On the 9th of February Waldorf parents, old and new, gathered with the school body to welcome the new term and year.
Reflection by Ester Ruttman
“What a beautiful Orientation Day we had today, in true Imhoff style.
We started the morning with stories from the past, followed by introductions to various groups and the school communicating our very clear focus for the year to come. The whole community participated in a circle of intent on our new land led by our music teacher, Teacher Tara.
Thank you, Janis and the Potjie Team for the delicious food!”
Ester set the tone with a warm welcome, followed by a welcome verse delivered by Caroline.
The verse for the 9th of Feb gathering was an excerpt from Rudolf Steiner’s address at the laying of the foundation stone for the first additional building of the Waldorf School (16 December 1921)
“May there be here spirit-strength in love;
May there work here spirit-light in goodness;
Born of certainty of heart,
And steadfastness of soul,
So that we may bring to young human beings
Bodily strength for work,
Inwardness of soul,
Clarity of spirit.”
First of all, I would like to thank and acknowledge all those people who have helped and supported our school over the years (The past). As a community school, their input has been invaluable in helping to build and create our school. I would also like to acknowledge those who are currently participating in our creating our beautiful school (The present) The purpose for today’s meeting is to reaffirm an intention for our school for us, as a community, to pull together, so that we can transition from here where we are now to our land at the beginning of 2020. This is no small feat and will take a tremendous amount of time and energy to make happen. It will require input from all. There is an opportunity here. That is to be a part of a creative process that can be something sustainable, diverse, unique and special. (Our intention – The future)
The school has been through a lot over 2019. At the end of the year, we did a workshop with the school and 3 areas were identified as areas that needed discussion and work. They were governance, resourcing and the build.
The College of Teachers has been a part of these discussion groups and we have really heard what the different members of our community have said. We are taking this into consideration and we are changing and developing in line with what is required for our school at this time.
As far as governance in our school is concerned we had the Federation of the Waldorf schools in South Africa come to hold a workshop on governance and to guide us on how a Waldorf School could be governed. We are currently looking at how we can restructure to fall in line with what was recommended by Michael Merle from the Waldorf Federation, at that meeting. We acknowledge the need to strengthen our administration in the school and are currently considering the possibility for a school administrator who will have financial and business skills and will be able to support the College with the drawing up and the implementation of policies and procedures. This person will help develop accountability, openness, transparency and communication in our school.
The College and the Teachers are committed to our school and to the children that inspire us to be teachers. The reason I chose to be the College Chair position is that I have taken up my torch to help make it possible to see my Class in Class 7 light their Bonfire at our St John’s festival, on our new land. If we all burn our torches brightly together, who knows what we could achieve.
Message delivered by Danielle Helme on behalf of BOM
Introduce myself: Danielle Helme parent class four AND class one. BOM just under one year.
The BOM will be working very closely with COT this year to support COT and school in the move to the new land. There are three areas that we are focusing on to achieve this:
The school move mandate group who are already working very hard to move the entire school into simple and affordable structures on our new land by the start of the 2020 school year.
Finance and resourcing which Ester has already introduced.
School governance is the third. There is a governance working group who will be helping us to re-look at our constitution and support the BOM as we move towards our AGM on 13 April. A number of members left the Board at the end of 2018 for a variety of personal and professional reasons. We need more members. The core function of the BOM is to provide financial and legal oversight and to monitor risk. In this very important year for the school, we are particularly in need parents with legal and financial backgrounds and expertise. Anyone with experience of NPO governance and project management would also be very valuable. We will send out a mail next week outlining how the nomination and election process will run. Anyone who is able or willing to assist us in the intervening weeks is welcome to step forward now. You may be able to join a mandate group. We can also welcome new members on board before the AGM and ratify them at the AGM.
The following message was shared by the Federation Council:
To you the teachers, administration and support staff, both past and present, to the parents and children who are gathered here to participate in this moment – while also honouring and remembering parents and children who have contributed to the dream and impulse of this school, I, Mary-G, would like to offer, on behalf of the council these wishes as a blessing:
The wish of the Federation Council for the Imhoff Waldorf School is for you to connect with clarity to your original impulse – to take the fruits of the journey you have made to this moment, to gather the seeds and plant them so that something new can grow.
Seeds require a silent earth quality – we wish you the quietness of waiting and watching.
Seeds require the warmth of the sun. We wish you the warm regard for each other’s strengths.
Seeds thrive in the light and the air. We wish you the air quality of lightness and fluidity in your engagements with the tasks that meet you.
We wish you the consciousness that what is breathed in is shared out.
Finally, we wish you the trust to allow the waters that must fall to flow so that there may be healing – so that scars may be washed away.
The Federation Council stands with you at this moment to witness this intention and to foster with you the new growth.
From the Council of the Southern African Federation of Waldorf Schools
A beautiful ending to the day
The rest of the programme followed, including a walk on the new land, a circle of intent and sharing a warm vegetable potjiekos.
‘Thank you’ from Annabel Ryder:
(Posted on Facebook)
“Thank you for a wonderfully positive Foundation Stone ceremony today on the new land… Sending heartfelt support to you all on this exciting next step of the Imhoff Waldorf School story. Looking forward to looking back on this chapter in true Imhoff Waldorf School gritty and humble spirit, when so much more will be in place. Good Luck”