Tuesday 4th of February, 2020

Term 1 Week 2

Can I expand my soul
That it unites itself
With cosmic Word received as seed?
I sense that I must find the strength
To fashion worthily my soul
As fitting raiment for the spirit.

From The Calendar of the Soul by Rudolf Steiner

Dates to Diary

Week 2 - Dates for the Diary
Tue 11th Feb - Class 4 Parent Meeting
Thu & Fri 13th/14th Feb - Dental Screening Service - Bendigo Health
Thu 13th Feb - Kinder 2020 Parent Meeting
Mon 17th - Fri 21st Feb - Swimming Intensive Classes 2, 3, 4
Tue 18th Feb - Class 2 Parent Meeting
Wed 19th Feb - Class 3 Parent Meeting
Tue 25th Feb - Shrove Tuesday Pancakes in the Heartlands
Tue 25th Feb - Class 5 Excursion
Wed 26th Feb - Class 5 + 6 Netball/Football
Friday 23rd Feb - Garden Pot Luck
Wed 11th Mar - Class 7&8 Music Excursion
Tue 17th Mar - Class 7 Serpentine Creek Camp
Wed 18th Mar - CSSK Board Meeting
Tue 24th Mar - Class 8 Sailing Camp
Fri 27th Mar - Final day of Term - Autumn Festival 2.15pm

2020 Term Dates
Term 1 (9 weeks) - Thursday 30th January – Friday 27th March
Term 2 (10 weeks) - Wed 15th April – Friday 19th June
Term 3 (10 weeks) - Tuesday 14th July – Friday 18th September
Term 4 (10 weeks) - Tuesday 6th October – Friday 11th December

Free Dental Screening – Thu & Fri 13th-14th February 2020

Families will be receiving the forms to opt in to a free dental screen with Bendigo Health next week. The attachment has some basic information so refer to your paper copy for full details.

Dental Screening



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School News

From the Acting Principal

Dear Families and Friends,

Welcome to the beginning of the 2020 school year at Castlemaine Steiner School & Kindergarten.

Hoping that you have managed a peaceful and safe summer holiday, and are energised and excited for this new term.

We give respect to the Dja Dja Wurrung people who are the traditional custodians of the land on which our school shares and also extend a special thought to any families that may have been affected by this summer’s bushfires. We give gratitude to all in our communities who are working to keep us and our environment safe.

The start of every school year is an opportunity to herald and celebrate new beginnings, so to all new children, families, and staff may the start of your time at our school be a long and nourishing one.

This year we welcome the following members of staff:

Class One Teacher – Katherine Freeman

Kindergarten Integration Assistant – Moya Maguire

Kindergarten Assistant – Kate Brydon

Prep Integration Assistant – Eve Morden

Music Tutor – Carrie Webster

Likewise as we welcome the new into our school we are also given the opportunity to farewell and reflect on the departing of others. This week we acknowledge and show our most sincere love and appreciation for the energy and commitment Jane Staley has shown towards our school. Jane has been a wise and talented member of our Board of Directors for some seven years now, and I personally have shared many an experience with Jane both on the board and in her role in our Management Transition Team a few years back. Thank you Jane.

Enough said for now, onward we go!

Warm regards, Danilo



From the Chair of the Board

My first introduction to Steiner Education and to our beautiful school here in Muckleford was at an open day in 2008.  My son Jonathan was 18 months old and I was pregnant with my daughter Thea.  We were living in Melbourne at the time, and planning to move “to the country”.  We had been visiting Castlemaine as a possible new hometown, and my husband Brendan mentioned that there was a Steiner School in the area.

I knew nothing about Steiner schools, and to be honest had only just started seeing the prospect of “schooling” emerging on the ever-shifting horizon of parenthood.  I recall a sense of wonder and relief as we were shown around the school – wonder that such a place existed, and relief that my children could be welcomed into it.  This, and an enduring memory of Class 3 children knitting while they had a maths lesson.

We started Playgroup in 2009 and so our journey through the School began.  Jonathan is now in Class 8 – how those years have flown!  He and Thea have benefitted so much from this school and the alternative vision which Steiner education offers.  I too have learned and grown so much myself as a parent and a person through my time at the school, and also been granted the great privilege to learn and grow as a leader within the school community through my role on the Board.  There is a great invitation within the Steiner educational philosophy to develop our personal capacities and to bring those into the service of our community.

