""Every child has certain talents of its own. At a Waldorf school, children are helped to find and further develop those talents".
What is a Waldorf School?
The Waldorf schools have existed for almost 100 years. The education is based on questions every child asks itself sooner or later: what do I want, what can I do, what is my goal in life and how do I become a good, cosmopolitan citizen? Every individual is unique, poses his own questions and deserves his own answer. In the lessons the teachers constantly keep these questions in mind. In evaluating the students we do not only judge the students’ grades but also their development. At the Waldorf teachers’ college – which is a mix of regular teachers’ college, philosophy and art school – Waldorf teachers are taught to watch and evaluate this development. When choosing the Waldorf school, you’re choosing a school where sincere engagement, attention, respect and dedication are very important and where everyone is received with an open heart.
Waldorf schools use a student tracking system and its students make Cito tests. Because the children are taught a lot more skills than children that follow regular primary school education, children also receive separate certificates and the school discusses the entire development with parents.
To educate is to raise, that is the starting point of the Waldorf education. The goal is to support the child in its complete development. In addition to learning to read, write and do maths, an important part of this is the development of the personality, both individually and relating to students’ social environs. The Waldorf school pays a lot of attention to festivals with special importance given to seasons, embracing different cultural narratives. In Waldorf education, human values such as community, respect and compassion are key. These are kindled as basic feelings, both in the lessons and in interaction. Rhythm and rituals have a central place in Waldorf education. Learning with head, heart and hands: we strive to offer development of ‘thinking’, ‘feeling’ and ‘wanting’ and to balance these three areas within our curriculum. Waldorf students are often characterized as creative thinkers and are very involved in the school. Being a creative thinker is an asset in a rapidly changing society such as ours. Surveys show that students are enthusiastic about their school, up to the end and after their time there.
Education can broaden and deepen. On a Waldorf school, children learn the same skills as on a regular primary school, but they learn more, broader. They don’t just learn to read, write and do math, but also learn foreign languages, dance, sing, paint and perform in theatre. They also work in the garden and celebrate festivals.
Learning while moving?
A basic concept is that children learn through doing. In all of the classes, we use movement like clapping, walking and dancing. The combination of movement and cognitive activity ensure a better reception of the curriculum.
From the first class the students receive learning material about one subject in the ‘main lessons’, covering the first two hours of each school day for a period of several weeks. Based on the theme of that period, subjects are explained in depth and regarded with several approaches. Subjects that are broached are: astronomy, language, history, crafts, math, Norse and Greek mythology, molding and many others. It signifies the storytelling character of Waldorf schools.
Waldorf schools are based on the anthroposophic human image which stems from the anthroposophic philosophy by Rudolf Steiner. The goal of these schools is not to transfer specific religious thoughts. The schools try to keep in touch with modern times, because forms of education are the result of the society and times we live in. A new generation of people keeps the Waldorf schools and education in motion and the curriculum is in constant development. No Waldorf school is the same, although its foundations are firm.
Quality of education
Besides the monitoring of the quality of education by the Educational Inspection, the board of the Geert Grote Scholen in Amsterdam will vouch for the specific Waldorf character of our initiative.