Address: Steiner Academy Frome,
Telephone: 01373 832804
Email: [email protected]
Contact Details ..........................................................2
Welcome, Vision, Aims and Goals .............................4
School Curriculum, Educational Practices & EYFS Info 8
Homework ............................................................... 17
Classes and Ages ........................................................ 19
The School Day ......................................................... 19
Schedule of Afternoon Play ....................................... 19
The Team.................................................................. 21
Policies and Forms .....................................................34
Traffic, Parking and Neighbours.................................35
Good Attendance………………………………………. 35
Afternoon Play in the Kindergarten............................36
Emergency After School Care .....................................37
Communicable Diseases .............................................38
In case of Accidents....................................................38
Dress Code ................................................................38
Lost Property .............................................................39
Parents Evenings ........................................................39
Surgeries and School Reports .....................................39
Contacting your Teacher............................................40
Home Visits ...............................................................40
Issues and Concerns ...................................................40
Poor Weather Plan ....................................................40
School Inspections and Advisory Visits .......................40
The PTFA ~ ‘The Hive’ ............................................. 41
Festivals ................................................................... 41
Being Together and Working Together ......................43
The Governing Body .................................................44
School Term Dates.....................................................47
Home School Agreement ...........................................49
Food and Free School Meals......................................52
Sample Menu and Snack Menu ..................................53
Welcome, Vision, Aims and Goals
The School endeavours . . .
To enable children to have rich, positive and potent experiences
of childhood and learning;
To nourish and develop the pupils’ innate gifts and potentials,
so that they may become responsible,
free individuals who think clearly, observe perceptively
and act considerately & creatively for the good of the world.
Dear Parents, Carers and Friends,
Welcome to our school! The Steiner Academy Frome sits in the rolling greens of
Somerset, 12 miles south of Bath, on the edge of the Mendips. Bristol, Glastonbury and
Stonehenge are all within a 25 mile radius.
The school began life in September 2012 as the first Steiner Free School in England,
spent the first two years in the delightful Wiltshire village of Corsley, moved into a
corner of the building site in Frome in September 2014 and took the keys to the
completed site in April 2015. This autumn, 4 years after opening, 2012 seems such a
long way from here.
What lies at the heart of this school? What are the hopes, intentions and aims that we
hold for the children here? What, in essence, are we trying to do?
to enable children to have potent and worthwhile experiences of childhood and
to nourish and develop the pupils’ innate gifts and potentials, so that they may
become responsible, free individuals who think clearly, observe perceptively and
act considerately & creatively for the good of the world
This is an ‘all-through’ school, meaning a child aged 4 can begin in the kindergarten
and spend the next 12 years at the school, in the same learning community, until the
age of 16.
To begin with, the young children spend two years in a mixed-age kindergarten. The
early years’ phase of the school is completed when the children are 6 years old. The
beginning of formal learning and the entry to school comes when the children are rising
7. The school has a distinctive curriculum and pedagogy. Steiner schools, just as is true
of all free schools, are not required to cover the statutory national curriculum or, if they
do, to follow the precise order of coverage suggested by the official subject order. As a
Steiner Free School, a number of exemptions and modifications to assessment
arrangements have been allowed, from age 5 through to age 12.
This year - 2016-17 - is our fifth, which makes us a rising 5! The school sits just above
the thriving town of Frome, with the park running alongside our site. Over the last 3
years, the place has been through a major transition, from a much-loved Victorian-era
town hospital to a new school for the families of Frome who have chosen publicly-
funded Steiner education for their children.
This is a young school.
this autumn, we have 286 pupils on roll, from age 4 to 13. Of these, 104 children
are in the early years phase and attend one of our 6 kindergarten groups
we have single form entry from age 6+ to 13+ & double-form entry for our 4s
This is a growing school.
currently, the range is Year R to Year 8 (Kindergarten to Class 7). In the years
ahead, the school will evolve into a two-form, all-through school for children
and young people aged 4 to 16
the school will continue to grow, from the roots of early childhood, for the next
10 years until full capacity is reached in 2025-26
This is a good school where,
“pupils are well cared for . . . behave well and work confidently with their
teachers and each other”
there exists “a strong culture of learning amongst staff and pupils”
“staff pay unwavering attention to meeting the needs of each pupil”
“children in the kindergarten classes thrive in an atmosphere of care and trust…
and acquire a firm foundation of skills and highly positive attitudes to learning”
“the teaching is good…and responsive to how the individual pupil is learning,
and gentle in guiding…children to new experiences”
“pupils carry their innate love of learning, exploring and thinking throughout
“governors are fully focused on monitoring and challenging the school’s
performance” (Ofsted Inspection Report, February 2014)
This autumn, we have both new colleagues and some colleagues in new places:
Heather Alexander is Kindergarten Teacher for Hazely Hare KG
Rachel Theobald is Kindergarten Teacher for Cherry Blossom KG
Nereida Olives is the Kindergarten Teacher for Mousie Brown KG
Tina Youngman is the Kindergarten Teacher for Willow KG
Luke Newman and Martin Scase join the Kindergarten Teaching Assistant Team
Daniel Jones is Class Teacher for Class 1
Alan Abhaya is Class Teacher for Class 4
Sarah-Jo Robinson returns as SENDCo and Early Years Lead
Liao Yu is visiting teacher for Mandarin in Classes 6 and 7
Kathryn Mason, Nicki Maskelyne and Rachael Blyth join the Admin Team
Indicators from 2015-16:
The pupil roll increased from 186 to 234
Whole school attendance was steady at 95.28%, a slight increase on 2014-15
Unauthorised absence was low at 0.26%
Through the year, each year-group and class was full and the school’s global
waiting list ranged between 60 and 80 through the year. The monthly open
afternoon events were full throughout the year
The school received over 70 applications for the 52 rising 5 places for September
The intake at rising 5 doubled from 26 to 52. This marked the beginning of
In accordance with our funding agreement, the national tests at age 11 were
The ‘secondary-school’ phase of this all-through school began with the
progression of the top class into Class 6 (Year 7)
National Tests at 11:
as a Free School offering a distinctive curriculum and pedagogy, the school takes
a different pathway through the material offered during Key Stage 2 of the
national curriculum programmes of study. At this age, the curriculum material
does not dove-tail with the programmes of study in the national curriculum.
under the terms of the school’s Funding Agreement, negotiated with the DfE,
the school administered the national tests in May 2016, in line with the practice
required of all state maintained schools in England.
Please read this Parent Handbook with care. It contains helpful, need-to-know
information about the school and the year ahead. It also endeavours to give a picture
of day-to-day life in and around site. Some items have been updated and others are
new. For news items and further information, plus guidance on the school’s policies
and procedures, please head for the school’s website, or contact the office directly.
Best wishes to all,
Operational Objectives for 2016-17
To receive the go-ahead to provide a limited number of nursery places in some
kindergartens from early 2017.
To enable the opening and settling of six kindergarten groups on site, with a new
staffing team and a new departmental leadership and management structure.
To conduct a timely & positive teacher recruitment process in advance of double
Class 1 entry in September 2017.
To maintain whole-school attendance at +95% attendance and increase attendance
from 2015-16. To develop a positive working partnership with the school’s newly-
appointed Education Welfare Officer.
To provide enrichment activities for more able pupils in English and Maths and to
provide additional support for slower learners.
To have Steiner Waldorf curriculum-based assessment tasks in English and Maths
ready to trial by the summer term of 2016-17
To launch, support and monitor the THRIVE approach in the school, aiming to have
positive impacts on the pupils’ social and emotional health, well-being & behaviour.
To launch and help establish a pupil voice within the school, including the creation
and election of a Student Council.
To support the introduction of ‘secondary school’ Mandarin, in partnership with
the Confucius Institute and Strode College.
To introduce and develop an integrated, cross-curricular programme of personal,
social and health education (PSHE) and relationships and sex education (SRE) in the
To strengthen and disseminate the middle to upper school development and
transition process within the staffing team and with the parent-body.
To invite & encourage a culture of volunteering in and around the school.
To explore and establish a working relationship with a higher education partner re:
School Direct and classroom-based routes to QTS.
To support & conclude the decision-making process regarding the setting up of a
Steiner Multi-Academy Trust.
The school’s curriculum:
comprises a broad and varied programme of materials and themes, including: the core
subjects of English and Mathematics, Handwork & Crafts, Music, Spanish & Mandarin,
Nature Study, Gardening & Science, History & Geography, Games, Religious Education,
Form Drawing and Eurythmy;
derives from a curriculum framework, initially set down in a series of lectures and
indications on education given by Rudolf Steiner in the early 20th century. Over the last
90 years, curriculum research and reflection on practice have served to refine and
develop the curriculum framework to make it relevant and appropriate in early years
settings and schools around the world;
is part of an international curriculum framework that forms programmes of teaching
and learning in over 1000 schools in every continent, except Antarctica;
is devised for an all-through school model from rising 5 to 16 years of age;
includes a programme of assignments, assessment exercises, teacher-generated tests and
standard, age-related, ability tests in numeracy and literacy;
is based on a body of knowledge and practice that comprises primary and secondary
is integrated with the pedagogy and the approach to assessment, recording and
relates to the age and developmental needs of the pupils. The educational approach is
founded on an understanding that each person develops through a sequence of
physical, emotional and cognitive stages and changes throughout life, particularly in
aims to balance breadth of content with detailed analytical focus across a range of
subjects and curriculum themes. The curriculum model is regarded as holistic, combining
artistic, scientific and practical elements in an inter-disciplinary and extended approach.
By extended learning is meant where the teaching and learning resurface, or continue
in other lessons or periods, in addition to the allocated subject or lesson time. For
example, the theme of ‘local geography’ may extend into music, painting and English
lessons on the same day, or at other times in the school-week.
The Kindergarten is for children who are rising 5 and rising 6. At this age, the aim is to
provide a wholesome and harmonious environment where the children can develop
safely and joyfully - a home from home. The work is focused on an indication, shared
by Steiner and others, that in the early years, children are learning through imitating
the world around them. This can be clearly seen in a young child who unconsciously
imitates adults’ movements and gestures; this is later expressed in their imaginative
playing. Teachers aim to provide an example worthy of imitation, and to nurture the
child’s imagination through providing opportunities for creative play, through singing,
poetry, stories and puppet plays. The mornings consist of baking, painting and simple
handwork and craftwork.
Rhythm and repetition are considered important for a child’s inner security and
development. The mornings in Early Years follow a strong rhythm of structured activity
and freer, constructive play. The greater rhythms of the seasons of the year are
followed, and annual festivals including Michaelmas and Martinmas, Advent and
Christmas, Easter and Whitsun and the Midsummer Festival of St John’s are celebrated,
both in the kindergarten and later on, in the school.
