Drawn out into the sheen, the shine, the glisten and the gleam,
It would be easy to be lost into a dream.
So I must rouse myself and start
To conjure forces of the heart,
Which live within me truly and will bring
The strength and majesty that make me like a king!
Amidst the glory of the sense-world, everywhere displayed,
In sunlit grove and glen and leafy glade,
It is the human heart that rules and reigns supreme!
Dear GHSS Families,
We are now half way through term and beginning to see change to the warmer weather. Our Bush School Nowanup Family Camp was a big hit, Class 6 have returned from an amazing camp in Margaret River, Class 3 enjoyed a wonderful sleepover and Class 4 head off at the end of this week for their camp, so this term has certainly been the travel term. i would like to acknowledge the staff and famiies that were a part of organising and attending these events. They are such wonderful learning experiences for the children and the additional work to prepare these events and the time away from their families that staff and parent helpers sacrifice is geatly appreciated. Many thanks to you all!
The vaccine mandate is likely to have an impact on our staffing for next year, albeit not a huge one. School admin and the staff are working together to minimise the impact as much as possible on the smooth running of the school and are working together to offer the best outcome possible in support of staff, no matter what decision they make. We ask that the community continues to respect the right to privacy of all staff as to the personal decisions being made, as they can be quite an emotive issue for all concerned.
We have yet to be issued with directives around the implementaton of the Public Health Order. These are due to be released in early December. The school will run a Listening Circle in Week 8 of term, the first week of December, so that the school community can meet together and have their concerns heard. More details will be released closer to the date in relation to time and location.
Each Wednesday evening, there is a study group being held in the staffroom from 7pm to 8pm where we are working through a short book written by Judith von Halle called The Coronavirus Pandemic: Anthroposophical Perspectives. We began last Wednesday, however it was an introductory session where we read the Preface and the first page or two of the first chapter. Copies are available at the front office should you wish to catch up and then join us this Wednesday. You could equally join us this Wednesday and follow on from where we left off without much difficulty.
And to end today, a reminder that, "In a world where you can choose to be anything you want, choose to be kind."
Each newsletter we will be sharing a virtue that will be the focus in our school over the following three weeks.
What is Thankfulness? Thankfulness is being grateful for what you have. It is an attitude of gratitude for learning, loving, and being. It is appreciating the little things which happen around you and within you every day. It is having a sense of wonder about the beauty of this world. It is being aware of the gifts in your life.
Why Practice it? Thankfulness brings contentment. It helps you find the good things in whatever happens. Without thankfulness people can become negative. They wish things were different. They whine and complain when they don't have everything their own way. They envy other people. With thankfulness, we keep a positive outlook. We can see the good in our lives and in whatever happens.
How do you practice it? Being thankful is appreciating the things you have and the people you care about. Show your appreciation when someone does something kind for you. Focus on the good things about your life and count your blessing often. Even when things go wrong, you can be thankful if you find the lessons to be learned. Let others give to you. Expect the best in every situation.
Signs of Success Congratulations! Your are practicing thankfulness when you...
- Have an attitude of gratitude.
- Are receptive to gifts.
- Appreciate your own abilities instead of envying others.
- See the difficulties of life as opportunities to learn.
- Appreciate the beauty of this world.
- Count your blessings every day.
"... Every morning, when we wake up, we have 24 brand new hours to live. What a precious gift!" Thich Nhat Han
“Blow wind blow and go mill go.
That the miller may grind the spelt.
Baker may take it and into bread make it
And bring us a loaf in the morning
Bring us a loaf in the morn.”
This Quill we continue our series exploring the daily rhythms of karri kindergarten, and today come to Wednesday....known as bread day. Yes, it’s the well-loved day when visitors exclaim “What a wonderful smell” as they enter the kindergarten any time after mid-morning! Our sourdough made the previous day has risen overnight and is ready to be made into rolls for morning tea. We all sit around the table and the teacher and assistant knead the dough whilst singing the above song.
Sometimes we sing this one too;
“Five currant buns in the bakers shop. Round and fat with sugar on the top. Along came a child with some money one day. Bought a currant bun and took it right away. Four currant buns......etc”
The dough is divided into enough portions for each child to shape two small buns, which they decorate with sultanas. Sometimes we make extras to share at lunch time, too.
