12th December 2018


  • Wed 12 Dec – Te Arakura Parent Evening at 7pm in Class 1
  • Fri 14 Dec – Class 1 Parent Sharing at 9am
  • Mon 17 Dec – Classroom Moves – all hands on deck needed this day
  • Mon 17 Dec – Rose Graduation 6pm to 7pm in the Amphitheatre (seated by 6pm)
  • Tue 18 Dec – Shepherd’s Play – see below for viewing times 
  • Tue 18 Dec – Last Day of Term 4 – School finishes at 1pm and Kindergarten operates as normal
  • Wed 19 Dec – Christmas Carols at 6:30pm at Amphitheatre or Whare
  • Mon 28 Jan – Auckland Anniversary
  • Tue 29 Jan – Kindergarten Teacher Only Day
  • Thu 31 Jan – First Day of 2019 Term 1
  • Wed 6 Feb – Waitangi Day

Shepherd’s Play viewing times:

10:00am – 10:30am – Te Arakura and classes 1 – 6  /  11:45am – 12:15pm Kindergarten  /  12:30pm – 1pm Class 7 and parents

Kindergarten will be closed: Wed 19 Dec 18 – Fri 11 Jan 19

Rambling Rose will be operating: Mon 14 Jan 19 – Fri 25 Jan 19 AND Wed 30 Jan 19

Important Notice from the College of Teachers

Taking into account our experiences of the last years we have, decided to change our usual end of year procedure and put out a special edition newsletter on Monday 17th December which will outline confirmed teacher placements for 2019.

Our intention is to support stable class culture for all children by leaving any sense of the winds of change, to the end of the year where it is naturally occurring anyway. This is particularly important for our Class 7 teacher who will be saying farewell to her class after a journey of significant length and quality and would love the opportunity to do this whole heartedly.

Thank you for your understanding in this.



Well another year over! I’m pretty sure the physics wouldn’t stack up but it feels like this rock we’re clinging to hurtles around the sun faster every time!

Looking back over this past year it is really wonderful to see our school continue to grow and mature. The continuation of Te Arakura and Arawhetu programmes assisted kindy children to bond and transition to school and provided an opportunity for several groups of students to experience outdoor learning, build leadership skills and gain an appreciation of service to others.

At our last BOT meeting we heard the final report on student achievement based on teacher judgements and standardised national testing (for reading, writing and maths). I’m very pleased to report our classes are tracking well against the Waldorf Learning Steps which meet the standards expected of all New Zealand schools along the journey.

We wanted to share these snippets with you:

  • Reading levels have progressed across the school and a high level of reading is evident. The end of year data indicates that girls and boys are achieving almost equally well in reading, with a total of 81% of boys and 85% of girls achieving “At” or “Above” expected levels
  • With the expectation that 80% of students will reach or exceed standard levels in reading by the end of Year 8, we note that our senior year, Class 7 (Year 8) have exceeded this target with 95% of students having reached “At” or “Above” in the standards in reading.
  • For writing there is a similar trend to previous years with girls achieving higher than boys, 66% of boys and 76% of girls achieving “At” or “Above” expected levels. Having said that, there is a 26% increase in achievement for boys this year, and an 18% increase in girls’ achievement.
  • For maths there is also a similar trend to previous years, with boys achieving higher than girls, 86% of boys and 82% of girls are achieving “At” or “Above” expected levels.The gap is closing however, with boys rising 3% from last year and girls rising 11% over the same period

The end of year Student Progress and Achievement report is now posted on the website if you’d like to read more about how well our children are doing – take a look! Read here.

The school through its annual planning process identifies areas of priority including achievement and wellness.  The annual parent survey feeds into this planning (the final report on the survey is now on the website – read here). We heard the feedback from parents last year and accordingly included priorities into this year’s annual plan such as initiatives for the community to be involved in tikanga and te reo Maori, digital/ cyber technological safety and awareness and non-violent communication training. Very positive feedback has been received on these initiatives.

