Friday 13th May, 2016

Term 2, Week 5

I feel at last the world's reality
Which, lacking the communion of my soul,
Would by itself be frosty, empty life;
Revealing it is powerless
To recreate itself in souls,
Would in itself find only death.

From The Calendar of the Soul by Rudolf Steiner
Felt elephants created by Class Five students. Simply amazing!

Dates to Diary

Monday 16th May 9am - Whitsun Assembly
Wednesday 18th May 2.15pm - Class 4 Soiree
Thursday 19th May 2.15pm - Class 5 Soiree
Friday 20th May - Early Childhood Open Day
Friday 20th May 2.15pm - Class 6 Soiree
Friday 20th May 7.30pm (Originally 13th May) - Class 8 Major Projects Presentation
Monday 23rd May 7.30pm - Class 1 Meeting
Tuesday 24th May - Class 7 Immunisation
Tuesday 24th May 7pm - Class 5 Zarathustra Play
Wednesday 25th May 7.30pm - Annual General Meeting
Thursday 26th May 7pm - Class 7 & 8 Soiree
Monday 6th June - Class 4 Polly Woodside Excursion
Wednesday 8th June 7pm (Originally 2nd June) - School Concert
Monday 13th June - Queen's Birthday Public Holiday
Wednesday 15th June - Prep Winter Festival
Thursday 16th June 9am - Kindergarten Festival
Thursday 16th June - Midwinter Festival
Friday 17th June - Parent Teacher Interviews

All these dates (and more) are available on the yearly calendar on the school website, including camp/excursion departure and return times.

Term 2 - Tuesday 12th April to Thursday 16th June (10 weeks)
Term 3 - Tuesday 12th July to Friday 16th September (10 weeks)
Term 4 - Tuesday 4th October to Friday 9th December (10 weeks)

From the Chair of Board

I am very fortunate to live within walking distance of the school, and since I have been working here I sometimes walk home at lunchtime.   It is a time to break the intensity of the daily “action list” and rebalance through a reconnection to nature and the physical exertion of the walk.  This is a chosen break, an intention to refresh, but sometimes the world offers us a gift we do not choose, but which nevertheless meets us where we are and requires us to step outside the demands of the day.

Last week I was offered such a gift as I headed up the hill for lunch.  My head was still whirring with myriad tasks large and small, preparing for an afternoon of meetings, when I heard a scuffling noise to the side of the road.  I startled slightly and was then astonished to see a small joey scrabbling in the ditch trying to come to me.  As I bent down slowly to reach for it, thinking it would be frightened of me, I was filled with joyful wonder as it tried to climb into my arms.   It settled quickly as I looked around to see where the mother could be, but I did not see her.

This small creature, trusting that I would care for it, stopped the whir in my head and the busy schedule of the day fell away.  I carried it back to school, wrapped in a shawl, where we were met with joy by adults and children alike.  Visiting each class I was struck by how all the children responded with such gentle wonder and compassion for the orphaned joey, and how concerned they were for its welfare.  Wonder, compassion and responsibility:  the manifestation of love.

I am so grateful to be part of this school and the gifts which each day and each person within it brings to create a living community striving to “develop the unique capacities of all within our care”.  I have been given a special gift this year in being able to work more closely with the wonderful teachers, staff and parents who give so much of themselves for the collective benefit of all the children in our school and for the world which they will shape in the future.

As the management transition of the school evolves I am stepping back from my day to day presence so I can refocus on the important work we do at the Board level.  I will continue to chair the Management Transition Sub-Committee, with the day-to-day management of the school remaining with Neil Bowker and Danilo Paglialonga until the new Principal is appointed.

With gratitude to all.

Jane Staley

Chair, Board of Directors

Next Section...

Class News


Walking in our gumboots, tramp, tramp, tramp.

Walking in our gumboots, we won’t get damp.

Splashing through the puddles in the rain, rain, rain.