Being on the Board these past seven years has been a journey of striving with our College to live into the ideals of this inspirational education.  If I have learned one thing along the way (and in truth I have learned many) it is that we must always strive towards those ideals, knowing that we will fall short.   The reward is not in perfection, but in our shared struggle and support of each other, and the gifts this school can offer our students.  In this, there is no beginning or end, but constant cycles of life, of letting go, of learning and of renewal.

Reflecting on this over these past holiday weeks I have realised that for me personally a cycle has come to an end, and that it is time to step down from the Board.  This is both to give myself space for other things to grow in my life as a parent in the school and beyond, and to open the way for others to bring their gifts for the future health and happiness of our school.  I will remain active in the school employed in a temporary part-time role to support a smooth transition in leadership and governance.

It’s been a grand adventure, and I wish my fellow Board members well for a future I look forward to sharing with you all as I continue my journey as a parent.

Jane Staley


From the Board of Directors

The Board would like to welcome back all families, teachers and staff.  We particularly welcome all the new students and families joining our school community.

The Board is grateful that Danilo Paglialonga has agreed to continue in the Acting Principal position while the Board undertakes a recruitment process for an ongoing Principal.  His leadership has provided welcome continuity for the School as we commence the new year.

We would also like to remind all parents and teaching and non-teaching staff that you are eligible to become members of Castlemaine Steiner School Limited, which is the incorporated not-for-profit company and is the legal entity of the school.  We invite all parents and staff to apply for membership of the Company by completing a Company membership application form which is available from the office enquiries@cssk.vic.edu.au

Following the recent resignation from the Board of Directors of current Chair, Jane Staley, the Board is pleased to announce the appointment of Warwick Smith to the role.  Warwick has brought a wealth of personal and professional skills to the Board over the past two years and we look forward to this continuing as he takes up the role of Chair.

The Board is now actively recruiting for new Directors to fill casual vacancies (see below for further information)


Parents and Friends

The Parents and Friends group is a vital part of our school.  We are very grateful for all the dedication and care the group brings to supporting our families, students and staff.

The organisation of Parents and Friends is guided by Terms of Reference which were developed through a parent and class carer consultation process in 2016.  This Terms of Reference is now due for review and we will be undertaking this process this year.

In the meantime we are very grateful to Aleesha Hercus for agreeing to step into the Parents and Friends Convenor role for 2020.  Aleesha has been an active member of the Parents and Friends Group for many years and will bring her experience and enthusiasm to the role.


Board Vacancies

There is a casual vacancy for one of the two Elected Director positions on the Board of the Castlemaine Steiner School Limited.  Under the Company’s Constitution, the Board may fill a casual vacancy for endorsement at the next AGM.  The Board invites applications for this Directorship from parents and members of the wider community.  Employees of the School are not eligible for this position.

There are also current vacancies for Board-nominated skills-based Directors.  These vacancies are open to independent community members (not parents of current students enrolled in the school, and not employees of the school).  The Board invites applications for these Directorships from suitably qualified and eligible community members.  Specific skills or expertise which are relevant to the School’s current governance needs include legal, education, management, governance, marketing, community development, fundraising, Anthroposophy or Waldorf/Steiner Education.

How to apply

Please forward your curriculum vitae and a statement addressing the skills and experience you would bring to the Board to Company Secretary, Neil Bowker businessmanager@cssk.vic.edu.au or in hard copy marked confidential addressed to the Company Secretary and mailed or delivered to the School Office, 11 Rilens Road, Muckleford.

Formal applications for these vacancies close Monday February 18.  Expressions of interest in joining the Board are welcome at any time.


If you have any questions please contact Neil Bowker, Company Secretary businessmanager@cssk.vic.edu.au or 03 5479 2000



Coronavirus Update

On 1st February 2020 the Australian Government’s Chief Medical Officer and Victoria’s Chief Health Officer recommended stronger precautionary measures to manage coronavirus for travellers returning from mainland China.

They recommend that parents/guardians/carers should ensure that any student returning from mainland China (not just Hubei Province) who was in mainland China on or after 1 February 2020 be isolated at home and should not attend school until 14 days after they were last in mainland China.

The recommendation does not apply to Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan, nor does it apply retrospectively. It applies only to students who were in mainland China on or after 1 February 2020.

The Australian Government has also decided to implement additional border measures which could have an impact on some students and school staff.

These measures include denying entry to Australia to people who have left or transited through mainland China from 1 February – with the exception of Australian citizens, permanent residents and their immediate family and air crews.

 The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has also increased its travel advisory to level 4 – do not travel to all of mainland China.

 The Victorian Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has issued information for the education sector on the novel coronavirus. The information is available on the DHHS website.  

 The Victorian Department of Education and Training has provided advice for schools on its website.

