The role of television is central in modern life, but research indicates that too much screen time can have a negative effect on our children. Furthermore, children (particularly during early childhood) learn best and flourish emotionally through engaging with the physical world, and time spent in front of screens deprives them of this. Therefore Steiner Waldorf schools do not encourage watching television or use of electronic media, particularly in the Early Years and Lower School. Televisions and computers or tablets are not used as teaching resources in the classrooms and while we would ultimately prefer that children did not watch television or use screens in the early stages of their education and childhood, we do recognise that this aspect lies with parents and the family home. It is for each family and parent to decide what role television and other electronic media should play in the lives of their children.

These two educational approaches began with a similar goal: to design a curriculum that was developmentally appropriate to the child and that addressed the child’s need to learn in a tactile as well as an intellectual way. The philosophies are otherwise very different.

Steiner teachers feel that the appropriate age for computer use in the classroom is around age 14. We feel it is more important for students to have the opportunity to interact with one another and their teachers in exploring the world of ideas, participating in the creative process and developing their knowledge, skills, abilities and inner qualities.

Steiner students have a love of learning, an ongoing curiosity, and interest in life. As older students, they quickly master computer technology, and graduates have successful careers in the computer industry. As nurseries and schools nationwide rush to supply their classrooms with computers, ipads and wiis as learning aids for children from as young as just 1 years old, the contrarian point of view can be found at the epicenter of the tech economy.
. Why does the chief technology officer of eBay sends his children to Steiner School?
. Why do many who work on developing the newest technology at Apple in Silicon Valley send their children to a Steiner School?
‘ Who really benefits from putting high-tech gadgets in classrooms?

Steiner students are accepted in and graduate from a broad spectrum of colleges and universities. Graduates reflect a wide diversity of professions and occupations including medicine, law, science, engineering, computer technology, the arts, social science, government, and teaching at all levels.

According to a recent study of Steiner graduates:
· 94% attended college or university
· 47% studied humanities or arts
· 42% studied sciences or maths
· 89% are highly satisfied in their choice of occupation
· 91% are active in lifelong education
· 92% placed a high value on critical thinking
· 90% highly values tolerance of other viewpoints

Transferring from Kindergarten (age 3-6)

Our Kindergarten children have been successfully transferring to mainstream school since 1999 at all ages from 4 to 7. The kindergarten curriculum serves the child in many ways and while they do not begin to read and write or work with numbers in an abstract mode, their passion for learning and ability to persevere with tasks is developed to a very high degree. Children who leave a Steiner Waldorf Kindergarten and enter a state school infant class after reception level will not have the same knowledge of letters and numbers but those who have completed the three years of Kindergarten will have a degree of readiness which will allow them to face the challenge and (for the majority of children) learn to read a lot faster than their peers who began aged four. If you plan to move your child into a state school then you can discuss this with the Kindergarten staff who will be able to offer advice and support to ease your child’s transition.

Transferring during junior school (age 7 to 11)

Children who transfer out of a Steiner school between the ages of 7-11 are well prepared for mathematics, social studies, practical and artistic activities and to engage with their learning in all areas. While learning is not rushed at Lancaster Steiner School, in the majority of cases by 8/9 years old pupils have a standard of literacy and numeracy sufficient to allow them to readily access and build on all learning they will encounter at their new school.

Transferring to secondary school and college (age 11 to 18)

Lancaster Steiner School aims to develop an ongoing relationship with the schools which the children move onto. Experience shows that they integrate very successfully, and quickly gain reputations for their independence of thought and range of interests. In fact, in most cases, transferring students of this age group find themselves ahead of their classmates and better prepared for the greater level of independent study required at this level. The student is likely to take along a distinguishing individual strength, personal confidence, and love of learning.

Seasonal festivals are celebrated in the school, including Michaelmas, Martinmas, Advent, Easter, Whitsun and St John’s, which are Christian in origin, and resonate with the seasonal rhythms of the year. However, their context is that of exploring and appreciating the cycles of the seasons as an approach to developing a search for a meaningful spiritual perspective, and is not denominational or sectarian.

Most children settle very quickly with care from the class teacher who ensures that they have the support from the class and also that they have the equipment they need and are given the time they need to adapt to the changes they experience in the learning environment. The standards in Steiner schools are high and the breadth of subjects covered by the Steiner curriculum is extensive and it can take time to adjust to this. However, usually the child will quickly feel at ease and feel a sense of relief at the absence of the pressures of a hurried and assessment driven learning environment. This in itself creates a positive relationship to the new learning environment.

Children with SEN are welcomed to Lancaster Steiner School wherever possible with the aim to fully integrate them into their class. Admissions will take into account the buildings we occupy, the needs of other pupils in the class as well as the child’s own needs and the availability of additional classroom support if needed. Due to financial constraints Lancaster Steiner School has limited provision for pupils with SEN either in-class or individual/group sessions. If you wish to discuss the specific SEN provision your child would require please contact the school.

Science teaching in Steiner schools begins with the close observation and direct experience of physical phenomena, rather than with a description of prevailing theories and models. An open mind as to causes and first principles is encouraged. Conclusions and concepts are then derived from the observations and finally the theories that explain the whole are introduced.

All Steiner schools are inspected according to national standards. Lancaster Steiner School is inspected by the School Inspection Service (SIS), which is controlled by OfSTED and the Department for Education and according to Section 162A of the Education Act 2002.