Class 3 Presentation

Class 3 Presentation

22 Nov 2023

Class 3 gave a wonderful performance to parents with Class Teacher Prue Ritchie this week. Starting with poems, songs and games from their Morning Circle and singing beautifully in rounds, they then played amazing recorder pieces together, and in rounds of two, three and even four groups! Truly wonderful to experience. Moving through the stunning grounds down to the Sylvia Brose Hall, Class 3 then presented their ‘Swan Lake’ eurythmy piece with teacher Clair Cisterne, as well as their enjoyable Spring Dance. Lastly, they gave a wonderful concert after their first year learning string instruments – cellos and violins played several pieces with the guidance of their music tutors. Parents were lucky to enjoy such a rich performance, with many thanks to Class 3 students and teachers.

Read more

Class 5 Greek Olympics

Class 5 Greek Olympics

26 Oct 2023

What an absolute triumph of resilience, teamwork, and skill we witnessed on Monday at the 2023 Class 5 Greek Olympics.
Glenaeon were thrilled to host Kamaroi Rudolf Steiner School at our Middle Cove campus for a great day building on their exploration on the origins of the early Olympic Games. After an Opening Ceremony conducted by Zeus and athlete parade, the Games were officially opened! Students took to discus, javelin, sprint, long jump and traditional Greek wrestling, as well as 400m and relay events. The students cheered each other on all day and huge thanks goes to Lucy, Sarah, Jamie, Kim and Michelle and parent volunteers who organised the sporting events, sewed costumes, made chariots (!) Our sincere thanks and acknowledgement to all these staff for honouring Jonas’ memory and creating a wonderful day for the Glenaeon and Kamaroi children. 

Read more

Experience the Magic of the Glenaeon Family Fair 2023!

Experience the Magic of the Glenaeon Family Fair 2023!

25 Sep 2023

Get ready for an enchanting day out for the whole family as the Glenaeon Family Fair returns to the lower north shore on Saturday 4 November from 10am until 4pm. This year's Fair promises to be a whirlwind of excitement, and will feature a jam-packed day of fun games, creative activities, artisanal delights and captivating live entertainment which will bring joy to visitors of all ages. Parents of the school have put their heart and soul into making this a very special day for the community and everyone is warmly welcome.

Saturday 4 November 2023
10am-4pm
Glenaeon Rudolf Steiner School
121 Edinburgh Road, Castlecrag

This year’s attractions will include - 

Fun games and activities: Immerse yourself in a world of fun and adventure with games like Ball in a Bucket, Jacob’s Ladder and the Lollipop Climb, as well as Face Painting, Henna and much more. Craft activities will include Tie Dye, Felted Soap, Beading, Candle Making, Succulent Planting as well as the chance to make your own Wooden Toys. Live entertainment will keep the vibe upbeat all day, featuring student jazz bands, instrumentalists and vocalists, while the younger family members can experience the magic of the Storytelling Tent and the Children’s Grotto.

Delicious and wholesome foods: A wide range of food and drinks stalls will be there to nourish and sustain you all day long, including the Lunch Café, BBQ, Sushi Stall, Popcorn and Lemonade Stall, Gelato Cart, Homemade Cake Stall and of course the Coffee Shop. And for those seeking a place to relax, don’t forget the Chai Tent!

Artisan treasures: Explore a treasure trove of artisan stalls overflowing with unique hand-crafted creations that showcase the finest craftsmanship, where you can do some early Christmas shopping or find the perfect keepsake to cherish. Also featured at the Fair will be quality preloved books and clothes, a selection of homemade jams and preserves, as well as beautiful Steiner-inspired toys made by our very own Parent Craft volunteers.

Inspiring artworks: Art remains a focus of the Glenaeon Family Fair, and this year’s Fair will see a selection of local and established artists selling their works on display.

Fabulous prizes: The Glenaeon Raffle offers a chance to win some fabulous prizes, and the Art & Craft Silent Auction provides an opportunity to purchase some beautiful artworks in various different media, made and donated by Glenaeon students, parents and teachers, as well as members of the wider community. Monies raised go towards supporting the school.

An opportunity to discover Steiner education: Dive into the world of Steiner education and explore the remarkable student works on display. Teachers will be available on the day to engage in meaningful conversations about the unique difference that a Glenaeon education can make in inspiring and nurturing young minds.

Let the magic unfold at the Glenaeon Family Fair 2023! An enchanting experience awaits you, so mark your calendar for an unforgettable day of fun, creativity, and community. All are welcome to join in the festivities and make cherished memories.

For more information go to www.glenaeonfair.com

 

Media enquiries:
Kath Kissell, Marketing Communications Manager, Glenaeon Rudolf Steiner School
E: k.kissell@glenaeon.nsw.edu.au
M: 0408 408 562

Read more

Class 2 Boat Building

Class 2 Boat Building

16 Aug 2023

Class 2 experienced a woodworking afternoon with Class Teacher Jamie Loftus and parents on a sunny Friday. The children were creating boats from a collection of wood, shaping their vessels and adorning them with cabins, rails, and masts from a lucky dip box of assorted shaped timber.

The students were careful creating their boats by clamping and cutting with the help of parents and Jamie. After creating the basic shape of their boat, it was sanded and a cabins were glued to the top using various shapes and sizes of wood. The students loved choosing their favourite pieces to glue & nail onto the decks. Many thanks to our parents who came to help in this lovely afternoon.

 

Read more

Glenaeon School Concert 2023

Glenaeon School Concert 2023

10 Aug 2023

After a three-year hiatus, the Glenaeon School Concert, featuring Class 5 - Yr 11 students, brought The Concourse, Chatswood to life last Friday night. 490 tickets were sold, a record number in the history of Glenaeon School Concerts and we were so thrilled to have you join us for an evening of music and community.

The student performances were remarkable and our guests enjoyed music from 'Fly Me to The Moon' to Coldplay, Folk to Jazz, movie soundtrack nods and classic choral works - it was quite a journey!

The Music Department would like to take the opportunity to thank all the staff members of the school who so generously gave their time and attention to this once a year project. Thank you also to all the parents who support our students in their musical endeavors.

Most of all, we commend our music students.  It takes practice, patience and consistency for children and adolescents to thrive in music, and bravery to perform in front of such a large audience.

Congratulations all around! We are delighted to welcome the “Concourse Concert” back to the Glenaeon music events calendar, and we look forward to many more.

 

Read more

Class 5 Play - The Story of Isis and Osiris

Class 5 Play - The Story of Isis and Osiris

08 Aug 2023

The Class 5 play is the story of Isis and Osiris; the key Ancient Egyptian myth studied in Class 5. Combining a traditional play with shadow puppetry, the actors and puppets accompanied by musicians and sound effects teams, interact with each other retelling this epic saga of love, jealousy, murder and triumph.

Preparing the play, Class 5 had to draw the puppets, experiment with shadows and colour, compose music and brainstorm sound effects. A huge thank you to Jade Oakley for volunteering her time in laser cutting all the puppets and co directing the play.

Lucy Armstrong
Class 5 Teacher

Read more

Class 2 Art Lesson with Jamie Loftus

Class 2 Art Lesson with Jamie Loftus

02 May 2024

At Castlecrag we were delighted to welcome back Class 3 Teacher Jamie Loftus to teach our Class 2 an art lesson. Jamie told a story and led the children to draw an reflected sunrise, with the golden sun surrounded by shining rainbow bands of coloured light. Jamie taught the children to use various techniques and sides of the crayons to achieve different results. Thank you Jamie!

