Thursday 8th February, 2018

Term 1 Week 2

I feel at last my life’s reality
Which severed from the world’s
Would in itself obliterate itself
And building only on its own
Would in itself bring death upon

From The Calendar of the Soul by Rudolf Steiner

Dates to Diary

Term 1 - Monday 29th of January – Friday 30th March (Good Friday)
Term 2 - Monday 16th of April - Friday 22nd of June
Term 3 - Monday 16th of July - Friday 21st of September
Term 4 - Monday 8th of October - Friday 14th of December

TERM 1 / 2018 DATES for the Diary
Friday 16/2/18 - Term 1 Fees Due
Tues 13th Feb - Class 5 Meeting
Tues 20th Feb - Class 6 Meeting
Wed 21st Feb - Kinder Meeting 7.30 - 9pm
Thu 22nd Feb - Prep Meeting
Wed 28th Feb - Class 4 Meeting
Tue 6th Mar - Class 7 Meeting
Monday 12/3/18 - Public Holiday - LABOUR DAY
Tue 13th Mar - Class 8 Meeting
Wed 14th Mar - Class 6 Loddon Plains Paddle
Wed 14th Mar - Class 1 Meeting
Thu 15th Mar - Class 3 Meeting

From the Principal

Welcome Back Everyone,

2017 seemed to whizz by very quickly but it felt like a very productive year and there appeared to be a very positive feeling in those last days of Term 4. I hope you’ve all been able to enjoy some time with your children over the break, they appear to have come back with eagerness and excitement to begin the new year.

All the classes have gotten off to a great start as we all adjust to some of the staffing changes we made at the end of last year. Kate Dew is settling in well with Class 7 as is Lyn Sunderland with Class 8. Rebecca Barnett is taking to her task as part-time Class 6 teacher, learning support teacher and assistant with great enthusiasm which is an infectious quality the children are enjoying. Phil Kelynack is getting to know his cello students and is enjoying being at the school. Welcome also to Fiona Mariposa as our Kindergarten assistant and Sujeeva Henadhira into our admin team.

Our mobile science laboratory is now functional and will be of great benefit to the upper classes as they engage with the fantastic Science curriculum in Classes 6, 7 and 8.

The college of teachers are still undertaking a curriculum review of the music program and together with the Strings teachers will be looking to refresh the program and work towards creating collaborative approaches to festivals, fairs, community engagement and soirees. Other topics being reviewed this term are Assessment and Festivals.

The P&F, represented by Julie and Aleesha, joined the Teachers at the beginning of the year to talk about planning the year with a consciousness around the number of events and the impacts on parents lives. As a school we love the level of parent engagement but do not wish to make it a burden by overly taxing parents, particularly working parents with unrealistic demands.

We had our first Strategic Planning day at the beginning of the year which is the first of a number of gatherings we will run as part of an ongoing process to develop future plans for the school. This meeting explored ‘values’ as a way to determine commonality and direction and it is inspiring to be reminded of the depth and quality of the values that bind the teachers in this school. I am looking forward to what arises in future meetings.

Once again, Welcome back one and all, have a great year.


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School News

Parents & Friends

Welcome Vincent Merry!

Our 2018 Kinder group is pleased to welcome Vincent Merry, younger brother of Loretta in Class 5 and big brother to Velvet. Vincent has Down Syndrome and is very excited to be coming to school, please see this letter from his mother Hermione for how you can help welcome Vinne.

News from the Parents & Friends Group

It’s been wonderful to see everyone back for a new year.   The School’s Parents & Friends group plays a supporting role in the school.  We  help out with festivals, Spring Fair and other events and we aim to build connections between families and across classes.  Parents are welcome to make use of the Parents Room next to the hall.  There is a sandpit and some toys for small children.  You are welcome to make a cup of tea, browse the parent library or just sit and relax.  Each Wednesday during the term we hold an informal get together coinciding with craft group where parents can meet each other, do some craft (or not!) and have a chat.  All are welcome.

