ISSUE 2 Newsletter May–June 2008 DIARY DATES: Pyjama Day 20th May, Tuesday 23rd May, Friday Lantern Making Shhh… secret parent activity! Preschool Front Room after drop-off • 10th June, Tuesday • 12th June, Thursday Parent Education @ Children’s Cottage Front Room 1. “Mid-Winter festival” • 11th June, Wednesday 9.15am • 13th June, Friday 9.15am 2. “Storytelling with young children” • 18th June, Wednesday 9.15am • 20th June, Friday 9.15am Mid-Winter Lantern Festival 6pm Sharp Start – 7.30pm • 17th June, Tuesday MTW groups Galit’s & Jessica’s • 19th June, Thursday ThF groups Sue’s & Jessica’s Parent Education @ Kamaroi Steiner School 220 Forest Way, Belrose See details within • 28th May, Wednesday 7.30pm • 3rd June, Tuesday 7.30pm • 10th June, Tuesday 7.30pm Pre-school Closed Public Holiday 9th June, Monday Glenaeon School Open Day Castlecrag & Middle Cove campuses 25th May, Sunday 11am to 3pm Kamaroi School Fair 25th May, Sunday 10am to 3pm Shelf Shop / Parent Library Open in the preschool Front Room Tuesdays 9.15 to 10am Thursdays 8.45 to 9.30am W elcome o our second newsletter for the year! This is an initiative of the Children’s Cottage Parent Committee to keep all parents abreast of events and happenings at the pre-school and the in the wider Steiner community, to provide a forum for sharing news and items of interest within our community, and to provide support for families as they journey with their child through the experience of Steiner early childhood education. We hope to make this a bi-monthly publication and welcome your feedback as well as any suggestions for inclusions in future issues. Illustrators to beautify the pages with simple drawings and writers to contribute are also very welcome to join the production team. Please contact Smitha (Nishka in Jessica’s MTW) if you would like to draw simple pictures for the newsletter. Special thanks to Andrew Maynard of Yeah Design Group (Archie in Jessica’s MTW) for formatting this newsletter. of the Parent Committee, please contact Smitha (MTW) or Jenni(ThF). From the Pre-school Director Dear Parents, As we approach May and June we will be settling into our winter rhythm here at Children’s Cottage. Our winter rhythm will officially begin on Monday 12th May. Winter time brings new songs, stories and activities reflecting on the winter mood for your children. Winter also brings the start of your child being served warm porridge at morning tea to help warm their bodies. June will see the arrival of our much anticipated mid winter lantern festival. We look forward to all families joining us for this magical evening. We were sad to say goodbye to Anita, we wish her all the best for her future journey. We would like to thank her for the loving care she has provided to many children here at Children’s Cottage over the past two years and for her commitment to our centre, the children and families. Jessica has taken over from Anita as teacher in this room, and this has allowed a smooth transition for the children. We are thrilled to have Jessica as teacher at Children’s Cottage as she has natural warmth towards the children, parents and staff, plus brings a lot of experience and dedication in the practice of Steiner education. We have a new assistant, Melissa Baker starting with us on Monday 5th May. Melissa comes to us with a wealth of educational training in the early childhood industry. Melissa holds a bachelor of teaching, a certificate in special needs and a diploma in children’s services. Melissa is also currently studying the foundation course in Steiner Early childhood education at Parsifal College. We are thrilled to have Melissa join us at Children’s Cottage. (Melissa has written a little about herself in this newsletter). From Monday 5th May there will be a small change with the assistants that work in each room. Melissa will join Sue’s Thursday Friday group, and Yolanda will join Jessica’s Thursday Friday group. A reminder that my door is always open. If you would like to discuss any matter with me, please pop in to see me, or give me a call. Warm regards, Angela Woodburn Parent Committee Each class group now has two-three parent representatives who are available to them to raise any issues relating to their class. As a reminder, the parent representatives are: Jessica’s Mon/Tues/Wed Smitha Mallya (Nishka’s mum) One Position currently vacant Galit’s Mon/Tues/Wed: Hope Pitman (Tess’s mum) Amanda Segers (Baxter’s mum) Karen Ward (Lily’s mum) Jessica’s Th/Fr: Jenni Ridley (Aliya’s mum) One position currently vacant Sue’s Th/Fr: Felicity Cutts (Remy’s mum) & Pru Basser (Jed & Harper’s mum) The Parent Committee meets monthly and items for inclusion on the agenda may be channeled through any of the parent representatives. If you haven’t already done so, have your child’s class teacher point out your class representatives so that you may get to know them. ONE position is currently vacant in each of Jessica’s groups. If you are able to give your time and energy to be part From the Preschool Office / Teachers… Feedback Form Attached to this newsletter is a feedback form. We value your feedback and would appreciate any comments you have, so that we can continue to provide a high quality