Read more

Class 2 Aesop's Fables

Class 2 Aesop's Fables

04 Apr 2024

Class 2 have been exploring the world of Aesop’s Fables with Class Teacher Jonathan Shaw. These include so many wonderful stories that reflect the complexities of human behaviour, told through insightful and often humorous stories as animals outwit, outsmart and help each other in entertaining moral tales. The name of Aesop has been with us for nearly two and a half thousand years. Ancient writers have rushed to emphasis Aesop’s unappealing physical appearance and the fact he was only granted speech after visiting Isis’s Temple, but whatever the truth, the stories produced by Aesop continue to speak clearly and most elegantly in 2024.

“Before you eat me, Mr Wolf,” said the Kid-Goat. “May you not pipe a tune on your flute? Though it seems I must say goodbye to this world, I would like to dance one more time.”

“But of course,” said the Wolf, smiling as he took out his flute. “I do so love to play music.”

Class 2 have had a merry time not just listening to these tales of wisdom, but in re-enacting them, speaking them in verse, drawing them in our Main Lesson books and working in sentences that capture something of their spirit, whilst perhaps learning something of morality, choice or human nature along the way.

Oh – and in the story above – the Kid-Goat somehow evades the Wolf, who had become so enraptured of his own flute playing. And the moral is…?

Read more

Parent Craft Take Home Packs

Parent Craft Take Home Packs

04 Apr 2024

There are some wonderful Parent craft Packs to take home for the holidays! Please come and get one or two and contribute to our school and Family Fair! Thanks to our Craft Coordinator Charlotte and to our parents and children who have so carefully collated each one - all that you need to get going! They are in baskets at the Castlecrag Reception – hearts, leaf beds, stars, butterflies, token pouches and more! There are stitching instructions if you need them as well and plenty of help available for beginners. Don’t be shy – give it a try!

Read more

Easter Celebrations

Easter Celebrations

04 Apr 2024

Easter was celebrated in so many lovely ways at Castlecrag. The kindergarten rooms were bursting with Easter surprises the children had made – eggs, painted baskets, fresh grown Easter Grass, wax apples and lovely nature tables popped up everywhere on campus! Class 2 parent Carolina baked a traditional ‘Baranek' or 'Easter Lamb Cake’ – a Central European tradition that is a symbol of rebirth and fertility as Easter occurs in Spring, not Autumn like here in Australia! Some people could afford real lamb, but other families were only able to bake cake or butter shaped as a lamb. This amazing cake was baked with a very heavy mould brought to Australia from Carolina’s nearly 100-year old Aunt! Apples were found around the place here at Castlecrag – woven pom-poms in Kindy, wax apples and felted as Easter this year also coincided with our apple picking weeks!

 

 

Read more

Making, Baking and Donating for Harvest Time

Making, Baking and Donating for Harvest Time

04 Apr 2024

Class 1 & 2 students host the entire Primary School for the Michaelmas Festival – preparing over 200 bread rolls and 60 cobs of corn as a delicious Harvest meal after the play. Enthusiastic early risers from Classes 2 and 4 start making the bread – kneading and rolling 10kg of flour and set it to rise! Class 2 parents and children spend the morning rolling and baking the delicious bread – using the famous “Kindy Bread” that all children remember and look forward to! Cobs of corn are boiled and served after the performance and it is healthily enjoyed by all! The Harvest Display is created Class 1 and 2 parents using the abundant produce donated by our families. The woven ‘Horn of Plenty’ and corn husk dolls made by Class 6 are included in the beautiful display.

Our generous families donated such beautiful produce for our Harvest Festival, and we always give this to OzHarvest to distribute to charity kitchens and those in need. Children enthusiastically helped pack and carry the produce to the truck with strong muscles and big smiles. Thank you to all of our lovely families who donated such great produce this year.

 

Read more

Primary Assemblies

Primary Assemblies

03 Apr 2024

Class 6 have stepped into their role as leaders in our Primary School by leading our assemblies. This term, we have had musical performances from Classes 5 and 6 and have thought about having the courage to listen to the quiet voice that whispers in your ear or from your heart, telling you what actions are right and true.   

Read more

Drama Club

Drama Club

03 Apr 2024

A few fun photos from our weekly Drama Club with Teacher, Lydia Wilson. Our Class 6 and Year 7 students take to the stage in costume!

If you would like to join Drama Club, please sign up here! 

Read more

Beware the Dragon!

Beware the Dragon!

03 Apr 2024

“It’s easy to be kind to people we love, and it’s easy to be kind to people we like, but sometimes we need to find the courage inside to be kind even when it’s not the easiest thing to do”. With that sentiment from Primary Faculty Coordinator, Katherine Arconati, Classes 1 – 6 began our 2024 Harvest Festival, and the story of St Michael who courageously faces a fierce dragon to save the villagers and their crops from his fiery breath. The children lived fully in the experience with hearty singing, clear narration, and a truly terrible dragon (courtesy of Class 5). Our warmest thanks to the parents of Classes 1 and 2 who created our harvest display and made bread and corn for us to enjoy after the play.

Read more

Kindy Harvest Festival

Kindy Harvest Festival

27 Mar 2024

Kindy celebrated the Harvest Festival with their trip to Bilpin in the Blue Mountains. There had been much excited anticipation as the children asked how many more sleeps until apple picking day. And when the day finally arrived, it was perfect; blue skies and cool, a touch of autumn in the air. Farmer Cedric was there as always, greeting everyone and explaining some important aspects of apple picking. Picnic rugs were laid out around the spreading oak tree and parents, grandparents, siblings young and old enjoyed Kindy’s Harvest Circle before filling their baskets with apples that were indeed ‘crispy and crunchy’. It was a glorious day and one that will be remembered fondly by all who came.

Read more

Class 2 Playground Performance

Class 2 Playground Performance

21 Mar 2024

Class 2 enjoyed hearing about St. Michael and the Dragon in preparation for their Harvest Festival, and spent many creative hours  making a short play of a similar story - a knight who meets a princess, falls asleep and wakes to slay a dragon. Played out in the sandpit at lunchtime, the students were rapturously engaged! Thank you Class 2! They also created and performed the story as a wax character puppet show and had everyone glued to their performance!

Read more

Primary School Cubby...Reimagined

Primary School Cubby...Reimagined

21 Mar 2024

Earlier this term, our Maintenance Team were dilligently preparing our Middle Cove campus to welcome our visitors for Open Day. The wonderful Mary saw this as an opportunity to give the primary playground cubby a refresh.

Mary and Kai painted the hut and then commissioned the creative help of Hanako T. and Yr 10 students to redesign and hand-paint the side of the cubby which is now adorned with vibrant fauna and flora. What a joy to see their artistic talent as a permanent part of our natural landscape.

Thank you to all involved! A peek at the before photo (the last image) to see the transformation.

 

Read more

Open Day Middle Cove Campus

Open Day Middle Cove Campus

15 Mar 2024

A sneak peek at a wonderful morning that was...thank you to our visitors, students, staff and community for making our Open Day - Middle Cove campus 2024 possible.

Read more

Class 2 Times Tables with Ida Spider

Class 2 Times Tables with Ida Spider

14 Mar 2024

Class 2 have been learning their times tables with the help of a special friend called Ida Spider! Each day, Ida weaves a secret pattern in her beautiful web as she helps the Class 2 students learn their times tables. When each number is woven onto a 10-pegged web board, a new pattern emerges! This simple geometry shows there are underlying patterns in numbers, many of which come out to play in times tables!