THE STATUTORY EYFS AND EXEMPTIONS
The Statutory Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Birth – 5 years, applies to all settings
including ours. It sets out both learning and development requirements and
safeguarding and welfare requirements for children from birth to 31 August following
their fifth birthday. You can find out more about the EYFS in the Guide to the EYFS in
Steiner Kindergartens which you will find in your kindergarten or on
http://www.steinerwaldorf.org. You can also find a parent’s guide to the EYFS on the
government website: http://www.foundationyears.org.uk
Because there are areas which conflict with the Steiner Waldorf early childhood
principles and practice, we have received some ‘Exemptions and Modifications’ to the
EYFS Learning and Development requirements and Assessment regulations under the
‘Established Principles’ route. These are mostly to do with the introduction and in some
cases formal teaching of reading, writing, mathematics and use of IT/media and
electronic gadgetry. There is no exemption from the safeguarding and welfare
requirements. (See list of Exemptions and Modifications in the kindergarten).
Steiner practice embraces the idea of integrated education in which the core skills of
oracy, numeracy and literacy are woven together with a study of science and an
immersion in the arts. Alongside the core skills and academic disciplines, experiential
learning - in the form of practical hand-work and land-crafts - and an exploration -
through narrative, biography and history - of the moral-ethical ideas, myths and truths
of diverse cultures and religions, form the cornerstones of the international curriculum
The ‘class teacher’ approach consists of a teacher working with a class for a period of
years (ideally, from age 6 to age 14). This is an expression of the importance given to
cultivating positive social relationships within the class and the school as a whole. The
class teacher period constitutes an eight-year programme of teaching and learning,
taking the children from the early stages of childhood into the throes of adolescence.
The teaching of foreign languages is introduced from the age of 6 and the languages
offered are Mandarin and Spanish. Eurythmy - a form of artistic movement blended
with music and speech - is taught from the kindergarten onwards, while handwork,
drama, music, gardening and art are recognised as vital and rewarding channels for
learning and achievement.
Assessment of learning and progress focuses on a range of continuous and
contextualised assessments that reflect the range of abilities in the classroom and the
scope and detail of the programme of teaching and learning. Much of the assessment
work is locally-designed, primarily classroom-based and carried out by the teachers of
each class, who work collaboratively as a team of colleagues in a weekly, study-business
meeting. In addition, a series of recognised screening tests in aspects of mathematics
and English are conducted from Class 3 onwards. As part of its Funding Agreement, the
school is also required to administer national tests at age 11 and submit teacher
assessment data at ages 11 and 14. The school has also negotiated a number of
exemptions, modifications and dis-applications from certain statutory requirements,
including the EFSP, KS1 teacher assessment and the phonics spelling check.
Curriculum and pedagogy are predicated on the notion that lesson material and
educational method must be in harmony with the generic developmental stage of the
class of children and the development and progress of the individual children in the
class. In the early years, especially in the 4-6 years period, the educational focus is on
physical growth and movement, imaginative, child-generated play, imitation and
rhythmical activities. Formal learning and attention to aesthetic and affective faculties
are prominent in the ‘heart of childhood’ from 7 to 12, while an increasing emphasis
on analytical, rational, cognitive capabilities provides the educational signature of the
Curriculum for Classes 1 to 7
All classes have timetabled lessons in Eurythmy, Music, Painting, Spanish, Mandarin,
Handwork, Games, Form Drawing and Religion. Practise lessons in Maths and English
are timetabled for each class. Classes 1 to 4 have a weekly lesson in Form Drawing and
classes 4 and 5 have choir once a week.
Eurythmy is an art of movement that was introduced into Steiner schools about 90
years ago. It is a specific subject and discipline taught in Steiner schools the world over.
At the Steiner Academy Frome, eurythmy is a lesson for children in the kindergartens
(age 4 to 6) and the lower and middle school (age 7 to 14). A pianist accompanies the
teacher and the children through the lesson.
Through eurythmy movements, the pupil can develop an awareness of the body and a
growing awareness of the physical and spatial environment. Music and language are
means through elements of the inner or emotional life may be expressed. As a discipline,
eurythmy can provide a means by which language and music become immediate and
Music begins with singing, listening games, flute and simple percussion instruments.
Notation begins in Class 3. Singing is an integral part of all lessons, including rounds
and eventually part singing. A private tutor is available at times during the school week
for individual instrument lessons.
Painting lessons use simple techniques with quality materials, the work developing over
the years as the children change, and relative to their main lesson work. These lessons
enable the pupils to get a feel for colour as well as painting techniques.
Languages are taught initially through games, songs and poems. Reading, writing and
grammar are introduced from Class 4. Spanish and Mandarin are taught from Class 1.
Handwork takes the children through practical learning and a development of fine
motor skills by making their own knitting needles, learning to knit, sew and embroider
simple, learning to crochet, making simple garments and cross-stitch. Making animals
or dolls from their own designs, working with sewing machines, learning about different
fabrics designing and making a piece of clothing and/or costumes for plays.
Religion lessons are taught throughout the school via stories, biographies and looking
at various religions. These lessons are non-denominational. Many themes are explored
with the pupils over the years including respect for human beings, aspects of
Christianity, the Bible and the major world religions.
Games lessons include simple movement and cooperation games. In later school years,
games lessons will include gym exercises, athletics, gymnastics with equipment and
various team sports including netball, basketball and volleyball.
Form drawing is a lesson that appears in the lower or primary phase of the Steiner
curriculum and is sometimes referred to as dynamic drawing, or free-hand geometry.
At school, there are certain subjects – and form drawing is one of them - where the
emphasis is on harnessing and fostering skills and capacities that develop intelligence
through movement and form. Some of the aims of form drawing are to:
develop fine-motor skills and strengthen hand-eye coordination in preparation for
writing and cursive writing;
enhance the powers of thinking in a non-intellectual way. In practical terms,
form drawing works in the direction of flexibility and adaptability; concentration
develop a facility for careful observation and cultivate an aesthetic appreciation
develop a sense for rhythm – contraction and expansion – balance, symmetry
The school marks and celebrates a number of
festivals through the school year. Different
festivals in different parts of the world derive from
a variety of cultural, spiritual, religious and natural
roots. A well as providing opportunities to reflect
on the spiritual aspect of humanity, festive events
are also important in building communities and
understanding other cultures and religions. In a
more general sense, festivals can serve to awaken
the child’s capacities for reverence and
thankfulness and together with the round of the
seasons the festivals serve to engender a sense for the rhythmical ebb and flow of the
The preparation and celebration of a round of festivals – Harvest-time, Advent or May-
time – forms a major part of the programme of learning in the Early Years part of the
school. As the children progress through the school, festivals continue to form a part of
the programme of social, moral, spiritual and cultural education. They are celebrated
in class and whole-school assemblies through craft activities, stories, plays and art-work.
Through the curriculum and in recognition of cultural diversity, festivals from different
cultures and parts of the world – for examples, Diwali, Hanukkah – are studied and
There is a rhythm to the day, week and year, and the celebration of the turning seasons
and festivals have an important place. Teaching is pictorial and imaginative, the aim
being to stimulate the intellect through activity, rhythm and imagination. Time is spent
laying down good habits of classroom life and work, cultivating reverence for nature,
respect for others and learning to connect with and care for the children's environment.
Writing is introduced using pictures, rhymes and stories, and practised with form
drawing and movement. Reading begins with the children's own written work and
familiar songs and poems. Listening and speaking skills are also practised, with nature
stories and fairy tales from around the world. Number work is begun, again with
pictures, rhymes and stories. The four number processes are introduced and a start is
made on learning times tables.
Stories from the lives of holy people, legends and fables are the primary literary base
for writing, speaking and reading. Cursive writing is begun, and composition is
introduced, which aids spelling. Reading skills continue to develop, working with word
families, vowels and diphthongs, moving from familiar to new texts. Number work
builds with mental maths practise and longer exercises moving on to larger numbers,
number bonds, odd and even numbers, columns and carrying over. Free-hand
geometrical form drawing is introduced. Nature stories help the children to understand
the cycles of nature, reinforced by walks.
The focus is on practical activities, especially farming, gardening and building, and
includes a building project. There are several trips in connection with these topics.
Stories come from the Old Testament, including Genesis. The children begin to write
full sentences from stories and activities, explore nouns, verbs, adjectives and
punctuation, and move on to descriptive and creative writing. In maths, practice of all
12 tables continues; long multiplication and long division are introduced, money
handling and change, and various forms of measurement - linear, liquids, solids and
The main lessons provide opportunities for more independent work, including
individual project work. Mythology is now introduced, especially the Norse myths, and
in form drawing Celtic knot work in particular is explored. In English, grammar work
covers the tenses and parts of speech; in maths, fractions are introduced, using all four
processes; measurements and area work is continued. There are main lesson blocks on
local geography, and local history, beginning with the school grounds and leading on
to trips exploring the area. Other main lesson blocks on "Human and Animal" explore
the form and functions of the human being, leading to an understanding of the animal
world, followed by more detailed study of some animals.
The curriculum provides rich fare and an impressive landscape to traverse. The principal
features are summarised below:
in Maths, the primary themes are a continued study of common fractions and the
properties of numbers, with an Introduction to the decimal system and a focus on
geometry and the movement from free-hand to the use of instruments;
the English, the lessons focus on elements of composition, grammar, spelling,
reading and creative writing;
there is an episodic and lively introduction to the Geography of the British Isles
the change from pre-history and mythic representations to recorded ‘western’
History is brought through the ‘histories’ of ancient civilisations, ranging from
India to Persia, Mesopotamia and Egypt and culminating in the emergence of
an introduction to Botany lends itself to direct observation of plants in their
natural habitat, via class walks and the sketching of different varieties of trees and
the study of Ancient Greece is enhanced by a re-enactment of the Greek Olympic
Games. This event, held in Sussex each summer, brings together pupils from Steiner
schools across Britain and Ireland. The children prepare for, and participate in a
day of competitions in a pentathlon of discus, javelin, wrestling, long jump and
running. The qualities of grace, beauty and athleticism are emphasised, and
winners and non-winners are celebrated!
