Docstoc

School Newsletter indd (PDF)

Document Sample
School Newsletter indd (PDF) Powered By Docstoc
					                                    Imhoff Farm, Kommetjie • imhoffwaldorf@absamail.co.za • Tel: (021) 783 - 4237
Cape Town                              www.imhoffwaldorf.org • 034-075-NPO Tax Exemption Number 930018698.
South Africa                                                           Newsletter submissions: jenbo@absamail.co.za


                               Dear Friends,
                               As editor of the Newsletter for the past four and a half years, I find myself wondering
                               whether such a wordy publication has any value in the busy lives of our community.
                               My uncertainty intensified at the AGM when it was announced that in order to save
                               money the Newsletter in its present form would henceforth be published only twice
                               a year. To cap it all, what I had thought of as a medium of communication and an asset
Nur tur




                               to the school, was referred to as Jenny Bovim’s “project”! When I told my daughter
                               that I was busy working on the June issue, she suggested that I have difficulty saying
                               “no”! She was referring to the Teachers’ polite letter asking me if I would continue as
                               the editor. Actually, I am ambivalent about it. I have no real sense of what the Parent
                               Body feels about the Newsletter, not just the good ole’ supporters, (all four of them?)
                               who regularly volunteer their appreciation of our efforts. (The team, by the way, con-
                               sists of Cecilia Solis-Peralta and me.) My uncertainty is as much a consequence of
                               lacking confidence that enough people read it to justify the expense of its printing as
 ing the Cre a t i ve Spirit




                               of not wanting to relinquish something I have enjoyed giving to the school.
                               There is no joy in giving an unwanted gift, however. Whatever transpires, I would
                               like to thank Imhoff Waldorf School for giving me the opportunity to discover a crea-
                               tive aspect of myself that I knew nothing about in 2004, when we began. Thanks
                               to this work, I now appreciate subtler elements of editing (listening) whereby not
                               only the intended meaning but also the essence of the author’s ‘voice’ is preserved.
                               Please accept my apologies if you have ever felt diminished by my adjustments to
                               your newsletter contributions. I may be more sensitive these days but also more
                               conscious of the inevitability of ‘mistakes’!
                               All in all, I have enjoyed the process of compiling each Newsletter. Not only does
                               a fresh reflection of the endlessly emerging school community reliably appear; it
                               is also my chance to work as a team with Cecilia. She is a great inspiration, being
                               someone who puts her heart and soul into everything she does whilst always looking
                               for the best in people and situations. She would work until dawn rather than fail a
                               deadline and today was no exception. It was Youth Day, a holiday she needed to take
                               as she was ill with flu but she didn’t even consider canceling our appointment.
                               In this issue, to accommodate a growing trend, we introduce a new category:
                               Parent Education. It occurred to me that education is perhaps how the Newsletter as
                               a whole best serves the community. For example, the word “Will” with a capital ‘W’,
                               was sprinkled throughout, providing various contexts by which to grasp its anthropo-
                               sophical significance.
                               My e-mail address is above. I look forward to hearing your comments. Ed




                                                              Newsletter June 2008
    Imhoff Waldorf School                                                Newsletter June 2008

    Have Your Say
    EUROPEAN TRAVELS by Nicole Sparks (Kindergarten Teacher)
    The day before we were due to leave for Switzer-
    land at the end of last term, Cindy and I stood in
    the staffroom and stared in disbelief at what we still
    had to fit into our a bulging suitcases. There were
    250 brochures, 400 business cards, 14 strings of
    felted bits and bobs (the community curtain that
    had been so lovingly crafted by our children and
    their parents), A3 laminated photos and about a
    million wire-and-bead flowers. We were 7 kilos over-
    weight and almost didn’t make it beyond O. R. Thambo
    International Airport…
    Long was the journey! The tickets said Cpt-Jhb-Dub-
    Zur. That meant leaving from Cape Town and eventu-
    ally arriving in Zurich after stopping over in Joburg and
                                                                   Cindy & Nicole in Basel, Switzerland
    Dubai. Finally, after a one-and-a-half hour train journey
    to Basel, we were there! We awoke on Easter Sunday to the beautiful vision of the famed
    Goetheanum on a hilltop bedecked in snow! This was the site of the 8th World Waldorf Teach-
    ers’ Conference. The theme this year was “Educating the Will – Awakening the Spirit of the
    Head”. Cindy Cornish (Class 2 Teacher) and I were only two of the 1200 delegates from fifty-six
    countries and we were filled with a sense of honour to be representing our school.
    There were two motives for our trip. One was to tell the Waldorf world about our school and our
    mission to purchase land. This involved setting up an exhibition stand, distributing brochures
    and business cards (even, sometimes, harassing passers by who refused to make eye contact!)
    and building relationships with interested people. The other was to immerse ourselves in the
    many anthroposophical lectures, discussions and workshops with view to deepening our per-
    sonal relationship with the Waldorf movement.
                                                      The lectures and discussions were provoca-
                                                      tive and we found the scientific plena to be
                                                      fascinating if somewhat mind-boggling. We
                                                      attended workshops and artistic groups and
                                                      any spare moment was spent at our beauti-
                                                      ful Imhoff Waldorf exhibition stand. In the
                                                      evenings we feasted on cultural presentations
                                                      from all over the world, including opera and
                                                      symphonic concerts, eurythmy from Stuttgart
                                                      and Dornach and traditional Thai and Japa-
                                                      nese music. In addition, we watched children
                                                      presenting dance from Waldorf schools in
                                                      Thailand and Japan, eurythmy from Brazil,
    École Rudolf Steiner, Lyons                       opera and plays from Holland and Germany…