 The Australian government’s Smart traveller website includes advice about the novel coronavirus outbreak.

 All of these links are also available on the ‘Infectious Diseases’ page of the ISV Compliance Framework.

 Since this is an evolving issue, it is likely governments will provide additional information in coming days. We will keep you informed.

 Thanks, Danilo and Office Team



Photo Permission & Excursion Forms

Please return your completed forms to the Office ASAP for photo & excursion permissions. The deadline was Monday 3rd February and these are critical for our planning.

Thanks The Office.



After School Care at CSSK !

The After School Care program is up and running. When we put this initiative out to the CSSK community last year the number of families registering to use the service was very strong, however it has not translated through to enrolments.

If you would like to enquire about booking your child into the service please contact www.castlemainechildcare.com.au as soon as possible.



Enrolment News

Welcome back everyone!

I will be commencing the enrolment process shortly for Kindergarten 2021 and it’s looking like a big beautiful group. Information packs and interview dates will be sent out shortly to all registered families.

Warm regards, Tracey



Prep News

A very warm welcome to all the children and their families to Prep.We especially welcome three new families, Emma Sweeney and her parents, Bethany and Rowan, Ryan Pearse and his parents, Kirsty and Adrian and Minka Neale and her parents Deb and Sonny to our Class community. This year we also welcome Eve Morden who will join Christine assisting in Prep.

 Last Thursday the children visited Prep with their families. This provided them with the opportunity to reconnect with their friends and share time exploring the Prep room and garden with their parents. It was lovely to see all the children again after the holidays and I look forward to sharing the year with them.

 All Parents should have received a Prep News email last week containing some information about Prep. If you did not receive the email please let me know. Also don’t hesitate to ask if you have any questions or are unclear about the transition arrangements over the next two weeks.

 I look forward to a great first week.

 Warm regards, Heather



Class 1 News

Class 1 started their first day with much enthusiasm.  The children were very brave when they said their goodbyes and were keen to do some writing.  We had a little organising to do, making sure all the desks and the chairs were the right fit before we began our first form drawing main lesson.  Not quite writing yet but we will get there.

High temperatures outside caused some of the children to wilt during morning play and we decided to stay in for the rest of the day.  Some holiday memories were shared and the children drew something that they remembered or enjoyed from the holidays.

I’m really pleased at how well the children adjusted to their new routine.  Throughout the day, the general attitude was ‘I’m here and I’m ready to learn’.  Let’s hope every day the children continue to be so enthusiastic when they arrive.

Specialist classes will begin this week with our first Craft lesson with Chris on Tuesday, Movement with Sue on Wednesday and Spanish with Raziel on Thursday.

On Monday the 10th the Class one children will have their first visit to assembly to be welcomed by the school and class 1 parents are warmly invited to morning tea afterwards to meet some of the other parents in the school.

As we have one bus traveller in class 1, I would like parents to be on time to collect children and promptly get their tired children home for a rest so that I can ensure our bus traveller is at the bus on time and not overwhelmed by the big people and the crowd at the bus stop.  I am still able to meet parents if they need to see me but it will have to be after the bus departs.

Thanks Katherine



Class 2 News

 Welcome back everyone! I hope you all had a restful and enjoyable Summer holiday break. It has been fabulous to catch up with the Class Two children and hear some of their stories about Summer holiday adventures.

This term our Main Lessons will have a bit of an ‘Animal’ theme to them.  We are beginning our year with a Literacy Main Lesson Block on Animal Fables. The stories we will be working with include both Aesop’s Fables and animal fables and folktales from around the world. We began the Main Lesson with an ‘Ananse’ tale from Ghana, and the children delighted in acting out their own retelling of the tale. Over the next three weeks, the children will be practising writing and reading skills.  They will also be exploring different styles of language use in narratives, poetry and verse and participating in a variety of activities aimed at giving them the opportunity to further build their knowledge bank of sight words.

Specialist Timetable

The schedule for Class Two Specialist Subjects this year is as follows:

Movement –   Mondays, middle session between morning tea and lunch

Spanish –       2 lessons: One on Tuesday, between 11:45 and 12:25 and the other on Wednesday, between 12:25 and 1:05

Craft –             Wednesdays – between 2:05 and 3:25pm


Parent Meeting Date

Our first Class Two Parent Meeting for the year will be on Tuesday the 18th of February, between 7 and 9pm.  Please put the date in your diaries. It would be great to see all of you there, as these meetings provide a wonderful opportunity for us to all discuss how the children are faring and how we can work together to help them in their learning.  I will send out a schedule for the meeting closer to the time.

