Sunday, December 22, 2013

Making 'Preparation for Life' the main goal.

"Preparing for Life" takes viewers inside the Waldorf School of the Peninsula, Silicon Valley where the focus is on developing the capacities for creativity, resilience, innovative thinking, and social and emotional intelligence over rote learning. Entrepreneurs, Stanford researchers, investment bankers, and parents who run some of the largest hi-tech companies in the world, weigh-in on what children need to navigate the challenges of the 21st Century in order to find success, purpose, and joy in their lives:

Friday, December 13, 2013

Botany Day Out

Recently class 5 were lucky to set out for a day of adventure with Emily Fawcett, an experienced outdoor educator. We went to a beautiful piece of bush and farmland near Paraparaumu and explored bush and meadow.
The children practiced identifying and recalling different plants and their leaves, wrote poetry about a stunning rimu tree and blindfolded each other, working in pairs to recognise a tree just by feeling it. At highlight for me was the koru of the mamaku fern we foraged for, prepped and cooked on a fire. Delicious. The children also loved playing in the muddy creek.  

Thank you to Emily, the wonderful parents who came and Chris Vannisselroy who saved the day at the last moment. What a great way to end the year and finish our Botany Main Lesson.

Here is rhe poem we wrote as a group with everyone’s words and ideas added:
You feel solid and smell of Grandpa’s basement
I feel calm, as old as time, in Grandma’s garden
Whispering words yet always silent
Standing proud
Smells like damp carpet
A guide, mighty and twisted
I thought I saw you take a step
Woody smelling and scary
Whispering airy silence
Feeling dark and damp, but dry, musty
Sounds like whispering

Purdy Biddle

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Class 6 camp 2013

 We have had a wonderful week away. The weather was excellent, the food was superb and the children were a pleasure to adventure with.

 We battled our fears on the high ropes (though some made it look like a Sunday stroll) we negotiated with the river in the chasm, we were awed by the galaxies of glow worms in the cave, and were rewarded with a swim in the river after our hot walk to the perilous pinnacles.

 And all along the way there was lots of inspiring and intriguing geology to be explored and discovered.

Ashley Gibbs

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Taiwan Waldorf Teachers at Raphael House

Last week we were priveleged to have a visit from six teachers from the Cu Xin Waldorf School in Taiwan. They came to Raphael House to find out practical information that will help them as they develop their high school.
From left to right on each side of David Stephenson  in the photo are:
Diipali (Eurythmy teacher) Shih Min (Principal)
Su (founder of the school) Richard (science teacher) Hsini  (science teacher) and Yu Di (history and philosophy teacher).

This image shows the location of  Taiwan. Cu Xin school is in the north east part of the island
Here are some photos of Cu Xin School, taken by Julian Thomson on a visit there last year.

Although it is still a young school, it already has triple streamed classes up to class 4, double streaming u to Class 9 and single classes from 10 to 12.

Here are classes 10 to 12 with some of their teachers

This photo is of a high school assembly at Cu Xin:

 The teachers meeting,
and lastly some photos to give a flavour of Taiwan. It is a land of rugged coasts...

Forested mountains and temples...

and busy markets with incredible food...

Many people at Raphael House have expressed their interest and enjoyment at having met our Taiwanese colleagues. Let's hope that this new connection will develop into the future!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Class 5 Indian Day

This term Ancient India has been at the centre of our story curriculum. We have heard stories about different gods and heroes and learned about some aspects of Indian culture.

This week we celebrated an Indian Feast Day to mark the end of our studies. Children dressed up in Indian clothes and cooked Indian food to share with classmates and parents.

Several parents came in to help and offered the children a chance to try Indian Dancing, prepare flat breads and have henna designs drawn onto their hands.
 It was a fantastic day and offered the children a chance to taste another culture and experience the beautiful colours and vibrancy of India.

Purdy Biddle

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Titahi Bay Geology with Class 9

Recently class 9 went on a field trip to Titahi Bay to study the bedrock that underlies the Wellington Region. This trip was part of the geology main lesson.

There were many landscape features that had been created by erosion such as this sea arch and the flat area of rocks that had been leveled by wave action.

This cave was made where the weak rock along a faultline had been eroded out by the sea. Uplift due to earthquakes has lifted the cave out of reach of the waves

The rocks themselves are made of layers that were once laid down horizontally on the sea floor. They have since been tipped up so that they are nearly vertical.

 The diagonal line is a fault cutting through the layers of rock
The rock has also been folded in places as you can see here.

Students had to make careful observations of the different features. This is a good way to gain a practical understanding of some of the concepts taught in the lessons.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Class 3 on the farm

Developing a healthy and appreciative relationship to the environment that sustains us is a vital part of childhood. This has always been recognised in Steiner schools.

Class 3 recently went to visit a farm as part of the farming lesson. These photos give an impression of the experience:

Feeding the chooks:

Standing on the firewood!

What a whopper!

By the end of the day we had collected all these pumpkins and there were many more to go.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Easter celebrations

Students and Teachers took part in Easter celebrations this week. A quiet, reflective assembly was held and we heard a story from Ray, sung songs and watched performances from teachers and upper school students.
After the beautiful assembly the Easter bells, rung by Class 6 held the students as they exited. Class 1,2,3 and 4 then heard a story from Brendon and 5, 6 and 7 listened to Krzysztof's Easter tale.
Then back to their classrooms for hot cross buns and blackcurrant juice.

Class 1 students wait with eager anticipation for their hot cross buns!

Class 2 have a Easter table set up in the middle of their class room. In the distance they receive their buns.

Class 3 students treated their teacher and classmates to a well rehearsed version of "In the Jungle" before their Easter feast began.

Class 4 students held a mood of reverence as their class teacher readied them for buns and juice.

Class 5's table was beautifully decorated (as were the eggs and baskets).

Class 6 students line up for seconds around their table dressed with Easter egg trees.

Class 7 have yet to enter the their room and see their table of hot cross buns and other treats.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Freehand Geometry

In Class 5 the Form Drawing practised in younger classes moves more towards geometric drawings. 
All the forms were drawn freehand, without the aid of ruler or compass.
The drawing activities still develop hand-eye co-ordination and spatial orientation, but now have an added focus on the discovery of geometric forms.
 We explored triangles, circles and quadrilateral shapes during our main lesson this term.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Class One first letters

Class one are experiencing their 'letters' main lesson. Letters featured include K (story of the king), G (story of the golden goose), T (story involving a toadstool). These beautiful pictures were drawn by two of the students.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Ready for Handwork

Over the summer Brett and many wonderful volunteers donated their time jazz up the lower school handwork room. The back wall was knocked down and the back storage space converted into more learning space. The wiring has been redone, new and improved heating installed and a beautiful window put in to lighten up the room. I am so grateful to everyone who have given up their time to make the handwork room what it is now; spacious, airy and light. Handwork lessons and Monday Parent Craft began last week and all have started new projects with gusto.
I hope the year has started off as well for everyone else in the community.

From the happy handwork teacher,