It has been a wonderful seven weeks since the start of the year, the children have been so busy and the classrooms full of activity. It was almost back to normal, and I think we have all had a great half term.
Our outdoor craft curriculum continues to be something we are proud of, and Bernard Graves has worked with Class V and VI this term.
Class V had a residential camping trip away learning to create a kiln and making beautiful pottery in the countryside. Class VI did blacksmithing in the school yard during the Michaelmas week. This followed on to their Physics block at the beginning of the year.
It was fantastic to see the play led by Class IV but with all so important contributions from the Gnomes, the Meteors and of course, the Dragon. The whole school took part in both work and games activities on our Michaelmas day. Thank you all for the contribution to our harvest collection this year. We made the donation to Food Bank Aid - who helps supply 17 independent food banks across North London. Their work continues to be hugely important as over 12,000 people (of which 3,000 children) depend on them for their basic needs.
Exciting new developments has happened in Class VIII who are having photography with Mr Tsogkas. This was piloted for part of two terms last year's with Class VIII, and it resulted in the amazing pinhole camera exhibition which is now acquired by Museum of London. It is always something special when we can link the science curriculum with art, and we are looking forward to their exhibition at the end of the year!
The increased French around the school has been great and we are hoping to see more of how it influences in the whole curriculum as the time goes by.
At the end of the term, we had lessons in British Sign Language in two classes before it is rolled out across the school. It was both moving and exciting to experience the children’s full engagement with this language. It was a revelation to see how much they could learn in one lesson, keeping eye contact, looking at facial expression and body language as well as the signs and deaf awareness.
Despite the difficulties of finding a German teacher we will trial German as an option for Middle school children and as an after-school club for all.
A particular highlight this half term was the African drumming workshop, and this was in addition to the work in each class marking Black History month.
I really enjoyed seeing so many families socialising at the coffee morning earlier this month, with a big thanks to the baking and drinks from Class VII who are beginning to fundraise towards a trip to North Wales later in the year.
We are looking forward to what this half term, always one of the busiest of the year, will bring. We have had Diwali so far and we have the Martinmas Festival, Remembrance/Armistice Day, the Advent Spiral and the Winter Fair to look forward to. These events will be held in line with the appropriate COVID measures.
We said a couple of goodbyes, first to Miss Alice Watts who has moved to Cardiff Steiner School. We wish her much luck! We are welcoming an old friend and teacher in Mrs Heulwen Miller who will take over in Class Two. She will again be a fantastic addition to our teaching body.
Our Facilities Manager, Jack Stone, has left us to start up his own business - we are so grateful for his visible contributions to the orderly facilities at St Paul’s and our work on Health and safety. You will already have seen Miss Alex Julin at the gates, and she will be there for the time being.
I would like to give a sincere thank you to all the teachers and staff for their hard work, to all the families for your support and of course to the children for their resilience, their enthusiasm and great effort this last half term. I am especially pleased with our good attendance rates; despite the health hurdles we face. There was an increase in lateness at the end and this is as important and perhaps more feasible to work on. It really is best for children to be able to settle in before the formal beginning of the day at 8:30, and it is best for the class not to be interrupted.
In Kindergarten, we want to make the closing of the three gates happen at promptly as possible for safety. The Apple Tree children, who start the day outside, need to be able to really start at 8:30 which can only safely happen when the gates are closed and bolted. Thank you for your cooperation.
Diversity, Inclusion & Equality Update
We now have a staff working group for diversity, equality and Inclusion which meets fortnightly to ensure that we maintain momentum on the school’s progress in this area in recent years. We would like to share what has been happening in school this previous half term with you:
We are committed to continuing dialogue with parents around diversity, equality and inclusion. Parents, guardians and carers are warmly invited to our upcoming forum on Wednesday 17th November 2021 from 2.15-3.30pm in the Hall with the staff working group, pending lifting of restrictions. Questions for the forum can be sent to email@example.com by Fri 12 Nov 2021. We hope to see you there.
