Through this year of change and challenges, we are glad our school has been able to remain open for all pupils this term and provide an oasis of normality and familiar routines. We are grateful to all the
staff at St. Paul’s for their continued dedication in making this so. Anna and the teachers have been working in new ways, and have found that the restrictions have brought innovation to the classrooms in ways that may outlast the pandemic. Their resilience has been inspiring, and the children have, as ever, been at the heart of their decision making. Their goal is always to ensure they are progressing and adapting to the world they live in, which is so central, and a real strength of a Steiner- Waldorf education.
It is a great shame that the vibrant community events usually held during this term could not happen as usual, as these are so central to our connection to the curriculum and each other. It must be especially hard for all our new families who have joined since September, and we hope that perhaps by the summer term we will be allowed to meet again. Getting to know the school and the community through online meetings is far from ideal, but a big thank you goes to the SPCG’s efforts in bridging the gap with the collection of greenery for the Advent Spiral, the raffle with its live streamed draw and Christmas tree initiative. Thanks also to all the parents who organised the Enchanted room as a special surprise and to Mr Reeves who helped organise the Diwali festivities for the pupils.
Diversity and equity are an important theme in every meeting, and will continue to be until we are satisfied that we as a school mirror the diversity of our city. Anna has made the decision to appoint a new Diversity and Equality Lead, which we see as a clear step towards the intention of making sure this has a permanent voice in the school.
We wish you all a jolly and restful holiday, and look forward to seeing you all next year for what we hope will be a more social 2021!
Belle, Ben, Daniel Grazia, Jayne, Kate, Levi, Matt
Christmas Meesage from The Headteacher
Dear St Paul’s Families,
What a year! 2020 is drawing to an end and we are relieved. We are thankful that everyone in our community is well, in this year of a global pandemic and thankful that the school has stayed open the whole term. I do remember the Thursday afternoon of no water which started a chain of events that culminated with a visit by the London Fire brigade.
The joy of being at school shared by the staff, children and parents alike, that was so palpable at the end of the summer term, has continued and no less so in the last couple of weeks. The Spiral brought the stillness and darkness that makes us appreciate the light within. The Enchanted Room was magical, not only for the Kindergarten children but for all children up to Class VIII, who were nostalgic about the Fairs of the past. St Nicholas sent reprimanding and complimentary letters in equal measures to the school classes and treats for all. With the current restrictions, we were finding ways to give the children the experiences that makes our school special. On the last day, we had a visit from the shepherd and the classes took turn singing carols for him before he followed the angel’s message and continued on his journey.
The highlights of the second half of the autumn term were plenty, but it is the everyday work of the teachers, assistants, children and staff that is the true treasure of St Paul’s. What makes it special is in the essence of Steiner-Waldorf education, that the lessons are artistically created for the children in front of the teachers in the time they are living.
The Kindergarten children, Sarah and Very, Julia and Sevim, Elena and Nicoletta, Stephanie and Eriko have adapted to being in bubbles and the extra outdoor space is well used.
Class I has made beautiful work with their letters and at the same time developed their sentence writing. It is lovely to see their confidence grow in school and form as a class with the support of the angelic Miss Watts and patient Miss Janas who have been welcomed into the teaching body.
The Class II autumn walk with their paper lanterns along the New River was a pleasure and their reading is coming along nicely. They each made a calendar for the year ahead together with Ms Perrett and Ms Marina.
Class III has learnt about shelters from around the world and they have really grown together with Ms Freeman with the support of Ms Mariani.
Class IV has had their human and animal block and practiced their cursive writing and was given their fountain pens on the last day by Ms Tate.
Class V focused on Diwali which ended their Ancient India study and Mr Reeves is now on to other cultures as well as the plant study of the year.
Class VI has delighted us all with their Business Maths as they sold us all food for the last few weeks. Together with Mrs Steggall, they produced beautiful Roman project books.
Class VII worked with Mrs Akuwudike and produced a great play based on the RSC production of Arabian Nights. It was such a pleasure to see and it reminded us of how much we miss the theatre. They had to show many performances for all to see so they worked extra hard with the support of Ms Mellor.
Both Class VII and VIII have had Maths and Chemistry with Mr Tsogkas, we are so happy that he has joined St Paul’s, to keep the children’s next step in mind.
Ms Wickramaratne and Class VIII have started revising all they have learnt so far before continuing History leading up until today.
Thank you all for your dedication but that also extends to all our subject teachers. We have an almost new Language department with Mr Azarian and Ms Kankowski, and our Handwork department which has been supported by Ms Marina this term together with Ms Garland.
We wish Ms Caodie all the best in Holland together with Mara and we are in the process of finding her replacement in the Woodwork shed. She brought new life into the shed and we are grateful for what she brought to the children.
Gardening will have a new, large shed in the New Year which will be a relief for Ms Featherstone.
Mrs Skinner and Ms Minou, Mrs Russell and Ms Pintos have no news, but we are thankful for their usual work. Tamara, Pam and Ana, you are the engine that makes it all work.
We do have news in our facilities team; Jack had a daughter – Isabella Marie born on 26th November at 9.18am; we wish the whole family well! Derek is keeping it all moving along in his absence. We are working on installing as many air filters as possible in the near future, with the help of the premises team led by Clive.
We are finalising the recruitment of our new School Business Manager who will begin in the new year. He will soon be properly introduced. An extra mention of Oleg, who has held the fort in his absence.
Thank you to the trustees who volunteer their time for the school. It is a better school for all their questioning and support.
I wish you all a peaceful and restful holiday!
PS. Thank you for all the lovely cards and surprising gifts!
Updates from Kindergarten
A Day in Mulberry Bush Kindergarten
We start each morning inside and the children go straight to playing, helping to prepare snack or choosing to help with other activities like baking, crafts or
painting. On Tuesdays, we bake our bread for soup and bread day. Some children might do some milling, others will help with measuring the flour and together we will mix and make the rolls or spelt/rye and sunflower seed bread. Together we will sing, tell stories and look forward to eating our bread together.
Lately, we’ve been very busy preparing for our end of term festival, making gifts to take home. We made little wooden gnomes with felted hats, dipped candles and candle holders out of clay. All of these lovely gifts have now found a home in a little garden made out of bark and moss.
WISHING YOU ALL A PEACEFUL FESTIVE SEASON!
Julia and Sevim
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.