child care service. Please pop your completed form into the post box located in the administration door. process of making soup. The aim is to provide a nice warm soup for the staff at staff meetings, which are held in the evenings. German Student Exchange Program We are excited to be introducing the German student exchange program to Children’s Cottage from September 2008. As part of their service in Germany, students volunteer for a year abroad. Glenaeon have been participating in this program for a while now and have found it very rewarding for the exchange student, children and families. We will have a girl named Nora starting with us from September this year, and we look forward to welcoming her to Children’s Cottage for the year. As Nora will need a place to board (food and accommodation) during her exchange program, we are seeking families from Children’s Cottage who would like to experience having an exchange student live with them for a period. This can be a rewarding experience for families as they get to know someone from another culture and share their family life with another for a while. The suggestion is that Nora stays with a family for one term (about 8-10 weeks), before joining another family. This means that it is not a long term commitment on your families’ behalf. If you are interested in more information about hosting our exchange student Nora, please speak with Angela. Preschool Policies Children’s Cottage has included a few new policies and you will see these up on the notice board. If you would like to view our policies these are kept in the office for you to view at any time. Occasionally we will place the policy folder at the preschool entrance near the parent notice board for you to look at. Mobile Phone Free Zone A reminder that Children’s Cottage is a mobile free zone. If you need to answer your phone while dropping or collecting your child, please take this call off the preschool premises. Donation Crock Pot / Slow Cooker If you have a crock pot that you no longer need, we would like to ask for a second hand donation for one of these. This will be used for the children to cut up vegetables and be involved in the NOTE FROM NORA I am Nora Hettich. I am 19 years old and live in a small village in the south of Germany. I live together with my parents and one of my sisters. I have 3 sisters who are older than me. They are called Sina, Nadine and Bianca. I am the aunt of 3 girls. The youngest of them is my godchild. She is 5 years old and her name is Gina. I really love my cute godchild and the rest of my family. My mother and two of my sisters are nurses. Nadine studies European Economy and my father has a company. He is a locksmith. This summer I will finish school with the high school diploma. My hobbies are playing the violin and volleyball. Moreover I am the leader of a girls youth club. They are aged between 8 and 12. Every week we play, sing and have fun together. To me it is real fun to spend time with the girls. Pyjama Day Pyjama day will be a fun day for the children (and staff!) and allows us to give to others. On Tuesday 20th May and Friday 23rd May we will be having a Pyjama day for the children and staff at Children’s Cottage. Please send you child along to preschool in their pyjamas and dressing gown too if needed. We ask that you give a gold coin donation on this day, and all funds raised will go to the Guatemala Steiner Kindergarten. Guatemala Steiner Kindergarten has a wish list on their web site, and depending on funds raised we will chose an item from their wish list to help their Kindergarten. NOTE FROM MELISSA Hi, I am Melissa Baker and I will be starting at Children’s Cottage as an assistant from Monday 5th May. A little about me; I graduated with bachelor of teaching early childhood in 2007, I am currently enrolled in a bachelor of education at Wollongong uni, and foundation course in early childhood education at Parsifal on a Monday evening. I am married and my husband and I would like to expand our knowledge in biodynamic farming as well as anthroposophy. I love gardening and the earth and sustainable living and I am looking forward to learning and experiencing so much this year (and hopefully many more to come!!). I am really looking forward to working at the Children’s Cottage, and feel that I will be able to learn so much from the other teachers, as well as the children and families. I am really just quite excited!! Lantern making Shhh…the lanterns are a surprise for the children! We need help to make about 80 lanterns for our mid minter festival, and we would love your help. If you can spare some time on Tuesday 10 June or Thursday 12 June after drop off, please join other parents in the front room for a cup of tea and a morning of constructing the lanterns. Parent Library The Children's Cottage Parent Library is available for preschool families to borrow books on subjects such as conscious parenting, early childhood development, nutrition and children’s health and Steiner education. The collection of books is currently small but will expand with your continued patronage as the income generated will be fully ploughed into buying more books. For a nominal fee of $2 per book for two