INSET Sept 2021
This September, our INSET sessions ensured that all staff are aware of the children on our SEND register and those who have high learning potential. The focus was on the adaptive classroom, to make the provision accessible regardless of diagnoses. We had a whole staff discussion about our seasonal curriculum and festival cycle and are dedicating time in our College of Teachers meetings to refocus on studying festivals and their deeper meaning. We are continuing the work we started last academic year, when we added the Mid-Autumn festival and Lunar New Year festival to our seasonal curriculum, as well as celebrating Windrush Day. Our aim is to develop our awareness of ways in which we can broaden our seasonal curriculum and make our festivals inclusive of a wider range of faiths and cultural traditions.
For our first Early Years parent evening this academic year, we talked about how we are meeting diversity, equality and inclusion in the kindergartens. This included a display of books, puppets, dolls, nature table figures, dressing up clothes and musical instruments, with opportunity for parent feedback via a suggestions box.
We have celebrated Rosh Hashanah with apples and honey and sourced books featuring Jewish families and their traditions. For Mid-Autumn festival, we made mochi to share at snack time and told the story of the Rabbit in the Moon, as well as sharing a picture book’ Mooncakes’ by Loretta Seto, showing a family celebrating the festival.
This October, to mark Black History Month, we have brought a South African story, The Name of the Tree, to kindergarten as well as sharing books such as ‘Mama Panye’s Pancakes’ (A village tale from Kenya) by Mary and Rich Chamberlin, ‘Grandmother and I ‘by Helen E. Buckley and ‘Handa’s Hen’ by Eileen Browne. We are currently sourcing books to increase our representation of dual heritage families and people with disabilities. We have had some interesting conversations around our snack tables about the Paralympic athletes and seeing people use sign language.
Class I have been listening to stories from around Africa and the Caribbean, particularly when introducing letters and numbers. In literacy, the letters have been introduced through a variety of stories from all over the world. Characters' names also depict a background that is non-European in some stories told. This is the same for numeracy and the introduction of numbers. This diversity is reflected in the children's bookwork.
Class II has been engaging with a story about African drumming.
In Class III, there has been a focus on representing people of colour in black board drawings. They have built structures for the Jewish Festival of Sukkot and learnt Hebrew songs, as part of their main lesson block about different ways of constructing shelters around the world.
Class IV has been looking at African stories this half term.
Class V are learning about Hindu culture and traditions and working towards celebrating Diwali in November. They have been researching Black sporting heroes and making posters to represent their achievements.
Class VI has been looking at a poetry by Roger Robinson, who won the T. S Eliot prize in 2019 for his book ‘A Portable Paradise and was chosen by Decibel as one of 50 writers who have influenced the black-British writing canon.
In Class VII the students have been engaging in class discussions about striving and unfairness.
Class VIII has been studying Black poets for all English lessons. Students have been engaging with black writers such as Benjamin Zephaniah, Audre Lourde, Langston Hughes and May Angelou for the middle school assembly. The students have worked collectively on posters about the life and activism of Rosa Parks, which are on display in the project space. Class VIII has been singing Bob Marley’s ‘One Love’ in music lessons.
Black History Month at St Paul’s
On Friday 15 Oct 2021, we celebrated Black History Month with a series of
workshops for Classes III – VIII. Led by Gambian musician Seneke Sillah from Mbilla Arts (https://www.mbillaarts.co.uk/), students had the opportunity to play the djembe drum, learn about the instrument and its history, and participated in a collective performance in the Nave. The performance was attended by Classes I - VIII and a few Sun children.
The theme for this year’s Black History Month celebrations is ‘Proud to BE’. Inspired by the 2020 Black Lives Matter events, the campaign invited Black and Brown people of all ages throughout the UK to share what they are proud to be.
Subjects covered in the pack include Black History in Art, Criminal Justice, Drama, English, French, History, Maths, Music, P.E (Physical Education), R.E (Religious Education)/ Citizenship / PSHE, Science, World War I & World War II. We will be working with these resources over the school year to raise awareness and educate the school community.
Following on from our influx of new books with Black protagonists, by Black authors and about Black history last year, we have purchased a new publication, ‘Happy Here’ from Knights of Media for our lower and middle school students with an introduction from bestselling author Sharna Jackson, happy here features stories and poems by 10 Black British authors for readers aged 7+.
Exploring themes of joy, home and family through a wide range of genres and styles, each author has been paired with a different illustrator to spotlight Black British artistic talent. With stories by Dean Atta, Joseph Coelho, Kereen Getten, Patrice Lawrence, Theresa Lola, E.L. Norry, Jasmine Richards, Alexandra Sheppard, Yomi Sode, and Clare Weze.
