Aldermaston Primary School's Year 5 joined Class 3/4 in our woodland last Thursday, for a day of den-building and games. Some fabulous dens were created, and a few new friendships were made too!

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Steiner-Waldorf Schools across the world celebrate the festival of Martinmas on 11th November. The day itself is named after St Martin of Tours (316-397 AD), a Roman soldier who cut his cloak in two and gave one half to a begger to prevent him dying from the cold. This compassionate gesture is one aspect of our celebrations.

As the light fades and we move deeper into the darkness of Winter our lantern walk is a celebration of the spark that shines brightly within each one of us, lighting the path and brightening our way. 

In the book 'All Year Round' the authors write: "When we make a paper lantern, we, too, may feel that we are giving protection to our own little 'flame' that was beginning to shine at Michaelmas, so that we may carry it safely through the dark world. It may only be a small and fragile light- but every light brings relief to the darkness."

We hope you enjoy our little lights here...

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 Martinmas 2015

Our broody hen, Speckles, has been patiently sitting on fertilised eggs for a little while now, keeping them warm and cosy. 

Speckles    Eggs

Speckles has sat patiently through morning visits from Class 3/4, whose daily job it is to feed and water the hens and keep their coop clean. The children themselves have also been very patient, watching and waiting for the eggs to hatch. Then finally, yesterday, we heard tweeting through a hole in one of the eggs - very exciting for all of us, children and teachers alike! 

Speckles and Eggs     Chick in Egg     New Born Chick

Now Speckles is keeping her three chicks warm and cosy. At first we were allowed only occasional glimpses as, like the good mother hen she is, Speckles is very protective and keeps her babies snuggled up close. The warmth of the Teachers' Room, though, has given them the courage to venture out from under her breast to seek food and drink, and to stretch their little legs. The children love to visit in pairs, and are looking forward to holding the chicks very soon. 

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Every Autumn we have a wonderful crop of apples adorning our trees, and one of our favourite ways to use them is to make juice. Delicious!

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Every year Michael Hall School hosts the Class 5 Olympic Games. Around 400 children from Steiner-Waldorf schools camp together for three nights, play together and train for the Games. This is the culmination of their study of Ancient Greece, integrated into the movement curriculum. At 11 years old children become physically more able, but don't yet have the heaviness or weight of teenage years - a wonderful time to enjoy athletics and a fitting time to study Ancient Greek Culture. 

On the final day, the parents arrive early in the morning to witness the breathtaking Opening Ceremony. One of the key aspects of the Games is that nothing is measured or timed; without the pressure to compete every child is free to participate to their full potential regardless of ability - and they do. The children extend themselves in events such as the marathon (1 mile), the dash, wrestling, long and high jumps, discus and javelin. At the Closing Ceremony every child is awarded a medal for qualities such as strength, speed, determination, courage and grace - real qualities that can be genuinely recognised. 

One of our parents summarised the day perfectly: "...the shining light in the children's reverence and respect for this world, their bodies, their own spirit and each other; is blindingly beautiful."

Congratulations to our Olympians! 

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