Saturday, March 31, 2012

Nature Deficit Disorder: our response to National Trust research.

The SWSF shares many of the concerns highlighted in Stephen Moss's research commissioned by the National Trust.

An active engagement with the natural world is an important aspect of Steiner Waldorf education.

In Steiner early years settings the young child is given every opportunity to play outside, to explore and make use of natural materials and to experience the outdoor as a familiar environment, full of wonder and possibility.

Throughout the primary school years teachers will look for opportunities to link classroom learning to the outside environment. The study of house building and farming at age nine may involve the making of clay bricks or the hands-on experience of farming techniques. Chemistry lessons at age 12 may involve the building of kilns to make charcoal or lime; physics lessons may involve green-wood turning or practical engineering solutions that take children out of the classroom and into the natural world.

At the same time a sense of wonder and appreciation for the natural world is fostered from pre-school all the way to adolescence. This is supported by the use of stories that draw on the world of plants and animals, the celebration of seasonal festivals and a curriculum that includes botany, geology and animal study .

At secondary level there is an approach to natural sciences that emphasises the need for observation and direct experience rather than simply an abstract knowledge of prevailing theories. A sense of the moral responsibility we have towards the natural world is cultivated.

Steiner schools engage their parents in critical debate on issues such as play and screen entertainment, encouraging them to give their children wide opportunities to get active out of doors.

National Trust research

Monday, March 26, 2012

Former Pupil wins `Young Journalist of the Year`.

Congratulations are in order for Ruth Sherlock, a graduate of the Hereford Waldorf School, (now the Steiner Academy Hereford).  Ruth has won the Young Journalist of the Year Award for 2012.  
The Daily Telegraph   describes how Ruth ` beat off stiff competition to win young journalist of the year for her reporting from Egypt and Syria ….The judges praised her "astonishing collection of work" during the Arab Spring after she produced a series of "harrowing" accounts which showed her "skill in colour writing as well as courage". `
Ruth also features in the SWSF video `The Gift of Learning` that can be viewed  here and on the SWSF facebook page.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Interest in school videos from around the globe confirms growing trend.

The excellent Waldorf Today web site and news service has made available six short videos from six different Steiner schools, four in the USA, and one each in Germany, Australia and Canada.
This comes at a time when media experts and `trend analysts` are pointing to the fact that young people are increasingly using social media such as facebook and You Tube as their search engines of choice, rather than the likes of Google and Yahoo. This means that a prospective parent searching the internet for information about Steiner education is more and more likely to meet a video clip than a `traditional` web site.
SWSF has experienced the same phenomenon in recent weeks with the huge interest in the DVD `The Gift of Learning`
Waldorf Today can be found at:

View the following videos: