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Bristol Steiner School
Redland Hill House, Redland Hill, BS6 6UX, UK Redland
+44 (0)117 933 9990

Bristol Steiner School - Where education is a journey, not a race.

At Bristol Steiner School we believe that:

  • Education is a journey, not a race
  • Play is the serious work of early childhood
  • Learning takes place with hands, heart and head
  • By protecting the right to childhood we are creating abilities for life

School facts

  • The school has developmental provision for a range of ages.
  • In the main school, children are aged from 6 to 14 years old and plans are in progress to open an upper school for older children.
  • We have a kindergarten in Cotham which focuses on developing social, imaginative play based learning for children from 0 to 7 years old.
  • There is a focus on the social wellbeing of classes. When children look forward to going to school, have a love of learning and enjoy a social life, discipline problems tend to be less frequent and less serious.
  • Children of different ages mix and play together and there is a peer support system in place.
  • The Bristol Steiner school is for mainstream pupils; it is not a special needs school. There are nearly 900 Steiner schools worldwide. It is the largest and fastest growing independent school system in the world.

The Bristol Steiner school uses a curriculum which is structured to respond to the developmental needs of children, and to provide them with the skills they need to become balanced, well-rounded individuals. As well as academic skills, the children acquire a sensitive and caring interest in the cultural and natural worlds.

For all enquiries about the Bristol Steiner School please see the contact details page

"I came into this School knowing very little about Steiner Education and I have been delighted to see my children develop and grow, happy and stimulated in their school.

From the start in Kindergarten through to the end of Main School the children are supported and secure. I am very impressed with the academic and artistic skills which they have acquired."

Class 5 parent

Joining the school

  • Class sizes are around 24 pupils (16 in Kindergarten) - classes are made up of all social, ethnic and religious backgrounds, so that every child benefits from the mix.
  • Children join the school at various ages.
  • Fees - The school does not consider itself a 'private school' but it is not state funded. Main school fees are charged at what is aimed to be an affordable amount, of £300-£350 per month (2006).
  • Bristol City Council provides Early Years Grants towards the kindergarten fees for children aged 3 and 4 years old.

Find out more

  • Contact the school office on 0117 933 9990 or by e-mail on
  • Make an appointment to view the school, by contacting the school office
  • Request a brochure
  • Drop in to one of our regular Open Days

Open Day

The next open day for Kindergarten and Main School will be Saturday 20th October. Please contact the school for more information.

The school

The Bristol Steiner School, founded in 1973, offers a truly child-centred form of education.

Steiner schools use a curriculum which is structured to respond to the developmental needs of the children, and pupils are provided with the skills they need to become balanced, well-rounded individuals. As well as academic skills, pupils acquire a sensitive and caring interest in the cultural and natural worlds, identifying with fundamental issues of contemporary life.

The School Organisation

The Bristol Steiner School has an underlying ethos of people working together. The structure of the school comprises the two key roles of Education Manager and School Administrator, plus the following groups: Board of Trustees, College of Teachers, Kindergarten Teachers' Group, Parents' Forum, and Teachers' Group.

One representative of each of these groups forms the Executive Group, which has overall responsibility for the day to day running of the school. The Education Manager and Administrator are also members of the Executive Group.

Aims of the School

  • To deliver comprehensive education which meets the needs of each individual child
  • To offer the full Steiner curriculum which is reviewed and updated regularly
  • To provide ongoing training and development opportunities for all members of staff

Parental Involvement


On joining the school, parents automatically become members of the Parents' Forum. Through this Forum they can be involved with the school and their children's education in many ways, such as:

  • School development
  • Raising the profile of the school
  • Fund-raising
  • Feedback on proposed changes.

The healthy social life is found
When, in the mirror of each Human Soul,
The Community finds its reflection,
And when, in the Community,
The strength of each one is living.

Rudolf Steiner

A copy of the complaints procedure is available on demand
In the past 12 months (May 2006 - April 2007) we have had no formal complaints.




The Rowan Tree Kindergarten offers parent and toddler sessions (for children up to age 3), a playgroup (ages 3 to 4), and mixed-age Kindergarten groups for children of 31/2 to 6 years.

The Kindergarten provides a secure and unhurried setting in which children can discover within themselves their own love of learning. We believe that play is the serious work of childhood, and therefore the emphasis in the Kindergarten is towards learning through play. In this way, the child is enabled to develop the skills necessary for successful lifelong learning.

We build a bridge between home and school by creating an environment which is safe, warm, beautiful and loving. As small children learn through imitation, we try to provide them with worthy role models.

The Kindergarten curriculum provides a balance between the artistic and the domestic. The strong rhythm of the Kindergarten days and the repetition that each week brings, carries with it an in-built discipline. Activities include baking, sewing, weaving, modeling, drawing, painting, woodwork, fairy tales, ring games, eurythmy and singing. The celebration of festivals provides focal points as one season moves into the next, and allows the child to express awe, wonder and gratitude for the earth, themselves and others.

For all enquiries about the Bristol Steiner School please see the contact details page

The Class Teacher Years (ages 6-14)

During classes 1-8 the learning and development of the children is guided by the same class teacher. The children develop trust and confidence in the authority of their teacher, and the teacher grows to understand the strengths and needs of each child.

In Steiner schools academic skills are highly valued, and artistic activities are used to develop them. A unique feature central to Steiner education is Main Lesson. Each day begins with a Main Lesson, which lasts nearly two hours. During this time the class will study a single topic, using activities such as walking and clapping rhythms, writing, singing, movement, games, plays, poetry, painting, drawing and modelling. A well taught Main Lesson involves the child's whole being, and this concentrated approach enables the children to develop and deepen their feeling and understanding for the topic.

Although the class teacher remains inwardly central to all aspects of class life, many specialist teachers will work with each class, teaching subjects such as English, maths, languages, sciences, crafts, music, art, gym and games. The subject lessons often reflect the theme of the Main Lesson.

Through our education of the children, we are consciously developing in them a lively will, and alert, responsive feelings. Social skills and experiences and moral awareness are gained through working with others. Teachers strive to recognise individual gifts and skills, and to encourage co-operation, support and respect amongst the children.

We offer extra support in numeracy, literacy and specialised therapies for those children who need it.

What is different?

  • Pupils learn traditional academic skills but they are taught at different times and in different ways. Academic results at GCSE for Steiner schools across England are far higher than the national average.
  • The same teacher stays with the class for several years creating emotional stability and a history between teacher, child and parent. There are many other specialist teachers providing the daily curriculum.
  • Steiner education embodies a practical, active and artistic approach to learning. Learning takes place with the hands, heart and head.

What the Department of Education says

"Steiner schools... still do develop the capability of pupils so that they are able to take GCSEs and go into further and higher education. That seems to say you don't have to do it by tests and targets. You can do it through a more human relationship between teachers and pupils."

From the summary of the first government-funded study of Steiner schools in England (364KB)

Or read the full report (1MB)

"The fact that Steiner schools produce well-rounded, confident children is a common observation of those with experience of the schools.

We talked to children who had been through the Steiner system, and they seemed to have an ease of communicating with older people and a general poise and openness."

From the Department of Education's Insight Magazine

What subjects are taught?

  • Steiner education includes all the recognised subjects of the National Curriculum.
  • The school day begins with 'main lesson' which last for two hours. Main lesson topics from the Steiner schools' curriculum aim to meet the changing needs of the developing child. Working in an imaginative and artistic way, the teacher leads the children to learn through doing, feeling and thinking. Where possible, the content of subject lessons will echo the main lesson theme, further strengthening the multi-disciplinary approach to learning.
  • Other subjects include science, French, arts and crafts, eurythmy (translating music and speech into movement), games and swimming.
  • All children take part in whole class plays, and all the older children perform in the school choir. Individual music lessons and after-school activities are available.
  • All children go on regular trips - younger children may go out one afternoon each week. Older children go on trips to support their main lesson learning and also on summer camps.

"Steiner education includes all the recognised subjects of the National Curriculum in England and, in addition, covers some subjects distinctive to the Steiner Curriculum"

From the summary of the first government-funded study of Steiner schools in England (364KB)

Or read the full report (1MB)

Steiner Education

Steiner education embodies a practical, active and artistic approach to learning.

The teachers work with the children's three roots of personality: thinking, feeling and willing.

From Kindergarten through to early adulthood the education fosters these three roots of personality with a curriculum that brings a wide variety of subjects and experiences appropriate to the different age groups.

A Living Education

"We should not be asking: What does a person need to know or be able to do in order to fit into the existing social order? Instead we should ask: What lives in each human being and how can this be developed?

Only then will it be possible to direct into society the new qualities of each emerging generation. Society will then become what young people, as whole human beings, make out of existing social conditions.

The new generation should not simply be made to become what present society wants it to be."

Rudolf Steiner

primary schools in Redland, secondary schools in Redland, schools in Redland

Editorial office:
tel. + 48 (094)