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steiner schools

(35 Posts)
Chundle Thu 11-Oct-12 10:50:54

Anyone any knowledge of the above? We have a new free academy Steiner opening next year in our city. Considering if it may be an option for dd2 since conventional teaching doesn't seem to be her thing. Thoughts for and against are welcome

bochead Thu 11-Oct-12 11:42:47

I have major ideological issues with some of the fundamental tenants of Steiner education, notably on Anthroposophy & race. I'd feel the same about an education movement founded by Scientologists. When I went to look at my local school, I was left uncomfortable at the notion of having to sign up to supporting a philosophy I vehemently oppose. It's a very personal thing.

DS is ASD and needs a more structured approach than Steiner Schools provide.

Despite my reservations I can see how they might benefit some children patently unsuited to the mainstream sausage machine.

merlincat Thu 11-Oct-12 12:10:44

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Chundle Thu 11-Oct-12 12:13:27

Ok thank you guys very useful. I am very anti racist so perhaps not for us then and we can't afford Montessori sadly. Was only looking into it as was going to be a free academy. Not to worry sad back to the drawing board!

zzzzz Thu 11-Oct-12 13:21:24

I looked at Steiner and decided it wasn't for us. Parts of it are intriguing but ultimately not scientific enough for me, and frankly a bit wierd and unpalatable.

Montessori has been of huge benefit (only at home there isn't one nearby) so far. It is tempting ds back to me. I wish I had time to learn how to do it properly, but ds needs it now. So we muddle on.

Chundle Thu 11-Oct-12 13:56:24

Thanks zzz it seems to have some good points going for it its shame the bad seems to outweigh the good

zzzzz Thu 11-Oct-12 14:25:59

I think the good bits are idealised family life. But there is nothing (apart from utter exhaustion) to stop o creatingh at home. To me it was a bit lik Home educating, but outsourced. (stay with me I know that sounds contradictory). The teache takes on a parenting role, the children are grouped in family style groupings, the home setting is wholesome and children participate in life skills activities.

None of that is bad, but we have a home. We have our own morality, and beliefs. I read lots about Steiner education, but ultimately felt my take on life was better, and better suited to my children.

StarlightMcKenzie Thu 11-Oct-12 14:36:29

Nope. Steiner is scary.

Chundle Thu 11-Oct-12 14:48:20

Damn why couldn't it have been a free Montessori academy instead?!!!!!

MsNg Thu 11-Oct-12 14:53:27

Crosses local Steiner school off list of possible options for DS. That was timely I was thinking of visiting it next week.

StarlightMcKenzie Thu 11-Oct-12 14:55:05

Steiners have shared with me many times why my Ds has autism.

If you add them up it would appear that overall it was modern living that has caused it.

Whilst this probably isn't too far off the mark for some autisms, I don't like being told I caused it by allowing plastics in the home, commuting whilst pregnant, using wifi or whatever.

zzzzz Thu 11-Oct-12 15:20:25

I think that every morning chundle.

I wish I had the know how to set one up, but I am shattered just living my own life at the moment.

Those who have the need don't have the time, those that have the time don't see the need.......and in between there are the carrots.

Chundle Thu 11-Oct-12 17:11:04

Ooooh zzzz move near me and we will set one up together ;)

Starlight def isn't for me then I wouldn't like to be told that either!

zzzzz Thu 11-Oct-12 21:30:22

I'm not so far away, but I need to do a year with ds to see what progress we can make.

Also "over stretched" doesn't really cover Madison de zzzzz.

JosephineGreye Thu 18-Oct-12 13:43:25

My family’s experiences at our local Steiner School have been overwhelmingly positive. They are thriving and happy boys with close relationships to their classmates, teachers and the school community. My younger son has been all through at the school from age 3 to (currently 7). My older son had two years in the local primary (age 7-9) following his time at the Steiner Kindergarten. Though he thrived academically, his individuality and creativity were definitely stifled and he just seemed to lose his spark and interest. He’s moved back to the Steiner School at age 9 and is absolutely flourishing and has rediscovered his enthusiasm and love of learning.

It’s a shame that in the UK Steiner education has attracted this ‘weirdy’ stigma, often just through ‘what a friend of a friend’ said, or what someone has read on the Internet. The problem is exacerbated by a small number of very vocal and prolific self-styled Steiner-Waldorf critics. They’re individuals who spend a great deal of time looking on internet discussion boards for posts about Steiner Education, in order to post negative and off-putting comments. Some have had negative experiences at Steiner schools and often generalise these experiences to cover “all” Steiner schools or Steiner education. Some actually have no experience of Steiner schools whatsoever, and really are more critical of anthroposophy than of Waldorf education. Unfortunately it can make it virtually impossible to have any meaningful or genuine discussion online, and for people like yourself who are trying to figure out what is right for your child means that Steiner Education can be ruled out based on internet platitudes alone. If you’re looking at your local Steiner School, visit, then spend time there (as you would at any school, right?) and meet your child’s future teachers. If it hasn’t opened yet visit other Steiner Schools, they have regular Open Days. Talk to parents and students. Gather information and make the decision based on your own experience and your own thinking of what’s right for your child. Good luck x

JosephineGreye Thu 18-Oct-12 13:46:13

Oh and on the race issue, it's worth me saying that my boys are half indian and at their Steiner School one of their teachers is indian and the other half palestinian.