weeks, this is a wonderful resource to read books that will help support your child’s experience at Children’s Cottage. The library will be open 9.15 to 10am on Tuesdays and 8.45 to 9.30am on Thursdays in the front room, where a Parent volunteer will be at hand to lend the books. All parents are welcome to use this valuable resource. Shelf Shop An initiative of the Parent Committee is the establishment of a little “Shelf Shop” where you can purchase toys, books, gifts and craft materials that reflect the values and philosophy of Steiner education. Some of the items available include: modeling beeswax, block crayons, watercolour paints, handmade dolls, wooden cars and trucks, beautiful Steiner cards, craft kits, knitting wool, felt and wool fleece. The Shelf Shop is located in the front room of the Cottage and will be open 9.15 to 10am on Tuesdays and 8.45 to 9.30am on Thursdays. Depending on demand these hours/days may be extended in the future. If you are unable to visit the Shelf Shop during opening times, you can write your order on the order form (on the side of the cupboard) and a volunteer can contact you to fill the order. Due to the small scale of the operation, we are only able to accept payment in Cash. No credit cards or cheques. The shelf shop will be a great place to buy children’s birthday presents and baby gifts as well as craft supplies for yourself and your children. Special Thanks to our current Parent Volunteers who lovingly and patiently provide the priceless service of running the Shelf Shop and Parent Library – Pip Barnett (Bronte in Jessica’s MTW), Carla Melton (Olle in Jessica’s MTW), Felicity Cutts (Remy in Sue’s ThF) Parent Education – Winter Season at Children’s Cottage Each season Ebba Bodame offers a series of parent education talks on topics related to early childhood development. They are held in the front room of the preschool and all parents and caregivers are warmly invited to attend. These are free talks offered in the interest of educating parents to the ways we do things at a Steiner Preschool. We are dedicated to educating to nurture and promote healthy development and well being of the whole child. “Mid winter festival” • Wednesday 11 June 9:15am • Friday 13 June 9:15am This informative talk will discuss ideas for winter time and the magic of Midwinter; it will provide you with many ideas of what to do with children in during winter. “Story telling with young children” • Wednesday 18 June 9:15am • Friday 20 June 9:15am Returning fresh from an extensive story telling course in the UK. Ebba will share story telling ideas for the young child, including age appropriate stories. Stories can help improve behaviour and stories mature the soul. Evenings at Kamaroi School and Gleaneon Kamaroi & Glenaeon Rudolf Steiner Schools offer educational talks for parents, carers, and friends of children attending Kamaroi and Glenaeon Schools, (the wider community is also welcome to attend). All sessions, unless otherwise specified, will be held in the Library at Kamaroi, 220 Forest Way, Belrose. No charge for sessions - unless indicated. Any payments will be collected at the session – Phone or email bookings essential. We are grateful to the Kamaroi Parents’ and Friends’ Association for generously funding this program for your benefit. Parents participating from other schools are also welcome and are invited to make a donation at sessions attended. For enquiries or suggestions for inclusions in our program, please email Joy Day email@example.com Glenaeon School Term 2 Parent education At the time of printing of this Newsletter, the Glenaeon School Term 2 Parent education information was unavailable. Please check the notice boards for details of upcoming sessions Parent Education at Glenaeon Rudolf Steiner School Infants Campus, 117 Edinburgh Road, Castlecrag You are warmly invited to join us for another term of parent education presentations. All sessions are held at Castlecrag on Thursday mornings and begin at 9.30a.m. Thursday 15th May: Andrew Hill The Journey Begins: The Class One Curriculum Andrew will take us through the curriculum and our approach to learning in Class One showing how we meet the child and how parents can support this process. Thursday 22nd May: Ann Jacobson The Unfolding of Writing and Reading Ann will lead us through the unfolding of writing and reading and show how this process is related to newly developing faculties in the child and how these faculties are supported by our whole curriculum. Thursday 29th May: Bernadette White The Picture Language of Fairy Tales Bernadette will explore the imaginative language of fairy tales and how we can discover the wisdom behind these archetypal pictures and also how these tales speak to the young child. Thursday 5th June: Annette Brian Supporting Your Child’s Learning in the Home Annette will look at how lifestyle can support learning and how parents can build up a creative and rhythmic homelife which supports the healthy development of the new faculties for learning which unfold during the early years of childhood. Thursday 12th June: Annette Brian TV or not TV?: Managing Electronic Media in the Home What effect does watching television and DVDs, using computers