In the Main Lesson programme, the more detached, critical thinking and awareness of
these young people, as they begin to move from childhood towards adolescence is
met by work in the following areas:
Physics covers acoustics, optics and first experiments with static electricity;
Life science looks at life cycles;
History becomes factual and takes in from the Romans to the Crusades. Within
that scope, the formation of Christianity and Islam are viewed historically, too;
In Geography, the focus will widen to
study Europe (other continents are
studied in Class 7);
in Maths, new concepts and techniques
include business maths, triangle and
circle geometry and visual means of
in English, accurate description and
accurate parsing of sentences meet that
critical consciousness with lawfulness.
Overall, there is a sense that each subject is branching out into its own syllabus and
methodology. Perhaps the biggest change in other lessons this year is that the Class will
be split for language lessons. As you will see from the timetable below, Mandarin and
Spanish will take place over four lessons each week, so each pupil will have two of each
(as before) taken at a pace better suited to their learning style. We do need to stress
that this is an experiment for this year.
Another new aspect is Friday afternoon-school. Horticulture and resistant crafts enter
the curriculum this year, and we are really pleased to offer circus skills as well. Of course,
this means extending the timetable, and so school will finish at 3.30 p.m. on Fridays
for Class 6.
As the turbulence of adolescence builds, the curriculum subjects seek to involve it in
expression and guide its beauty and power – but also encourage the mind to find
security in precision and measurement.
The sciences are clearly divided. In Biology
human digestion and nutrition, respiration and
circulation, reproduction and senses (the eye
and ear) are studied. This leads into discussion
of care of the self and of others.
In Chemistry the study of acids and bases,
cleansing and corrosion, pH experiments and
the lime cycle often includes soap making and
the building of a lime kiln.
In Physics the dichotomy between the growing
physical strength of the young person and
phases of fatigue can be explored in working
with inclined planes, levers, pulleys to study and reduce effort! The links between
magnetism and electricity are explored.
In Maths, formulae lead into algebra, while Geometry includes , the Fibonacci
sequences, the golden ratio: ways of seeing harmony in the world of nature and art.
A block on Astronomy encourages visualisation of complex, rotational concepts and
also complements the work on exploration in history
In History study of the Middle Ages and Renaissance
leads to a block on the paths by which Europeans
“discovered” other cultures and peoples. It’s a study of
individual heroics and catastrophic impacts and in
Geography, it makes sense to study a continent, such as
Africa or South America, in light of this. Likewise in art,
concentration on perspective drawing to create the
illusion of 3D space matches the development of the
Renaissance and engages with the question of individual
point of view.
The English main lessons work with lots of creative writing, particularly in exclamatory,
descriptive and wishful modes, to explore ways to express this growing point of view.
Simultaneously, continued emphasis on correct grammar and register help hone
disciplined expression. The possibilities and potential pit-falls of contemporary
technology are introduced via lessons on IT.
By no means least, because both are integral to matching content to growing inner
sensing, in Handwork the aim is to pattern, cut and sew clothing and in Woodwork to
The Class Teacher Model and the Main Lesson Concept
The class teacher ‘model’ consists of a teacher working with a class for a period of years
(ideally, from age 6 to age 14). This class teacher model demonstrates the importance
given to cultivating positive social relationships within the class and the school as a
whole. The class teacher period constitutes an eight-year programme of teaching and
learning, taking the children from the early stages of childhood into the throes of
The concept of main lesson is fundamental to the Academy’s programme of teaching
and learning. Fundamentally, the main lesson begins the school day and is a 2-hour
session of differentiated elements of learning and experience set within an integrated
or holistic context. The main lesson theme, which runs for 3 – 4 weeks on a daily basis,
includes the disciplines, materials and tasks of a broad and balanced curriculum. The
main structural features, outlined below, reflect the underlying philosophical principles
of the main lesson concept:
rhythm: to support the academic; to make the ‘recall’ time more effective
recall: ‘free render’: differentiation within the collective; diagnostic opportunities
‘academic’: thinking, writing, computing, problem-solving
practising and development of skills
artistic components and tasks
celebration of learning, review, ‘putting the lesson to bed’
In practice, the format and balance of
elements within the main lesson varies
depending on the children’s age and
the actual theme of the material.
Generally, the younger the class, the
more time is spent on the rhythmical,
artistic and experiential elements and
as the children proceed through the
classes, greater emphasis is given to
the aspects of academic learning and
the development of core skills.
Introduction to the teaching of literacy and the approach to reading
In a Steiner school, the path towards literacy and
reading begins in early childhood. Following the
young child’s meeting with the mother tongue in
the first three years of life, the primary emphasis in
the kindergarten is to provide a rich and lyrical
immersion in the spoken word. Speaking and
listening – the development of oracy and auditory
competence – are regarded as the bed-rock of
literacy, both in terms of ability and disposition.
At the beginning of school, in the child’s seventh
year, the introduction to the teaching and learning
of literacy moves into a formal, technical stage, with the written word now joining the
spoken word of the kindergarten years. The ‘read’ word, or reading, comes on the
heels of the written word and to a large extent the two processes are interwoven,
although comprehending the written word comes after the written word has been
experienced practically. The approach to reading follows a clear path that calls upon
the combined help of a series of approaches.
Age focus Approaches
0-6+ Language-acquisition and Oracy and immersion in the spoken word through
7&8 pre-literacy skills through simple dialogue, nursery rhymes, creative play, fairy
listening and speaking. tales, songs and games.
8+ (Class 1) – the capital
alphabet > the lower From a whole text that is laden with meaning and
case alphabet. known by heart, to a knowledge and
(Classes 1 & 2) – Writing understanding of the composite words and letters
and an appreciation of that comprise the ‘abstract’ parts, or the written
the elements of the mechanics and conventions of the text.
written word in
language. Speaking>writing what has been spoken>reading
The lower case alphabet what has been written.
> the cursive alphabet >
the printer alphabet. Reading by analysing a known text. Analysis
beginning from a creative presentation of a written
(Class 2/3 onwards) – text. Familiarisation with letter-shape, letter-sound
Learning to read for one- and letter-name; identification of words from
self. Reading on one’s ‘known’ text, letters from words.
own. Reading quietly.
Synthesis of letters and letter combinations into the
written words; identification of phonetic structure
of words and non-phonetic structure of other
Reading of teacher’s text from the blackboard
Reading of pupil’s own writing in the ‘main lesson’
Discovering the joy and Reading from a class reader, prepared by the
pleasure of reading. teacher, arising out of materials covered in the
Reading out loud, reading in small groups, reading
to a teacher / teaching assistant / volunteer helper,
reading on one’s own in silence, reading a range of
texts and materials – guided choice and self-
A clear, positive approach to homework:
contributes to a healthy ethos of learning, achievement and progress;
supports understanding and communication between parents and teachers;
enables the development of independent learning and study skills, reinforcing
learning and practice, as well as fostering confidence and enhancing self-
provides parents with opportunities to have a closer connection to their child's
education, as well as gaining a greater understanding of their child’s strengths or
is not about another helping of “more of the same”, nor should it be designed
to create fatigue or induce unhealthy levels of stress, in children, parents or
In the Early Years pupils acquire a level of physical independence supported by the
teachers and the educational approach. In a sense, the job of growing is homework and
school-work and vice versa.
Once in school (Classes 1 to 5), little by little, pupils begin to develop emotional skills
and independent working habits, and in the later years, students are encouraged to
become independent thinkers and researchers. A suitable amount of appropriate
homework, starting around Class 4/5, offers the opportunity for pupils to start taking
an element of responsibility for their work at home.
The timing and amount of homework will depend on the Class Teacher's assessment of
the needs of the class. Homework covers a multitude of potential tasks, from rather
simple, concrete assignments in Class 1 - “counting the number of doors in my house”
to project work a bit later - “A model dwelling” in Class 3 to “An animal that lives in
my garden” in Class 4. Homework begins on a more regular basis around the age of
10-11, on a couple of nights a week. In the early stages teachers usually set homework
which is appropriate to the content and rhythm of the Main Lesson. It is important that
the pupils can both do it and derive some benefit from doing it.
Teachers introduce homework in such a way that pupils regard it as an integral
part of the curriculum.
During the course of a pupil’s time at the school, homework will include a variety
of different activities and projects, including practising skills learnt in lessons,
writing, drawing, art and craft activities, simple experiments, interviewing
people, researching and collating information, preparing performances, visiting
local places of interest.
For more information, please refer to the school’s Homework Policy, available from
Will All Children Learn and Do Exactly the Same Things?
The simple answer is no. There are, of course, many highlights of the Steiner curriculum
that will always make an appearance in any year, Main Lesson or subject. Even these
may be taught in different ways and the children may well be asked to work on the
material in diverse ways and media.
There are also themes, material and activities that very much depend on the needs of
the children in a class; meeting these needs is the responsibility of each teacher. They
will also come to diverse conclusions and plan their work with the children accordingly.
It is important to understand that school trips and practical activities are part and parcel
of this judgement of needs, and will vary from year to year and class to class.
As a group of teachers we work with
different ages and groups of children. To
aid this work, we take part in an ongoing
professional conversation – both in
meetings and as part of the appraisal
process – to create a balance between the
common interests of a class-group and
the needs of the individuals within the
group. We work to blend these dynamics
with the core principles of the
Classes and Ages
For those who are new to Steiner
education, the table below will help you
orientate where your child/ren is/are in
the school, in comparison with a national
CLASS Equivalent National Curriculum AGE OF CHILD
Mixed-age Kindergarten 1
Mixed-age Kindergarten 2 Reception & Year 1 4, 5 and 6 years of age
Mixed-age Kindergarten 3
Reception & Year 1 4, 5 and 6 years of age
Reception & Year 1 4, 5 and 6 years of age
Class 1 Year 2 6-7 years of age
Class 2 Year 3 7-8 years of age
Class 3 Year 4 8-9 years of age
Class 4 Year 5 9-10 years of age
Class 5 Year 6 10-11 years of age
Class 6 Year 7 11-12 years of age
Class 7 Year 8 12-13 years of age
The School Day
The school day begins at 08.45 with registration and the day ends at 15.30. In the
Kindergartens, the full session of learning runs from 08.45 until 13.00*. Parents and
carers are invited to pick their children up at the end of the morning session. For
those who work, or need after-school supervision for their child/ren, this can be
provided until 15.30.
For Classes 1 to 5, there are some afternoons that are not scheduled for time-tabled
lessons*. When there is a lesson-free afternoon, parents and carers who are able to pick
their children up, may do so. For those who work or need after-school supervision for
their child/ren, this will be provided, until 15.30, as set out in the table below:
Schedule of Afternoon Play Supervision
CLASS Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
1 lessons Afternoon lessons Afternoon Afternoon Play
Play Afternoon lessons Afternoon Play
2 lessons lessons Play
lessons lessons Afternoon Play
3 lessons lessons
4 lessons lessons lessons lessons Afternoon Play
5 lessons lessons lessons lessons Afternoon Play
6 lessons lessons lessons lessons lessons
7 lessons lessons lessons lessons lessons
* Please note: It is a deliberate policy of the school to offer children gradually increasing hours
through Kindergarten to Class 5, rather than full days, as followed by many schools.
The Lesson Timetable
From 08.45 until 10.45, there is a 2-hour
thematic lesson with the Class Teacher. There
is a 45-minute morning break until 11.30 and
then two subject lessons in the period before
lunch. The lunch play-time break runs for an
hour, to 14.00, and the afternoon timetable
consists of two lessons, with the school day
ending at 15.30. In addition to the multi-
disciplinary, daily thematic ‘main’ lesson,
which embraces English and Maths, the week
contains the following blend of lessons:
· Spanish and Mandarin
· Handwork and Games
· Music and Eurythmy
· Painting and Form Drawing
· Religious Education and Story-time
The Steiner Academy Frome is an all-through school (rising 5 to 16+), managed by an
Academy Trust whose members constitute the Admission Authority that is responsible
for admission decisions in connection with the school. Day to day decisions are
delegated to the School Governing Body Admissions Committee. The Academy
provides Steiner education for children from age 4 (rising 5). The school is regularly
oversubscribed and there are normally waiting lists in operation for most Year Groups.
While the Academy Trust is very pleased to recognise the high level of parental interest,
it will resist unsustainable growth in class sizes in the interests of all children at the
The way in which the teaching groups are organised is integral to the Steiner ethos and
approach to learning. For the first two years, children are taught in mixed-age
kindergartens to enable the younger children to learn through imitating the older
children. The design of each kindergarten teaching space is intimate and home-like in
response to the priority of avoiding overwhelming the young child. The Academy has
organized the 104 places in the two years of kindergarten into 6 groups of children, in
order to preserve and properly provide for the Steiner Early Years curriculum in full.
The complete staffing line-up goes like this:
Principal ~ Trevor Mepham
Vice Principal ~ Paul Georghiades
· Sue Wade
· Nereida Olives
· Elisabeth Faulkner
· Tina Youngman
· Heather Alexander
· Rachel Theobald
· Phaedra Donfrancesco
· Aisha Kay
- Luke Newman
- Martin Scase
- Kirsty Staines
- Avril Druitt
- Helen King
- Daniel Jones – Class 1
- Han Van Gelder – Class 2
· Lily MacClelland – Class 3
· Alan Abhaya – Class 4
· Paul White – Class 5
· Ann Gulbis – Class 6
· Hazel Jarman – Class 7
Teaching and Learning Support Assistants
· Anita Bell
· Stephen Glendenning
· Lesley Britton
· Francis Druitt
· Chih-Ju Du
· Nadia Al Wagga
· Jane Hudson
· Aisha Kay
· Rachel - Spanish
· Yuan - Mandarin
· Will - Mandarin
· Diana - Eurythmy
· Trevor - Maths
· Alan - Religious Education
· Paul G. - English, Games, Religious Education, IT
· Helen - Handwork
· Fie - Art / Choir
· Hazel - Games
· Ann - Gardening
· Flora - Circus Skills
· Lutz - Woodwork
· Sarah-Jo - THRIVE
SENCo and Learning Support Teacher
· Sarah-Joanna Robinson
· Shannon Coggins (Administrator & Admissions Officer)
· Rachael Blyth (Admin assistant)
· Nicki Maskelyne (Admin assistant)
· Kathryn Mason (Admin assistant)
· Lisa Scholefield (Admin assistant)
· Evan James (Finance and Operations Manager)
· Denise Jenkins (Finance assistant)
· Carol Kenward, Cally Herbert, Sally Hooper, Sarah Appleton Jones,
Veronique Paice, Hawa Harper, Orsolya Hevf, Rachael Cave
· Linda Lethbridge
· Russ Ellingham
· Mike McElya
Maintenance & Cleaning:
· Ady Summers
· Jamie Jackson
· Charlotte Hughes
Trevor Mepham (Principal) I lived with my family in Devon
for 24 years. I worked as a Class Teacher at the South Devon
Rudolf Steiner School in Dartington and then went into
classroom advisory and mentoring work. While in Devon, I
spent 12 years working in the Faculty of Education at the
University of Plymouth, teaching on the Steiner BA
Programme & a European Masters Programme. I have served
as member of the Executive Group of the UK Steiner Waldorf
Schools Fellowship (SWSF) and also as member of the Board
of the European Council for Steiner Waldorf (ECSWE). In
September 2008, I became Principal at the Steiner Academy
Hereford – the first publicly-funded Steiner school in the UK.
Paul Georghiades (Vice Principal) I grew up in Cyprus,
but I’ve been living in England for so much longer that
it’s only the hand-movements that give it away. Twenty
years of experience in Steiner education (class teaching,
upper school specialisms in English, History and Drama)
are informing my work here, but every situation is
unique and I’m very aware that this school is truly a
special world. My job description covers Teaching and
Learning and this will be my focus for the coming years.
Sarah-Johanna Robinson (SENDCo) I first met Steiner education
in Germany in 1994, working as a volunteer and trainee
Kindergarten teacher and subsequently as houseparent in the
Camphill community, Brachenreuthe. From there, inspired by
Steiner's guidance that education for children with additional
needs is to be based upon a comprehensive understanding of
typical child development, I moved to the University of
Plymouth degree in Steiner education. I have since completed
postgraduate training in Special Educational Needs and a
Graduate Diploma in Psychology, alongside taking two classes from Class I - Class V at
the Meadow Steiner School in Bruton. I am a mother of a teenage son and in such spare
time as I have, I have developed a range of sporting interests under his enthusiastic
guidance! I have been involved with Steiner Academy Frome since 2011 and I look
forward to seeing it continue to grow and flourish alongside all of you.
Sue Wade (Kindergarten Teacher) I have lived in Somerset for
more than 30 years and have four children. My interest in Steiner
education started when I became a founder parent of the
Meadow Steiner School in Bruton in 1993, where my third son
happily spent his primary school years. To feed my growing
enthusiasm for the Steiner approach to child development, I
completed the Bristol Steiner Class Teacher Training. I worked as
kindergarten assistant until the birth of my daughter, who also
became a Meadow School pupil. I later took on various supporting roles at the school
and also taught watercolour painting in the Lower School. In 2009, I returned to the
Early Years department and took on the role of Nursery Teacher, working with three
year olds, whilst undertaking the London Kindergarten Teacher Training. I am now
excited about deepening my knowledge and experience as Kindergarten teacher and
this new chapter in my life and in the life of Steiner education in Somerset.
Elisabeth Faulkner (Kindergarten Teacher) I grew up in a
small Swiss village. Later I lived and learned in different parts
of the world and experienced various ways of life. When I
became a mother and discovered the importance of early
childhood I decided to train as a Waldorf Kindergarten
teacher. I have lived in England since 2000 and gained my
teaching experience at the Meadow School Nursery in
Bruton and at Elmfield Kindergarten in Stourbridge.
Tina Youngman (Kindergarten Teacher) It was a combination
of family background, the wonderful education I received at the
Kings Langley Steiner School and my deep love and interest in
human beings and their development that the impulse arose to
undertake the Waldorf Kindergarten Teacher Training Course in
2011. Since then, I've studied and gained invaluable experience over
the last two and a half years working as an assistant in one of Michael
Hall School's kindergartens. I'm very happy to be a member of the
Early Years team at the Steiner Academy Frome which I believe is
answering the call of the times.
Nereida Olives (Kindergarten Teacher) I have had the pleasure of
working with children over the last 14 years, as my initial
background was in Play work. I am also a qualified Handwork
Teacher, and I very much enjoy sharing my passion for wool and
busy hands with the children. I enjoy working with children
because every day they teach us to see the world full of wonder,
sharing what they are able to see through their eyes. My passions
are helping and engaging with its abundance in many different
ways such as Handwork, particularly dyeing Wool, Spinning and
Felting, Foraging, Cooking, Singing, Storytelling and Puppetry.
Heather Alexander (Kindergarten Teacher) Having been trained
at The Centre for Creative Education and a Kindergarten teacher
in Cape Town for a number of years, where I grew my four
children and had them nurtured in a large Waldorf school there,
my delving into Steiner’s work and research grew and now
continually goes deeper. It is my way of life. On coming to
England I found employment as an assistant at South Devon
Steiner School and led Afternoon Care for a few years until
coming to Steiner Academy Frome. I am thrilled to be working
at last, in a Steiner ‘Free-School’. This is how Waldorf schools
started and so for me the way Dr Steiner intended it – for everyone. The rich diversity
of children is in itself part of their global education. How fortunate I am to be here.
Rachel Theobald (Kindergarten Teacher) I got involved with
Steiner Education in the early 1990s as a young parent when
my first child was 18 months old. I became a founder member
of the Lancaster Steiner Education Project which set up toddler
groups, kindergarten and then a Steiner School. I have worked
as a Steiner Kindergarten teacher in both Lancaster and
Clitheroe and I have also worked in mainstream preschool
education. I am deeply drawn to the work with the
kindergarten age child which can be demanding but also
rewarding and humbling.
Phaedra Donfrancesco (Kindergarten Assistant) Phaedra
attended the Brighton Steiner School and has a background in
holistic therapies, arts, craft and dance. She lived, and was
educated in Denmark from age 13 to 19 and speaks
Danish. Her passion for early years Steiner Education was
rekindled by taking her children to the Steiner-inspired
Meadow School where she began by assisting in the Parent
and Child Group and providing cover for Kindergarten
Teachers and Assistants, and then becoming the Afternoon
Care Leader. She has two daughters at SAF. "I adore working with younger children and
I am really excited, and feel very privileged, to be working here at SAF."
Helen King (Kindergarten Assistant) Helen studied for an MA in
translation and linguistics and worked in Germany and Ireland in
the fields of translation and finance. She went on to teach English
in a Spanish primary school as part of a national Bi-lingual
programme. Helen spent five years in Spain and loved the lifestyle.
Her son was born there and they return as often as is possible to
visit his family and nourish the connection with his Spanish roots.
Helen's interest in Steiner education was kindled through attending
a regular Parent and Toddler group and she was relieved to have
found an education system that spoke to her heart. She went on to attend an early
childhood training course and ran Parent and Child Groups and Woodland Groups at
Exeter Steiner School for five years. During this time Helen also assisted at a Nursery
and in Kindergarten. She has also run private language classes for children and adults.
