Celebrating 30 years: Students are putting finishing touches on an original song while faculty prepares to host acclaimed documentarian Kim Hunter as Toronto’s Waldorf Academy unveils several events marking the independent school’s 30th anniversary.
Since opening in a rented house in 1987, Waldorf has blossomed into a Toronto fixture, developing young minds creatively and compassionately from a beautiful two-story school house near midtown’s Casa Loma.
“Just like our students, Waldorf grew to become an optimistic, caring part of our community through perseverance, compassion, and a commitment to learning,” said Facilitator Dean Husseini. “We are very grateful to the community and very proud of our young people.”
The thriving school with the “whole child” philosophy is planning a public open house, an alumni panel, a bike a-thon and other events put on with help from the 150 area families and 46 full-time staff at Waldorf Academy
A highlight will be a visit from British Columbia educator and acclaimed film director Kim Hunter, whose documentary “Time to Play,” will have a special screening in late September.
Waldorf will also release several brief teaching videos during the celebration to share with educators everywhere, and debut a song commemorating the anniversary composed by faculty and students working together.
“We’ve always honored the importance of community and family in a child’s development,” said Admissions Manager, Jennifer Deathe. “It was families who started Waldorf Toronto 30 years ago; parents committed to engaging young minds in the wonder of discovery.”
Today, Waldorf students learn core curriculum while embracing their natural creativity to find their unique abilities.
School officials point to a typical 5th-grade term last year as a quintessential Waldorf experience: students studied French, practiced knitting, trained for Greek-style Olympics, integrated botany with North American geography, developed math skills, participated in discussions about character and behaviour, canoed in the wilderness and visited Hindu temples.
They add the school’s location near the subway, parks, ravines, museums, theaters and art galleries is perfect for the Waldorf approach.
The Waldorf philosophy is almost 100 years old, founded in Germany to address the whole child by teaching across multiple intelligences, introduce holistic, tactile learning and emphasize humanistic values such as sympathy, curiosity, respect, resilience, compassion, and perseverance. There are approximately 220 independent schools across Canada and the U.S. rooted in the Waldorf approach.
“We like to say we are a lightning rod for learning, a place where creative energy sparks curiosity that lasts a lifetime,” Dean Husseini added. The school serves students from Pre-K through 8th grade.