Seacoast Waldorf School Michaelmas Celebration

Students, faculty, family and friends gathered last Thursday to celebrate the school’s traditional Fall festival, Michaelmas.

Michaelmas celerbation at Seacoast Waldorf SchoolMichaelmas is a celebration of St. Michael, the protector of humanity, who according to fifth century tradition, battles a dragon to save the kingdom. Because the celebration falls near the equinox, it is often associated with the beginning of autumn and the shortening of days.

The grade school children and teachers gathered to sing and recite verses as the nursery, preschool and kindergarten children and their families looked on. The stories and verse contained themes of courage, light conquering dark, inner strength, and deeds of goodness. Waldorf schools also use Michaelmas to teach students the importance of using courage to prepare for the colder, darker, winter months ahead.

The sixth and seventh graders then performed a movement piece and archery demonstration, after which families, students and faculty were seated at picnic tables for an outdoor feast of soup (made by the kindergarteners and with veggies chopped by the nursery school children), corn bread, cider and apple crisp and time together enjoying the beautiful day before heading indoors to tour the children’s classrooms.6th grade archery demonstration

The Michaelmas festival reminds us to both summon and honor the courage displayed each and every day – in noble acts big and strong.


Unconquered hero, brave and bold,
St. Mi-cha-el to you we turn, of strength untold,
your power sends us, from foes defend us,
St. Mi-cha-el! 

How great your might and majesty,
St. Mi-cha-el, come now with all your company,
your power sends us, from foes defend us,
St. Mi-cha-el! 

Rose Ceremony marks new year at Seacoast Waldorf School

The school yard was filled with proud, smiling faces today as the new first graders of the Seacoast Waldorf School were welcomed with a rose!  Rose Ceremony at Seacoast Waldorf School

During this beautifully simple and heartfelt ceremony, the oldest students in the school greeted the first graders one by one, handing them each a rose as they began their journey through the grades.

Entering first grade is an enormous change for children, and the giving and receiving of the flower gives a special significance to their growth, and their transition out of early childhood and into the grades program.

The Rose Ceremony is a tradition that is performed on the first day of the school year at Waldorf schools all across the globe, and has been since the early 1900’s when Waldorf Education began.  It is just one of the many traditions performed at the Seacoast Waldorf School to celebrate and honor the children and their families as they experience important milestones in their lives.

Additional Kindergarten Room Opening In September!

Kinder hoopSeacoast Waldorf School is pleased to announce the addition of another Kindergarten classroom serving children aged 4-6 years.

The Seacoast Waldorf School kindergartens serve children in a caring, rhythmical, play-based environment with much of the day spent outdoors. We adhere to the Waldorf curriculum for early childhood.   The lead teachers are Waldorf trained; materials and furnishings are classically Waldorf.

The kindergarten program is full of warmth, beauty, comfort, and simplicity.  The children’s day follows a regular rhythm.

In our kindergarten program, children learn through play, purposeful work, storytelling and puppet shows, and practical and artistic activities. The heart of the morning is free play, mostly outside where the children run, dig, haul, plant and get dirty.  This is a creative unstructured time for the children to interact with their peers.  During the daily circle time, children are inspired by beautiful language, verses, and singing.  The children’s social sense is reinforced in the daily sharing of a wholesome warm snack.  They set and clear the table with small porcelain plates and cups.  A simple blessing of gratitude is sung together before each snack followed by ample time for pleasant conversation.

Children typically attend Waldorf kindergarten for two years. The two-year kindergarten program is akin to a plant: during the first year of kindergarten, the seeds are planted and nourished; in the second year, the plant fully blooms and flourishes.

Foundation Studies Course offered at SWS

Foundation StudiesEver wonder what Waldorf is all about?

“No day should pass in our human life without our receiving at least one thought that alters our nature a little, that enables us to develop instead of merely to exist.” – Rudolf Steiner

Just what is it that draws us to Waldorf Education? The foundation studies program offered by staff from the Center for Anthroposophy is designed for anyone wishing to understand the underlying philosophical basis for Waldorf Education. Participants have varying levels of experience with Anthroposophy and have included:

  • Parents
  • Teachers preparing for Waldorf training
  • Board members
  • Community members
  • Teaching assistants and volunteers

Foundation Studies is typically offered in communities surrounding Waldorf schools or other centers of anthroposophical activity at various locations around the country. They consist of students in the same geographic area who meet regularly in guided group sessions that combine a variety of both intellectual and artistic offerings. Seminars, ongoing group work, artistic activities, and weekend workshops, address the broad themes of human development and personal growth from a Waldorf perspective.