Craft Group

The craft group is up and running for another year.  This term we’ve planned some beautiful crafts for every skill level.  We’ll be making jars of old fashioned sun cream, sewing personalised birthday crowns and bedroom bunting, learning slow stitch clothing repairs and making all the Spring Fair craft stall favourites.  Each Wednesday between 9-11am in the Parent Room.

Shrove Tuesday

This Tuesday, 13 February is Shrove Tuesday.  Join us for a pancake breakfast in the Heartlands before school from 8 to 8.45.  Bring your own pre-cooked pancakes or use the BBQs to cook or reheat pancakes.  We’ll provide a shared table with plum jam, maple syrup, bananas, lemons and sugar.  Tea and coffee will also be available.

School lunches

As we reported last year, Growing Abundance are no longer supplying lunches to primary schools.  This week we’ll send home a survey asking parents whether you value a school lunch option and what kinds of menu and price points you’d prefer.

Doll making

We are delighted to be hosting very talented American doll maker and felt artist Mary Hirsch-Jones at the school on Saturday, 10 March for a full day doll making class.  We will be making a SnuggleRoo doll which is 40cm tall and lightly weighted – cuddly, flexible and very cute.  See Julie or Aleesha for more information.  Registration and payment is required before the day. Register here;

Bush dance

We’ve started planning this year’s Autumn Harvest bush dance.  We’re hoping our band can be made up of teacher and parent musicians!  If you’re enthusiastic and have some skill, please get in touch.

Spring Fair

After the lovely success of Spring Fair last year, we’re keen to get an early start for this year’s Fair.  If you’re interested in getting involved with planning let us know.  We’ll hold an initial meeting in the next few weeks. The money raised from the Fair and from school lunches in Term 2 and 3 have been put towards the cost of air conditioners for classes 5-8 which will be installed soon.  We hope this will help create a better learning environment for the older students on hot days.

With love Julie Tisdale, Convenor, P&F

From the Office

A big warm welcome to Sujeeva who has joined the Office team on Wednesday’s & Friday’s!

Kinder 2019 ! 

First round offers are now being completed for 2019. If you are an existing family within the school and we have not been in contact with you, please get in touch with Rachael to ensure that your child is guaranteed a place. Numbers are very healthy for all future years, so its good to ensure we have all younger sibling information in the system.

Dental Health Screening

The free Bendigo Health Dental screening will be attending the school on 22/23 February 2018.

Communication with families

More and more of our communication with parents will now be via email as opposed to using the postal service. This will improve access to information, with all parents receiving news together as opposed to waiting on the postal system. More urgent information will be sent via SMS if required. Please ensure you are checking your email and updating the Office if you email address changes.



Kinder News

Dear Kinder Parents,

What a delightful start to our kindergarten year we have had. The children are settling in beautifully- a credit to you all with entrusting your little ones to our care. Thank you!  Amie, Fiona and I are enjoying getting to know them all.

A few points of interest:

  1. Please bring two pieces of fruit in the morning and place in the basket on the porch. We serve them morning and afternoon fruit snacks; so two pieces would be great. Thank you
  2. Please ensure your child has a full circle hat. Legionnaires are fine too. If in doubt please look in your Kindergarten Handbook for a pictorial reference. You are welcome to label and leave your child’s hat at Kinder on their hook too. We do have spare hats but they will need to be washed if they are used each week (Regulations require this). We will send this washing home in the laundry basket- so it does add to the washing each week if children are without their own hats. Thank you in advance.
  3. The laundry roster will start this week. Please take a note of where your name is, each family will be asked to wash the laundry 2-3 times a year. If your time slot does not work for you, and your family, please swap the times amongst yourselves. Thank you so much for your help with the washing- it is a wonderful gesture and a great help to the Kinder.
  4. Please ensure you have that your children have shirts that cover their necks (collars) and long sleeves. If they are not happy to wear long sleeves then at least a reasonable sleeve that is half way down to their elbows. Please see me if this causes any concern. I appreciate that Kinder may come with new expectations and children may be resistant. It is amazing how agreeable they can be though when in a group or asked by ladies in pink frocks!!

