Goora Gan Steiner School set for Agnes

AGNES Water parents are excited after confirmation the Goora Gan Steiner School is in the process of being established.

The school's site at the old Agnes Water Community Hall has been approved by Gladstone Regional Council and is now in an application stage with the Non-State Schools Accreditation Board, which will take six to nine months for approval.

However, the president of the school, Mel Thomson, hoped the doors would be open in Term 1 next year given the board said it was "very positive' about the community initiative.

Ms Thomson said it had been a long time coming for Agnes mums and dads searching for other education options.

Steiner schools use a philosophy called Waldorf education, developed by Austrian social reformer Rudolf Steiner.

Waldorf emphasises the role of imagination in learning and aims to integrate intellectual, practical, and artistic development of students.

It focuses on artistic expression, life skills and critical reasoning, while downplaying traditional testing methods, and it gives teachers autonomy in setting curricula

"We have had a Steiner playgroup here for 10 years with about 21 families in it," Ms Thomson said.

"Pretty much everyone is home-school orientated because the other systems don't meet their needs.

"Many families have left Agnes to go to Noosa or further north for Steiner schools. They aren't provided for here.

"The town is ready."

The school would be classed under the non-for-profit independent school umbrella and funded partly by state and federal governments.

Ms Thomson said there would be a capacity of 30 students at the start, with Prep to Year 3 catered for in the beginning.

She said a focus for the school would be about instilling a life-long love of learning using art, music and movement.

"We want to keep them engaged and working with their imagination rather than using iPads.

"It's about integrating the whole child with every subject rather than just sitting and learning maths.

"They will do the same thing through art or they will sing it instead."

The name of the school has already been blessed by Uncle Merv of the Goorang Goorang people.

Goora Gan, the indigenous name for Agnes Water, means sandy loam.

Ms Thomson said 50 children's names had been put on an expression of interest list at a community meeting.

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