Holywood Steiner is an independent school for boys and girls aged 3 to 17 years. The school was established in 1975 in two rooms in a community building. and it opened in its current premises the following year. Teaching at the school is based on the methods of Rudolph Steiner an Austrian philosopher of the nineteenth and early twentieth century. Steiner’s stance on education emphasises the importance of educating the whole child. In this method, learning is spiritual and practical as well as intellectual. It also encourages the pupils to learn how to work together and,as children are taught in mixed ability groups, help each other.
The structure of the curriculum is different from other schools in the United Kingdom. Each morning pupils are given a two hour ‘main lesson’. This is an opportunity for the children to immerse themselves in a particular subject and consider it from many different perspectives: intellectual, artistic and practical. One subject is studied for up to 4 weeks at a time and then returned to at a later point in the school year. This method is intended to encourage the unconscious processing of information in the minds of the children. Other subjects are studied in the afternoon.
The school is located on the outskirts of the town of Holywood, which is part of the metropolitan area of Belfast. Holywood Steiner is the only Steiner School in Northern Ireland which caters for children from pre-school to GCSE.
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