Steiner & Anthroposophy
Rudolf Steiner, 1861-1925, was an Austrian philosopher whose work extended into a large number of fields, of which education is one.
He gave valuable insights into the development of the child from birth to adulthood, which has enabled teachers to achieve a truly child-centred education.
In 1919 Steiner gave a series of lectures on education to the workers at the Waldorf-Astoria cigarette factory in Stuttgart. They were so impressed that they asked Steiner to help set up a school for their children.
In September of that year 'The Free Waldorf School' was opened with 300 children in 8 classes. There are now nearly 900 Steiner/Waldorf schools worldwide and our school, founded in 1949, is one of over 30 schools in the United Kingdom.
Steiner had described his ideal of a comprehensive education that encompassed everyone, regardless of social background. The basis of this 'art of education' was - and still is - a recognition of the physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual needs of the developing human being.Steiner's philosophy, which he named Anthroposophy, can be applied to all walks of life and provides guiding principles for the teachers' work. It is important to note, however, that Anthroposophy itself is not taught to the children.The broad curriculum is designed to meet the needs of the children at each stage of their development. Children are entered into classes according to their age rather than their academic ability, and the teacher is free, to present the subject material in an individual way that aims to awaken and enthuse the children, encouraging them to discover and learn for themselves. In this way the child is not educated solely in the '3 Rs' but also in the '3 Hs' - Hand, Heart, Head - the practical, feeling and thinking capacities.
The school's success is reflected in the remarkably positive results obtained in a recent survey of parents, staff and pupils