Our School

About us

The Dublin Steiner School was established in response to a growing demand from parents for a true educational alternative for pre-school and school-age children living in Dublin. We join an already established community of five other Steiner schools across Ireland in Kilkenny, Kildare, Clare and Galway.

The school delivers the ethos of Steiner Waldorf education, the international pedagogy derived from the insights of Austrian born scientist, philosopher and educator Rudolf Steiner. This holistic education integrates disciplines of movement, fine arts and academics into the study of humanities, science and math. Our school program provides an educational experience that meets the needs of each student in a developmentally appropriate manner, integrating critical thinking, emotional intelligence and the arts.  We believe in creating a nurturing and inspiring environment for our students to discover themselves and their potential. We strive to create a deeply meaningful learning process upon which experience, not just acquisition, underscores knowledge- thereby encouraging students to be active and creative thinkers. The school’s focus is on creativity, developing emotional intelligence, and on cultivating a love of learning as an end in itself, rather than as a means to an end.  

Our Mission

“The heart of the Waldorf method is that education is an art–it must speak to the child’s experience. To educate the whole child, his heart and his will must be reached, as well as the mind”  
Rudolf Steiner

 

Our mission is to graduate a diverse group of young people distinguished by the scope and acuity of their minds as well as the depth and integrity of their character.  We nurture the development of each child’s unique capacities to meet the world with confidence and a sense of purpose.

Our Values

You must be for the children the representative of the good, the true and the beautiful. The children must be drawn to the truth, goodness, and beauty simply because the children are drawn to you yourself.”
Rudolf Steiner

 

We have five core values which we use to guide us in all that we do as teachers, pupils and directors.

Reverence to Beauty

We see the world is beautiful through its creations, people and places. Beauty begets care, gratitude, order and calm.

Reverence to Truth

We understand the quest for truth as the foundation of all scholarship, learning and inquiry. We seek what is true, through experiential learning in place of rote acquisition.

Reverence to Goodness

We strive to find what is good in the world. Through doing what is good and true we ourselves become worthy of imitation. 

Reverence to Nature

We hold reverence for the natural world and embrace our responsibility as stewards of the environment. Our connection to time and place is deeply rooted in nature, its seasons and its beauty.

Reverence to Each Other

We acknowledge that as human beings we are all connected. We believe that as human beings we are also spiritual beings. We take time to foster meaningful relationships and we are motivated to serve humanity with strength of will, depth of feeling, clarity of thought and the ability to work cooperatively with each other.

Steiner Waldorf Education

“The purpose of education is to enable the mind, to fire the imagination, to fortify the will, and to quicken the initiative for life.”

Rudolf Steiner

 

There are now over 1,000 Steiner Schools and 1,600 Kindergartens worldwide. Many schools continue through to secondary level. In Ireland, there are over 10 Steiner Waldorf Kindergartens, 7 primary schools (3 of which are supported by the Department of Education) and 1 secondary school. Schools are often called Steiner Waldorf because the first school was opened in 1919 in the Waldorf Astoria factory in Stuttgart, Germany.

Steiner Waldorf educators are dedicated to generating an inner enthusiasm for learning within every child. This eliminates the need for competitive testing, academic placement, and behaviouristic rewards to motivate learning and allows motivation to arise from within. Most of all, it helps to engender the capacity for joyful life-long learning.

In our daily practice we:

  • Emphasise nature-based play and education, strengthening the child’s connection to nature
  • Take account of the needs of the whole child – academic, physical, emotional and spiritual
  • Deliver the Irish curriculum, in a creative and integrated way
  • Prioritise age-appropriate learning, adapting its teaching methods to suit the developmental stage of its pupils, as well as their experience of the world
  • Honour and protect the wonder of childhood
  • Encourage creativity and enquiry
  • Create a genuine enjoyment of learning

Further Resources:

Steiner Waldorf Schools Fellowship FAQ 

Waldorf 100 Video

“Preparing for Life” a short film will take you inside the Waldorf School of the Peninsula where the focus is on developing the capacities for creativity, resilience, innovative thinking, and social and emotional intelligence over rote learning.

