Our world is facing a number of pressing global challenges. If we want to create a more sustainable, peaceful, equitable world, where young people are healthy and aligned with the unified nature of all things, we need to transform our approach to education. Children are the future. They will inherit the world and it is our job as educators to offer them an education that offers them the skills, creativity and resilience to address our current and future challenges.
According to Unicef, out of all the richest countries in the world, Britain has the lowest rates of child well being. In Kent, three children in every class have a diagnosable mental health condition. That is 10% of children. Approximately one in three young people aged between 16 and 24 have a mental health disorder.
THE SHIFT OF JOBS AND SKILLS
According to a popular report, 65% of children entering primary school today will ultimately end up working in completely new job types that don’t yet exist. The development of tech and A.I. and it's resultant changes in society are accelerating.
"The scope and scale of the future effects of climate change – ranging from changes in weather patterns to loss of livelihoods and disappearing states – has unprecedented implications for political and social stability."
We have chosen the Waldorf Curriculum as it is built upon values of sustainability and the mental, physical and emotional health of each child. It addresses these issues at its core.
THE WALDORF CURRICULUM
Steiner-Waldorf Schools sat very awkwardly alongside the 20th Century worldview that everything is separate; a worldview that put ego above eco, me above we and profit above purpose.
At it's very core, the Waldorf approach to education, is based on a profound understanding of the interconnection of all things. The world and cosmos are seen as highly intelligent, integrated and patterned, and that every living thing is an intricate part of the whole. With this world view becoming more widely supported in the 21st Century, the principles behind the Waldorf Curriculum are becoming more accessible.
The Waldorf Curriculum is based on an understanding that in order to develop one's full potential, there must be an alignment of heart, mind and will. The curriculum offers an age appropriate multi-sensory and integrated education that inspires, engages and allows time for the development of the body, the will, the emotions and the intellect. There is an emphasis on the rythmns of nature and space is given to the students for sensing and reflection. There is more about the curriculum here.
IB WORLD SCHOOL
We wanted to find an internationally recognised qualification that would not compromise the Waldorf experience and that would maximise opportunities for our pupils on leaving school. We have found synergy with the values of the IB World School programme and flexibility with the IB Careers Programme (IBCP) that supports the Waldorf Curriculum right through to 18 years old. Kent County Council has rolled this programme out across 30 schools in Kent, although none in Canterbury. There is more about this IBCP here.
According to the University of Kent's Admissions Department:
''The university is supportive of the IB CP programme which is now being piloted across a number of non-selective Kent schools and we have a number of students who have gained admission to Kent via this pathway. I fully expect these numbers to grow further as more schools engage with the IBCP curriculum.'