Supporting Head, Heart and Hands
Northern Lights Education Initiative has grown from a committed group of parents looking for an alternative form of education into a Waldorf-inspired school. We opened a Kindergarten in September 2017. In September 2018 we took a big step into a Grade One. September 2019 we offered a Grade One/Two and After School Care at North McIntyre Rec. Centre. The school moved for the 2019/20 school year to a new campus at 250 Dog Lake Rd., 2 minutes from Dawson Road. We are excited to move into 2020/21 school year here on a 14 acre campus with a ponds, forests and meadows. Come visit us and see a wonderful place where children love to go to school!
Waldorf education is a world-wide movement that began in 1919 and has just recently celebrated it’s 100th year. Healthy child development is at the centre of a Waldorf-inspired program. Waldorf education honours the whole child – body, soul and spirit that goes beyond the narrow focus of the intellect. Graduates of Waldorf Schools have been schooled toward a freedom to achieve their own path out of eco, social, and world consciousness.
Our kindergarten is a place where nature-based imaginative and creative free play is enriched by the life skills, crafts, stories, music and festivals. The child from Birth to 7 are building a healthy will and body as a foundation for life. Students ages 7-14 in the grades connect to the wisdom offered by the class teacher and deepen ‘learning through the arts’. The arts enrich their heart connections and inner social/emotional intelligence in their learning and with others. The child is developing inner flexibility and residency for a balanced and matured relationship soul life.
We are an independent school, which gives us freedom from government educational standards and the Ministry of Education curriculum. The school is tuition based as we do not receive government funding. We are a not-for-profit incorporated school with a volunteer Board of Directors made up of parents, grandparents and friends of the school.
The school began in the upstairs of the North McIntyre Recreation Centre. In September 2019 we moved to a 17 acre property with 2 ponds, surrounded by forest and nature. The school is now located in the home of the Northern Lights School Board Chair Arlene Thorn. You are welcome to visit and see the many amenities the property and home provide for your child.
The school is a community of parents, teachers and friends who, through their interest, dedication and offers of energy and gifts, create the chalice for the unfolding of each child. We welcome you to become part of our community.
Why Northern Lights School?
Northern Lights School is developmentally appropriate, rigorous, creative and relevant. We have chosen a Waldorf-inspired curriculum to help students reach their potential by educating the head, heart and hands.
When parents tell a friend about the school and discuss how their children are thriving, what do they say?
Here’s what they tell us:
The children love their teachers and the teachers love the children. Guided by the philosophy, understanding of the stages of human development and practices of Waldorf education, teachers are freed to teach a child-centered program. They meet the children through their own understanding, imagination, compassion and creativity. They become ‘Artists of the Education’ freed from the burdens of the Ministry curriculum and standardized tests.
Parents sense an enthusiasm in the teachers that builds in the child a love for learning, their teacher and being at school.
The teachers are trained on inner practices of teaching. Waldorf-inspired teachers seek guidance through the spirit; work on their work/life balance, relationships with the children and community and their own search for meaning and purpose. They regularly continue their professional training through weekly study and inner development, attend summer courses and yearly conferences.
Did we mention that the Waldorf teachers stay with their class over multiple years building deep, personal connections with each student and family?
Forest, Rocks, Meadow and Ponds
The research is in! Move to learn, go outside in nature and it will improve test scores and increase wellbeing. But what we really LOVE is the pure joy being outside in nature brings to the students. Our students are fortunate to be on a campus where they come home with stories about bugs they caught, hikes on the trails, visits to special forest spots and time playing, gardening, and building.
We can talk about how it improves academics, but what it really improves is the daily lives and health of the children. It makes school fun because children are given the time and space to be kids!
Parents know that smaller class sizes make a difference. Large classes are stressful not only for the children but also the teacher! The kindergarten takes a group of 8 students. The Grade One/Two class is also a small number of children with a developing Waldorf teacher.
Each child is seen and cared for by teachers that are able to cultivate a relationship with them as unique in body, soul and spirit.
In such an environment the child can ‘breath’ into their own being and live into the unfolding of their own inner light.
Woodwork, knitting, drawing, painting, and play are just a few examples of how the education moves from the experience through the arts to understanding.
Learning is fun FUN and relevant to LIFE! Learning fractions by cutting a pizza, makes fractions something you come home excited about having learned. Waldorf-inspired curriculum is delivered through stories on the ‘wings of imagination’. Who doesn’t love a good story? The stories mirror the child’s evolving development and move from fairy and folk tales in the early grades to Norse mythologies in Grade 4 to Rome, Greece in Grade 5&6 and the Age of Exploration and Revolution in Grades 7&8.
Students listen intently to the stories and then work in their lesson books to draw a picture of the story, at first with the teacher’s guidance.
The other arts such as music, drama and movement are also part of the education. This approach makes learning exciting and engaging.
Caring, Engaged Community
It’s wonderful to be creating a school from all of us coming together for the students through volunteering, fundraising dinners, festivals, celebrations and all the kindness and giving we share with one another each day. Our community is thriving and unique.
We invite you to be a part of our school and community.