Hackney Museum, Being African in Hackney: 1960s-2020s, a new temporary exhibition at Hackney Museum, which tells the stories of people moving and living, working, studying and growing up in Hackney, from the 1960s to today.
The exhibition is open until 16 January 2022. For more information and opening times visit: www.hackney-museum.hackney.gov.uk
British Sign Language
Students have been introduced to sign language is a means of communicating using gestures, facial expressions and body language and teaching has started this week. British Sign Language or BSL is the most common form of sign language. It’s the main language of around 145,000 people in the UK and has been recognised as an official language since 2003. We are excited to embrace this new subject within our curriculum.
St Paul’s staff working group on diversity, equality and inclusion:
Anna Retsler, Headteacher
Tamara Allen, Administration & HR Manager/DSL
Stephanie Gill, Early Years Representative
Achala Wickramaratne, Chair of Teachers Meeting
Rachel Steggall, Middle School Representative, SMSC/PHSE Lead
Stephane Azarian and Jane Akuwudike, Subject Teacher Representatives
African Drumming Workshop
You can read more about this on the news story below and listen to samples of the children drumming!
Diwali at St Paul's
We celebrated Diwali on 4th November with Class V performing for the different classes. They also performed for Class V parents on Friday outside in the courtyard. You can read more about what they did in the news story below.
Kindergarten also celebrated with a mandala in Mulberry Bush!
Update from Class III
Class III measuring the height of Noah's Ark - 30 cubits - using a helium balloon and the string measured out to 30 cubits. Having already measured the length and the width of the ark on the Green (it's longer than the Green itself), it was time to measure the height too. It took a while for the balloon to make its way up to the full height but it eventually did - and it was great to see the sheer height of the ark!
To end our measurement block, Class III enjoyed following a recipe for apple crumble, using scales and weights to measure out and weigh all the quantities, and following the recipe step by step.
The Shepherd's Play
Dear Community of St Paul’s
Every year ‘The Shepherd’s Play’ is performed by the teachers to the children of St Paul’s as a Christmas gift to them. This is a tradition that is shared with most other Steiner Schools. It feels very important to make sure this happens after having a break last year.
This year it will be performed mostly outside. Often parents have also contributed by playing parts, singing in the choir etc. We would like to now extend the invitation to any parent and teacher who wants to be involved. If you would like to contribute rehearsals are on Tuesdays or Thursdays. Depending on how involved your role is, the more rehearsals there are but even then, you won’t be required for every rehearsal. We tend to put the whole thing together on the week of the 6th December with a run through and a dress rehearsal and it will be performed twice on Thursday 9th - time to be confirmed.
Character in Play
Steward – holding a torch and rope and keeping people safe
Choir – singing the accompanying songs and carols
Any special other talent will be welcomed if we can fit it in, we will.
If you would like to get involved, please let Jane Akuwudike know by the end of the week via the School Office
Family & Wellbeing
Supporting young people's mental health
Islington Council wants to help you to support any young person you know who is finding life a challenge – and to be there for them. These free, online events on 9 and 16 November at 6–7.30pm will get parents thinking about how they can support good mental health in adolescents. Attendees will learn about the indicators that your child may be struggling and demonstrate how to distinguish this from the normal ups and downs of adolescence.
A reminder that we have a ban on nuts and nut-based products from the school due to children with severe allergic reactions.
From 1st October 2021 the law has changed in regard to packaged food. We at times have bake sales, jumble sales and Fairs etc and this falls under this law. Even though for bake sales the food is generally not pre-packaged, we as a school will adapt best practices. To that end, please ensure that all items for bake sales have the ingredients and allergens listed as below.
What must be on the label?
The package, or label attached to the package, must include:
Name of the food
List of ingredients
The 14 allergens required to be declared by law, emphasised within it
What are the 14 Allergens?
The 14 allergens are: celery, cereals containing gluten (such as barley and oats), crustaceans (such as prawns, crabs and lobsters), eggs, fish, lupin, milk, molluscs (such as mussels and oysters), mustard, peanuts, sesame, soybeans, sulphur dioxide and sulphites (if they are at a concentration of more than ten parts per million) and tree nuts (such as almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, brazil nuts, cashews, pecans, pistachios and macadamia nuts).