We use spelt flour to make our bread which we are very lucky to obtain from one of our kindergarten families, who mill the grain on their farm. They have also provided us with some spelt grain which we mill at kindergarten with our German-made hand mill. In this way the children are able to develop an understanding of the process of creating flour for our bread.
A few years ago with encouragement and advice from Kristy we switched from using commercial yeast to sourdough, a fairly simple process and we’ve had very good results. It has meant the process of bread making take a little longer, but the resulting bread is more nutritious and easily digested, and the children seem to enjoy the sour dough taste.
The sourdough starter is simply made by mixing flour and water and adding to it each day for about four days. It is then kept in the fridge and refreshed each week.
To a cup of the starter I add two cups of lukewarm water and two cups of flour. This is mixed together in the morning and allowed to sit at room temperature. By the afternoon it has started bubbling and we add more flour, salt and a bit of olive oil and mix to make a dough. This is then covered and allowed to sit overnight. The next morning it is warmed over hot water and kneaded to make a pliable dough.
Once ready we allow the buns to rise for a bit longer before placing them into the oven to cook. Then we have to wait until morning tea to eat our delicious creations, which are shared around, we may get our own, or one a friend has made for us...its a lucky dip!!
With warm wishes,
In Class 1 we have finished our final Maths main lesson for the year. It's incredible to look back over our main lesson books and see how the children have improved in their understanding of number processes, counting and timetables over the course of the year. The Number Gnomes will be carefully wrapped up and tucked away for next year's Class 1. We will be continuing our number practice during morning circle. We are also continuing form drawing this term - exploring, shape, geometry and form. The dancing ribbons have been a wonderful way for the children to explore the form and shape with their bodies before representing the forms and shapes in our form drawing books.
Last week, Class 1 started our Ancient World Tales main lesson. A lot of tales feature traditional farm and village life and the work of the candle maker, baker and cobbler, as well as images that bring ways of living from the past alive for the children. We are telling a diverse array of stories from around the globe. Many of our stories also have connections to special foods that are celebrated by different cultures and so as part of this main lesson we will be cooking and tasting some of the foods featured in the folktales. Last week we told the story of Omusibi Kororin from Japan - a tale of the tumbling rice balls. We also made some onigiri - a very simple but yummy Japanese rice and seaweed dish that you may notice in our photos.
A big part of our Ancient World Tales main lesson is our class play. Class 1 is very excited about the upcoming play and we've been practicing daily. The children are also really enjoying having our Class 4/5 buddies helping us to learn some of the songs for our play on the recorder. We're looking forward to the performance of our play in week 9!
Last week Class 1 children were excited to welcome a new student - we have warmly welcomed Benedict to Class 1 and hope that he and his family feel very welcome in our school and community.
Class 2 are enjoying a Math main lesson which follows the adventures of some colourful and clever number gnomes. Woodsy Gnome has been helping to build wooden shelves in King Counting’s Treasure house to help organize the sorting and counting of the treasures. By keeping the 1’s, 10’s, 100’s and 1000’s in their correct places and stacking the shelves on top of each other we have been introduced to vertical sums.
A favourite part of this main lesson are the games involving dice and bankers as we trade gems. We work as teams to find out how many treasures we have each day. Often the numbers are up into the 1000’s. Soon King Counting decided it was time to start giving some of the treasures away and subtraction with borrowing and carrying has been the challenge!
Amazingly, this has tied in with the completion of our very colourful and well accessorized knitted gnomes. Belts, vests, scarves, backpacks, kittens, chickens and mice – all gnome sized - have been emerging.
In craft we are now hand stitching our own designs onto fabric squares to create bunting for use by the shire as decoration around the community. And in beeswax modelling there are some very creative and intricate mini worlds being designed.
We are watching our silkworms grow day by day as we make sure they have fresh mulberry leaves from the school tree. We have heard the therapeutic story of Silky Wriggly and painted mulberry trees that grew from little seeds under our paintbrushes.
Our Silkworm Poem
I am a silkworm brown and white.
I only eat mulberry leaves day and night.
I am a silkworm I wiggle and squirm,
But one day I’ll stop as you will soon learn.
