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Denmark’s Golden Hill Steiner School becomes first of its kind to offer high school education in the region

Isabel VieiraAlbany Advertiser
Golden Hill Steiner School students Gracie Miller and Sophie Wybenga.
Camera IconGolden Hill Steiner School students Gracie Miller and Sophie Wybenga. Credit: Nic Duncan

Denmark’s Golden Hill Steiner School is set to become the first of its kind in the Great Southern to offer alternative high school education alongside its primary school grades when the school expands next year.

From 2023, the Steiner school will offer Year 7, with subsequent grades offered in the following years, as a part of the school’s master plan to expand and eventually offer kindergarten to Year 12.

Steiner schools offer an alternative approach to education through an approved curriculum that focuses on creativity, critical thinking and practical skills alongside academic subjects.

Principal Jacqui Hollingworth, who has been the head of the school for the past six years, said the expansion was part of the founding member’s vision.

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“We’re really excited about being able to offer a choice that is an alternative curriculum, we don’t follow the WA curriculum but we do follow the Australian Steiner curriculum framework that is approved,” she said.

“There has been increased interest, especially with all the changes with COVID-19 and homeschooling, people are looking for alternatives and we’ve had increased enrolment numbers.

“So we thought now would be the time to offer an expansion of our school.”

Golden Hill was the second alternative school to open in WA in 1988, after Perth Waldorf School, and is one of the seven in WA.

Ms Hollingworth said there was already interest within the Denmark community, with 15 students enrolled.

“I think it’s well suited to the Denmark community because creativity is such a large part of the town and we don’t just focus on academics,” she said.

“Although we do the full range of academics subject we also balance them with all those creative skills, abilities and practical skills and capacities.

“I think Denmark is a great location for the school because we do have a very aware and creative community here.”

Ms Hollingworth said the school would be looking at expanding its infrastructure in the future.

“We have the capacity already and we wouldn’t be expanding if we didn’t think we could, because we all know what’s happening with builders and supplies at the moment,” she said.

“We are in negotiation to expand our landholding . . . and we are working on a master plan to look at how we would expand Year 7 all the way to Year 12.

“We are currently only approved for Years 7-10 but next year we will begin the work to also receive approval for Year 11 and 12 to go all the way through which will be really positive.”

The school will be holding a high school information session on September 9 at 4pm.

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