View this email in your browser
Friday Flier - 21st October 2016

Monday 24th to Friday 28th – HALF TERM
Monday 31st – Term re-commence

Please refer to the website before phoning the office for dates.
All dates regarding the school are available at:


Wednesday 2nd – Kindergarten Parenting Support Group 7pm
Thursday 3rd – Diwali festival Class V 12.35pm
Thursday 3rd – PTFA meeting 7.30pm
Thursday 10th – Middle School Evening 6.30pm
Photographs with kind permission of Tina Maas
Waldorf Today 


A primary school of honesty and of dialogue and equality
Last Wednesday we all were honoured to meet some very special guests that came to us from the primary school of Wahat al-Salam ~ Neve Shalom (Oasis of Peace). They were two teachers from their primary school, Carmella Ferber (Head) and Raida Aiashe-Khatib (English and Cultural Studies Teacher). 

They spoke at length about their school, the peace village and their own motives as well as their challenges. 

The issues they touched upon were about creating purpose, honesty, equality and their challenges to overcome one’s acquired obstacles and to begin consider the projected other.

The talk to started with an introduction by the British friends organisation Oasis of Peace UK, about the origins of the peace village in which Jews and Palestinians choose to live together side by side and which was set up by the Catholic Father Bruno Hussar as his dream.  They established the embryonic village on grounds given to them by the Laterun Monestry without water, shade or any other facilities over 30 years ago, and the village developed very slowly to its current size of 60 families, to an equal part Palestinian and Jewish. The nursery and primary school also grew with it, initially with a class that was forced to teach children of different ages in one room. That reminded some of us of the origins of St. Paul’s.

Today about 200 children attend the primary school, which is binational, bilingual and multi-faith, but only 10 percent stem actually from the peace village, with the rest sourced from the surrounding neighbourhoods, villages and towns.

The reality in the wider society outside the vollage was reported to be in a way in which Palestinians on the one side, and Jewish Israelis on the other, were able to live entire lives, without any meaningful or even no interaction with the other whatsoever. Wahat al-Salam ~ Neve Shalom was said to be one place, where encounters between the two sides were possible and in fact normal.

Both teachers explained in a fascinating talk, how they worked with both Palestinian and Jewish children in an area where, in their own words, “the bad news never stopped.” In a way this burdened more the adults, we heard, as the children “were still innocent in that regard.” 

Unlike most of the adults the children are supposed to have an upbringing, where encountering the other is totally natural and normal. All children learned both Arabic and Hebrew from the start. Apart from providing the space, in order to achieve a positive learning environment, teachers also had to work hard constantly to identify a common ground for all subjects, be it history, religion or cultural lessons, because the narrative is different in the Palestinian and in the Israeli case. All needs to be discussed all the time before it is taught to the children. They said, it is a constant process of negotiation and thinking matters through from all political, cultural and religious angles. That they admitted was not always easy. “When I started,” said Carmella, “I had an Israeli Hebrew calendar and it only had the Jewish festivals in it, so I needed to sit with the Palestinian staff even to check on dates.” Nothing in the school, they said, would be done by coincidence. 

When different religious festivals are adjacent to each other, the school tries to celebrate them together by focusing on what element is in common, like festival of light, festival of fasting, and so on. For the adults, including the teachers, the work at the school would focus above all on honesty and insistence of dialogue and equality. There was therefore no shying away from conflict, but a process to work through conflict. This also meant that power dynamics could be upside down from the regional norm, for example a Jewish person perhaps in the cleaning job, and the Palestinian in the managerial.

We also heard the touching biographies of both teachers, how Carmella had grown up to not see the reality of Palestinians and Muslims in particular, inspite of her grandparents coming to Israel from Libya and Morrocco. “Today I notice omissions in Israeli culture that I came not across before, in newsreports or the fact that when I was a waitress in my student years, that the cafe was set in an old Mosque, something I did not notice before coming here.” Raida, who originally grew up in Nazareth, explained, how as she she became increasingly resentful as a teenager for anything Jewish, even refusing to learn the Hebrew language. Both teachers reported how coming to the peace village for a youth dialogue work shop when they were young, became a junction in their lives and a powerful challenge. “I was very radical and there suddenly were Jews who listened to me,” Raida said. The encounter had transformed her so much, she wished there and then for bringing up her family in the village, a dream she eventually was able to fulfil.

Language remains a big issue in the school, in spite of the 30 years of existence of the school. All Palestinians staff are bilingual, whilst the Jewish Israeli teachers speak Arabic of varying degrees. Also Arabic was still too much just taught, as opposed to a living every day language for the children, and the school is currently finding ways to further develop it.

The school is fostering the idea of trust in the other in such a way, that even as grown up people, the relationships forged there remain even in troubled times, and it happened organically without focusing in particular on workshops for that.

Interestingly the primary school has currently a working relationship with three Steiner / Waldorf schools in Israel. 

After the parent talk, the teachers engaged with students of the middle schools, focusing on questions on why they thought their parents sent them to St Paul's Steiner, followed by explanations of the two teachers, why they believed teaching in Wahat al Salam ~ Neve Shalom was important to them, and why they decided to teach there.

