12th June 2019


  • Fri 14 Jun – Lantern Festival
  • Thu 4 Jul – Matariki Festival – School and Kindergarten
  • Fri 5 Jul – Matariki Spiral – School and Kindergarten
  • Fri 5 Jul – Term 2 ends 1pm (Kindergarten operates as normal)
  • Mon 22 July – First Day of Term 3

Kia Ora Whanau,

Our Lantern Festival is one of our most loved community festivals for both Kindergarten and School children and on Friday 14th June we will all again walk the Lantern Path through the school and kindergarten grounds together.

Over the last years while we have grown as a community, festival logistics have become increasingly complicated, and we have had to modify aspects of our evening to keep the mood of beauty, peace, stillness and joy alive for the children. One of the most important changes we have made is to make this a family festival where we ask families to walk and stay together at all times. 

Another is that we have concentrated on it being predominantly a visual festival. If all parents take an assertive role in keeping their own children with them and helping create and maintain the mood of reverence in the hushed walk in the dark, then you will be contributing to the experience of every child and every family in our immediate and wider community.

As you walk with your lanterns, you’ll find places where you and your family can stop to sing, tableaux to wonder at and in the dark corners, beautiful grottos and an opportunity to experience inner depths of soul as we journey literally and figuratively, into the darkest time of year.

Prior to the festival:

School and Kindergarten children will bring their lanterns home from school on or before Friday, and are to bring them back to the festival again that night. Extra matches or lighters are a great help and are always needed although you will find re-lighting stations along the way, one on the Class 4 deck (about half way along and the other on the Summer Rose Kindergarten Deck towards the end).

The schedule for the Festival Night itself is as follows

5:15pm – Dinner is available in the driveway – cash only   

5.30pm – The Lantern Festival begins for families with kindergarten children

6.00pm – Families with school children are welcome to begin their walk

7.00 pm – We’ll be welcoming families from our neighbouring schools, kura and kohanga reo and Children’s Garden to share in the magic of the night as part of an outreach project celebrating 100 Years of Waldorf Education. Our senior students will be hosting our visitors and guiding them on their way.

Please park your car close to the school either on Ranginui Road or at Utopia Heights. No cars will be allowed onto the school grounds (teachers’ cars and those helpers who are staying to the end only will be parked at the rear of the school).  

The Lantern Walk starts at the bottom of the school drive, where it meets Welcome Bay Road. This is the best place to light your lanterns. Please do keep track of each other as you walk, last year we had unaccompanied children running through the walk, which was very disturbing and unsafe, so we are keen for this not to happen again.

Walk at the pace that suits your family and enjoy the experience of the Lantern Walk. You may even choose to walk the route again, but please do remain together as a group and all leave together at the same time too.

At the end of your walk, think about going up to Utopia Heights and get a last view of the festival’s twinkling lights. It really is quite something from up there and is a lovely lasting image for the children to carry with them.

Notice from the Class 5 Fundraising Team

Dear school, the class 5 sausage sizzle team wish to remind you that there is no lunch time sizzle this Friday because we will be preparing your awesome feast for the lantern festival later that day. (Those that have paid online did not pay for this week)

Look forward to seeing you from 5.15pm!


In precisely 100 days, the Waldorf education movement will celebrate  its 100 year anniversary. As a genuine grass-roots movement, Waldorf education has always developed and grown from specific initiatives of specific people who felt called to come together to create an education for the young of a community. As  a result,  our schools are as diverse as the people who work together, under so many different cultural, social, geographical, religious, and political conditions in 1100 schools, across 60 nations.  

From Waldorf schools founded in the favelas of Brazil, to the school for the children of lepers in Kathmandu, or the school held on the street corner of Seoul Korea  to the Waldorf School of the Peninsula in Silicon Valley, our efforts are bound together by a common ethos, recreated again and again by focusing on the developing human being. But the actual product  from country to country and even  from school to school  looks very and increasingly different. As the tribute events and  celebrations that are going on all over the world in the lead up to September 19, 2019, will look different too. If you are interested, check out the Waldorf 100 website. https://www.waldorf-100.org.   

A theme for all of us however is outreach and sharing –  locally and globally – with people and the environment. Some of you may recall that the full staff attended a Waldorf 100 conference with vast numbers of teachers from the other NZ schools and kindergartens in the last term break. There we retraced our steps as a movement,  and began the work of rediscovering the very core of Waldorf education separate from aspects of style and habit, in order to start to reimagine a vision for the ways we will develop in the next 100 years. 

As our part of Waldorf 100 we want to extend goodwill into the community of Tauranga Moana, which has been home to our small Waldorf initiative for the last 25 years. Our vision and intention is to share some of the magic that others made possible for your children over the years, and in so doing being part of a stream of benevolence that moves ever outward and forward.

Our first project will occur this Friday night when we will share our Lantern Festival with 100 families invited from the  wider Welcome Bay Village. We chose to share the magic of this festival with local community children to honour the social justice mission of accessibility and inclusion at the very core of Waldorf Education– the very opposite of the things that are currently threatening our world – nationalism, racism and bigotry. Inviting local children and their families to our special festival is a wonderfully practical opportunity to embrace this mission and to share the beauty and magic in the spirit of generosity that so characterises our school community.

Thank you to the parents and C7 students who have volunteered to escort our invited guests to make the experience truly memorable.

Later in the year we are planning to again invite a 100 children from our neighbouring schools to spend a day experiencing in our outdoor classroom, the things that our children do and have in their normal day – forging, smithying, building, whittling, sculpting. Our outdoor classroom program, which gives so much quality, colour and meaning to the learning of our tamariki was  in fact funded by pledged donations from parents of children who never got to enjoy it, parents who paid forward.

People often tell us, when they visit our site that they immediately sense that spirit of generosity. I’m very proud to be sharing a sense of who we are and what we do this Friday night and I wanted to take a minute to think back in gratitude for all the people and efforts and gifting that have brought our beautiful school and kindergarten to this place.

Mary T-J 


Do you have questions about parenting or education for your young child? If so, please come along this Thursday at 9am to the cowshed.  If you are unable to come we would like to invite you to put your questions or topics in the letterbox beside the reception to be answered on one of the weekly Thursday Gem mornings at 9 am in the cowshed. These will be  short 15 minute meetings before playgroup, perhaps even with a guest speaker!

You are warmly invited to come along this Thursday June 13 for a cup of tea and some ‘Thursday Gems’ or put your questions in the box for future weeks.

On behalf of the Rose Ring Kindergartens and Rose Bud Playgroup, I’ll see you there.