Leaflet 28   3 September 2021
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Class 9 cast for  A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM  which runs next week
from Thursday to Sunday.

Creativity at school equips for the real world…
We are all artistic and creative by nature – some more, some less – but each one of us, given the chance, would like to experience such forms of expression as art, music, painting, creative writing, drama or dance. These artistic media enable us to express ourselves more fully, and provide ways for us to grow and mature. Unfortunately, in some educational systems, these avenues for self-expression are gradually taken away - at younger and younger ages, to “prepare children for the real world”.

At Waldorf schools, however, tuition certainly covers the content of the state syllabus, but it also strives to offer a richer depth of learning, which gives strong emphasis to the artistic. The goal is to develop each pupil’s artistic, as well as social, moral, critical and creative faculties, in addition to academic knowledge. A Waldorf education fully incorporates mathematical and scientific knowledge, but recognises that this needs the balance which is to be found in artistic endeavour.

The excellent matric results at Waldorf Schools demonstrate that there is sufficient emphasis on academic subjects – but it is not exam results that past pupils remember when considering the value of their education. They recognise that in many ways they have been even better equipped for the “real world” – because, for example, all subjects were taken until class 12, with subject specialisation  only happening in matric; where working with the hands at various crafts was undertaken throughout the Waldorf years; where a major creative endeavour in the form of a personal project was presented in Class 12; a major eurythmy performance worked on in Class 11; or where the whole class performed a quality full-scale Shakespeare comedy in Class 9; a Greek tragedy in Class 10; and they produced a modern play in Class 12; as well as exploring a host of other artistic forms.

The Class 9’s are, at this moment, gearing up for their production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream which plays for 6 shows next week (Thurs 9 to Sun 12). How does this process prepare them for the “real world”? The whole class takes part; not just the “talented” pupils – and there are two or three casts, ensuring that virtually everyone gets a main part.
During this most confusing of emotional stages, when self-image and identity are fragile constructs, these young people are given the opportunity to take up a challenge - and stand taller and prouder, with a surer footing on a firmer foundation – strengthening their confidence in themselves, which helps them to be less prone to wobble in the confusion and temptations of adolescence.

Taking part in such a dramatic process is a fantastic experience for anyone, but especially for 14/15- year-olds, who discover whole new dimensions of themselves, and get a taste of the power and possibilities of young adulthood. This compelling experience in drama also has a ripple-effect on other work, engendering the courage and self-confidence to grapple with academic challenges. Ex-Waldorf students, women and men, who look back on these drama productions - and other “non-academic” activities - say they gained significantly in self-expression, self-confidence and imagination through taking part in them.

Creative activities stimulate imagination and expansion of the self, and should not be considered extras or privileges – they are essential.

With warm regards
Graham Scannell  --  Class 9 Guardian

A Midsummer

Night's Dream

6 - 8.30 PM

2.30 – 5.30 PM

Creative alchemy is brewing again in the cauldron of our hall. One by one the magical ingredients are configured: the fairy forest, the lights, the costumes, the music – and of course the most alchemical ingredient of all -- the enthusiasm, imagination and dedicated application of Class 9 and their directors – now awaiting an audience….

Yes, this potent brew is almost ready to share; and to transport you to fairly land…!


In accordance with Covid protocols:





SAVE THE DATES :  16 October, 10 November
Dear Parents
The results of the PEP Survey showed that a good handful of you are open to any topic that we decide to offer. This is great! Thank you.
The largest topic group, by far, was around The Basic Principles of Waldorf Education — this includes the curriculum, the pedagogy and child development.
The second largest area of interest was around the High School, we will therefore start with those two areas.
The High School PEP event will take place on Saturday morning, 16 October 2021, in person at Michael Oak. It will be an event for which we will gather questions, from you, to be answered interactively by a panel of High School teachers. Watch this space for registration.
The first session on the topic of The Basic Principles of Waldorf Education will take place on Wednesday evening, 10 November 2021, on Zoom, between 6 and 8 pm. Reading material relevant to the topic will be sent out upon registration for this event. Again: watch this space for registration next term.

Warm regards
Tine Bohm

Click on the advert above to register
Michael Oak Fair Craft website has launched!