Read more

Parent Craft  Wet Felted Flowers

Parent Craft Wet Felted Flowers

14 Mar 2024

Parent Craft Coordinator Charlotte ran a beautiful wet felting workshop in making stunning lily flowers. Starting with soft coloured fleece, parents used hot soapy water to roll and rub the fibres until they felt - then cut and shape them into flowers during the felting process. Parents chose striking colour combinations and the flowers will be made into lovely items for the School Fair in November.

Anyone is welcome to come and join Parent Craft - no experience is necessary. Come and learn to sew, felt, knit and take home a small craft pack to work on at home. There is an enclosed space for young children and a warm, social atmosphere. Thank you Charlotte for sharing this wonderful skill.

Read more

Class Meetings

Class Meetings

29 Feb 2024

It has been ‘back to the classroom’ for parents in Primary School as we have held our Class Meetings over the first weeks of this term. Each Class Teacher addresses parents about the developmental stage of the class and how the curriculum meets all that their children are experiencing.

In Class 4 (below) the children displayed their favourite page of their Main Lesson book, for their parents to see. And Class 1 Teacher, Emily Watts (also, below) had her class of parents engaged. It is wonderful to see parents supporting their children’s education and being involved in our wonderful community!

Read more

Parent Library

Parent Library

28 Feb 2024

The Parent Library at Castlcrag is now open!

Tuesday 2:45pm to 3:15pm and Wednesday 8:45am to 9:15am.

Our two volunteers Alex and Alice are there to help and books may be borrowed for 2 weeks. Come and choose from the large selection of parenting books that reflect the Steiner philosophy, as well as books on craft, gardening and nutrition. There is also a wide range of beautiful books for children up to 10 years, including well-loved classics and recently published. 

Read more

Celebrating Monique

Celebrating Monique

28 Feb 2024

Our lovely Assistant and Learning Support teacher Monique Anderson is leaving Glenaeon to become a Class Teacher at Warrah Specialist School in Dural for students with specialist needs, and also the organic farm and source of the amazing Veggie Coop that delivers to Glenaeon. See (https://warrahspecialistschool.nsw.edu.au/ ) This is a beautiful opportunity for her in line with her studies in special and inclusive education. We shared a lovely outdoor circle with parents and children and they gifted her a bag made by the Class 1 families last year, a beautiful bonsai fairy garden and sang songs together with teachers. The staff at Castlecrag then shared a farewell afternoon tea with some more lovely gifts for her as a teacher, sharing their experiences and well wishes for Monique. We have all been lucky to have worked alongside Monique in the three years she has been at Glenaeon. She is looking forward to the next stage of her teaching journey and has been treasured by the children and families alike!

Read more

Parent Craft Embroidery Workshop with Elizabeth Ellean

Parent Craft Embroidery Workshop with Elizabeth Ellean

28 Feb 2024

Handwork teacher Elizabeth Ellean came to run a wonderful embroidery workshop with parent at Parent Craft morning – organised by our inspiring Craft Coordinator Charlotte Fayle. Many parents came to learn the beautiful stitches that their children will also be learning throughout the Primary school Handwork Program. Parent Craft runs fortnightly in the Marion Mahony Griffin Hall kitchen at our Castlecrag Campus. All are welcome to attend, and no experience is necessary. There is an enclosed space and toys for younger children to play. Come and learn a new skill or use one that you already know! All materials are provided and Parent Craft makes items for the classrooms, teacher and our School Fair in November. Come to the office at Castlecrag reception and pick up one of the craft packs you can take home to work on!

Read more

Class 1 – Craft and Counting Bag Embroidery

Class 1 – Craft and Counting Bag Embroidery

28 Feb 2024

Class 1 first learned to embroider in Kindergarten, when they hand-stitched their own craft bags with their name and a native animal shape. They will use these bags all the way through Primary School! Now they are learning more complicated stitches and shapes – embroidering their initials with running and whip stitch, as well as backstitch to make their counting bags for their upcoming mathematics lessons. They have also embroidered a spiral, one of the shapes and forms they explored in their first Main Lesson “The Straight and Curved Line”. They made spirals in the playground and also walked the shaped in the playground to explore form and contour as they learned to write the shapes of the letters with Class teacher Emily Watts.

Read more

Lunar New Year Celebrations

Lunar New Year Celebrations

14 Feb 2024

The Year of the Dragon was welcomed on Castlecrag campus with a bang and crash of drums, a scary, but friendly big lion (or was it year 1 disguised as a lion?), a flash of red, and over 150 dumplings homemade by Class 2 children and their talented parents. Students decorated their classrooms with the red paper cut outs they made, and participated in an energetic story told about the villagers who fought off the fire breathing dragon to save their beautiful mandarin orchard.
Gōng xī fã cái, Xin Nìan kuài lè, or however you say it in your own language, we wish all our Glenaeon families a healthy and happy New Year! 

Read more

Class 3 and Class 6 Buddies

Class 3 and Class 6 Buddies

14 Feb 2024

Class 3 and Class 6 have started a mentoring buddy session where once a week they gather in the Class 3 classroom together. For Class 3, it is their year of reading, so the session has a literacy focus, where the buddies choose a book and a comfy spot to read to each other. 

This is a lovely initiative where Class 3 can feel welcomed, embraced and safe on their new campus and Class 6 can explore leadership, responsibility and practice looking outwards and being of service.

Both classes have enjoyed these sessions and love having a bigger child to look to and a smaller child to look out for. Thank you to their teachers Jaime Loftus and Lucy Armstrong for supporting their students and forging bonds that aid in a sense of community and belonging.

Read more

Handwork at Castlecrag

Handwork at Castlecrag

14 Feb 2024

Handwork is underway and Classes 1 & 2 are busy making things they will use at school! Class 1 are sewing their Counting Bags, which will hold their little counting jewels when they learn numbers and mathematics, whilst Class 2 have begun sewing their etoile – a personal needle holder with their own initials stitched on the front. We warmly welcome our new assistant Meg Quinlisk who is helping Elizabeth Ellean this year

Meg brings with her a wealth of experience – she teaches at Sydney Rudolf Steiner College, has run the Inner West Steiner Playgroup for many years, is a writer and author and a very talented crafter herself.

Read more

Class 1 Dye Chair Bags

Class 1 Dye Chair Bags

14 Feb 2024

Class 1 hand-dyed their own chair bags with teacher Elizabeth Ellean. Assistant Meg and parent helpers. Taking a sewn calico bag, they painted their own designs in warm colours, which will be set and then dried. These bags will hang on the backs of their chairs and hold their books, pencils and other useful things! They are so bright and beautiful – thank you to our parent helpers and well done Class 1!

Read more

Sandpit Sensation

Sandpit Sensation

14 Feb 2024

There has been so much wonderful play in the sandpit this week, with children creating an enormous moat, castle and cubby! Working industriously together, they cart water, build bridges and steps, laughing and celebrating their huge creation!

Read more

Class 1 Walk the Rainbow Bridge

Class 1 Walk the Rainbow Bridge

18 Jan 2024

Beginning Class 1 is a lovely step for the children, made even more special with the ‘Rainbow Bridge’ event. On Wednesday our Class 1 children met in the Kindergarten playground where excitement and anticipation filled the air. They were supported by their kindergarten teachers Deputy Head of School Dani Finch. They shared their morning song together before walking through the playground up to the Class 1 area, their new haven at school. The Class 2 children formed a beautiful 'Rainbow Bridge' - a tunnel made with long silk and flowers. They sing a lovely song called “Make New Friends”. The Kindergarten teacher shared a farewell for now and gave each child a flower to take with them 'under the rainbow bridge' to the other side, where their new Class teacher, Emily Watts greeted them with a warm smile. 

