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Eileen Morley Hutchins, born 28 June 1902 in Hay-on-Wye, Herefordshire and died 9 October 1987 in Stourbridge was a Steiner school teacher, author and founder of the Elmfield Rudolf Steiner School in Stourbridge.
Together with her sister Shirley, Eileen Hutchins experienced a strict upbringing. She was a gifted child, beginning to read Scott and Dickens at the early age of 14, but it was seeing her first Shakespeare performance that became, for her, a life-changing experience. It led her to study literature at Oxford University.
Initially she began to teach in Colwyn Bay, then moved to the Leeds High School in the 1920s, where she met Edith Rigby who introduced her to Anthroposophy and to the work of Rudolf Steiner. In November 1930 she joined the Maud Wilson Group of the Anthroposophical Society in Leeds and attended its meetings.
Meanwhile, her sister Shirley Hutchins had started to work at a home for children with Special Needs near Birmingham called Sunfield after the original Anthroposophical curative home, the Sonnenhof in Arlesheim near Basle, Switzerland. Fried Geuter, the founder of the home heard of Eileen and wrote, asking if she would be willing to come to Sunfield and teach his and the other co-worker children. She began there in 1931 but soon a number of other children joined her and they needed a larger space. It was Lloyd and Theodora Wilson, Fried Geuter’s co-founder, Michael Wilson’s parents, who offered the budding school space in their home, Elmfield, in Selly Oak, Birmingham. In 1934 the school joined "The New School" as the second Rudolf Steiner school in Britain. Eileen taught first in the primary school, then later in the high school as the children grew older.
During World War I years it was not possible to keep the school open in Birmingham, so space was made for the children in the village of Clent, to which Sunfield Homes had moved. At the end of the war, Eileen Hutchins’ father bought a house for Elmfield in Park Hill, on the outskirts of Stourbridge, so Eileen was able to re-found the school, now as a day school.
Despite growing blindness and deafness as she grew older, Eileen Hutchins continued to direct the school until 1984 and also played a role within the countrywide Steiner schools movement. She edited its magazine Child and Man from 1968 until 1979 and taught for many years in the teacher training programmes. She wrote poems and plays, commentaries and handbooks on Waldorf education, translated the German poet Novalis and lectured both in the UK and abroad. She died at the age of 85.[ citation needed ]
Eileen Hutchins wrote a large number of articles on Steiner education, some of which can be found below
Anthroposophy is a philosophy founded in the early 20th century by the esotericist Rudolf Steiner that postulates the existence of an objective, intellectually comprehensible spiritual world, accessible to human experience. Followers of anthroposophy aim to develop mental faculties of spiritual discovery through a mode of thought independent of sensory experience. They also aim to present their ideas in a manner verifiable by rational discourse and specifically seek a precision and clarity in studying the spiritual world mirroring that obtained by natural historians in investigations of the physical world.
Eurythmy is an expressive movement art originated by Rudolf Steiner in conjunction with Marie von Sivers in the early 20th century. Primarily a performance art, it is also used in education, especially in Waldorf schools, and – as part of anthroposophic medicine – for claimed therapeutic purposes.
Sergei Olegovich Prokofieff was a Russian anthroposophist. He was the grandson of the composer Sergei Prokofiev and his first wife Lina Prokofiev, and the son of Oleg Prokofiev and his first wife Sofia Korovina. Born in Moscow, he studied fine arts and painting at the Moscow School of Art. He encountered anthroposophy in his youth, and soon made the decision to devote his life to it.
Elmfield Rudolf Steiner School Limited is an independent school situated in Stourbridge, West Midlands, England. It educates around 260 children aged from 3 to 17 who follow the international Steiner Waldorf Education curriculum.
Paul Nordoff was an American composer and music therapist, anthroposophist and initiator of the Nordoff-Robbins method of music therapy. His music is generally tonal and neo-Romantic in style.
Elisabeth Vreede was a Dutch mathematician, astronomer and Anthroposophist.
Walter Heurtley Braithwaite (1906–1991) was a composer, pianist and teacher. He was born in Gloucester on 24 August 1906, the third of five children born to Rev. Herbert Morris Braithwaite and Julia Mary née Young.
Peter Selg is a German psychiatrist. He was born in Stuttgart and studied medicine in Witten-Herdecke, Zurich, and Berlin. Until 2000, he worked as the head physician of the juvenile psychiatry department of Herdecke hospital in Germany. Selg is director of the Ita Wegman Institute for Basic Research into Anthroposophy and professor of medicine at the Alanus University of Arts and Social Sciences (Germany). He lectures extensively and is the author of numerous books.
Alfred Cecil Harwood *05.01.1898 London (UK) †22.12.1975 Forest Row Sussex was a lecturer, Waldorf teacher, writer, editor and anthroposophist.
Ernst Weissert, born 20 July 1905 in Mannheim Germany and died 2 January 1981 in Stuttgart was a teacher, general secretary of the Anthroposophical Society in Germany and co-founder and director of the Bund der Freien Waldorfschulen, the Hague Circle and the Friends of Waldorf Education.
Michael Wilson, was a musician, curative educator, scientist, translator and General Secretary of the Anthroposophical Society in Great Britain
Carl Friedrich Wilhelm "Fried" Geuter, was a pioneer of anthroposophical Special Needs education, the co-founder of Sunfield Children's Home and teacher at the Ravenswood Village Settlement near Crowthorne in Berkshire.
Hawkwood College is a registered charity and independent centre for education in a 19th-century Grade II listed building on 42 acres of grounds, including gardens, pastures, woodland and a natural spring overlooking the Stroud Valley.
Eleanor Merry, was an English poet, artist, musician and anthroposophist with a strong Celtic impulse and interest in esoteric wisdom. She studied in Vienna and met Rudolf Steiner in 1922 after becoming interested in his teachings. She went on to organize Summer Schools at which Steiner gave important lectures, and was secretary for the World Conference on Spiritual Science in London in 1928.
Clive Robbins, was a British music therapist, Special Needs educator, anthroposophist and co-founder of Nordoff-Robbins music therapy.
Violetta Elsa Plincke was a Waldorf teacher and lecturer on education who contributed much to the establishment of Steiner education in Britain.
Sunfield is an Independent special school, Children's Home and charity on the border of Worcestershire and the West Midlands in England. It was founded in 1930 and now supports boys and girls, aged 6 – 19 years, with complex learning needs, including autism.
George Adams Kaufmann, also George Adams and George von Kaufmann, was a British mathematician, translator and anthroposophist. He travelled widely, spoke several languages and translated many of Rudolf Steiner’s lectures into English. Through his studies in theoretical physics he contributed to the expansion and development of the natural sciences as extended by the concepts of anthroposophy.
Liane Collot d’Herbois was a British painter and anthroposophical painting therapist. She researched light, darkness, colour and its application in painting and in therapy.