Te Ra Waldorf School in Raumati South is celebrating 100 years of Waldorf education with a postcard mural featuring postcards from 500 schools, and counting, across five continents.
Originating in Stuttgart, Germany, in 1919, Waldorf schools focus on a holistic approach to education emphasising handwork, teaching students skills such as knitting and woodwork along with the more academic subjects of maths and writing.
The worldwide postcard project has been under way since 2018 with each Waldorf school receiving addressed postcards to decorate and send to every other Wardolf school in the world.
Te Ra has received around 500 postcards so far and is fundraising to send their 1000 postcards decorated by students to other schools worldwide.
Sarah Alrutz and Luise Tiedt, volunteer teacher aides from Germany, curated the postcard wall as part of their year-long placement at the school.
"The children all really enjoyed it," Sarah said.
"It's been so great for the children to see the postcards from all the different schools," Te Ra principal Andrea Sorger said.
"It's such a great little project that brings the world here for the children."
The postcard mural was created in time for Te Ra's Harvest Fair last week and will be on display throughout the year as the school runs various events celebrating 100 years.
With postcards coming from all around the world it has been an eye-opening learning experience for the students.
"They can see they are actually so connected throughout the world with all these other children," Andrea said.
"The schools are all different but there's some things that are similar they can connect on.
"It's been great for the children as it's a visual display, it makes it real for the children and illustrates what it actually means having all the schools come together from around the world."
The first Waldorf school in New Zealand opened in the 1950s in Hastings with Te Ra opening in Paekākāriki in 1996, moving to Raumati South a few years later.
"We integrate the academic subject with lessons that are themed around stories, history and geography.
"We have an artistic element in everything.
"Our children learn how to draw and paint and they all learn things like handwork, languages and woodwork.
"It's a very broad curriculum but it's all based around looking how children learn and develop at different stages and we try to give them a learning experience that matches that."