Aisha Kay (Kindergarten Assistant) I am part of the Treetops
Kindergarten team, first joining the school in 2014, as a staff member
and also a parent. My family roots go back to Manchester, with
diverse origins including Irish and Jewish ancestors. I grew up in the
Stroud area, experiencing a country childhood, local schools and
connections via friends with Steiner Education from an early age.
Following an Honours Degree in Textiles, I worked at Ruskin Mill,
Nailsworth and travelled in Turkey as an apprentice to the hat maker
to the Whirling Dervishes. This also developed my interest in spiritual philosophies.
Between 2001 and 2014 I worked in varying roles in the Kindergarten and Nursery at
Michael House School, Derbyshire, also completing a Post Graduate Training in Early
Years Education. I am passionate about being part of a movement which highly values
and gives ' time' and 'space' to childhood in a fast changing world.
Jess Bell (Kindergarten Assistant) I started working at the
Meadow School, Bruton, in Somerset in 1996 and assisted in the
nursery for a year and a half. I then assisted in the mixed age
kindergarten until I left the school in May 2001 to have my son,
Nathaniel. I was a full time mother until I returned to work at
the Meadow School in 2006, carrying on working as an assistant
in the mixed age kindergarten. My son was educated at the
Meadow School as I am very committed to the Steiner
philosophy of education. The latest course I attended was an
NVQ in Children and Young People’s Work-Force Level 2. I'm enjoying using my
knowledge and skills in the new journey with the Steiner Academy Frome.
Avril Druitt (Kindergarten Assistant) After studying my degree in
Contemporary Crafts and my PGCE I went on to teach Creative
Arts and Basic Skills to young adults with Special Educational
Needs. I have 3 lovely boys and enjoyed a career in
childminding while they were in their early years. Some of my
favourite things are travelling, studying, helping others, making
things, playing guitar and piano, running and being in nature.
Martin Scase (Kindergarten Assistant) I was born and raised in rural
Hampshire and have a background in care and support work with
adults with disabilities stemming from having an elder brother with
Cerebral Palsy. I'm a graduate of the Plymouth University Class
Teacher training and was a Class Teacher at the Alder Bridge
Steiner School and The Meadow School. I completed the Hiram
Trust 'Practical Skills Development Course' and subsequently
worked as a Craft Teacher at The Meadow School, Bruton. I then
spent a few years home educating my two sons; my elder up to
his GCSE year. I love working with my hands and exploring the great outdoors and
have spent the last few years researching and facilitating craft activities with children of
all ages. My involvement in Kindergarten originates in my sons' experience at The
Meadow School and of working as occasional cover with Elisabeth Faulkner in the
Kindergarten there. It's with a real sense of the bringing together of many interests and
experiences that I have embarked upon the joyful, 'living in the moment' work as
Assistant in Treetops Kindergarten!
Luke Newman (Kindergarten Assistant) Having recently moved to
Somerset, I am excited to be starting a new chapter here at the
Kindergarten. I feel privileged to be able to live and work in a
culturally rich and inspiring place with such a strong sense of
community. I am a father of two boys who fill me with a joy for
life. I am passionate about the natural world – people, animals and
plants, and I am trained in Bushcraft and Photography. I look
forward to sharing these interests with the children at the Steiner
Daniel Jones (Class Teacher) This is my first teaching position.
Prior to teaching I was an archaeologist and also worked in the
environmental sciences. I first recognised that I loved working
with children, when I taught fencing in several schools in
Wales. Later I spent a bit of time working as a tour guide at a
Roman and Victorian gold mine. There I found a joy for
teaching adults and children, all about the mines and the wider
landscape. This led me to start my journey into teaching and
undertaking a two year full time teacher training course in
Steiner Waldorf education. Now I have settled into Frome and have a wonderful class
here at Steiner Academy Frome.
Han Van Gelder (Class Teacher) I trained many years ago to
teach in the Government Schools (similar to a B.A) in Holland,
but during this training I came across Steiner Education. Very
soon I was teaching my first class 1, in Eindhoven in the South
of Holland. It is here that I brought up my two children. Since
then I have travelled the world by teaching many classes in
Holland, Belgium and the U.S. as well as a Class 1 here in
England. Alongside my teaching I have often mentored new
teachers. Over the years I have developed in the artistic realms
of painting, drawing music and movement which is fundamental to my Class teaching. I
returned to England earlier this year when I married my English wife. I am excited and
happy to be here teaching at this school.
Lily MacClelland (Class Teacher) I have always loved
working with children and have become particularly
passionate about working with them in the nurturing
environment that is Steiner education. I feel very privileged
and excited to be a part of the Steiner Academy Frome and
I am very much enjoying my role as Class teacher having
previously been a teaching assistant at the school since it
opened in 2012.
Alan Abhaya (Class Teacher) I spent 14 years teaching
Religion and Philosophy in secondary schools in Bristol, Bath
and Wiltshire. Whilst I loved working with the children, I
often felt like I was going against the grain, as the education
system I worked in seemed only interested in quantifiable
results rather than the wellbeing of the children and the
quality of their experiences. My eyes were opened to
another way when my daughter started going to Laurel
Farm Steiner Kindergarten. I am completely committed to
free education and love living in the South West so all the threads weaved
synchronistically together as I moved to Frome just before this wonderful school
opened. I knew that I had to work here so I began retraining to be a Steiner Class
Teacher on the amazing WESTT course in Stroud. I feel very privileged to work in such
a supportive and inspirational school and community.
Paul White (Class Teacher) Paul has been a teacher for most of
his adult life. He has taught in a wide range of environments,
in terms of age levels (adults, university and A-level students,
teenagers, primary children), subjects (Economics A-level,
English as a Foreign Language, class teaching from age 6
through to age 14, teacher training courses) and cultures (Chile,
Brazil, Japan, UK, Ireland, Ecuador, New Zealand). Most
recently, having completed a 7-year-cycle in a Steiner school
in New Zealand, he was the lecturer for Steiner education at AUT University in
Auckland and director of the Steiner Teacher Training Centre of New Zealand (Taruna).
He returned to England and to his true passion, Steiner class teaching.
Ann Gulbis (Class Teacher) I’d like to say that I am really
enjoying my work at the Steiner Academy Frome. I was born
in 1960 in Atherton, Lancashire, and am the second of five
children. I have been teaching since 1982, when I graduated
from Teacher Training College in Manchester. I worked in state
primary schools in Manchester, Cambridge, London and
Wolverhampton, before retraining as a Waldorf teacher. I took
my first class through for six years, and completed my eighth
year with my second class, both at Elmfield School in
Stourbridge. I would describe myself as passionate about Education! I love working
with the energy and enthusiasm of young people, and appreciate the unique privilege
the Waldorf teacher has of accompanying their growth and development. I am married
to Martin Gulbis and am the mother of John and Emily. When I am not teaching I love
to garden, read, cook and go for walks.
Hazel Jarman (Class Teacher) I have been working in education
for the past 14 years. Born in 1977 and raised with Waldorf
education, I became inspired to teach after volunteering at two
pioneering Steiner initiatives in East Africa. After completing the
Plymouth University Steiner Waldorf teacher training in 2001, I
worked in London with children excluded from school.
Engaging disaffected young people and encouraging cultural
diversity in education continue to be of utmost importance to
my work. In 2003 I took on Class 1 at St. Paul's Steiner School
in north London and graduated with Class 8 in July 2011. I spent
the next year teaching in state schools in Sheffield, with intermittent cover for Waldorf
schools around the country. I am very excited to be part of the Steiner Academy Frome.
Nadia Al Wagga (Classroom Assistant) My nomadic life always
seems to see me returning to my home base in Bath. After
leaving college I spent five years working for the NHS in London
as a Personnel Officer/Trainer. I gave this up for what I
considered the more important task of travelling to Vietnam to
see a total solar eclipse. I then spent many years learning,
practising and then teaching holistic therapies. When I came
across the Hawaiian massage Lomi Lomi I decided to travel
there to learn more (the tropical island bit helped!). I ended up
staying for 12 years in Hawaii and created a new life on many levels. This time I returned
with Rohan, my son. I then spent three years taking the Steiner Teaching Training course
and worked in schools for four years as a teaching assistant, substitute teacher and
learning support teacher for children with special needs. So here I am using all three
and very happy and grateful to be spending my day with children.
Stephen Glendenning (Learning Support) I have worked in
education for ten years teaching and mentoring children with
Special Educational Needs. In my spare time I also work as a
book binder restoring antiquarian books. I love visual arts and
Lesley Britton (Classroom Assistant) After working at SAF for a
year as a dinner lady, I applied for and was thrilled to be
offered the role of teaching assistant (TA)! The staff at SAF have
always made me feel valued, and I am delighted to be working
full time amongst such a warm and supportive school
community. Previous to working at SAF I volunteered as a TA
at other schools, ran my own pub, travelled Europe with my
kids and worked within housing and recruitment in London.
Frances Druitt (Classroom Assistant) I grew up in the leafy East
Sussex village of Forest Row, where I attended Michael Hall
Steiner School, before going on to study music and philosophy
at university, followed by a PGCE in secondary music and string
teaching. After five years working for Derbyshire music service
I became a class teacher and music teacher at Michael Hall. I
then worked supply teaching in a variety of very different
primary schools, before relocating with my wife Avril and our
three boys to join the new project here at Steiner Academy
After a very busy first year class teaching, I scaled back my
teaching commitments and handed the reins of my class on to Lily. I now enjoy a variety
of roles teaching and supporting several classes and small groups throughout the school.
Fie Scase (Art Teacher) After finishing my Fine Art Degree in
1993 I continued my studies in Steiner Education at the
University of Plymouth. Since then I have been involved in
Steiner Education as a subject teacher and as a parent and by
supporting my husband as a class teacher. For the last 11 years
I worked at the Meadow Steiner School in Bruton teaching a
wide range of subjects, including Art and Music. I have also
shared the home education of my two teenage sons.
Chih-Ju Du (Learning Support) I have been an English teacher
and a class teacher in mainstream junior high school in my home
country Taiwan for the past seven years. Looking back at my
teaching years I remember the sweet joy of being a teacher. I was
amazed by the extent the students could reach in learning and
their courage to cope with difficulties. Their different learning
styles, motivation and attitudes often made me ponder essential
questions about education and reflect on my own teaching.
