About Steiner Waldorf Education
The Steiner Waldorf teaching methodology and curriculum are internationally recognised. They address many contemporary concerns, including respect for childhood, extended engagement of the adolescent in learning, sustainability, community building and social renewal. In the early years, the Steiner Waldorf Kindergarten provides time and space for the development of pre-literacy and numeracy skills, as well as nurturing social and emotional wellbeing, in a warm and secure learning environment where the qualities of childhood are cherished.
Formal learning begins when children are six, turning seven, and in-class assessment rather than testing is practised throughout.
At the centre of every Steiner Waldorf school’s activities is this set of principles, which recognise the integrated nature of the mind, body and spirit, set in a social or cultural context. Steiner Waldorf schools encourage teachers to use their own skills and creativity, and trust in each individual’s capacity to grow and develop their potential.
In this creative and unhurried learning atmosphere, a strong sense of purpose develops, and encourages freedom of thought, empathy and strength of will, and recognises the spiritual dimension of each human being.
Rudolf Steiner (1861 – 1925) was an innovative academic born in Austria whose ideas founded the basis of Anthroposophy. He applied his ideas to education as well as agriculture, medicine, architecture and social reform. St Paul's acknowledges Rudolf Steiner as the founding inspiration of modern day Steiner Waldorf schools, but does not promote Anthroposophy or endorse every aspect of it. It was never intended to be taught in schools.
Its ideas and principles underpin the educational philosophy, which seeks to nurture equally the child’s capacities for thinking, feeling and volition, as well as fostering a sense of respect for each other and the world around them. While he sparked an education that is kind, gentle and holistic, he was not a man without fault. Some of his views on race expressed in a small selection of his work, which are completely contradictory to the essence of his contributions to education, are unequivocally rejected by all staff and trustees. We are actively working to teach inclusively, ensuring that equality and diversity are at the heart of our curriculum. We aim to reflect the multicultural city around us, and celebrate the many languages, cultures and faiths within our school community. We have the same aspirations for all our children.