The children then make their way onto the balcony of Class 1 and their first day in the Class Teacher Period begins! This is an important right of passage and a symbolic moment in Steiner education philosophy and ignites the beginning of the Class Teacher journey. Emily will form special bonds with each child and nurture and guide these children through their primary years with the supportive assistance of other specialist teachers. Parents then come together for a shared morning tea, with Senior Teacher Catherine Pilko and Dani Finch welcoming and sharing insights about the first days and weeks of Class 1.

 

Read more

Glenaeon Garden Culture - Like a Bee Hive

Glenaeon Garden Culture - Like a Bee Hive

18 Jan 2024

How does the unconscious wisdom contained in the beehive, filled with love, relate to our human experiences? 

In his book “Bees”, Rudolf Steiner said “The individual bees renounce love in manifold ways, and thus develop love throughout the whole hive. One only begins to understand the life of the bees when one knows that the bee lives in an atmosphere completely pervaded by love.” *

When we, human beings, gather to work together for a higher cause than our own personal ambition, we are emulating this social model of a bee hive; thus the name ‘working bee’.

The Glenaeon Gardens appreciate this model of working together in devotion and love.

Our annual Harvest Gratitude day, as celebrated last Sunday at Middle Cove, has become a working bee of sorts as the Glenaeon community comes together to learn from each other. We felt the benefits of healthy living soils by plunging our hands in them; we harvested what had grown out of flourishing garden beds; we created a bountiful feast, and together, we planted new gardens for bees, animals and humans too.

Once upon a time the whole school was abuzz with the smell of pizza, handmade flyers with reminders to bring gold coins, and excited students doing pizza runs around the campus. High school students prepared the dough with teacher Anne Rouse while Class 6 made and delivered the pizzas - the campus coming together to make industry, like busy bees in a hive!

We are grateful to teachers Ruth Pervis and Kathy Thangathurai for their vision, and for hosting these joyous events, with the keen support of parent chef Nick Meredith-Jones.

Ten years of garden fundraising has now enabled the renovation of the school's chicken coop, for the benefit of students through our agricultural and wellbeing programs.

As expressed within our chicken care community:

“We can't wait to come and look after the chickens”

It lifts my heart to see our community (young & older) working together to create something beautiful and valuable!”

Thank you to those past students, teachers and parents for this invaluable legacy! In opening our hearts to devotion, love and sacrifice, we become bearers of love. Just like the bees.

See you in the Garden!
Sandra Frain…..and Parent Volunteers
Gardening Teacher
S.Frain@glenaeon.nsw.edu.au 

“Nine Lectures on Bees” Rudolf Steiner, GA 351
https://rsarchive.org/Lectures/GA351/English/SGP1975/19230203p01.html

Read more

Glenaeon Garden Culture - Harvesting in Times of Scarcity

Glenaeon Garden Culture - Harvesting in Times of Scarcity

18 Jan 2024

Harvesting in times of scarcity

We are fast approaching our traditional Harvest Festival, and our gardens are not bursting with pumpkins as they have been in the past. Living in a city, we have the easy option of going to the shops and buying whatever we want for our celebrations. But we would like to encourage everyone to stop for a moment and look at the world differently: what do we have in our gardens right now?

We harvest seeds, we harvest stories

Aromatic and medicinal Fennel has taken over some of the garden beds at the Middle Cove garden, creating a canopy bursting with yellow umbrella-like flowers filled with seed and feathery peacock-like leaves. Last week, Class 6 students picked the flowers, harvested the seeds and roasted them during their gardening class. At the end of the lesson, we shared our food and stories, and everyone commented how much they loved the roasted fennel seeds. One student shared a story with the class:

There once was a King who wanted to know which of his children was the faithful one. He gave them roasted fennel seeds to plant, and later on he asked them how they were growing. All of the children commented how strong their plants have been growing, except for one girl who said: “Mine are not growing at all!” - And that’s how the King knew who the faithful child was.

When we think we have nothing, we need to look around, explore, question and learn. We have some Azolla in the pond, which we learned is high in nitrogen and can be used instead of manure when we have no access to cows.

A high school student harvested some chicken bones while digging in the garden, and asked to take them home. Could they be the seeds of an archaeology interest?

The students on all campuses are resourceful in their play and this translates to the same in their alchemical experiments with food substances. Can we as adults be as bold and harvest the Taro root and leaves that are growing in abundance at Glenaeon Preschool? We have made Bay leaf tea, roasted Fennel and Sunflower seeds, fried up Mustard greens, Endive, Amaranth leaves and flowers in frittatas. From the Glenaeon gardens we add lemon, flowers, leaves, seeds in our sourdough bread. We connect with our surroundings to create new things with them.

So why is harvest time so meaningful? In harvesting, we learn to embrace what we have, we become creative and able to make something from nothing. As human beings, we harvest the rewards of moments of gratitude and connection with the Earth. We can’t get this from a shop.

Goethian observation

For Term 1 2024, the Class 6 students have now each represented an impression of Fennel in their assessment task for Gardening lessons:

“I think it looks like lots of little flowers. I think if you hold it up to the light and see the shape it looks like a star constellation.”

“I like the smell. When I suck it, it tastes like licorice. When I eat it, it does not taste good. It feels furry and soft.”

“I like fennel because it feels nice to touch and I like the taste and texture of it. It feels very nice on your skin and it is very soothing. It tastes like licorice when you suck on it and chew them.”

See you in the Garden!

Sandra Frain…..and Parent Volunteers
Gardening Teacher
S.Frain@glenaeon.nsw.edu.au 

Read more

Glenaeon Garden Culture - Worms: The Humble Servants of our Soil

Glenaeon Garden Culture - Worms: The Humble Servants of our Soil

18 Jan 2024

The words Humble and Human have their origins in the Latin word Humus (soil). Dig a little hole in any of our garden beds and you’ll surely find some wriggly and lively worms. Whether in compost heaps or worm farms, finding them gives the students an animal to interact with that’s not always part of their home life. We notice their delight and fascination with this squirming animal: how quickly it moves, the colours, the size. They bring a sense of wonder. There is something familiar in the texture: it is shiny, soft and wriggly like our tongues!

“These worms are wonderful creatures: they leave to the earth precisely as much ethericity as it needs for plant-growth.” 
Rudolf Steiner, GA 327: The Agriculture Course — Lecture VII

These subterranean animals leave life in the soil for the plants. They work in cooperation with the soil. The worm is regulating the soil by eating what is meant to be decomposed but not so much as to destroy the life value for the plants.

So how are we bringing this to life in Glenaeon’s gardens?

● We're making healthy soil: This humble servant is a necessity to break down all the discarded food waste that is high in nitrogen. The worms make this beneficial soil for us in cooperation with all the other insects, grubs, earwigs, springtails, nematodes, cockroaches and millions of microorganisms that we can't see, representing a life force that makes the soil lively and healthy for plants to grow and to feed insects once again.

● We're making a learning-scape: A student friendly atmosphere that enables this excitement to embrace and learn of life. What a joy it is when preschool and kindy students say “I want to see the worm farm! I want to see the compost! Let’s feed the worms.” 

The students learn to care and take responsibility: the worms need water, they need to be fed with scraps, leaves and grit when we keep them in a domesticated ‘farm situation’.

They get to see the worm eggs and learn that the liquid that comes out of the worm farm is a medicine we call a fertiliser that will enrich the soil that plants are growing in.

