“If I had a child of school age, I would send him to one of the Waldorf Schools”
Saul Bellow, Nobel Laureate
A Brief History of Iona School The Iona School is founded on the educational ideas and spiritual world-view of the philosopher and educator, Rudolf Steiner (1861 – 1925). The first school based on Rudolf Steiner’s indications was founded in Stuttgart, Germany in 1919. This was in response to a request to provide education for children of the workers of the Waldorf Astoria cigarette factory – hence the name Steiner Waldorf. The Iona School was founded in Nottingham in 1985. After spending its first year in temporary accommodation, the school moved to its present site. The school has grown and developed over the years and is a member of the Steiner Waldorf Schools Fellowship (SWSF). The Fellowship organises regular conferences throughout the year. We are a primary school with a Kindergarten and three combined classes. Iona School follows the Steiner Waldorf system for naming classes. The corresponding National Curriculum names for the classes in the school are: Kindergarten: National Curriculum equivalent is Nursery, Year R, Year 1 Class 1/2 National Curriculum equivalent is Year 2/3 Class 3/4 National Curriculum is Year 4/5 Class 5/6 National Curriculum is Year 6/7 Please CLICK ON the following links for further information:
THE MAIN SCHOOL – ages 6-11
THE IONA PARENT TODDLER GROUP – ages 0-3
AFTER SCHOOL CLUB: The After School club runs from Monday to Friday from 3:15-5:30 PM. It costs £6.70 per child per afternoon and places are limited. If you would like to book your child into the After School Club you can do so using the booking system at school. In emergencies, if you need to book your child into the club, you can do so by calling us at the school on: 0115 9415295.
BREAKFAST CLUB: If parents need to drop their children off earlier than 08.30, the Breakfast Club is open from 08.00 to care for them until 08.30, when they become the responsibility of the teachers. It costs £2.40 per child per session and places are limited.
What is a Steiner Waldorf School? Integral to Steiner Waldorf education is its view of each child as a unique spiritual individual developing through evolving phases of childhood towards an adulthood in which the individual spirit can find full freedom of expression. Every step in the child’s education may be seen as geared to this end. As the growing child comes to meet more of the world around him, s/he gradually harnesses the capacities of willing, feeling and thinking which are there inside him or her. The unfolding of these faculties is intimately bound up with the child’s physical, emotional and spiritual development, and Steiner Waldorf education strives to harmonise these steps.
The school years work with three broad developmental stages, and in a large school these may be sketched in approximately 7 year intervals: within the first 7 years the child will attend Nursery and Kindergarten. From 7 years to puberty at around 14 the child is part of the lower school – the Class Teacher time. Then inside the 7 years between 14 and 21 the child completes the upper school and according to the individual teenager may go onto further education at college or another establishment. Currently Iona School provides education to cover the years from Kindergarten to Class 5/6. During these three periods, one can distinguish distinct differences in the child’s relationship to the world and consciousness of his or her self. It is readily apparent in the baby and toddler how an instinctive imitation of the world around them develops their faculties of walking, speaking and thinking.
The Nursery and Kindergarten curriculum consciously seeks to build on this natural developmental process. This faculty of imitation extends far beyond the mere copying of physical actions. The young child senses the moral quality of each adult in each deed, and on this builds early awareness of the feeling for goodness in the world. This is an essential foundation for every individual growing into the contemporary world – a foundation easily eroded by pressure for early academic training.
It is only in the second seven-year period, when the physical body of the child is well established, that formal education begins. This is the class teacher period, and here, moving from imitation, the guiding principle is now imagination. In these years particularly the teacher can appeal to the child’s sense of beauty, drama and the artistic. The child gradually develops an objective awareness of the world around, also his own imaginative soul life develops. He or she is able to explore artistically, colourfully and dramatically all that is presented during the school day. Within this broad outline of development, common to every child, the child matures as an individual. The Steiner Waldorf curriculum – unique to this education – is built around these natural stages of child development. Each teacher works sensitively and creatively with the curriculum to meet both the general needs of the children and the particular needs of the individuals in the class.
The College of Teachers The College of Teachers has the responsibility for pedagogical governance and the development of the education. It is responsible for the effective management of the school but has chosen to delegate this task to the School Management Team. It is the central task of the College to maintain the integrity of the Iona School as a Steiner Waldorf School. It appoints the School Management Team and the College representative on that team. The College also appoints the school’s representative on the Council of the Fellowship of Steiner Waldorf Schools in the UK. College members are teachers who are committed to Rudolf Steiner’s philosophy of education and who are established in their work at the school Staff Meetings
The Iona School Association Structure and Organisation The Iona School Association (ISA) is a company limited by guarantee and a registered charity. ISA provides the legal framework for the practice and development of Steiner Waldorf Education at the Iona School. One of the founding questions at the beginning of the school in 1985 was that of finding an organizational form that would help to support appropriate working relationships between parents, teachers and trustees (governors) so that the needs of the children could be met as fully as possible. Recently we have adopted the Associative Leadership approach to governance, management and implementation of the tasks necessary for the school to operate in a way that allows all members of the ISA to express their will for its existence in practical ways.
- All parents of children attending the Iona School and teachers working in the school are automatically members of the ISA.
- Parents of former pupils and friends who wish to support the school may ask to join ISA by writing to the School Management Team (SMT).
- You may opt out of membership of ISA whilst your child is still at the school. This should be done by writing to the SMT.
The Iona School Association is a heterarchical (non-hierarchical) Community of Interest, and a legal reflection of all those involved in the school. The purpose of the association is to represent the long-term interests of the school by holding an Annual General Meeting in which the school Governance Team (Trustees) is appointed and held accountable for the effective governance of the school. Accounts are approved and auditors are appointed at this AGM. The College of Teachers is responsible for pedagogical governance and for the appointment of the School Management Team. The ISA will also host other events during the year that sustain the community life in and around the school and host consultation meetings with the whole school community as and when necessary. It is expected that, through their membership of the ISA, parents will seek membership of one or more of our School Support Teams (SSTs). Currently we have teams that take responsibility for planning and implementing (in consultation with the SMT) tasks such as maintaining the Built Environment, running the School Shop, organizing Marketing and researching and obtaining Financial Support. School Support Teams are a vital part of the economic and social life of the school and all parents are expected to participate. From time to time the SMT organizes workshops for members of the association so that we can all develop our understanding of Associative Leadership.