When I’ve spun a cocoon I’ll look lifeless and still,
But growing and dreaming and changing I will…
One day emerge, it won’t take long,
I’ll be a moth with wings like a silent song.
Such treasure I left you, see my silken thread,
I’m no longer with you - I’m flying free instead.
Well there are lots of photos for Class 3 this week – we have so many exciting things to share! Students have been finishing their cubbies as part of their Shelter main lesson with Ashley (before moving onto making mudbricks), culminating in an excursion to see a home currently under construction at Weedon Hill. Thanks so much to David Stockdale for making this possible, as well as all the parents who came along for their support. On this excursion we also had the unique opportunity to visit some boorna gnamma (water trees) constructed and used by Noongar people near Poison Point. One of the trees is still full of water even in November!
On Friday afternoons we have been using our reward time (for finishing our main lesson work) to not only work on our shelters, but also to get entrepreneurial! Students have started setting up shops both inside and outside the class, selling playdough pizzas, tacos as well as offering chips, burgers and an assortment of refreshments! This has been wonderful for applying our skills of using Australian currency, coming up as a Main Lesson later in the term. We have also been using Maths games to build on our understanding of number into the thousands.
Main lesson work with Reneé has focused on the Four Roles of the Reader. For example, in the role of ‘Text Participants’, we have been looking at how we co-construct meaning when reading, making connections between our own lived experience (text to self), with other texts we have read (text to text) as well as our understandings of the world we live in (text to world). It has been incredibly exciting to see the student’s reading skills begin to grow in leaps and bounds this year. By learning through the lens of the Four Roles of the Reader, students are able to not only learn the practical skills to decode the texts they read, but gain a critical awareness of the way texts shapes our thinking.
Renee and Ashley
In Class 4 and 5 we have begun our geographical main lesson study of Western Australia. A few mapping exercises and fun facts to begin have seen us look closely at the many different regions of Western Australia. We have looked at the vastness of our state being the second largest state in any country, second to Russia. As a class we have discussed the changes in climate, rainfall and vegetation. Through story and a little homegrown prose the children have listened to the story of Winston the Wolfhound from South Australia and his adventures exploring Western Australia. The children are deep in creating a wonderful fictional adventure story of their own.
Alongside our Australian main lesson theme, Australian poets have introduced the children to some wonderful ballads and poems. As a class we have chosen the Geebung Polo Club, by Banjo Patterson to recite and enjoy. In music we have a trio of Australian ballads to learn on recorder and our rendition of ‘Bound for South Australia’, is coming along nicely.
At present, time is certainly flying in class as we try to complete and cover our entire rich curriculum before moving into the following year. We are still completing our Greek mythology puzzle when we have a moment and have enjoyed the wonderful tales by one of our favourite authors Roald Dahl. Through reading his autobiography written for children titled, ‘Boy’ and his second book ‘Solo’, we are creating our own autobiographies. The children are very much immersed in writing at present and when listening to Roald Dahl its hard not to be inspired.
In numeracy we are working hard to improve our arithmetic skills both for accuracy and speed and each week we are completing a lateral thinking numeracy puzzle. These are proving challenging but lots of fun!
Handwork is also a popular focus in class. Class 5 are working towards completing their knitted beanies using 5 needles.
Class 4 are working on their cross-stitch creations. This week in support of the community group, Denmark Free Plastic we are creating embroidered squares in which to make bunting. This will replace the plastic Christmas decorations which usually adorn our town. Each class will make a set of bunting and we are all grateful for Jewels who has cut the material, ironed on facing and has brought her embroidery knowledge to share. The children had a wonderful afternoon stitching and knowing they are contributing to our community and the reduction of plastic use.
Next week Class 4 are on camp as we hike up Mt Frankland and take a trip on the Walpole Wilderness tour.
Term 4 is always a busy term for everyone but it couldn’t be more so for the graduating class. The final camp for Class 6 is one which is looked forward to by everyone. Many hours were put into the organizing and fundraising for the eventful week which was helped make possible by everyone who purchased something from the Class 6 Business main lesson – The Sushi Bubble Bar.
Being the longest and most exciting camp, Class 6 travelled to Margaret River for 4 nights and 5 days, completing numerous challenging and exhilarating activities which required a number of children to step up and face their fears. I couldn’t be more proud of the children for their participation, engagement and enthusiasm on camp.
