Many parents are drawn to Waldorf schools because of their warmth and strength of community. A grass roots educational movement that is now worldwide, schools have often been started as an initiative by parents and teachers working together. Once the school is established enough to transition onto a more professional footing that sense of community remains strong, as illustrated by this short film from York Steiner School. Community is our strength.
We are saddened to hear of the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II; we offer our condolences to the Royal House and, alongside the nation, mourn the end of an era.
Massive congratulations to the England Women’s Football Team for winning the Euros 2022 and to all the women in all the teams who took part. Thank you for being great role models for all our young people and showing what determination, commitment, good teamwork and sheer refusal to give up can achieve. Tribute must be paid also to all those who came before who worked so hard for women’s football to be played again and taken seriously. Wonderful for all women’s sport!!
In a recent inspection of Cambridge Steiner School, Ofsted inspectors found that “Pupils enjoy a rich, creative and broad curriculum. Their learning is closely linked to the outside environment. From the start of early years, children are immersed in learning that provides a wide range of opportunities in music, song, movement and the natural world. Pupils value the attention given to the creative aspects of learning as well as the academic”.
Key elements of praise included how communication (listening, speaking, language) was at the centre of the school’s curriculum with children developing “strong language skills from the start”. They found that pupils loved reading and learnt about and celebrated diversity.
To read the full report click on the following link. https://files.ofsted.gov.uk/v1/file/50186371
To find out more about Cambridge Steiner School go to their website https://cambridge-steiner-school.co.uk
In its recent report, Ofsted was full of praise for the culture and strength of curriculum at York Steiner School. This included strong development of both its academic and artistic subjects. It highlighted how children of all abilities achieve equally well. Inspectors said:
“Pupils here feel safe and, to a very high degree, happy. They know each other well, and they are taught and looked after with care by their class teachers and other staff. Pupils look out for each other and help each other out.
The school is ambitious for its pupils. This applies to achievement in subjects, and achievement in the school’s specialist curriculum. Leaders have the same high expectations for all pupils. Pupils are encouraged to aim high and strive to be the best person they can be. The school’s curriculum instils a spirit of curiosity and enquiry in pupils. They are comfortable in exploring new ideas and making connections between them.”
The school is the first to be inspected having utilised the new curriculum framework created by SWSF in collaboration with teachers across the Steiner school movement. The framework, currently being piloted in schools, helps to show how subjects are interweaved throughout its cross curricular approach. Teachers draw from “generative principles” to create a curriculum that is relevant and which meets the needs of the children in each class. Over time, this format will help teachers create a curriculum that is culturally competent and less euro-centric.
SWSF warmly congratulates the teachers, non-teaching staff, trustees and children for their hard work over the last two years.
Here is the full report https://www.steinerwaldorf.org/wp-admin/post.php?post=25904&action=edit
Massive congratulations to the team at Willow Tree Kindergarten who have been judged “Outstanding” by Ofsted.
The Report says:
“Children thrive in this exceptionally warm and welcoming setting. They arrive excited, happy and eager to start the day. Practitioners greet them enthusiastically and are genuinely pleased to see them. Children quickly become engaged in looking at books and reading stories, while other children arrive. Practitioners have high expectations of children and encourage them to be as independent as possible”.
“Practitioners are attentive and responsive to children’s needs. Children respond exceptionally well, and their behaviour is exemplary. Practitioners know the children extremely well and plan exciting activities that engage all children. They notice when a child needs more support or challenge, and quickly provide what they need to ensure all children reach their full potential”.
“Children enjoy engaging in practical activities and are highly motivated to join in. They enthusiastically cut up fruit they have brought in to share at snack time. Adults and children enjoy mealtimes together, creating a lovely, homely atmosphere. Practitioners are excellent role models.”
There was high praise for the team that manages the kindergarten. Well done to you all!