and listening to radio, tapes or CDs have on young children? Does it effect the healthy development of the senses? What does the latest research reveal? Annette will explore these questions and other issues related to electronic media. EVENING TALK: 7.45 P.M. TUESDAY 27TH MAY: CORAL PATERSON AN ANCIENT INSTRUMENT MADE MODERN Lyre Presentation: An illustrated talk on the lyre. This will be held in the eurythmy room at Castlecrag. A light supper will follow. Wednesday May 28th 7.30pm: Sue Scott and Kerry Carlill Kamaroi Staff Room: Home Care (No cost or donation) No time for yourself? Not sure what to do to ease the troubled brows of your family members? Come to this evening to look at some simple home care methods, used by anthroposophic nurses around the world. We will demonstrate how to apply a basic compress, the secrets of the footbath and an introduction to Rhythmical Massage. You should leave the evening feeling relaxed and with lots of ideas for developing your own “home care cupboard”. Please wear comfortable clothes and easy to remove footwear. Sue Scott and Kerry Carlill will be presenting this evening; both Sue and Kerry have a strong background in therapeutic applications from anthroposophic medicine, in their field of Rhythmical massage. Sue is a director for the Australian Anthroposophic Medicine Association. Tuesday June 3rd 7:30 pm: Renate Breipohl, Kamaroi Library: Music For Young Children Nurturing the natural musicality of children aged 3 - 7. (No cost or donation) Those living with and educating young children at home, in child care or kindergarten are entrusted with the task of caring for the child's musical potential. According to Rudolf Steiner the ability to produce musical sound sequences, be it through voice or instruments, belongs to the highest faculties of the human being. Big questions arise from this: Can musicality be ‘taught’ and learned? If yes, how does one support the refinement of hearing, the sensitivity to musical sound and musical pitch, which are the basic tools used by musicians? Which kind of music is appropriate for the young child? Should instruments be introduced, and which ones? At what age should music lessons be offered? I look forward to exploring these questions with you and also demonstrate to you some instruments suitable for the use with young children. Renate Long-Breipohl holds a doctorate in theology and a degree in education, majoring in early childhood education. She has been involved in Anthroposophy for 30 years. Before migrating to Australia in 1985 she lectured in early childhood at universities in Bochum and Dortmund in Germany. In Australia she became the co-founder of the Samford Valley Steiner School near Brisbane and taught there in the kindergarten for 10 years. In 1997 she moved to Sydney to join Parsifal College, an Anthroposophical Adult Education Centre, as director of the early childhood courses of Parsifal College. She lectures widely in Australia and has been invited as speaker at international Steiner Education conferences in Germany and Switzerland. Renate regularly travels the South East Pacific Region. She has coordinated and lectured in Steiner early childhood teacher training courses in Manila/ Philippines from 2000 – 2002 and in Bangkok from 2003 – 2006. She is member on the board of the International Association for Steiner Early Childhood Education. (Head Office: Stockholm, Sweden) Tuesday June 10th 7.30pm Ebba Bodame Kamaroi Library: Celebrating Birthdays with Young Children (No cost or donation) A Birthday is the festival of the individual child and how we celebrate this day will express our love and joy of having this child with us. At the end of the Birthday we want the child to be happy, content and nurtured, stepping confidently into a new year. We will be looking all the possibilities to reach this goal. We will be exploring family rituals, themes for parties, Birthday stories, games, activities, food, presents, friends to invite. With some tricks, and a pinch of imagination, you the parent will become the creator of a wonderful birthday without needing to spend much money. Mid winter lantern festival 17th June, Tuesday for Galit’s and Jessica’s MTW groups 19th June, Thursday for Jessica’s and Sue’s ThF group All families are warmly invited to attend the midwinter Lantern Festival at the preschool. There will be two evenings: Please attend the one for your child’s class group. Both nights begin at 6pm sharp and conclude at 7:30pm. Please ensure that you arrive on time as we cannot delay the festival. Wait outside the preschool gates until they are opened at 6pm and you will be led inside. The children will gather on the hill facing the cubby house and parents are asked to gather behind them. To keep the wonder and magic alive for the children’s experience, we do not discuss too many details of the celebration with them other than the practising of our lantern songs. However, for the information of the parents the evening will run as follows: Mother Earth will be seated at the fire and a mid Winter tale will unfold, leading up to the magical appearance of lit lanterns. When the children all have their lanterns, we shall go on a lantern walk singing