Splashing through the puddles and splashing home again.


We certainly needed our gumboots this week. The children enjoyed walking in the puddles, finding new places in the garden to play and looking for tiny toadstools. We have been collecting kindling and each day we bring in wood to stack by our fire, which keeps us warm and cosy. Please remember to send warm coats each day. I also ask that all parents make themselves familiar with the school’s clothing policy. The main things to remember are:

  • Plain, practical clothing, free from pictures or logos. Simple florals, stripes or checks are acceptable.
  • Clothes should not be ripped or torn.
  • Children are not to wear nail polish or jewellery, including necklaces, to school.

Keep warm!

Love Heather

Prep 13.5.16

Class One

We have continued the journey with Liputto the gnome and the silver scaled snake this week to find the letters names and the sounds they make P,N, C.

We have been delighted to have a teacher from Bangalore in India this week. Thank you to Suresh for his calm presence and his work with us. We hope he will come back to visit us again.

A request from Class One – we are looking for another guinea pig (female preferably) to keep Mudball company. If you have one you would be able to give or sell to us please see Lyn.

Reminders: Class Meeting Monday 23 May 7:30 pm

Excursion to Botanical Gardens Wednesday 18 May  – note will be sent home with each child

Warm wishes Lyn

Class Two

What a wonderful outing we had at Mt.Franklin. Not only did we take our ponies for a trot, walk up to the top of the crater, enjoy eating corn on the cob; we were also privileged to be part of Curt’s Pipe ceremony which he shared with us.

Thank you so much Curt.

Class 2.1 13.5.16 Class 2.2 13.5.16 Class 2.4 13.5.16

Class Three

Wonderfully colourful mud islands below created by our very creative Class Three girls.

IMG_1321 IMG_1320 IMG_1319

Class Four

Into the Muckleford Bush – Written by Class Four students

Brown road stretching away,

Scared hare running swiftly,

Soaring eagle diving suddenly,

Dense bush waiting quietly,

Curious emus looking inquisitively,

Big, brown kangaroo hopping quickly,

Tall trees waiting invitingly,

Helpful children working co-operatively,

Happy birds singing merrily,

Busy ants scurrying purposefully,

Soft wind blowing gently,

Hungry mosquitoes biting ravenously,

Grubby, itchy children playing happily,

Murky dam rippling ominously,

Large, hairy spiders sinning quietly,

Deep, dark mines waiting silently,

Gloomy, long tunnels waiting expectantly,

Careful children leading bravely,

Camping tarp leaking sadly,

Hot fire burning red,

Full moon glowing softly,

Shining stars twinkling brightly,

Whispering leaves rustling soothingly,

Tired children sleeping soundly.

IMG_3708 IMG_3707 20160421_110211 20160420_155337 (2) 20160420_143240


Class Five

Hello to all friends and families of Class 5,

What a whirlwind few weeks it has been ! We have adjusted well to our new class arrangements and had a lovely time giving Danilo a special afternoon tea complete with loving gifts, music, and lovely food. It’s very good to have Danilo still around the school to say hello and wave to – he is very close to us and we thank him whole-heartedly for all he has given us. Now the whole school is able to benefit from his wisdom and expertise.

We have been working very hard, having embarked on the story of, “Decimal Point”, and are learning to problem solve with decimals and fractions. We are also looking at different ways of presenting information using Tables and Graphs.

Right now everyone is very excited about our coming Play, “Zarathustra”. It is our first Play in the Big Room on a stage with lighting, so it is a big experience for us.

Rehearsals are well underway even though its hard to get everyone at school on the same day due to the nasty cold which is going around. The children are a very cohesive group – watch out for them tearing joyfully around the school with their seemingly boundless energy. We are very pleased to have Alan taking Phys. Ed. and helping to direct some of that energy!

Love and good wishes, Diana

Class Six

“Jacob, when are we ever going to get our Class One Buddies?”