We also heard the call for better communication, so we feel very fortunate to have recently been able to co-opt Mel Auld onto the BoT to help work on this – please see her bio below. THANKS Mel, we warmly welcome you and very much looking forward to having you on the team!

The Fair and Open Day was a wonderful day and hugely successful– congratulations to Class 2 parents and thank you for all your efforts, you did the school proud and you were amazing. It was such a great day!

Thanks to Mary and her team of true professionals for their dedication, passion and enthusiasm for delivering the curriculum to such a high standard, and to Louise and the WST for being kaitiaki of our special character. The reports from special character related programmes (the listening and extra lesson programmes) show they have truly remarkable results that have a deep and long-lasting impact on our children’s development and ability to learn. And thank you too, the parent liaisons and parents who have supported the teachers in and outside the classroom to enable them to deliver the education we chose for our children, supported each other in times of need and celebrated our successes.

The school and its grounds are looking particularly fabulous and thanks must go to the WST and our wonderful Anne for their heartfelt dedication to our beautiful land and surroundings. Last but in no way least, thanks to Michael for his unwavering dedication to the further development of our outdoor classroom and learning programmes, a highly valued cornerstone of our school and much appreciated by all – and it certainly wows our visitors to the school!

So, the only thing left for me now is to wish you and your whanau a wonderful holiday blessed with many moments of peace, joy and lots of laughter – keep safe and see you next year!

On behalf of the BoT


Lisa Hickling

BIO: Mel Auld

Kia ora! I’m a proud mum to Max (Class 3) and Lui (Te Arakura) and wife to Bran, and we’ve loved our involvement with the Tauranga Waldorf School over the past six years. I have worked in senior marketing and communications roles for the past 15 years, most recently at Zespri International and am now running my own transformational coaching practice and marketing and communications consulting business. I love running, mountain biking, diving into fresh water, exploring the great outdoors and being present to my childrens’ growth and contribution. I’ve just completed a year-long He Papa Tikanga course and have signed up to advance my Te Reo Māori in 2019. Life is full and intensely fulfilling, and I look forward to bringing some of my energy to the Board of Trustees! If you’d like to touch base, feel free to reach out to me at: mel@melauld.com


We Waldorf teachers think of the Goetheanum, as something of a spiritual home so you can probably imagine how I felt lining up there, on behalf of Steiner Education Aotearoa NZ last month in front of 47 delegates from countries all over the globe, to audition for membership of the Hague Circle.

It did not feel like a small thing just to be in such auspicious company and place and it didn’t feel like a small thing to represent and speak for New Zealand either. To mihi in te reo and give my pepeha at the Goetheanum turns out to be up there in significant moments of my adult life. I had expected to be pretty scared and I certainly was. What I had not anticipated though, was just what a proud Kiwi I would be.

The International Forum has an aim of managing the quality of Steiner/ Waldorf Education into the future. Current work includes the development of an International Licensing Process –a quality control measure for schools which makes explicit the essential characteristics of Waldorf Education across all of the 80 countries it currently operates within.  Schools which meet these standards qualify for inclusion in a worldwide list. The group is also working on other licensing criteria for Waldorf- inspired educational operations in an effort to uphold not just authentic quality standards, but to protect its name and brand on the international stage.

A perspective I gained from the various debates and working groups is just how extraordinary Waldorf education in Aotearoa is.  Through the eyes of others, I saw that NZ is paradise indeed, with our Integration legislation allowing us the possibility of providing a Waldorf education for all children, regardless of their parent’s financial circumstances. If you’re reading this and haven’t put in your pledge form, please, please, please do your bit in allowing us to hold on to this amazing principle and practice. You have no idea how rare and precious it is.

In 2019 Waldorf Education will be 100 years old and planning for this event was a large part of our meeting too.  This important Waldorf centenary obviously provides an opportunity to celebrate the history and impact of Waldorf education throughout the world, but also offers the change to enhance its visibility and reach also. The feeling I carried away from the international pedagogical forum was that Waldorf 100 is a significant opportunity for us to think anew, to innovate, inspire and become even more clearly, as Rudolf Steiner originally dreamed, an impulse for renewal and cultural transformation.

