Red, white and blue was the theme for Mansfield Steiner School’s first day of Term 3. La Fête du 14 Juliet’ or Bastille Day was celebrated by the students wearing the colours of the French flag.

Kai Shearer, the School Cooking Coordinator and French teachers Jen O’Donnell and Jo Bell prepared croissants for the student’s morning tea. The warm, buttery pastries with homemade jam were such a treat on a winter’s day.

To continue the celebration of all things French, Jen introduced Petanque to the secondary school students. Petanque is a century old, well loved French game which involves throwing boules or hollow metal balls. It is a game of dexterity, skill and skulduggery and includes interfering with opponents’ boules. Fortunately, the rules of Petanque are quick and easy to learn, so the students were cheering, competing and debating over the score in no time. It was an uplifting way to start the new semester, especially during the uncertainty and anxiety of the present times.

Class 1 and 2 children were also very excited to see that the sandpit had been extended and topped up with fresh sand over the holiday period. The sandpit is not only a popular play space, but is also integral for a lot of informal learning. Budding engineers, architects, scientists and builders create complex structures with extensive irrigation systems, magical kingdoms with byzantine towers, and carefully carved edifices. Playtimes pass very quickly for the sand enthusiasts and there is always much planning and excited discussions which happen in between the “real work” times. Play is an essential component of the children’s school day.

The holiday break was a busy time for the Year 11 students as they practised their sketching skills for Art and Design, re-read their English texts, George Orwell’s 1984 and Marjane Satrapi’s graphic memoir Persepolis. They also read Stephen Hawking’s Theory of Everything in preparation for Semester 2 of the IB Diploma.

Mansfield Steiner School looks forward to a healthy and productive Term 3.