2
Newsletter June 2008                                               Imhoff Waldorf School

the list goes on! It was a rich cultural meal
and, as at all Waldorf gatherings, we were
stimulated in every aspect of ourselves
(Thinking, Feeling and Willing). I left the
Goetheanum with a deep sense of satis-
faction and gratitude.
The next phase of our travels led us on a
whirlwind, city-hopping jaunt. Unburdened
by then of most of our marketing material,
we dashed from bus to tram to inter-city eu-
rotrains. Lugano was our next port of call.
Situated on the Swiss-Italian border, tucked
away in a forest beside a lake, is the Scuo-
la Rudolf Steiner. This is the school from
which, in 2005, shortly after our devastat-
                                                                The Imhoff exhibition stand, Goetheanum
ing fire, a group of students and teachers
arrived at Imhoff for a working holiday. They built the Playgroup verandah and gave it rain cover, cre-
ated the gate with the beautiful metal heart, cleared and levelled the playing field and did a whole
lot of community work in Masiphumele, Khyalitsha and Ocean view. They were also responsible
for the construction of our primary school jungle gym. Cindy and I met with the staff, presented
Project Phoenix and toured the school.
Next stop was Milan, the inner-city home of Liber Scuola Rudolf Steiner. In a few short hours,
we visited this school, toured the city and shopped. (It was Milan, after all!) Then we boarded
a train bound for Lyons, France, where we visited École Rudolf Steiner, a school that felt very
similar to our own due to its rural setting and informal classroom structure. (They also need to
find themselves a permanent home!) In Lyons, Cindy and I parted company and I journeyed on
alone to Stuttgart in Germany, where I visited the Michael Bauer Schule.
At every school and in each home where we stayed, Cindy and I were warmly welcomed. Thank
you, Marlise Steiger and Martin Rentz in Dornach; Mariapia and Marco Marigreggo and the
staff in Lugano; Sabrina, Nathale and Sarah in Milan; Leticia, Guillome, Roman and Loretta in
Lyons and Jackie Mwangi, Manu Harmuth and Liam in Stuttgart.
What an eye-opener it was to visit so many schools, all quite dif-
ferent and yet all anthroposophically connected. Departing from
Imhoff and then returning to it has helped me to realize that we
are blessed to be here in these natural surroundings with our
parental commitment and our warm, supportive school com-
munity. Our school has unlimited potential! All we need to do is
tap into this wellspring, hold our inspiration high, work hard and
keep our feet firmly rooted in the earth.
For a more complete report on the Swiss-Italian visit of 2005,
you can find articles in the June & September 2005 issues of the
Newsletter. Ask at the office for back issues or contact me! Ed
                                                                       Liber Scuola Rudolf Steiner, Milan

                                                                                                        3
    Imhoff Waldorf School                                                 Newsletter June 2008

    CLASS 7 AFRIKAANS CREATIVE WRITING PROJECT


     Onbeperkte
           Ek het na de wildtuin gegaan
           Toe ek daar kom, daar was ‘n man
           Hy neem my na die uitkykpunt
           En daar was baie sterk wind.
           Ek het na die dieregeluide gehoor              Wêreld Wyd
           Di man met wie ek was, was ‘n boer.                  Die wêreld word warm
           Ek het in ‘n rondawel gewoon                         Baie, baie warm
           Daar was geen sein vir my telefoon.                  Wêreld wyd
           Ek ry stadig in die bos                              Word the aarde warm.
           En daar was nie baie lekker kos.                     As ons nie dinge verander nie
           Die bestuurder volg die landkaart                    Is daar geen toekoms.
           Ons sit daar, ek en my maat.                         Geen tweede kans on weer te begin.
           Dit was ‘n baie lekker reis                          Ysberge wat verdwyn en suur reën.
           En toe braai ons ‘n stukkie vleis.                   As ons bome af kap,
                                                                Eindig ons lewens ook.
                       by Chris Pearce, Jack Collins
                                                                So in plaas van gas en olie
                       and Jonathan Buitendag
                                                                Moet ons liewer perdekar ry.
                                                                In plaas van motorfietse,
                                                                Kan ons drie-wiel ry.
                                                                Die wind en son kan vrede maak
                                                                En ‘n einde bring aan alles wat nou gebeur.

