Subject Lessons 1
The rhythm of the Main Lesson requires the students to recall, discuss and record daily the subject being introduced. This daily rhythm is a wonderful preparation for the Speaking and Listening and the written coursework required later, when they take their Entry Level and subsequently IGCSE English exams.
In IGCSE English lessons, they revisit the spelling and grammar they have learned in their early years, in a more mature and conscious way. Here, as in the main lessons, we have time to address their weaknesses and celebrate and develop their strengths, because of the small class sizes.
As well as the IGCSE syllabus, we tackle a number of writing exercises which can help them develop their own individual style. You can see some examples in our Philpot's Pages, featured on the website.
'IF I WERE'
'FIVE MINUTE DASHES'
'SHORT STORIES USING A NUMBER OF OBJECTS FOR INSPIRATION'
PUBLISHED POETRY BY KERSHAW LAWRENCE
'BOOK WEEK: BEST OPENING PARAGRAPH'
Our Maths teaching brings together the creative Steiner impulse and the thorough development of the necessary skills with the syllabus of the National Curriculum up to GCSE level. We are faced with the unusual challenge of integrating and meeting the needs of pupils who join us at different ages and bring with them very different interests and talents as well as their unique special educational needs.
We manage this challenge by teaching Maths by the class teacher at first, and later by a specialist teacher working with very small groups. It is possible in such a small group to tailor the appropriate plan and coach each pupil individually, thus enabling each pupil to reach her/his full potential.
Those of our students who are gifted in Maths are supported to achieve high GCSE results, while others who need to cope with hindrances like dyslexia, dyscalculia, lack of confidence or just bad experiences - enjoy an encouraging attitude and creative teaching including games and fun that help them recover and develop. After successfully taking Entry Level our pupils embark on the GCSE course or follow an individual programme according to ability and interest.
DECEMBER 2015 UPDATE
The Department for Education has introduced significant changes to the Maths GCSE (for first examination in June 2017) by including a few more topics, generally increasing the level of demand and extending the exam time (3 exams of 1.5 hours taken during the same exam period). These changes present great challenge for many of our pupils. To enable them to achieve adequate qualifications and prepare them for life we decided to include the Functional Skills route, which emphasizes the practical aspects of day-to-day and business Maths. Its exam regime is more modular. We hope that this new avenue will successfully meet many students' needs, while the new GCSE is on offer to those who choose it.
The key to being a successful scientist is asking questions. Through Main lessons, students have been encouraged to both ask and answer questions.
SCIENCE AS MAIN LESSON
The science teacher is able to provide a specialist support to the class teacher for these experiential lessons. Core ideas in Biology, Chemistry & Physics are experienced, developed and recorded in the three day cycle over three weeks, or more. This can give a thorough grounding in the sciences.
Throughout the next years they will be encouraged to gain an organised body of scientific knowledge and investigation abilities while develop an understanding of science's power and limitations, such as technological and environmental applications and the economic, ethical and social implications.
We have selected 3 different types of examined courses to follow, from OCR's 21st Century Science family.
All students are encouraged to take GCSE Science, where 3 Physics, Chemistry and Biology modules are studied. These include the key topics that form the core for all GCSE courses. Practical work is highly valued, including dissections, making motors, burning and colour changes.
SEPARATE BIOLOGY, CHEMISTRY AND PHYSICS GCSEs
This is a very exciting option, aimed at those students who really enjoy learning about all that goes on in the world around them. It provides the best grounding for those thinking about studying any of the science subjects further in any way. Subject to there being enough time, one, two or three of these GCSEs may be followed, with variable timescales.
SCIENCE ENTRY LEVEL
This has a range of Biology, Chemistry & Physics topics, which are studied more from a practical viewpoint and is designed for the students who feel uncomfortable with a GCSE style of science.
OTHER SCIENCE COURSES
A range of other 'Science' courses have been run for students for whom they appear appropriate, or who request them. These have included: Observational Science, Vehicle work & Boat work.
Music can bring us together as a community and as such we view it as a very important part of the Steiner Curriculum.
In our music lessons we aim to develop the students' confidence in singing, both individually and as part of a group. We also use a number of instruments, which all the children can play, such as bells, recorders and drums.Some students learn to play a specific instrument, such as the bass guitar, saxophone or piano, which can then be used to accompany our Philpots' choir at seasonal festivals or a celebration such as Benjamin Britten's Centenary, where we performed one of his own compositions.
The House-parents and Co-workers also organise Talent Nights, where students can perform in bands or as individuals.
Each year we take a group of students to a music school in Suffolk, where they learn to work together with a large group of students and perform a musical with dance. They also have a chance to study theatre tech skills, where they design and construct sets and make costumes. This experience can help them to work independently, away from the context of their school classroom.
The movement programme in the school offers a wide range of physical activities and experiences. Based on the Steiner Waldorf curriculum, it allows the children to develop the physical and social skills needed for the development of a well-rounded student. Younger children play games, progressing from those with simple rules and skills to those that are more complex.
Within the safe environment and care for individual needs, the children develop confidence and enjoyment in interaction with other students. This leads on to the introduction of sports - indoor, outdoor and off site. At present the school offers table tennis, basketball, volleyball, softball, hockey, rock climbing, abseiling, archery, swimming and sailing.
In the lower classes at a Rudolf Steiner school the specialist art lessons concentrate on the skill of painting using the wet on wet technique. Rudolf Steiner taught that colour harmony is of the utmost importance and that colour used in a free and unstructured way helps build up inner feelings of the developing child. He also emphasized that painting pictures out of the colour and not object-motifs creates a healthy soul-mood. The use of gesture when painting people and animals should be used rather than fixed, detailed forms and colour mood is also an important part of the curriculum.
In the upper part of the school from about 13 years onwards perspective and black and white charcoal drawing is introduced and then the use of other media. When the pupils are fifteen they are encouraged to take the WJEC Entry Pathways exam. Those with special interest and ability have the opportunity to take GCSE Art and AS or A Level. Photography also available in the latter. We are proud to claim some outstanding achievement in the Visual Arts.