1st May 2019



  • Mon 13 May – Class 2  7.00pm
  • Mon 13 May – Class 3 – time to be confirmed 
  • Thu 16 May  – Class 1 – 6.30pm
  • Thu 16 May  – Class 6  – 7.00pm
  • Mon 20 May  – Class 7  – 7.00pm
  • Mon 27 May  – Class 4  –  7.00pm
  • Wed 29 May   – Class 5  – 7.00pm


  • Wed 8 May  –  Paid stop work meeting (Kindergarten will operate as normal)
  • Wed 29 May – Teachers Strike day
  • Fri 31 May  – Teacher only day
  • Mon 3 Jun  –  Queen’s Birthday
  • Mon 10 Jun  –  Whitsun Assembly – All wear white
  • Fri 14 Jun  – Lantern Festival
  • Thu 4 Jul  – Matariki Festival
  • Fri 5 Jul  –  Term 2 ends 1.00pm (Kindergarten operates as normal)


  • Mon 13 May – Class 2  7.00pm
  • Mon 13 May – Class 3 – time to be confirmed 
  • Thu 16 May  – Class 1 – 6.30pm
  • Thu 16 May  – Class 6  – 7.00pm
  • Mon 20 May  – Class 7  – 7.00pm
  • Mon 27 May  – Class 4  –  7.00pm
  • Wed 29 May   – Class 5  – 7.00pm


  • Wed 8 May  –  Paid stop work meeting (Kindergarten will operate as normal)
  • Fri 31 May  – Teacher only day
  • Mon 3 Jun  –  Queen’s Birthday
  • Mon 10 Jun  –  Whitsun Assembly – All wear white
  • Fri 14 Jun  – Lantern Festival
  • Thu 4 Jul  – Matariki Festival
  • Fri 5 Jul  –  Term 2 ends 1.00pm (Kindergarten operates as normal)



Important Notice from the Teaching staff

Paid stop work meeting Week 2 Wednesday the 8th of May

School teachers have a paid stop work meeting next Wednesday 8th May and all staff are required to be at the meeting.  As you are aware, the NZ primary teachers are facing on-going negotiations to settle our collective employment contract.

The reason that we feel passionately as a staff about wanting to attend the meeting is to represent our need, not necessarily for more pay ( although we are paid 20K less as a new teacher than a new tanker driver is ) but for more operational funding for the school. This would fund release time for work with individual students, more teachers and support staff for children with learning and other needs.  It would be ok  if the very poor pay situation was looked at too, but this is not our first priority.  

To enable all teachers to attend this meeting we are hoping that you can support us by taking your child home at 1pm on Wed 8th. We also ask you to reach out to each other to arrange play dates if this is difficult so that we can all attend and let us know if you need help connecting with others to make this happen.  

Thank you for this. It means a great deal to us that you support us in fighting for better terms for your children.


Parent News

Over the Term break kindergarten and school staff all attended the launch of the Waldorf 100 celebrations at the WALDORF EDUCATION FROM THE INSIDE OUT conference in Auckland. Over several days we took time and space with our colleagues from other NZ Waldorf Steiner schools, to reflect on our history, our ancestry and whakapapa as a movement.

We found ourselves considering and I’d invite you to consider this too, that we are all, only here together, because of the good spirits who gave Emil Molt, the owner of the Waldorf Astoria the idea to start a school. That we are here because of a workforce of cigarette factory workers and we’re here especially because of those cigarette factory worker’s children. What I’d ask you most specifically to contemplate is, firstly,  that there could hardly have been any more under-privileged or more humble children than those of the Astoria Waldorf cigarette factory workers back  in Germany in 1919 and secondly that in this poignant picture of deprivation and despair,  lies our roots as an educational movement.  

It was a huge leap of faith from everyone concerned. There was no guarantee that the school would even make it through to a second year – not unlike our own school in its early years and from time to time since. And yet despite those beginnings here we are 100 years later with more than a 1000 Waldorf schools operating in about 60 nations. These 1000 plus schools were born and continue to operate just like us, with groups of parents and teachers coming together to co-create an education for their young, more often than not right up against the odds economically, politically too, and in so doing together we continue to write the history of the Waldorf movement.  

The Waldorf curriculum is big on history. We tell stories of worlds and countries and times past to support the children’s developing consciousness. We study history not just because it helps us see  life’s patterns but because as Owen Barfield a famous English Waldorf teacher once said , history helps us  to re- member ourselves, to connect ourselves to ourselves once again, to put ourselves back together.

