Michael Hall (school)

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Michael Hall
Priory Road

, ,
RH18 5JA

Coordinates 51°05′29″N0°01′28″E / 51.0915°N 0.0244°E / 51.0915; 0.0244 Coordinates: 51°05′29″N0°01′28″E / 51.0915°N 0.0244°E / 51.0915; 0.0244
Type Independent
Established1925 (1925)
FounderDaphne Olivier, Cecil Harwood amongst others
Department for Education URN 114625 Tables
Head teacherCollege of Teachers
Gender Co-educational
Age3to 18

Michael Hall is an independent Steiner Waldorf school in Kidbrooke Park on the edge of Ashdown Forest in East Sussex. Founded in 1925, it is the oldest Steiner school in Britain, it has an enrolment of over 500 students aged between three (Kindergarten) and eighteen (6th Form).

Waldorf education educational philosophy

Waldorf education, also known as Steiner education, is based on the educational philosophy of Rudolf Steiner, the founder of Anthroposophy. Its pedagogy strives to develop pupils' intellectual, artistic, and practical skills in an integrated and holistic manner. The cultivation of pupils' imagination and creativity is a central focus.

Ashdown Forest heathland area in the county of East Sussex

Ashdown Forest is an ancient area of open heathland occupying the highest sandy ridge-top of the High Weald Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It is situated some 30 miles (48 km) south of London in the county of Sussex, England. Rising to an elevation of 732 feet (223 m) above sea level, its heights provide expansive vistas across the heavily wooded hills of the Weald to the chalk escarpments of the North Downs and South Downs on the horizon.


Predominantly a day school, boarding is arranged with families of children at the school. It offers a broad education to boys and girls from pre-school to university entrance, based on the educational philosophy of Rudolf Steiner. The curriculum embodies cultural studies, sciences, general arts and humanities, crafts, music and movement and foreign languages. EFL is available in term time. The school explains its educational ethos, curriculum and approach to prospective parents at open mornings. A range of sports, games and extra-curricular activities is offered. Entrance is non-selective and no streaming; for sixth-form entry an interview and GCSE grade C (preferably higher) in sixth-form subjects. [1] [2]

Rudolf Steiner Austrian philosopher, social reformer, architect, economist and esotericist

Rudolf Joseph Lorenz Steiner was an Austrian philosopher, social reformer, architect, economist and esotericist. Steiner gained initial recognition at the end of the nineteenth century as a literary critic and published philosophical works including The Philosophy of Freedom. At the beginning of the twentieth century he founded an esoteric spiritual movement, anthroposophy, with roots in German idealist philosophy and theosophy; other influences include Goethean science and Rosicrucianism.


The school was founded by a group of five people on the initiative of Daphne Olivier after she had attended one of Rudolf Steiner's educational conferences in Stuttgart in 1923. [3] She approached Rudolf Steiner, asking for his support in founding the first Waldorf school in the English-speaking world. As she was speaking on behalf of three other women, Steiner asked if they could not include a suitable male teacher. This prompted Daphne to recommend her friend and future husband, Cecil Harwood, who met Rudolf Steiner in this manner for the first time and remained connected to the school for the rest of his life. It was founded in South London and named "The New School", until moving to Kidbrooke Park in Forest Row after World War II, whereupon it took on the name Michael Hall. [4] [5]

Daphne Olivier One of the four Olivier sisters and founder of the Waldorf School

Daphne Olivier was the third daughter of the British politician Sydney Olivier, 1st Baron Olivier, and Margaret Cox; she was the sister of Margery (1886–1974), Brynhild (1887–1935) and Noël (1893–1969) and the first cousin of the actor Laurence Olivier (1907-1989). She established the first Rudolf Steiner school in England.

Stuttgart Place in Baden-Württemberg, Germany

Stuttgart is the capital and largest city of the German state of Baden-Württemberg. Stuttgart is located on the Neckar river in a fertile valley known locally as the "Stuttgart Cauldron". It lies an hour from the Swabian Jura and the Black Forest. Its urban area has a population of 634,830, making it the sixth largest city in Germany. 2.8 million people live in the city's administrative region and 5.3 million people in its metropolitan area, making it the fourth largest metropolitan area in Germany. The city and metropolitan area are consistently ranked among the top 20 European metropolitan areas by GDP; Mercer listed Stuttgart as 21st on its 2015 list of cities by quality of living, innovation agency 2thinknow ranked the city 24th globally out of 442 cities and the Globalization and World Cities Research Network ranked the city as a Beta-status world city in their 2014 survey.