StarlightMcKenzie Thu 18-Oct-12 14:14:28

Interesting accusation Josephine that people trawl the internet to post negative stuff about steiner schools. The people on this thread are regular posters, not self-styled anti-steiner critics.

I note your one and only mumsnet post however, being positive about steiner.

May I suggest that it is perhaps you, rather than us, trawlling the internet to serve propaganda!?

zzzzz Thu 18-Oct-12 14:32:02

josephine definitely not trawling the Internet to anti Steiner. I'm glad it is working for you and yours. smile

Can you give us the benefit of your experience?

Are there any children at your school with significant disabilities?

What do their parents feel about their progress?

What do you feel about them being at school?

How are they included and accomodated?

Help us to understand.

I have posted with all but MsNg on this board (sn children) for a long time (months and years rather than weeks) so we genuinely are exploring options not looking for a fight.

JosephineGreye Thu 18-Oct-12 15:57:42

Hi, I wasn't suggesting that the posters here are self-styled critics, and I can only give the perspective from our School, but if it helps I am happy to give more info...We have/ have had children with downs, cerebal palsy, ADHD and autism, but what tends to happen is that the LEA will fund their one to one / learning assistants until age 5 but then won't after age 5 as we are a 'private' school. This means that we can't fulfil their SEN statement and sadly they cannot continue (legally as an SEN is a legal document). Their parents were really pleased with their progress but really sad when the LEA funding stopped and they had to move to mainstream. I am delighted with them being at the school, and I think all the other parents are too. They are welcomed and included as any other family is, and most have stayed in touch. Two former parents are currently volunteering at the School despite their children having moving onto mainstream where they have 20 hours one to one support a week. If the LEA could provide that for them to stay here that would be amazing. But of course one size doesn't fit all, and it may not be suitable for every child, you just have to check it out and see for yourselves I think smile

StarlightMcKenzie Thu 18-Oct-12 16:16:33

Jo Did you know that it is the LA's responsibility to adhere to the statement, not the school's, so if the school do not have the funding to employ a 1:1, the Local Authority is duty-bound to do so.

A child cannot be asked to leave any school on the basis of funding as that is discriminatory. What if the child was a wheelchair user? Would they be asked to leave because the school didn't want to put in a slope? No, because that would be illegal.

zzzzz Thu 18-Oct-12 16:23:14

Sounds interesting.

It seems a pity that the parent body is not able to pick up the slack.
If all that is standing in the way is 20 hours TA time?

How do you feel about the most vulnerable members of your school community are culled from the student population in this way?

I'm impressed that your school have had so many students with statements under 5. It is unusual as far as I can see for things to be in place for the start of year 1. They must be very on the ball.

zzzzz Thu 18-Oct-12 16:27:18

Sorry I've just read through the thread again. Do you mean you have absolutely no disabled children over the age of 5 in your school? shock

JosephineGreye Thu 18-Oct-12 16:40:12

Hi Starlight that's interesting about the LA being duty bound to fund the 1:1, I'll pass that onto the parents. Do you know anyone who has succesfully got them to do that and firther info if so? I know a couple of our parents tried but didn't succeed. ZZZZZ. We have had other parents volunteer to cover some of the hours but couldn't manage to do it for the whole 20 on a regular basis. I am gutted that the children had to leave. Not all the kids have had statments. Some didn't have them at all till they got to 5, then once they were assessed had a long list of requirements and had to go into mainstream to get the funding to fulfil them. I'm no expert in this area, just giving you my own experiences, so please don't drill me too hard. I've been too scared to post on mumsnet before unless i get called upon to be the defender of all things steiner, or drawn upon to dicsuss the finer aspects of specific Steiner lectures smile

JosephineGreye Thu 18-Oct-12 16:48:17

Of course we have kids with mild disabilities, but anyone with significant input needs from specialist areas can't take bring their funding with them here so can't access the services they need (specialist SLT etc). Maybe in the new state funded Steiner Schools things are different. I think the main thing here is it's the funding approach that seems to be the problem not schools admissions. Can I hop off the discussion at this point. I think I've covered as much as I know on this topic, and don't want to start wading on on things I don;t know more about. Thanks for listening. Happy to talk about other aspects smile

StarlightMcKenzie Thu 18-Oct-12 16:57:36

Thanks for your contribution. The thing is though, that the the OP was looking into Steiner as an option for her child who has a disability, so the disability aspect is actually relevant to everything that we might want to discuss.

In summary, it was concluded that she shouldn't go anywhere near a Steiner school with a child with a disability and your posts support that.

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