Growing school to be secondary

JONATHAN CARSON
Last updated 05:00 29/11/2012
Waldorf School
CHRIS HILLOCK/Fairfax NZ

NEW TERRITORY: Waikato Waldorf School principal Marianne Spiller and board of trustees chairwoman Richelle Whittaker have gained approval to accept students up to year nine.

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Steady roll growth has spurred Waikato Waldorf School to take the first step towards becoming a secondary school.

From next year, the school will offer classes up to year nine - the first year of secondary level - after the Ministry of Education approved the move at the end of October.

It currently offers classes up to year eight.

The school - located in Rototuna, Hamilton - will also build two new classrooms to cater for the growing number of students.

Principal Marianne Spiller said the roll had grown by about 60 children over the past four to five years and she expected to top 150 students next year.

She said the decision to expand to secondary level was driven by parents who were eager for their children to continue with the unique Waldorf education.

There are only seven students who will enter year nine next year, but Mrs Spiller expected that number would increase.

Waldorf schools adapt the New Zealand curriculum to fit with its educational philosophy. There are no computers or modern technology for students to use and there is a strong focus on creativity and the arts.

"Children are allowed to really explore their childhood in a deeper way," Mrs Spiller said.

"They're encouraged to use their imagination, their fantasies, to explore things outside in nature and also have a warm and steady environment."

Mrs Spiller said the school would expand to a full secondary in steps and estimated it could take about five years.

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- Waikato Times

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