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.
Panui - Week 2 Term 4 2016
Tēnā koutou e ngā whānau o te kura Raphael House
What a wonderful time of the year it is – lush spring growth, flowers all around and the birds are singing! The street where I live in Stokes Valley is lined with kowhai trees laden with their beautiful golden flowers and alive with tuis delighting in their nectar. I counted around fifty tuis in one tree – hard to believe I know, but I do have the photo to prove it.
It is my pleasure to welcome Kristy Jefferson into our school community as our newly appointed Class 8 Transition teacher. Kristy is an experienced teacher, who is passionate about educating the whole child and collaborative teaching and learning. Next year’s Class 8 will again be a big class of 44 students, with 18 students joining us from Te Ra School. Phoebe Quinlivan and Amelia Minogue will share in co-teaching the Class 8 main lessons with Kristy in the same way they have worked with Gabrielle Edmonds this year. Gabrielle, who has done a stunning job of guiding our current Class 8 students through their transition year, will begin next year as our new art teacher - where we know she will be similarly outstanding.
It is with regret that I inform you that our Class 1 teacher, Sara Warnock, has resigned for personal reasons. Sara has carried the class with deep care and dedication since Purdy went on maternity leave in the middle of this year – thank you Sara for the special part you have played in the children’s journey. Julie Young, who has relieved at Raphael House in the past, will be taking the class through to the end of the year.
Last Thursday I was part of a Steiner School Principals’ Hui in Taupo. This was a highly stimulating experience of sharing successes and seeking solutions to the challenges that face our national movement. Creating new opportunities for teachers to develop and deepen their understanding of Steiner pedagogy was a major topic of discussion, out of which a national working group has been formed.
Another exciting topic focused on the Steiner Schools’ Community of Learning. Many of you will have heard through the media about this Ministry of Education initiative, which aims to help schools support each other by sharing their expertise in teaching and learning. Earlier this year the Minister of Education gave approval for the Steiner Schools to form their own Community of Learning, providing us with a great opportunity to further strengthen the collaboration between our schools. As part of this initiative the Ministry funds a lead principal and teachers to work between and within schools, so that knowledge and best practice can be shared. We are working towards the Community of Learning beginning its work early next year.
The Class 10- 12 Music Performance last Friday evening cannot go without mention. This was an opportunity for the talented singers and musicians in our senior school to entertain and amaze us with their spectacular musicianship - beautiful music, beautifully played – a totally uplifting evening! Congratulations to all you star performers and to Emerald and Vanya, our superb music teachers.
At the Class 7 parent evening on Wednesday night, Deirdre spoke about a fundamental aspect of Steiner education – the need for us as teachers and parents to ensure our young people are given the space, in the midst of busy modern lives, to connect with themselves and thereby allow their creativity to find expression and be offered to the world as their unique gift. This reminded me of the following words of Rudolf Steiner,
“This is what education has to aim for – to awaken intuitions so that each human being can feel: I am not just of this earth, I am not just a product of physical heredity: I have come down to earth from the spiritual worlds, and, as the individual human being that I am, I have something to do on this earth.”
Enjoy the spring!
Ka pai tō wiki mutunga
nā, David Stephenson