                                                                                        by Joshua Wright
                                                                                        and Martin van Zyl


    COMMUNITY FEELING by Pippa Solomon
    What attracted me most to the Waldorf way of education is the soulfulness and consciousness
    that lie subtly beneath everything. Sometimes I witness this directly and sometimes I witness the
    striving for it, but it always feels present. I never realised that fostering a sense of community
    was such an important part of this. The first Work Party I attended woke me up to this. It was a
    beautiful day. I took on the task of raking. I heard all the weed-eaters going on in the background
    and I felt a sense of coming together. My response to this was a feeling of peace and calmness. I
    had conversations with other parents and I felt more connected with them. There were jokes and
    laughter. There was also some negotiation about who did what and so I experienced myself as


4
Newsletter June 2008                                            Imhoff Waldorf School

part of a team. I remember Laurence telling me, in response to my question about why there
isn’t a head teacher, that Steiner wanted people to grow the consciousness of being able to
work together – to listen to diversity, be patient with each other and hold all perspectives and
then still come to an agreement. So although things might take much longer, it is important to
have this structure for the evolution of our consciousness. This really touched me and gave
me a totally different view of things. At the work party I saw this in operation, because I had to
hold myself back from being a bit bossy and impatient. I had to see the diversity amongst us
and allow other people to have their own experiences of the work parties without it changing
mine. I observed my own internal responses to other people and the way they worked and I
had to negotiate a way inside of me of finding the connection, instead of creating more discon-
nection. So yes, I think I had a small taste of what Steiner was referring to. And, as well as this
opportunity for consciousness, it was also fun to be a family amongst families and to see our
children running and playing together.

Parent Education
LITERACY LEARNING by Joy Levin
Hello, Parents and Teachers. I am currently enrolled in
a Masters of Education course at UCT, researching the
role of movement in early literacy practices. My thesis
will compare Waldorf and brain-based (eg Sun Valley
School) educational systems with special emphasis on
early literacy practices. Interestingly enough, at a brain-
based education conference I attended last month,
I heard many (diluted) Waldorf concepts being cited
as new insights gleaned from recent brain research!
These included the importance of the thinking, feeling
and doing aspects of the child, and the vital importance
of movement for learning. Waldorf schools have long
held the secret of movement and rhythm in the educa-
tion of children whereas in most other schools such ele-
ments are only now beginning to surface in educational
literature and studies.
Steiner outlined the development of the child in three stages, namely: Willing, Feeling and
Thinking. Prior to the age of 7, a child exists primarily in Will, expressed through the movement
of the limbs and via the medium of imaginative play. Steiner cautioned that if reading and writ-
ing were taught before the milk teeth fall out (around 6 or 7 years old), vital forces that should
be reserved for the growth of the body will be used in service of this activity. Instead, children
need to engage in play, rhythm, imagination and storytelling….as they do in any Waldorf kinder-
garten. By the time they reach Class One, children are ready to learn from the outside world,
as in the form of the alphabet, but they nevertheless remain connected primarily to Will. Thus,
learning to write in Class One still involves much movement and imagination. The more intel-
lectual activity of reading is only taught in the later grades. Why is this sequence important?
Because even after entering the next developmental stage, namely the Feeling realm, the child
still needs to be able to engage Will. Stories told in the classroom are increasingly filled with

                                                                                                  5
    Imhoff Waldorf School                                                     Newsletter June 2008

    personalities (Temperaments) with which the children begin to identify, thereby awakening
    their feelings.
    Waldorf is the only system I have found that teaches writing before reading. Why is that?
    Perhaps because Steiner encouraged a way of understanding the child’s development proc-
    ess as a microcosm of the evolution of the human cultures of the planet. In the beginning of
    man’s life on earth, for many thousands of years there was no reading or writing. Storytelling,
    symbols, and rhythm probably always existed and from early drawings came the first forms
    of writing. Have you ever looked at the drawings of a young child and noticed how similar
    they are to ancient petroglyphs or hieroglyphs? A child is actually recapitulating the conscious-
    ness of that era in human evolution. Thus arose the reasoning that children best learn to write
    through picture-making. It was only relatively recently in modern history that the use of an
    alphabet was developed (c.f. Greek and Latin), replacing the use of pictures representing entire
    concepts. Hence, the design of the Waldorf curriculum in which stories lead to pictures that in
    turn become letters. This process that shaped world history mirrors the development of human
    consciousness and is played out in a Waldorf school within each individual child.
    A 2006 PIRLS (Progress in International Reading Literacy Study Report) cited South Africa as
    having one of the lowest literacy levels in the world. We are at a stage where illiteracy is re-
    garded as one of the greatest social ills of our time. When children whose cultures do not
    include reading or writing in their daily home lives arrive in class one, they are obviously highly
    compromised. It would seem that the Waldorf educational system has much to offer in this
    area.
    I would very much like to hear of your own experiences as parents with children learning to read
    and write. Please be kind enough to e-mail me at eland@wam.co.za. Strict confidentiality will
    be observed. Thank you.