our songs as we walk out of the preschool and around the Bales park Oval / grassy area near car park and return to the preschool. We then rest to enjoy warming winter soups and spicy midwinter drink. During the walk, every child must hold a parent’s hand. Volunteers needed We need a number of parent volunteers from each of the four class groups to volunteer to do the following: • Make large pot of soup or bread to bring on the night to share with everyone. We will need 2-3 parents from each class to make a soup • Gather/supply firewood • Donate the use of large camping flashlights • Serve as ushers in the park with the flashlights which will be in designated spots to guide our walk • Coordinate the warming of the soups • Assist behind the curtain with the lighting of the lanterns (out of view of the children!!!) • Light the fire, tend the fire and supervise the fire Sign-up sheets will be put up closer to date and your volunteering is crucial to making this festival a success. Remember: • Make sure to arrive on time • Dress your child warmly for the outdoor walk • Bring a spoon and bowl PLUS a cup for EACH attending member of your family. • You are responsible for your child during the evening • Bring a lantern for siblings We look forward to sharing a magical winter evening with you all! Lantern Festival Songs Walking with my Lantern I’m walking with my lantern; My lantern is walking with me Above you see the starlight; Here my lantern you see My light shines bright Glows through the night La-bi-mel, La-ba-mel, la-boum Lantern Mine Lantern mine, Lantern mine Sun and Moon and stars will shine Little light shine bright, little light shine bright Glimmer, Shimmer, through the night Midwinter Song Through the darkness we shall go, With our candles all aglow Hearts grow warm, our way grows bright, as we journey through the night Though it’s dark and cold this night We can trust in this small light If we hold our candle true, Courage grows our deeds to do The Importance of Warmth (This article is an edited version of a piece written by Lisa Beasly, a former Glenaeon School parent. Reproduced from Children’s Cottage newsletter Issue 3, June 2007) Now that the cold months are upon us, we thought it is an appropriate time to bring you a few thoughts on the importance of warmth, especially for children. It is not always easy to dress children warmly especially when they insist that they are not cold or when the trend is not to wear warm clothing. Nevertheless, as the following article demonstrates, it is very important to persist. Presented here are the views of different authors on the subject of warmth and since wool is considered the best fabric for keeping warm, we will begin with a few facts on the remarkable qualities of wool. Premature infants who are placed on sheepskins have been found to gain weight more quickly. – Nina Hyde, National Geographic (Vol.1, 173, No.5, May 1988) Dotty Turner Coplen in her book Parenting – A Path through Childhood, says that it is unfortunate that people today are less discriminating about the fabrics they wear. When people first started wearing synthetics, they were aware of the lack of absorbancy in the fabric and how uncomfortably warm they felt in the summer and cool in winter. A synthetic fabric is a barrier, it does not absorb, transfer and conduct. Most importantly, since synthetics do not appear in nature, they do not support the natural life processes. Undergarments for the Young child The Magic of Wool It can be a challenge to dress children appropriately in Nina Hyde, in her well-researched article for the National Geographic magazine, states that throughout the world, wool has been the fibre of civilisation. Its amazing properties allowed human beings to survive in extremes of climate, with wool’s properties making it particularly suitable for clothing. She writes: Wool fibres have minute overlapping scales, all pointing in one direction, like tiles on a roof. Air trapped between these fibres gives wool its insulating quality providing great warmth for little weight. It feels warm since fewer fibres touch the skin compared to other fabrics, so less heat is conducted away from the skin. The surface of wool is water resistant and is in fact the most hydrophilic of all natural fibres, absorbing as much as 30% of its weight without feeling wet to the touch. Cotton absorbs 8% while synthetics usually around 2%. Being porous and permeable, wool absorbs perspiration and releases it slowly through evaporation so that one feels less chilled in Winter, in Summer the evaporation keeps one comfortably cooled. (Bedouin wear wool clothing for insulation in the desert for the same reason). It is equally important to keep children’s legs and feet warm as it is the body. (We have all experienced how much warmer we feel all over when our legs and feet are dressed) The feet should be kept dry as well as warm and woollen socks and leather shoes are best for warmth and dryness. When the feet sweat, they remain cold and damp all day unless absorbent wool socks are worn. Shaw says “you cannot think with cold feet”. Sydney’s Winter months, for the temperature can vary so much in a short period of time. This is where