TEACHING at an alternative education school in Lancaster has been described by inspectors as ‘frequently outstanding’.

The Lancaster Steiner School, on Lune Road, Lancaster, has 40 pupils from all over South Lakeland and North Lancashire up to age 11, including children from Kirkby Lonsdale, Sedbergh and Kendal.

Following the Austrian Rudolph Steiner philosphy, the school sees artistic activity and the development of the imagination as integral to learning.

Formal education starts at six, a two hour main lesson is taught each day on the same subject in blocks of five to six weeks, and there is no school uniform.

After three days spent at the school in February Mike Thirkell of the Schools Inspection Service said: ‘The Lancaster Steiner School is a successful school which provides a good quality of education for its pupils and which meets the aspirations of the parents for their children’s development’.

‘Teaching is frequently outstanding and teachers show great commitment to their pupils and demonstrate a very effective understanding of their educational as well as personal needs’.

The school was also found to have a successful track record of children assimilating into main stream education when they leave the school.

However staff were asked to improve facilities for pupils who are ill and it was noted the school did not teach eurythmy - a form of dance specific to the Steiner philosophy.

Teacher Rowan Brook-Thompson, said: “We found the inspection to be a very positive experience and we feel that they have really understood the way we work and the unique approach that Steiner education has to offer”.

Ursula Gallie, who has a daughter in the Kindergarten said her child had flourished in her two years at the school.

She said: “She is confident, happy and full of curiosity. We really value the very personal interest taken in the children by the staff, the songs and crafts and indoor and outdoor play and, of course, the festivals.”