    THE WHY’S AND THE WHEREFORE’S by Yvette Worrall (Class 6 Teacher)
    Eleven-going-on-twelve-year-olds going are notable for their quite probing and practical questions.
    Yes, as parents, we were all once exhausted by our younger children’s incessant ‘whys?’ but
    now these queries become sharper, with more ‘hows?’ For example, “How do you/they (adults)
    know that the centre of the earth is hard or soft when you can’t drill down there?” (Excellent ques-
    tion - thank heavens I’d come across an adequate answer in my re-readings of the night before.)
    “But it’s all still a ‘maybe’ then, isn’t it, if we can’t really see it or get there.” (Even more excellent
    observation!) Yvette, you’ve whet my (inner 12-year-old’s) appetite! Can you provide us all with an
    explanation, please? Ed
    Class 6’s are entering the harder, ‘bonier’ world of down-to-earthness. Theirs is a Roman con-
    sciousness - one of practicality and planning. They relish doing things that involve harder materi-
    als and construction. So they constructed models of objects that the Romans made so well - a
    3-tier aquaduct with the key stones in each arch, and with the channel sloping fractionally so that
    water does indeed flow along it; a chariot with horse and rider; a Roman villa; specialised armour
    and weapons; a bath house; a Roman warship. And, in keeping with what was quintessentially
    a Roman art form, the children have all, under Lesley Moerdyk’s guidance, made wonderfully
    artistic but precise mosaic tiles and mosaic-framed mirrors. Thank you, Lesley, for providing cool,
    clear guidance. We look forward to our next project together, that of beautifying the wall around
    the outside sink by the bathrooms.

6
Newsletter June 2008                                            Imhoff Waldorf School

MENTORING by Robyn Davis-Judge
Here follows an excerpt from a mentoring booklet entitled Working Together. “…Waldorf
schools are a testimony of Steiner’s picture of an ever-alive and developing cultural community.
They do not have the usual checks and balances found in educational institutions where school
principals or departmental heads oversee the quality of the teaching. Instead, each Waldorf
teacher strives individually in the classroom and works with colleagues in a learning, educa-
tional community. This is done in accordance with his/her conscience and Will. We Waldorf
teachers are grateful to be able to work in freedom, where our own initiative and capacities
allow us to be humanly creative.
What does this mean? Beginning with a thorough study of the Waldorf curriculum and embrac-
ing the principle of ‘working out of anthroposophy’, which is to say, a path of self-development,
the Waldorf teacher realizes one can never fully reach the ultimate or top level in one’s work.
There is always more to learn. Each child, class or even decade changes previously known
‘ways’ of teaching. The Waldorf teacher continually strives to ‘read the moment’ and to create
a lively class atmosphere for the students, where they feel known and challenged. Inherent in
Waldorf teaching is working with the unfolding child in a conscious, open mode, through the
rigours and excellence of the class curriculum…Any time a teacher shows interest in the work
of a colleague, a mentoring moment exists. Mentoring is about learning, about support, about
interest and about professional development.”

THE SPIRITUALITY OF TIBET IS A LESSON TO CHINA – AND
TO US by Alexander Studholme, Indian Religions, Divinity Fac-
ulty, Cambridge University (extract from an Easter Article of
March 2008 in the London Independent newspaper), submitted
by Yvette Worrall (Class 6 Teacher).
In 1955 the Dalai Lama travelled to Peking to meet Chair-
man Mao. Until their very last encounter, the young Ti-
betan leader - then just 19 years old - remained optimistic
about the future alliance between his country and Com-
munist China. The Dalai Lama took notes as the Great
Helmsman advised him on the value of progressive edu-
cation and modern communication systems. But then
Mao drew him closer. “Religion is poison,” he breathed.
“Firstly, it reduces the population because monks and
nuns must stay celibate and secondly, it neglects mate-
rial progress.”
In his autobiography, Freedom in Exile, the Dalai Lama
recorded his reaction. “I felt a violent burning sensa-                            The Dalai Lama
tion all over my face and I was suddenly very afraid”, he
wrote. On further reflection, though, this fear turned into confusion and even amazement
that someone as intelligent as Mao could have misjudged him so badly. Though apparently
able to engage with the Dalai Lama as political leader of Tibet, it was as if Mao had com-
pletely ignored his role of spiritual leader of his people, finding it impossible to believe that
his religious role could be anything other than a facade or convention. “He surely could not