The class have been busting to be Buddies almost since they were in Class One themselves and the time has finally come! It’s a highlight of the week for both Ones and Sixes. The Class Sixes are usually paired up with a child from Class One and spend about half an hour on Monday afternoons reading stories or playing games. It is wonderful to watch the soft and gentle nature of the Class Sixes come out, when given the opportunity to be responsible guides and carers to these little Class Ones.

We are coming to the end of the main portion of our studies of Roman times, having met many proud, ambitious and often ruthless characters from history; exploring the legacy of Roman times we have inherited, from legal practices and government to language and proverbs. We have frequently been discussing the way peoples of the past thought and felt quite differently to the way we do now, for example attitudes towards slavery. Roman people placed a lot of value on justice and law, but their justice was primarily a justice of precedent, justice by the book, rather than a justice of the heart (and how a tension between these two still troubles our own legal system).

It has been a while since our Kooyoora Camp, but you can drop in to the school office foyer to see some written reflections and striking charcoal drawings of the granite caves and rock formations on display.

Warm regards, Jacob

Class Eight

Skills based Major Project Mini Research Project
Julia: Starting a Poultry Breeding Business Publish booklet on Breeding and Caring for Heritage Poultry
Sage: First Aid Certificate Training Research First Aid for Asthma, Burns and CPR.
Emerald: Natural Horse Training Methods How to Make a Halter
Alex: Designing and Making a Chess Board and 3D custom designed pieces Set History of Chess
Ronan: The Art of Coaching Junior Soccer Players What is Coaching?
Leo: Designing and Making a metal Knight’s Helmet The Evolution of Armour
Samantha: Creating Optical Illusion Designs Life of M.C. Escher
Annabelle: Caring for and Milking a Goat to produce four types of food with goat’s milk Selecting a Goat: A guide about four goat breeds

Extract below from Project Journal of Alex from 16 February, 2016

Alex 1 Alex 2


It is a privilege teaching Craft at this school. Today I taught Class Six basic woodworking skills and completed my day working with Class Eight while they were machine sewing pyjamas.

Machine sewing is a very rewarding activity, especially for the Class Eights as they have been hand sewing for the previous seven years. Basic hand sewing skills are taught in Class One and the same skills are introduced, practiced, refined and expanded upon through the various projects through the years.

The skills of needle control, evenness of stitches and thread and tension control are introduced in Class One and are constantly practised and refined until the transition from sewing to embroidery takes place.

This transition is evident in the Felt Elephants created by Class Five. I marvel every year at how sophisticated the children’s skills are to produce work of this standard. These children are only 10-11 years old!

Craft 6 13.5.16 Craft 5 13.5.16 Craft 4 13.5.16 Craft 3 13.5.16 Craft 2 13.5.16 Craft 1 13.5.16

Class Two have completed their Hobby Horses, I hope you see them galloping around the school. Please note the hand sewing on these pieces.

Class Three have almost completed their Music Bags. The children’s hand sewing on these pieces demonstrates the skills mentioned above. Please take the time to ask your child about the various stitches they have produced.

Thank you for your support.

Happy Crafting, Chris


First, a massive THANK YOU for the stunning photographic work and generous gifts of DAN A’VARD (  He is behind the camera that captured some of the special moments of the end of term Eurythmy Performance, (which seems so long ago now!)  Photographing Eurythmy is never an easy task, and even Steiner spoke of the virtues and health-benefits of seeing a really beautiful photo of someone in eurythmic movement.  So here’s one more example, again, from Dan’s work:

Eurythmy Performance - Anna-Meike

More photos are on their way to be displayed in the Foyer Gallery soon. Thank you Dan!

