Lorien Novalis ‘Sanctuary of the Human Spirit’
Sep 02, 2016
In Tolkien’s, Lord of the Rings, Lothlorien, (the Elven centre of resistance against Sauron and symbol for the Elves’ aesthetics of preservation) the garden space, was the sanctuary for those who dwelt there against the negative forces of the surrounding world. This was a beautiful place where the imagination could flourish and beauty and goodness where held with endearing passion.
Lorien was named after this place and has always remained a place of beauty and protection, upholding values of goodness and truth while helping everyone find their way into the world through imagination, creativity, talent and capability.
Our fair last Saturday was a testament to the values of our school through the energy and goodwill, the creativeness and talents of individuals and groups, working together as a whole school community.
The performances were recognition of the human spirit in the connection to the community as were the efforts of all the volunteers. Thank you all for your efforts and continued support of our school. Proceeds from the fair will go towards the primary school play equipment. Thanks also need to go to the P&F/Fair Committee for their endless organisational efforts and to prevailing spirits for the wonderful weather.
As for the protection of our sanctuary, it was evident that our ethos and values regarding the use of mobile technologies was not as highly regarded as we would like.
It is not an issue of children using phones and listening to music devices at school ‘out of hours’; it is a sad disregard for the values of the school.
We, as adults, need to acknowledge and value the school’s requests to restrict the use of mobile technologies on the school grounds at all times, as is requested by many venues in the outside world. These technologies are insidiously invading every aspect of our lives and are dramatically affecting the normal function of our human spirit.
At Lorien we stand firmly by the human qualities of real connectedness, human relationship, being present in the moment, being an honest representative of the self,
and holding deep respect for each other. All these qualities are threatened by modern mobile technologies, as we witness in the rise of loneliness, disconnectedness, anxiety and depression among our youth.
Please, when you come to school, turn off your phone, engage with the community, live into the experience of your child and respect the values of the school, through the preservation of the sanctuary that we know as Lorien Novalis.
The following is a support article from Waldorf world.- (The Guardian)
Could Steiner schools have a point on children, tablets and tech? Studies have yet to show much benefit from technology in schools, leading some to wonder whether the offline life is better for children
Research into the effects of technology on learning has yet to demonstrate much in the way of positive results, though. A recent study published by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology found that students barred from using laptops or digital devices in lectures and seminars did better in exams than those allowed to use computers and access the internet. And research last year from the London School of Economics found schools that banned pupils from carrying mobile phones showed a sustained improvement in exam results, with the biggest advances coming from struggling students.
A Cambridge University study found that spending an extra hour a day of TV, internet or gaming time in year 10 saw a fall in GCSE results equivalent to two grades overall. Its co-author, Esther van Sluijs, says reducing screen time could have important benefits and adds that “limiting the amount of time spent in front of screens and introducing children to a variety of activities is likely to have the most beneficial long-term impacts on a child’s health”.
Andreas Schleicher, head of education at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), said recently: “The reality is that technology is doing more harm than good in our schools today.” A report by the OECD in 2015 found that countries that had invested heavily in technology had shown no signs of improvement in reading, maths or science.
Despite the evidence from such studies there is still, according to Moore, “an anxiety that children aren’t going to be ready to fit into the economy because they don’t do computers at the age of four – whereas if you give them a healthy education and childhood, they can catch up very easily”.
Steiner schools attract parents and teachers who tend to share similar thoughts on screen time and who try to ensure their students are better able to resist the lure of technology. Sean Cummins, who has had three children at the Iona school, says for him the appeal of a Steiner education was that it showed you “could structure a child’s education in a way different from just preparing them for an employer’s requirements when they were 18”.