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Home: Freunde Waldorf

“Raduga“ – A Rainbow in Voronezh

Russia: Since its founding in 1993, the Waldorf School in Voronezh bears the name “Rainbow”. The deeper root of the word “Raduga” is “rad”, which means “joy”. Thus, it is one of the essential goals of the school to provide joy to the families that are part of the school community. Currently the Raduga Waldorf School operates with twelve grades.

The Raduga School is located in a region that is still strongly characterized by the thought patterns of Soviet education policy. Liberal ideas about education and alternative school models are under scrutiny and often fought against. As a result the school always has to fight for its recognition.

Since 2014 the school operates in its own building, which was funded with the help of the Friends of Waldorf Education. When entering, the first thing visitors’ see is a large wooden sculpture depicting three female figures: the Egyptian Queen Isis, Mary and the highly revered Russian Goddess Sophia. It is a gift of the German sculptor and Waldorf teacher Peter Lampasiak, which serves as the symbol of the school community.

The school celebrates traditional festivities such as “Maslenitsa”, the Russian Pancake week that marks the beginning of the Great Lent. On the first day of the festival week the Maslenitsa, a large doll symbolizing the epitome of winter, will appear on the schoolyard. Each day of the week has a different theme: outdoor games, sledding, mutual visits of classes, pancake baking. The big Maslenitsa school party is celebrated at the end of the week on Sunday. Then the community lights a big fire in the schoolyard and burns the doll, accompanied by old Russian songs, which are traditionally sung at this festival. At the end everyone jumps over the fire. It is said all people jumping over the fire loose their sins.

The rainbow also shines bright during the warmer months when virtually all classes go on multi-day hiking trips, go camping or simply go travelling. The Russian landscape offers many opportunities for hikes or even canoeing trips. In the beautiful mountains students and adults get to know their limits, practice social skills, achieve independence and come back home with unforgettable impressions of nature.

During high school all students complete three internships (agricultural, industrial and social internships). In grade 12 the presentations of the student projects bring closure, as students prepare to take their final state exams. Internships and projects as an integral part of high school education are unfortunately not common yet in all Russian Waldorf Schools.