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Steiner education

(36 Posts)
savidgerl Wed 17-Aug-05 14:54:22

Does anyone here have any experience of steiner schools, either as a pupil or parent? Thanks

Mummyvicky Wed 17-Aug-05 15:13:53

My mum is a Steiner teacher and we discuss alot of the beliefs...is there anything in particular you wanted to know ?
Vicky

desperatehousewife Wed 17-Aug-05 15:16:38

I have no idea what they are, but I live within a 5 minute walk of one and have always wondered l- it's an 'alterntive' way of teaching is that right? What happens at GCSE and A Level time?

hellsbells4 Wed 17-Aug-05 15:18:05

my cousin (now aged 40+) had a steiner education in sussex and says it was the wrong thing for him. He is very conventional and goals orientated and he found it too 'liberal' - just didn't suit him.

Mummyvicky Wed 17-Aug-05 15:21:43

One of the main beliefs is that children shouldn't even begin to learn how to read or write until their second teeth come through at aprox 7 yrs old. Until this age they only do creative classes such as music art etc etc.
They dont take Gcses or A levels although some steiner schools are introducing a selective few if students wish to take them- but it's their choice.

expatinscotland Wed 17-Aug-05 15:25:05

Sounds perfect for DD. But I could never afford it, unfortunately.

savidgerl Wed 17-Aug-05 15:31:28

My son loves books and we read to him everyday. He's 13 months old. If he wants to read earlier than seven would this be discouraged?

savidgerl Wed 17-Aug-05 15:37:23

I guess I am looking for a school that will enthuse a love for learning. I don't think taking SATS in the state system is conducive to that.

Mummyvicky Wed 17-Aug-05 15:38:41

I loved reading books from the age of 4, so Steiner education would have been rubbish to me.

I think they will let you look at books but dont endorse any teaching of HOW to actually read them. Steiner believed that a childs mouth isn't ready to read until the second teeth came through..no idea why !
The other strange beliefs are that dolls for children shouldn't have faces as it hinders their imagination, also no tv video games etc- which ins't necessarily that bad !
Also a strong belief in celebrating nature and some of the lesser known festivals- involving jumping over bonfires!

savidgerl Wed 17-Aug-05 15:49:20

I've looked at their website. I like a lot of what they say but some stuff seems a bit weird, stuff about reincarnation. DH would not be happy if they taught that.

Mummyvicky Wed 17-Aug-05 15:54:08

I like alot of the aspects, but its the reading/writing thing that I disagree with the most. Yes they are very big on rebirth and things like that- i think the jumping over a bonfire is about rebirth......
Have you looked into other private schools in your area ?

Mummyvicky Wed 17-Aug-05 15:56:53

\link{http://www.freedom-in-education.co.uk/Steiner.htm\
This answers most questions and has about Rudolph steiner himself..i hope that link worked..Im useless at it !!
Vicky xx

FairyMum Wed 17-Aug-05 16:09:11

Remember it's based on Anthroposophy. Not my cup of tea. I have several friends who have gone to the Steiner school. IME they severly lack general knowledge and contrary to the belief that the Steiner school foster individuals, I think they are scarily the same actually. I think the pupils often have resourceful and well-educated parents and some I know have gone there because they have been really clever and conventional school would have bored them. I think Jimjams is quite pro Steiner. I remember having a debate with her on this previously and she said contrary to what I think, that a lot of pupils went on to do really well. She had the stats and I only have my opinion, so she might be better to listen to

frogs Wed 17-Aug-05 16:23:01

Message withdrawn

Jimjams Wed 17-Aug-05 16:32:48

FM-I've been on the outskirts of a couple of Steiner schools and found them wildly different. The one I went to in London was very accepting of ds1 at a very difficult time for us. The one I've been to recently was far more insular and far more dogmatic and doctrinated (we looked at it for ds2 but decided against it).

So I've come to the conclusion that it depends on the school. In Germany where its very mainstream I suspect its less extreme and probably a great education system. Here, think it depends on the school.

Certianly people did leave the school doown here to do high achieving things- although they may have spent a year collecting exams so been a year behind. I don't really think that matters though.

savidgerl Wed 17-Aug-05 16:43:04

It's interesting that the government seems pretty positive about steiner education. Hopefully the more positve aspects of steiner might trickle into mainstream education by the time DS is ready for school.

savidgerl Wed 17-Aug-05 16:43:50

It's interesting that the government seems pretty positive about steiner education. Hopefully the more positve aspects of steiner might trickle into mainstream education by the time DS is ready for school.

emkana Wed 17-Aug-05 19:48:29

Steiner/Waldorf Schools aren't that mainstream in Germany, tbh, even though there might be more of them around. They are still very much set apart from the "normal" schools, and pupils who went to these schools often struggle when they have to gain the "Abitur" (equivalent to A level) at the end of their time at Waldorf schools.

frogs Wed 17-Aug-05 22:22:12

Savidgerl, mainstream isn't that scary! It just looks that way when you have a littlie because you can't imagine your precious cuddly baby racing round a crowded playground shouting and pushing with the best of them. But he will, he will...

Re. SATS you need to pick your school. Good schools treat SATS in the way they deserve, ie. as a useful measure of how the school and the individual child are doing, but no more than that. In many cases the chlidren will not even be aware that they are doing them, particularly in Year 2. And frankly, by Y6, a reasonably bright child who has been reasonably well-taught should be able to cope with a KS2 SATs paper. They're not rocket science.

If you're really looking for a non-mainstream experience that isn't as left-field as Steiner and doesn't have all the quasi-religious trappings, they are out there (though probably not in the State system). There are plenty of montessori schools, and other schools with a strong arts/creative bias. Does vary according to where in the country you are, though.

charliecat Wed 17-Aug-05 22:29:58

I had a neighbours, whos daughter when to a steiner school, she was schizophrenic, had been diagnosed at 3 and SS or whoever, paid for her ot go and to travel from central scotland to auchteradder...(miles away in scotland IIRC it was there)...I always thought the steiners schools were special schools because of this. Why would she have been sent there?

Heathcliffscathy Wed 17-Aug-05 22:37:03

diagnosed schizophrenic at 3!!???? I would seriously question the diagnosis of any prepubescent child as schizophrenic........

charliecat Wed 17-Aug-05 22:39:47

I was a kiddie myself and grew up with her, all i can remeber from adult conversations was that at age 3 she had lifted her mum and the arm chair up
As a playmate she was obsessed with computers spectrums etc and chocolate. She rocked back and firsth constantly, you got used to it afeter a while, her mum did too strangely..hmm...beginning to wonder whether the rich nanna didnt pay for the schooling. Lost touch now.

Jimjams Wed 17-Aug-05 22:50:21

sounds like she might have been autistic. it used to be called/misdiagnosed childhood schizophrenia. The schools still suit some on the spectrum. Rhythmn is important in the Steiner curriculum and they can be more tolerant of people who don't quite fit the groove. I know some very high functioning children have done well at steiner schools (also small classes and same teacher for 7 years can be helpful to those on the spectrum). m

charliecat Wed 17-Aug-05 22:52:14

My brother is a paranoid schizophrenic and theres no comparison between them really. Think you could be right there JJ.

charliecat Wed 17-Aug-05 22:54:10

I always thought she was Billy Connollys daughter She had the same accent, the same noce and you know hes a bit bizarre on stage and Daddy was never in the picture or mentioned...lol

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