To read the report: https://files.ofsted.gov.uk/v1/file/50172207
To find out more about Willow Tree: https://www.willowtree.org.uk/blog?fbclid=IwAR0LEGAr4Swa3a2jM1TyKeI0DTOjWmoT1TFcHUb72qq2C8s9IYiRM4axIG8
STATEMENT FROM THE STEINER WALDORF SCHOOLS FELLOWSHIP
The Steiner Waldorf Schools Fellowship (SWSF), which has operated in the UK and Ireland since 1953, acknowledges the important role Ofsted fulfils and welcomes its honest, informed feedback to guide school improvement.
Steiner Waldorf schools across the UK and Ireland are run independently from SWSF, each with their own governing body. SWSF instils a shared responsibility across its network of 31 Steiner Waldorf schools and 14 independent early years’ settings.
The executive at SWSF said: “It is a matter of deep regret when individual schools fail in their duties. There is no compromise where the welfare of pupils is concerned. Our role is to provide guidance to schools in order for them to ensure all standards are in-line with the requirements set out by the Department for Education (DfE).
“Whilst we celebrate the good outcome for Steiner Academy Hereford, we are disappointed that six schools have been judged as inadequate and have taken immediate action to ensure that standards rapidly improve as per Ms Spielman’s recommendations.
“SWSF proactively sought and agreed to meetings with both DfE officials and Ofsted prior to Ms Spielman’s findings and will continue to make the vital changes required.
“We have appointed a team of four quality care advisers to complete our own independent compliance checks so that all schools continue to uphold DfE regulations and requirements.”
SWSF welcomes regular and robust inspection to ensure that its schools are both adequately safeguarded and providing high-quality teaching built on the internationally valued principles of Waldorf education.
Notes to editors:
The underlying values that SWSF is built upon have driven success for over a century. As part of the largest independent school movement in the world, with over 1,100 Waldorf schools and almost 2,000 Waldorf kindergartens in some 80 countries around the globe, SWSF has found no common pitfalls in its method of teaching.
You may be aware of media reports concerning a Steiner teacher handbook. The contents quoted are part of a paragraph outlining behaviour to be avoided by all Steiner teachers which has been taken out of context. In order to prevent any future misinterpretations we are working with the publishers on a new version. Safeguarding pupil’s welfare is the top priority of the Steiner Waldorf Schools Fellowship. We apologise for any offence caused by the original handbook
Teachers and parents interested in the principles of Steiner early childhood education and the value of play-based learning are invited to attend the Steiner Waldorf Early Childhood Introductory Course at Elmfield Steiner School in Stourbridge.
The course provides an opportunity for those interested in Steiner education to take part in practical sessions and talk to Steiner students and tutors.
The two-day taster weekend on Friday 2nd – Saturday 3rd June acts as an introduction to the North of England Steiner Waldorf Early Childhood Studies Programme (NESWEC), a three-year course offering a foundation in the principles and practice of Steiner early childhood education and care.
Throughout the taster weekend, participants will take part in experiential sessions on painting, musical circle time and toy-making. In addition to practical workshops and discussion groups, there will also be an opportunity to tour the school and talk to students and tutors in a relaxed, informal environment.
Jill Taplin, Course Coordinator for NESWEC, said: “The taster weekend will give participants a glimpse into the unique characteristics of Steiner education, designed to reach the whole child, physically, emotionally and spiritually as well as intellectually.
“The course is the perfect introduction for those interested in becoming a Steiner practitioner or simply those who want to learn more about Steiner’s holistic approach to early childhood education. We look forward to welcoming participants to Elmfield school and we’re sure it will be a great success.”
The course will cost £85 and all meals will be provided. Attendees will receive a CPD certificate on completion. For more information about the course or to book a place, please contact Jill Taplin on 01782504567 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Happy International Women’s Day
What do actress Carey Mulligan, poet Caroline Bird, model Veronica Webb and Winter Olympian Nicolien Sauerbreij have in common? They were all Steiner educated.
Education plays a vital role in empowering women and girls around the world as well as being instrumental in helping to create a more gender equal society.
At Steiner Waldorf Schools we aim to offer all children the tools they need to flourish as resourceful, considerate, honest, successful and socially responsible adults, regardless of their gender.