Now, to quote some of the notes compiled from Bothmer Gymnastics courses with Dan Freeman, on the topic of Eurythmy in schools:

“Steiner believed that Eurythmy was fundamental for the healthy education of children and older students and therefore it should be an essential part of the Waldorf curriculum. The intention has always been that, throughout the seven or eight years of the primary school, children would gradually become aware that movement is fundamentally important for bodily and social health. However, through Eurythmy, one can extend one’s intensions in movement beyond the body. When you are doing Eurythmy exercises, and if you get good at it, then you learn to extend your intension into the space around you (through the medium of what Steiner called the etheric body or body of formative forces which is beyond the physical, material body). In other words the movement is not just part of the physical body, which ends at the tips of your fingers, but extends into the etheric body and through it your intention extends into space. The potency of Eurythmy becomes evident when the practitioners become aware of the forces that direct their movements. These movements have their origin outside of us in the wider environment or cosmos and we unite our intentions with them. Although it is not necessary for everyone to understand that the origin of speech sound and musical tones is in the zodiac and planetary movements, we can come to an appreciation that performing Eurythmy connects us to the wider movement spheres in the cosmos. It is ‘a big ask’ to expect that all children doing Eurythmy can achieve this understanding however it is clear that some children naturally have it.”

With love, Nicole


Bonjour tout le monde

What a wonderful few days of rainy autumn weather we have been enjoying at last: every French student has had the opportunity to say that rarest of sentences in Australia: Il pleut!

Class One continue with their new song, Sur le Pont d’Avignon and we now have a second verse to add, with lots of belles madames curtseying prettily and lots of beaux messieurs showing us how deeply they can bow and swish their hats!

Class Six are exploring their Main Lesson studies on Rome with a French twist: we have begun to look at the story of the great Gallic hero Vercingetorix, inspiration for that well known character Asterix, and famous for challenging Roman rule across Gaul, now modern day France.

Classes Seven and Eight have begun working on new vocabulary around les animaux and les couleurs. Our Friday conversation classes now include the strategy game Onze as well as the old, familiar Twenty Questions – or in our case, Dix Questions.

Class Eight students will soon commence their own extension program on life in everyday France, with associated vocabulary and grammar. Busy times!

au revoir



Wonderful Working Bee

What a joy it is to see parents, grandparents, children and staff all working side by side, infusing our grounds with fresh enthusiasm and energy. Thank you everyone who supported the work, our students will all benefit from your input.

Working Bee 1 Working Bee 2 Working Bee 3


Upcoming Soirees

Class 4 – Wednesday 18th May 2.15pm

Class 5 – Thursday 19th May 2.15pm

Class 6 – Friday 20th May 2.15pm

Class 7 & 8 – Thursday 26th May 7pm (not 19th May as previously indicated. This was an error)

Please bring a plate to share

Physical Education

I would firstly like to thank all the wonderful parents, children and staff at CSS&K for their kind thoughts in response to my new appointment as PE Teacher.

I am currently in the process of planning the PE activities that Classes 5 to 8 will participate in for the remainder of the year. I also pumped up about 100 balls yesterday and am looking to revamp the Sports Shed to my liking for ease of use in the future! Huge job! I will also be looking towards ordering some nice new sports equipment. Exciting!

The students recently completed a survey which outlined the sports they play (during and after school), would like to play, their strengths and areas for improvements, and any other activities they would like to see within the PE program. Their individual insights will greatly help my planning but most importantly, it helps me to understand the individual needs and interests of my students and work towards satisfying these desires. Thank you for your feedback kids!

Many children surveyed had aspirations of improving their fitness and running speed. With this in mind, Classes 7 & 8 will be undergoing the Beep Test next week! Earlier this week our session focused on different Fartlek running activities in anticipation of the Beep Test. The Beep Test will help individuals to gauge their current fitness level and hopefully see some good improvements when we complete it again later in the year. Surprisingly, the Beep Test has created interest amongst some Class 6 children, so we may see a few individuals join the older children on Monday!

Class 5 will be working on improving the fundamental skills they have been developing over recent years. A variety of sports and activities will help them to achieve their goals.