These thoughts led me to explore education that can be
artistically presented to nourish the soul of the children as well as knowing the children’s
development in depth. So here I am, working in the lovely Steiner Academy Frome and
completing the West of England Steiner Teacher Training. I feel privileged to be part of
the big family and to be immersed in this soul-enriching environment. I live in Bristol
with my husband, Jun, and have a garden to arrange, which is a brand new experience
for me. I also like to walk in the mountains and do Tai chi in my leisure time.
Kirtsy Staines (Learning Support Assistant) I am new to Steiner
education, but I have worked with children of all kinds and ages
both paid and voluntarily for many years. I studied glass design at
university, went travelling round the world and spent 10 years
working with children with autistic spectrum disorders. During this
time I qualified as a play-worker and ran a local holiday play-
scheme for several years. My interests lie in creative and outward
bound activities. I am also Forest Schools trained and help facilitate
the local Frome Woodcraft Folk. When I discovered the Steiner school it really seemed
to open an inspiring new door for me. I am striving to deepen my knowledge of Steiner
education and have recently completed the Joy de Berker course in Bath. Both my
children are in school here, Ertha and Merryn. It is a joy and a privilege to get to know
the children and chat to the parents of such a range of amazing children.
Jane Hudson (Learning Support) From an early age I
wanted to be involved in nature conservation. I grew up
by the sea in Snowdonia and going to Sussex University
was a shock! Unfortunately, my Biology degree was
leading into the pharmaceutical industry. I discovered
Steiner Education just in time and my affinity with
children and nature clicked. Since 1995 I've worked in
four different schools in many different capacities from
toddlers to teens. I've also had a gap year in South
America, been a child-minder and had three children. As well as ultimately teaching
again I would like to train in SEN, mediation and counselling. I love singing, cooking,
gardening, arts and crafts, swimming and camping.
Diana (Eurythmy Teacher) Eurythmy is a performing art
movement; I started my Eurythmy career as a performing
Eurythmist, touring mostly the UK, Europe and also the Far
East. I have been performing on a regular basis for the last 15
years, while also being a Eurythmy and class teacher at the
Brighton Steiner School and St. Paul's Steiner School in London.
I am now concentrating on teaching Eurythmy at the Frome
Steiner Academy, and am happy to be part of such a
welcoming and exciting school.
Rachel (Spanish Teacher) My journey into Steiner education has been
a long and winding one which ultimately stems from my belief that in
order to achieve a more sustainable way of living we must nurture the
relationship our children have with the natural world. Through
allowing our children to explore the natural world around them, we
foster in them a love and appreciation for everything living, something
I believe is an essential element in achieving a more sustainable future.
My love for the Spanish language began after my first backpacking trip to Latin America
as a student. From that point on, I fell in love with the Spanish language and all things
Latin American. Having the opportunity to learn a foreign language is a great gift to
give a child. Through speaking another language we are not only able to communicate
with people from other cultures but we are also learning that there are other ways of
living and being in the world, different to our own. By appreciating and understanding
different cultures and people we foster greater tolerance and adaptability in our
children, both important factors in leading towards a more peaceful and humane
Yuan (Mandarin Teacher) I have been a teacher in state-
funded schools for more than ten years, having qualified
in Special Educational Needs (SEN) in my native Taiwan.
Being an SEN teacher, I developed a strong interest in
getting to know autism better, so completed a Master’s
Degree in researching autism within a special and inclusive
educational vision. Personally, I enjoy absorbing different
wisdoms about life, from various religious teachings,
literature and philosophy, mostly written in my mother
language of Mandarin. Inspired by my reading, I have also been writing many blogs of
my own in both English and Mandarin. Encountering Steiner Education in 2010 was
like meeting my ideal of what education should be like, and becoming a Mandarin
Steiner Teacher is the most beautiful integration of my profession and my approach to
life. Thank you all at SAF for coming to share this beauty with me.
Helen Mepham (Handwork Teacher) Having spent some
years being a teaching assistant and a handwork assistant,
I completed the first intake of the Handwork Teacher
Training course in 2015 and became the handwork
teacher, currently taking classes 1-6. It's a great
opportunity to share my decades of experience and
practice with children and I hope they come to love
handwork as much as I do.
Shannon Coggins (Administrator) For a long time I have been
passionate about free Steiner Education. As a parent on a low-
income myself, I know how hard it is to have real choice about
the education you want for your child when you have limited
resources. From the outset I have been very involved in the
project that has become the Steiner Academy Frome; I was the
Founder Governor responsible for Admissions in the year
before the school opened, a role I have continued with as one
of the Staff Governors. I am very excited to be part of the team
who are ‘midwifing’ the school into its full being. I am really
enjoying seeing, and supporting, the wonderful journey our
children are taking, from being so little when they arrive at the
school, all the way into their early adulthood. Before coming to Steiner education my
background was in the Arts and Counselling. I share my home with my husband Theo,
my daughter Rosa and two stray cats that have moved in on our family!
Evan James (Finance and Operations Manager) I’ve
worked at SAF since 2012 as Finance and Operations
Manager. I oversee all the money, the buildings and all
that supports the education. I am half Welsh and half Irish,
love music (The Fall) mountains (Fan Brycheiniog) and
rugby (Wales and Ireland obviously) and have 4 lovely
children - 3 girls and a boy. I am also lucky enough to work
in the same place as my partner Denise.
Denise Jenkins (Accounts Team) I work full time as Evan’s
assistant. My main duties include anything from ordering
items for the classes to dealing with invoices, contracts,
Parentmail and trip money. I'm originally from Elgin on
the beautiful Moray coast, close to Inverness in Scotland, I
have two children named Amelie and Baxter
who attend SAF. I enjoy volunteering in handwork classes
at school, as I love all aspects of craft work, especially
knitting and crochet, It really fulfils me to give something
back to the School. I have been working at SAF since it opened in 2012, and really
enjoy working with all of the lovely staff and children.
Lisa Scholefield (Admin Team) I work in the office on
Wednesdays and Thursdays where my responsibilities
include doing the registers, answering the phone, dealing
with enquiries, reception duties and looking after
I also work as a practitioner in Integrative Counselling and
am a mother of three children, Beatrice (Class 7), Alfie
(Class 5) and Will. I feel privileged and excited to be part
of the Steiner Academy Frome and for my children to
have the opportunity of such a positive and nurturing education.
Rachael Blyth (Admin Team) I'm delighted to be joining the
SAF team at such an exciting time in the school's
development. You'll find me in the office on Mondays,
Thursdays and Fridays. The rest of the week, I teach
mindfulness meditation to adults and teens, as well as
running a copywriting business. With a background in
theatre and performance, I continue to explore my
creativity in a variety of ways. I live in Frome with my
partner and our cat.
Nicki Maskelyne (Admin Team) I work with the Admin
Team, part-time, so I may well be the person who looks after
your child if they come into the office or the voice you hear
at the end of the telephone. My first experience of the Steiner
education was whilst living in Germany and looking for a
Kindergarten for my eldest daughter; we stumbled on it
purely by accident and we haven't looked back since. I have
three children, Cerys, Seren and Gethen who all attend the
school and they certainly keep me very busy outside of
Kathryn Mason (Admin Team) I grew up in India where
my parents worked in mission hospitals, and I came to
England in 1981 at nearly 17 years of age. Since then I
trained as a nurse in The Royal London Hospital and
have worked in General Practice in Surrey and
Birmingham for 20 years prior to moving back to India
for 5 years where my husband Robert was involved
with two Indian charities. Having been given the
opportunity to volunteer in the office last year, I am
thrilled to now be part of the admin team. I value the
deep care, commitment and kindness I witness on a daily basis throughout the school
and am so pleased to be a part of the school community as a parent and staff member.
Mike McElya (Site Manager / Caretaker) I joined the
Frome Steiner Academy in April 2015 after spending
most of my working life running Sunshine Drumming &
Count Me In. I’m very happy at the school, there’s
always something new & exciting to be involved with,
whether it’s unblocking a loo, replacing a door or
waking up to a notice that the fire alarm has been set off
at 2 a.m. It’s all in a day’s work as Site Manager & I
wouldn’t have it any other way. It’s an exciting job
where no two days are the same.
The Governing Body is responsible for all the policies at the school. Some policies are
available on the website here. If you would like a copy of these or any other policies
please contact the Office [email protected]
As with all schools there will be various forms that need filling in from time to time. At
the start of school we will ask you to fill in our ‘Starting School’ form and our ‘Getting
to know you’ form. The other forms you will regularly encounter are the Home School
Agreement and consent forms for school trips. Occasionally we will send you a sheet
asking you to confirm your contact and address details. This allows the administration
team to have up-to-date records for you and your children. Please fill in all the forms
provided and return them promptly to the Reception Office.
In case we need to contact you, please advise the Office of any change of address or
telephone number as soon as they occur. It is imperative that the school is able to
contact you immediately should the need arise.
Traffic, parking and neighbours
Please be tolerant, understanding and cooperative regarding the difficulties of travelling
to, and parking at the school. For those of you who drive to school, please park with
thought and care for the local community who live around the park.
Do not: park on yellow lines, or across people’s drives, or immediately by zebra
crossings, or at pull-in bays. We continue to work to gain access for a drop-off and pick-
up facility. And a reminder that:
The council have agreed a fee for a parking permit for the Cheese and Grain
car park for those interested in park and stride, or for those of you using the minibus
shuttle service. It would only be necessary for the 1.00 p.m. or the 3.30 p.m. pick up
as parking charges do not apply before 9.00 a.m. There would be a one-off charge for
the school year of £75.00 (a discount of 60%). If you would like to purchase one of
these permits please let the office know and we will arrange it through the school.
Please consider Park Road to be a pedestrian area for you and your children. Please
walk on the pavements, not in the roads.
We do want to support those older children who are allowed to walk home
unaccompanied, but we would ask that the school community looks out for them and
support them and bring us any concerns should they arise. Children and young people
should not climb on the concrete building decorated with trees that is between Mary
Baily and Victoria Parks.
if your child/ren get a place on the shuttle bus, please be punctual, as the bus
will leave and arrive at the appointed time
One of the important things that parents and carers can do in relation to school is to
make sure the children come to school regularly and on time, unless, of course, a child
is unwell. Regularity and continuity of the learning process are key-notes of the
educational approach and programme. Each new subject or element of a subject is
introduced once during a child’s school years. The kindergarten teachers, class teachers
and subject teachers work extremely hard to bring the children carefully prepared
lessons presented in a creative and lively manner. It is not the same for the material to
be recapped, or to be told again at a later
date. It is important, therefore, that your
child does not miss school unnecessarily.
