Breaking Ground at Sunfield Garden School


Headteacher: Jessica Lesniak

Deputy Headteacher and Pastoral Lead: Rich Vincent

Deputy Headteacher and SENCO: William Tranter

Designated Safeguarding Lead: Toni Welch

Designated Attendance Lead: Toni Welch

Head of Care: Sarah Marshall

Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO): William Tranter

Director of Schools: Tara Gratton

Chair of the Board of Directors: Helen Kippax

Clerk to the Board of Trustees: Solene Mosley

Proprietor: Sunfield Children’s Home Ltd

Age Range: 6-19

Local Authority: Worcestershire

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On Thursday 29 June 2023, Sunfield hosted a Breaking Ground event to mark the first ‘spade in the ground’ after being granted planning permission for the new lower school. Breaking Ground was a significant event in the timeline of Sunfield, celebrating its journey to date and its future within Ruskin Mill Trust for the benefit of our pupils.

The event was beautiful, uplifting and basked in sunshine. Guests included staff, parents and pupils, but also external benefactors, local councillors and valued anthroposophical members. Aonghus Gordon and Tara Gratton introduced the vision for the new lower school as well as the other projects, which include the refurbishment of the upper schools, new barns for the farm, a new social enterprise centre, the extension of the shop and a research centre. The new research centre will be joining our three research centres in England, Wales and Scotland. The new café and the expansion of the shop will provide a social enterprise opportunity for pupils, connecting them to the local Clent community and strengthening this relationship between the school and the public.

There were talks from Richard Tucker on the transformative impact that the new Holistic Support and Care house has had on staff development, as well as the transformative potential of metal colour light therapy, which will soon be offered at Sunfield under his leadership. Victoria Reakes and Phil Forder spoke about the successful implementation and delivery of the contemporary Steiner Teacher Training course for teaching staff, and Ed Berger spoke on the significance of Genius Loci in understanding how the spirit of place offers learning opportunities. Di Pauli spoke about colour light therapy and how it benefits our pupils through intensive interaction, and finally, Dr Troy Vine gave a presentation on projective geometry.

The event closed with a beautiful performance of eurythmy and poetry from Ursula Werner. Guests then gathered for a delicious buffet dinner, prepared by Aimee Bensley, using biodynamic and organic produce from Sunfield, GHC and other RMT provisions. The Breaking Ground celebration marked an important milestone in the journey of Sunfield that recently celebrated its 92nd birthday. It follows on from the Recasting event of 2018.

Pupils and staff singing

Musical performance by Sunfield pupils and staff

Sunfield Lower School plans. Illustration: Dilly Williams