One of the unique aspects of the Steiner curriculum is its breadth. Nowhere is this more evident than in the four years of the Upper School. At a time where most young people become specialised as a result of their exam choices, pupils at Edinburgh Steiner School continue to study a broad spectrum of arts, sciences, crafts and humanities in addition to their national exam subjects.
They are able to do so because of the Main Lesson programme which includes the study of Ancient, Medieval and Modern History; Philosophy; Organic Chemistry; History of Art; Economic Geography; Surveying; Physics; History of Architecture; and Geology. Artistic and practical subjects also continue to be timetabled for all pupils.
As a result, irrespective of whether pupils veer towards the arts or the sciences in their exam choices, they continue to receive a valuable grounding across all subjects.
National exams are taken in Classes 10, 11 and 12, with a mixture of English GCSEs, Highers and Advanced Highers (Art) being offered. The particular mix arises from the teachers’ study of which exam will best fit into the Steiner curriculum and allow the most latitude for study.
To enable the broad curriculum of Main Lesson content to continue, exams are taken a year later than in mainstream.
Exam results are well above the Scottish average and compare favourably with other independent schools in Scotland.
Throughout their final four years, pupils are helped to choose their path beyond school. Each pupil receives targeted, individual support from the Careers teacher to help them prepare their UCAS and college applications and for any university interviews. They also have interviews with the ISCO (Independent Schools Careers Organisation). If a pupil decides to leave before his or her final year, the school arranges interviews with Skills Development Scotland.
Many pupils choose to go on a gap year after they leave school to experience and contribute to another culture. Countries visited recently by graduating pupils include Gambia, South Africa and Brazil.
The career paths followed are as individual as our curriculum. Ninety per cent of our pupils continue on to further education. Our former pupils have gone on to excel in a wide range of careers from doctors, lawyers and business professionals to artists, academics and entrepreneurs.
The school offers a small team of qualified and experienced teachers who provide both individual and group support. Children with a wide range of abilities may need extra help during their school career. Support is carefully devised to suit the needs of each individual and is agreed with the Class Teacher, Guardian and parents. On occasion, the advice of the school doctor may be sought. Where appropriate, support may include therapeutic movement exercise or artistic work as well as subject coaching.