The first day of school marks a major milestone for any child.
At South Devon Steiner School, children starting Class One are matched to a student in Class 8, who welcomes them with a flower, and takes care of them at break time for the first two weeks.
The giving of the flower is a wonderful tradition, exercised in many Steiner schools around the world.
It becomes even more poignant when four years later the roles are reversed, and the then Class 4 student hands a flower to the then Class 12 student as they finish school and start their end their school career and head out in the adult world.
Francesca, our eldest daughter, has packed up her school books for the last time today after 14 years of schooling through the Steiner system (including Kindergarten) in four Waldorf schools and across three continents.
What an amazing journey.
We are so grateful to have found this amazing education system which has given her, and us, an incredible experience over the years.
It hasn’t all been roses and sunshine, but the highs have definitely compensated for the lows, and it's so easy to focus on the minutiae and forget about the bigger picture.
Our 'bigger picture' is a daughter who leaves the school with the experience of teachers who deeply cared for her well being, friends who have become like family, and a loving community of conscious people who will cushion her falls if she needs it in the future.
In our opinion, her education has prepared her more than any other would have for adulthood in a world that is looking increasingly unpredictable.
And what a privilege to have been part of the pioneering Class 11 and Class 12 at our school! To participate in any new venture is a rollercoaster, and even though there have been some areas which need improvement, overall we are so pleased we made it right to the end at our beloved school, and feel so thrilled that our other children will also finish their schooling with a Steiner School Certificate.
This is just a long-winded way of saying a big thank you to South Devon Steiner School’s teachers, custodians, staff, parents, friends and broader community.
Thank you also to the perfectly imperfect buildings, the wonderful grounds, the beautiful surrounding landscape and, of course, the glorious river ! You have all played a part in shaping her and we think you are all amazing!
Yolanda and Mark Drewell
By Ruth Walker, Class Sponsor and Teacher
It is now time to say goodbye to seven individuals who have reached the illustrious and prestigious heights of our first graduating class of Class 12. I cannot say all I wish to about these seven amazing without a mix of sadness and great joy. Sadness to see them go as I have personally known them for four years and been their sponsor for the past two. Sadness as I will miss interacting with them day to day. Sadness to say goodbye to those who I have great affection for.
I have seen their triumphs, their tribulations, their tears and their terrific effort over the years. I have seen them change and grow and develop into all they can be in the complete education system that we now offer in the Steiner Waldorf curriculum. I have seen them crack out of the eggs of adolescence and fledge as birds. They have taken their test flights. I know they are ready as they can be to fly into the world to face it with steadfastness and enthusiasm in whatever they do.
And joy, there is such joy that I have in seeing them realise their full potential. I have been filled with the joy of proudness watching them in the last term stand in front of the school for their Class 12 project presentations. I have been filled with the joy of laughter for their astounding comic performances of their Class 12 play: produced and directed by them: 'The Importance of being Earnest'.
I have been filled with the joy of beauty in seeing their Art and Craft exhibition. I have been filled with the joy of wonder in seeing their other inspired work in English, Music, Social Studies, Mathematics and the Sciences. I have been filled with joy in the knowing of them individually and as a group, full of support and love for each other.
Of course, I am not the only person filled with sadness and joy, all of us that have taught or interacted with them over the years (up to 15 years in some cases) feel the same. It is with great proudness that I wish them well on their flights into their future lives.
Dear Parents and Colleagues,
Not an easy decision to take this morning but there are not enough members of staff able to make it in to open the school this morning due to hazardous conditions.
The school will therefore remain closed on Friday 01/02/2019.
We are sorry for any inconvenience caused.
Enjoy the snow. Keep safe and warm.
See you back on Monday,
Jeff van Zyl and Marcus Link
We will be announcing by 7am tomorrow morning whether the school will be open Friday 01/02/2019.
While the weather conditions may be acceptable for driving in some areas, there is the question of whether we will have enough staff on site to operate the school.
I will keep you posted by email and via our website.
(Let's hope enough children dream of building snowmen tomorrow and getting their sledges out...)
Keep warm and have a good evening,
Marcus Link, Business Manager
The school's annual Advent Fair took place on 17th November 2018. The Advent Fair is a tradition which is upheld in Steiner Schools around the world, and it is a key opportunity for people outside of the school's immediate community, to visit the grounds and take part in activities relevant to the Steiner Waldorf approach to education.
The fair is a parent-led fundraiser; only with the parents gracious giving can it be possible. It requires engagement, planning, energy and enthusiasm. The huge event this year was made possible through the time and care which school families were able to give. As a school we are truly grateful for this astounding effort.
The Advent Fair featured a selection of beautiful craft stalls, activities such as Advent Wishing Boats, an Advent Angel Garden and a Crystal Cave. It also hosted a selection of work shops including pottery, whittling, damper bread making and a community weaving loom.
The day raised over £8000 for the school in profit, which is testament itself to the quality of the event and the enormous support the school receives from its parent body. These funds help subsidise the school's educational visits program in a bid to make all school trips accessible to pupils.
The healthy social life, says Steiner, is found when, in the community, the light of each individual is shining. The fairs offer our school community an opportunity to individually shine brightly. It is a unique and special tradition and one which we should hold on to and build upon year on year.
Next year will be not only our school’s 40th Advent Fair but also 100 years since Steiner opened his first school, so let’s celebrate this and make it one to remember!
The school will be open as usual on Tuesday 20/03/2018.
There is a yellow weather warning for ice in place for our area into the morning. Please take into account any extra time you may need for your journey to school.
We look forward to seeing you back at school tomorrow!
On behalf of SLT
19/03/2018 @ 14:35
Good afternoon to all parents, guardians, staff and pupils,
The SLT has assessed the situation and we have decided as follows:
The school will be closed due to the severe weather on 19/03/2018.
We already know that we will not have enough staff at school to meet the minimum required and it is now unlikely that the weather will clear in time for a safe start to the day.
School trips scheduled for Monday will also not take place. Separate messages have gone out about these.
In this decision, we are following other Devon County maintained and independent schools in the area.
We have also cancelled the All School Meeting scheduled for the evening.
As always, we apologise for any inconvenience caused should the forecast and warnings don't turn out to be accurate.
Have fun, keep safe and warm!
Marcus Link, Elizabeth Elsholtz and Jeff van Zyl
at 3pm on 18/03/2019
After an exciting extended weekend of wintery weather the school will be open as normal on Monday 5th March 2018.
Our visitors from Hannover had to delay their return journey by two days due to the snow but left homeward-bound this morning. Thank you especially to Almut Woolard and all parents involved in the hosting arrangements for your care and for dealing with matters so supportively.
There is still a larger amount of snow at school which may last into tomorrow so please send children in dressed for the balance of warmer temperatures and fun in the snow!
Please take care in the car park in the morning. I expect it to be very muddy with lots of slush about. Please do not let your children run across the car park and do not let them out of your car without parking properly first. If you would like to drop them off, use the turning circle.
School Business Manager
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