Te Rā Primary School

Learning with hands, heart and head has been the guiding principle of Waldorf education for over 100 years. Here at Te Rā, we are passionate advocates for creating learning paths for our tamariki that are aligned with the different stages of child development, based on the kaupapa of a pedagogy and curriculum that treasures the gifts of all humanity.

Te Rā School
Te Rā School
Te Rā School

Here in Aotearoa, and here in our place on the Kāpiti coast, this is enriched by the taonga passed down by those who came before us: the stories of the coast and the island, the stories of awa and the land!

As per our special character, our youngest school students (year 1) attend our kindergarten,where they enjoy play-centred learning with their younger peers. From Class 1 onwards, our school caters for children from year 2 to year 8 across seven classes. Our class teachers usually teach their classes over several years, sometimes for the entire seven-year journey from Class 1 to Class 7.

Kapa Haka
Matariki Festival

Whanaungatanga – Belonging and Relating

Over the years, strong bonds form between students, between students and their teachers, and between the adults that are part of their children’s school journey. Regular class whānau hui keep parents and caregivers informed about learning content and pedagogical context that is taught in each year.

A sense of belonging is fostered also through our way of celebrating yearly rhythms with the children, and often with the whole school community. The seasonal changes are visible in the plant and animal world, in the shifting of daylight and darkness, and in the weather. Christian festivals and Matariki are celebrated throughout the course
of they year.

Te Rā School
Classroom work
Te Rā Class Painting

He taonga te mātauranga – the Gift of Learning

As state-integrated school, all of our teachers are university trained, registered teachers. What they share is a passion for the Waldorf way – and for teaching children! Our teachers do not use digital technology to “deliver a curriculum”. Their teaching tools are storytelling and learning-through-doing.

We implement the New Zealand Curriculum through our localised curriculum, which is based on the Waldorf special character curriculum. Core subject areas are literacy, math, te reo Māori, music and arts, history, geography, technology and science.

Te Rā School
Apple Roasting
Te Rā School

Several specialist subjects are taught alongside these: Eurythmy, handwork, woodwork, kapa haka, drama, cooking, and gardening. We have many outdoor learning activities, which include class camps for older classes.

Connecting with the wider community is important to us too! Our students participate at a range of interschool sports days and also play in local school sports leagues for touch rugby, netball and hockey.

To find out more about teaching and learning at our school, please contact our enrolment officer for more information.

Lunch Under a Tree
School Gardens

Class rhythms

A larger rhythm relates to the development of the main themes. These are studied in Main Lesson blocks of three to four weeks, and give plenty of opportunity to enter deeply into the themes, to recollect on the previous day’s experiences, and to anticipate the new developments each day. Main Lessons should involve “the head, the heart, and the hands” in listening, imaginative and artistic work, written work, and movement. Children’s Main Lesson books record these theme journeys, and much care and enthusiasm is devoted to their presentation. Children can feel that the work they present really matters and is valued.

Te Rā School
Playing Ball
School Playground

Then there is the rhythm of the year: the calendar of the seasonal changes, the watching of nature’s changing garments–in both the plant and the animal worlds, the rhythms of daylight and darkness, and weather. The school currently celebrates the following festivals: Easter, Matariki, St. John, Michaelmas, Advent, and Christmas. The way in which they are celebrated is such that they can be seen for their cosmopolitan and universally human character. Festivals are full of anticipation and preparations for the children and the teachers, e.g. the making of St. John’s Day candle lanterns or building a fire for Matariki; and the choosing of appropriate stories, poems, and plays.