• At Bristol Steiner School, our curriculum is based on Rudolf Steiner’s teachings on child development. It works to educate the whole child: their head, heart and hands, based around a solid core of academic learning.


  • PSHE

    PSHE (Personal, Social, Health and Economic)

    PSHE is the study of topics and issues that are central to a positive development of an individual. PSHE enables our children to become healthy, independent and responsible members of society. It aims to help them understand how they are developing personally and socially, as well as tackling and many of the moral, social and cultural issues that are part of growing up. We provide our children with opportunities for them to learn about rights and responsibilities and appreciate what it means to be a member of a diverse society. Our children are encouraged to develop their sense of self-worth by playing a positive role in contributing to school life and the wider community.


    Implementation: How PSHE is taught at Bristol Steiner School

    We deliver the PSHE curriculum by utilising first-hand experience and sharing good practice. It is also every staff member’s responsibility to do this by being a role model and having high expectations of Bristol Steiner pupils. All staff should actively promote, ‘Random Acts of Kindness’ and celebrate these with the children. The whole school actively participates in activities that the Mental Health charity ‘Mind’ has compiled, the ‘Five Ways to Wellbeing’ consists of ‘Give’, ‘Connect’, ‘Be Active’, Take notice and Keep Learning. These activities help children to experience and acquire different life-long tools to manage their wellbeing.

    In the Kindergarten the PSHE curriculum is embedded deeply in our curriculum. Like a thread, PSHE runs through each of the daily activities, carefully and purposefully supporting and guiding the emotional and social development of each child. Whilst in a Steiner Kindergarten, children participate in meaningful activities throughout their day, which facilitate and encourage them to build relationships, and to understand how to look after themselves and each other; thus building their social skills, confidence, and self-esteem.


    In KS1 and KS2 we expect teachers to deliver weekly lessons, using the PSHE programme from PSHE Association, to equip pupils with a sound understanding of risk and with the knowledge and skills necessary, and to make safe and informed decisions. The curriculum is split into three core themes of: Health and Wellbeing, Relationships and Living in the Wider World. It is structured around an overarching question for each term or half term. These begin in key stage 1 as ‘What? and ‘Who?’’ questions and build throughout Key Stage 2 into ‘Why?’ and ‘How?’ questions.


    Throughout the programme of study the children should have a good balance of the following overarching concepts:

    · Identity

    · Relationships

    · A healthy, balanced lifestyle,

    · Identification of risk and safety

    · Diversity and equality

    · Rights, responsibilities and consent

    · Change and resilience



    Monitoring and assessment is an on-going process. Teachers use ‘assessment for learning’ as to inform planning for future lessons.

  • RSE

    At the Bristol Steiner School, Relationship education is taught within the Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) curriculum. In addition, some aspects will be covered through:

    • Science curriculum
    • Circle times
    • Assemblies
    • Stories
    • PE in the context of health and hygiene.
    • Visiting speakers/workshops
    • Visits to the Life Skills centre

    Relationship Education is lifelong learning about personal, physical, moral and emotional development. It should teach children and young people to develop and form positive values, attitudes, personal and social skills, and increase their knowledge and understanding of how to make informed decisions and life choices.

    The statutory areas of learning for primary school are:

    Basic first aid, information on making an emergency call and concepts of basic first aid.

    Being safe, information on boundaries, privacy and feeling unsafe and asking for help and support.

    Caring friendships, information on ways of making and choosing friends, online friendships, working through problems and the characteristics of friendships.

    Changing adolescent body, information on physical and emotional changes in puberty, including menstrual wellbeing.

    Drugs, alcohol and tobacco, information on legal and illegal harmful substances and associated risks.

    Families and people who care for me, information on the different types of family, healthy family life and marriage.

    Health and prevention, information on signs of physical illness, sun safety, sleep, dental health, personal hygiene and allergies.

    Healthy eating, information on a healthy diet, understanding calories, planning healthy meals and the impacts of unhealthy diets.

    Internet safety and harms, information on internet use, rationing and risk, online relationships, privacy and understanding online information.

    Mental wellbeing, information on talking about emotions, self-care techniques, isolation and loneliness, the impact of bullying and getting help and support.

    Online relationships, information on understanding how people behave online, cyberbullying and keeping safe online.

    Physical health and fitness, information on active lifestyles, the benefits of physical activity and the risks of an inactive lifestyle.

    Respectful relationships, information on bullying, stereotypes and the importance of respect.

    RSE is not about the promotion of sexual activity.