                                                                                                7
    Imhoff Waldorf School                                                  Newsletter June 2008

    have failed to notice that every day I spent at least four hours in prayer and meditation,” the
    Dalai Lama added.
    This attitude towards religion - combining visceral hostility and blank incomprehension - still in-
    forms Chinese communist attitudes towards Tibet. Relations between China and Tibet involve
    a clash of two world-views that could hardly be less alike: atheist materialism and Vajriayana
    Buddhism. Beijing never tires of pointing out that it has brought great material benefit to Tibet.
    Yet it cannot simultaneously compute the data that Tibetans wish to continue their religious
    way of life.
    In a series of lectures delivered in 1919, the Austrian philosopher and visionary, Rudolf Steiner,
    identified one of the dominant powers of the modern age as Ahriman, a Zoroastrian spirit, who
    is concerned only with an appreciation of the empirical world, the world of the five senses. Left
    to his own devices he leads human beings away from their spiritual side, so that they become
    heartless and diminished, one-dimensional machines. “Ahriman,” Steiner explained, “is the
    power that makes man dry, prosaic, philistine - ossifies him and brings him to the superstition
    of materialism.”
    Nevertheless, Ahriman also has his good side: he is responsible for intellectual advancement
    and technological progress. No one can deny that the Chinese, in many respects, have been
    extraordinarily successful in developing their country.
    It would be grotesque to tar the ‘new atheists’ of our own culture with the worst excesses of
    the Chinese Communist Party. Dawkins, Hitchens, Anis et al do not torture teenage nuns with
    electric batons as the Chinese do. Yet, albeit in a much less extreme way, they too have the
    obvious characteristics of disciples of Ahriman: the instinctive loathing of religion, and the grim
    certainty of their materialistic view of reality. Dawkins is a gifted scientist; Hitchens and Anis are
    witty satirists of the folly and wickedness of religious extremism. But, unable to relax the fixa-
    tion of their point of view, they conclude erroneously that their theory is sufficient to describe
    and explain all the unfathomable complexity of life.
     A balance is required, and for Steiner, it was the ‘Christ Impulse’ that would restore the world
    to equilibrium...

    Committee Update
    COLLEGE OF TEACHERS REPORTBACK by Robyn Davis-Judge (Chair of College of Teachers)
    Aftercare
    We now have an aftercare service operating between 12h30 – 15h00 on Mondays, Tuesdays
    and Wednesdays. If you are interested, please contact Nicole Sparks in Kindergarten. She
    and Theodora Nazo are looking after the children. This is a trial period; the aftercare service
    will be assessed at the end of each term.

    External Mentoring See article above for explanation of this word. Ed
    External evaluators will be assessing our teachers during the course of the next two terms.
    This is important for the strengthening of our teaching and is also a requirement of the Wal-
    dorf Federation of which all Waldorf schools are members.

8
Newsletter June 2008                                          Imhoff Waldorf School

Management
The College of Teachers has now joined the Management team for reasons of optimal man-
agement during this period of transition.
Front gate
It has come to our notice that some parents have been driving into the school grounds de-
spite having been specifically requested NOT TO DO SO. We have even had reports of speeding
along the road. Young children walking with their parents have been splashed with water
from the large puddles! PLEASE abide by our request NOT to drive past the front gate since this
further contributes to the deterioration of the road.

Events
TREE PLANTING…
…IN THE PLAYGROUP & KINDERGARTEN
by Laurence Tocreau (Playgroup Teacher)
On Friday morning just a week before
our Easter Festival, we received thirty-
two indigenous saplings from Heidi
Evans. I must confess to have been
very happy and proud to discover that
milkwoods had been chosen for our
group!
At first we sat down in our class for a
story…a story about a family of rabbits
who had lived happily for a long time
in a beautiful field that they all loved
dearly. When the time came for the
field to be used to build houses, they
needed to find somewhere else to go.
Mother and Father Rabbit helped the
children to accept the idea of leaving
by telling them that they would not
completely lose their lovely field with
all its wonderful trees if they would
only plant some trees in little pots.
When they found a new place to live,
they could plant them in the ground
and watch them grow into big, beauti-
ful trees once again.
I then told the children that their own baby trees were outside on our deck, each one waiting
to be put in its own little pot. Then the children formed a big circle, each holding a pot, and
patiently waited to receive potting soil and a milkwood sapling of their own. They were then
shown how to water it. This process was repeated a second time for the next tree! Suddenly,

                                                                                              9
 Imhoff Waldorf School                                              Newsletter June 2008

 the whole morning had gone while we
 were busily planting our trees! All over
 the school we could see children bus-
 ily planting, watering and inspecting the
 results…and looking for the best spot
 to place lots of little pots! Ours are now
 sitting on our deck along the wall of
 the classroom. The children have each
 found a special stone for their saplings
 which are lovingly watered whenever
 they seem to need it.
 Thank you, Heidi and Dave Evans, for
 organising and bringing to the school
 all our wonderful saplings…our future
 climbing trees!

