Course Guide, Dates and Details

Weekends 2021/22

10th – 12th September 2021
8th – 10th October 2021
5th – 7th November 2021
3rd – 5th December 2021
7th – 9th January 2022
4th – 6th February 2022
4th – 6th March 2022
6th – 8th May 2022
3rd – 5th June 2022
1st – 3rd July 2022

Intensive Weeks

Easter Week  19th – 23rd April 2022
Summer Week 1st – 5th August 2022

Weekends 2022/23

9, 10, 11 September

7, 8, 9 October

11, 12, 13 November

9, 10, 11 December

6, 7, 8 January

10, 11, 12 February

10, 11, 12 March

11 to 16 April (Easter Intensive Week)

12, 13, 14 May

9, 10, 11 June

7, 8, 9 July

1 to 5 August (Summer Intensive Week and Graduation)


Each weekend begins on Friday with a communal supper at 6.30 pm, cooked and prepared for us by professionals at our host school. Afterwards there are opportunities for shaking off the week’s work and the long journeys in musical or social activities. This is followed by Engagement: an interactive session, guided by the course tutors, that sets the tone for the weekend.

At about 9.30 the students are free to retire to their accommodation or continue to meet socially in Ringwood’s pubs and restaurants.

On Saturday we begin at 9am with singing, followed by five 90 minute sessions through the day, following the pattern: Art – Seminar – Lunch – Art – Seminar – Supper – Evening Lecture or Engagement. We finish again at about 9.30.

Sundays begin again with singing, followed by philosophical study. The last session is for students teaching students: they will take it in turns to learn new skills from each other and tell prepared stories, followed by empathic, constructive and honest feedback. The weekend ends with a review at 12.30, and students are free to leave at 1pm.


For these intensive courses, full attendance is necessary.   In certain circumstances – for example, a sudden illness – we will accept a written notification of absence, although 80% attendance is required for completion of the course (whether online or in person). In some circumstances, where a session is missed, it may be possible to complete the equivalent weekend in a following year.  This is arranged on an individual basis, at the discretion of tutors.


In between each weekend there are usually three assignments to complete:

  1. An artistic “homework” to practice a particular skill
  2. A written engagement with one of the themes of the weekend, usually in the form of a short essay.
  3. Preparation of an activity, story or other presentation to the other students.

This is facilitated by a mid-month online check-in where students can meet each other and the tutors to discuss their progress.


Regarding all aspects of the course, assessment will be continuous and qualitative. We will do our best to inform you in a clear and constructive way of areas of strength and weakness. In addition, each month’s work will include a key task that will be assessed more formally.

Tutors and Tutorials

The Core Tutors will provide time for tutorials each weekend. If you need advice between weekends, you can contact them by email or phone. They will also mark your assignments and inform you of your progress. To optimize communication, you will need an email address and access to the internet.


There are three levels of certification available:

  1. Certificate of Attendance: this is available to all students who have attended more than 80% of the sessions and completed more than 80% of assignments.
  2. Certificate of Completion: this will be issued to students at the end of Year 2 if they fulfil the above requirements and have completed observation and teaching practice placements in a Waldorf setting. These should last at least three weeks each, or the equivalent if arranged on a part time basis.
  3. Steiner Waldorf Education Diploma: This can be attained after completion of the course and a full year’s successful teaching, accompanied and assessed by an agreed in-school mentor.
Completing the course

It is not unusual that, within the two years of the course, students manage to complete all aspects of the course apart from the 3 weeks of teaching practice.  In this case, the student will have 2 years from the end of the course in which to complete their teaching practice. Where a student is taken on as a class teacher in a school, the teaching practice can be completed during the first term of employment.

Additional qualifications may also be required if teaching outside the UK, so if you are planning to teach abroad, you should make yourself familiar with the specific requirements of the country in which you want to work.

While Qualified Teacher Status remains linked to the National Curriculum in England, it is difficult to provide external accreditation for part time Steiner Waldorf Teacher Training. The current course has no state-recognised validation. Its quality, however, is well recognised within Steiner Waldorf circles and not least by former students, many of whom are successful teachers.


From September 2021, the WESTT course will be hosted at Ringwood Waldorf School.


Twice a year, in the Spring and Summer, there is a five day mandatory residential course which offers a greater scope for in-depth exploration of specific themes. It is possible to camp in the grounds of Ringwood Waldorf School.

Personal support

Each student will have an assigned tutor from among the core WESTT staff, who will be their first port of call for arranging school placements, discussing progress and offering support.


This  is at the houses of local families. Arrangements for camping or parking camper vans in the school grounds may be possible at certain times of the year. The agreed cost for private accommodation is £ 45 for two nights bed and breakfast, payable directly to the host. Initial arrangements will be made by Sven Saar who is also the main contact for all matters relating to accommodation. 