    The Bristol Steiner School has actively sought the views of parents, through the form of an online questionnaire, with regard to SRE. The outcomes of which were shared with all parents via the school newsletter. Throughout this process, school ensured that it was sensitive to the range of religious and cultural views about relationships education whilst still ensuringthat pupils have access to the learning they need to stay safe, healthy and understand their rights as individuals. Please read ‘Understanding Relationships and Health Education in your child’s primary school: a guide for parents’.

    Our Curriculum

    Statutory RSE Curriculum Content

    We have developed the curriculum taking into account the age, needs and feelings of pupils. If pupils ask questions outside the scope of this policy, teachers will respond in an age appropriate manner so they are fully informed and do not seek answers online.

    Key objectives of the statutory Relationships Education curriculum are outlined below and are taught withinthe PSHE curriculum:

    Families and people who care for me

    Children should know:

    • that families are important for children growing up because they can give love, security and stability.
    • the characteristics of healthy family life, commitment to each other, including in times of difficulty, protection and care for children and other family members, the importance of spending time together and sharing each other’s lives.
    • that others’ families, either in school or in the wider world, sometimes look different from their family, but that they should respect those differences and know that other children’s families are also characterised by love and care.
    • that stable, caring relationships, which may be of different types, are at the heart of happy families, and are important for children’s security as they grow up.
    • that marriage represents a formal and legally recognised commitment of two people to each other which is intended to be lifelong.
    • how to recognise if family relationships are making them feel unhappy or unsafe, and how to seek help or advice from others if needed.

    Caring friendships

    Childrens hould know:

    • how important friendships are in making us feel happy and secure, and how people choose and make friends.
    • the characteristics of friendships, including mutual respect, truthfulness, trustworthiness, loyalty, kindness, generosity, trust, sharing interests and experiences and support with problems and difficulties.
    • that healthy friendships are positive and welcoming towards others, and do not make others feel lonely or excluded.
    • that most friendships have ups and downs, and that these can often be worked through so that the friendship is repaired or even strengthened, and that resorting to physically or verbally aggressive behaviour is never right.
    • how to recognise who to trust and who not to trust, how to judge when a friendship is making them feel unhappy or uncomfortable, managing conflict, how to manage these situations and how to seek help or advice from others, if needed.

    Respectful relationships

    Children should know:

    • the importance of respecting others, even when they are very different from them (for example, physically, in character, personality or backgrounds), or make different choices or have different preferences or beliefs.
    • practical steps they can take in a range of different contexts to improve or support respectful relationships.
    • the conventions of courtesy and manners.
    • the importance of self-respect and how this links to their own happiness.
    • that in school and in wider society they can expect to be treated with respect by others, and that in turn they should show due respect to others, including those in positions of authority.
    • about different types of bullying (including cyberbullying), the impact of bullying, responsibilities of bystanders (primarily reporting bullying to an adult) and how to get help.
    • what a stereotype is, and how stereotypes can be unfair, negative or destructive.
    • the importance of permission-seeking and granting in relationships with friends, peers and adults.

    Online relationships

    Children should know:

    • that people sometimes behave differently online, including by pretending to be someone they are not.
    • that the same principles apply to online relationships as to face-to-face relationships, including the importance of respect for others online including when we are anonymous.
    • the rules and principles for keeping safe online, how to recognise risks, harmful content and contact, and how to report them.
    • how to critically consider their online friendships and sources of information including awareness of the risks associated with people they have never met.
    • how information and data is shared and used online.

    Being safe

    Children should know:

    • what sorts ofboundaries are appropriate in friendships with peers and others (including in a
      digital context).
    • about the conceptof privacy and the implications of it for both children and adults; including
      that it is not always right to keep secrets if they relate to being safe.
    • that eachperson’s body belongs to them, and the differences between appropriate and
      inappropriate or unsafe physical, and other, contact.
    • how to respondsafely and appropriately to adults they may encounter (in all contexts,
      including online) whom they do not know
    • how to recogniseand report feelings of being unsafe or feeling bad about any adult and others.
    • how to ask foradvice or help for themselves or others, and to keep trying until they are
    • how to reportconcerns or abuse, and the vocabulary and confidence needed to do so.
    • where to getadvice e.g. family, school and/or other sources.

    Theseareas of learning are taught within the context of family life, taking care to ensure that there is no stigmatisation of children based on their home circumstances (families can include single parent families, LGBT parents, families headed by grandparents, adoptive parents, foster parents/carers amongst other structures) along with reflecting sensitively that some children may have a different structure of support around them (for example: looked after children or young carers).