undergarments such as singlets, spencers and leggings are so useful. If the children’s undergarments are warm, the top garments can be peeled off when they get hot during the day without their core body areas being chilled. Margaret Shaw, author, childbirth educator and Hauschka masseuse, says that if the physical body is not kept warm enough in cold weather, it can lead to serious damage of the organs – if not in childhood then in later life. She suggests that woollen spencers or singlets worn under cotton skivvies are ideal for keeping the trunk warm and a woollen jumper is preferable to a synthetic sweater. Since it is important for children up to seven years of age to be really warm, wearing pure woollen singlets on cool and cold days is desirable. (Very soft quality singlets are available now and if hand washed with mild soap solution, they retain their softness. If the skin is extremely sensitive, then a cotton singlet can be worn under a woollen spencer.) be asked though, at what cost to their future physical, emotional, and spiritual health in their adult life. Most will agree that it is easier to dress a young child warmly than it is an older one. One of my teenage sons refused to dress warmly in winter and insisted (with a frequent sniff!) that he only looked cold. We managed to reach a compromise one day and after shopping for warm undergarments, he now tells me that he feels “snug as a bug in a rug” and still manages to look “cool”! For babies Joan Slater, a specialist in Maternal and Child care and founder and director of the Gabriel Baby Centre in Melbourne, devotes considerable attention to the importance of warmth for a number of reasons. She says that for a human baby, in order for the … “ego to be able to perfect the organs so that they endure in good health throughout life, there must be a well-maintained deep body warmth.” She emphasises that: During the first seven years of a child’s life, the ego is preparing the physical body to be the instrument through which the soul and spirit can function later in life. Slater goes on to say that babies should be soft, warm and have a caressing quality. Since skin is a very important sense organ, only natural fibres should be work directly on the skin. In synthetics, the skin is unable to breathe and tends to sweat, often feeling cold to the touch. Bonnets should be worn, especially in the first year of a child’s life. Slater said that the head needs to be covered because… “the brain grows as much in the first year as during all the rest of life. For this amazing feat to be carried out efficiently, the head needs to be kept warm… for a lot of body heat (up to 90%) is lost through an unprotected head”. Woollen beanies for young children, even in Sydney’s climate, could perhaps save them from many an earache. Many colds could in fact be avoided if children are kept warm. Winter Rhythm – Sue McCudden, Teacher ThF group As winter draws near and the mornings are becoming chilly, we are looking towards starting our winter rhythm at Children’s Cottage. This will begin on the 12th May. We will begin our day inside and then come out to play in the middle of the day when it is warmer. We will also be having a warming bowl of porridge with morning tea. Occasionally we will also make vegetable soup with the children. The Right Just To ‘Be’ – anonymous One clear, sunny autumn day I was sweeping up leaves along the kindergarten path. Three-year-old Noah stood watching me for some time. After ten minutes or so he began scooping up leaves with his bare hands and dropping them into the bucket. Occasionally he stopped to inspect a particular leaf with great interest; once or twice he smelled them. A further ten minutes into the activity he discovered a worm. He placed it on the palm of his hand and watched it with devoted attentiveness. Then he took a few steps toward me and shyly held When Children don’t cooperate Parents often argue that their children do not feel the cold and therefore don’t dress them warmly enough. One could similarly argue that children don’t require a well-balanced diet because they don’t want it. The human being may be very adaptable and children can survive and grow into adults despite inadequate nurturing in all its aspects. It must his hand out to me. I was about to speak when suddenly I knew: nothing needed to be added to this moment between us. It was perfection. Leaf, sun, worm, soil – Noah was listening to the ‘speech’ of his surroundings, and in the privacy of his uninterrupted ‘beingness’ he was able to hear. Reflections on Harvest Festival – Apple Picking Thank you to all families that attended the apple picking in Bilpin. It truly is a magical experience for the children, and a lovely event to share as a family and preschool. My family certainly enjoyed the day on April 6th. Both of my children were delighted to pick apples and eat them and bake an apple crumble. They were proud that they had picked the apples we were eating. – Angela Woodburn (Pre School Director & Mum of Kate, Sue’s ThF group) The Weather angels blessed both the days of the preschool’s Harvest Festival held at the Bilpin Springs Orchard in the Blue Mountains. Certainly, on Mar 30th, as families