● We’re working with the senses: The tactile sensation and ‘wriggling’ of worms is confronting to some students. They grow comfortable with the notion of having a worm in their hands when they see other adults or students relaxed with the interaction. This is a simple but profound opportunity for students to develop resilience for challenging sensations.

 We're encouraging social responsibility: Families living in apartments can have a worm farm and create healthy soil. It can then be used in pots, or taken to a favourite tree at the park, or given to friends. The act of creating an environment for the production of soil is empowering. “What can I do to help the climate crisis caused by food waste?” - make more healthy soil!

Want to know how to set up your worm farm at home? “Show more” below!


See you in the Garden!

Sandra Frain…..and Parent Volunteers
Gardening Teacher
S.Frain@glenaeon.nsw.edu.au 

Read more

Glenaeon Garden Culture - Volunteers: Nature's Gifts

Glenaeon Garden Culture - Volunteers: Nature's Gifts

18 Jan 2024

Volunteer plants are beneficial plants that sprout and thrive independently instead of being intentionally planted and nurtured. They are a gift to gardens! Similarly, we welcome volunteer humans who ‘sprout, grow and flourish’ in our gardens.

Clair’s story

Glenaeon Teacher and parent Clair Cisterne sprouted in the garden last term by caring for citrus trees: weeding, protecting, pruning and fertilising them, while learning and growing herself! This section of the garden will become a memorial garden for Clair’s botanist grandmother, Judith Eastman.

“Volunteering in the garden suits me more than anyone! I pick Sandra’s and the other gardeners’ brains as much as I can get away with, and they hold my hand as I put it to practice. I take home compost, worm castings and all sorts of cuttings, so my own garden becomes an extension of our shared one. What a deal! Then, there’s nothing better than just roaming around and marvelling at the beauty – hovering in the light, tranquil feeling of a glorious garden. I’m filled with enthusiasm and ideas for my own favourite space, and overjoyed at the huge, new world of knowledge that awaits me.

I bravely approached Sandra with my new desire to learn about gardening and wasn’t at all made to feel silly for not knowing the simplest of things. Now my neighbours on both sides have popped their head over our fence, wanting to know what I’m up to, and if they can do it too. My husband has even made them some garden beds. It really does feel like a little seed…and the magic of mother nature.”

Chrissie's story

Inspired by a social media post featuring a Glenaeon Garden Culture article, Glenaeon alumni and former parent, Chrissie Ivanchenko, started volunteering in the garden in 2024. Chrissie was heartily welcomed together with her ideas, stories and cheerful disposition. Garden beds have been weeded and mulched, and a project of creating a raised garden bed is underway.

“I love that I learn something every time I come. I love being part of something that is so nurturing for the people that work here. I think that gardening is a vital part of educating children. If they know how to care for the Earth, they will also protect it.”

We were delighted to learn that Chrissie’s father David Lawes helped start the Glenaeon newsletter in the 1980s!

Just like seedlings, human volunteers take root and thrive in our Glenaeon gardens. This is what Waldorf Education is about: a place to appreciate learning, to come together where everyone feels welcome, where dreams come true.

See you in the Garden!

Sandra Frain…..and Parent Volunteers
Gardening Teacher
S.Frain@glenaeon.nsw.edu.au 

Read more

Class 1 Handwork - Christmas Baubles

Class 1 Handwork - Christmas Baubles

08 Dec 2023

Handwork Teacher Elizabeth Ellean made Christmas baubles with Class 1. Thank you to the parent and grandparent helpers for supporting the children with their creations.

Read more

Birthdays at Castlecrag

Birthdays at Castlecrag

07 Dec 2023

Birthdays are a special time at Castlecrag and this week was no exception.... except we were celebrating Class 1 teacher Jonathan and Class 1 assistant Monique's birthdays! Wearing their birthday crowns and capes -just like the children do - parents gave them the most beautiful cakes, children sang and we warmly celebrated this is special occasion together.

Read more

Class 3 Trade Treasures and Treats

Class 3 Trade Treasures and Treats

07 Dec 2023

Class 3 are just finishing their final Main Lesson for the year. It's all about money! Learning the history of money and trade they have journeyed from old currencies and forms of trading to current practices. They've already hosted two lemonade and popcorn fundraising stands, had a wonderful trading day in their classroom where they traded goods and services with each other, exchanging treasures, crystals, toys, massages, portraits. And, you could even get your bags carried for three days as a service! A parent brought in an amazing foreign money collection of colourful notes and wonderful coins, as well as, old Australian notes for the children to search through. There was also a real gold antique Austrian Kronor coin from 1915 that is now worth $4,500! The children were amazed!

Read more

Yr 9 Write and Read Books to Incoming Class 3

Yr 9 Write and Read Books to Incoming Class 3

05 Dec 2023

Our Year 9 students wrote stories for our incoming 2024 Class 3 students and presented these to them at their Middle Cove Orientation Day last Friday, 1st December. Supported by Yr 9 teachers, Lydia Wilson and Ella Pooley, we captured the sweet moments of reading at the amphitheater.

Read more

Class 3 Build a Cob Cubby

Class 3 Build a Cob Cubby

05 Dec 2023

As part of the Building Main Lesson Class 3 have been building a cob cubby this semester. Every Wednesday a group of students have been mixing the required amount of soil, sand, straw and water to make a good consistency, laying the cob on the wall and then compacting it with their hands. Slowly but surely the wall has grown with many hands building it. Our wonderful class parents Nick and Vincent have helped bring this project to life and a special thanks to Scottie for guiding us through it. Many parents have given their time to come and help our class build something lasting. It has been a real group effort. During the time there have been side projects instigated by the children such as weaving and measuring and weighing grains, inspired by the measurement Main Lesson.

Read more

Class 2 Play – St. Francis

Class 2 Play – St. Francis

30 Nov 2023

Class 2 performed their end of year play 'St Francis' to Kindergarten, Class 1, parents and friends. It was a powerful story from their 'Saints' Main Lesson and followed the life of St Francis. Born to wealthy textile merchants, he grew up in great comfort, before giving up his fine life for simple robes, for service and devotion. The children sang, danced and played recorder as they told the moving story of his life, rebuilding a church, befriending the beds and saving a town from a ferocious wolf.  It was a profound and beautiful play with Class Teacher Jamie Loftus. Well done Class 2!

Read more

Class 6 Play – Aladdin

Class 6 Play – Aladdin

29 Nov 2023

Class 6 performed their play 'Aladdin' for family and friends and the school community and we were blown away by the performances. The students worked as a team to bring the much loved story to life and we thank Class 6 teacher Cathy Bower and all the parents, carers, volunteers and staff who brought the play together. Well done Class 6!

Read more

Class 2 Welcome to Middle Cove

Class 2 Welcome to Middle Cove

29 Nov 2023

Our Class 2 children made the exciting journey to Glenaeon's Middle Cove campus, where they will be based for the next chapter in their school story. Class 2 Teacher Jaime Loftus accompanied the students, as he will next year too!

Parents and carers were invited for a morning tea on the deck and a campus tour.

The Class 2 children were thrilled to explore the Class 3 classroom and playground.

We look forward to seeing their bright faces at Middle Cove in 2024 and beyond!

Read more

Glenaeon Carol Service 2023

Glenaeon Carol Service 2023

29 Nov 2023

Our much loved annual Glenaeon Carol Service was held on Monday, 27th November at Pitt Street Uniting Church. It was a beautiful evening for our community to join together to celebrate and reflect on the year that was.

The students shone in their performances and the tone set a beautiful energy to take into the festive season and much-needed holiday break.

