Board of Trustees Meeting

The next Board of Trustees meeting 28 May - 7pm in the Lower School Staff Room - all welcome.  

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 Term 1 Week 10

Ngā mihi nui ki ora koutou katoa – warmest greetings to you all

I hope you all enjoyed a wonderful Easter- the weather was perfect for getting outside.  Prior to the weekend, we all attended the Easter Festival assembly in the Eurythmy Room. After the assembly, the Lower School and Upper School tamariki experienced stories and a concert respectively. The festivals are indeed integral to the Special Character of our school, and provide an important time for reflection and meeting as a community. In the Upper School, there was a great sharing of music, art and poems from staff and students alike. The concept of ako permeates these events. 

Sitting amongst the quiet of the Easter Festival, I concluded that there is hardly ever a quiet time here at Raphael House for teachers, staff and often students. As one event such as the Easter Festival concludes, another event such as the 40 Hour Famine appears on the horizon. Throughout the various areas of our school the staff and students have fully engaged in a vast array of events this term including art gallery visits, Civil Defence competitions, field-trips, sports days, festivals and class camps, to list a few.

Our kura is fortunate to have hard working and dedicated staff. Next week, we sadly farewell one of our very long standing staff members, Kay Braid, who has been here at Raphael House for the past 20 years. Kay, who has been our Finance Officer in recent years, has also held a number of other important roles within our school. In earlier years Kay was also largely involved in fundraising activities for our school. Kay was also a key staff member during our “pioneering years”  and she has always gone beyond the call of duty to attend to many other areas, including editing and proofreading our school yearbooks, going out of her way to care for our students with their queries and assisting them with countless hours of First Aid care. Kay, I want to personally thank you for the care and warmth you have provided for our whanau, and in particular, your ability to reach out and make those people who face difficult life challenges realise their dream that their children could flourish in our school.  This week Kay has been working with our new Finance Manager Teresa Galvin, to ensure a smooth transition in our finance area. On behalf of all our school community, Kay I wish you all the very best with your future plans.

On a sadder note, for those who knew John Frost-Evans, he passed away on Wednesday 7 March. I have very fond memories of John who held the role of Property Manager here at Raphael House during the 90’s.  John and his wife Judy were extremely supportive parents of Raphael House, and their son Jason who graduated from Class 12 to become a helicopter pilot.  John was a driving force within the Building Development Group; many of the recent buildings in the Upper School environs and playground developments were part of John’s vision for our School.  John always made time within his busy day to listen to others and work alongside people to make things happen. 

One of the strong features of our curriculum are the opportunities provided to our tamariki by Education Outside the Classroom (EOTC). In this newsletter, I want to describe the Upper School Classes 8-12 EOTC events, particularly for those parents who have younger children in our school. 

During week five of this term, our entire Upper School ventured out around Aotearoa on their class camps. Moreover, just how far did we go?  Fourteen Upper School staff collectively travelled over 6,800 km, just to reach their camp destinations. That was before they even started walking or cycling the route with the students. Adding the parent support, it would well exceed 10,000 km! Thank you to the staff and parents who gave up a week of their personal family time to support our lucky students to have another rich EOTC experience.

For those who are not yet aware, this year Mario and Arthur developed an inaugural cycle-based camp in the Hawkes Bay for our Class 8 students. This camp involved the students cycling from Napier to Havelock North, and en-route the students also got an opportunity to visit the gannet colony at Cape Kidnappers. Both the Class 9 Tongariro National Park camp and the Class 10 Whanganui River camp are linked to the  Class 9 Geology Main Lesson and Class 10 New Zealand History Main Lesson respectively. Our Class 11 students tramped the 50 km idyllic Abel Tasman track from Marahau through to Mutton Cove. Finally, in Class 12 the students spent 5 days tramping around Lake Waikeremoana.  My personal favourite would be Lake Waikeremoana – I have been to many places in New Zealand but I have never experienced beauty and tranquility as is at this lake.   In addition to these first term Upper School camps, both Class 8 and Class 12 have a Rite of Passage camp towards the end of their year.  As well as these camps, the EOTC also cover work-orientated activities. In Class 9, pairs of students undertake a two week farm placement throughout New Zealand while in Class 10 the students undertake day based community volunteer roles. Both these experiences require the students to give a community presentation upon their return. This EOTC theme is further developed in Class 11 when our students become engaged in a three-week work experience placement at the end of their school year.

As to be expected, the EOTC programme could not go ahead without the generosity and commitment of our staff, past pupils and parents. On behalf of our school, I would like to take this opportunity to publicly acknowledge and sincerely thank all of the parents and past pupils who assist our staff in EOTC activities. For well over 20 years our school has been very fortunate to have staff, such as Peter Butchers, who, with his wide breath of EOTC experience, has been a major contributing factor to ensure the safety of our students in more challenging environments, such as the alpine conditions of the Class 9 Tongariro National Park and the Tararua Ranges based camps. Like many other schools in recent years, we also face the modern trend where it is more common for both parents to be working, and I want to acknowledge the amazing generosity of many families in their gifting of time to our school. Within the last five years, this time constraint has created a challenge for some camps to reach the minimum adult student ratio to ensure we meet both EOTC and OSH regulations, particularly in higher risk environments.  To assist with more effective planning of the Classes 8-12 Upper School camps next year, we will be releasing the 2019 camp dates at the start of Term 4 and discussing the details of each camp in the Term 4 Class 7-11 meetings.  

Wishing you the very best for a restful holiday break.  Kia pai to wiki mutunga – have a good weekend.  

Ngā mihi nui

Nā Grant Rossiter

2017 Class 12 Project Presentation

Please join the live stream of this years Class 12 Project Presentations.

The event starts at 9.30am Saturday 16 September:

Class 11 Talent Show 2017

Hi all

Please find the link below to the live streaming Class 11 Talent Show event.

It is bound to be both inspirational and entertaining! 


Waldorf-Centennial is Coming!

1919 the first Waldorf School was founded in Stuttgart - today this pedagogy has become a worldwide impulse with more than 1,100 Waldorf or Waldorf inspired schools and 2,000 Kindergartens in 80 countries, all of which honor the freedom of the individual as starting-point and aim of their pedagogical work.

The forecoming conetennial offers a wonderful chance to further develop this impulse for our century in a global exchange.  Waldorf-pedagogy depends much less on traditional forms than on the mutual pedagogical ethos which evolves ever new out of the work with the developing human being.  Working on the Sudey of Man, on deepening the awareness of the children and on projects which involve the whole school such as bee-keeping or tree-planting can prove to be a very helpful starting point for this big task.

Waldorf100 was inititated by the International Forum for Steiner/Waldorf Education and aims at strengthening the awareness, cooperation and support for and of each other.  Initiatives throughout the world build a greater whole together.

Please click on the link below for more information about the upcoming film celebrating this event:

Youtube link

Michaelmas Apple Bobbing
Harvest Table
Michaelmas Archery

2018 Term Dates

30 January - 13 April

30 April - 6 July

23 July - 28 September

15 October - 13 December