Warm regards, Tobie

Prep News

How lovely it has been to welcome another class to Prep!

We warmly welcome two more families to our Class community. Casper, Vanessa, Campbell and Soko have just moved to Castlemaine from WA. Angus, Summa, Matine, Amalia and Violet have also recently moved to the area.

Everyone is settling in and each day we become a little more confident and familiar with our daily rhythm.  We begin our day in the garden, before it is too hot. There has been lots of activity in the sandpit, looking for crystals, digging rivers and building castles. The children are enjoying our Morning Circle about the Sea, joining in with the songs and movement. Everyone was rather intrigued with Raziel when he came for our first Spanish Morning Circle on Thursday.

Our first Class Meeting for the year will be on Thursday  22nd February, 7.30-9pm in the Prep room. The purpose of Class Meetings is to look at the different parts of the Prep curriculum and child development. I look forward to sharing this evening with you.

Warm regards, Heather

Class 1 News

What a wonderful start our new Class 1 group of children have had!

Beginning with a simple ceremony in their classroom on the first day, they happily enjoyed playing and familiarizing themselves with the new routines and rhythms of their school day. Monday was another special time when they participated in their first school assembly. A big thank-you to our Year 8 students for so kindly guiding these little ones into the hall.

Our days are filled with happy activities; singing, learning versus, painting, drawing and playing. Everyday this week we have been finding new things hiding in our blackboard drawing. Its been lots of fun!

Thank-you so much to all the wonderful parents who have supported the children and me in this important new part of the children’s journey. We have our first Class Parent meeting on Wednesday 14th of March. More details to follow soon.

Kind regards Anne

Class 2 News

Class 2 have returned to school full of vitality and much conversation. Everyone is enjoying the new playground and Class 3 have kindly offered to share their guinea pigs with us, and they are being loved greatly.

Our first Main Lesson is World Legends. So far stories and songs from native American and Canadian Indians have captured our imagination and over the next two weeks the class will hear stories from China, Japan, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Sri Lanka, Hawaii and Maori as well.

Regards Cathy

Class 3 News

Class 3 have begun the year with much enthusiasm for everything!

The children are very excited about being able to play over the creek on three days each week and beginning their Instrumental lessons. We have enjoyed some Indigenous creation stories and we are now working with the Hebrew creation stories – painting, writing and reading. Thank you to all our Parents for a very positive start to the year. Class 3 Meeting will be held 15th of March, more details soon.

Warm wishes, Lyn

Class 4 News

Dear Parents,

It is so lovely to see the children after their summer holidays. They have all grown taller and seem more bold and brave to take on the challenges of our Class Four Norse year.

We enjoyed our first Class Four lunch this week (Tuesday) prepared by Lisa and our first four chefs. Tuesday’s are turning into quite a day with Ensemble and Music Lessons and Rock and Water with Mark.

In class we are hearing the stories of how the nine Norse worlds began through burning ice and biting flame.

Our first class meeting for this year  will be Wednesday 28th February at 7:30.

Best wishes, Mary

Class 5 News

Welcome back everyone!! We have had a wonderful start to the year and have launched into a maths main lesson “The wonderful world of maths and Geometry” The children are thoroughly enjoying exploring different mathematical games that require working out a strategy to win and creating beautiful geometrical forms.

A reminder that our first class meeting for the year is next Tuesday 13th Feb evening at 7pm. I hope to see you all there.

Have a great week

Love Amanda

Class 6 News

Class 6 have jumped straight into all things Roman with strong marching, singing and speaking in the Latin tongue – “O Roma noblis, Orbis et domina, Omnium urbium, Excellentissima!…..”

We are enjoying our new room and outside space that includes the table tennis table, which is being used with much enthusiasm.

It has been fun being together again with many tales being told of holiday adventures and interest in what the year holds. We are also enjoying having Rebecca on board with us as we venture forth into the exciting future. Class 6 Meeting will be 20th of February, more details soon.

Cheers, Anna

Class 8 News

“Do hard things!”

Class Eight have started the year with these inspirational words from Michelle Simmons, 2018 Australian of the Year, as a reminder of the exciting challenges ahead of them. 