  • British Values

    British Values with Prevent Strategy Statement

    British values are defined by the Department for Education as:

    •     democracy
    •     the rule of law
    •     individual liberty
    •     mutual respect and tolerance for those with different faiths and beliefs.

    These are implicitly embedded in Steiner education and the curriculum and ethos of Bristol Steiner School. All staff are expected to uphold and promote these values. Listed below are some of the ways in which staff work with these values at the school.


    Democracy: making decisions together


    Throughout the school, staff will encourage children to see their role as an individual within a bigger social structure, ensuring that the children know their views count, that they value each other’s views and values and are able to talk about their feelings. Class plays, Games and Dancing lessons and Choir as well as many other group activities give plenty of opportunities for children to practise their social skills. On our many class trips, pupils learn to balance their own wish for freedom with the needs of the group.


    The Class 5 curriculum covers the origins of democracy and its importance as a concept and principle.


    In older classes staff can demonstrate democracy in action, for example, by helping a class to agree on a decision through a vote, or holding a mock election to teach students about the electoral system in the UK.


    Staff can support the decisions that children make and provide activities that involve turn-taking, sharing and collaboration. Children should be given opportunities to develop enquiring minds in an atmosphere where questions are valued.


    The rule of law: understanding that rules matter


    Staff will help children to understand their own and others’ behaviour and its consequences, and to distinguish right from wrong. Staff sometimes collaborate with children to create the rules and the codes of behaviour and ensure that all children understand that rules apply to everyone. Our Behaviour and Discipline Policy is of central importance in the school and is explained to the children at the start of each year so that they understand our expectations. Through application of the policy they learn that there are consequences if rules are not followed.


    Games played in the playground are sometimes subject to rules set by adults, but often the rules are developed by the children through negotiation with each other, and we encourage this approach.


    Stories told as part of the curriculum in Classes provide imaginative understanding of moral and social practice, good and evil, justice and redemption.


    Individual liberty: freedom for all


    At Bristol Steiner School we encourage children to develop a positive sense of themselves. Staff can provide opportunities for children to develop their self-knowledge, self-esteem and increase their confidence in their own abilities, for example through allowing them to take appropriate risks, to develop their creative self-expression through music, drama, Eurythmy, art and craft, talking about their experiences and learning through various forms of safe and constructive feedback.


    Staff encourage a range of experiences that allow children to explore the language of feelings and responsibility, reflect on their differences and understand that everyone is free to have different opinions.


    Mutual respect and tolerance: treat others as you want to be treated


    Bristol Steiner School promotes an ethos of inclusivity and tolerance where differing views, faiths, cultures and races are valued and where children are encouraged to engage with the wider community through fairs, festivals and visits in the wider community.


    Children should acquire a tolerance and appreciation of and respect for their own and other cultures; know about similarities and differences between themselves and others and among families, faiths, communities, cultures and traditions and share and discuss practices, celebrations and experiences. We are open to celebrating festivals from all religions at Bristol Steiner School, and often do this with help from parents of pupils with different faiths. All students learn foreign languages from the age of 6, and the curriculum covers cultural aspects as well as the study of the language.


    Staff will encourage and explain the importance of tolerant behaviours such as sharing and respecting other’s opinions. Staff are expected to promote diverse attitudes and challenge stereotypes, for example, sharing stories that reflect and value the diversity of children’s experiences and providing resources and activities that challenge gender, cultural and racial stereotyping.

  • English as an Additional Language

    Bristol Steiner School EAL Policy Statement


    • To promote equality of opportunity for all learners for whom English is an additional language.
    • To deliver a broad, balanced curriculum which reflects the needs of children for whom English is an additional language.
    • To ensure EAL pupils reach their full potential.


    1. To promote academic achievement by grouping EAL pupils according to cognitive level rather than English language level.
    2. To promote and encourage the development of the children’s first languages in order to facilitate concept development in tandem with their acquisition of English.
    3. To provide pupils with access to resources which are age appropriate, at an appropriate language level, and are linguistically and culturally appropriate.
    4. To use key visuals and other strategies to support children’s access to the curriculum.
    5. To ensure that language and literacy are taught within the context of all subjects.
    6. To ensure that learners not yet fluent in spoken English or the language of the curriculum receive planned support for their oracy and literacy skills.
    7. To actively liaise with parents to help them to support their children’s learning.
    8. To facilitate parents’ access to school life through contacts with school reps
    9. To ensure that EAL pupils are assessed in their first language where possible and where appropriate.
    10. To seek first language assessment to ensure the accurate identification of SEN.
    11. To monitor the summative assessments of children with EAL and set targets to address any underachievement identified.
    12. To provide all staff with high-quality professional development to develop their knowledge of EAL pedagogy and their skills for teaching EAL learners.
    13. To celebrate multilingual skills and promote linguistic diversity with all pupils.
  • Physical Education

    How we teach physical education.

