinite Possibility

27 Jun 2019

The debate on play has hotted up this past week with Sir Ken Robinson adding his eminent voice to the push for more play in children’s lives, especially their school lives: see below for his view. It fits perfectly with a Glenaeon view on play. At the Edu-TECH conference held in Sydney last week Professor Pasi Sahlberg, formerly of Finland and now of UNSW, was introducing his new book called Let the Children Play. He documents the decline in unstructured play in children’s lives in mainstream schools and outlines all the health and wellbeing benefits that unstructured play provides.
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Roman Soldiers - Class 6 Rome project

Roman Soldiers - Class 6 Rome project

17 Jun 2019

Luka Stefanovic, Class 6, became a powerful Roman Soldier

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Class 4 camp

Class 4 camp

30 May 2019

We couldn't have asked for better weather.

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Class 6 rock-ing it, MUFTI day and 'The Grade 6 Gazette'!

Class 6 rock-ing it, MUFTI day and 'The Grade 6 Gazette'!

17 Apr 2019

Class 6 raised money this term for 'climate cooling'

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Class 3 Farmstay, fresh bread and feast

Class 3 Farmstay, fresh bread and feast

17 Apr 2019

Class 3 completed their Farming Main Lesson this week

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Class 3 farming main lesson - wool, wheat and Warrah Farm!

Class 3 farming main lesson - wool, wheat and Warrah Farm!

09 Apr 2019

Class 3 are nearing the end of their Farming main lesson

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Jazz Cafe - a wonderful night

Jazz Cafe - a wonderful night

01 Apr 2019

The first Jazz Cafe was a wonderful night of jazz and good company

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Michaelmas Festival

Michaelmas Festival

01 Apr 2019

All 6 primary school classes came together last Friday for the festival of Michaelmas

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