Thank you to everyone who visited and helped at our Open Day on Saturday 9th October, and made it the busiest we’ve ever had.

Friends new and old turned out to find out more about the Centre and look around our lovely new premises at St Anne’s School in Roath.  Visitors chatted to our teachers and parents, tried out some of the typical activites of a Kindergarten morning anjd enjoyed a packed out talk by Steiner Early Years specialist Joy De Berker.

We were really pleased to welcome, and be welcomed by, our new neighbours from the church community at St Anne’s Church, Oakfield St Residents Association and other local residents.

We had fantastic feedback about the day and about our new premises that have been so lovingly transformed by our parents, teachers, trustees and friends.

 

We had a wonderful day celebrating Michaelmas and Harvest at our new home in St Anne’s School on the 29th September. The children started their morning with playing outside in Iron Street garden whilst the teachers busily prepared the harvest feast.

The children then received a golden cloak and, dressed in these, they walked in pairs down Clifton Street, across Newport Road to the new Kindergarten at St Anne’s. Their cloaks shone in the warm sunshine and the children were very happy. We pulled a wooden cart loaded with harvest gifts from all our kind and generous parents – we had home made cakes, squashes, apples, beans, vine leaves, biscuits, rice and much more. The cart was filled to the brim.

When we arrived at St Anne’s garden the old oak door leading in to the church stood open. The children took a harvest gift each and two by two they walked into St Anne’s church leaving their gifts on a table covered by a green tablecloth. Michelle was there and in return gave each child a bulb with these words –

Earth who gives to us this food,
sun and stars who made it good,
dearest earth and stars and sun,
we will remember what you have done.

The children brought the bulbs out into the autumn sun and planted them in different places around the garden. The children then played and played and then enjoyed outside ringtime eurythmy with Jackie and Clare. This was followed by an outdoor Harvest Feast that tasted so delicious. We made leaf crowns and played some more.

We ended our festival with a wonderful puppet show about a kite. The children went home clad in their golden cloaks and leaf crowns and carrying kites that they had made earlier in the week.

Michaelmas has long been a time of new beginnings or of taking up a new task. Michael beckons us to find the spirit to come alive through the dying year. The flashing meteor showers often seen at night at this time are said to be the sword he wields for us, each falling star made of iron – the iron we need to strengthen the resolution of the heart.

We have seen much evidence of iron and strength and resolution and heart in the last month as parents, teachers and friends have poured their energies and talents into making St Anne’s the breathtakingly beautiful new home we dreamed of. We cannot thank them enough, there will always be a little bit of each of them etched into the soul of the school now.

 

Parents, teachers and friends of the Cardiff Steiner Early Years Centre have been busy painting, prepping, sanding and gardening to transform our new home in St Anne’s School, Crofts St, Roath.

The lovely former infants school closed in July as part of Cardiff’s schools reorganisation. When we got the keys on 1st September it had been emptied of equipment and furniture, and the space looked simply beautiful, bathed in sunlight and waiting quietly for the next part of its life.

With just five weeks to get the two kindergarten rooms, new parent and toddler room and hall ready for our Open Day on Sat 8th Oct, we  invited all our families and friends to come along and be a part of the transformation.

We set to work filling, sanding, cleaning and gardening with gusto, while our teachers and assistants looked after the children in the ‘old’ kindergarten on Iron St. It has been rewarding stuff…good fun, good people, good food, good work.

Everyone has pulled  together in a truly inspirational way, often going truly above and beyond the call of duty – putting in 12 hour days to make sure get the beautiful wooden floors are sanded and sealed and whisking up feasts for up to 20 hungry workers at a time.

We are now in our final phase of works. Plans for this week include sanding the floor of Sun Garden, painting the hall, and ‘lazuring’ the Kindergarten rooms. Lazuring is a paint effect used in Steiner Schools around the world where walls are painted with transparent radiant color.

It is described as “a spiritually oriented painting technique, the white surface behind lazure color reflects light back through the layers of glaze making the colors appear to be ‘in the space’ rather than simply on the wall … The combined colors in the lazure method weave an enlivening variety for the human eye and spirit. Never intruding, always inviting, the colors interplay with the subtle nuances of nature, creating a depth not normally present on most interior walls.

Lazure is applied in layers of paint prepared nearly as thin and transparent as watercolor, consisting of water, binder, and pigment. It is applied with a rhythmical movement using large brushes. The final color is achieved using varied colors applied in several layers, over a white surface.  Parents Liane, a professional conservation painter and decorator, and artist Zoe, will be doing the lazuring. (video demonstarting the technique)

Our Parent and Toddler groups have been running at St Anne’s since Monday 5th Sep on Mon, Weds, Thurs 10.00-12.00, and Tues 1.15-3.15pm. Our Kindergartens will move over hopefully just after Open Day on 8 October.

We plan to say our goodbyes to Iron Street, which has been our home for 7 years, in a gentle way. When the time comes we will pack the toys in trolleys and ask the children to carry their work baskets as with ceremony we close the door of Iron Street, walk to our new home and unlock the door together for the first time.

 

Our bid to buy the former Hawthorn Junior School in Llandaff North has been successful. Cardiff council officers have recommended to their Executive that they accept our proposal on the building subject to confirmation of our funding.

Executive member for finance and service delivery Councillor Mark Stephens said:

“The council has had to carefully consider balancing the need to obtain the best possible return for this site with the local community’s desire to see the buildings retained. This option would still deliver a reasonable capital receipt which would be invested back into schools in the city while the Steiner School have also confirmed they are prepared to discuss wider use of the building with the local community.”

Campaigners, who have been fighting to save the building since it shut two years ago, welcomed the news. Residents Association Chairwoman and campaign leader Stephanie Wilkins said:

“If we had not campaigned so hard, I’ve no doubt the school would have been demolished for housing by now. But residents felt very strongly about the school’s importance to the area architecturally, socially and historically, and fought hard to save it.”

We are delighted that council officers are recommending that our bid be accepted. We are now in negotiations with the council and plan to open Cardiff’s first Steiner School in September 2012. We look forward to being able to offer a first-class holistic education to children in Cardiff. If our negotiations are successful, then we would embrace working closely with the community who have fought so hard to save this wonderful Victorian building.

 

We have a new home! It is a great pleasure that we can now let you know that we will be making a new home for the Kindergarten in St Anne’s school in Crofts St, Roath. The lovely small school will make an ideal setting for our current Kindergartens (and the start of a Steiner School for 7 year olds up next year).

Parent and Toddler groups will start there from next Monday 5th Sep and run 10.00-12.00 Mon, Weds, Thurs and 1.15-3.15pm Tues (these replace our Iron St groups). Kindergarten will move over in the next 3-4 weeks.

We are so excited for the children about the extra time and space outside that they are going to gobble up with gusto. Once we are resident, all the children will begin the day outside with a good play to start the day. We’ll have the flexibility to spend more of the kindergarten morning outside, even the whole morning when the mood and weather takes us. Run boys and girls, run, climb and swing.

The teachers visited the school yesterday, it had been emptied of the primary school’s equipment and furniture and the empty space looked simply beautiful, bathed in sunlight and waiting quietly for the next part of its life. Parents will coming in this week to start painting, prepping, cleaning and gardening to get the space up and running asap.

We plan to say our goodbyes to Iron Street, which has been our home for 7 years, in a gentle way. When the time comes we are wanting to pack the toys in trolleys and ask the children to carry their work baskets as with ceremony we close the door of Iron Street, walk to our new home and unlock the door together for the first time. 🙂