    The opportunity to take part in movement and games is absolutely fundamental to a healthy childhood. There is a great deal of research that stresses the importance of physical activity to improve a child’s capacity to learn.


    At Bristol Steiner School there is both integrated and discrete physical education. Integrated physical education includes the movement exercises that come at the beginning of the Main Lessons. The use of rhythm and movement may come into various lessons, such as maths where the pupils, for example may throw and catch beanbags as they recite their times tables. In a foreign language class, pupils might follow a sequence of movement when learning parts of the body.


    Children in Class 1 and 2 focus on circle games, cooperative games, hand clapping rhymes, skipping with a long and individual rope and bean bag exercises developing hand-eye coordination.


    In addition, Class 2 and 3 have a weekly country and folk dancing session, which aids their physical health as well as helping them develop socially, cognitively and rhythmically.


    In Class 3, skipping practise continues with the addition of more complex tricks and tagging games and ball games are introduced.


    In Class 4, ball games and tag games continue, and games with a team goal or competitive relays are introduced.


    In Class 5 there is a progression of team and ball games which develop children’s sports skills. For example ‘space ball’ and ‘bench ball’ focus on passing and moving into spaces and hand-eye coordination. Other games introduce the basics of offence and defence. One of the highlights of Class 5 is attending a traditional Greek Olympic event, where over 400 class 5 pupils attend participating in long jump, high jump, wrestling, relay, mini marathon, discus and javelin.


    Eurythmy is taught from Kindergarten through to the end of school and is an art form, which aims to harmonise the child physical well-being with their feelings or emotions. Regular Eurythmy practice lessons help children to become more coordinated, graceful and alert and to be more at ease with themselves. In the Eurythmy lesson the children move to poetry, prose text and live instrumental music and this experience deepens their aesthetic appreciation of literature and music and complements other aspects of the curriculum. Eurythmy also requires the children to work in groups which develops spatial awareness and a capacity to sense the movements of the group as a whole, while also concentrating on their own movement.

  • Differentiation

    The curriculum is structured so pupils’ differentiated needs can be met. Whole class teaching is combined with individualised and differentiated learning. Imaginative engagement with the lesson material allows all learners, regardless of strengths, weaknesses and learning styles, to work at different levels within their class group. Teaching methods should be flexible enough to give the best vehicle to education for all learning profiles. By first identifying different students’ needs, understanding how to best engage them, and employing a mixture of methods of differentiation, pupils of all abilities will have the best possible opportunity to learn.


    Differentiation is implemented by various methods in all subjects:


    • Flexible pace learning
    • Collaborative learning
    • Progressive tasks
    • Verbal support
    • Variable outcomes
    • Ongoing assessment

    These can be seen by:

    • Using a multi-sensory approach; with visual, aural and kinaesthetic components.
    • Use of the Steiner three-fold strategies of imitation, copying; illustrative work and storytelling; thoughtful comparison and analysis.
    • Using a child-centred approach i.e. responding to each child as an individual.
    • Allowing freedom of response to a lesson, so that pupils can produce very different work to reflect what they have learnt.
    • Using a range of tasks from simple to complex, to allow for different abilities.
    • Using open-ended questions, so there is no wrong answer.
    • Sometimes explaining first and demonstrating after, or demonstrating first and explaining afterwards – allows for different learning preferences.
    • Using different structured tasks, so that some pupils can be set lower or higher targets as necessary.
    • Using text on the blackboard in different colours for different groups of pupils to undertake appropriate tasks.
    • Using mixed ability groups for tasks
    • Using recall both at the end of the lesson and the beginning of the next to anchor information.
    • Using different tasks: for example, writing, listening, speaking, drawing, observation, dictation, reading, questioning. The content is differentially approachable.
    • Each differentiation method is systematic, simple, inclusive and inductive. Each child is helped to contribute in his/her own way to the creation of the whole picture.

    Following Steiner principles, BSS may consider carrying out a ‘Child Study’, a review of a child who needs special consideration, because of learning/ behavioural difficulties, special qualities, or characterises a particular age or stage of development. This takes place in Teacher’s and Staff meetings to build a shared picture of the child which can help our understanding of the child.