Lower school

Lower School is for children aged 6-11 years (Classes 1 – 5)

Greenwich Steiner School follows the European model and norm in Scandinavian countries, where formal education (literacy and numeracy) only start when a child is developmentally ready. That’s why we pride ourselves on offering your child an education that is age-appropriate. This is typically in the September after a child’s sixth birthday.

Starting school is a hugely important step for a child. Laying the foundations for the rest of his or her life, we seek to nurture the whole well-being of your child within the Steiner Waldorf curriculum.

At our school, we believe that your child’s emotional and social life is as important as their intellectual and cognitive abilities.

Why have the same teacher for the first five years?

  • Key to the Lower School experience, is the relationship of our children with their Class Teacher. Ideally this teacher stays with the children for their entire five-year period in the Lower School. This enables children to develop a purposeful progression in their learning through a respectful relationship with a responsible adult, who is deeply committed to their ongoing development and growth.

  • The bond between a Class Teacher and a child is often compared to being that of a third parent. It is a relationship that offers a strong bond of trust, love and respect, that continues to develop throughout the time the child is in the school.

  • When past pupils look back on their formative years in education, they often comment on how pivotal this relationship has been in their lives. In today’s fast paced environment where we are often starved of real connections, as we interact online and through various social media platforms, this relationship is a welcome antidote to those more surface connections.

  • A Class Teacher always remains a respectful, but loving authority and yet offers children an important template of connection, as they experience both meeting and being met by another human being with reverence and respect.

World’s most exciting curriculum!

  • The Steiner Waldorf Curriculum interweaves all the subjects of the National Curriculum – English, Maths, Science, History, Geography and Foreign Languages, French and German in an artistic and creative way.

  • Subjects are taught in thematic blocks called The Main Lesson, lasting for approximately two hours every morning for a period of between three to four weeks. This allows for a more in-depth study to take place.

  • Subject lessons such as Handwork, Eurythmy (a movement art form), Art, Drama, Woodwork, Music, Games and Gardening are also integral to the core curriculum. (See curriculum overview for more details).

Why do children start to read and write so much later than mainstream schools?

Although our children only start formal literacy and numeracy at age 6 years old – by the end of the Lower School period, when they are approximately 11 years old, they have caught up with their peers in mainstream education. (Exceptions may be when there is a specific learning need that prevents this).

Literacy at Greenwich Steiner School is taught using the traditional Steiner Waldorf methodologies, alongside appropriate other systems that work for each individual child. Our teachers are also trained in the synthetic phonics teaching method, Sounds Write.

A SENCO and teaching assistant co-ordinate support for children with extra learning needs. Parents may need to access external support where necessary, and this is done in consultation with the school.