School History

Waldorf School of the Peninsula (WSP) was established in 1984 to provide children in the fast-paced, technology-oriented culture of Silicon Valley with a holistic education that addresses the heart and will as well as the mind. This whole-child approach, which allows young people to blossom as their physical, cognitive, emotional and moral capacities unfold, is the cornerstone of both our curriculum and environment.

Waldorf School of the Peninsula currently serves approximately 320 students in our nursery through high school programs. We are located on two campuses: early childhood through 5th grade in Los Altos, and 6th grade through high school in Mountain View. Waldorf high school graduates have an established reputation for critical, analytical, and imaginative thinking and are highly sought after by leading colleges and universities throughout the country. Our students’ college and university acceptances have been outstanding with 95% of WSP graduates going to 4-year institutions.

Waldorf School of the Peninsula is one of the 160 Waldorf Schools in North America and is fully accredited by the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America (AWSNA) and the Western Associations of Schools and Colleges (WASC).

Waldorf is the fastest-growing group of independent schools in the world, with more than 1,000 independent schools educating children in more than 80 countries, including such divergent cultural environments as China, Israel, Kenya, and Brazil. Waldorf education is nearly 100 years old and is frequently referred to as “the best kept secret in education.”

A RENAISSANCE EDUCATION . . . IN SILICON VALLEYthree actors take the stage in renaissance garb

Children are inherently curious, optimistic, resilient, creative,compassionate, inventive and adaptable. Waldorf educators believe that the role of schools is to preserve and nurture these qualities in children so that they will be able to bring these capacities into their future.

Modern education often focuses so intensely on academics alone that it overlooks qualities/attributes essential to a child’s well-being, including the development of a positive feeling life (emotions, aesthetics and social skills), a healthy will (confidence and the ability to get things done), and a strong inner compass that discerns right from wrong.

Waldorf schools nurture the full range of human capacities through a rich interdisciplinary curriculum that integrates rigorous academics and hands-on learning with the fine, performing and practical arts. Each student gains a comprehensive foundation in world literature, history, math, science, a foreign language and geography, as well as skills and confidence to think independently and work together harmoniously.

Both classical and modern, Waldorf education brings forth the capacities that are most needed for individuals and for our culture. As Waldorf nears its centennial anniversary, the founding ideals and methods are just as relevant today as when Rudolf Steiner founded the first Waldorf School in 1919.

Waldorf education prepares students to enter adulthood with confidence and self-discipline, the ability to think independently and work with others, mastery of analytical and critical faculties, fluency with creative and artistic expression, and reverence for the beauty and wonder of the world—a true renaissance education for the 21st century.

In the past few years, Waldorf education has experienced an upsurge in interest as many of its core tenets, such as the correlation between sleep and learning, the importance of activities—such as music and physical movement that integrate both the left and right sides of the brain, the perils of high-stakes testing, and the negative impacts of media on young children—have become increasing concerns in the public awareness.

high school chemistry class

21st CENTURY SMART

Where better to prepare children for the 21st century than Silicon Valley, a thriving center of creativity and innovation? And where better to offer a holistic approach to education that is recommended by a growing number of cutting-edge educators and global economists?

The skills children need to develop today to succeed are vastly different to those needed just a decade or so ago. For our children to lead successful lives in any sector of our society— including technology, the arts, education and government—they will need to demonstrate “21st century skills” –capacities for creativity, flexibility and innovative thinking – all diverse skills that transcend disciplines and foster high levels of social and emotional intelligence.

These are precisely the qualities developed through Waldorf education.

The new economies demand a deeper conception of talent…what we become in the future is deeply influenced by our experiences here and now. Education is not a linear process of preparation for the future: it is about cultivating the talents and sensibilities through which we can live our best lives in the present and create the best future for us all.

Sir Ken Robinson, Ph.D.

Author of Out of Our Minds and an internationally recognized leader in the development of creativity, innovation and human resources in education and in business