We have already begun work in our first Main Lesson study area and are looking forward to the range and depth of this year’s curriculum which carries our learning journey through the Renaissance and the Age of Revolutions to the very beginnings of modern times. Along the way we have a busy agenda of camps and other activities to be planned, together with the completion of the Major Project in first semester and the Shakespeare Program in second semester.

Class 8 Meeting will be 13th of March, more details soon

 We wish our senior students well for this year , 


From the Garden & Kitchen!

We had a great start to the year with some Class one parents joining us for a working bee toward the end of the holidays. What a difference it made to the Class one garden!

Class 4 had their first lunch from the garden yesterday. Four proud chefs presented Grilled Zucchini with Herb Oil and Wild Rice Salad, followed by Plum Compote and Yoghourt. We will do this most Tuesdays and it is funded by selling lunch to other staff at the school who are always willing customers!

Thanks Lisa

French News

Bonjour et bienvenue!

Welcome back to our very first French News for 2018!

Students have already begun their French studies enthusiastically for the year. In Class 7 & 8 we started  with a ‘getting to know you’ quiz which not only refreshed our memories for simple phrases such as je m’appelle (my name is), mon age (my age), ma couleur favorie (my favourite colour)  and mon animal a la maison (my pets) … but also taught students some new things about their classmates.

 And in Class 6 we discovered that students already have an excellent general knowledge of France and were able to listen to our story Les Copains de la Colline (Friends on the Hill) and pick out many familiar words and phrases.

We look forward to settling into classes and continuing our progress over the new few weeks.

au revoir!


Music News

Hello my name is Phil Kelynack and I am the new cello tutor here at Castlemaine Steiner School & Kindergarten for 2018!

I am delighted to be joining the teaching staff here this year and have already had the pleasure of teaching many of my students. A bit more about me – after graduating from the Victorian College of the Arts, I decided to continue studies and gain more experience in the UK. I have spent the last 20 years in London as a freelance cellist. During this time I travelled extensively throughout Europe and Asia conducting children’s workshops, performing with orchestras and chamber ensembles at a variety of concerts, recitals and festivals. I returned to Australia, my home town of Bendigo, last year where I taught at Girton Grammar School and also performed a concerto with the Bendigo Symphony Orchestra. Throughout all this I have also maintained a home studio for private tuition.

Now at CSSK, I relish the opportunity to share my experiences with the school community and am very much looking forward to becoming more involved with the music program here.

Regards Phil

Spanish News

Hola a todos!

I hope you all had a lovely Summer holiday. The year has started with a very lovely pace and it has been lovely to see all of your children again. I feel well rested and full of energy and excitement!

These first weeks will be for most classes a review of what we did last year. For other classes like class 2, 3 and 7&8 new stories and material will be introduced shortly to continue with our journey.

Wishing you all a great year!

Saludos, Raziel

PE News

Welcome back families and friends to another exciting year ahead. I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and New Year break with family and friends.

Last week I had the pleasure of teaching Class 4 for the first time. It was fantastic to witness the excitement and enthusiasm shared by the group, eager to learn new physical skills or advance existing ones through various practice games. Classes 5 and 6 will also undertake similar practice games in the early stages of the term, looking at promoting participation, cooperation, following of instructions and of course, enjoyment!

 Classes 7 and 8 will again work together this year, with our initial focus being on Track and Field. We will undergo a variety of activities that align with the curriculum for their age group to monitor our physical capabilities, such as the 1.6km run, sit and reach test, 50 metre sprint and so forth. Individual results will be recorded, giving the children a greater understanding of their own physical potential. We will then set our own goals for improvement and revisit the same activities later in the year to map the progression that each has taken over the course of the year. A wonderful way to monitor growth and physical development!

 Let’s all try to be slightly more physical this year, challenging ourselves to be the best we can be! I have worked hard at this through the hot, summer months and although difficult at first, the results are wonderful and I feel amazing. I encourage you to give it a go.

 Have a wonderful 2018 everyone. 


Student Wellbeing

Hello to new families and welcome back to existing & returning families!

