Casuarina was first registered as a school with the NSW Board of Studies in 1989. It had developed from a playgroup that had been started by a group of parents in the early 1980’s. As the children grew, primary classes commenced.
The first major building was the Main Hall, which was built in 1990. This is a beautiful building based on a timber floor and using natural local stone, timber and glass. Its raised central roof provides light and ventilation and a sense of awe for all those who enter it. Its timber and glass walls also allow abundant natural light and provide beautiful features for the visual pleasure of students, staff and visitors to the school. Since its construction, the Main Hall has been used as both classrooms and as a gathering place for Main Lesson Sharing and festivals, especially the Winter Festival.
The next major buildings were the two classrooms for Classes 2 and 3. These were built in 1992 with the same materials and design concepts, featuring natural stone and timber. These rooms have ample space for the classes that have very active learning programs and their fine architectural qualities provide a wonderful frame for the artistic efforts of the children. Until recently, the Class 3 room was used as a Kindergarten so it has the additional facilities of a toilet and kitchen.
Next came the Library building in 1999, again a beautiful building that has since housed the School’s Library, a class and, more recently, a staff room and office for the Education Administrator. In time, the Library building will be ‘liberated’ from its other functions and will be a wonderful location for the storage of and working with the School’s developing collection of reference and fiction books for all ages.
Two Kindergarten rooms were built in 2004 and these have provided magical places for children aged from 4-6 to develop in preparation for the upper school classes 1 to 6. The Kindergarten area has its own playground with swings, a slide, a wonderful sand pit that is the site of many and varied games and constructions, as well as space for running and playing. Consistent with the Steiner philosophy, these younger children are separate from the rough and tumble of the play area for the older children and a bridge provides a symbolic feature to emphasise the transition from Kindergarten to the ‘big school’.
The School’s Facilities building which provides work space for teachers, a staff room, an interview room and space for administrative staff and our School’s shop, was completed in October 2006. It is an extraordinary building that continues the tradition of natural timber, stone and glass.
The next project was the Class 1 building and its construction saw the completion of the facilities for children aged 4 to 9. Class 4 classroom was completed in December 2007. This is sited at the eastern edge of the school’s block.
Some other constructions have provided much needed space during the life of the school. What was once an early childhood room became the schools office and now provides space for the School Principal, a disabled toilet and a sick bay.
Another building constructed for pre-school (Peach Blossom) in 1992 housed our Peach Blossom class for many years and is now the location of our Playgroups. It is a beautiful room with a garden, sand pit and play area, providing everything children and parents need to gather, play and learn about this special time of children’s development.