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Durrington First School - Durrington

Michael Hall School
Kidbrooke Park, RH18 5JA, UK Forest Row
+44 (0)1342 822275

Michael Hall

About Us

Michael Hall, the largest UK Steiner School, is set in approximately 60 acres of parkland adjoining the Ashdown Forest, in Forest Row , East Sussex.  Kidbrooke Park is home to over 600 day and boarding pupils, offering Steiner Education from birth to nineteen years old. 


Kidbrooke Mansion

Michael Hall was founded in 1925 as the first Steiner Waldorf School in the English-speaking world. Now it is one of over nine hundred schools in more than sixty countries, as Steiner Waldorf education has grown to become the largest independent educational movement in the world. In many European countries the schools are funded by the state. Each of these schools is part of its local cultural community, yet all have something in common - a profound respect for the individuality of every child. Each school also shares a curriculum and a teaching method which fosters the young pupil's healthy development, stimulates the child's enthusiasm for learning and challenges the adolescent's emerging critical faculties.


Directions to Michael Hall

The Parents' Handbook was originally devised in 1988 by a group of parents who had the interest of new parents especially in mind, with a view to making them feel welcomed into our community. Since that time it has been revised many times to keep up with all the inevitable changes. We hope that by reading the handbook new parents will feel better informed and more at home at Michael Hall. We also hope it will enthuse you to become involved in the many areas of school life where parents can make a contribution.


Preparing for life

In the rapidly changing world our children will enter as adults, what qualities will they require - not merely to cope but to flourish? We believe they will need to be creative, self-reliant, imaginative, flexible, responsible, and questioning. They will also need to be articulate and be able to communicate, both by listening to others and by finding the right way to speak their minds. At Michael Hall we aim to prepare pupils for real life.

Early Years - Playgroup

The Learning Community

Like all Steiner Waldorf Schools, Michael Hall is fully comprehensive. Children from different social and cultural backgrounds with differing gifts and abilities share an integrated curriculum throughout their school career. A class of children is a microcosm of society and the teaching of the whole class together fosters social cohesion. The future carpenter and the future lawyer, the nurse and the teacher, the systems analyst and the installation artist all may share twelve years of school experience. Each learns to respect and care for the other. The children in a class make a journey together into adulthood, building a secure foundation to prepare them for the challenge of social and personal relationships on the individual paths they will follow after leaving school.

Lower School Metalwork

Where do Michael Hall pupils go when they leave school?

The career paths followed by Michael Hall pupils are as individual as one would expect from an education committed to enabling individuals to realise their potential. Our students enter a broad spectrum of careers and professions - everything from medicine and journalism to law and from engineering to business, environmental science and the arts.

  • "One of the greatest gifts of Waldorf education... making you feel comfortable in the world and learning that being an individual is a wonderful thing." Julianna Margulies, actress.

Upper School Chemistry

A Brief Introduction

A Steiner Waldorf school aims to offer a truly comprehensive education in a learning community where children can root themselves in their humanity as they live and grow through the two decades of their childhood. Children are taught in chronological age groups of mixed ability. The school is co-educational and un-streamed with regard to social, ethnic or religious backgrounds, thus reflecting society at large. By teaching children of the same age together over the fifteen years of schooling - from parent and child group to Class 12 (Sixth Form) - Steiner Waldorf education achieves one of it's major aims - to cultivate children's social abilities. Teachers and parents are challenged to join a continuous learning process inspired by the ideas in human development through and beyond childhood. In this way teachers and parents can both help to create the very best educational environment and climate for the growth of the children in their care. Families, often with several children, become long-term members of the school community and as such are part of the school and contribute to its ongoing development. Steiner Waldorf education aims to support a harmonious development of the three soul faculties - willing, feeling and thinking - taking full account of the physical and emotional growth phases of the child. Whilst these three faculties are always interacting, there is a particular emphasis on the development of the will during the first seven years (early years). The children learn most of what is worthy of imitation through activities. During the second seven years (Lower School) the education of the feeling life is nurtured through the guiding authority of the teacher, integrating the artistic, imaginative elements into the learning process. During the third seven years (Upper School) the faculty of thinking is more directly emphasised by challenging the adolescents to individual judgement and to more conscious participation in their education. Steiner pointed strongly to the negative effects on children if we encourage their intellectual and analytical capacities too early (before puberty). The approach to the education is never a teaching from a fixed syllabus or established tradition, but needs to be created and recreated anew in every school and in every teacher. The what, the why, the when and the how of the way the curriculum is implemented are intimately geared to the physiological and psychological growth of the child. Children need to fulfil their childhood during each phase without being hurried into the intellectual, materialistic world conception of our times. At the end of his life, after five years actively participating in the building up of the first Steiner Waldorf School in Stuttgart, Dr Steiner re-emphasised strongly the artistic-pedagogical method of teaching. He wished that education should become an art rather than a science, through which the children can participate creatively in the unfolding of their individual potential.