One of the easiest rice dishes that owes its origins to the traditional Cajun cooking of America. This is a great one-pot meal.
1 large onion
1 red or green pepper
4 (vegetarian) sausages or 8 slices of ham or vegetarian equivalent (such as Quorn, Sokolow, Tofurky slices)
2tbsp vegetable oil
400g tin chopped tomatoes
250ml cold water
1 tablespoon dried or fresh thyme
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp paprika
1 chicken stock cube
100g cooked prawns (optional)
Peel and chop the onion.
Wash, deseed and chop the pepper.
Slice the sausage or ham in to small pieces.
Heat the oil in the saucepan for 1 minute then fry the onion and rice for 2 – 3 minutes until the onion softens.
Stir in the pieces of sausage or ham, pepper, rice, tomatoes, water, thyme, cayenne pepper, paprika and stock cube.
Bring to the boil then cover the pan with the lid and leave to simmer for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
If using, add the prawns and cook for a further 5 minutes.
The jambalaya is cooked once the rice is soft and all the liquid has been absorbed.
Getting ready for Christmas!
Each year in the run up to the festive season, Islington brightens up its high streets and town centres with Christmas lights and markets, Santa’s grottos, family-friendly activities and much more. This year, the celebrations are set to be extra special. Check out the event listing on the Islington Life website for dates and details.
On 15th Ocotber, as part of our Black History Month celebrations, Classes III - VIII had an African Drumming Workshop. The Workshop was led by Seneke Sillah who is Mbilla Arts' lead musician and was a founding director. Seneke was born in The Gambia in West Africa and...
Hello, Chiara here, I am 20 and was Steiner educated from class 3 - GCSEs (St Paul’s class of 2016 and Kings Langley class of 2018). This September I started a degree in art history at The Courtauld Institute of Art in Kings Cross. I’m on the look out for a room or any suitably sized space with a student friendly rent. I would be happy to provide some childcare, cooking and/or household help around my university timetable. Alternatively I would be available to housesit. My maternal family is Italian, I am bilingual and have experience with babysitting, school pick ups and pet care (can provide references). My course starts late September but I’m flexible with moving dates. If you or anyone you know could have something to offer or have any advice/tips please feel free to get in touch through one of the following….
Hi, my name is Estelle and I was born in September or 2021. Both of my parents are working full time and while they can occasionally work remotely they don’t have a lot of time to play with me so I am looking for someone to spend time with me and also help me with some of the things a toddlers need help with (I love eating and playing a lot). My dad went to a Rudolf Steiner school and he very much likes Rudolf Steiner's philosophy and teachings. If you have a similar philosophy on life, like children and have time during weekdays please contact my parents. Thank you, Estelle.
My parents are Jonas and Caroline and you can reach them on 07775 742 703. Thank you :)
Anthroposophical Society in Great Britain
Anthroposophical Association Limited
Rudolf Steiner House, 35 Park Road, London NW1 6XT
JOB ADVERTISMENT: Venue Coordinator
Rudolf Steiner House is a cultural venue in the heart of London, which includes a theatre, bookshop and café, library and meeting rooms. The theatre has recently been beautifully refurbished and will be relaunched as The Marylebone Theatre in 2022 with a large-scale theatre production, as well as other artistic and conference events. Rudolf Steiner House is currently re-launching its bookshop and café and will also be expanding its educational offerings.
An important, new team-member is required to coordinate these various activities, manage the theatre and room hire bookings and oversee the day-to-day practical life of the venue. They will be part of the core management team of the venue, supporting its emergence as a vibrant centre for social and cultural renewal.
The candidate will have:
Experience of the day-to-day management of a public venue, including overseeing staff
Excellent organisation and planning skills
An ability to communicate effectively and work collaboratively
Applications are invited for the following vacancy:
Permanent, 30-40 hours per week (days and times to be negotiated)
Salary: £28 - £32,000 pro rata, depending on experience
Based at Rudolf Steiner House, London, NW1 6XT
Anticipated start date: 10th January 2022
Closing date: Friday 26th November 2021
A job description and application form are available on request from Doris Bailiss: firstname.lastname@example.org. Fully completed application forms, together with your CV, should be returned to Doris Bailiss by the closing date.