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Portugal: Together into the future

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Escola Waldorf a Oliveira was founded 15 years ago and in the course of its development, it has had to spread over three different locations near Lagos. Now it has finally been possible to acquire a plot of land in the neighbourhood of the kindergarten, where the school's nine classes have space together.

Waldorf education began in south-western Europe at the end of the 1980s. For a long time, the aftermath of the dictatorship prevented a pluralistic development of education in Portugal. Finally, in 2008, the Waldorf School began in Figuera, not far from Lagos. The school is now called Escola Waldorf a Oliveira. Among the hills that protect the countryside from the sharp winds that blow off the coast, a few determined parents and teachers built a primary school. Today, the school goes up to grade 9. The beginnings required courage and perseverance. In the meantime, the school has become so well known that parents move into the area just because of it. The large number of students led to the school being divided into three locations: the lower school (grades 1 to 5) is in Figuera, grades 6 to 9 in Vila de Bispo and the kindergarten in Monte Judeu. There, in Monte Judeu, the school was able to acquire the site of a disused ice factory. There is enough space here for the entire school. The warehouses and other buildings on the site now need to be rebuilt and adapted. "For many years, the use of the site in Monte Judeu seemed like a distant dream whose seeds were sown deep in the earth," the school management team reports in an email. "We are very grateful that this shared dream has awoken and is now taking root." The acquisition of the land was also made possible by grants from the Friends of Waldorf Education.

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