We are thrilled to announce that, though the fair itself is cancelled, we will be selling our beloved hand-made craft online this year.
Sales will start in late October, date to be confirmed soon.
Take a look at our site to see some of the craft projects that are in progress in the various classes. We will be adding the craft as it gets completed. 
We have gone ahead with this portion of the fair, not only because our school’s craft is such a beautiful and distinctive part of our fair, but also because it can raise much needed funds in the absence of the large event, and of course it can be done in a Covid-friendly way.
The art wall is still needing some more volunteers from our artist parents, so get in touch if you would like to add to this collection.
Thank you!
Class 6
Click on this screen snapshot:
Assessment in the Primary School
Assessment in Class 6 this year

“...the methods applied aim at motivating the pupil in such a way that his/her performance stands in relation to his/her potential. The progress of the individual child is constantly checked through written work in class, main lesson books, homework assignments, participation during lessons, oral recall and presentation. In this sense, the performance principle applies to Waldorf schools, although achievement is not measured in the usual way.”      Curriculum for Waldorf Schools in South Africa.

According to “The Educational Tasks and Content of the Steiner Waldorf Curriculum”, which we follow, there are two levels of assessment:
•  Ongoing observations (attendance/punctuality, completion of tasks, behaviour, participation)
•  Monitoring (recording the child’s progress in literacy, i.e.  ability in comprehension, grammar and their own writing fluency and Numeracy i.e. times table quizzes, regular math assessments)

Main Lessons: The children are now starting to write more of their own interpretation of the main lesson given and this is written into the main lesson book. Main lesson Books are marked at the end of the main lesson and feedback is given to the children.
The children also love doing projects now and will give a 3 – 5 minute speech on their topic. Verbal and written feedback is given to each child for their speech.

English: In Class 6, the children write regular spelling and times table quizzes where they are given marks and corrections are done. They are also given unseen dictations, which indicate to the child, where a little extra attention to spelling needs to be given. These are marked by the children themselves and are a form of self-evaluation. The children do weekly comprehensions which are marked and corrections are done.

Math and numeracy: Regular math quizzes are written after a particular aspect of math has been completed, to ensure that the learner understands the work and is ready to progress to the next section. These are marked and corrections done.

This is a snippet into part of the more formal assessment in Class 6. Off course, ongoing observations are the life-blood of our time together in the classroom, where the teacher is able to stay connected to the emotional state of her learners and in this way is able to monitor them in a holistic manner.
Feedback is shared with parents in Mid-year verbal reports and in the end of year written reports. Should the need arise, regular individual parent/teacher meetings are held to further support the needs of the learner.

Jeannine Twine -- Class 6 Teacher
Assessment in Class 5

In Class 5 we are the youngsters of the upper primary. This is the year we start putting in structures that can help us meet the demands of class 6 and 7. There are two main categories of assessment.

Micro on-going assessment
1.   At the end of each main lesson each child receives a written comment regarding their work and behaviour during the course of the main lesson. This is always held in the context of what each individual child is capable of producing and works with an understanding of the child and how they are individually progressing.
2.   At the end of selected main lessons the class answers a series of short questions to see how much information was absorbed by each individual child. The children do not receive a mark but are aware of what they answered correctly and incorrectly.
3.   Every week on a Friday the children take part in a spelling test, a comprehension and a maths test. They follow very similar formats so that the children can feel comfortable in the process and progress can be monitored.
4.   Every week homework is handed in and marked showing a picture of the child’s work outside the structure of the classroom.
5.   On a daily basis it is observed how the whole class is participating, coping and enjoying a process allowing for change to be made where necessary.
6.   On a daily basis there is an awareness of individuals in the class and how they are managing and coping with tasks being asked of them. This is done through the observation of children and the daily marking of their books.

Macro reflective assessments
1.   Mid year verbal feedback:  In the middle of the year meetings are held with each parent in the class to hear about the child in their home environment and feedback information to parents.
2.   Federation Academic Survey:  This gives teachers insight into how their class is progressing from an external perspective.
3.   End of year written reports:  The entire year is looked at with regard to the child as a whole and the child's progress is reported on over this time.

Kate Dingle -- Class 5 Teacher
CLASS 8  Art Recreations   (Part 2/3)

During the lockdowns of 2020, people all around the world got creative recreating famous artworks with whatever they could find at home. During online school this year, the Class 8s tried their hand at recreations of their own. The research and deep observation needed for this task finds fulfillment in their creative writing later in the term. Prizes for the funniest and the most accurate were awarded. 
Nicola Elliott

More art recreations next week (Final)

