Tel: 01373 832804
Steiner practice embraces the idea of integrated education in which the core skills of oracy, numeracy and literacy are woven together with a study of science and an immersion in the arts. Alongside the core skills and academic disciplines, experiential learning - in the form of practical hand-work and land-crafts - and an exploration - through narrative, biography and history - of the moral-ethical ideas, myths and truths of diverse cultures and religions, form the cornerstones of the international curriculum framework.
The ‘class teacher’ approach consists of a teacher working with a class for a period of years (ideally, from age 6 to age 14). This is an expression of the importance given to cultivating positive social relationships within the class and the school as a whole. The class teacher period constitutes an eight-year programme of teaching and learning, taking the children from the early stages of childhood into the throes of adolescence.
The teaching of foreign languages is introduced from the age of 6 and the languages offered are Mandarin and Spanish. Eurythmy - a form of artistic movement blended with music and speech - is taught from the kindergarten onwards, while handwork, drama, music, gardening and art are recognised as vital and rewarding channels for learning and achievement.
Assessment of learning and progress focuses on a range of continuous and contextualised assessments that reflect the range of abilities in the classroom and the scope and detail of the programme of teaching and learning. Much of the assessment work is locally-designed, primarily classroom-based and carried out by the teachers of each class, who work collaboratively as a team of colleagues in a weekly, study-business meeting. In addition, a series of recognised screening tests in aspects of mathematics and English are conducted from Class 3 onwards. As part of its Funding Agreement, the school is also required to administer national tests at age 11 and submit teacher assessment data at ages 11 and 14. The school has also negotiated a number of exemptions, modifications and dis-applications from certain statutory requirements, including the EFSP, KS1 teacher assessment and the phonics spelling check.
Curriculum and pedagogy are predicated on the notion that lesson material and educational method must be in harmony with the generic developmental stage of the class of children and the development and progress of the individual children in the class. In the early years, especially in the 4-6 years period, the educational focus is on physical growth and movement, imaginative, child-generated play, imitation and rhythmical activities. Formal learning and attention to aesthetic and affective faculties are prominent in the ‘heart of childhood’ from 7 to 12, while an increasing emphasis on analytical, rational, cognitive capabilities provides the educational signature of the older classes.