Ethos and Aims
“Inspired by the Waldorf vision of childhood, our education values and celebrates each stage of development, facilitating each child’s gradual self-realization as part of a social whole. We are dedicated to harmonising the physical, emotional and spiritual aspects of each of our pupils in a way that gives them the confidence, resilience and insight to make a positive difference in the world throughout their lives. As the longest-running Waldorf School in the world, offering a proven and progressive alternative to the pressurised approach to education, we continually work at deepening our teaching practice, the better to realise the aims stated above.”
Michael Hall aims to offer an education to children from KG to age 18 that addresses the whole human being, body, soul and spirit at every stage. In working on developing this education as an art, the teachers are inspired by the work of Rudolf Steiner and share this work with the Steiner Waldorf school movement worldwide. Our aspiration was summarised by Marie Steiner in these words “Our highest aim must be to develop young people who are able of themselves to impart purpose and direction to their lives”. Our holistic approach attaches equal importance to the crafts, the arts and intellectual attainment.
With reverence for each child, the early years work builds a foundation for the whole of life-long learning. The class teacher guides children into society for the first 8 years of formal learning with loving authority, with a sense of the wholeness of life, making connections. In the upper school years the students encounter the expertise that can inspire them to find and achieve their own goals.
The bond between parent, teacher and child is one that is
process-based, not outcome-based.
Our daily work can be experienced as creating culture, like a living stream. In doing so, it preserves an awareness and connection with environmental/cosmic rhythms. Newness comes into our work through service of the ideal. We care for each child and aim to allow children to enjoy their childhood. The Individual: We cultivate an awareness that the thriving of any individual is based on the support of the community and that, conversely, the thriving community will depend on the awareness of the community in each individual. Teaching is a path of learning for the teacher. Parents also find learning opportunities in our community. Our teaching gesture is to remove obstacles, so that the child can realise its own potential. In every detail of school life, we encourage initiative.
The Community: As the longest-running Steiner Waldorf school in the English speaking world we feel a sense of responsibility to the wider movement as well as to our local community and the school community of pupils, parents, teachers and support staff. We are committed to continuing professional development and to training new teachers.
Our setting invites us to celebrate the fact that we are in international community, with a culture of mutual respect, tolerance and fraternity. The grounds of Kidbrooke Park daily call for us to care for the land in every gesture of our education. Whilst we are privately funded, largely by fee-income, we aspire to be inclusive to families from a range of incomes. We rejoice in a strong and diverse team of specialists (languages, gardening, music, drama, movement, art, learning support … many centres of excellence). In doing so we acknowledge a living connection with colleagues who have passed on, drawing from their inspiration.
The Environment: Care for the environment informs every classroom and every lesson, most obviously in the striving towards the ideal of beauty. In this too, we are a community. We strive towards a harmonious interplay of culture, cultivation and conservation.