Czech Republic: The Primary and Secondary Waldorf School is, in a way, a unique educational endeavour in the small town of Semily, which lies in the beautiful foothills of the Giants Mountains in the north of the Czech Republic, about an hour drive north from Prague. The school encompasses 9 classes at the primary level and 4 classes at the Upper School, where a college of about 25 teachers provide Waldorf education for 300 pupils and students. Approximately half of all students do not live in Semily and commute daily from far and wide.
During the era of communism, a group of underground antroposophists led by a charismatic personality of Dr. Josef Bartos, began to meet, absorbing and discussing the ideas of Rudolf Steiner. Shortly after the Velvet Revolution in 1992, resulting from these inspiring sessions, a Waldorf Kindergarten and Primary School was founded by a group of enthusiastic teachers and parents. Interestingly, the building in which the school found its home was the former communist party county headquarters.
In 2007, following many negotiations and a reconstruction of an old school building funded by generous gifts from Software AG Foundation and the support from local authorities, Waldorf Lyceum opened its doors to Class 10 students.
The school is a member of Czech association of Waldorf Schools, in which it plays an important role. Soon the initiative will begin hosting a teacher-training seminar for aspiring Waldorf teachers. Already now the school organizes a number of yearly workshops, lectures and seminars, inviting guest speakers both locally and internationally.
Unique is also the success of the still quite young initiative. The school is proud to be consistently among the schools with the best Final Exam results in the North Bohemian region. And also financially speaking the school operates on a good basis, as it is fully funded by the state.