Description of the School Initiative 2014 – 2016
The Waldorf Steiner School Ltd. is a community initiative that operates not for profit, with both a school and an in house teacher training program. Our original question was how can we bring Steiner Waldorf Education to the children of all families in Singapore, including children from economically disadvantaged families.
For nearly a 100 years, Steiner Waldorf Education has pioneered a time-tested pedagogy that balances artistic, academic and practical work educating the whole child — mind, heart as well as hands. Its innovative methodology and developmentally-oriented curriculum, permeated with the arts, address the child’s changing consciousness as it unfolds, stage by stage. Imagination and creativity are cultivated as well as cognitive growth, emotional balance and a sense of responsibility for the earth and its inhabitants, including towards communities and society. It is not only one of the fastest growing, but also considered by many as one of the most advanced educational systems in the world today.
Modern research is slowly catching up with aspects of the Steiner pedagogy through recognition of multiple intelligence, the emotional quotient, the importance of play in early childhood, awakening latent moral capacities, encouraging the striving for self-actualization, and other approaches that have been a part of the Steiner method since its inauguration by Dr. Rudolf Steiner in 1919. Currently more than 1000 schools in over 60 countries demonstrate how this comprehensive approach has crossed religious, cultural and ethnic boundaries through its emphasis on the development of full universal human potential. Dr. Steiner declared as the highest endeavor of teachers “to develop free human beings, who are able of themselves to impart purpose and direction to their lives.”
What started as a passionate impulse of 3 families keen to have this form of primary education for their children, with the first classes held in an outdoor classroom, grew slowly but surely within two years to 24 children with 7 teachers offering classes 1- 4. Of these, around 20% were from economically weaker families, and the school community worked together to make this education accessible for all the children.
Working out of the ethical and socially conscious impulse of Steiner Waldorf Education, our mission is to educate children using a balanced, innovative, and health-giving curriculum. We make this education accessible to all children, regardless of economic or religious background. We work together to develop each child’s head, heart and hands, helping them to become creative, compassionate and responsible human beings able to find meaning and purpose in their lives and preparing them to meet the challenges of the modern world. In partnership with parents and supporters, we strive to become a healing social force that works outward to build community and renew society.
Recently, the school has received its Company Limited by Guarantee (CLG) status and is now working with the Committee for Private Education (CPE) to register as a Private Education Institute.
In our school, we offer academic 2-hour main lesson every morning in blocks of 3-4 weeks, during which a certain topic is looked at in depth and from different viewpoints (for example, blocks on Human and Animal Studies, Farming, House-building, Local History & Geography, Mathematics, Plants, etc.). The rest of the day is filled with various subject lessons, including Foreign Languages, Music, Drawing, Painting, Clay Modelling, Speech & Drama, and Handwork.