Vicki Wong

 

My son is in his final year at Steiner Academy Exeter, he joined the school in September 2014 and it was the best decision
that we have made. I first read up about Steiner school from newspaper articles and did research online and found that this type of education is right for my son who lacks concentration. When my son first started, he didn’t really like it as it was so different to the mainstream school that he had attended, he would come home and ask to be taken out of Steiner and transfer to a normal secondary school, the reason was ‘they don’t do much in class’, ‘l have already learnt that in primary  school’ and ‘there’s no homework mama'. I was worried too and thought to myself ‘what have I done’. We talked about it and agreed to another term and if it’s still the same then we would remove him from Steiner. Not long after February half-term everything changed, ‘I really like this school’ he said, ‘it’s so cool that I was learning different shapes for maths whilst we were outside’, I was so pleased, he would come home and tell me what he gets up to and be amazed by it, and also get on with his homework without me asking him to and declined my offer to help him.

 

I am so happy that he is happy and enjoying school and wanting to learn, I am pleased to say Steiner Education has taught him where he is today and it was the right choice for him.

 

Chloe Wilson

 

I initially chose this school because they let the children play outside and get muddy and they aren’t made to wear uniforms or say ‘Sir’ or ‘Miss’: it is not like joining the army. But some of the Steiner teachers have blown me away with their ability to care about all their students; their ability to inspire and lead. I had no idea such teaching was possible. The time given to drama had massive payback in terms of relationships and acceptance of each other. The time spent outside meant the time inside was calmer. The singing together bred harmony. The time spent making work books beautiful created pride in their work. The willingness to sacrifice lesson plans in favour of spontaneous digressions built trust and support for the teachers. 

 

This is a place of profound learning and community. The children who have received an all through Steiner education stand out from the crowd: they are calmer and surer, they have more trust in themselves and in their adults. This education is more humane than regular UK schooling and I wish more young people could experience it. 

 

I want this school to suceed and to somehow retain (or regain) the freedoms that have made it the only school for us. In the words of Jay Griffiths (Kith 2013) 'Tightly constrained by the enfeebling of a risk-averse, health-and-safety-obessessed society, many children are unable to light fires, paddle canoes, make shelters, use knives or cope with darkness...Rather than learning to trust their own judgement...children are taught to obey the signs of the authorities instead...this is about far more than merely living in a culture where people are ready to sue at the drop of a hat. This is about insidiously demanding that children must always seek permission for the most trivial of actions, that they must obey the commands of others at every turn. Children today are not being beaten into submission but being eroded into it. The risk-averse society creates a docility and a loss of autonomy...the one thing which truely makes children safe is their own competence, their own capability, their authentic skills in meeting the asymmetry, irregularity and unpredicatability of life.' 

 

 

Parents of Steiner Academy Exeter Graduates share their stories here