We have recorded the talk and a YouTube video of it will go out next Friday Flier.

We have another event coming up on the 7th of November at 19.00, where we will be visited by two over 90 year old graduates of the New Herrlingen progressive reform school (also known as Bunce Court) in the 1930s and 1940s, which was started in the same area, and at the same time, where Steiner set up his first Waldorf school and with similar ethics. The school and their head became later instrumental in being a safe haven in England for refugee children during the Second World War.  It will demonstrate amongst others the power, purpose and life long effect of progressive schooling.
They came. They saw. They jumbled...
Jumble Sale - Saturday 8th October

A huge thank you to all you Jumblers out there - the donaters, sorters, sellers, buyers and bakers and transporters.

We raised approx £1400 with sales and the revenue that we will receive from Clothes Aid. 

Could I add, that the food this time was spectacular so thank you to all of you who took the time to bake, I know it is a big ask, but you stepped up magnificently. Don’t put the cake tins away just yet though…..Advent Fair coming up!

Jo & Lindsey xx
Parents Handbook Updated
An updated version of the parents’ handbook is now available as a pdf from the policies page on the school's website here or you can download it directly it here.

The next PTFA meeting will be held on Thursday 3rd November, 2016 7.30pm. Open to all parents, teachers, trustees and friends. Please come along to share, learn and act on ideas to enhance our school and its community. 

Since September we have had a Class VIII transition talk given by the parents of those children moving on, secured an agreement for a bigger, better bike shed coming in the Spring, raised concerns about the junction of Essex and St Paul's Road, and started both parenting craft and Yahoo groups.

School development plan is on the agenda for our next meeting, along with workdays, school talks of interest and a social!  It's as good as we make it.

Zoe and Louise 

  • Please ensure you send in any outstanding absence notes.
  • Parents are not allowed in the nave or the classrooms during school hours - the school office will pass on forgotten lunch bags, coats etc. or look for missing items when necessary.
Please come to our Kindergarten Parents evening on Wednesday 9th November at 7.30-9pm.  We will meet in our own groups and prepare for Martinmas together. There will be the opportunity to learn or practice the songs for the festival the following Saturday and to make a lantern.

Warm wishes,

The Kindergarten Teachers
Help this Steiner School rebuild after hurricane Matthew

L'Ecole du Village is a Steiner school on the island of Ile-a-Vache, Haiti. On October 4, 2016, hurricane Matthew slowly passed over Haiti leaving a wide swath of destruction in it’s wake. The tiny school was directly in Matthew’s path and suffered a great deal of damage. Please can you consider donating what you are able to help them rebuild.

You can learn more about the school here  - - and here -

Thank you.

Events at Steiner House

Earth Stars Sacred Space
Rudolf Steiner House,
35 Park Road,
London NW1 6XT

7.30 pm Thursday 27th October 2016
Contact: Marion Briggs
Tel: 0870 766 9657
Entrance is £12, pay at the door. Concessions and donations possible – all welcome

Earth Stars Sacred Space
Rudolf Steiner House,
35 Park Road,
London NW1 6XT

7.30 pm Friday 28th October 2016
Contact: Marion Briggs
Tel: 0870 766 9657
Entrance is £12, pay at the door. Concessions and donations possible – all welcome

Community Notices
We are looking for someone  to look after our 8 year old daughter after school, nearby the school area.

Please contact Cathy on 07577 206860 or

Free activities for Autumn half-term: pizzas, mask-making & a Halloween House.

Detailed information can be found here:
Coping with Learning difficulties,
ADD, ADHD, dyslexia and dyspraxia, Anxiety issues etc……

Neuro developmental delayed therapy is a non invasive therapy which can help with many learning difficulties and behavioural issues such as over controlling and heightened anxiety with the underlying cause of an underdeveloped central nervous system due to retained primitive reflexes. Please visit for more details.

Moni Lebon
Neuro developmental delay therapist
+44 7989 572 585

Feldenkrais Movement Classes - with Ed Bartram (Ralph and Freya’s Dad.)

Free yourself from habitual tension and pain, and discover ease of movement.  

Feldenkrais is an awareness based technique which is particularly effective for those who suffer chronic pain from everyday activity, for mindful stress reduction and for neurological conditions.

Group classes take place on Friday mornings at 9.30am in Clissold House in the park, Stoke Newington, N16 9HJ; and on Wednesday evenings at 7pm at St. Peter’s Church, De Beauvoir, N1 4DA.  Lessons are £10 each, or £50 for 6.

I also teach individual lessons at St Peter’s Church, De Beauvoir, N1 4DA; or Digby Crescent (near Clissold Park), N4 2HS.  They cost £40 for the first session, £35 thereafter.

To book, contact: or 07969 748974, or just grab me on the green!

To sign-up to free lesson excerpts and for more info, see my website; and for more information on the Feldenkrais Method see the Guild website:
In the News

Why ‘Steiner schools’ are on the rise in Australia (The Educator)

The 7 schools doing REALLY well on Progress 8 (Schools Week)

School league tables 'should show well-being' (BBC)
Steiner Waldorf Schools Fellowship
Imagine a School Where
Copyright © 2016 St Paul's Steiner School, All rights reserved.

unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences 

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp