The Dendê da Serra School
Dendê da Serra School is a philanthropic social project which works to contribute to the reduction of social inequality by applying a quality education which is accessible for everyone. It includes Early Childhood Education and Elementary Education.
Today, the school counts 240 students from 3 to 16 years, the majority being children from least privileged families of the local communities, who have scholarships to study. The other students, are children of collaborators or parents who pay and support the project.
The Associação Pedagógica Dendê da Serra maintains the school, counting with the participation of parents, teachers and other supporters of the school when it comes to planning of strategies and organizing the School Community.
Teaching is based on the anthroposophical pedagogy (Waldorf Pedagogy) which includes contents of the regular curriculum and further offers a lot of other practical and artistic activities, enabling the children’s more holistic development. For example, there are subjects like theater, dance, painting, drawing, craftsmanship, (sewing, crochet, knitting), applied arts - wood, body expression, gardening and ecological agriculture. The school’s principles seek to promote social integration of children of different socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds, prioritizing the ones from low-income households. As a result of this work, the school won the recognition of two international organizations. Ashoka and Alana, as one of the 21 ‘Changemaker Schools’ of Brazil.
Waldorf education is not just a school system but an art which aims to awaken what really lies within each human being. Based on the human and world views of the Austrian philosopher Rudolf Steiner (1861 – 1925), Waldorf Pedagogy’s main goal is the child’s holistic development through a collective and healthy rhythm, corresponding to the needs of the different age groups.
Nowadays there are Waldorf Schools all around the world, building a growing independent education network. In 1998 the Federação das Escolas Waldorf in Brazil was founded, being the responsible entity for all the Waldorf Schools in the country. One of its goals is the integration of this pedagogy into Brazilian society.
the history of our school
Dendê da Serra School began its work in the barn of a farm in 2001. The children were attending a local rural school which included various grades in one class. Shortly after, a new class of Early Childhood Education was started. Thanks to donations and several supporters, the school managed to move to its own location in the following years. Situated in the middle of the Atlantic Rainforest, there is a lot of space, with plenty of green vegetation. In this movement, the class rooms could finally be adapted to the pedagogical needs.
With 20 years of existence, the school is improving its work in the fields of education and social integration in the Environmentally Protected Area (APA) Itacaré - Serra Grande. It is meeting the needs and the potentials of this very region which carries its proper sociocultural heritage, taken to the school by its students. In that sense, the school has become an international example of a communal and philanthropic Waldorf School.