Day in the life

Upper School – Classes 9 and 10

Class 9 is classed as a year of the ‘will’ where the pupil strives to seek boundaries within contrasting emotions (hate to love, enthusiasm to boredom). Class 9 teachers are required to implement clear and fair processes in order that the middle ground can be firmly held. Teachers need to engage the students’ will forces and harness their enthusiasm and motivation to achieve, through both practical and academic challenges.

Class 10 is classed as the year of the ‘feeling’ where one sees a gradual harmonising, objective and critical perspective. In Class 10 teachers are required to employ great sensitivity and awareness whilst teaching. The Teacher aims to support the students through a variety of competencies, skills and abilities; in particular, social awareness and increasing self-motivation to enable independent working and learning. Encouragement to be aware of the world beyond themselves is important as students begin to develop structure and a sense for causality in their thinking, a motivation to connect, which becomes increasingly objective.

GCSEs options

Class 9 and 10 students take the following GCSEs, and more information can be found in the GSCE booklet which holds the current options available for 2020 – 2021 students:

  • English
  • Maths
  • Double Award Science
  • Plus a choice of 2/3 other GCSE subjects (please see the booklet above for the current GCSE options)

Waldorf Curriculum

In addition to the exam subjects, students partake in weekly subject lessons of Eurythmy, Music, Crafts, Ethics and Gym and Games as well as daily Main Lessons for the first two lessons of each day. The timetable in Class 9 also includes a one week trip at the beginning of the school year and a three week work project in the summer term. In Class 10 students take two weeks go out into the world of work, organising a placement with an employer of their choice.

Main Lessons for Classes 9 and 10

The main lesson schedule changes each year, it has a range of curriculum designed to lay the foundation for all of the other studies. For 2019/2020 the schedule for Class 9 through 12 can be viewed here.

The Craft Rotation for Class 9 

  • Basketwork
  • Black and White Drawing
  • Metalwork (Copper Work)
  • Joinery
  • Clay Modelling

The Craft Rotation for Class 10

  • Basketwork
  • Book Binding
  • Ceramics
  • Metalwork
  • Painting

More information can be found in our Waldorf Curriculum Class 9 & 10 booklet as well as the homework schedule.

Upper School – Classes 11 and 12

We are very fortunate at Michael Hall to have a strong, vibrant sixth form, with students who are committed to their learning. We are continually striving to support them to become independent learners who are ready at the end of Class 12 to step out into the world with a sense of their own individual purpose. We hope that you will join them on this journey.

The step from Class 10 into Class 11 is probably the most significant for any student on his or her path through the Michael Hall and on to their life journey. It represents the golden opportunity to make personal decisions which will influence the direction pursued not only in the Sixth Form, but also in higher education, and even into the first phase of a career.

The decision to join Class 11 at Michael Hall represents a choice to access the best of both worlds; combining the breadth of the Waldorf Curriculum with the opportunity to study exam subjects in depth that inspire the personal interests of each student. We offer a College environment, whilst maintaining a balance, or breathing, through subjects that are not ‘desk bound’.

Students who have continued into Classes 11 and 12 talk of the value of their Main Lessons; they underpin and develop the subjects they have chosen at A-level and engender a lifelong love of learning for interest’s sake. They also relish the new way of learning, feeling empowered in smaller classes, with fellow students who have chosen the same subjects. They speak of inspiring teachers and the joyful experience of discovering the intricacies of their subjects. In addition to the richness of their Sixth Form studies, they are clear that a key benefit of being at Michael Hall lies in their sense of community; that they are valued individuals who gain strength from being part of their Class and their School whilst looking outwards to see how they can move out into the world.

As a small sixth form, the choices we have traditionally offered prepare students well for choices in Higher Education such as University and Art Colleges. Many students also move on to a Gap year, vocational courses and the world of work. However, we prefer not to rest on our laurels, so we have an ongoing programme of Student Consultation regarding our Class 11 and 12 Curriculum.

In addition, the students will have received extensive careers information throughout their education, please see Careers Information section of the website. We also have useful information on how to prepare for exams.

In Class 11 (age 16/17), the education serves to support the pupil in developing emotional judgment, emotional intelligence and insight; a year of the thinking. Students are encouraged to travel beyond the visible and observable phenomena into an examination of ways of thinking about such phenomena, thus encouraging and enhancing their powers of imagination.

This supports greater harmony within the student as they can stand outside themselves and utilise greater balance and objectivity in the ‘will’ and ‘feeling’ aspects of their life. They also develop skills in their independent responses to matters such as social tact and taste. In Class 11 greater social responsibility develops and the social practical/industrial tour enables them to experience the interconnectedness in society with compassion and humility.

In Class 12 (age 17/18) students seek an overview in which to reconcile the tension between the needs of individual and global consciousness, and to reveal their own position in the world they are about to enter into. Another year of the Will, and this time to go out into the world and take one’s place. They begin to develop a sense of experiencing an overview of the world and ask what their place in that world will be. The curriculum supports this process and further develops the students’ ability to think independently and creatively with social responsibility and insight into the implications of judgment.

Curriculum Content for Classes 11 and 12

The Upper School curriculum balances aspects of traditional Steiner Waldorf education with examinations in order that students may enter the world with support for their own development alongside the qualifications that will allow them to follow their chosen direction.

A-level options

Students choose from a variety of AS/A2 subjects and they study these alongside the Steiner Waldorf Curriculum. Students in Class 11 can also chose to do an Edexcel Level 3 Extended Project (see more information below).

For more information you can read our A-level Booklet which holds the current options available for 2020 – 2021 students.

Main Lessons for Classes 11 and 12

The Main Lesson topics support an understanding of the journey from ‘what is my question’ to ‘how may I begin to fulfil that task’? An overview of the relationship between the individual and the surrounding world is introduced in Main Lessons allowing for differing ways to explore the world through debate and discussion.

The major performances of Eurythmy and the Class 12 Play, bring together the social, artistic, creative and performance skills that students have developed throughout their education (alongside Ethics, Eurythmy, Music and Gym). The study of Art and Music also prepares students for their school-end Italy Trip so that they are ready to appreciate the role of the renaissance in the human being and in their own stage of development.

Craft Rotation in Class 11

Students continue with the Craft Rotation through to Class 11 embarking on Book Binding, Ceramics and Metalwork.

More information can be found in our Waldorf Curriculum for Class 11 & 12 booklet.

The Edexcel Level 3 Extended Project

The Edexcel Level 3 Extended Project allows learners to study a topic area which extends their learning in their area of study, either as a standalone qualification or as part of a 14-19 Diploma. Learners select one of the four units, which may be completed over one or two years. They should select a project topic which expands their learning in their field of study, in a related area, or that is relevant to their own personal interests. Each of the four units offers a different type of project: a dissertation, an investigation/field study, a performance or an artefact. Learners will be assessed on their ability to plan, manage, complete and review their project; this is assessed by a tutor-assessor from within the centre and externally moderated by Edexcel.

We have also produced a What to expect in Upper School booklet, which has even more information about the Upper School.

“MH aims to provide a holistic education with regard to the physical, emotional and spiritual development of the child. It aims to support the growth of the child into a free thinking adult who can act with imagination and moral integrity and a sense of purpose.” Trustee