Alfred Cecil Harwood *05.01.1898 London (UK) †22.12.1975 Forest Row Sussex was a lecturer, Waldorf teacher, writer, editor and anthroposophist.

In November 2014 a book titled "A Good School" was published by Blue Filter [6] documenting the first ninety years of the school's history. With an original manuscript by Joy Mansfield and edited by Brien Masters and Stephen Sheen, the book provides an overview of the school from its beginnings in Streatham to its current home in the Sussex countryside. [7] [8]

Streatham district in South London, England

Streatham is a district in south London, England, mostly in the London Borough of Lambeth but with some areas to the west stretching out into the neighbouring London Borough of Wandsworth, and some areas to the south stretching out into the neighbouring London Borough of Croydon. It is centred 5 miles (8.0 km) south of Charing Cross. The area is identified in the London Plan as one of 35 major centres in Greater London.

Sussex historic county in South East England

Sussex, from the Old English Sūþsēaxe, is a historic county in South East England corresponding roughly in area to the ancient Kingdom of Sussex. It is bounded to the west by Hampshire, north by Surrey, northeast by Kent, south by the English Channel, and divided for many purposes into the ceremonial counties of West Sussex and East Sussex. Brighton and Hove, though part of East Sussex, was made a unitary authority in 1997, and as such, is administered independently of the rest of East Sussex. Brighton and Hove was granted City status in 2000. Until then, Chichester was Sussex's only city.

Kidbrooke Park

Michael Hall - Rudolph Steiner School at Forest Row - geograph.org.uk - 21220.jpg

Kidbrooke Park is a grade II* listed house built for the Earl of Abergavenny at the time when Eridge Castle was in ruins and occupied by the Nevills until 1825. [9] [10] Date of construction is 1735 and stands on 60 acres of parkland landscaped by the landscape architect Humphry Repton, which is separately listed at grade II. [11]

Listed building Protected historic structure in the United Kingdom

A listed building, or listed structure, is one that has been placed on one of the four statutory lists maintained by Historic England in England, Historic Environment Scotland in Scotland, Cadw in Wales, and the Northern Ireland Environment Agency in Northern Ireland.

Humphry Repton British landscape designer

Humphry Repton was the last great English landscape designer of the eighteenth century, often regarded as the successor to Capability Brown; he also sowed the seeds of the more intricate and eclectic styles of the 19th century. His first name is often incorrectly rendered "Humphrey". In 2018, the bicentenary of Repton's death, several groups held events throughout the United Kingdom to celebrate his work.

A number of its facilities are available for hire including the reception hall (The Great Hall), The Long Room, The Round Room, The Terrace Room and The Oak Panelled Room for weddings, conferences, parties, film shoots and memorials. There is a theatre seating 450 persons, an expansive and modern gym and additional lecture studio capable of seating 80 people.

Former students

There is an association of former students run by the school's administration. Former students include:

Gavin Carr is a British conductor and baritone working with major choruses in the UK and appearing in opera and concert in the UK and around the globe.

Oliver Graham Chris is an English actor. He has appeared in a range of television series and TV films and on the stage, including theatrical productions in London's West End and Broadway in New York City.

Frank Dillane British actor

Frank Stephenson Dillane is an English actor, known for his portrayal of Nick Clark on Fear the Walking Dead (2015–2018), and for playing Tom Riddle in the film Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009). He also appeared as Owen Coffin in the film In the Heart of the Sea (2015).

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  1. Michael Hall – Guide to Independent Schools retrieved 2014.10.09
  2. Michael Hall – The Good Schools Guide.
  3. Owen Barfield: Romanticism Comes of Age : A Biography – Simon Blaxland-de Lange. Temple Lodge Publishing 2006 P.91
  4. A.C. Harwood, Article in Forschungsstelle Kulturimpuls
  5. C. S. Lewis, My Godfather: Letters, Photos and Recollections by Laurence Harwood, IVP Books 2007 ISBN   978-0830834983 P. 42
  6. "A Good School". Blue Filter. Blue Filter.
  7. New book details the history of a remarkable Sussex School
  8. "A Good School" in the East Grinstead Courier newspaper.
  9. British Listed Buildings reference: TQ4186834404
  10. Historic England. "Kidbrooke Park Michael Hall Rudolf Steiner School (1028377)". National Heritage List for England . Retrieved 6 July 2018.
  11. Historic England. "Kidbrooke Park (1000305)". National Heritage List for England . Retrieved 6 July 2018.Includes detailed description and history of house, gardens and park