 School swimming

Our wonderful PE teacher Kellie has arranged for our junior school students in classes 2, 3 and 4 to participate in a swimming program this term.  The children will receive swimming lessons through YMCA at Newstead Pool during the week of the 17th-21st February.   The swimming lessons will be conducted in the afternoon, between 1:30 and 2:30pm.  The children will be transported to the Newstead Pool in buses. More information will be sent out to families this week.

 I look forward to our time together over the coming year!

Love Fiona 



Class 3 News

In our class we are very excited about all of the new things we have begun this year. We have already begun our first music lessons and very soon we will begin working in the garden with Lisa. This year we also go on our first camp!

How significant then is the fact that we start the year with the story from the Hebrew Scriptures: “In the Beginning”

The Garden of Eden

Do remember our first Class Meeting will be held on Wed 19th of Feb at 7.30pm

Regards Anne.



Class 7 News

Welcome back everyone!!

It has been wonderful to see everyone again and meet the new children of the class. We have started our year delving into the Middle Ages. We have re-capped the fall of Rome and how the Anglo’s, Saxon’s and Jutes fought for power over Europe. This week we have been introduced to William the Conqueror and the Feudal system. The children were given their first novel for the year as part of our novel study “King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.”

The class seven timetable is very busy with many specialist subjects so please make sure that your child is at school by 8.40 am.

Your child has come home with a newsletter this week, so please read over it and familiarise yourself with the housekeeping for the year.

Have a great week!!

Love Amanda



Class 8 News

The 2020 school year has started off very smoothly for Class 8 even with our very hot day last Friday. We welcome Jasper Saulwick into our class. Everyone has started their Major Project and we are looking forward to our music excursions and camps.

 We have started the year with the continuation of our Renaissance Main Lesson which fits in well with our Craft Renaissance portrait work. With Phil we are looking at Money & Society and Lynn will be bringing to the students the Art of Communication.

 Please note that the dates for the Camel Trek were incorrect in the letter sent out before school. The dates are 29th August to 6th September.

 There will be a class newsletter sent out later this week.

 I look forward to catching up with you all at our first Class Meeting which will be on Tuesday 10th March at 7:30.

 Cheers, Anna



French News

Bonjour et bienvenue a la rentree!

Hello and welcome back to the start of a new year! 

 We begin the year by welcoming the Class Six students into the French program for the first time and hope they will enjoy expanding their language studies to include French as well as their current knowledge of Spanish. We will be starting with names and greetings as well as some simple songs, games and stories.

 Class Seven students will be extending their French knowledge alongside their Main Lesson work on The Middle Ages this term, by looking at  France in this era as The Great Age of Chivalry. 

 And Class Eight students will also be working on a unit of vocabulary which centres around the lifestyle of King Louis the Fourteenth, a true Renaissance King, and his magnificent palace of Versailles.

 au revoir, Lynn



PE News

Welcome to 2020 everyone,

I hope you were able to receive some rest, nourishment and reflection time during the summer holiday period.

I’m thrilled to be teaching P.E. again this year and look forward to seeing all the students! I’ll be “officially” meeting class 4 for our first ever class together on Wednesday which is very exciting!

As most of you are aware, we will be beginning an intensive swimming program over 5 days in week 4 with classes 2, 3 & 4 at Newstead Swimming Pool. We have 4 AUSTSWIM teachers who willing be running the 30 minute classes for our students.

Class 2, 3 & 4 parent helpers needed

In order for the program to go ahead I am in need of 2 parent helpers each day of the swim program to assist us the logistics and safety of our children. There is no swimming or swim training required from you but you do need a current Working with Children Check (WWC). The time we need assistance is from 1pm-3pm from Monday 17th- Friday 21st February. 

If you can assist on one or more days during this period please send me a text on 0409531141

Applying for a Working with Children’s Check is very straight forward and FREE if you are working in a volunteer capacity. Parent helpers assisting on excursions (in all year levels) need a WWC and, with lots of excursions, camps and events coming up this year it would be awesome to have more people able to help out when they have the time. Please let the office know if you have a WWC already and if you get one. Here is the link to apply for a WWC

Look forward to meeting more parents this year and can’t wait to get back into it!




Does this belong to anyone?

Please contact the Office if this belongs to you.



Music News

Carrie Webster is joining us on Mondays again this year to help with teaching Violin & Viola to students from class 3/4/5 & 7 .

Regards, Jeanette



From the Garden

How lovely and green everything is with the rain we had. The holidays have been a busy time here for us trying to keep everything alive before the rains came. Thanks to Emily and Evan for lending us their chickens, who have been weeding and now we have two beds almost ready for planting.

