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École EOS: Final days of enrolment for new Steiner Waldorf secondary school in Brussels
Brussels’ Steiner-Waldorf primary school École EOS is expanding to open a new secondary school in September. Providing a holistic education that develops pupils' intellectual, artistic and practical skills, EOS secondary school initially has space for up to 20 students. The school will open one class at a time until the full secondary cycle is covered, maintaining the human-sized structure that characterises École EOS.
With the closing date for enrolment on 31 May, interested parents are invited to join an information web conference on 25 May. Attracting a multinational intake, the French-speaking school is located near Place Jourdan in Etterbeek, with classrooms overlooking Parc Léopold (pictured above). It also offers tuition in English, in addition to Dutch from the first year of secondary.
Established seven years ago, EOS primary was the first francophone Steiner Waldorf school in Brussels. Although the secondary school will have a separate legal structure, the Steiner Waldorf curriculum targets the whole school cycle with secondary seen as a continuation of the primary school, explains EOS secondary pedagogic adviser Karin Müller. “We wanted to give our pupils the possibility to pursue their education in a Steiner Waldorf school and also to establish the first francophone secondary Steiner school in Brussels.”
While the small-scale nature of the school is fundamental to its success, its educational philosophy is based on taking a different approach to preparing children for the future, adds Müller. “More than ever, young people are asking to be heard, to be seen as developing human beings, actors in a present to be co-designed. Our project is designed to meet their needs. It is based on a pedagogy which places cognitive, artistic, practical or social skills on an equal footing and which leaves no one by the wayside.”
The school’s Steiner Waldorf curriculum is tailored to the age and the developmental needs of children. Its key principles are:
• A holistic approach that takes into account all of the students' faculties
• An approach to nature through ecological, forestry and agricultural internships
• Supporting the development of creativity and a sense of responsibility through music, theatre, sculpture, carpentry and social workshops
• Stimulating open mindedness and citizenship through teaching foreign languages and their cultures
• Teaching English in addition to Dutch from the first year of secondary school
• Encouraging the development of interpersonal skills as a basis for learning new skills
• Teaching that builds confidence as well as independent and rigorous thinking through learning based on a broad field of experimentation
• Reinforcement of concentration and intrinsic motivation through teaching organised in modules of 3 to 4 weeks per subject
In Brussels, the EOS secondary school collaborates closely with its Flemish counterpart, MSV, located near the Grand Place. The mid-term objective is to run joint projects and have as much exchange as possible between students and teachers. "Brussels is the ideal place for the two language communities, as well the international community, to live together,” says Müller.
“Ideally, new premises for the school would be somewhere in the city with enough outside space while still having good mobility,” she continues. The location in the city centre makes the school accessible by public transport for students while the many outings and internships encourage contact with nature and society.
Another important feature of the school is its cultural offer with theatre and music as regular school activities. While the Covid-19 pandemic has curtailed activities over the past year, it hopes they can return in the new school year.