Thank you to our wonderful community for joining us for a night of wonder and awe. We extend our gratitude to those involved in all the performances, logistics, and rehearsals.

Read more

Class 2 String Games

Class 2 String Games

22 Nov 2023

Class 2 have been learning complicated string games at play and are having a wonderful time playing them! They have even been making up their own ones and creating them in pairs! Japanese Teacher Junko Nicholas helped them with some of the tricky.

Read more

Class 4 Outdoor Education

Class 4 Outdoor Education

22 Nov 2023

Class 4 enjoyed their first taste of Glenaeon's award-winning outdoor education program with a camp out on the Middle Cove campus oval. The students were supported by Outdoor Education Teachers Scottie and KG, and Class Teacher Rodney and Class Assistant Michelle and  The students had a blast eating alfresco and watching the sunrise over the beautiful bushland. Each year they grow in confidence and add skills a gentle entry into the outdoor education. So many exciting adventures that lay ahead.

Read more

Class 6 Ancient World Main Lessons + A Visit to Parliament

Class 6 Ancient World Main Lessons + A Visit to Parliament

08 Nov 2023

In Class 5 and 6, our students learn about the birth of Democracy in the Ancient World of Greece and Rome. This year, our studies in Australian history culminated with the story of the birth of Australian nationhood, with our Federation, in 1901. So, to celebrate our Australian Democracy, Class 6 visited the NSW Parliament and experienced through role play, how our democratic institution works. We also visited the Royal Botanical Gardens and learned about Indigenous Knowledge and Culture and how the wisdom and knowledge of the past can help us care for our people and the land by reading the signs of nature.

Following our two Ancient Rome Main Lessons, Class 6 students were asked to provide an independent research project on a topic of their choice. Their work was very impressive as evidenced by just a few samples here. The students were also involved in multiple mosaic projects over terms 3 and 4, including decorating a terracotta pot, our tree stump-table contributions to the Silent Auction and a Birdbath that will be given as our gift back to the school.

Read more

Class 6 Mosaic Tiled Wooden Stumps

Class 6 Mosaic Tiled Wooden Stumps

08 Nov 2023

The wooden stumps came from our own Middle Cove campus, and were from a dead bloodwood tree designated to be cut down during 2023 Term 1 school holidays. Our school Bush Regenerist & Groundsperson, Lindsay Sherrott, was happy that part of the tree could be recycled and used by Class 6, and ensured that the right lengths of wood were cut and put aside.

Parent and designer maker Robbi Pittorino then prepared the stumps and allowed them to dry at his workshop over Term 2. Class 6 children decorated the stumps with the support of Art Teacher, Julia Byrne. The inspiration for mosaic tiling came from their Ancient Roman History Main Lesson. The mosaic designs depict the sun and moon, based on their Astronomy lesson and the rainbow swirl is connected to the light/Physics Main Lesson.

Well done Class 6, these pieces of art were a much sought after submission in the Glenaeon Family Fair 2023 Silent Auction.

Read more

Farm animals visit Castlecrag

Farm animals visit Castlecrag

26 Oct 2023

Castlecrag became a mini farm this week with the visit of beautiful sheep, lambs and an alpaca called Trevor from Golden Ridge Farm! Class 1 are learning all about the wool cycle, so our students enjoyed feeding, brushing and learning all about wool, lanolin, fibres and different types of sheep and wool. Children also washed wool which will be carded, spun and knitted! It was a wonderful day full of fun!

Read more

Class 3 Crochet

Class 3 Crochet

18 Oct 2023

In class 3 the children have been actively making throughout the year. They build as part of their main lesson and they have made models of dwellings and geometric shapes. They cook and learn to clean up, they garden and learn to care and nurture.

More recently, the children have been busy crocheting for their contribution to the school silent auction for the Glenaeon Family Fair. They carefully carved their own crochet from a stick of Murraya hedge and they have experimented making their own stretchy rope from recycled T shirts. It has been a fun time especially when the tools they have made themselves, are put to good use immediately.

Elizabeth Ellean 
Handwork Teacher 

Read more

Class 1 & 2 Spring Festival

Class 1 & 2 Spring Festival

11 Oct 2023

Class 1 & 2 came together on the last day of Term 3 and held a Spring Celebration at the Castlecrag Campus with teachers Jamie Loftus, Jonathan Shaw and assistant Monique. They shared their beautiful Spring songs and a spring dance prepared with Eurythmy teacher Clair and pianist Linda. Parents helped create their beautiful Spring garlands and brought delicious food to share in a picnic following the festival. Thank you to all involved in this lovely event.

Read more

Class 4 Make Paper

Class 4 Make Paper

20 Sep 2023

Late last term, Class 4 enjoyed an afternoon in the sunshine making paper lead by Hand Work Teacher, Elizabeth Ellean. After carefully observing a demonstration, they rolled up their sleeves and, in groups, made paper from scratch. 

They dipped and pressed and molded to make lovely pastel coloured paper with busy hands.

Thank you to Class Teacher Rodney Dean and Assistants for your support in this fun and creative session.

Read more

Glenaeon Garden Culture

Glenaeon Garden Culture

13 Sep 2023

Eco Literacy, Friends & Pests In Our Gardens: Part 2

Indigenous heart intelligence and biodynamic regenerative agriculture

From Indigenous culture we learn that when the wattles flower, the mullet fish run. In the Time of Murrai’yunggoray (September - October), as the weather warms and the Miwa Gawaian (Waratah) buds swell, the D’harawal people began their major ceremonies in celebration of the new life promised by this season.

In Glenaeon’s gardens we invite everyone to practise active observation before deciding on our actions of care. We sing to the garden “what story, what story do you tell? What story do you tell?” and then we articulate:

  • The bees are saying “thank you for planting the zinnia seeds and caring for them”; the zinnias are saying “thank you to the bees for helping to pollinate us so we can make seeds for new flowers”.
  • Our Mother Earth is saying “I am so thirsty without rain - will you please water me today? If my soil gets too dry the insects will be thirsty and eat the plants to find water.”
  • The bush turkeys parading and  scratching in the garden bed inform us that the lettuces need some protection.

Setting boundaries

While newly planted flowers and seeds are getting established in the soil we protect them with nets or fences built by the students. As plants grow bigger and stronger we uncover the plants so that humans and animals can harvest  what they need. This is a principle of both biodynamic and Indigenous agriculture: we must ensure that the birds and animals have enough to eat too.

In Glenaeon's gardens:

● We practise principles that Indigenous and wise farmers share around the world: never pick the first or the last of the crop for the future of life itself. (For example, when we harvest our lettuce or silverbeet we always leave 3 leaves so the plant keeps growing new leaves).

● We have fish in the water garden to help keep mosquitoes away. Some plants are particularly helpful in deterring certain insects, and are carefully planted around gathering and play areas: tansy, with a camphor-like scent that repels ants and flies, while citronella and lemongrass' smells deter mosquitoes.

● We scatter crushed eggshells around particular plants to discourage snails and slugs that might be nibbling too much of our food. When Preschool and Castlecrag students find snails and slugs they carefully move them to non (human) edible bushes (or even build homes for them with leaves and sticks), and when students find inch grubs they feed them to our grateful chickens.

● We use tree paste to cover pruned branches or damaged trees to protect them from ants and other insects while they heal. Biodynamic tree paste is made with 3 equal parts of clay, cow manure and sand, mixed with water to make a spreadable paste.