On Sunday of the last week of term, the Wst held its Annual Founders Meeting, the meeting at which every year we take the opportunity to remember our very own history as a school and community and most importantly, take the time to record it. This year was a  very cheerful affair with all the usual reports and some beautiful video footage of both the outdoor kindergarten to school transition program and the Class 6 Medieval Feast. If you weren’t able to attend I do hope you’ll avail yourselves of the opportunity to view or read about it at some time future, so that you  too can remember and reconnect to the reasons we’re all here as well as take an objective look at the quality of all that we’ve created together particularly in the light of just how far we have come.  

Mary T-J

Korero Corner

Kia ora whanau, one of the sessions we all attended at the recent Waldorf 100 conference was entitled Tu Rongo- The Mana-full Meeting of Two Knowledge Systems. This wananga included discussion of how Maori language, tikanga, and spiritual knowledge are and can be further incorporated into our schools alongside and in partnership with Waldorf pedagogy.  

Exploring together what a truly mana-enhancing meeting of these systems can look like in Waldorf schools in 21st Century Aoteaoroa, we looked at  form-drawing, language games, the step by step integration of He reo Puawai our Te reo Curriculum together with discussion about deep modelling of bicultural leadership and  the skills, knowledge and support that are necessary for that. 

Out of this we have decided to ask for and enlist your help. The children’s vocabulary and understanding of te reo is growing all the time (as is their teachers) but their learning journey could be so enhanced if they heard Te Reo at home as well as at school. 

If this is a value of yours, we ask that you look out in your class weekly or fortnightly newsletters for opportunities to support your child with further immersion of their te reo school experience.  

Taryn Potier ( Te Reo Lead Teacher)


Our 2018 Founders meeting, held on April 7 at the end of last term is a significant event in our working year. The formal purpose of this yearly meeting, which is required by our Trust Deed, is to report to the original founders and trustees who pioneered our school about our progress in achieving their vision.  So it’s a meeting at which our performance as a Charitable trust is judged by those we are responsible to, both actually and spiritually.

For those of you who were unable to take up the invitation to the whole community to attend the 2018 Founders Meeting, I wanted to let you know that an account of the whole meeting including the school, kindergarten and financial reports will be up on the website in the next month. In the meantime as in previous years I’ve included below some excerpts of the financial report, which was good news in 2018, and particularly info about the pledge which is the place that you as the  parent community. connects with us as the School and Kindergarten Proprietor.     

Key Excerpts from the Pledge Story 2018

In 2018 around 280 children attended our kindergarten and school, a figure made up of a community of 196 families. The recommended pledge for this whole group would have been $813,000.00. The pledge forms we received for 2018 represented a total  commitment of $632,223.00 for the Trust to fund its responsibilities.

As the proprietor of an integrated school, the WST pays for all capital building and infrastructure expenses as well as all special character expenses. The government funding the school and kindergarten receive via the Ministry of Education do not provide for any of these costs.

Therefore, the parent community’s donations allow the Trust to fund:

  • All costs incurred by our therapeutic classroom/kindergarten stream : Extra lesson, listening,nursing therapies, therapeutic eurythmy, subsidy of  Parent mentoring support via Mary Willow
  • All costs incurred by our outdoor classroom stream including our garden, the forge,Te ara kura , Te ara whetu, and all Main lesson support
  • Over- entitlement teachers eg Class 1.
  • Special Character Professional development in NZ and offshore for all staff
  • Teacher Aides
  • Teacher Mentoring – an over- entitlement position
  • Art supplies as well as all stationary and handwork supplies
  • Festivals and Plays
  • Parent Education workshops
  • Upgrading of all property and maintenance above the very small support received from MoE

The 2018  pledge form committed total of $ 632, 223.00 was made up by almost 2/3 of the families intending to contribute the full recommended amount, while about 10 % could not commit at all at that stage. Most of the others hoped to be able to donate about half of the suggested amount. At the end of the 2018 year the reality looked like this. The Trust felt people had been pretty good at keeping their promises.

Comparing the figures of monetary donations against the recommended amounts we received 68 %, which is consistent with previous years

However, this figure only refers to monetary donation and does not account for the 3250 hours of deeds that were delivered by around 50 people in 2018. It is of course a delicate task to put a monetary value on such contributions however it is also true to say that with just a basic calculation the value of these took the pledge account to 100 % percent of the amount pledged.  What this means in effect is that some of the people delivering deeds did so at a level that made up for the shortfall  created by those who promised payments but did not deliver them and is a concrete example of our special character commitment at work.  