Admission Procedures

Admission to the school at the beginning of term is preferable, but this is not a fixed policy. The admission procedure involves filling in an application form and returning it to the Admissions Registrar, together with a Medical /Database form and the current application fee, listed in the Financial Questions section of the Parents' Handbook 

Admission to the Early Years is by interview with the relevant teacher. Children who are moving from Kindergarten to Class 1 will be accepted after consultation with the Kindergarten teacher and the school doctor. In the Lower School an interview with the class teacher, a learning support teacher and a eurythmy therapist determines the suitability of the school for each pupil and the suitability of each pupil for a particular class. Upper School pupils (including Class 8), are interviewed by an Upper School teacher or Class Guardian, together with a learning support teacher and eurythmy therapist. When considering the application of a new pupil, we consider the following:

  1. Michael Hall's suitability for his/her age, ability or special educational needs.
  2. Whether the acceptance of the applicant is compatible with the efficient education of the children already placed in our school.
  3. Whether we have the resources to meet his/her needs. Children who are not doing well in other schools may flourish in our school but there are learning and disciplinary problems that are beyond our scope. We aim to have a 'healthy constellation' of pupils in each class and not to over-burden the class and teachers with more than a few children needing extra help. In some cases children may be accepted on a trial basis. Initially a new child might need some extra tuition in certain areas, for example in foreign languages. 
  4. Although we especially welcome pupils from other Steiner schools, the normal admission policies still apply.

For further information on Admissions, please request a full admissions policy from Reception, or contact the Admissions Registrar on 

Michael Hall Classes and their equivalents

This chart shows the order and ages of the classes at Michael Hall and their relation to schools in the state and independent sectors.

The cut off birth date, determining into what class a child is to be placed, is 1st August at Michael Hall, (in the state sector this is the 1st September and in independent schools the child's ability is often taken into consideration).

Children may enter the Michael Hall Kindergarten in the autumn and spring terms during which they turn four, or in the summer term aged five. Children then enter Class 1 in the September after their sixth birthday: those who have their birthday in August will already be seven.






Parent & Child

0 - 2½

Playgroups, nurseries

Playgroups and nurseries


2½ - 4

2 to 4 or 5 years

2 to 4 or 5 years

Year 1

4 - 5

Primary (Reception)


Year 2

5 - 6

(Infants) Year 1



Class 1

6 - 7

Year 2


Class 2

7 -8

(Juniors) Year 3


Class 3

8 - 9

Year 4


Class 4

9 - 10

Year 5


Class 5

10 - 11

Year 6

Girls: Common Entrance exam


Class 6

11 - 12

(Secondary) 7


Class 7

12 - 13

Year 8

Boys & Co-ed Common Entrance exam

Class 8

13 - 14

Year 9



Class 9

14 - 15

Year 10


Class 10

15 - 16

GCSEs Year 11


Class 11
AS Level

16 - 17

AS Level

AS Level

Class 12
A2 Level

17 - 18

A Level

A Levels

primary schools in Forest Row, secondary schools in Forest Row, schools in Forest Row

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