Steiner Academy Sussex Weald’s aim is to create a government supported Free School with a Steiner Waldorf curriculum, for children aged from 4 to 16. Our school will welcome pupils from Reception through to Year 11. We should very much like to open with five year groups, from Reception through to Year 4 (2 x Kindergarten years and Classes 1 to 3), depending on there being sufficient evidence of demand for these ages, and subject to budgetary constraints. If these factors allow, we would consider additional year groups at opening. We aim to bring to the Sussex Weald area, real educational choice and diversity in the non-independent sector.
We wish to bring a new impulse to Steiner education, in that we want to make it available to all, regardless of ability to pay. Our intention is to deliver the international Steiner curriculum, which has long been proven to be successful in many parts of the world, as the foundation for a broad-based education. However, this framework also provides the flexibility for us to adapt to the particular needs of the children in the specific communities within which we shall be working. The curriculum balances academic and practical learning – taking equally into the account the pupils’ emotional, social, physical and spiritual, as well as intellectual, development irrespective of class, ethnicity, faith or academic ability. It nurtures individual creativity in a culture of collaborative learning, with a focus on creative thinking and problem solving.
We aim to develop children to their fullest potential as motivated, confident, self-reliant and responsible individuals with an enduring love of learning and a strong sense of the contribution that they can make to society at large. This process will begin at age 4, where the nurturing of communication and language skills, physical development, and personal, social and emotional development will be key. There will be a rich language and artistic environment, with an emphasis on speaking and listening skills, memory, play, the development of imagination, working as part of a team and learning to communicate within structured and unstructured activities. From ages 6/7 all of these skills will be consolidated and built upon, with the addition of literacy and numeracy. At ages 10/11 our pupils will all be assessed at Key Stage 2. Through to age 16, more complex and abstract thinking will be developed according to each individual’s stage of progress, building on the solid foundation of learning and development already provided, and leading to a range of subjects at GCSE.
To meet the need of each individual child at his or her particular stage of physical, emotional, cognitive and social development we will provide a high level of individual attention and commitment to each pupil through teachers who know their pupils well and maintain links with their families. This approach will provide differentiated support to ensure that each child is appropriately nurtured and, therefore, thrives, seeking to complement learning in settings in which children spend more time.
We intend to employ teachers who can work with developing the principles of the Steiner curriculum. This means that they will have a strong commitment to contemplating the social, emotional, intellectual and physical life of each child they teach. They will liaise with colleagues to develop all aspects of their pupils, and will endeavour to understand their environments and inherent qualities, in order that they can work with each unique child. They will use their own creative capabilities to meet the particular needs and talents of the children.
We shall encourage a ‘green’ environment within the school and make pupils aware of the commitment our society should have to a world in which sustainability and eco-awareness play an essential part.
There is no one religion that is promoted in a Steiner education. The teachers work with the faiths and cultures of the children in their school through festivals and through the modelling of non-judgemental, open-minded and integrated adults. The school will draw on Rudolf Steiner’s work on child development but will not teach or promote his philosophy known as anthroposophy.
Our desire is to produce free-thinking school leavers who can achieve excellence in a wide range of intellectual, emotional, physical, practical and creative skills, and who will be valued by further education establishments and employers.
The Steiner Academy Sussex Weald will be run by a Principal, Steiner and/or State qualified teachers, and other relevant qualified individuals who have the same passion and a desire to honour and respect every child in the school. The school will provide a learning environment for parents, carers, teachers and others in the community surrounding the school, in order to work together in support of the education provided by the school.