This year classes 3 & 4 will be gardening Mondays & Tuesdays, with class 4 cooking produce from the garden on Tuesdays. Always such fun

Settling back into the new year we are excited to have planned a Pot Luck Dinner Friday 28, come hang about after school, pull a few weeds, have a natter and some icecream. All welcome.

We have also planned a Vegetable Garden Rejuvenation meeting, building on the work we did with Dan Palmer last year, heading toward some concrete action! All welcome.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to catch Sally or Lisa in the garden, through the office or Lisa on 0488 102 191.



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Community Classifieds

Mount Alexander Shire - Middle Years Plan

We are pleased to invite you to continue to explore the future of middle years in Mount Alexander Shire at the second Mount Alexander Middle Years Forum.

This forum is another chance for you to contribute your thoughts to help guide the development and coordination of middle years’ services, programs and activities in the shire. 

Outcomes of the forum will contribute to the development of the first Middle Years Plan for the shire, to support Council’s commitment to facilitating an accessible range of services for all including children, young people and families.

 We have collated feedback from discussions at the first Middle Years Forum and from over 400 surveys from children, families and service providers. From this feedback we have identified three priority areas for the Plan, which are outlined in the attached Project Bulletin.

The aim of the second forum is to bring together families, middle years’ service providers and organisations to:

•   further explore ideas and opportunities to support children in the shire (8 – 12 years),

•   present the draft priority areas of the Middle Years Plan,

•   develop objectives, actions and outcomes for each priority area.

 Registration is free with dinner provided.

 What:                   Mount Alexander Middle Years Forum #2

When:                  5.30pm to 8.30pm on Wednesday 26 February

Where:                Civic Centre, Lyttleton and Lloyd Streets, Castlemaine

 Children are welcome to attend. Supervision and activities will be provided.

 To register your attendance visit http://tix.yt/middleyearsforum2 or call our youth team on 5471 1700.

 Registrations are essential. RSVP by 5.00pm on Monday 24 February.

 Kind Regards, Shannon.

 Shannon Lacy (she/her) |  Youth Development Officer  |  Mount Alexander Shire Council

(03) 5471 1826  |  0429 369 894  |  www.mountalexander.vic.gov.au



More Information...

Bushfire Mental Health Support

In response to the recent bush fire activity Be You/Beyond Blue, has created a Bushfire resource that families may find helpful. This has been created in partnership with Early Childhood Australia and Headspace, and with funding from the Department of Human Services. Follow this link for further information;

Bushfire Support – Beyond Blue



Castlemaine Swimming Club

We are an inclusive community-based club. We provide a safe and fun space for people to engage, develop and grow as swimmers and become healthy and resilient individuals.

Swimmers of all ages welcome. Come along and join us for fun, fitness or to improve your technique. Competing is not compulsory.


We are promoting the upcoming 2019/20 season with a special offer. All new members will have club/coaching fees waived and receive a club swimming cap upon registration. That’s a saving of over $70 per person.

–          Attendance every night is not compulsory

–          Most swimmers attend 2 or 3 nights

–          First 2 sessions FREE

–          Suitable for adults and children

–          Great way to train for a triathlon, general wellbeing or to improve your fitness

Castlemaine Swimming Club Fee:

Member          FREE

Swimming Victoria Fee:

Insurance & Membership Package    $110-130 (approx.)

Summer Training

Castlemaine Outdoor Pool

Monday – Wednesday  6 – 7pm

Thursday                         6 – 8pm

No training public holidays

Winter Training

Castlemaine Fitness Centre

Wednesday                 6 – 7pm

No training public holidays

Further Information

www.castlemaineswimmingclub.org, or just turn up to a training session



House for Rent

Are you looking for accommodation?

 (furnished option too)

 Available now, a two bedroom house, a designer shipping containers’ conversion.

 Fully insulated and a split system. Electric stove/oven, dishwasher, pantry storage and rainwater drinking tank.

 Fun outside deep bath with hot and cold water.

 Compact 60 m2 size on 700 m2 land with private Westerly aspect, beautiful sunsets overlooking rustic steam train at bottom of block.

 Only 10 minutes walk to centre of Castlemaine.

 $320 per week includes expenses (electricity and water) (short term lease also available)

Please call Louise 0400614958


For Sale - Kids Bikes

Giant MTX 150 mountain bike 20 inch, blue, $40

Giant girls mountain bike ‘Aleva’ style, 24 inch, silver, $60

Call Jo on 0400223089

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