 … IN THE PRIMARY SCHOOL by Daniel Raubenheimer (Class 7 Teacher)
 It was exciting to see the primary school children and their teachers enthusiastically engaging
 their Will and taking up the task of planting indigenous trees for our new land. It was wonder-
 ful to see them express their love and commitment to the future of our school in this practical
 form. For myself, it highlighted the importance of working together towards a common goal
 and the power of that unity. The future of Imhoff Waldorf School is literally in our hands!
 The words of William Blake seemed particularly appropriate to the tree planting exercise and
 were spoken during the ceremony:
       “To see the world in a grain of sand
       Heaven in a wild flower
       Hold eternity in the palm of your hand
       And infinity in an hour”


 24 MAY 2008: IMHOFF WALDORF SCHOOL OPEN DAY by Rebecca Sturgeon
 (And I thought I had got ‘off the hook’ this year!)
 I received a phone call from Cindy at 7pm Friday night asking could I be Welcoming Commit-
 tee for the Open Day? Okay, honey Quick organisation (thanks to all)! Anka’s shop: check;
 Gisela’s yummy food: check; a Coffee Shop: check and Display Table: check! The Red hill
 Football Team came along to make some noise and fill up the school! Fine game!
 About 18 families came to look at our wonderful school. Thank you to all parents that en-
 couraged friends and family to come along. As a very wise and fabulous teacher of ours
 (Nicole Sparks) told me once, “Seeds will grow in fertile soil. Even if they lie dormant, they
 can germinate when the conditions are optimal”. Let’s hope the families that came will find
 the Waldorf way to be irresistible. Many were concerned about where the school would be
 located. I explained that we would be staying this side of the mountain and that the most

10
Newsletter June 2008                                            Imhoff Waldorf School

important thing to remember is that the Waldorf philosophy is really what they want, not
just the venue! (However, I did explain that wherever we go the school will be every bit as
beautiful, if not more so!). The school (as ever) looked great after the Work Party: nurturing (as
is it’s way) and colourful. However, we must definitely ‘jack up’ our PR! Cecilia Solis-Peralta,
who did amazing PR work for our school for years, is no longer available to run this portfolio.
I would like to thank her wholeheartedly, from us all.
So, fantastic Waldorf Teachers, Parents and Children alike…we must get busy with ideas to
make the next Open Day a roaring success. A plan is currently in the developmental stages.
It will hopefully be approved and we can begin the exciting task of bringing our school into its
12th year, all with plenty of enthusiasm and fun!

PARENTS AND TEACHERS AS CO-EDUCATORS by Robyn Davis-Judge (Kindergarten Teacher)
As advertised last term, the Waldorf Federation had scheduled a meeting to discuss the
viability of a proposed conference entitled, “Parents and Teachers as Co-Educators” the call
for which seemed to arise out of parents wanting to share and experience Waldorf education
more deeply. The meeting was held on Saturday, 26 April and I attended it.
Oddly, very few parents attended (not one of our own parent body was there!) and this was
the first issue to be discussed. Apparently, many parents struggle to attend unscheduled
meetings particularly those who have young children. Birgit Blumer, a Kindergarten teacher
from Stellenbosch, immediately offered to take care of children at future meetings. Perhaps
this service will enable Imhoff parents to attend in future, too!
The aim of such a conference is to forge a closer working relationship between parents
and teachers, not only to help the children but also to assist in the growth of the Waldorf
movement as a whole. The words of Dr Tessabella Lovemore, who conducts parent-teacher
workshops, come to mind: “What is required in order to build healthy relationships is Trust.
Our response is our responsibility. We need to allow ourselves to open our hearts to each
other in compassion and kindness. Parents and teachers come together with the children
in the middle and it is the life of the child that connects us all together. How do we manage
this relationship, standing together, looking at our responsibility towards the child? We come
together in equal importance as individuals. A respectful and allowing dialogue allows each
to bring their contribution, and this contribution is accepted for what it is. The Social Motto
(See end of Newsletter. Ed) stresses that what is sought is the HEALTHY social life. This is
found when each individual can find in themselves a reflection of what every other member
brings (like it or not!) and where, in the community, the gift of each one is allowed to live.”
Here follows a selection of questions parents in the Waldorf community often ask:
  “What are the core principles of anthroposophy and what is the mission of society
  and school?”
  “What are Festivals all about and what is their significance to Waldorf education?”
  “What is the logical thread that ties the various subject areas together?”
  “What are the meanings of words used in this context, eg spirit, ego, etheric forces, will?”
  “Is there a recommended reading list?”