of Anita’s MTW & ThF groups gathered along with Ebba’s playgroup families, the weather angels were indeed smiling. With the lilting melodies of Ebba’s flute in the crisp, sunny orchard, we gathered around the Harvest table to give thanks for all the food we have. We gave thanks to the Sun, the Rain and Mother Earth and also to the farmers who toil hard to bring us the bounty of Nature. Families joined in for the Harvest songs and we even managed to sing well-coordinated rounds to one of them! The picking of the apples was indeed the highlight of the day, particularly because they are even more precious this year for the orchard, which has had to face huge challenges from hail and storms. We gathered our apples in gratitude. The children climbed trees and took turns on the tyre swing and families enjoyed their picnics in the sunshine. The apple pockets and apple crumble that were made over the following weeks for Baking day have been relished all the more for the memories they carry within. The vegetables donated by all families for the harvest table were delivered to the kitchen of Just Enough Faith (JEF) in Rozelle. JEF provides hot cooked meals every day of the year to Sydney’s less fortunate. JEF volunteers at the kitchen send their thanks to the contributing preschool families. – Smitha Mallya (Nishka’s Mum – now in Jessica’s MTW group) Photo contributions by Rowena Timson, Christine Gilmour, Angela Bacot and Pru Basser Market Day and Coffee Shop The Parent Committee would like to thank all the parents and families who helped make the April 4th Market Day and Coffee Shop fundraiser a big success. The event added $1,043 to the fundraising coffers of the parent community. Again, as with the Harvest Festival, the weather was kind to us and the Sun shone bright for the day. The wonderful home-made sweet and savoury treats donated by preschool parents were quite an inviting sight for all present. The stall holders added colour and fun to the event with their beautifully arranged stalls. They also contributed generously to the fundraising efforts of the day. Special thanks to David and Jennifer (Lux’s parents, Galit’s MTW group) for not only donating all the ingredients and equipment but also Dave’s fabulous Barista services and Jen’s charming & efficient management of the coffee/tea stall. They spent the whole afternoon serving the community with teas and lattes, cappuccinos, mochas with even the soy option! A big thank you for all the mums (Bea, Liska, Christine, Annie, Pip, Shiori, all PC members) who helped serve the food at the food stall and the cleaning up after– this would not have been possible without your patience or as much fun without your enthusiasm! And lastly, but certainly not the least, a Big Thank You to the staff & families and exchange volunteers of the Glenaeon School for their support and patronage of the event. – Smitha Mallya Secretary, Children’s Cottage Parent Committee (please forgive me if I have forgotten to mention any names of volunteers, I promise to make notes next time!) What is Market Day & Coffee Shop? This fundraising event is organised by the parent community of Children’s Cottage and your support and participation is critical for its success. In 2007, the Coffee Shop & Market Day fundraising collected over $3,000 for the preschool. The Market Day is held at the Infants Campus of the Glenaeon Rudolf Steiner School at 117 Edinburgh Road, Castlecrag, usually coinciding with a festival at that campus in the last week of the school term. This is an opportunity to gather with the wider Glenaeon community at our own “coffee shop” which we setup and host on the day as well as to take advantage of the unique stallholders who will set up shop on the day. This is a low-key, fun and relaxing event where the children and parents can enjoy a cup of coffee and some afternoon tea while children play in the playground – supervised by their parents. Stallholders typically include Heartfelt (Maria Borelli), the Glenaeon Shelf Shop, the Organic Trading Co, as well as various art and craft stalls. How you can help: • make sweet or savory food items for the coffee shop stall • roster yourself on to help serve, setup or clean up • patronise the stalls Dates for the Coffee Shop & Market Day in June will be announced via posters. Please support this event and also come along to join in the festivities and share in the spirit of the school community. Photos by Pru Basser Recipes – by Karen Ward (Lili’s mum & Class Parent, Galit’s MTW group) BREAD MAKING Good quality bread is a nourishing staple and has been an important part of our diet for many years. It is important for nutrition but also plays a role in bond forming at meal times being a food that can be shared and enjoyed by most. Bread made from freshly milled grains provides many nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, protein and good fats which nourish our bodies and keeps us going throughout the day. Here at the Children’s Cottage the children get the opportunity to freshly grind grain into flour which they use to make their bread. This provides not only some fun but also a unique exposure to how food is made at a basic level. You may want to try this