Pisa tests: UK lags behind in global school rankings

Results from the recent Pisa test confirms at least two important points: 1) teacher education is vital and more work is needed to address the situation in the UK but 2) the Pisa test itself focuses on a very particular kind of learning and does not assess other ways of knowing or take into account our human diversity. Crossfields Institute in collaboration with the Steiner Waldorf Schools Fellowship are launching a new teacher education programme (with a focus on 14-19 education) in September 2017. This programme will focus on gaining competence in teaching, learning and assessment, the core principles of the new ACTS Diploma, such as transdisciplinary approaches, the integration of Creative Thinking Skills, Steiner pedagogy and more. Follow the developments by keeping in touch. If you wish to hear more, write to charlotte@crossfieldsinstitute.com

Could Steiner schools have a point on children, tablets and tech?

Interesting article yesterday in the Guardian, questioning the overuse of technology in schools and asking whether Steiner schools have the right approach. We believe that technology has its place in classrooms, but that the early years particularly should involve young people learning through making and doing.


Maria Woolley with her class at the Iona school in Nottingham, a Steiner school that rejects the use of tablets and computers. Photograph: David Sillitoe for the Guardian

Danish State Approval for Steiner Upper Schools

The Rudolf Steiner Upper Schools in Denmark have been state accredited for classes 11 and 12, which have hitherto been financially unsupported. This official state recognition also includes the grade and exam free approach that is applied in the Danish Steiner Schools. Crossfields Institute congratulates the students and their parents, the Danish Federation of Steiner Schools and the hard working parent and teachers who worked on this approval process over the last eights years. We are excited that this news will also enable Denmark to continue to engage with the new Erasmus Diploma currently in development with teachers from Norway, Finland, the UK and Denmark, lead by the Steiner Waldorf Schools Fellowship, UK.

Interesting article in the Guardian this weekend about the importance of Early Years Education

Interesting article in the Guardian this weekend about the importance of Early Years Education:


5130The early years are vital for the development of autonomous, happy, well adapted children and teachers need to be well prepared and resourced. In partnership with NCFE CACHE we have developed a range of specialist early years education qualifications – in Montessori Pedagogy and the Steiner Waldorf approach to early years education. These qualifications blend the academic knowledge with practical skill through placement. They equip teachers to work with children in ways which gives them the creative, playful start to their education they deserve.

Steiner Schooling Without the Stress of Tests

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A class of their own: Tilda Swinton and Louis the dog join some of Drumduan’s 17 students on their school trip to Colonsay, with head teacher Krzysztof Zajaczkowski (far left). Photograph: Murdo Macleod for the Observer


The children of Drumduan Upper School never sit any tests, and they rarely sit at desks. Yet a recent inspection found a school full of happy and inspired students learning about life through practical and creative activities.

Read more:

First Official Steiner School Opens in Ireland

Image: Shutterstock, via thejournal.ie

Mol an Óige, Ireland’s first official Steiner school, is now providing education to 136 pupils and growing. The school’s “delayed approach to formal learning” takes the focus away from textbooks and more towards developing critical thinking; yet they are still able to meet the required curriculum. Click here to read more…