A Waldorf Foundation Studies course will be starting in the Fall of 2016 in Wilton, NH Freeport, ME and Lexington, MA. and we would like to offer one here at SWS as well. In our all too busy lives this program is designed to be manageable. It is offered in our own community, close to home, on a part time basis and at a reasonable cost. A minimum of 15 people are needed to form a “cluster”. Participants bring their life, work and parenting experience into the content of anthroposophical inquiry, thus finding new meaning behind the phenomena of daily life. Shared questions, presentations and artistic renewal help develop a support network for both the local Waldorf school and the evolving adult relationships within the community. Meeting times vary but typically are scheduled every other week from September to May. An expanded version may include several weekend workshops, consisting of a two-hour lecture on Friday followed by a daytime workshop on Saturday.

If you are interested in registering or learning more about the program being started at SWS this fall please email by March 31st.


Tuition is $2,470 for each year (program runs for total of two years – 20 four-hour sessions or 80 contact hours each year).

Year One – Registrations with $190 deposit are due by August 1 or December 1, depending on the scheduled beginning date.  The $2,280 balance after deposit is paid in 12 monthly installments of $190 each, preferably via automatic credit card plan. The year one tuition is due completely before entering year two.


The Year Two payment plan will consist of 13 monthly payments of $190 (less scholarship where applicable) from September to October. 

All tuition must be paid completely before Certificate of Completion is awarded.

Any cancellations must be received by August 1 or December 1.

Deposit of $190.00 is due with the registration. Should the cluster have to be cancelled, a full refund will be given. Those able and willing to pay their $2,280 tuition balance after deposit in full during September are eligible for a $50 discount. The payment of $2,230 may be made HERE.


Enrolled participants with paid deposit may set up a monthly payment plan where the remaining $1,800 balance would be charged to their credit card in 9 monthly installments from October to July. All payment plans need to be set up before the end of October. Please let us know ahead of time if you would prefer to pay in another way, and we will be happy to set up a different arrangement. Email or call 603-654-2566 with any questions.


Limited scholarship assistance is available upon request by filling out and submitting the application form. All tuition assistance awards (including teacher scholarships) will be announced via e-mail and will typically range between 15% and 20% of total tuition depending on individual circumstances and the overall strength of the cluster. Awards will reduce your tuition balance, which may then be paid over 9 months via payment plan.

2016 Summer Camp, Tiny Chef’s Still Open July 18-22

Tree house pictureAnnouncement: Our 2016 Tiny Chef’s Camp still has a few spaces!

SWS is pleased announce it’s exciting line-up of summer camps for 2016.  Let your child tumble at the circus, become a tiny chef, tap into their inner artist or build a treehouse! Camp dates, costs and detailed descriptions can all be found by clicking here . Online registration and credit card transactions are available through PayPal.

Many of our camps sell out fast so be sure to register early!



Differences Between Traditional and Progressive Education


This chart, from Independent Schools, a magazine of the National Association of Independent Schools, is a helpful guide in understanding the differences between traditional and progressive education. The elements of progressive education listed on the right side of this chart are a very good description of the educational approach practiced daily at Seacoast Waldorf School.

Traditional Progressive
School is a preparation for life. School is a part of life.
Learners are passive absorbers of information and authority. Learners are active participants, problem solvers, and planners.
Teachers are sources of information and authority. Teachers are facilitators, guides who foster thinking.
Parents are outsiders and uninvolved. Parents are the primary teachers, goal setters, and planners, and serve as resources.
Community is separate from school, except for funding. Community is an extension of the classroom.
Decision-making is centrally based and administratively delivered. Decision-making is shared by all constituent groups.
Program is determined by external criteria, particularly test results. Program is determined by mission, philosophy, and goals for graduates.
Learning is linear, with factual accumulation and skill mastery. Learning is spiral, with depth and breadth as goals.
Knowledge is absorbed through lectures, worksheets, and texts. Knowledge is constructed through play, direct experience, and social interaction.
Instruction is linear and largely based on correct answers. Instruction is related to central questions and inquiry, often generated by the children.
Disciplines, particularly language and math, are separated. Disciplines are integrated as children make connections.
Skills are taught discretely and are viewed as goals. Skills are related to content and are viewed as tools.
Assessment is norm-referenced, external, and graded. Assessment is benchmarked, has many forms, and is progress-oriented.
Success is competitively based, derived from recall and memory, and specific to a time/place. Success is determined through application over time, through collaboration.
Products are the end point. Products are subsumed by process considerations.
Intelligence is a measure of linguistic and logical/mathematical abilities. Intelligence is recognized as varied, includes the arts, and is measured in real-life problem-solving.
School is a task to be endured. School is a challenging and fun part of life.


Source: Robert G. Peters, with thanks to the books Schools of Quality, by John Jay Bonstigl, and In Search of Understanding, by Martin C. Brooks and Jaqueline Grennon, Independent Schools.

Published by the National Association of Independent Schools. Reprinted with permission.