The first challenge was to complete the adrenaline-filled high ropes courses and zip lines up to 19m high among majestic trees in Busselton. It was amazingly fun and very challenging for those afraid of heights. I cannot recommend this activity enough if you are a bit of a thrill seeker!
We camped in tents at the Margaret River RAC caravan park which we happened to share with the Class 6 from Perth Waldorf. Whilst it was a little cold at night and the ground was not the softest, we all managed to sleep fairly well after such exhausting days.
Day 2 had us descend into Ngilgi Cave in Yallingup where we were able to observe all the features of a cave we had previously learnt about in our Geology main lesson. We had a lovely lunch break at the beautiful Meelup Beach (even though some sandwiches were stolen direct from hands by ravenous birds) before heading to a lighthouse at the end of Cape Naturaliste. We learnt of the early lighthouse keepers and how isolated it was way back when. We heard tales of the early explorers which tied in nicely with our Australian History main lesson and even a few ghost stories were shared!
We spent the next two days at Geographe Bay, learning how to sail. One of the boats was a traditional Viking style sailing boat - the only one of its kind in Australia which had been imported from Norway. The wonderful Paul and Matt were so competent in making the children feel safe and giving them an awesome experience on the water. We spent many hours sailing up and down the Cape, visiting different bays, jetty jumping, fishing off the sides of the boat and taking turns in steering and rowing. We were even graced with a pod of dolphins swimming along side us at one point! We had a race on the final day between the two boats though we all disagree on who actually won.
Before heading back to Denmark, we completed a short 2km walk on the Margaret River Heritage Trail which looped around the stunning river. We had a quick stop at Redgate Beach and then continued on back home. It was such a fun camp with good vibes all round. A big thankyou to Tim and Hughey for driving the bus and being our support – we couldn’t have done it without you! We’re all still a little exhausted but it was all worth it. It truly was a wonderful way to celebrate the end of our journey together.
Silver Birch Playgroup
Do you have a creative urge that needs tickling? Come join us on Friday mornings in the Silver Birch Playgroup where you can either bring along your own project or learn something new. Your little ones are very much welcome too so do all come along. We’ll natter and share, make beautiful things and drink warm, good tea… I may even bring cake..
Give a holler if you need or I look forward to seeing you then.
M: 0439 519 386
Meet at the office (with your gloves and wet weather gear!) to sign in..
Oh myyy it has been gloriously WET hasn’t it?! There are some parts of my patch that are more trampoline than path, more like a pond than a veg bed..
Here at our beloved school we have made inroads to our ongoing drainage works. Things are starting to look prettier and promising... hooRAY! Next on the agenda is a revegetation project. With the help of Bill Hollingworth, a whole school plan to plant out natives for groundcover, foraging and habitat has been made. Class 4/5 children with Robyn and Neal will be seed planting in preparation for planting out next season and we may even get some seedlings from the Ag school to go into the earth this year (thanks Lynn Willson!).
With fingers crossed I'm hoping for drier and more inviting weather to be around the corner and so, if you cross your fingers too, we may re-commence Garden Group this month. Little people are very welcome as we will always choose something that is family friendly to do.
If Wednesdays don’t suit you but you would like to help in the garden to make up your Family Participation Scheme hours, do let me know and we could dig-n-do another day.
Yours in dirt,
M: 0439 519 386
Please know that as a school we are always open to feedback should you wish to provide it. We are constantly striving to refine our processes and make improvements where necessary.
Feel free to contact us via phone (9848 1811), email - email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org) or come in and make an appointment to speak with someone.
Positive feedback especially welcome!
Enrolments are now open for VacSwim swimming lessons during the summer school holidays. VacSwim offers fun lessons at beach or pool locations. They are a great school holiday activity and they teach valuable safety skills to help keep your child safe in the water.
Enrol at education.wa.edu.au/vacswim
If your child is over 13 years old, you can enrol them in VacSwim so they can get their Bronze Medallion during the summer school holidays. They’ll learn advanced survival, rescue and resuscitation skills to help keep them and others safe in the water.
Enrol now at education.wa.edu.au/vacswim