Readers of the Berkshire Record have voted Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School (GBRSS) the best school in the Berkshires. For the Berkshire Record’s 2013 Best of the Berkshires annual, 2000 readers marked ballots for “the best” in over thirty categories of living in the Berkshires, including Best School. GBRSS school administrator John Greene commented, “When I heard that we had been voted the best school in the Berkshires, I was very humbled, honored and proud that our school is being recognized in the community. The education that Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School offers is in line with a lot of people’s values: they’re looking for an authentic life, and we offer an authentic education. I’m very excited about the coming year, and how our school continues to evolve.” 39 page pdf – The Berkshire Record Magazine’s Best for 2013
Berkshire Home Style Magazine interviewed kindergarten teacher, Somer Serpe, about the importance of play for the April, 2013 issue.
The writer marveled at the harmonious and energetic play of the kindergarteners. Somer described how healthy play is cultivated in our early childhood programs
Country and Abroad Magazine April, 2013 Issue featured an article about GBRSS titled, “The Chickens are Coming.”
The article announced our plans for chicks to join our early childhood this spring. Also discussed was the importance of nature in a Waldorf education and Waldorf schools winning the Captain Planet award.
Chronogram Magazine’s January 2013 issue contains a special education section with a featured article called “21st Century Technology in the Classroom.” GBRSS class teacher Nancy Franco was interviewed about Waldorf Education’s approach to technology. She stressed the importance of using technology in a developmentally appropriate way. “We build in a lot of sensory experience—we get outdoors and see, smell, hear real things,” she said. “We’re human beings together on this planet—connecting to that is crucial.”
Robin Hood radio (FM 91.9/AM 1020) recently interviewed Rainbow Room kindergarten teacher Somer Serpe about GBRSS fostering environmental sensitivity across the entire curriculum and Waldorf Education being honored with the Captain Planet Foundation’s Green School Award. The interview has been broadcast twice already, and is scheduled for at least 5 more plays in the upcoming week. The interview is also available for listening any time as a podcast.
The December/January issue of Our Berkshire Times Magazine features an article about GBRSS’s early childhood programs called Learning as Natural as Breathing. The article describes the healthy rhythmical and balanced day which early childhood students experience daily in our Nursery and Kindergarten programs.
Learning as Natural as Breathing
By Robyn Coe
A day in pre-k and kindergarten at the Great Barrington Rudolf Steiner School is a rich progression of activities, flowing from one to the next, hallmarked by natural transitions and the fulfilling consistency of a cherished routine. For instance, after being quietly absorbed in a puppet show, the children expand into free play and full-body movement; similarly, their daily, all-season nature walk is followed by a more focused indoor activity such as watercolor painting or chopping vegetables for soup. Steiner teachers describe these classroom rhythms as “in-breaths” and “out-breaths.” Like the essential act of breathing, a healthy rhythmical balance to their day allows children to feel nourished, centered, and fully engaged in life. A strong rhythm also allows children to relax and learn.
“Young children are happiest living in the moment,” says teacher Jo Valens. “Our whole purpose as early childhood teachers is to be with them in the moment, because that’s when learning happens.”
Young children learn through imitation, imagination, and integration of their initiative through activity. At the Steiner School, the children’s days are designed to take full advantage of this age-appropriate learning. The curriculum nourishes the child’s physical, emotional, and intellectual development and fosters the basic skills necessary for later academic excellence, such as sequencing,sensory integration, eye-hand coordination,task-focus, listening, and appreciation for the beauty of language.
A Steiner early childhood teacher’s gift to her students is to create a sense of wonder, reverence, and play that makes each day a delightful journey to the next level of learning. She does this by providing opportunities for the children to learn through the senses, through discovery in and out of the classroom, and through being part of a community. Children develop balance,initiative, creativity, and imagination. They experience goodness and beauty, and learn how to care for the world and one another. This is the work of early childhood; to fulfill it is to provide the strongest possible base for joyful lifelong learning. Visit www.gbrss.org
We are thrilled to inform you that Waldorf Education has earned the Green School Award bestowed by the Captain Planet Foundation because of the ways that Waldorf Education incorporates an environmentally sensitive curriculum in every grade. Each year the Board of Trustees of the Captain Planet Foundation “rededicate ourselves to our mission by honoring some of our own outstanding real live, environmental super heroes. This year our Board of Directors chose to present four awards, honoring those who have demonstrated extraordinary environmental stewardship, helping to protect and preserve the natural balance and beauty of our land and actively put forth a significant effort in making the world a better place.”
AWSNA and Waldorf Education is one of the four award selections: the Award Brief can be seen at The Making of an Environmentalist in Waldorf Schools.
“Waldorf educators know by cultivating a personal relationship with the Earth and her resources, young people can develop a genuine ecological consciousness.”
—Rudolf Steiner, founder of Waldorf Education
This Sunday, October 22, 2011 New York Times highlights a Waldorf school in the heard of Silicon Valley. The article focuses on Waldorf’s emphasis on physical activity and learning through creative, hands-on tasks instead of computer-based learning.