Indigenous peoples have totems and special animal images to help keep unwanted visitors away. We have scarecrows, representing a human presence in the garden. While the kookaburras may laugh at our scarecrows, we like to think of them as friends: ever so helpful at catching native rodents. 

Want to join our holiday chicken care team? Got a question, story or idea to share? The Glenaeon Garden Team would love to hear from you! s.frain@glenaeon.nsw.edu.au

Sandra Frain (and Parent Garden Volunteers)
Gardening Teacher

 

Read more

Big Kindy Father's Day Bushwalk and BBQ

Big Kindy Father's Day Bushwalk and BBQ

13 Sep 2023

What a fabulous afternoon we had celebrating with our lovely Dads and Granddads for Father’s Day. We set out on our usual Friday bushwalk with extra dads in tow, down the bushy track to Warners Park where we found the rest of our dads and granddads waiting for us. Following a dad powered play, we gathered in a giant circle to share our blessing before enjoying a lovely BBQ lunch together.

A special thank you must go out to Arlo's Dad, James, for very generously providing all those yummy sausages. And of course, a huge thank you to Nevra's Dad, David, for not only lugging his own barbecue to the site, but also for organising and cooking those yummy snags and providing rolls, salads, sauces and watermelon. What a wonderful effort and afternoon, thank you everyone.

Melanie Harper
Kindergarten Teacher

Read more

Father’s Day Food Lovers Unite

Father’s Day Food Lovers Unite

13 Sep 2023

Glenaeon’s playgroup to high school sourdough bread enthusiasts shook cream until it became butter, dripped yoghurt until it made cream cheese, and kneaded dough until it was ‘soft as an ear lobe’ on 2023’s sunny Father’s Day.

The kneaded creations were embellished with garden edibles and transformed in the Castlecrag Kitchen ovens for take-homes, along with rye flour sourdough ‘starter’ jars and recipe booklets.

Learning of the alchemy of fermentation to make sourdough bread was exciting for adults and youth alike, as children played outside the Marion Mahony Griffin Hall kitchen on the fresh grass and inviting sandpit.

A ‘morning tea’ of freshly made sourdough bread, cream cheese, butter (and Junko’s miso!) washed down with our Castlecrag garden herbal tea vanished in no time. Thank you to all the participants who came and created a social alchemy on Father’s Day. Love was in the air!

 

 

Read more

Glenaeon Garden Culture

Glenaeon Garden Culture

13 Sep 2023

Breathing in and breathing out in times of joy and sorrow

With emphasis in 2023 on ‘Well Being’ in our lives, our Glenaeon gardens on all three campuses have been responsive for visitors of all ages to feel nurtured as they contemplate the mysteries of life within. The students find health actively and passively by digging soil, harvesting flowers, planting seeds, caring for plants and animals and in serving each other garden herb tea and fresh wholesome food in a sociable manner. 

Angst and sorrow was ours with the loss of the beloved teacher Jonas Stoebe in the last weeks of Term 3. We countered the confusion of grief by celebrating the joy his life gifted us, honouring the elements of earth, water, air and fire within the home base of our gardens.

We dug a pit for making a ton of new soil from compostables, 

We made contained fires and burned sticks for ‘doughies’; 

We stirred waters of biodynamic preparations for strengthening our atmosphere and soil and We sprayed each other with water hoses; 

We harvested flowers and vegetables; 

We sang, shared stories, laughed and cried; 

We wrote poetry and letters too. 

We swung on the hammock and the big swing, 

We planted seeds for glorious gardens of the future while remembering Jonas, an  inspiration to us all.

Our Middle Cove garden hosted many classes of students and groups of teachers day after day of this time. Science students tagged birds, English students wrote prose, art students sketched, Math students measured time, Earth stewardship students rejuvenated their camp experience. Every break time the stumps in the garden and surrounding rocks were covered with students convening. As we shared this communal season of grief, the garden responded by making a ‘welcome home’ for us. Together, we accepted, we grew, and we healed: wiser and stronger in our openness and resilience to the mysteries of life.

How grateful we are that Glenaeon Rudolf Steiner School honours the importance of cultivated gardens as a place to be, and as a place to be motivated to help. How fortunate we are to have a place to embrace the elements all and to be nourished by their powerful ways too. Like all living organisms, the gardens flourish with human activity and interest. Please contact S.Frain@glenaeon.nsw.edu.au if you would like to visit the gardens or volunteer with the Glenaeon gardens and animal care teams.

Celtic Blessing honouring the elements as sung by Year 8 ‘in the garden’.

Deep Peace             

Deep peace of the running waves to you
Deep peace of the flowing air to you
Deep peace of the shining stars to you
Deep peace of the quiet earth to you
https://youtu.be/oEmvQqg_EpQ?si=E7dFQRZLIyWiMiST

Sandra Frain (and Parent Garden Volunteers)
Gardening Teacher

 

Read more

Glenaeon Garden Culture

Glenaeon Garden Culture

13 Sep 2023

Chickens, the cycle of life and volunteers

Our business as agriculturalists is to work with transformation and metamorphosis or energies and matter. Life and death. This week we had a profound example of accepting the conditions that come with taking responsibility to care for animals for the sake of learning and the sake of soul warmth.

Even though we have a devoted community of families and staff who care for the chickens, we could not escape nature's way. After almost a year of absence a fox made its way into our coop, and now six of our seven Glenaeon chickens have become a part of our nourishing garden soil.

Like every farming community, the Glenaeon community has responded with the sorrow that comes with the loss of animals that so many of us have become attached to. With our loss our hearts have opened.

The garden space is so quiet without the chickens clucking and scratching and the sounds of the students' joy as they visit the chickens before school, in the classes and in the breaks. The Garden team has invited Glenaeon students to tie a chicken feather to a card with some words or pictures they may make and place it in the chicken coop. Many families are also making tributes to the chickens in different ways.

Adults are connecting via group chat and in person, the Garden team is welcoming families to visit and meet in the garden. Already this is resulting in tangible ideas ensuring the pedagogical health of our Glenaeon community. For parents and carers who are looking for a way to join and be a part of this community, a rare opportunity in Middle Cove, please feel free to email Sandra: s.frain@glenaeon.nsw.edu.au Let’s garden and make social change together: all ages welcome.

Sandra Frain (and Parent Garden Volunteers)

Read more

Glenaeon Garden Culture

Glenaeon Garden Culture

13 Sep 2023

This is the garden that we are growing

Since 2018 our Castlecrag Garden program has grown from a sporadic solitary Glenaeon School Staff gardener to a dedicated Biodynamic garden teacher and rostered parent volunteers supporting bustling garden classes with Classes 1 & 2, and gentle gardening fun with all Kindies! Children love seeing parents and parents love joining the children's class, supporting the teachers, helping to hold the students while learning the art and science of gardening.

‘Like bees to honey’, parent volunteer presence has attracted fellow parents to sign up for gardening lessons. Parent volunteers create a supportive fabric for our students that fosters social and emotional intelligence. We are delighted to have many parents regularly assist with the garden classes on all three campuses. ‘I learned so much’ is the recurring gratitude from parent volunteers. The children feel the warmth of their parents' interest. It's more than "how was your day today?". It becomes a: "I loved seeing you getting your hands dirty/pushing that cart/cutting down that tree; planting those seeds; tasting that harvest".

Parents report that their children look for possibilities on the home front to apply what they've learned and what they've done in gardening lessons, from balconies to communal gardens. Parent volunteers in gardening lessons are empowered to support this meaningful practice and joy of plant and animal husbandry.

‘I have been looking for a way to be a part of the community. I’m glad to be enveloped by the activities of the Glenaeon Garden Team.

