Sunrise Waldorf School has a Social Health Committee (SHC) comprising teachers and parents who meet weekly to review and guide the Social Inclusion process. The work of the SHC includes:
- nurturing a school environment of mutual respect, safety, and inclusion;
- integrating Social Inclusion practices into school life;
- developing tools, training and role plays for teachers, parents and students to increase intervention and support skills
- monitoring individual student situations and overall social health and making recommendations to faculty.
The Social Inclusion Approach teaches a "justice without blame" approach to conflict resolution among students, and is based on these principles:
- conflict is a normal and an essential part of social interaction, which must be guided rather than avoided
- children need to be shepherded through conflict with consciousness and wisdom in order for there to be learning and increasing maturity
- a no blame approach creates an atmosphere of acceptance (not of the behaviour, but of the players) and prevents bullying and teasing from going underground.
Schools today are called, not just to be places of academic learning, but places of social learning as well. The joys and sorrows of the playground, the social experiences we have as children can colour our relationships for a lifetime. Sunrise Waldorf School is committed to promoting a social environment in which working, playing, and learning take place in ways that foster inclusiveness and recognize our mutual humanity, even while addressing conflict.
The Waldorf pedagogy naturally addresses issues of Social Inclusion through curriculum and pedagogical stories, drama, games and artistic development. These regular components of the curriculum help to build impulse control, empathy, perspective, and imagination in the children, all crucial skills for healthy social interaction. The regular practice of politeness and courtesy, as well as appropriate adult modeling of healthy social interactions within the school further strengthen the healthy social life of the community.
Our school has chosen to adopt Kim John Payne’s Social Inclusion Approach (Simplicity Parenting), an explicit process that provides practical tools for use at school and at home. We are also inspired and guided by the work of Dr. Gordon Neufeld (Hold on To Your Kids), and Dr. Marshall Rosenberg (Non-Violent Communication).
We have a resource lending Library of Parenting DVD's and audio CD's by Dr. Gordon Neufeld and Kim John Payne. Visit the school office to make borrowing arrangements.
The healthy social life is found
when in the mirror of each human soul
the whole community finds its reflection,
and when in the community
the virtue of each one is living...
Rudolf Steiner - The Social Motto