Pre-Kindergarten (3-5yrs)

Our Pre-Kindergarten group provides children with a nurturing and creative environment, structured around daily and seasonal rhythms, in which they are given the freedom and confidence which gently prepares them for the more structured environment of Kindergarten.

We keep daily activities as simple as possible, as this is often the child’s first experience of life outside of the home. We teach practical, everyday skills such as dressing and washing and food preparation, and each school day is filled with opportunities for play and physical activity. Developing a relationship with the natural world is a central element of Steiner education, and our Pre-Kindergarten children spend time each day in the school’s garden.

The Pre-Kindergarten runs five days a week from 9:00 am to 1pm.

This is a 2 year programme and is partially funded by the ECCE scheme.

Kindergarten (5-7yrs)

The Steiner educational philosophy is formed around the idea that children learn best by doing, and so our Kindergarten class involves plenty of active participation: children chop vegetables for snack time, knead dough to bake their own bread, and help teachers tidy and clean their classroom.

One of the key principles of Steiner education is that Kindergarten classes contain a mix of ages. This allows younger children to learn from the older ones.  They become aware of many of the things they will be able to do when they are older, following them at first unconsciously, then anticipating, such as lighting the candle at snack time, which they will be able to do “when I’m big”.  Older children, meanwhile, learn from helping the younger ones. They become confident in being able to do things for themselves, as well as being able to help smaller children with practical tasks, which helps them to develop lifelong capacities of patience, compassion and leadership.

We provide a comfortable and nurturing setting, and a day that is structured around a gentle rhythm of unhurried activities and quiet time. Children are engaged in craft and regular movement, both inside the class and out in the garden, which brings to the day a balance of different kinds of physical and mental activity. The classroom environment is carefully considered with a strong emphasis on natural and handmade materials for toys and furnishings.

A typical morning involves greeting, free play periods, tidying, circle time, storytelling, outdoor play, rest, snack time, and a creative activity such as craft, baking or painting. The children develop their fine motor skills through learning to sew, felt and clay and beeswax modelling.

The celebration of seasonal festivals lies in the heart of a Steiner Kindergarten providing the children with a healthy and secure rhythm to their year, full of seasonal songs, games and crafts.

Our classes are mixed-age groups of 5 to 7 year old children and runs five days a week from 9am -1:40pm.  

Kindergarten is a two year programme.

Primary School (7-13yrs)

By the time children reach the age of 7 clear changes in their development indicate their readiness for formal learning; they naturally become more independent, and more mature in their temperaments, communication skills and memory. The Steiner approach believes that children of this age are receptive to learning more abstract intellectual activities and as such, will learn naturally and rapidly, quickly reaching the same standards as their peers in more traditional national schools. This ease of achievement will imbue a sense of confidence and love of learning that will carry the child through many years of education.  

A key feature of the school day is the “Main Lesson” where a subject is explored for focused periods. The subject is taught from various perspectives through a considered balance of artistic, practical, intellectual and physical activities – such as felting, sewing, wax modelling, crochet, finger knitting, origami – thus engaging the head, heart and the hands of each child. This approach encourages a deeper understanding of the subject and gives the children a greater sense of focus and purpose in what they are learning.

In Class 1, reading and writing are taught in a way that is centered around the creative imagination of each child. Children learn through stories, drawing, painting and music. We cover key subjects like English, Math, Irish, Music, Woodwork, Eurythmy, Movements, Form Drawing, Art and Handwork. There are also frequent field trips to The Ark, Dublin’s Cultural Centre for Children, which is a mere fifteen minute walk from the school!

In following years, children are introduced to new subject areas, such as History, Geography, Science and Botany, while familiar ones are deepened through the gradual addition of greater complexity year by year.

The Primary School classes also follow the rhythm of the year and is filled with seasonal songs and games.

Sessions run five days a week from 9am -2:40pm