‘It is so good for our urban family to come to school and have these farming tasks to contribute to in the holidays'

‘I grew up on a farm and I recall so fondly the animal care. We are delighted that Glenaeon provides this opportunity to our children year- round’

‘I love the peace of the garden. It is so beautiful: like an oasis.’

A school community that involves volunteers creates a collective consciousness, a supportive group of people with shared values. In the Glenaeon Gardens we work with the earth: creating soil, growing colourful edibles and nurturing animals. Students are learning useful life skills while they connect with the animals, care for our provisional earth and develop insights to address climate change.
For parents and carers who are looking for a way to join and be a part of this community, please feel free to email Sandra: s.frain@glenaeon.nsw.edu.au Let’s garden and make social change together: all ages welcome.

Sandra Frain (and Parent Garden Volunteers),
Gardening Teacher

Read more

Glenaeon Garden Culture - From You I Receive, To You I Give

Glenaeon Garden Culture - From You I Receive, To You I Give

13 Sep 2023

“An atmosphere of gratitude should grow naturally in children through merely witnessing the gratitude that their elders feel as they receive what is freely given by their fellow human beings, and in how they express their gratitude. The cultivation of this universal gratitude toward the world is of paramount importance.” - Rudolf Steiner*

As a Glenaeon Garden culture, we practise this form of grace in many ways including active observation and appropriate response. We give thanks for the animals, the flowers, the produce, the minerals, the space where we meet and of course for each other!

On the last weekend of November, the Glenaeon Middle Cove Garden was a hive of activity thanks to industrious families meeting to deconstruct the chicken coop and then to celebrate our annual gifting of loving labour to the garden program.

On the rainy Saturday, 25th November we hosted a working bee to dismantle the chicken coop which completed the recent work begun by the students of garden Class 3 to 6. We enjoyed de-constructing by cutting sharp wires and then driving wheelbarrows (up through the bush) full of awkward loads of sharp metals and plastics to the awaiting truck. The clean concrete slab now gives us the start we need to re-construct a more secure home for the chickens.

On the next day, November 26th, (the 4th anniversary of an Angophera tree crashing on the previous garden shed), we gave an honouring “Thank You” to all the families that support Glenaeon’s gardening classes and the essential weekend/holiday chicken care. On this sparkling sunny Sunday, our work was socialising. “What’s your Glenaeon garden story?” created the alchemy of interest in each other.

We celebrated the presence of our elder Ruth Pervis, the former Glenaeon Class Teacher, who retired to start the Glenaeon gardens in 2010. How exciting it was to hear her stories of transforming a previously desolate part of the Middle Cove campus for dedicated garden classes.

The mood was festive as we dined on popcorn, breads, pestos, garden produce and cakes, and guzzled fresh garden herbal tea! Children joyously scampered around the garden beds under refreshing sprinklers; lounged in the hammock under the green-grape laden pergola and discovered many skittish fish in the oasis’ garden pond. This is our garden!

For anyone interested in participating, learning, helping and supporting the building of a new chicken coop, please email Sandra: s.frain@glenaeon.nsw.edu.au

* Rudolf Steiner “THE CHILD'S CHANGING CONSCIOUSNESS AND WALDORF EDUCATION”. GA 306. Lecture VI

Sandra Frain (and Parent Garden Volunteers),
Gardening Teacher

 

Read more

Class 1 Perform the Play "Goorialla: Rainbow Serpent"

Class 1 Perform the Play "Goorialla: Rainbow Serpent"

30 Aug 2023

On Friday 18 August, Class 1 performed their first ever class play for friends and family. The play was called "Goorialla: Rainbow Serpent" and was based on the children's book by Dick Roughsey. They dedicated their performance to the Cammeraygal people. The play was very beautifully performed and included choral speech, smaller group speech and singing. A warm thanks to Class Assistant Monique for organising all the costumes and the big 'Goorialla' held aloft at the end. Class 1 looks forward to our next theatrical performance! 

Read more

Class 2 Build Maths Skills

Class 2 Build Maths Skills

30 Aug 2023

Class 2 have been enjoying mathematics with Class Teacher Jamie Loftus and Teacher Assistant Theresa. They are learning to carry and borrow numbers in vertical algorithms. This is done through a story of families who need to borrow and share whilst living in apartment buildings. They are giving and taking eggs, apples and vegetables and the children have been busy working out how many each family has. The class have enjoyed some new maths games focusing on doubles, 'Friends of Ten', times tables and adding tens. The class continues to recite times tables using bean bags during morning circle time and are having great fun with each other and the four processes.

Read more

Kindergarten Craft Journey

Kindergarten Craft Journey

30 Aug 2023

For many Big Kindy children the favourite activity of the week is craft. They start the year with some simple wool winding activities and progress to making pom pom apples, then finger knitting coasters for their cups and treasure bags. By this time, fine motor skills and focus are more proficient, so on to 4 finger knitting their own skipping ropes. Next comes French knitting for their rest time pillows. The final project of the year: the bags they take proudly to Class 1 for the continuation of their craft journey. 

Read more

Tanabata Festival - Wishes to the Sky

Tanabata Festival - Wishes to the Sky

30 Aug 2023

The children in Playgroups and Classes 1 & 2 have all participated in writing wishes and hanging them on Bamboo trees for the Japanese Tanabata Festival. On Mondays, our Japanese Immersion Playgroup has Naoko Murphy as their Playgroup leader, and Junko Nicholas and Naoko have taken Classes 1 & 2 for Japanese language lessons. It is tradition that these wishes must be burnt in order to send them to the heavens, and this was performed with Naoko in the playground around the fire. They sang and spoke the Japanese blessings as the ashes flew to the sky, taking their wishes with them. Thank you Naoko for leading this most exquisite ceremony.

Read more

Class 2 Bushwalking Adventures

Class 2 Bushwalking Adventures

16 Aug 2023

Class 2’s first bushwalk for this term took them down to the harbour foreshore below Stoker Playground with Class Teacher Jamie Loftus and parent volunteers. The sun was shining and the students were eager to explore down the many steps to the water - they counted the steps and found there was more than three hundred!

The children enjoyed a picnic lunch by the water before exploring - finding crabs, fishing with sticks and inventing fun games. A play cafe popped up, a hammock between the trees to swing with friends and climbing trees.

They were joined by Class 1 on their bushwalk with Jonathan Shaw with great excitement and joy. 

Read more

Class 3 House Building Projects

Class 3 House Building Projects

14 Aug 2023

Class 3 have recently completed their “Home” Main Lesson. This culminated in the projects the children completed individually at home to bring in on the last day of the lesson. The projects are wonderfully varied and it is clear a great deal of care has been taken to create something through their own efforts. The students have been doing very well presenting their models to the class using prepared speeches.

During the lesson the children discovered different traditional houses from around the world, fostering a social understanding. The many trades required to bring a house into being were considered, highlighting the interdependence of our lives. Most importantly the nine-year-old children were supported to continue to establish their individuality and step towards greater independence with confidence.

Prue Ritchie
Class 3 Teacher

Read more

Class 1 Craft Recorder Bags

Class 1 Craft Recorder Bags

03 Aug 2023

Class 1 have been busy weaving their recorder bags with Handwork teacher Elizabeth Ellean and parent volunteers. Using a weaving board, they carefully filled the strings with threads, making the bag thick to protect their new recorders. They plait a handle using an 'Egyptian Plait' style with 8 strings and saw, and sand and attach hand-made button made from collected wood. The result is beautiful bags they will use all the way up until Class 5.

Read more