Raheen Wood is the founding Steiner Waldorf School in the Republic of Ireland and has been offering a multi-denominational, child-centred co-education since 1986. The school is situated in mature woodlands near the village of Tuamgraney in County Clare. We cater for children from kindergarten age (4-6) through the primary classes (7-12).
We offer an academic and practical education for the whole child, and are part of a rapidly growing international school movement of over 800 schools worldwide. Based on the work of scientist and philosopher Rudolf Steiner, the education began in 1919 with the founding of the ﬁrst Waldorf School in Stuttgart, Germany in the aftermath of the Great War. On the initiative of industrialist Emil Molt, Steiner helped to develop an education for social renewal to meet the growing challenges of modern times. An innovative curriculum and way of working was developed that is rooted in a deep understanding of the human being, strengthening the connection to the rhythms of nature and the faculties that distinguish our humanity.
If you have no familiarity with the Steiner approach to education, there are stand-out features for parents of both kindergarten and primary level children.
Kindergarten: walking into the kindergarten grounds you will see children making fairy dens, climbing trees, digging and building – playing in and with the beautiful and peaceful natural environs of the school.
The kindergarten teacher stays with the children throughout their time in kindergarten and classes include a mixture of four, five and six year old children.
Recitation of poetry and prose is a daily part of the primary level curriculum. The children learn poems and speeches by heart. Clear enunciation and voice quality are stressed and we use tongue twisters and other vocal exercises. This helps with vocabulary, grammar but also with spelling as, if words are spoken clearly, it is easier to hear how they are constructed. Skills such as drawing, painting and craftwork are valued as highly as academic ones and are part of every subject. This gives every child an opportunity to shine and builds confidence and self-esteem.
The education combines solid academic values with a sense of wonder for the world around us that truly speaks to the child’s emerging personality, and equips him or her with the imagination, flexibility and inner strength to face a fast-changing world.
As with the kindergarten students, children in primary level education have the same teacher from class one until finishing class six. This approach creates a strong and mutually respectful teaching and mentoring bond between pupil and teacher.
Secondary Level Steiner Education at Raheen Wood.
There is also now the ongoing option onsite, of the Raheen Wood Steiner Secondary – Active Learning for Adolescents – The curriculum is based on the Steiner/Waldorf system with mainstream academics subjects and Active Learning through mainly Craft based activities. They also aim to facilitate FETAC level 4 accreditation on completion. www.alfaproject.org. Info & Enrolment enquiries to: firstname.lastname@example.org or 061 640798, Peggy Boyle, Administrator, Raheenwood Steiner Secondary. – Active Learning for Adolescents -Raheen Road, Tuamgraney, Co. Clare.
For a detailed overview of frequently asked questions about Steiner Waldorf education, see this ISWECA page
Beautiful Lough Derg. The school nestles in woodland near its shores.