CERN Trip

From 7 – 9 October most of Class 11 joined forces with the St Michael’s School (London) Class 11 to visit CERN, home of the Large Hadron Collider and Higgs particle fame, in Geneva Switzerland. Although only two of our students had the opportunity to descend 100 metres underground to see the huge CMS detector, much learning took place from the lectures, demonstrations, and exhibits on offer. We also visited the University of Geneva for two workshops in Electricity/ Magnetism and Colour/ Environmental Chemistry and participated in the second annual Geneva treasure hunt, as well as enjoying a genuine Swiss fondue supper. This was our last possible visit to the detector area for the next 5 years or so as the proton beam is due to be switched on early next year.
Glenn Metzner, Physics teacher

 

"I've never felt so belonging". Isn't that what we would all hope for our children?

Being an Individual in a Community: The Importance of Balance in a Waldorf School.

Being an Individual in a Community

The world we live in today increasingly focuses upon individual success in a material society. Young people can easily get lost in their personal profiles on Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites. In a Waldorf Upper School, we place importance upon encouraging students to look out into the world around them and seek their place within the community. Through self awareness comes the ability to take responsibility for one’s own actions and to understand the consequences of these for the community at large. At Michael Hall, as students enter Class 9, they traditionally embark upon a week long Earth Stewardship Camp, where they build shelters, learn to create fire using ancient techniques, and experience bushcraft skills. Most importantly, they develop a mindfulness in their approach to others in their class and nature itself. Over the years, students have reaped the benefits of this experience, especially when they come to meet the world directly with external exams at the end of Class 10.

This year, a group of 40 students took this journey and came back enthused, engaged and ready to take on the challenges of the years ahead. In the words of some parents, the trip was clearly a success:

I was concerned about taking a week out of my child's learning in their GCSE years and what I have seen has confirmed that you know exactly what you are doing! My child came back transformed - full of gratitude for what life brings and its opportunities for the future - brimming with life and enthusiasm.

We had to go into the garden and light a fire and he sat down and talked to me for several hours about his experiences, feelings and hopes. What a gift this brings in parental - child communications and what confidence and new awareness he has about himself and the world – fantastic.

She talked for the entire journey home, telling me of the events of each day, and overall says she had a really good time. She says that after the first day she wanted to come home, but only because she wanted to tell me all about what she had been doing!!!!!!

I thank you for your welcome, for the structure and boundaries, for the consequences and guidance on behaviour, for the high expectations, for all the effort you (and the Lower School Class teachers, and the parents) have put into shaping this group of youngsters up to this point.

This group of students will have the opportunity to take this further, by taking up the Earth Steward Apprenticeship over the next two years; we hope many will embark on this journey, as our experience is that it strengthens their ability to cope with the pressures of exams and take responsibility for their learning. Most importantly, such courses help to maintain a balance in life itself. Whilst we need to ‘measure up’ to the rigours of academic study, and work hard to reach our individual potential, we also need to function effectively as part of a community and learn to value practical and environmental skills too. We set up our future through these formative years, and not just through the achievements we can put on our CVs. If we can promote an understanding of the need for a healthy balance in our young people now, we can avoid burnout, stress fatigue and anxiety in the future. We can also reap the benefits of a society that looks out for each individual’s needs rather than each individual looking out for him / herself.
In the words of a student on returning from the Camp; I’ve never felt so belonging. Isn’t that what we would all hope for our children?
When searching for some final words on the effectiveness of such camps, this message was passed on to me:

“Wilderness rites of passage reveal each person’s life as a story being written each moment, and they remind us deeply that each story is magnificent …
Alone, we seek support. 
Hungry, we seek nourishment. Vulnerable, we seek openness,
Cold, we seek the warmth of an inner flame.
Empty, we seek vision.
Human, we seek not to be different but to be ourselves,
Not to find another world, but to live fully in ours.
Most of all, we pray for a gift to bring back to our People and our Place.”

Jane Morris-Brown 7.10.2014

Outdoor Learning in Steiner Schools - Simon Gillman

Full PDF version here

PG_Autumn_2014_GILLMAN_Page_1PG_Autumn_2014_GILLMAN_Page_2

Revised GCSE Results

‘Following completion of the Post-Results Enquiry phase, we are delighted to announce that our GCSE results have been positively revised. 67% of our Pupils gained a grade A*-B in the Summer 2014 Examinations Series and 41% of our exam grades were pitched at the A*/A grade standard.’

2014 GCSE composite results

Home from home, beautiful Kindergartens, Open Morning

Slider EYOM 15th November

Open Morning 16th October - Whole School

A4 Poster 16th October

Activity Day - Kidbrooke Kids - All welcome!

Slider October 2014

Thank you Alumni for your wonderful gift...

MICHAELMAS and the celebration of Michael Hall’s 90th birthday
A Waldorf education acknowledges certain special days of the year and as we approach Michaelmas – a time that asks us to make rigorous preparation and find a balance for that which is dying and dark, and there is an excitement within, a sense of anticipation that every day will be momentous this academic year. Michael Hall School will be turning 90!
On behalf of the school and its community we thank a lovely group of Alumni who have donated 1000 daffodil bulbs, a gift to Michael Hall. Each and every pupil will participate in planting them and when the Autumn harvest is complete and the opposite side of the year arrives, in Spring, it will waken our souls to the joy of rebirth and the celebration of life!

The Opera is coming to Michael Hall...

Poster A4

Alumni come back to speak with the Upper School

Today we welcomed back four of our Alumni who came to regale our Class 11 and 12 Students with their experiences of University life and share some insightful advice.

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The informative and interactive talk which was followed by a lively Q&A session was led by William Harvey, who studied a Master Degree at Nottingham University in Chinese Studies and is now working in the City of London, Jonathan Goodwin, who studied Physics in Kent, Martino Testi-Westlake who attended Oxford Brookes where he studied a Music degree and is now pursuing a Song-Writing course in London and Isobel Harvey who is about to embark on a Fine Art Degree at the University of Newcastle.

Topics such as the UCAS application process, course and university choices, student finance, life on campus and Gap Year opportunities as well as life after University were all discussed, which enabled Students of Class 11 and 12 to gain a better understanding of processes and ask any question they may have had on the topic by discussing with young people of their age who they can relate to.

We extend our sincere gratitude to Charlotte Harvey and William Forward who enabled this talk to take place, as well as gratefully thanking our Alumni for dedicating their time to us and offering our students such a vibrant and relevant experience.