                                                                                                 11
 Imhoff Waldorf School                                               Newsletter June 2008

     “How is science approached in a Waldorf school?”
     “How well do children from these schools adapt to mainstream schooling and life?”
     “What is the Waldorf approach to raising awareness and tackling broader social and
     environmental challenges?”
 You may have asked some of these yourself or have other questions. If so and if you have a
 sense of needing a better grasp of what this system of education is all about and what your
 role within it could be, please visit me in Kindergarten. I will put you on the mailing list to be
 informed about future meetings

 THE BEAR NECESSITIES by Jenny Bovim
 Last Friday night it rained again but that didn’t in any way diminish the delight at Imhoff Hall,
 where Class 4 was showing The Jungle Book. As Tor’s parent, I had felt the pressure to sell
 my quota of tickets and there had been a certain trepidation about it. Wasn’t the movie a bit
 old hat? My children, including Tor, have developed a withering way of reminding me that no
 longer may they be entertained by books they have already read or movies they have already,
 in this case, many times, seen. From my position at the school gate (where I flagrantly har-
 assed passersby) I was asked, “Is this the Walt Disney version?” I thought, what other one is
 there? One curmudgeon responded, “We don’t like squeaky Disney voices!” People seemed
 to know that it was made in 1965! Surely not that long ago? Maxine’s mum wanted to know
 what it was about - she lives at the bottom of my road which means they live even closer to
 the south pole than I do – so I set about telling her the story. “Oh, that one!” she interrupted,
 “We’ve got that one at home!” Oops…
 As deeply philosophical bears would say, why worry? (ever!)…one moment there we were,
 quietly decanting popcorn into paper bags and the next, there was a sudden horrifying rush
 on the food table where I had inadvertently positioned myself. Mental arithmetic and rudi-
 mentary multi-tasking skills were tested to the hilt constructing hotdogs (hygienically, within
 serviettes!) whilst smiling appreciatively at the victims of my earlier parking lot harassment
 and simultaneously dispensing plates of curry and rice, rotis, vetkoek and samoosas. (Gisela,
 how do you make them form a queue?) Water and icebites were available throughout the
 evening, too! In other words, the simple, bare necessities…
 The timeless genius of Charlie Chaplin, projected hugely on the far wall of the hall, was appre-
 ciated by one and all. Wild, gleeful whoops began to erupt from the front where the children
 were all cross-legged on the floor…and this was only the curtain-raiser! By the time we were
 all bopping with Balu, there was no doubt: we had a winner. Such a classic always deserves
 to be seen again and what better way to spice it up than to project it BIG and share the fun
 with all our friends? From the word go, big and small were wreathed in smiles. In the closing
 stages, the explosion of Khaya’s baritone hilarity at Mowgli’s dreamy-eyed downfall when he
 encounters the girl from the man-village, set both his father and me off all over again! One
 parent said, “This is great! I can’t remember the last time my husband and I went to movies
 together”. Well, folks, have no fear, you won’t have to wait long for your next outing! Two and
 a half thousand rand was raised for Class 4’s coffers: we’d be crazy not to do it again!
 Huge thanks from the whole class to Marcelle Webster, who masterminded the event; Benno


12
Newsletter June 2008                                           Imhoff Waldorf School

Noll and Neil Webster for providing the technical know-how; Verone Premdeo whose rotis
and samoosas are simply to die for; Dorothy Phiri for the vetkoek that provoked instant ad-
diction (Zak, you know what I mean!); Kezia Webster and Holly Armstrong for braving the
surging hordes and helping to serve; Maurice Judge for providing the movies and the sound
equipment and the school for supporting us.

Out Of The Mouths…
(Conversation overheard in the toilets between Khaya - inside – and Aidan, waiting, not too
patiently, outside!)
                                         Aidan: Hurry up, Khaya! Why are you taking so long?
                                         Are you doing a number 1 or a number 2?
                                         Khaya: (Silence)
                                         Aidan: K H A Y A!!! Is it a number 1 or a number 2???!!
                                         Khaya: I don’t understand your numbers…but I’m 6
                                         and I’m doing a wee!
                                         (Conversation between Keira and Daniella, her
                                         mother, on the way to school…walking along the
                                         dirt road!)
                                         Keira: Ruben dug all those.
                                         Daniella: Dug what?
                                         Keira: All these holes in the road.
                                         Daniella: Why would he do that?
                                         Keira: Because it’s Waldorf.
                                         Daniella: Oh?
                                         Keira: Waldorf HAS to be bumpy!



Announcements
  News from Past Pupils: 1. Clancy Sylow (Class 7, 2003 - Alex Stott’s first class) was part of
the team from Fish Hoek Senior School that won the Caltex Current Affairs Quiz last month
against such prestigious competition as S.A.C.S., Rondebosch Boys, Wynberg Boys, La Ro-
chelle and Rhenish. 2. Quinn Sylow (Class 7, 2005 - Cindy Cornish’s first class) with Kyle
Magnusson won the Fish Hoek Tennis Club’s Men’s Doubles Championship last month.
  Fabulous Feast Project. You are all encouraged to host a feast/braai/breakfast/high tea as a
convivial fundraiser for our new land. Ask your class rep if you need to know more.



