Welcome to the Raphael House Rudolf Steiner School
Raphael House Rudolf Steiner School is an integrated area school with a special character, namely Rudolf Steiner/Waldorf Education, with a total roll of over 310 students ranging from age 4 (in the Early Childhood Centre/Kindergarten- 3 Kindergarten Groups), students in the Lower School Classes 1 - 7 (Yrs 2 - 8) and in the Upper School Classes 8 - 12 (Yrs 9 - 13). We also have one class for Special Needs students.
Haere Mai to Term 4
We are between the spring equinox and the summer solstice, Whiringa-a-rangi. Right now the birds are laying eggs in their snug nests and the bush is full of flowers, bright with the new season’s greening. In pagan Europe, spring time was a time to honour Flora, the goddess of spring. Flora presided over vines, fruit trees, grains and flowers that told of the promise of fruit to come. The fruits of our kura continue to ripen here are some of the offerings ahead this term:
In Term 4, we prepare for three Advert celebrations on the last three Mondays of the term. The word Advent comes from the Latin word meaning to arrive and indeed advent is a time of preparation; for children in particular it is the time of joyful anticipation, which seeks and finds its fulfilment at Christmas. Christmas is an ancient festival which awakens in the human being an inkling of the very wellsprings of existence, of an eternal reality. It is a time when the soul withdraws into the innermost depths to experience within itself the inner spiritual light.
Class 11 students will support the Angels in the Garden experience on the first Monday of December, creating a majestic tableau which is an exquisite opportunity for our senior students to recreate the annunciation story of mystery and beauty for our little ones. Parents are invited to the performance of the Shepherd’s Play and the Carol Evening on the second Monday of Advent. The Shepherds Play is a story about a group of humble men on their journey to bring simple gifts to the child in the manger. Whānau are also invited to the King’s Pageant on the 3rd Monday of Advent, in the evening. This simple but stately enactment of the three wise men, Melchior, Caspar and Balthazar who travel from the east to bring their gifts of Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh to the Christ Child, is a picture of majestic dignity with the gifts representing Christ's identity and mission.
Rudolf Steiner tells us that Festivals are the commemoration of great ideals. They play an important role in the life of all Waldorf Schools and their communities. At Raphael House our festivals connect us with our whole community, nourish our souls and bring a yearly rhythm to us all.
The 2014 Toy, Craft and Food Festival
Thank you all dearest whānau, for another great year of hard work, partnership and progress which came to fruition on Sunday at the 2014 Toy, Craft and Food Festival.
What a powerhouse of strength and creativity you all are - it was a magical day filled with sunshine, groovy music, delicious food and cool crafts with of course, the chance to just hang out and catch up with friends, old and new.
The substantial work behind the scenes to coordinate this event deserves full recognition and I’d like to thank each and every one of you for your unfailing energy to bring each class event to life. Thank you particularly to the small and focussed TCFF Group who has the overall vision for the day; I gather they are already planning for 2015! Beyond this core, a huge vote of thanks also goes to the Kapa Haka group who welcomed everyone with energy, to the weekly crafters and woodworkers, to the Class and Festival Reps who keep everyone on track in each class, to the bakers and chefs, to the budgeters, to the logistical planners, drivers, builders and removers and to all those others toiling behind the scenes before, during and after the event working the eftpos machine, counting money, cleaning toilets, water blasting walls, weeding gardens, coordinating recycling and generally keeping us ship shape. Thank you all. We also did pretty well with the parking around Tirohanga this year too!
What’s just as wonderful is that so many messages of gratitude and congratulations have been sent around our community making sure everyone has been well thanked and congratulated for their contribution to the Festival. I read in a recent employment poll that 40 per cent of workers considered lack of recognition for their work is the biggest hindrance to productivity - you don’t say! So please make sure we all give each other a warm pat on the back to ensure next year is even bigger and better (if that’s possible) than this one.
Thank you all so much – Tēnā rawa atu koutou
Equity at Raphael House
Raphael House Rudolf Steiner School has a strong commitment to living the Treaty of Waitangi and ensuring this is reflected throughout the fabric of the school. The school and teachers strive to ensure a culturally located Waldorf curriculum that reflects all of our diversity. Emphasis is also placed on meeting the needs of all children irrespective of religion, creed, culture or physicality.
At Raphael House we believe it is our on-going duty of care to continually reflect and learn. We are committed to taking actions to ensure that what we do in our teaching and relationships with the school community reflects our Waldorf education principles and our commitment to equity and the Treaty of Waitangi. The specific actions taken each year to grow and strengthen this are located within the school’s Charter and annual planning.
Raphael House endorses and upholds the New Zealand Federation of Rudolf Steiner Waldorf Schools Equity Statement:
“Steiner/Waldorf schools are responsive to the wider cultural, social and political contexts in which they are located in Aotearoa New Zealand in the 21st century. Our schools embrace and honour Aotearoa New Zealand’s bi-cultural heritage and consider all human beings to be free and equal in dignity and rights.
The Steiner Federation acknowledges Rudolf Steiner’s work. The Steiner school movement in Aotearoa New Zealand works out of an approach of equity and rejects strongly any historical statements from which inferences of racial prejudice may be made. Steiner/Waldorf schools and teacher training centres are culturally safe havens for all.”
The Federation of Rudolf Steiner Waldorf Schools in New Zealand’s Curriculum Guidelines state that, “the principles that are fundamental to Steiner/Waldorf education are that it is accessible to, and able to be adapted to, the needs of different ethnicities, cultures and religions. Curriculum content allows for the exploration of a wide variety of cultural traditions and world views. Steiner/Waldorf schools in Aotearoa New Zealand strive to imbue their curricula with the unique spirit and history of this land and its peoples."