Italy: Located amidst the mountains of Italy’s northern province of South Tyrol is the Waldorf Upper School Bolzano (WOB). The school operates in this trilingual area since 2006 with the aim to help young people to successfully make the transition into adult life with joy, motivation and good preparation. Currently about 140 students attend the five classes following the call of their school’s slogan: “with creativity to graduation!”
In September 2004, two parents of the Waldorf School in Merano decided that in the long term they would like to establish a Waldorf upper school (Classes 9 – 13), offering the possibility to graduate. First they founded the umbrella organization of the school, to which the Waldorf teacher training in Bolzano (WAB) belongs as well. This institution offers a two-year part time course for aspiring Waldorf teachers comprising 22 modules.
In September 2006, the Waldorf Upper School Bolzano started with a Class 9 and six students in the garden shed of the "Christian Morgenstern" Waldorf School in Merano. It thus became the second Waldorf Upper School in Italy apart from Milan.
Since June 2007, the initiative is working on its own premises in Bolzano and since December 2009, the school is officially recognized as an independent school in South Tyrol. This means it is part of the educational landscape of South Tyrol and entitled to state support.
One aspect that is very important to the school is international cooperation. WOB is therefore well connected to the Innsbruck Waldorf School in Austria and cooperates with them, for example, for the Class 9 art trip. Furthermore there exists a good cooperation with initiatives in Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland - especially with regard to placements for the compulsory agricultural internship.
In addition to the regular subjects such as mathematics, physics or chemistry, the upper school also includes practical subjects such as basket weaving, forging and even the art of sword fighting. The goal is to provide the students with a broad range of skills and abilities.