I look forward to sharing with you our school’s celebration and outreach plans for next year. These, along with the efforts of Steiner Education Aotearoa and the Hague Circle will form an international social impact campaign aimed at stimulating dialogue around human values in education.

Mary T-J



1) School receptionist/communicator

We are looking for a receptionist for our country school within the city limits on the outskirts of Welcome Bay.  This is a job share position of approximately 20 hours, worked to suit all parties but currently being managed as a three day/ two day fortnightly cycle.   Term time only (about 43 weeks/year)

2) Waldorf Schools (Bay of Plenty) Trust – Finance admin support

We are also looking for a part time finance admin support person with bookkeeping experience and in depth knowledge of Excel. Attention to detail and being able to work to deadlines are necessary to be successful in this position which will support the Finance team with accounts payable, reconciliation and general bookkeeping and office management work. (Term Time only  about 43 weeks/year)

Successful applicants in both these positions will be proven team players with an enthusiasm for or experience of Waldorf education at a level that allows them to operate and communicate confidently  and effectively with all stakeholders.

Applications close 13th  of December 2018. Please submit CV and covering letter of application marked ‘confidential position application’ to Box 115, 7th Avenue Box Lobby Tauranga; Ph (07) 544 2452 or via email to principal@waldorftga.nz.



For 2019 we are looking for a main carer for our Oscar Programme.

Are you familiar with Waldorf values and like to care for children aged 5 to 13 before and after school? If this sounds like you please come and talk to us, or email your CV to finance@waldorftga.nz.

Opening hours are 7:30am to 9:00am in the morning and 2:45pm to 5:30pm in the afternoon. We are looking for a person available for most shifts.



The Community Carol evening is happening again on Wednesday the 19th December at 6.30pm, where we can all join in and sing traditional Christmas Carols, in the Whare or Amphitheatre. Bring a picnic and a blanket from 6pm to enjoy the evening. Morning circle outside the cowshed will be singing a few of the songs over the next two weeks to give you the opportunity to practice and find your voices.  Dennis de Monchy 021755521


Friday Fundraising Lunch: Class 4 will be selling spring rolls, cakes and lemon drink this Friday. Vegetarian option available. Orders will be taken and money collected on Friday morning. $2 spring roll, $1 cake, $1 lemon drink.

Class 4 have tested them out and they are VERY tasty!



Classical Guitar, Piano and Keyboard Lessons are available next year. Lessons will be held at the school grounds by Peg Southee – please register your interest by calling Peg on 07 544 2469



Can you please help by feeding the school animals over the school holidays? Please text Anne on 0221627709 if you can help 2-3 days.

A huge thank you to the families who have been feeding the animals every weekend throughout this year. If you have nay food scraps now or over the holidays please leave them in the pig bin by class 3.

Merry Christmas everyone!


P.S. We have a sow for sale – $190.00

If you know of anyone who may be interested please let Anne know 🙂


Remember the times when you took photos on your camera, took the film canister to the chemist, waited for 2 weeks for them to get developed, excitedly viewed them, shared them with your family and friends and then carefully put them into an photo album?

Times have changed – some of you will have heard John Parsons talk about it in last week’s Internet Safety & Wellbeing workshop. He talked about how we now find ourselves in situations where photos no longer stay in drawers to be looked at every now and again but are able to be uploaded and shared instantly via various social media platforms. Often no permission asked or given.

Over the years we have asked you to be fully present in festivals in class plays and not distract the children by aiming cameras at them and over the years you have dutifully complied with this Special Character value. Photographs have been taken with the intention of sharing them with our community but the sharing process is difficult and problematic.

We are having ongoing discussions behind the scenes on finding the best possible solution and we are working hard towards being able to share your children’s photos responsibly.

However, we are very pleased to direct you to our website where you can view photos taken by Cat Main at this years Fair & Open Day. This is a public event and we feel that we can share these images with you responsibly.

Fair & Open Day Photos

Merry Christmas & thank you for your patience!