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30. March 2012 · Comments Off on Nature Deficit Disorder: response to National Trust report from SWSF · Categories: Independent schools Nottingham · Tags:

PR nature deficit disorder

SWSF shares many of the concerns highlighted in Stephen Moss’s research commissioned by the National Trust.

An active engagement with the natural world is an important aspect of Steiner Waldorf education.

In Steiner early years settings the young child is given every opportunity to play outside, to explore and make use of natural materials and to experience the outdoor as a familiar environment, full of wonder and possibility.

Throughout the primary school years teachers will look for opportunities to link classroom learning to the outside environment. The study of house building and farming at age nine may involve the making of clay bricks or the hands-on experience of farming techniques. Chemistry lessons at age 12 may involve the building of kilns to make charcoal or lime; physics lessons may involve green-wood turning or practical engineering solutions that take children out of the classroom and into the natural world.

At the same time a sense of wonder and appreciation for the natural world is fostered from pre-school all the way to adolescence. This is supported by the use of stories that draw on the world of plants and animals, the celebration of seasonal festivals and a curriculum that includes botany, geology and animal study .

At secondary level there is an approach to natural sciences that emphasises the need for observation and direct experience rather than simply an abstract knowledge of prevailing theories. A sense of the moral responsibility we have towards the natural world is cultivated.

Steiner schools engage their parents in critical debate on issues such as play and screen entertainment, encouraging them to give their children wide opportunities to get active out of doors.
Steiner Waldorf schools form the largest group of independent, non-denominational private schools in the world. They thrive on every continent, in every culture and within a wide range of ethnic contexts, including Israel, Egypt, Kenya, Sierra Leone, Taiwan, Japan, Brazil and China. There are currently over 1,000 Steiner schools worldwide and 35 in the UK. There are over 2,000 Early Years settings in a total of 64 different countries. The first school was opened in Germany in 1919, the first in the UK in 1925.
Please visit the SWSF web site for more information or contact us directly.
Alan Swindell SWSF