In celebration of International Women’s Day, we would like to pay homage to some of our most fantastic female alumni and their achievements.
European Parent Meeting
Dear Waldorf Steiner friends! We proudly announce the annual meeting of European Steiner Waldorf parents in Latvia, May 5-8, 2017.
Here is the program and registration form. (If you have friends whose e-mail address is not on the recipient list, please, forward this message to them as well.) We in Latvia hope very much you will accept our invitation to visit the Waldorf schools in Latvia.
We offer 2 hotels in the surroundings of the Waldorf school where the conference will take place. You can choose between the more democratic option, www.baltvilla.lv and the more luxurious option, www.porthotel.lv . The transportation to school from both hotels will be provided every day. Both the hotels are informed and will give a little discount if you mention WALDORF CONFERENCE. Notice, that this will only work if you book by email, not if you book via their website.
Useful tips, such as how to get to the hotels from airport etc., will be send to those of you who have registered at a later date. Again, you can find the program and the online registration at our website www.enswap.org and feel free to forward this message.
NB! A parallel program for youngsters will be prepared, so your teenagers are also welcome!
Dear friends, we would be very very grateful if you could register before the end of March, 2017! It will help a lot, allowing us to organize the conference according to the highest standards.
If you have any questions concerning the conference, please, do not hesitate to ask them! Here is the link again: https://enswap.org/conferences/2017-adazi/
Anita Legzdiņa, Coordinator, European Network of Steiner Waldorf Parents (ENSWaP) conference in Latvia
Copyright © 2017 European Network of Steiner Waldorf Parents, All rights reserved. You receive this email because you at one time have either joined one of the yearly meetings of the International Network of Steiner Waldorf Parents, or inquired about a meeting. Our mailing address is:
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Delegates from the UK and Nordic Steiner Waldorf Schools Associations have concluded the first phase of transnational conferences around the curricular design of a groundbreaking, Europe-wide 14-19 diploma, aimed at developing creative thinking skills.
The ‘Acknowledging Creative Thinking Skills (ACTS)’ project brings together teachers and the Steiner Waldorf associations of the UK, Demark, Finland and Norway with registered awarding body, Crossfields Institute. The partners are working collaboratively in developing the diploma, which is due to launch in 2018. The Ofqual regulated qualification will be available to any school that wishes to take it up.
The qualification will be offered as an alternative to GCSE and A-Level. Combining highly focused, analytical thinking with non-verbal, creative methods, and cross-curricular activities, the qualification will be the first of its kind in the UK.
The meeting this autumn in Brighton was the fourth and final of four transnational conferences involving around 50 experienced educationalists from participating countries. Each meeting has focused on the curricular approach for a specific range of projects. The Brighton conference looked at crafts and practical subjects, following previous meetings held in Norway, Denmark and Finland to examine language, literature, maths, science and humanities.
Across the four meetings, which began in September 2015, representatives researched and explored ways of enhancing and accrediting creative thinking skills, and the best ways to integrate formal and non-formal learning into the more formal elements of the diplomas, The core content of each main curriculum has now been agreed.
The next year of the project will focus on the design of assessment procedures, and the nomination of moderators to oversee the process in their home countries. Over the next 12 months, specialists at the Crossfields Institute will draft the content of the qualification.
The three-year project was awarded EU Erasmus+ funding last year.
Kevin Avison, senior adviser at the Steiner Waldorf Schools Fellowship, said: “We are designing this diploma due to a recognised need within schools to offer an alternative approach to education, that develops creative thinking skills and is valid across Europe.
“I’m delighted with the progress made during this first year of the project. It is attracting growing interest across Europe and globally, and we have had expressions of interest from as far as South Africa and South America.
“A representative from the American Association of Steiner Waldorf Schools attended the Brighton event and left very enthusiastic about exploring ways of incorporating ideas from the project in schools in America, Canada and Mexico. We have completed a very exciting and successful first phase of the project and are looking forward to progressing it further in 2017.”
