The priority of the Steiner ethos is to provide a learning environment where children can find the joy in learning and experience the richness and imagination of childhood. The curriculum is rooted in the principal that it should meet the needs of, and be in harmony with, children at each stage of their physical, emotional, spiritual and mental development. The core subjects of the curriculum are taught in thematic blocks and all lessons include a balance of artistic, practical and intellectual content.
Two or three practice lessons are given each week in addition to the maths main lesson (during which substantial new topics are introduced with a deep dive).
In the Lower School, practice in the reading and writing of English forms a natural part of all main lesson work, although during the time when grammar or literature is taken as the main lesson subject, more concentrated attention is given. In addition, two or three practice lessons are given each week. English Language is offered at GCSE and English Literature is offered at A-Level.
During the Class-Teacher years, Science is delivered predominantly through Main Lesson blocks: Biology (from Class 4 onwards), Physics (from Class 6) and Chemistry (from Class 7). Pupils learn about scientific method and are encouraged to see, discover and experiment for themselves as part of the process. In the Upper School, in addition to continuing Main Lessons, we offer the dual award combined science "Trilogy" GCSE, as well as Physics, Chemistry and Biology A-Levels.
Every class has weekly singing lessons, and recorder (along with basic music theory) is taught from Classes 3-7. In the Upper School there is a choir with performances throughout the year. There are a number of peripatetic teachers for most stringed and wind instruments for those wishing to learn an additional instrument to the recorder. There are Main Lessons in the Upper School devoted to the history and development of music.
There is a weekly watercolour painting lesson from Class 1 and a carefully curated curriculum throughout the Lower School to teach the pupils artistic techniques in a variety of styles. GCSE Art and Art and Design are both offered in the Upper School as well as Fine Art at A-Level.
Regular lessons are devoted to Arts and Crafts. The Lower School children are taught a variety of textile techniques such as knitting, sewing and crochet. Wood-Carving and Joinery is introduced in the Middle School. In the Upper School Basket-Work, Metalwork (including iron, copper and silver), Ceramics and Bookbinding are taught. In additional to the above, seasonal crafts are enjoyed throughout the year.
Children have two gym lessons a week from Class 3 when Gym is taught through imaginative games with the view of teaching the children to move their bodies skilfully as a precursor to competitive sport. In the Middle School a variety of sports are taught in three week blocks and there are county level teams for netball, basketball and volleyball (in the summer).
Every class throughout the school has at least one Eurythmy lesson each week. This subject aims at enhancing co-ordination and co-operation and to experience the nature of music and the spoken word through movement.
Bushcraft & Gardening
All classes in the Lower School have at least one Outdoors lesson during which they learn about nature, developing into Bushcraft and then Gardening in the middle school. In Class 3, there is an afternoon each week dedicated to experiencing biodynamic farming. As part of this, the class grow wheat and vegetables to make a feast for the whole school from their harvest.
German and Spanish are taught from Class 1 and are offered at GCSE. Songs, recitation and conversation, together with plays are given prominence in the younger classes to give the children a living experience of languages.
All classes in the school have Main Lesson for the first two hours of every morning. Each Main Lesson is devoted to a single subject for three or four week blocks so that the subject can be explored in depth and the pupil’s minds are not divided nor their energies dissipated by constant change. The Main Lessons in the younger years also include some movement and/or musical activities throughout the morning.
Class 9 and 10 students take the following GCSEs.
- Double Award Science
- Plus a choice of 2/3 other GCSE subjects
Please see the following booklet for the current GCSE 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 choose to do an Edexcel Level 3 Extended Project.
Please see the following booklet for the current A-Level options