Education & Family
by Aspect County

Michael Hall School

Rudolf Steiner, an Austrian philosopher and educator, created the template for Waldorf education in Germany in 1919. Now, over 100 years since that first school opened, there are 1,000 worldwide, as well as 2,000 kindergartens. It is the fastest growing education movement in the world. Michael Hall in Sussex, is the oldest and largest Waldorf School in the UK,and upholds six core values that shape the students’ educational experience:

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Light the FIRE of learning
The holistic approach of Waldorf education mirrors the distinct stages of child development so that when, how and what children are taught engages with the way they naturally learn. The broad, balanced and rich curriculum has an emphasis on educating the whole child, going beyond the academic to weave imagination, stories and creative expression into each subject. Education is seen not just as a race to exams but as a time to be creative, curious, and find one’s own direction — as well as obtain qualifications. Throughout their school life, through activities such as art, music, drama and movement, students are given the opportunity to express themselves artistically, starting with crafts like knitting and sewing in Class 1 (age 6 – 7) to advanced skills like joinery and metalwork from age 13. Gym and games lessons are taught to younger classes as a means to teach the children good teamwork and effective body movement as important skills before formal sports are introduced at age 11.

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Experience BEAUTY
Nestled in Kidbrooke Park in Sussex, Michael Hall School is within a stunning 18th Century estate with over 100 acres of listed parkland adjoining the Ashdown Forest. Nature plays a vital role in Waldorf education, fostering a long-lasting appreciation for the beauty, balance, and wisdom of the natural world. The school grounds provide opportunities for bushcraft, gardening and outdoor activities. Classrooms, designed with a focus on nature’s beauty, utilise traditional blackboards, with spectacular artwork and beautiful handwriting created by teachers.

Each year, class trips, activities and projects help students develop a personal connection to the world, to nature, and to their community. 

Let IMAGINATION flourish
In Waldorf schools, education becomes a journey where curiosity thrives, creativity blossoms, and imagination lays the foundation for a lifelong passion for discovery and understanding. 

Steiner’s vision was an education where children were understood at each stage of their development and where each year was curated specifically for that stage — in every aspect, from the curriculum and classroom design to the way that teachers interacted with the children.

Intellectual FREEDOM
Intellectual freedom provides students with the autonomy to explore, question, and discover. This approach empowers them with ownership over their learning, promoting a deeper understanding and a genuine passion for discovery. Hands-on experience replaces formal tests in Lower and Middle School (6 – 12yrs), reducing stress and allowing a love for learning to develop. Formal exams commence from age 15, with Michael Hall offering GCSEs and A‑levels alongside a rich complement of Waldorf lessons, such as advanced crafts, philosophy, world religion and a host of other consciously curated age-appropriate subjects.

A strong focus on questioning, discussion and research enables Waldorf students to leave school not just with good qualifications but equipped to be creative, curious, collaborative thinkers, strong communicators and imaginative innovators. Waldorf education prepares them for life in the widest sense.

Waldorf’s nurturing environment values each child, fostering a lifelong love of discovery as children connect with the world in a way that goes beyond textbooks. A single teacher stays with a group of students for up to eight years, creating a strong and supportive teacher-student relationship. Daily and seasonal rhythms are approached with reverence, nurturing a sense of wonder, respect, and connectedness in each student.

Human CONNECTION in all we do
Human connection is at the heart of Waldorf education, emphasising the importance of community and a sense of belonging. Opportunities for social interaction, teamwork, and empathy, promoting a community-oriented spirit are woven into the curriculum throughout the student’s school journey.

The aim of Waldorf Education is to equip children with the knowledge, skills and capacities they will need to flourish in a complex and changing world” — Waldorf UK