Welcome to the first St Paul's Steiner School Newsletter. You will have received a link to our new website and newsletter taking you here. We will be saying good bye to the old Friday Flier and will instead have a Newsletter. Many have contributed over the years and many have played a part in the creation of the new. Thanks to you all! As with everything at the school, this window to the outside is in movement and will continuously be updated.
The autumn term is nearing the end and we have just experienced a beautiful Advent Spiral. As usual, the Spiral was lovingly made by the teachers out of the greenery collected by the parents from London parks, but this time it was held in the Hall during the school day. The misty weather and windows covered in coloured paper created a special mood which made us all whisper when we entered the room decked out with greenery, having only the central candle lit in the middle.
Christopher Allan (cellist and ex-parent) played most of the day, followed by Marina Cook (HW and Class II TA). Each "double-bubble" created 6 different spiral sessions. Though we missed the complete darkness and the parent's presence, it might have been a bit easier for many of the children to carry their light in the spiral in a more intimate setting.
The parent body is also busy with the raffle and Christmas tree sale, we are grateful for it all. I am looking forward to the return of the Winter Fair next year. The SPCG have decided, with a clear mandate from the parent body, to purchase two more air filters to begin with.
The staff and I are happy to have able to keep the school open for this term so far. It is beginning to feel like a home run with two weeks to go!
As time goes by, we are becoming relaxed and sometimes confused about the guidance. Through this year of 2020, it has been clear that our actions are not always for the benefit of ourselves but for the more vulnerable around us. There are a multitude of approaches to COVID-19, but we have to follow the baseline. You will all know that the National Restrictions will end on Wednesday 2nd December and we are now returning to Tier 2, High Alert.
Children and staff will continue to attend school when being well, unless they:
have had symptoms or a positive test result themselves
live with someone who has symptoms or has tested positive
are a close contact of someone who has coronavirus (COVID-19) and are requested to do so by NHS Test and Trace or the PHE advice service.
If your child is identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) and is asked to self-isolate, you and other members of your household (including any other children in the same school) do not need to self-isolate unless your child, who is self-isolating, subsequently develops symptoms. If your child has been a close contact of someone who has tested positive, and subsequently develops symptoms but has a negative test result, they will still need to self-isolate for the full 14 days.
The teachers are prepared to provide home learning during the 14 days, if your child is well.
As the days grow shorter and we transition into winter, we will be sharing cosy, light-filled moments with the children at Kindergarten. This has already begun at Martinmas with the making of our lanterns and taking our light into the darkness. Now Advent approaches, a time of waiting, before the celebrations at Christmas. We have been candle dipping during our ringtimes.
On Friday the 27th November we marked the beginning of Advent with an Advent Spiral in our bubbles. Sadly we couldn't invite you all to join us this year, but we are delighted that we could celebrate this festival with the children, and that they will got to experience the light growing in the darkness as all the candles were lit. The children walked the spiral, lit their candle from the central candle then placed their light in the spiral as they walked out of it. They went home with their little candle in an apple and that it be can lit at home, perhaps on your nature table or the dinner table. The apple represents the material and the candle within it the spiritual. Perhaps you sing some Christmas carols, Hannukah songs or seasonal songs as you light it.
On Monday 7h December we will celebrate St Nicholas’s visit. The tradition is to polish shoes til they are shining and leave them out the night before. Perhaps some little treats will be left for the children! To this end, please bring in a pair of shoes, ideally leather that can be polished, on Thursday 3rd December, to be polished on the Friday. They will need to stay at Kindergarten over the weekend and will be returned on Monday 7th December.
Friday 11th December is the last day of the Kindergarten term. Please note that this has been extended one day this year. It will be normal Kindergarten hours but there is no lunch club this day and all children will need to picked up at 1pm.
It is our tradition at St Paul’s that each Kindergarten teacher makes an advent nut calendar out of walnuts, which the children bring home. Due to the school becoming nut-free, we will no longer be able to do this. However, each teacher has other ways of marking the passing days of advent, so the children will still have the experience of the lead up to Christmas.
Our ringtime and carol singing at this time of year gives the children a picture of a traditional Christian nativity; the story that lies behind this much-loved festival. We hope that this helps bring meaning to the Christmas celebrations, which are becoming increasingly secular and materialistic. For those families of different faiths, or who are humanist, atheist or agnostic, we hope that the nativity story can resonate as a picture of reverence for the child and human potential, as well as the birth of spiritual light and hope in the darkness of the winter solstice.
We are missing being able to welcome our Kindergarten parents into our rooms and festivals and sharing these special moments of Kindergarten life with you. We look forward to the time when this is possible again.
With warm wishes for a peaceful advent,
Julia, Steph, Elena and Sarah
Workshop - Diversity in the Making
Dear St. Paul’s Steiner School Community,
To support diversity work in our school, we would like to make some multi- cultural dressing up costumes and dolls for our kindergartens. This project will be run by Mulberry Bush’s assistant Sevim, and can only be possible with the help of parents.
Due to coronavirus restrictions, we would like to start by making multi-cultural dressing up costumes in January on Zoom, once every two weeks on Saturday mornings for 1-2 hours.
The school will get some fabrics for this project but we would like to ask parents for donations of unused/used fabrics. For our project, natural fabrics that reflect different cultures and continents are desirable. We are happy to transform any old clothing into dressing-up costumes for the children and can use small fabrics for doll making projects.
We are hoping to make capes, simple tank-tops, skirts, hats, bags, belts etc.
Once we finish the dressing-up project and are able to at last to meet in person, then it may be possible to continue with volunteer parents to make some dolls and doll clothing that also reflect diversity.
Please join the “Diversity in the Making Workshop” by e-mailing Mulberry Bush Kindergarten teacher Julia, with your interest by putting ‘Diversity in the Making Workshop” in the subject line.
Julia will kindly forward your emails to Sevim. Please wait to hear from us for the January workshop details. And please do keep aside any fabric or accessories, which you think may be useful. The workshop is open to around 12 participants for now. For those who can only donate materials but are unable to take part in the workshops, we will post you a date for when to bring in your kind donations.
Class V celebrated Diwali this month and did a socially distanced performance. Diwali is a festival of lights and one of the major festivals celebrated by Hindus, Jains and Sikhs. The festival usually lasts five days and is celebrated during the Hindu lunisolar month Kartika.