There is an emphasis on ensuring that all pupils in the school make the academic progress of which they are capable. However, while doing this, the headteacher has also maintained the school’s Steiner philosophy and ethos. As a result, pupils’ outcomes and their personal development are equally strong.
We believe a child’s educational progress from early childhood to young adulthood is a developmental journey. This journey needs a child-centred approach in which the curriculum and the style of learning reflects the natural stage of the growing child.
16 children per class
Your child will be part of a small class group of no more than 16 children, who grow to appreciate the abilities and qualities of their peers and so also learn from each other. Small class sizes also support direct child to teacher learning.
No Formal Tests
In the current educational landscape of the UK, we believe our young children are over tested and put under too much pressure from an early age. We do not support formal testing in the primary years and focus on regular teacher feedback.
Knowing your child well is central to our approach to learning. The Class Teacher develops a deep knowledge of the children’s educational, social and emotional needs and nurtures their individual strengths.
We place a lot of emphasis on creativity, with drawing, painting, music, movement, poetry, modelling and drama used in all subjects. We also value physical movement and children participate in traditional games, sports, gymnastics and drama.
Computers and other on-screen learning methods are not used at all until pupils reach adolescence. Global research shows alarming rates of anxiety, depression and loneliness among young people are being linked to screen time.
For one term each year, children take part in weekly forest school activities at Leigh Woods.
The Foundation Years
Age 6 - 8
Each day begins with the two hour Main Lesson with the Class Teacher. The first part will involve movement and music and poetry as well as regular daily practice of mental arithmetic or spelling.
Then the Class will focus for a three or four week period on a particular subject, for example: Mathematics, English Language or Form Drawing. This extended lesson allows the Class to become absorbed in a particular subject and the Class Teacher is able to lead the children through specific learning stages in that subject.
Alongside the core curriculum delivered by the class teacher, a team of specialist teachers enrich the curriculum for the children with Music, Modern Language, Handwork, Form Drawing, Modelling, Eurythmy (an art form combining language, music and movement), and Woodwork.
Time for Learning
After 3-4 weeks the Main Lesson changes and a new subject is taken up while the previous one is allowed to rest. When the Class returns to the first subject after a pause, the learning has been digested and the children are able to use their knowledge in new ways.
Children will learn varying instruments including the flute and violin from class 1 onwards.
Activities & Handwork
Using a range of activities including wood work, movement, singing, music, drawing, painting and modelling the children familiarise themselves with the fundamentals of mathematics and literacy, developing core skills in these areas. They learn through imaginative pictures and play, which engages their feelings and allows their core skills to develop without pressure and stress.
All primary years
We have a dedicated woodwork room with a specialist carpenter and natural woodwork expert. The children develop skills from whittling to joint making and basic carpentry.
All primary years
Handwork is a dedicated lesson, in addition to the main lesson. The children will further develop cognitive, mathematical and creative attributes whilst learning the practical skills of sewing, spinning, weaving and crocheting.
The educational development of the children moves into the Enrichment Years.
The Enrichment Years
Age 9 - 11
Development of Learning
At this stage of the child’s development their relationship to the world around them is reflected in the curriculum we offer. There is a steady development in the curriculum and the children are challenged to learn and respond more independently.
New subjects such as Biology, Zoology, Geography, Geometry and History are gradually introduced. As before, the children create their own unique Main Lesson book for each subject and these books form one of the records of their achievement which the children can be proud of, and the school and parents can use to assess progress.
A developing self-awareness is responded to with practical lessons. For example Mathematics Main Lessons will include measurement of weight, volume, time and distance, also money. They will study housebuilding in the different regions of the world and there will be a practical house building project. Formal grammar appears for the first time as children learn to look at their own language in a more objective way.
A new Main Lesson provides an introduction to Biology. Individual project work is now introduced into the Main Lesson themes. This enables children to follow their own particular interests and to find ways to present their work and ideas to their peers.
The Main Lessons for this age group includes a study of the ancient civilisations of Mesopotamia, Persia, Ancient India, Egypt and Greece. The rich mythologies of these cultures provide the material for the English Language work in this year. Mathematics now includes the introduction of decimals and geometry, the latter developing naturally out of the Form Drawing work of the earlier years.
Other topics include botany and focus on the evolution of plants in their unique environments. Local Geography broadens out to encompass the British Isles. A highlight of this year is attending an ‘Olympiad’ where children of this age from many Steiner Schools both from the UK and often from Europe gather for a Camp and festival of Sports and Gymnastics.
In addition to the Main Lessons, Specialist teachers deepen and broaden the curriculum for the children with PSHE (Personal Social and Health Education), Music, French, Handwork, Eurythmy (an art form combining language, music and movement), Painting, Form Drawing, Woodwork, Games, Gardening.
Spanish is taught in all primary years with an authentic mother tongue.