A STEINER SCHOOL FOR THIS TIME AND PLACE
FROM THE HEAD OF SCHOOL
Shearwater was founded with a spirit of innovation and possibility; the learning program steeped in the principles of delivering an education for this time, about this place, that meets the needs of this community. This contemporary and culturally relevant approach is an important feature of a Shearwater education, animated by a creative spirit that has flourished through almost three decades of growth and learning.
Today, we continue to foster initiative, learn in community and strive for sustainable living. This is a learning village where people can explore, experiment, take risks and challenge themselves. Students have opportunities to make genuine contributions to the Shearwater community—preparing them to contribute their individual gifts as they go out into the world.
At Shearwater, we see every student as an artist, scientist, carer, leader and contributor. Our School is a vibrant, hopeful place where young people are supported in their learning journey by committed staff who understand the needs of developing human beings.
I welcome you to join us and be a part of the Shearwater story.
Head of School
Shearwater, the Mullumbimby Steiner School is on Bundjalung Land—a former rainforest that was cleared for grazing, and later banana plantations, as part of the 19th century rural development of the Mullumbimby Valley. Cradled by the green hills of the Byron Shire hinterland, Shearwater’s 52-acre site, which incorporates a biodynamic farm, is bounded by Mullumbimby Creek to the south and the changing face of Koonyum Range to the west.
With our emphasis on sustainability, farming and connection to nature, improvements to the non-built environment have included the planting of many thousands of trees, creating wildlife corridors and transforming our once denuded, weed-choked creekside site into a place of beauty, brimming with life.
On 8 February 1993 our first 37 students—Kindergarten and a combined Class 1 and 2— sat down on the circle rug and began the Shearwater story.
The new school quickly outgrew Sally and Stan’s house and moved onto the current site in September of that same year.
The children kept coming and so did the buildings—Primary classrooms, administration buildings, a library, performance hall, high school classrooms and science, art and design labs.
In 2006, the School purchased a 15 hectare property adjoining our western boundary, which today is home to our biodynamic Farm, sports fields and our Early Childhood Centre. The bringing ‘home’ of our Preschool and Kindergarten, in 2016, after several years in rented premises off-site, was a major milestone in the School’s history.
Thirty years in the making, the story continues…
Our 15-acre Farm is an integral part of the curriculum for our students, encompassing a market garden, fruit and nut trees, a small herd of cattle and propogation hothouses. We follow biodynamic and agro-ecological practices, including seasonal applications of biodynamic preps, cover-crops, composting, and rotational grazing.
Students of all ages are involved in farm work and preparing food from the harvest and Year 11 and 12 students can complete a Certificate II in Horticulture as part of the HSC Primary Industries curriculum framework.