Welcoming the season

23:51, Sep 24 2012
Raphaelaction
Spring's swing: Alayna Humphreys and Sophie Kirby were amongst the pupils and parents who joined in the folk dances
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Air spinner: Harry Lentell gets his kite fish flying.
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Spring in their step: Summer Cleaver and Mathilda Tywford-Hutchinson skip through the arch provided by fellow dancers.
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Fresh as a flower: Sarah Preston
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Spring strings: Lara Plunkett was one of the Raphael House pupils who delivered the tunes for the dancers.
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Young sprigs: Looking fresh as the season for the Spring Festival on Tuesday were, from left, Benna Webster, Finlay Neal and Emare Donnelly.
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All smiles: Ella Lummis claps as Olivia Harward-Angugo and teacher Ashley Gibbs enjoy the dance.
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Lucy Best, Bella Adams, Ella Magnusson were on recorder duty.
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Farewell winter: Pupils skipping around the maypole to welcome the new season last week included Bell Milne, Aria Rameka-Gibbs and Lara Plunkett.

Lambs and daffodils started appearing weeks ago but the Spring Festival at Raphael House in Friday's brilliant sunshine was just as colourful a farewell to the winter cold.

With a theme of Caring for the Earth, middle school children went to Hikoikoi Reserve for the annual beach clean-up followed by kite flying.

School spokesperson Brent Stubbins said seniors of the 310-pupil Rudolf Steiner school in Belmont got involved in 'healing arts', from sculpture and candle making to aromatherapy.

Juniors gathered at a new park on Matuhi St where Mayor Ray Wallace joined them to plant feijoa, fig and nikau trees. The "park next door" concept was the idea of teacher Philip Robinson and the council was pleased to enter a partnership with the school, clearing out blackberry and scrub.

It is the 33rd anniversary of Raphael House, so 33 trees were planted.

The planting was followed by traditional maypole dancing, to music from pupils playing recorders and violins.

Many of the youngsters made garlands of spring flowers and leaves to wear.

'The name Raphael House refers to the Archangel Raphael; it is Raphael who is tasked with 'bringing healing in the world',' Mr Stubbins said.

'Our students' and teachers' activities on the day reflect this work into the local environment.'

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