The Real World Application of Geography

On 18 August 2021, the Matric Geography class went to the CBD to visit one of Cape Town’s biggest tourist attractions, the V&A Waterfront and the Two Oceans Aquarium. Despite visiting for finishing the Geography syllabus, the matric students were required to link the syllabus to their visit. Topics such as Geomorphology, Climatology, Settlement and Economic geography were discussed in this regard.   
Each student discussed one topic:
Kelp is one of the most famous wonders of the Southern  tip of Africa. It requires cold high-nutrient waters and strong winds to thrive. Hence, the Atlantic Ocean is where the most kelp is found.
– Jia-yu Tsai

I discussed the link of the aquarium gift shop and economic geography and the success of the tertiary sector of the economy. The prices were absurdly high, due to the willingness of tourists from countries with stronger economies and therefore stronger currencies.
– Tyrón Milward-Bridges

I discussed the aquariums economic injections into cape Town’s economy. Due to the aquarium being such a tourist attraction and the entrance fee being exuberantly high for local South Africans, the aquarium still remains a massive economic contributor. This relates to an annual income of around 4-5 million thus contributing around 2 million in taxes to the government each year.
– Trent Brown

I discussed greenery in cities and specifically the function for them. Greenery helps removes the large amounts of carbon dioxide in the cities, this helps the air become cleaner. Green areas in cities also functions as places where people can exercise and there are studies showing that green areas improve people’s well being. Green areas are also used to bring aesthetic beauty to cities.
– Khaya Mthembu-Salter

I spoke about gyres, which are currents in the ocean influenced by wind patterns that are basically whirlpools of water in the ocean all across the globe. The interesting thing is that these gyres collect pollution such as plastics in the ocean so much that it clumps together and moves in unity across the oceans. This is actually helping us collect plastic out of the ocean as it is all accumulating in specific areas.
– Luke Nikiforou

I spoke about the abnormally baby blue water that sits in the V&A Waterfront Harbour. The water has been affected by a large surge of fish traveling into the Harbour to escape feeding humpback whales, which because of overload in the Harbour, has lead to the rapid deoxygenation of the water, as there is not enough oxygen being produced for the amount if fish. The "milky" water is a result of fish die-off which has caused an algal bloom in the water and the continuous depletion of oxygen levels. Due to the changes in our oceans, higher temperature caused by global warming lead to different migration patterns in sea life.
– Anya Engelke

I discussed the formation of waves. Waves are created by strong winds moving over water which creates swells of water. These swells gain energy but as they move towards the shore, it's gradient will affect the level of water available therefore resulting in less access to water which will cause the swell to break causing a wave. This ties into both climatology and geomorphology.
– Salma Shah

I discussed how concepts of urbanisation and rural urban migration are present in many situations including sea life, and how it affects the fish and their environment.
– Thomas Van Zyl

News from our Alumni

Thank you, Shaida, for sharing these with us!

"Disability only exists in the eyes of those who judge or exclude"

For the latest updates to the school calendar please check the website regularly HERE

I am busy improving the living conditions of my shack and am in desperate need of an exterior door, ceiling boards, nails, insulation materials etc. Please contact Chatama on 078 928 7025.

Ground-floor apartment (73sqm) apartment in art-deco style building in Upper Kenilworth (above Main Road) to rent from 1 September 2021.  Two bedrooms, 1 bathroom, lounge, kitchen and work area.  Partially or unfurnished.  Wooden flooring, high ceilings, backyard area to braai and off-street parking for 1 vehicle.  Very convenient - walking distance to Michael Oak, Pick n Pay, Woolworths, Pharmacy, Hairdressers, public transport and Restaurants.  R9500 p/m.  Deposit neg. Please contact Dianne on 083 299 3977
Our wonderful domestic Stella is looking for work on Tuesday and Saturday.  Previous employer relocated.   Excellent work ethic and lovely presence in our home. Employed by 2 Waldorf families.  Contact Ilana on 076 396 7977  or  021 795 0965
Price 1200.   Includes net and balls, but only one paddle.  Please contact: albertvzyl@gmail.com
3 bedroom family sized apartment, close to vibey Harfield restaurants and coffee shops and within walking distance to Michael Oak. Full family bathroom, guest loo, huge open plan lounge and kitchen with spectacular views. Garage and parking.  Totally renovated from top to toe with style R12k p m. Cats with permission.  Call or Whatsapp Lynne 083 516 5671.
A tank of Zebra Danios is looking to go to a good home. No cost, everything included, up & running. There's 2 tanks (one big, one smaller), some food, two filters, quality silent pump, all the gravel, all the nice landscape stuff like the crashed helicopter & plants, test strips and a gravel vacuum for cleaning.   Contact David:  david@dkbm.net
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