The Steiner Waldorf Schools Fellowship will be hosting a conference in autumn 2017 where it will be discussing the need for a change of emphasis away from test-driven education towards a more creative method. The event will feature presentations from world-renowned educationalists.
If you would like to interview Kevin Avison, please contact Leila Taleb at Liquid: Leila@weareliquid.com or call 0121 285 3767.
For more information, contact Jon Perks or Leila Taleb at Liquid – email@example.com or Leila@weareliquid.com
0121 285 3760
We are pleased to announce that Alder Bridge Steiner Waldorf School near Reading has completed the accreditation necessary to become a fully accredited Steiner school and were welcomed as such by the Trustees at their meeting on November 4th 2016
Class 6 students at South Devon Steiner School practised the art of gratitude last week, creating a beautiful mandala in the school gardens from plants, flowers and produce collected from the grounds.
The project which was led by Art teacher Sandy Smith, was a lesson for the 11-12 year old students in cooperative working, inspired by the recent trend in Turner prizes for collaborative art. Sandy said “The experience of working together was as much an art as the Mandala itself, allowing students to draw their attention to, and feel gratitude for the natural school environment and all the beautiful things they get to do, to help them to become more useful adults to the world, particularly their ability to work together”.
Sandy developed the multi-faceted lesson after learning of a friends’ tradition of walking her land each year and creating a Mandala out of gratitude. The students approached the task sensitively, aiming to ‘take kindly’ from the plants and only what they needed. Sandy said “They worked so enthusiastically and harmoniously, thinking about colour schemes and the names of the plants they used”.
Nearing the completion of the Mandala, the class enjoyed their Music lesson outside, where they sang in a four part harmony for a while, then said a verse around their creation to bless it.
Contact: Kaycee Fordham
South Devon Steiner School
Devon. TQ9 6AB
Tel: 01803-897377 ext 2
First published in JUNO Magazine, Issue 44, Summer 2016
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February 18th 2016
IONA STEINER SCHOOL ‘OUTSTANDING’ SAY INSPECTORS
Inspectors have praised The Iona School in Nottingham, after it was judged to be ‘outstanding’ in all five categories.
The visit by the School Inspection Service (SIS), from February 2-4, found teaching and the curriculum to be outstanding; a strong culture of school self-evaluation and improvement; pastoral care to be excellent.
The Iona School is part of the Steiner Waldorf Schools Fellowship (SWSF); it is the first Steiner school to be judged outstanding in all categories under the new Common Inspection Framework.
Fiona Stuart, school manager, said: “We are delighted with the findings of the SIS inspectors; at Iona School, our ethos is to give the children self confidence, love of learning, an ability to work with others and enduring and practical skills. This report is a great endorsement of our pupils’ hard work and the great support they receive from staff, trustees and parents.”
Other SIS observations included:
“School leaders are visionary”
“Leadership and management are outstanding”
“Pupils are rightly appreciative of the inspirational teaching they receive”
“A number of pupils said that they missed school during school holidays and were delighted when it was time to return”
Kevin Avison, executive officer of the Steiner Waldorf Schools Fellowship (SWSF) said: “The inspectors’ findings are a testament to everyone involved at Iona Steiner School and are confirmation that the Steiner approach to education produces well-rounded pupils, a safe environment and supportive community.”
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For more information, contact Jon Perks or Leila Taleb at Liquid – firstname.lastname@example.org or Leila@weareliquid.com
0121 285 3760
Iona Steiner School
The Iona School is founded on the educational ideas and spiritual world-view of the philosopher and educator, Rudolf Steiner (1861 – 1925).
The first school based on Rudolf Steiner’s indications was founded in Stuttgart, Germany in 1919. This was in response to a request to provide education for children of the workers of the Waldorf Astoria cigarette factory – hence the name Steiner Waldorf. The Iona School was founded in Nottingham in 1985. After spending its first year in temporary accommodation, the school moved to its present site. The school has grown and developed over the years and is a member of the Steiner Waldorf Schools Fellowship (SWSF).