If you have questions about what you read here or in the full version or just want to know more of what your proprietors trust does and why we do it, please feel free to book an appointment or email wstadmin@waldorftga.nz or finance@waldorftga.nz

Happy to hear what’s on your mind.

Nga mihi

Lousie Gawn



Recently, I came across some research that I thought was interesting and would like to share with you. Last year ERO and a Community of Learning/Kāhui Ako (nine schools, about 2000 children) did some research on children’s resilience at school.  There were four important components of resilience identified: belonging, growth mindset, self-efficacy, and “grit”.  In educational psychology, grit is defined as “perseverance and passion for long term goals” and is a key indicator of future prosperity and wellbeing.

In keeping with the international research, children who rated themselves highly for grit in particular did better academically.  One road to building grit at school is to build a sense of belonging, a growth mindset, and self-efficacy.

I wanted to share this research as it struck me (IMHO) how our school provides the optimal environment to build resilience (and grit), through the implementation of the Waldorf pedagogy – a social education that is based on progressing through developmental (growth) stages. A sense of community and belonging is facilitated in the class through maintaining the same class composition year on year, class parent cohesion and building the wider school community through festivals etc. Self-efficacy is enhanced through the outdoor classroom experience.

A while back we followed up students of the school to find out what they valued about the school and what they were doing now. One of the things they all said was how the school had instilled a love of learning and a strong self-belief – how awesome was that?! I guess the research just validated for me our decision to send our children to this school and reinforced for me how grateful I am that the school is here!

On another note, there will be information coming out shortly about the Board of Trustee election that takes place on June 7 2019 with nominations being called for in May, with a deadline for these of May 24th. We’ll be running the election once again via the school office. If you are interested in being a Trustee and would like to have a chat, please contact one of us or find us at pick-up (I am usually hovering around C6 or C2). Alternatively this link https://www.trustee-election.co.nz/becoming-a-trustee/explains exactly what a Trustee does and what it’s all about! 

Our next Board meeting will be on May 14th at 5.30 pm and you would be very welcome to join us to see who we are and what we do.  Please call the office in advance and let us know you will come so that we can make sure we have enough seats for you.

Lisa Hickling

( For the Board)


Hi, my name is Robyn, and I will be looking after reception duties Wednesday, Thursday and Friday’s until the 29th May, at which time I will then be working a full week.

For those who don’t know me, I am a mother of 2 grown up boys, and moved to Tauranga 4 ½ years ago, with my husband, from Wellington. We all love Tauranga and are very happy that we made the move. I enjoy gardening and walking my 10 year old dog Lucy. Our favourite spot is Omanu Beach, where she can have a good run around chasing her ball. I worked in a Bank for many years, and then at a small primary school in Lower Hutt, doing reception and office duties. In Tauranga I’ve worked as an Administration Officer.

I am looking forward to being part of the Tauranga Waldorf Community, and getting to know you all more.

Regards, Robyn

From the Finance Office

During the term break Tax Donation Receipts for the 2019 tax year were sent to you all. They cover donations received between 1.4.18 until 31.3.19. Please check yours and if you have any questions contact Marlis on pledges@waldorftga.nz  – if you need a receipt re issued we need to stamp it as copy, unless you return the original to us.

In the same mailing you also received an overview of your donations received from January to 12th of April.   Should your own records differ please, let me know immediately.

Thank you very much



From the Class 5 Fundraising Team

Dear school families and teachers,
Class 5 are happy to let you know that it is business as usual for the Friday sausage sizzle this term. Orders can be placed each Thursday, with cash payment, or a one off term payment can be placed this week in to bank account 38-9015-0768873-00 (account name Five Fundraising Challenge). Please note we will not be taking online/text orders during the term, cash only on Thursdays.
Sausages (all GF, veg or meat) $2, cake (GF or non-GF) $1
Sorry no drink this term.
There will be 7 weeks of sizzling (no lunchtime sizzle on June 14th as we will be providing you with dinner for the Lantern Festival, and no sizzle the last day of term).
Term payment for sausage and cake =$21
Term payment for sausage only = $14
Term payment for cake only =$7
Please text Cat 0212278787 this week with the specifics of your order if paying online.
Thank you!