Welcome to the Raphael House Rudolf Steiner School
Raphael House Rudolf Steiner School is an integrated area school with a special character, Rudolf Steiner/Waldorf Education. We have a total roll of over 350 students who range in age from those in our Early Childhood Centre/Kindergarten, to students in our Lower School Classes 1 to 7 (Yrs. 2 to 8) and in the Upper School Classes 8 to12 (Yrs. 9 to 13). We also have one class for Special Needs students. Our vision at Raphael House is to instill integrity, create inner freedom and awaken moral and social responsibility in our students.
Haere mai to Spring!
Spring is in the air! And like the plants and trees brimming with buds, our children have been reaching up to the heavens, rising out of their slumber and enjoying the increasingly warm weather; the Earth is slowly waking from its slumber, and we are grateful for the increasingly longer days. As we move towards spring listen out for the return of pipiwharauroa, or the shining cuckoo: Ko tangi wharauroa, ko ngā karere a Mahuru, ‘when the shining cuckoo calls, it is the messenger of spring’. This is a welcome song for us all.
Our Raphael Spring Festival that holds in it the name of our school which takes place at the end of this term. As we celebrate the wonderful growth and renewal all around us in the cherry trees, kōwhai flowers, daffodils and greening of the spring we also look to the spirit of Archangel Raphael through healing, music and all the arts.
Raphael is depicted in our beautiful school carving who stands side by side with Awanuiarangi of Te Ātiawa tribe, our tāngata whenua. According to Te Ātiawa traditions, Awanuiarangi was the product of a union between Rongoueroa and Tamarau, a spirit ancestor who was a man of peace not war. Raphael is the angelic symbol of compassion as one who leads others to love and good health. Between the two figures is a staff carved from whale bone. This symbol represents the Rod of Asclepius which signifies the healing and medicinal arts in mythology.
This carving sheds light on the healing impulse that can be experienced as a founding principle in the development of the school. It is an impulse at the heart of Waldorf education but special expression of this can be found in Raphael House. The Raphael Class has grown at the heart of the school out of a wish to meet students with unique needs that were attracted to the school from the time of the original kindergarten class.
Our Raphael Spring Festival spans mid-September when whole school will celebrate the newness of the season, with music and colour, waiata, instrumental pieces, dancing and stories. The Upper School will be taking part in workshops focused around the theme of healing, including yoga and drama. Building up to this festival the Lower School will be planting trees and Maypole dancing, their spring time celebrations will continue throughout the last weeks of term. The Kindergarten tamariki will be making flower wreaths and will continue the spring time adventure with fruit picnics and kite flying when the weather allows.
We have the green and gold colour of fresh shoots and beautiful springtime flowers filling classrooms. And outside on our budding kowhai trees there are busy birds, the life within them making their song. Tino waimarie tātou hoki - we are lucky indeed!