  I am Mark Macdougall, the Wellbeing Officer at CSSK.  My work days are Tuesday and Wednesday.  I am loving working at CSSK- my role is quite broad- working to assist individual students and families with a range of issues, ranging from the small everyday things that pop up, to the more significant challenges that can emerge along the life journey. I am also able to refer to organisations and individuals outside of the school who may be able to assist families.  I am also coordinating the implementation of Restorative Practices here at CSSK- more about that in the next Penny.  You can get in touch with me via your classroom teacher or Brian, the Principal.

I’m also a parent of three sons.  Last week my nearly one year old was fairly tired at home in the afternoon, however I knew he could not sleep yet as I was due to pick up Gianluca from Prep in a half an hour or so.  I bundled Aiden into the car and headed off to school.  With almost a half hour to spare, I went to the Parents Room. What a great choice! Aiden played with some toys (distracted for a while from being tired!), I made myself a cup of tea and sat quietly until pick up time.  It’s a lovely space the Parents Room.  I notice it can be a hub of activity on school mornings- a good place to connect with fellow parents.

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Community Classifieds

Rudolph Steiner Courses - Melbourne

With the return to school, many of us start thinking about what we might do for ourselves in the coming year. It’s not too late to enrol in any of our inspiring courses (full-time and part-time) in Rudolf Steiner Education which begin on Wednesday 14th February at 7.00 p.m.!

These courses are for everyone, including parents, prospective and practicing teachers and anyone seeking to develop their understanding of Rudolf Steiner Education.

Part-time certificate courses. Each evening we have a movement or artistic activity, supper and then a lecture/discussion. The evening also offers an enjoyable social experience. These are non-accredited courses.

  • Nourishing Early Childhood (Certificate), which explores the life of the very young child from 0-7. Duration: 1 year.
  • Understanding Child Development and Rudolf Steiner Education (Certificate), which considers child development and education during the Primary years. Duration: 2 years
  • Rudolf Steiner High School Education (Certificate)
  • Biodynamics (Note: this will be offered from p.m. on a Thursday, subject to numbers).

Enrol for these courses on-line at:

Full-time accredited Steiner Teacher Training course: the Advanced Diploma in Rudolf Steiner Education (course code 10527NAT) (Tuesday to Thursday from 8.30 -4.00 p.m.) begins on Tuesday 13th February.  Many students complete this course and go on to complete further tertiary study to become teachers, or undertake it for their own development and interest, or incorporate what they have learned to their own field of work in a range of settings. This is an accredited course, offering a rich and comprehensive grounding in the picture of the human being given by Rudolf Steiner in the first year, with a focus on the pedagogy and curriculum given in Steiner schools in the second year. VET Student Loans and Austudy are available for eligible students. This course offers a pathway to a Bachelor of Education at the Australian Catholic University, Deakin and Charles Darwin universities. Places are still available.

Information: tel. 03 9876-5199

Address: Melbourne Rudolf Steiner Seminar, 37A Wellington Park Drive, Warranwood, 3134

Melbourne Rudolph Steiner Seminar - "Anxiety disorders in childhood - an Anthroposophic perspective"

The Melbourne Rudolf Steiner Seminar welcomes Dr Meron Barak M.D., who will offer a public lecture on Thursday 15th of February at 7.30pm titled

Anxiety disorders in childhood – an Anthroposophic perspective”

Dr Barak is from Israel and has worked for the last 25 years as a family doctor and a psychotherapist with Anthroposophic medicine, focusing on psychiatry, curative education and school medicine. He has also taught in the faculty of medicine – Technion in Haida, at Waldorf teachers’ seminars and doctors’ seminars for Anthroposophic medicine and in the Camphill community in Norway.

