Category Archives: Who We Are
Links to Websites
Steiner Waldorf Schools Fellowship
The SWSF is the membership organisation for all the Steiner schools and independent Steiner Early Years settings in the UK and Ireland.
The Freunde Waldorf is an international site linking Waldorf projects across the globe.
Articles and Press
A report was published in 2005 called "Steiner Schools in England" by Philip Woods, Martin Ashley and Glenys Woods of the University of West of England, Bristol. One of the recommendations in this report is quoted below and could be taken as a summary of some of the differences between Steiner and maintained-sector approaches to education:
"Government, LEAs, maintained and Steiner schools and the SWSF to explore the potential of the following to inform practice in maintained schools:
- early introduction and approach to modern foreign languages
- the combination of class and subject teaching for younger children
- development of speaking and listening through an emphasis on oral work
- the development of a good pace in lessons through an emphasis on rhythm
- the emphasis on child development in guiding the curriculum and examinations
- the approach to art and creativity
- the attention given to teachers’ reflective activity and heightened awareness (in collective child study for example)
- collegial structure of leadership and management, including collegial study."
The Cambridge Primary Review is an independent enquiry into the condition and future of primary education in England. It is based at the University of Cambridge, supported by Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and directed by Professor Robin Alexander. One recommendation of the review is for school education (not Early Years/kindergarten) to start at age 6. This is exactly what happens at a Steiner school.
In this section of the website you will find articles relating to Steiner education from the press in the form of newspaper cuttings and online articles.
You are your Child’s First Teacher Rahmina Baldwin Darcy (Hawthorn Press)
The Incarnating Child Joan Almon (Hawthorn Press)
School as a Journey Torin M. Finser (Steiner Books)
The Education of the Child Rudolf Steiner (Steiner Books)
Education Towards Freedom Frans Calgren (Floris Books)
Waldorf Education Christopher Clouder (Floris Books)
All Year Round Ann Druitt, Christine Fynes-Clinton (Hawthorn Press)
Games Children Play Kim Brooking-Payne (Hawthorn Press)
Cambridge Steiner School has developed through the work and vision of many people over the years; like most fledgling Waldorf schools, it did not open its doors overnight. A small parent and toddler group gradually grew from small gatherings in parents' living rooms in 1987, drawing in families through workshops and lectures, to open its first kindergarten in 1994.
The school has been blessed by its pioneering families who were able to see beyond the dim and cramped surroundings of our previous premises. They undertook many of the administrative roles, holding parent and toddler groups as volunteers, making crafts for our fairs and stalls and being the first friendly faces to greet new families. The school continues to be inspired by the vision of its earliest teachers who helped guide the school through its infancy. Together these teachers and families have left a legacy of school traditions that inspire new parents.
Now, twenty-five years on, the Cambridge Steiner School has successfully moved premises to Fulbourn where our primary school shares a building with four kindergartens and a parent and child group. In today's fragmented society, the parents of the Steiner school have found a community whose benefits extend beyond the education and wellbeing of their own children to include that of their entire family. The community of families is the caretaker of our school and assumes responsibility for its upkeep and management. The teachers, trustees and parents of the Cambridge Steiner School are striving to develop further in the school and the community.
Steiner (Waldorf) education is the fastest-growing non-denominational educational movement in the world. There are Steiner schools on every continent. Steiner education works in the suburbs of Stockholm, the thriving cities of Brazil, the townships of South Africa and in the ancient cities of Japan. It works in Cambridge too!
Steiner education is based on profound insight into the child’s developmental, age-specific needs and capabilities. Founded by Rudolf Steiner, in Central Europe in 1919, Steiner schools today are more relevant than ever.
The first Waldorf school was founded in Stuttgart in 1919. Today there are over 1,100 Waldorf schools and almost 2,000 Waldorf kindergartens in some 80 countries around the globe.
With many exciting projects on all continents. Keep your ears and eyes open, and be part of the movement: 100 years are just the beginning!
Steiner schools provide continuity of education for children up to age 18 (depending on the uptake in any particular location) and welcome families from all cultural backgrounds and faiths.
They are all co-educational and comprehensive; offering a non-streamed approach to learning. Thus the classroom becomes a microcosm of society, reflecting different cultures, faiths and abilities, striving to live in harmony and learning not only from the teacher but also from each other.
At Cambridge Steiner School children acquire knowledge in all the areas of conventional education (maths, science, literacy, and other subjects on the National Curriculum).
But they also gain something extra:
Children enjoy an unhurried childhood.
Visit our school and watch the children at play. You’ll see children who delight in being allowed to live in the moment, who are free to explore nature and to go where their wide-eyed sense of wonder and imagination takes them. In our frenetic world, where pushing children to “hurry up or fall behind” has become the norm, Steiner education takes the view that childhood is something to be savoured. Free to develop according to their own natural rhythms, Steiner-educated children enjoy full and rich childhoods, gaining the experiences they need to become healthy, self-actualized individuals.
Love and Pleasure of Learning
Formal learning (desk-based learning) is delayed until the age of six or seven years allowing pupils to develop literacy, numeracy and social skills through play-based learning in the Kindergarten. When they enter the Lower School, our pupils are ready to embrace formal learning.
Education is not measured by competition and test scores but is viewed as a life-long journey. And an educational approach that appropriately responds to a child’s natural interest in the world cannot help but result in an intrinsic desire to find out more.
In-depth Study Enriches Learning Experiences
Teachers teach to the whole child – and each lesson is revealed in a three-fold manner: through the intellectual capacities (thinking), artistic and emotional capacities (feeling), and practical skill-building capacities (willing). All subjects are linked, and each lesson integrates academic work with fine arts and practical arts so that a child is not only intellectually engaged but emotionally and aesthetically invested in their learning.
Fostering Lifelong Respect for the Earth and a Deep Appreciation for Nature’s Bounty and Fellow Human Beings
Our school embraces and encourages outdoor time as part of a school’s daily curriculum through extended recess time, environmental study, service work, outdoor education, or time spent tending the school garden – the benefits are well-documented.
In Steiner education, the nature connection is also about showing children the natural rhythms of life and revealing our kinship with all living things. It is about careful observation to see what the natural world has to teach. And finally, it is about stewardship and understanding our place as humans collectively, and as individuals, who care take the natural realm.
"The new generation should not just be made to be what present society wants it to become." - Rudolf Steiner
The goal in Steiner education is to expose children to a wide range of experiences and to develop within them many interests and capabilities. This, in turn, leads to well-balanced young people with high levels of confidence in their ability to apply the skills developed in one area to another are, and the knowledge that they can master anything.
A Steiner education is a unique experience that will enable your child to be practically and emotionally confident as well as academically successful – to engage fully with the world and to see challenges as opportunities.