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Upper School for Students 14 - 19 years
Our Upper School goes from Class 9 to Class 12 (Year 10 to year 13 in mainstream).
Our programme is different from most other educational settings because we offer an inspiring, creative and intelligent curriculum (Steiner Waldorf) and a genuine alternative qualification; the Certificate of Steiner Education (NZCSE).
We believe that the NZCSE is literally the ‘best kept secret’ in education. It shouldn’t be, but it is. Our 18 year old students are now able to reap the benefit of the Steiner Waldorf curriculum and concurrently attain a Level 3 qualification (comparable to A-Levels, IB, Abitur etc) that allows them to step into the world, be it university, work or a gap year. Our committed team of Upper School teachers is continually working on the ‘good practice’ that is needed to underpin our qualification.
Our programme allows students to explore subjects independently and in depth, becoming increasingly specialised as they mature and enter Classes 11 and 12, with extension areas in their preferred subjects. (Details of our curriculum subjects can be found by selecting 'Education' from the main menu, then 'Curriculum Overview'. Please select the subjects from the drop down menu).
We would like to invite you to join with us on this exciting journey towards a meaningful education, that seeks to prepare students for a future filled with confidence and interest in the world.
Why Steiner School?
Quite right! Why would you transfer into Steiner education or to a new school when all your friends are about to embark on their GCSE or A Level courses?
For us, it is a question of what you want from your education.
Do you want to be inspired to learn and continue learning, long after the lesson has ended?
Do you want to learn how to ask questions and research answers?
Do you enjoy experiential lessons as well as rigorous academic learning?
Do you want to combine your creativity with your academic progress?
Do you like the idea of going on numerous educational visits throughout every school year to really cement your classroom experience?
Would you like to avoid the pressure of examinations and instead work consistently hard throughout the course to achieve the points necessary for each qualification level?
If you have answered 'yes' to any of these questions, come and meet us. We may just be the school you are looking for!
Never Heard of Steiner School?
If you like what you see but have never heard of a Steiner (Waldorf) school before, it may be worthwhile booking a tour of the Upper School and/or attending one of our Upper School specific Open Days. You could even request a trial day to see whether what we do speaks to you.
Whilst some of what we do might feel unfamiliar at first, especially if you have attended a mainstream school to date, our Upper School faculty and friendly students are always happy to help you transition successfully to a Steiner Waldorf education and our Upper School programme.
Our Education Manager and Upper School teachers are available to chat through how you might transfer into our programme and transform your educational experience. Call 01803-897377 to make an appointment or contact Asaka Barsley in Admissions.
Transferring from other Steiner Waldorf Settings
Students from UK Steiner schools as well as international students from Waldorf settings around the world may apply to our programme. Our Upper School is immensely culturally diverse, especially considering it is relatively small in size and we welcome applications from students from around the globe, subject to their meeting our criteria and UK border controls.
If you are a UK based Steiner student who would like to apply to our Upper School programme, you are welcome to join our programme at any stage along the four year course. For some, this might be at the beginning of class 9 and for others, completing class 10 and then transferring to South Devon Steiner School might be what works. To discuss your requirements, please make contact with Asaka Barsley in Admissions.
If you are an international student, you are invited to discuss your application with our Visiting Students Coordinator, Karola Hassall who will be happy to walk you through finding a host family, visa requirements and the school and curriculum in more detail.
Wherever you are currently studying, we are happy to help you make a successful transition to South Devon Steiner Upper School.
Our International Qualification
Students study the Steiner Waldorf curriculum and are assessed using the NZCSE framework, which sits on the NZQA. At Level 3, the NZCSE has verified parity (via NARIC) with any other UK Level 3 qualification, such as A Level / International Baccalaureate. It is an internationally recognised qualification.
The programme is a single exit qualification, and graduating students are able to apply for university places via the usual UCAS pathway.
Students can join the Upper School throughout the four year programme. Students from mainstream settings as well as from other independent and Steiner Waldorf schools may also apply for the Upper School.
There may be some financial assistance available to applicants to the Upper School as long as they meet our set criteria.
For more information please see the links and references below, or contact Jeff van Zyl, School Education Manager.
Links & Downloads
Class Trip Films by Dylan Pegg, SDSS Alumni
To give you an idea of what our numerous school trips look like, here are two short films made by an SDSS Upper School student over his Class 9 and Class 10 trips to Brittany, France and Cornwall.
Our school trips are varied and include international travel. The enrichment opportunities they offer are beyond compare. They are great fun, hard work and incredibly bonding for the students.