You will be aware that ensuring children’s
attendance at school is a statutory duty on
parents and carers. In turn, the school has a
duty to monitor that children attend
regularly. This is important both from the
learning perspective, as well the duty for
care and safeguarding.
In our fourth year as a school:
Whole-school attendance was 95.28% (a slight increase on 2014-15)
Unauthorised absence was low at 0.26%
It is essential for the rhythm of the day that children are in the classrooms, ready to
begin, at 8.45 a.m. so that main lessons can start promptly.
Afternoon Play in the Kindergarten
The purpose of Kindergarten Afternoon Play is to
care for the children who stay on at school outside
of the Kindergarten hours of operation. There is
no formal teaching; the aim is to provide a safe
and caring environment where the children may
socialise and learn to interact appropriately. The
sessions run from 1.45 p.m. to 3.30 p.m. In
afternoon play the children stay on in their
The time is spent outside in the garden. If the weather is very cold and/or wet, the
session takes place in a designated Kindergarten room. In the garden the children have
time for free play, using the outside play equipment (planks, boxes, buckets, spades,
saucepans, wooden spoons etc.) to build and create imaginary settings for their games.
It is the school’s policy to offer children
gradually increasing hours at school
through Classes 1 to 4, rather than full days,
as followed by many schools. For those
parents who work, have other
commitments, or who choose it for their
children, afternoon care in the school
provides opportunities for the children to
interact with their classmates and the
afternoon care team, through play, games,
craft activities, gardening (depending on
the season!) and looking after the school.
The emphasis is on learning that is social and experiential. The sessions run from the
end of lunchtime – 2 p.m. to the close of the school-day at 3.30 p.m.
Emergency After School Care
Teachers are only on duty until 3.45 p.m., so children must be collected by then.
Children who are not collected by 3.45 p.m. should make themselves known to the
teacher on duty or office staff. Once necessary telephone calls have been made, and if
these children have still not been collected when the last teacher leaves, they will be
taken care of in the Reception area. Please note this is only for emergencies. Please
inform the Office if you know you are going to be late.
If your child is unwell, please phone the school first thing in the morning. This should
be supported by an email (or signed note) to be sent to the school office
([email protected]) on the first day on an absence and on the day
the child returns to school. If your child becomes unwilling to attend school, please
discuss this with the Class Teacher or Kindergarten Teacher as soon as possible.
Wherever possible, medical and dental appointments should be made out of school
hours. When this is not possible, teachers would appreciate a week’s notice.
If you want permission to miss school, please make the request two weeks in advance,
to the Principal, on the relevant form, which is available from the Office. In exceptional
circumstances, absence may be authorised. The following circumstances are likely to
lead to an absence being authorised:
1. Medical circumstances
2. Family bereavement
3. Educational activity elsewhere – e.g. a music recital in school-time
4. Exchange visits to schools in other countries
Please do not arrange holidays in term time. The school is not in a position to authorise
holidays in term time and so holidays in term time will normally be considered as
In 2010-2011, the overall school
attendance across England stood at
94.2%. If a pupil has an attendance
record that is below 90%, this is
considered to be ‘persistent absence’ and
schools are expected to intervene, unless
the reasons for low attendance are
known and legitimate. The government
has recently asked OFSTED to set specific,
timed targets for improving attendance
in schools where it is low.
High attendance benefits the pupils in
multiple ways. The families of those children who have an attendance rate that suggests
‘persistent absence’ will be contacted by the Kindergarten or Class Teacher to establish
the reasons for this.
In general, children who are unwell with an infectious disease should not be at
school. They should only return once they are better and pose no risk of infection to
others. Information on incubation period, period of communicability, and period of
exclusion from school will be held in Reception. Please call if you require advice.
For sickness and diarrhoea bugs we request that parents keep their children off school
for 48 hours, although a degree of common sense can be applied. For illnesses such as
Chicken Pox etc. the school will send out information every time we have a case or
suspected case reported to the office.
Head-lice are a constant pest and in order to be vigilant the teachers all have head-lice
letters in their classrooms with information about how to get rid of head-lice. They will
send a letter home with your child should they see a child persistently itching their head.
In Case of Accidents
Minor cuts and scrapes are dealt with by staff in the Reception Office. For more serious
cases the Academy has staff trained as First Aiders. All other cases will be referred to the
Casualty Department at Frome Community Hospital (01373 454740).
The Academy has a Dress Code to support pupils in their work and learning at school
and to enable the children to have full access to the educational programme. The dress
code is also to help pupils learn a healthy approach to clothing and to facilitate an
understanding of behaviour and dress in a range of social contexts. We emphasise the
suitability of clothing; firstly, so that the children’s education is not disrupted by
inappropriate clothing, and secondly, in order that the health and safety of the pupils
is not compromised by their clothing.
Clothing must be appropriate for school work and activities. It must be decent,
clean and consistent with health, safety and hygiene. Torn clothing is not
considered suitable for school-work.
Garments that are dominated by large logos, large pictures and/or loud lettering
are not appropriate school-clothing. Visible labels and logos should not be larger
than a small strip or a 50p coin.
Pupils should wear sensible shoes or footwear, appropriate for school and the
activities of the day.
During Eurythmy lessons hands must be unencumbered by long sleeves, with no
baggy or excessively long trousers, as pupils must be able to move freely.
Long hair must be held away from the face, this applies to both boys and girls, and
be tied back for certain lessons, e.g. in movement lessons, workshops or in cookery.
If needed, children should keep a hair band at school for this purpose.
Throughout the school, neither girls nor boys should have any underwear showing,
nor should they have bare midriffs or chests.
Jewellery should not be worn. Those with pierced ears may wear studs only.
Make-up and hair-dye are not allowed. This includes no nail varnish. A bottle of
varnish-remover is kept in the office and children will be asked to remove nail
varnish if it is worn to school.
If there are lapses in following these guidelines, the Kindergarten or Class Teacher will
have a conversation with the pupil and if this is not sufficient, she or he will seek to talk
with the parents and carers.
Please clearly mark your child’s name in all items of clothing including coats and
wellington boots. Clothing found left around the school will be kept in a lost property
room in Chantry House. Small/valuable items will be locked in a drawer. If the clothes
mountain grows too high, unclaimed items will be taken to be recycled in local charity
Most of us will know that when our children stay overnight with friends they tend to
stay up late, leading to over-tiredness. In order not to disrupt the child’s school work,
we ask that such arrangements are made only at weekends.
These are held once a term and provide an opportunity for teacher and parents to
discuss the children’s schoolwork, the curriculum and the children’s stage of
development. These meetings serve to deepen parents’ understanding of their child’s
education and how it can best be supported from home. Parents are urged to make
every effort to attend regularly.
Surgeries and School Reports
Most teachers also offer ‘surgeries’ when parents can meet individually with the teacher
to discuss their child’s progress. A full school report for each child is issued at the end
of the Summer Term.
Contacting your Teacher
Each class teacher will have their own “best times” for you to contact them outside
school hours, and these should be respected. First thing in the morning is NOT a good
time to talk to your teacher about your child unless it is of absolute urgency.
In the younger classes each Class Teacher will wish to visit their pupil’s home at some
point. This helps to give a more complete picture of each child and fosters a mutually
supportive connection between parents, teacher and child.
Issues and Concerns
Sometimes you may have a concern or a question that is worrying you and we welcome
you bringing these to our attention. If you have a concern about your child, the first
point of call is the Teacher. Please feel free to contact them directly. If your concern is
about the policies or the school in general please contact the office and we can arrange
for you to talk to the best person. The school will aim to resolve any issues informally,
however, on occasion you may wish to raise a more formal complaint with the school.
All complaints will be taken seriously and we will follow the guidelines within the
Complaints Procedure which is available from the school office.
Poor Weather Plan
We have a plan in place in case any
weather conditions mean that we can’t
open or fully open school. If it looks like
there is going to be a problem we speak
with people who are living near the school
to help assess the situation. As well as
getting children safely to school we also
need to be sure that enough staff can get
to school safely, and some are travelling
from quite a distance. We will make a
decision as early as possible and then will
email you all, phone/text you all, add
details to the website, leave an updated message on the school answer machine, and
notify the Council and local radio stations. We will need to make a decision each
morning and so will repeat the process the next day.
School Inspections & Advisory Visits
Prior to opening, the school received an Ofsted Registration inspection. Steiner schools
in the independent sector are inspected by the school inspectorate, under what is
known as Section 162A. Publicly-funded Steiner schools are inspected by Ofsted under
a different schedule, known as Section 5. In the first and second year, the school
received monitoring visits from an Education Adviser, appointed by the Department
for Education (DfE). Then, in February of our second year, the school received a Section
5 Inspection visit from Ofsted. The school was judged to be a ‘good’ school in all
categories. The school is a member of the Steiner schools’ network in the UK –
the Steiner Waldorf Schools’ Fellowship – and each year, on a regular basis, we receive
advisory visits from Kindergarten and Classroom Advisers – experienced teachers and
The PTFA – ‘The Hive’
The Hive is the Parents, Teachers and Friends Association for SAF. It was formed in
2013 by the school community and is open to everyone: from parents of children at
the school; teachers and staff; other family members; to friends and supporters of the
school. Our goal is to nurture and develop our new community whilst also raising
much needed additional funds.
We organise social, educational and creative
events to inspire our community and bring them
closer together, as well as fundraising to provide
the school with items from its wish list. A small
shop was established in 2013 that has been so
successful that it is soon to become independent
of The Hive.
In a community meeting in February 2013 we all
decided how funds would be allocated:
50% Trevor’s wish list community
20% Hive Funds
15% Support school
10% Bursary Fund
5% Charity donation
The Committee is required to include
three main roles: Chair, Secretary and
Treasurer. Everyone from the
community is invited to join the
committee and be part of the
meetings, we would like to encourage everyone to come and have their say. Each year
the three main roles will step down and anyone is welcome to step forward.
If you would like to get involved or make a suggestion, please send an email to
The school marks and celebrates a
number of festivals through the school
year. Different festivals in different
parts of the world derive from a
variety of cultural, spiritual, religious
and natural roots.
A well as providing opportunities to
reflect on the spiritual aspect of
humanity, festive events are also
important in building communities
and understanding other cultures and religions. In a more general sense, festivals can
serve to awaken the child’s capacities for reverence and thankfulness and together with
the round of the seasons the festivals serve to engender a sense for the rhythmical ebb
and flow of the year.
The preparation and celebration of a round of festivals – Harvest-time, Advent or May-
time – forms a major part of the programme of learning in the Early Years part of the
school. As the children progress through the school, festivals continue to form a part of
the programme of social, moral, spiritual and cultural education. They are celebrated
in class and whole-school assemblies through craft activities, stories, plays and art-work.