very easy bread recipe with your children. fire was from timber that was felled at the time of the waxing moon the previous winter. It would be an interesting challenge to try to track down a loaf of this bread here is Sydney! The idea behind this process was to protect against the loss of life forces during the process of milling. His advice led to the development of stone mills where the grain is milled into flour by friction between itself and the lightly resting millstones. Compare this to a steel mill where rollers crush the grain and the heat from the steel oxidises the highly desirable fats. For this reason it is desirable to source stone-ground flours wherever possible or mill your own flour at home if you have time. This way you will get the most nourishment from the bread you make. The act of chewing, apart from helping with digestion, strengthens memory and capacity to reflect according to Steiner Ingredients 1/2 cup very warm water 1/2 tablespoon of honey 1/2 tablespoon of yeast 1 & 1/4 cups white spelt flour (can use just white flour) 1 & 1/4 cups wholemeal flour 1/2 teaspoon of salt (you may need a little more flour) Types of flour There are many different types of flours available. The type of flour you choose when baking will depend on what you are baking and what dietary requirements you may have. Wholemeal (whole wheat) flour is made by milling wheat grain into flour. Plain white flour is the same but with the bran sieved off during the process. Since dietary fibre, vitamins and nutrients are concentrated in the outer bran layers of the grain the extent to which this bran is removed determines the nutrient content of the flour. Plain white flour is therefore lower in essential nutrients compared with wholemeal flour. Spelt flour is a great medium for baking; it behaves much the same as wheat flour but is easier to digest. If you are looking for wheat or spelt free flour, try oat or barley flour. Some flours are gluten free, such as rice, quinoa, amaranth, millet and buckwheat flour. Rye flour is low in gluten, so most rye breads will not rise like wheat bread. For this reason you may find rye mixed with other flours like in the recipe below. Rye is very sustaining, is moderately dark in colour with a strong, robust flavour. It is also easily digestible. These are the common flours used but there are many other flours available. Method Pour the water into a large mixing bowl and add the honey. Sprinkle the yeast into the water and stir. Start adding the flour and salt into the bowl, this is really fun for the children and it takes time. Keep adding flour until the dough is firm and not sticky. At this point it is a good time for a rest (especially for the bread), cover the bowl and let it sit for 15 mins & let it rise. After this roll the dough into balls, cut into shapes with cookie cutters or let the children make their own shapes. Place it on baking paper in the oven at 180 degrees C for 20 mins or until brown. Serve warm with honey or jam and enjoy! If you have 2 kids you can divide the recipe in half so they can do one each. The fun really is in the process, not necessarily in the fine dining experience. Self Raising Flour Did you know you can make self-raising flour from plain flour! For every cup of plain flour add 2 teaspoons of baking powder and mix well. Steiner’s View on milling and baking According to Steiner, the aim of baking bread is to produce something that is a complete food for a human being. In his opinion ‘Rainer’ bread met this requirement. A variety of sensitive processes were involved in the making of this bread which included flour milled in a water driven mill and the wood for the At the Children’s Cottage organic stone-ground wholemeal flour and some other stone-ground flours are used when the children make their bread to ensure optimum nourishment for their growing bodies. Children’s Cottage Calendar Dates at a glance May – June 2008 May 2008 Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday 1 Friday 2 Saturday 3 Sunday 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Preschool Winter Rhythm starts 13 14 Newsletter May-June 2008 Issue 2 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 Pyjama Day Galit’s & Jessica’s MTW groups 22 23 Pyjama Day Sue’s & Jessica’s ThF groups 24 25 Glenaeon Open Day Kamaroi School Fair 26 27 28 29 Kamaroi Parent education Evening session 30 31 Note: Shelf Shop & Parent Library open Tuesdays & Thursdays. Children’s Cottage Calendar Dates at a glance May – June 2008 June 2008 Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday 1 2 3 Kamaroi Parent education Evening session 4 5 6 7 8 9 PUBLIC HOLIDAY Preschool closed 10 Lantern Making after drop off Kamaroi Parent education Evening session 11 12 Parent Education Lantern Making 9.15am after drop-off “Midwinter Festival” 13 14 Parent Education 9.15am “Midwinter Festival” 15 16 17 18 Lantern Festival Parent Education Galit’s & Jessica’s “Storytelling with MTW groups young Children” 19 Lantern Festival Sue’s & Jessica’s ThF groups 20 21 Parent Education “Storytelling with young Children” 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 Note: Shelf Shop & Parent Library open Tuesdays & Thursdays.