                                                                                                   13
 Imhoff Waldorf School                                            Newsletter June 2008

     Imhoff Recipe Book. Available at the start of third term, also known as Food for the Soul,
 this was a fea(s)t of pure tenacity by those involved, especially Shelly Maisel who prised our
 favourite recipes out of us, tested them and typed them up. Heidi Evans provided charming
 illustrations and Yvette Worrall and Cecilia Solis-Peralta spent many hours on the editing and
 layout. The result is a wonderful compilation of scrumptious, family favourites that also has
 enormous potential as a fundraiser. Let’s all buy copies for our own families and those of all
 our friends!




14
Newsletter June 2008                                               Imhoff Waldorf School

   The testimony of Judas Iscariot: Exploring the destiny
of a central individual in world history, this play was
written and directed by Jane Abrahams, a member of
the Anthroposophical Society. Having already played to
standing ovations in Johannesburg, Jane and her cast
of seventeen will be in Cape Town on Sunday, 06 July
to perform the play at the Michael Oak School, both as
a public event and as an opening of the “Awakening to
Destiny” Conference (see below). Tickets (R50) avail-
able from the Imhoff school office.
   Awakening to Destiny Conference: Presented by the
Anthroposophical Society of the Western Cape, this
Conference includes an opening lecture, “The Destiny
of the Individual, the Community & the Times” followed
by five days of workshops and artistic activities. Mon 7
July to Fri 11 July 2008: 17.00 – 21.30 (Sat morning, 12
July, optional historical outing) R350, excluding meals.
The conference features visiting speaker Paul Mackay,
who initiated and has led the field of social banking
for more than 25 years. Paul is an experienced business leader who was both cofounder
and managing director (for 14 years) of the Triodos Bank in the Netherlands. From its hum-
ble outset, this bank was managed according to ethical principles and is now a billion-Euro
enterprise that has helped to finance old-age homes, organic farms, schools, community
projects and the first wind German windparks. Paul is a member of the executive council of
the worldwide Anthroposophical Society and the leader of the Social Science Section where
he coordinates and encourages initiatives for social renewal. For more information, see the
Imhoff School notice board or contact Briar Pastoll at the Anthroposophical Society of the
Western Cape (021) 715 1965.
  Old Clothes Request. Anastasia, mother of Franco Lukhele (Class 1), requests that we supply
her with second-hand clothing to sell in Masiphumele. For more information, contact Joy
Levin 082 4988182 or (021) 780 1116.
   Work for Love: 1. Article in Biophile. Keep a look out for the latest issue of Biophile magazine. It
features a photo and long letter from Sally Berg (Class 2) regarding the ‘Work for Love’ project
in Masiphumelele. 2. Thank you. Well done, everyone, for the ongoing vegetable contributions
on Tuesdays. You are all doing a wonderful thing by providing much-needed nourishment to
the children and youths at the Sosebenza Youth Centre. PLEASE KEEP IT UP!
   Making Sleeping Bags for R5. On Friday 6th June Jo Maxwell showed the Class 5’s, 6’s and
7’s how to make a durable, warm, waterproof sleeping bag from transparent, heavy-duty
plastic and newspapers. Since she developed this simple design a few years ago, Jo has
been making up and teaching others how to construct these bags. With the help of the
Rotary organisation she has helped homeless and impoverished people to stay warm and
dry during the worst of winter. We would like to join her by becoming adept at making and
supplying them locally. Want to know more? Speak to Yvette Worrall (Class 6 Teacher).


                                                                                                      15
 Imhoff Waldorf School                                                  Newsletter June 2008

    Thank you. To all parents and teachers who attended the Work Party and/or helped with the
 organisation of the school Open Day.
    Clarification. A circular recently handed out to children requesting that parents state their
 preferences regarding the future distribution of the Newsletter gave the erroneous impres-
 sion that costs incurred in the production of the Newsletter include more than the cost of
 printing it. In fact, no other costs besides those of printing, are incurred and the printing costs
 are only one-sixth of commercial rates, thanks (eternally) to Carel van der Merwe of the IQS
 Group.




                            Mosaic tiles and mosaic-framed mirrors by Class 6 students



                                 “The healthy social life is found when, in the mirror of each
                                    human soul the whole community finds its reflection
                                and when, in the community, the virtue of each one is living.”
                                                                                         R.Steiner



 CALENDAR
                       Term 3          Tue 15 July – Fri 19 September
                       Term 4          Mon 6 Oct – Fri 5 December



16

				
DOCUMENT INFO