Whole person learning - taha tinana, taha hinegaro, taha wairua - the body, the soul and the spirit - connects every child to their true nature and to the world.
Whole person learning is the key to life long well-being, towards an interest and care for others, curiosity about why things exist and to a rich imagination, wonder and lifelong passion for learning. Whole person learning nourishes every child's developing unique spirit or wairua. Thinking is enhanced by rhythm and by problem-solving, imagination burgeons through wonder and story-telling, and hands-on work, such as crafts, woodwork, gardening or cooking connects us to the world.
Like the world leading Scandinavian schools, reading and writing begins later than other schools. Rather than disadvantaging the child, however, this unhurried beginning gives them an imaginative and colourful world from which rich and vivid writing and reading emerges later. PAT (progress and achievement testing) and the NCEA results attest to the advantages to a child-centred beginning.
Play is the child’s work. The first seven years of a child’s life are of the utmost importance for developing capacities needed later in life. The Kindergarten is an environment where children can play imaginatively and creatively, and can freely develop within their own world.
A unique feature of the Lower School within a Rudolf Steiner School is that, ideally, each class group is guided by one particular teacher for seven years. This fosters an active working relationship with the child and family ideal for learning.
Students balance the demands of study toward nationally-recognised qualifications across a broad range of compulsory and elective subjects along-side a complete Rudolf Steiner Education delivered through the Main Lesson programme.