These are vegan or vegetarian and prepared for us by staff at Ringwood Waldorf School. Please advise Sven Saar of any dietary requirements in advance. The cost for Friday Supper and Saturday Lunch and Supper is £25 per student. This is payable in advance each term, by 1st September, 1st January and 1st May respectively.

suggested reading

Waldorf  Education
Christopher Clouder & Martyn Rawson, Floris Books, 1998

School as a Journey
Torin M. Finser, Anthroposophic Press, 1994

Understanding Waldorf Education: Teaching from the Inside Out
Jack Petrash, Gryphon House, 2002 

The Essence of Waldorf Education

Peter Selg, Steiner Books, 2010

The Way of a Child
A. C. Harwood, Rudolf Steiner Press, 1998

The Courage to Teach

Parker Palmer, Wiley 2017


Required Reading

The First Teachers Course, Rudolf Steiner, 2020 Edition, available in the UK from or the Rudolf Steiner House Bookshop, London

Understanding Child development

Angelika Wiehl & Wolfgang Auer, wecan books, 2020

The Kingdom of Childhood

Rudolf Steiner’s 1924 lecture course in Torquay, Anthroposophic Press, 1995

The Educational Tasks and Content of the Steiner Waldorf Curriculum, Rawson, Richter and Avison, 2014, widely available

Complaints procedure

If a student has a complaint or grievance about any matter, academic or non-academic, he or she is encouraged to raise the matter at an early stage with an appropriate member of staff. 

Informal complaints

Students are encouraged to approach those concerned for an informal discussion.  The Course Leaders are available to discuss issues that students may have. 

Formal complaints

If a resolution has not been found following the steps of the informal complaints procedure, the student can contact the Course Leaders, stating the nature of the problem and steps taken so far.  The Course Leaders will arrange a meeting with a Complaints Committee, which may consist of

A course Leader

The petitioner

An advocate for the petitioner, approved by all parties, who may be internal or external to the training

The tutor/student in question

An advocate for a tutor may be any member of the faculty, an advocate for a student must be approved by all parties and may be internal or external to the training

A secretary to take minutes 

Following the meeting, a letter will be sent to the petitioner outlining the resolution from the Complaints Committee. If a sensible route or successful resolution cannot be found there is an independent outside adjudicator who is an experienced Teacher Education professional and a member of ASWTE: Jill Tina Taplin, who leads the NESWEC Early Years training.                                           

Equality and diversity policy and procedure

WESTT intends to be a truly open, accessible and diverse organisation and is committed to the principle of equal opportunities in employment and education regardless of a person’s gender, race, sexual orientation, age, disability or religious belief or other specific factors which result in discrimination.

To achieve this we need to ensure that none of our policies and procedures places any unnecessary barriers for students or staff.

All WESTT leaders and tutors have  personal responsibility for the implementation of this policy.

WESTT will endeavour to ensure that the following good practice informs the actions of tutors and students.

WESTT seeks to ensure equality of opportunity and treatment for everyone in relation to all of its activities.

WESTT recognises the existence of discrimination, and is committed to making changes in any area of its practice where there is evidence of failure to provide an appropriate and professional service.

WESTT will work actively towards eliminating discrimination, harassment and bullying because of race, colour, ethnic origin, gender, religion, marital status, disability, sexual orientation, age, or any other grounds.

In the event that staff or students are alleged to be in breach of WESTT  Equality and Diversity policy, an investigation will be carried out in accordance with agreed procedures. Depending on the outcome, guidance, advice, counselling and training may be offered to ensure compliance. A serious breach of the Equality and Diversity Policy and Procedure may constitute gross misconduct.

WESTT operates within a set of agreed equal opportunities definitions, which can be found as an Appendix to this Policy

Procedural Objectives

WESTT will work actively to make progress in five key areas:


Eliminating any discrimination in relation to tutor or student recruitment and promotion, the purchase of goods and services, and in the content, delivery and management of the curriculum

WESTT will ensure that its equality and diversity policy is publicised as widely as possible to its community, including students, volunteers and staff.


Ensuring that all students, staff and visitors can go about their business in an atmosphere free of intimidation or abuse.

WESTT will review the effectiveness of procedures, so that staff and students feel confident to raise issues of concern about equal opportunities, and to make complaints about discrimination, harrassment or bullying.

Widening Participation

Encouraging maximum access to the full range of educational provision of all social backgrounds and cultures.

This includes monitoring patterns of admissions and working to ensure that the admissions process is based only on student needs and aptitudes.

Inclusive Learning

Providing support, wherever possible, to enable individual students of different abilities and needs to progress through the curriculum towards successful achievement.

WESTT will monitor and review the curriculum, and the learning resources used to deliver the curriculum, to ensure that they reflect and promote equal opportunities.

Celebrating Diversity

Recognising and reflecting the positive contributions of men and women of different social backgrounds, cultures, religions, abilities, ages and sexual orientation.


The Core Tutors are responsible for ensuring that a policy of equal opportunities is continuously promoted and comprehensively implemented in all aspects of WESTT practice.


The Policy reflects national legislation and guidelines as provided by The Equality Act 2010.

Procedural Monitoring and Evaluation

The Course Leaders will monitor and evaluate the success of this policy, ensuring that it is made available to all staff and students and that it is reviewed at the set review date.

Key performance indicators will include:

Age, ethnicity, gender and disability profile of WESTT tutors

Age, ethnicity, gender, disability and profile of WESTT students

Numbers of complaints or grievances of harassment and discrimination

Attendance at equal opportunities training events