Press Release: 24th April 2021
Steiner Waldorf schools, where play is seen as central to learning and wellbeing have seen interest in their schools rise through the pandemic.
“Many of our schools are reporting an increase in new admissions following the pandemic which was something we had not expected”, said Fran Russell, Executive Director of the Steiner Waldorf Schools Fellowship (SWSF).
“Parents are telling us that following lockdown and being more in touch with their children’s learning, they are looking for schooling that is more child centered and which provides better opportunity to be outside and play”
Steiner Waldorf schools are the only schools in the UK that do not start formal learning until children are age 6, which is the norm in most European countries and around the world. In early years children learn mainly through play, imitation and artistic activities, not formal instruction.
“Even when formal learning starts we keep the lessons playful, integrating art, music, craft and physical activity. This approach not only keeps children engaged and loving their learning but helps protect their mental health and allows them to grow in a balanced and healthy way” said Ms Russell.
“Break times are sacrosanct and take place outside whatever the weather. The curriculum includes gardening and frequent nature walks enabling the children to be outside and in nature as much as possible.”
The Steiner Waldorf schools movement is the fastest growing educational movement in the world with schools in over 90 countries. They are often state funded. Schools are developing particularly fast in Asia including China, Taiwan, Korea and India.
In China 300 elementary schools and 60 High schools were developed in just 12 years.
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The Steiner Waldorf Schools Fellowship is the umbrella body for Steiner Waldorf education in the UK and Ireland.