Other activities that are on the horizon for the upper classes include the Greek Olympics, Bike Education, Orienteering, Archery, Fencing, Dancing, Gymnastics and many more. We will probably sneak in some soccer also. Our students love soccer!

Exercise and eat well!

Cheers, Alan

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School News

Whitsun Assembly

At Whitsun we seek the fire and inspiration of the Spirit, the flame of the individual. This is revealed in each single being and also reflected in the community and humanity as a whole.

We warmly invite Castlemaine Steiner School families and friends to join us for our Whitsun Celebration at a special assembly on Monday 16 May at 9am.

In keeping with the festival spirit, you may like to wear white.


Early Childhood Open Day

Playgroup, Kindergarten and Prep will be open on Friday 20th May between 10.30 and 12noon to enable new, families to see our beautiful facilities and speak with the Educators in the Early Childhood area.

Campfire (2) v2

Foyer Gallery

Class 6 – Kooyoora Camp Reflections and Charcoal Drawings

Foyer Gallery Cl 6 Kooyoora

Parents & Friends Group

This week our Wednesday morning gathering coincided with Open Day.  It was lovely to see so many prospective new families being welcomed into our school in such a joyful and hospitable way.  We helped with morning tea and set up, so we got to see the Class 5 children perform some ensemble pieces for the guests and Chris’s beautiful display of the children’s craft work.

Although there’s still a lot of Autumn sunshine, we are beginning our preparations for the end of term Winter Festival.  We would like to re-cover with fabric the large lanterns we constructed last year.  Get in touch if you’d like to be involved!  We are also hoping to work with Libby on a parents choir in the lead up to the Festival.

On 23 May Class Carers will be meeting to talk about fundraising opportunities and priorities throughout the school.  If you have ideas or wish to contribute, please speak to your class carer or come along to our Wednesday morning gatherings, any time from drop off to lunch.  I can also be contacted at p&

With love, Julie Tisdale

Convenor, Parents & Friends

Principal position at CSS&K

Click here for more information

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From The Office

Reminder to Parents

Parents please remember to sign out your child/ren at the office if you are picking them up early. Late arrivals and changes to the bus schedule should also be brought to the attention of office staff. Also, don’t forget to notify the office of absences via the absence phone 0407 124 508 and provide your child’s name when responding to the absence text. Please don’t use this number to relay messages for your child/ren.

School Fees

Term 2 fees are due today!
If you are having difficulty in paying please contact Tanya (Assistant to the Business Manager) by email or phone/SMS                  0400 751 624

SaverPlus - Health Care Card Holders

More information

Staff Carpark

Parents are reminded not to park in the Staff Carpark located in the central parking island. The outer ring is for parent parking. This arrangement ensures no parents or children are ever crossing the busy carpark road during drop off and pick up.

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Community Classifieds

Clothing Alterations and Repairs

Contact Aleesha 0421 845 757 or for more information

Vivo Yoga

At the Forge

Tuesday 7.00-8.15am

Wednesday 7.00 to 8.15pm

Julieta 0455 481 705

More Information...

Pregnancy Club Yoga

At the Forge

Mondays & Thursdays 12.00 to 1.15pm

Julieta 0455 481 705

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Front Yard Youth Services

Donate your musical instruments to help those experiencing homelessness.

Contact: Asami Koike

Belinda Biffin

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Short Course in Esoteric Studies and Introduction to Anthroposophy

A Short course in esoteric studies and introduction to Anthroposophy, on alternating Wednesday and Thursday evenings.

If you are interested in attending or want more details please Ken Killeen: 0423 194 878


Kinship Connect - Anglicare Victoria

April to June Newsletter – See attached

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Small Sided Soccer - Castlemaine Goldfields FC

Friday May 13th 4.30-5.30pm

14 week program for 5 to 9 year olds


More Information...

