The Armidale Waldorf School provides a comprehensive education for preschool through to secondary years that works clearly out of anthroposophy, providing children with a foundation for life and inspiring them toward fulfilment of their destiny. It is a school where students are educated to take their place in the world in a meaningful way for humanity, secure in their earthly existence, their souls nourished and their creative spirits liberated.
This living approach to education permeates every aspect of school life, with students, teachers, parents and friends all being recognised and valued as the unique spiritual beings that they are. All that is happening in the whole school community nourishes and supports this vision. The School has clear structures and processes to facilitate trust, objectivity and communication.
We empower each other with the mandate to take responsibility for the tasks identified, and work together with an attitude of openness, honesty and trust.
We, the school community of students, teachers, parents and friends, interact with the world with courage and love, so truth, beauty and goodness stand as an inspiration for all.
We strive to create a place of beauty to nurture the children, with our buildings designed from Steiner’s architectural indications surrounded by acres of native gardens. A healthy indoor environment free from pollutants for the children and adults alike is a priority. We use quality art and craft supplies in lessons. Our furnishings are naturally beautiful, simple and practical.
The School values the natural environment and strives to operate at all times in an environmentally conscious and sustainable way. We clean with cloths and water alone in the majority of cases, and where a cleaning product is required we use a researched product with the least harm to the cleaner and the environment. We garden organically and biodynamically; compost all possible waste and reuse or recycle; mulch our gardens to reduce our water needs; harvest rain water for our drinking and garden needs; and manage our waste with an innovative reed bed system.
The Armidale Waldorf School was blessed by the inspired energy of Kit Wyndham (1911 – 2005). She was founder, benefactor and beloved friend of the school and nurtured its growth and development for more than 20 years. From her 60s, this wonderful and learned visionary held onto the dream of a Steiner school for Armidale. She found friends and fellow visionaries to share in the endeavour, and by 1984 Kit’s 73rd year, these like-minded people had started a playgroup and thus laid the foundation for a future school. Shortly after the playgroup began, the current site with residence, art gallery and 10 acres of land was purchased with Kit’s assistance. The gallery space was transformed to allow the preschool, called Boongaiai meaning “shaded place”, to open its doors on the 16th February, 1985, with 4 children.
After overcoming many physical and material obstacles to reach the point of opening Boongaiai, the founders were wonderfully rewarded by having 22 children enrolled in the preschool by the end of the first term. In 1987, two years after opening the Preschool, the Kindergarten was started. The following year the first Class 1 began, and by 1990 Classes 1 and 2 had moved into a new classroom designed by Sydney architect, Mark Baxter, whose buildings are inspired by Steiner’s architectural indications. By 1992, a second and third classroom had been constructed. The School’s continued growth and the dedication of the associated community fostered the inaugural Class 7 in 1999, and Class 8 in 2000.
Known as The Armidale Waldorf School since 1993 (the Preschool still retains the name of Boongaiai), the School today is a strong school from Preschool to Year 8, well supported by its structure. The school has been guided by inspiration throughout its growth and development, and over the years much lovingly-contributed community labour has turned a bush block and former gallery into a beautiful and nourishing natural environment for children and adults alike.