Your questions answered
We have compiled a list of questions we often get asked. If you have any questions not listed here, please contact us, our team will be happy to answer any of your queries.
Whereabouts is The Brighton Waldorf School located?
We are located in the heart of East Brighton.
The School was initiated from a small group of parents who wanted a Waldorf education for their children in Brighton. In 1981, the first kindergarten class was started and run by a qualified Waldorf Teacher. Two years later an experienced Waldorf Class Teacher started a pilot Class 1 in a parent’s house.
By 1984, with more teachers and classes, the confidence of the parents was enough to justify buying the first real home and the School officially opened its gates.
The School continued to grow at an extraordinary rate through the strength of teachers, parents and friends. In 1986 a second house was bought, next door to the first and these two adjoining buildings housed the school for the next 10 years. In May 1996, the School sold these two houses and bought the current premises in Roedean Road in Brighton. Since this move, the School has been able to expand to include an Upper School Department and our first students successfully sat GCSEs in the summer of 2003.
How long has the School been at its current site?
Since 1996 – it will be 23 years in May 2019.
How many pupils attend the School?
160 pupils attend the School.
Do you take boarders?
No, The Brighton Waldorf School is not a boarding school.
How did Waldorf education begin?
In 1919, Emil Molt, the owner of the Waldorf Astoria company, asked Rudolf Steiner if he would establish – and lead – a school for the children of the employees of the factory.
Mr Steiner agreed but set-out four conditions, each of which went against common practice of the day:
1. The School must be open to all children
2. The School must be coeducational
3. The School must be a unified twelve-year school
4. The teachers, and those individuals actually in contact with the children, have primary control of the school, with minimum interference from the state or from economic sources.
Whilst Mr Steiner’s conditions were radical for the day, Emil Molt agreed to them and on 7th September 1919, the first independent Waldorf School opened its doors.
What is the curriculum at The Brighton Waldorf School like?
The Brighton Waldorf School Curriculum is designed to be responsive to the various phases of each individual child’s development and inspire a love of learning. Our curriculum is dedicated to balancing the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of each of our students in a supportive and encouraging way that gives them self-confidence, strength and understanding to make a positive difference in the world throughout their lives.
Why do we celebrate Festivals?
The historic festivals of Christianity, and of other major religions as well, are observed in the class rooms and in school assemblies. Seasonal festivals serve to connect humanity with the rhythms of nature and festivals help our pupils to join the seasonal moods of the year, in a festive way, benefiting their inner life.
Celebrating the festivals of the year is an important part of the life of the School from the Early Years through to the Upper School. By celebrating these special days, our child experiences the cycle and rhythm of the year and a feeling for the distinctive beauty of each season.
Festivals provide a welcome opportunity for the whole school community to get together and parents are actively encouraged to join in. They are social events as well as giving space for inner reflection, bringing warmth to the relationship between school and home. We celebrate with music, stories and songs and often with shared food.
Each festival is associated with a colour, which your child will wear to reflect their shared experience, and each contains a story to imbue a deeper meaning, relevant to our journey through the year.
For festivals it is appreciated if you could send your child to school specially dressed, if possible, with an item of clothing reflecting the season. There is usually a request for a colour for each festival celebration:
- • Michaelmas Deep red
- • Martinmas Dark purple
- • Advent Dark blue
- • Candlemas No particular colour
- • Easter Yellow/green
- • May Day White and bright colours
- • Whitsun White
- • St John’s Fiery red/orange
Michaelmas is a festival of new strength and inner resolve and with this season of harvest and reaping the school year begins. The children work in the gardens and the school building, cleaning, planting and tidying.
Martinmas, celebrated in November, combines the Lantern Festival for the younger classes, often a Festival of Light (Diwali) as part of the Class 5 India Main Lesson and an opportunity for service in the Upper School by students helping out at a local hostel for the homeless.
Advent brings a mood of patient anticipation; short festivals are held each week and at the end of term the teachers perform a traditional nativity play for the children and parents.
Candlemas is the time of the year when we see new shoots, see the sun higher in the sky and know that the darkness of winter has passed – Spring is on the way.
Easter is celebrated to recognise the re-awakening of the Earth and nature.
Whitsun, the arrival of summer is celebrated with fire, drama and music and an outdoor gathering to which parents are welcome.
Can I afford to send my child to The Brighton Waldorf School?
The Brighton Waldorf School is a charity, relying on our school fees and parental contributions for the majority of our income. We aim to make that commitment as affordable as possible. Please see our current school fee information on the Financial Information page.
As we are entirely funded by parental contributions and donations from friends and supporters, we ask families to commit to the financial arrangements mutually agreed to and that they strictly honour those commitments as the yearly budget (i.e. running costs and salaries) is based on them.
Why should I send my child to a school that has no focus on the use of technology?
We believe that technology has its place in the School but at the right time. From Upper School, we enable students to use laptops in the classroom, before they progress on to university; and we appreciate that most people have computers that they use at home.
We support creativity, educating and the understanding of the technology around inspiring 21st Century innovation.
Does The Brighton Waldorf School endorse pupils having vaccinations?
We encourage robust health and vaccinations are a parental choice. We support the 360 health and wellbeing of all our pupils.
Can my child enrol in The Brighton Waldorf School at any time throughout their learning journey?
If a child has the same teacher all the way through school, what happens if they don't get on?
The prospect of teacher and child spending many years together brings with it an attitude that fosters resolution if problems do arise.
If a teacher only teaches a group of children for a year, relationship challenges may well simply be endured until that child becomes someone else’s responsibility. At The Brighton Waldorf School, children are spared the stress of building a new relationship with a new teacher each year.
Come and see for yourself
We welcome visitors on our private tours of our School. Please submit your details and our Admissions Team will call you to arrange a time convenient for you.