Christchurch Rudolf Steiner Kindergarten


19 Ombersley Terrace, Opawa, Christchurch 8241

Childcare Type
2 - 5

The Kindergarten is a place where childhood is cherished and a sense of wonder is nurtured. Tamariki play imaginatively and creatively, and develop freely within their world. There is a balance between self-directed play and the sharing of teacher-led group activities. Inside activities can include painting, baking, handwork, drawing, singing and stories, while outside tamariki can run and skip, climb trees and swing, play in the sandpit or help with gardening. The first seven years of a child’s life are of the utmost importance for developing capacities needed later in life.

The primary developmental task during the first seven years is for the child to build a strong, healthy body. Therefore, premature demands on the intellect and working with abstract ideas are avoided as much as possible. The child is given time to exercise motor skills, experience and use language, and to develop social and emotional capacities through real experiences and interactions. There are no computers or screens in Kindergarten – families are encouraged to do likewise at home – as these devices hinder physical activity, creativity, and sociability.

The Kindergarten consists of a nursery and four kindergartens. Each room can accommodate a maximum of 20 children with two qualified teachers. The nursery caters for children aged 2 to 4 years old, and the kindergartens from 4 to 7 years old. Children remain in kindergarten until after their sixth birthday before starting school in Class One the following year.

The Kindergarten day begins at 9.00am and finishes at 3.00pm with the option of an earlier finish at 1.00pm for children under five years.

Kindergarten Rhythm

The daily life of the Kindergarten is set within a home-like atmosphere and follows a harmonious rhythm. The teachers are engaged in purposeful activities, such as mending, gardening, and food preparation. The child learns about their world through imitation and by ‘doing’. The celebration of festivals and other special events provide tamariki with the experience of the yearly rhythm, for example, ngahuru, autumn, is a time for gathering and preserving produce.

Creative play resources are handcrafted from natural materials or come directly from nature, te taiao. They tend to be open ended so that tamariki are free to work with them imaginatively – a piece of wood, for example, could become a baby, a bridge or a train.

What makes Steiner Education Unique

  • Respect for the unique individuality and recognition of the spiritual essence of each student at evolving stages of maturation. This is our Special Character
  • HEAD HEART and   HANDS  - a  balanced teaching of  INTELLECTUAL, EMOTIVE /CREATIVE and PRACTICAL in all lessons. The curriculum is tailored to reflect and honour the maturation of developmental growth.
  • Non Computer based education in kindergarten and Primary school. Non ‘Modern Learning Environment’ classrooms.   ICT  developed in high school,  with BYOD  devices from  year 11 .
  • Unhurried development of literacy in primary years resulting in above average results in later years. i.e. formal reading doesn’t begin until children are six.
  • Primary school teacher stays with the same class for up to 4 to 7 years. A deep relationship between student and teacher develops. The family/student/school triangle important to educational success.
  • Emphasis on knowledge eg Science, literacy  and maths,  enveloped by beauty, wonder and respect (often through artistry & creativity )
  • Teaching through imagination and stories so that facts, atmosphere, emotive involvement (and therefore long term memory) blend into one teaching process.
  • Low pupil/ teacher ratio in high school contributes to high level of NCEA academic success
  • The MAINLESSON – an intense teaching technique. A unique blending of knowledge, culture, art, activity and thinking in each Mainlesson block.
  • Wide historical, geographical and scientific curriculum over the 12 year teaching period.
  • Specific techniques for developing deep, long term memory retention.
  • Eurythmy - a specific Steiner movement form
  • Practical subjects including handwork, gardening, woodwork (construction and wood carving), technologies, copper work, textiles, cooking and clay work.
  • Annual class play at each year level
  • EOTC camp at every level from class 3
  • Whole staff studies on specific child of concern.
  • Organic food in school cafeteria.

The Education Review Office | Te Tari Arotake Mātauranga (ERO) is the New Zealand government’s external evaluation agency. It evaluates and report on the education and care of learners in schools, kura, kohanga reo, puna reo, and early childhood services.

ERO Report

3D Flythrough



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