Meg Corson Album Launch - Wonder Woman

Saturday 14th May 8pm at the Old Castlemaine Gaol
Adults $20      Concession $15     VIP ticket $40 (Strictly pre-purchased)

Castlemaine Theatre Company presents The Peach Season

Directed by Rob Jorritsma

Written by Debra Oswald

Castlemaine Town Hall, April 29th – May 15th

Fridays/Saturdays 8pm          Sundays 2pm

Strictly for adults only

More Information...

Inside the Brick

Construction Play & Lego Model Expo

Saturday 21st & Sunday 22nd May

Ballarat Mining Exchange, 12 Lydiard St, Nth Ballarat

More information:


More Information...

Gabriel Talks

Caring for the Sick Child at Home – Presented by Annette Bachelor

Monday 23rd May at 7.30pm


The Importance of Movement in Early Childhood – Presented by Paulene Hanna

Monday 30th may at 7.30pm


Both sessions held at Kew Library, Phyllis Hore Room, Kew

For further information call Tiffany 9876 1092 or 0413 120 345

Youth Mental Health Training for Parents

The course teaches mental first aid skills to parents to help them recognise a possible emerging mental health problem or a mental health crisis in adolescents. The training will provide advice on the best course of action if parents are worried about a young person.

Sessions will be delivered in two different formats to meet the varying availability of parents:

  • Two full-day sessions held on Monday 23 and Tuesday 24 May from 9.00am to 5.00pm. Lunch will be provided; or
  • Four Tuesday evening sessions held on 31 May and 7, 14 and 21 June from 5.00pm to 9.00pm. Dinner will be provided.

A registration fee of $40 will cover the cost of the course manual and catering.

To book visit and search ‘Mount Alexander’.

For further information contact Shannon Lacy, Council’s Youth Development Officer, on 5471 1826 or

Upcoming information evening for parents "Understanding Adolescence: the 3rd Stage of Development"

Speakers: Ken Killeen & Dr. Susie Bourke at 7pm on  Tuesday, 24th of May 2016 Room 16, Castlemaine Secondary School, Etty Street Campus. All welcome!

A Heart Big Enough to Hold the World

A performance by Dawn Langman

When: Saturday 28th May 2016 at 4.00 p.m.
Where: Melbourne Rudolf Steiner Seminar, 37A Wellington Park Drive, Warranwood.
Tickets: $20.00, pay at the door.
Register your attendance: or 9876 1092

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Castlemaine State Festival 2017 Information Session

The Festival Director, Martin Paten, and his small team at Castlemaine State Festival are currently working on funding applications to support the Primary Schools’ program during the next Festival, March 17-26, 2017.

To keep school communities up-to-date with our plans and ideas we are holding an information session at our (soon to be) new home in the Goods Shed adjacent to Castlemaine railway station.

It will run from 11am to 1pm on Sunday June 5th and will include a lunchtime sausage sizzle and a short (but exciting) performance for the kids, their families and any staff who would like to join us.

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Biodynamic Courses - Transform the Earth and Yourself

The Michael Centre, 37A Wellington Park Drive, Warranwood 3134

Weekends: 9.30am – 4.00pm:
11th & 12th June; 6th & 7th August & 15th & 16th October

Cost: $1150/weekend $290



Telephone: Grit Oppermann 0477 408 665

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Little Wing Puppets presents Spike

Aimed at children 3 to 9 years and tickets are available at the Market Building, 44 Mostyn St Castlemaine, open every day 9am-5pm, phone: 5471 1795.

Online: Ticketing links available or tickets available at the door 30 minutes prior to show commencing.

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Vicroads Roadworks - Pyrenees Hwy, Winters Flat

Yesterday bridgeworks started on Elizabeth St in Castlemaine. The road and bridge will be closed between Johnston and Ray St for approximately 3 months. The recommended detour from Castlemaine is via Ray St or Princess St/Ranters Gully Rd from Campbells Creek.

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Mittigundi Programs

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