Please arrive at 7.15pm, $5.00 entry. All welcome, Melbourne Rudolph Steiner Seminar, 37A Wellington Park Drive, Warranwood VIC 3134

OPEN DAY! - Fred's Tiny Houses

FREE OPEN DAY – SEE 2 CONTRASTING TINY HOUSES. Come and see our latest tiny house build before it rolls off to it’s new owner!
On the day enjoy:
* Ice Cream Available 10-11AM
* Coffee & Food by KT’s
* Free talk at 11am with Fred
* Family friendly fun!
 Sat 10th Feb 2018, 10am – 1pm, 16 Monaghan St, Castlemaine, VIC 3450

Bunnies for sale!

We have some beautiful mini lop bunnies available to loving homes.

Some are bonded pairs, some are younger buns. All very gorgeous and sweet bunnies.

We have…

2 grey boys (bonded)

A white boy with blue eyes

Two iron grey boys (bonded)

An iron grey girl and a white girl with blue eyes (bonded)

Plus some beautiful adults. Pairs and singles.

If you think you could give any of these buns a loving home, please text Linda on 0429000420.

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Raising Children in the digital age

Dear Teachers and Educators,

Navigating the worlds of screen time and the internet can be pretty tricky when it comes to kids. To help parents explore some strategies around these issues, Castlemaine Library have Stef Cola from Doomsday Tuna coming to talk about parenting in the digital age and some great tools to plan your family’s digital boundaries.

“Raising Your Child in the Digital World” is a free session on Thursday 22nd February, 5.30-6.30, aimed at parents with children aged 3-16.

Bookings are required through the library website:

Thank you,


Campbells Creek Beginners Yoga

Parents, after school drop off, give yourself a gift! Connect with your breath and inner calm, gently strengthen your body
and enjoy deep relaxation…

Community Centre, 45 Elizabeth St

Wed 9:30-10:45am | 7 Feb – free intro class

14 Feb – bring a friend, two for the price of one!

$18/$16 concession

Contact Charly to make a booking:

0417 002 381;


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Viola for sale $50

3/4 Viola for sale. $50.

Good condition with case and shoulder rest. Bow needs restringing. 

contact: Janell 0448433073

Cello Wanted

A half size cello is wanted! If you can help please contact Evan on 0437 587 774.

Castlemaine Goldfields Football Club - Come and try sessions

Castlemaine Goldfields Football Club, is promoting their Come and Try Junior Sessions.

All girls and boys regardless of prior experience or ability and invited to come to these fun introductory sessions and give it a go. Our club is one of the biggest single junior sports clubs in the Shire with over 300 registered participants from ages 4-18 as well as two competitive Senior teams.


Boxwood Festival Australia - Castlemaine Concert

It is with great pleasure that I share news of a fabulous concert coming up at the Castlemaine Uniting Church on Wednesday 21 February.

Returning to Castlemaine for the 2nd time due to popular demand, this concert features an international trio of renowned musicians playing the finest traditional and contemporary Celtic music; music that is bursting with life and leaves audiences with an appreciation of how traditional music sings across the centuries with timeless beauty, wit and vitality.

Chris Norman :: wooden flutes, Scottish smallpipes, vocals

James Kelly :: Irish fiddle

Rennie Pearson :: guitar, wooden flute

Local fiddler Sean Kenan will also join for a set of tunes

This concert preceeds a three-day residential music workshop held in Queenscliff, called Boxwood Festival Australia, which attracts participants from across Victoria and interstate.

For ticket information, head to

Eurythmy Training April 2018

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Salsa Classes!

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Salsa Social Fiesta - 24th March 2018 - Theatre Royal

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Over the Moon - Yoga Flash Mob!

DATE: Sunday 4th March TIME: 11:00am-12:00pm (approx end time) LOCATION: Victory Park

Over the Moon has created a short, simple yoga sequence for children from various schools to learn. Teachers might like to use the sequence as a warmup in the morning. We will send you a PDF set of instructions for the sequence. Mandy Field has volunteered to be the school’s contact and assistant facilitator for the event.

All children from the school, whether they have practiced the sequence or not, are invited to attend the event on Sunday 4th March under the supervision of a parent/guardian. Siblings, friends and family are also welcome to participate. We ask that all participants wear black leggings/pants/short and a blue top.

To help us anticipate numbers we have a trybooking event where families can RSVP:

Kind regards, Chloe Dallas

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