Through the curriculum and in recognition of cultural diversity, festivals from different
cultures and parts of the world – for examples, Day of the Dead, Diwali, Hanukkah
– are studied and celebrated.
Being Together and Working Together
At the back of this Handbook, you will find the Home-School Agreement. We will send
a copy of this to each family at the beginning of Kindergarten and in Class 1. When we
send this out to you we ask you to check the form, sign it and return it to the school
Alongside the school’s Behaviour Policy, we have developed a set of rules and guidance
for being together and working together. These rules have been shared with the
children and reference is made to them, as needed, on a day-to-day basis. The leading
thoughts are both aspirations and concrete principles shared by societies, cultures and
religions across the world and throughout the ages.
The Advent Spiral 2016
“Treat other people as you would wish to be treated yourself.”
The Golden Rule
(Confucius and others)
“Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour.”
In our work and in our play, we do our best and help each other to do their best.
During lesson times and at the beginning and the end of school, we walk around
We begin and end lessons together with a proper greeting and farewell.
We sit and stand as requested by the teachers and assistants.
During the lessons we listen to the teachers, assistants and each other; a pupil will
raise a hand to show that they wish to speak.
When we haven’t heard something clearly, we say ‘Pardon?’, or “I’m sorry?”
Toilet breaks take place at the teacher’s say-so, or individually, as guided by the
teacher (e.g. a hand-gesture, or by use of a ‘necklace’).
We help to keep the school in good order.
We look after each other and take care of the things that belong to the school, to
others and to us.
We keep our desks tidy and clean – outside and inside.
We look after our school books and materials. We do not scribble on the books or
We help to keep the cloakrooms clean, with coats and boots tidy.
We help to clear away the tables and plates at lunchtime.
We do not hit or kick or bite anyone at any time. We do not use unkind or rude
words, or language to each other, either at school, or outside of it.
Chinese New Year 2017
The Governing Body
The school’s Board of Governors has the overall responsibility for the school and a duty
determine the vision and strategic direction of the school
ensure that the school meets its statutory requirements
know the strengths and weaknesses of the school and
support and challenge the school’s leadership
At the Steiner Academy Frome the Governing body is made up of:
4 Founder Members
1 Steiner Waldorf Schools’ Fellowship (SWSF) Rep (currently unfilled)
2 Staff Governors
2 Parent Governors
1 Local Community Governor
The Governing Body has 6 Sub-Committees to
perform the business:
Teaching and Learning
Finance & Premises
Child Safety & Welfare
The current Governing Body members are:
Guy Marson (Chair) Founder Governor
Alex Marson (Vice Chair) Founder Governor
Trevor Mepham (Principal)
Shannon Coggins (Founder Governor)
Paul White (Staff Governor)
Sal Steeple (Founder Governor)
Marty Van Duin (Governor)
Agnes Javor (Governor)
Honor Jolliffe (Parent Governor)
Lara Ellender (Parent Governor)
Evan James - Clerk to the Governors
Guy Marson (Chair of Governors) Guy currently splits his time
between running a digital marketing agency in London, being
Chair of Governors of the school and working on his farm in
Somerset. He has three children, two of whom are at the school,
and when he is not tied up with any of those, you will find him
in the workshop nailing his thumb to a plank of wood.
Alex Marson (Vice-Chair of Governors) Alex is one of the founders
of SAF and currently has one daughter, Hattie, and one son, Orin,
at the school. He lives with his wife, Nicola, and their three
children on a small-holding, which they are learning to farm bio-
dynamically. Alex also runs his own management consultancy
Sal Steeple (Founder Governor) I am honoured to be a
founder and governor at SAF. Married with two children,
our son Noah is at SAF and our older daughter Emily is
doing her A levels. I bring to my role as governor a 22 year
professional background in social work, Child Protection,
Looked After Children, Fostering and Adoption. I currently
work as Children's Services Development Manager for a
national children’s charity where I manage the fostering
and adoption services, and as a Social Care Consultant.
Marty Van Duin (Governor) was born in Glencraig Camphill
Community, Northern Ireland, in 1974. He grew up in Camphill
Communities in both Northern Ireland and England, attending the
Kings Langley and Holywood Steiner Schools until the age of 16.
Having enjoyed a gap year of travelling and working through
Southern Africa, he returned to study Geology and Environmental
Geosciences at University of Wales Cardiff. After a short stint
managing a farm in East Anglia, Marty joined the Royal Navy for
pilot training in 2000. Flying both jets and helicopters, he has enjoyed a varied
operational career. A Lynx and latterly a Wildcat pilot instructor, he now holds the
position of Senior Pilot at 825 Naval Air Squadron at RNAS Yeovilton.
As a previous Management Committee member with the Bruton Steiner School, he was
involved, in a very small part, in the original impulse which brought about the genesis
of the Steiner Academy Frome. Marty feels both honoured and humbled by his
invitation to the Board of Governors, and will serve wherever there is a requirement.
At home, Marty is married to Hjördis. He has four children, and the family live in
Honor Jolliffe (Parent Governor) I am the mother of three
children at SAF – George, Arlo and Rosa. They are so happy at
their school and, really, I wish I could go there too! Being a
governor is possibly the next best thing. Before becoming a mother
I had a 20 year career with an international human rights
organisation. Now, I do occasional graphic design work and
oversee the renovation of our crumbling house.
Lara Ellender (Parent Governor) I was recently elected as a
parent governor at SAF. My first task has been to really find out:
‘What is the role of a parent governor?’ I was elected to this role
by the parents at SAF and I bring my views and experiences as a
parent to the governing body, but this does not mean that I
necessarily represent all the parents’ views. Therefore, once
elected, the responsibility of a parent governor is directed towards
the school: we make decisions according to what we think are in
the best interests of the pupils and the school; to ensure, along with
the other governors to set the strategy of the school and that the school does what is
says it is going to do in terms of policy, education and direction.
Agnes Javor (Governor)
Agnes was born in 1947 in Hungary. She switched to teaching after a
longish spell at the BBC External Services in London. Agnes has both
state and Steiner teaching qualifications as well as a BA and an M.Sc.
and has also trained in child and adolescent psychotherapy. Agnes
taught in several Steiner schools and State schools during her teaching
Hamburg Nienstedten: subject teacher (English) Class 1 to Class 13
Edinburgh and Brighton: class teacher
Philpots Manor special school: class teacher
St Francis primary Peckham, London
Wey House special - Bramley, Surrey
After taking voluntary retirement from Philpots Manor, Agnes moved to
Peasedown to help look after grandchildren. She freelanced for a while with
FAST (Families and Schools Together), a family programme in schools primarily
in deprived areas to help develop better relationships between parents and
teachers as well as parents and children. Agnes has been supporting, in a
voluntary capacity, the Save Childhood Movement and one of its initiatives
National Children's Day UK.
Currently she is a trustee at Laurel Farm Kindergarten and a voluntary helper in
her older grandson's school.
SAF Term Dates 2016-17
Autumn Term 2016
5th September ~ 16th December
Half-term ~ 24th October- 4th
Inset Days ~ 1st and 2nd
September & 4th November
Spring Term 2017
5th January ~ 31st March
Half-term ~ 13th – 17th February
Inset Days ~ 3rd and 4th January
& 20th February
Summer Term 2017
19th April to 18th July
Half-term ~ 29th May – 2nd June
Inset Day ~ Friday 23rd June
SAF Term Dates 2017-18
Autumn Term 2017
5th September ~ 19th December
Half-term ~ 23rd October
~ 3rd November
Inset Days ~ 4th September &
Spring Term 2018
8th January ~ 28th of March
Half-term ~ 12th – 16th February
Inset Days ~ 5th January
& 19th February
Summer Term 2018
17th of April to 20th July
Half-term ~ 28th May – 1st June
Inset Days ~ Monday 16th April
and 4th June
The relationship between home and school is crucial to the success of your child’s
education here at Steiner Academy Frome.
In order to offer your child an effective educational experience, the school undertakes
Care for your child’s safety and well-being;
Value your child, both as an individual and as a member of the school;
Provide a programme of teaching and learning founded on the Steiner curriculum
Maintain high standards of work and behaviour, always aiming to help your child
reach his/her potential within the opportunities and constraints of the educational
Observe, monitor and support your child’s progress and keep you regularly
informed, for example, through Parents Evenings, individual consultations and
Keep you informed about relevant Academy activities and developments;
Communicate effectively and reasonably with parents and pupils, as necessary;
Offer opportunities for you to learn more about the education;
Provide opportunities for parents and carers to become involved in, and offer
support for, the life of the Academy;
Foster a community founded on respect and an appreciation of the uniqueness of
the individual, in which every person is able to work and learn alongside each other
Provide regular and appropriate opportunities for colleagues to engage in
professional development and learning in order to develop and enhance the
educational provision for your child.
Signed on behalf of the Academy by (print name): Date:
As the parent or guardian of …………………………......................
I/We undertake to support my/our child’s learning and wellbeing by:
Taking a keen interest in what my child is doing at school;
Ensuring that my child attends regularly and on time;
Making the Academy aware of the reason for any absence, and of circumstances that
might affect my child’s work and behaviour;
Ensuring that my child is suitably dressed, equipped, and properly prepared for the
day, including break and lunch snack;
Ensuring that my child is well-nourished and rested though sufficient sleep and not
overstretched by out of school activities;
Attending parents evenings and discussions about my child’s progress;
Reading the Parents Handbook, school newsletters, pupil reports and other
information sent out by the Academy;
Supporting the school in its aims and helping in fund-raising activities, class-related
activities, workdays and so on;
Being open to participate in a dialogue regarding any recommendations for
assessments of my child and/or for additional support to enable the school to better
meet his/her needs;
Protecting my child from unsuitable, unwarranted and unmonitored access to media
such as television, computer games, the internet, social networking sites and so on.
(Further reading: ‘Remote Controlled’ by Dr Aric Sigman & ‘Toxic Childhood’ by
Sue Palmer, amongst others);
Communicating effectively and reasonably with members of staff as appropriate
(Reminder: please do not take the teacher’s time before the school day starts as
preparing for the day and receiving the pupils must be the teacher’s focus at this
Acknowledging the aspirations of the Academy’s behaviour statement, and
recognising the role parents and carers play in helping to achieve those aims by
establishing a consistent and reliable home structure appropriate to the age of the
children in our care. I have read and agree to abide by and support the Academy’s
policies on behaviour and discipline.
Signature __________________________ Name_____________________________