A lower school parent tells us why they have chosen Steiner for their children:

 

I taught in mainstream primary schools for many years and struggled against the tide as creativity and creative teaching were squeezed out in favour of tests and statistics, children being forced to sit still at desks and write at aged 4 and then doing 45 minutes of homework every night in preparation for SATs tests at age 11... All the while my own experience and everything I read about education showed clearly that children learn more quickly (and happily) if reading and writing come at around age 7 and that children learn most through play before that. Children (all of us) learn better when surrounded by nature and when our natural love of learning is nurtured and inspired. And most of all children are all individuals and have different skills, talents, interests and abilities and this should be celebrated and nurtured. I know there are good teachers and good schools bringing together elements of these beliefs and methods but a well run Steiner school starts from these beliefs, meeting the child where they are at and nurturing individual spirit, learning at a pace that fits with natural development, learning through story and through nature in a way that engages and motivates rather than controls and tests. That’s what I want for my children: an education that cares about their spirit and well being, about learning about the world and relationships and creativity as much as academic learning.

 

 

Another lower school parent...

 

I teach University students and I see what is at the end of the academic road for most ‘successful’ students.  I want my children to have more! I want my children to have three strong pillars that I believe will bring them success and happiness:

1. PASSION FOR LEARNING. I don’t want them to just develop their memory and repeat what is in books. I want them to be curious; I want them to be interested; I want them to want to understand! Our school is doing precisely this and it is a priceless gift to my children and my family. For example: they want to understand things such as physics (moving objects and impact) and chemistry (why volcanos develop magma that gets transformed into crystals) without having any idea that these are the two subjects that they are studying.

2. PROACTIVENESS. I don’t want them to use best practices developed by others, I want them to think creatively and outside the box; I want them to be engaged and committed to find solutions; I want them to be resourceful. Our school is doing precisely this. For example: my eight year-old came home the other day home saying that she wanted to do a board game with dinosaurs. She took things from the recycling bin, went to the living room and a while later she came to me with a wonderful board game with 144 spaces, some traps and some rewards and punishments. How amazing is it for a child to be able to design and build her own game to play with her family?

3.  EMPATHY AND CARE FOR THEMSELVES AND OTHERS. I want my children to become their own
best friends and make the best decisions for their health (mental and physical); I want my children to be able to empathise with others’ needs and realities; I want them to care for others with love and respect. I couldn’t think of a better school to provide them with this than ours. For example: My children know what they need to manage their emotions and how to take care of their bodies. Talking about how they are with others: in our school we have children with special needs and my son (11) instead of being annoyed feels immense understanding and compassion. He can put himself in their shoes and to care in an appropriate manner. If he capable to do this at his age, what can he not do when he is older and has a team of people working with him or for him.

 

I STRONGLY BELIEF THAT STEINER ACADEMY EXETER IS GREAT FOR OUR CHILDREN AND it is also great for all the people they will come into contact with. Others will be INSPIRED, TOUCHED, UNDERSTOOD by our children, what a gift to the world. THE NEXT GENERATION OF CHANGE AGENTS IS GROWING IN OUR SCHOOL.

 

There is an African proverb: If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.

 

 

Rachel Farmer

 

Hello. My family’s journey with Exeter Steiner Academy started in 2013 when I started attending a parent and child group. Although, at the time this group wasn’t part of the academy, it later became so. In 2013 as a first time parent I was overwhelmed by information and questions, do’s and don’ts, feelings of judgement and failure. The Steiner parent and child group accepted me and my lively child without judgement and with open arms. I learnt so much from the group leader and the other parents more than I had anywhere else. The group helped me feel supported and confident moving forward as a parent.

In addition, the group introduced me to the ideas of Steiner education. Learning through song and play, valuing everyone and everything, being thankful, listening to children’s needs, working with a child’s strengths... the list goes on. Despite my positive experiences, when the time came to apply for schools I was still very apprehensive about Steiner for a number of reasons; firstly because most people around me thought it was not a good education, secondly because we didn’t live in the area and I worried about my child having friends in our local community and having a 45 minute commute to school each day and finally the unknown: I did not have a Steiner education and was brought up believing it to be a bit of a cult. However, these anxieties soon disappeared when, having viewed three other outstanding primary schools, I finally visited ESA. My son - who is a lively child and doesn’t cope with change or transitions very well - instantly felt at home when he walked around the kindergarten. He talked to other children and joined in with activities. My son chose Steiner Academy Exeter.

 

My son is now in class 1H, his third year at the school. We have had ups and downs, however, I have always consistently felt that my son was valued, the staff educating him took the time to get to know him well and have embraced his style of learning and captured him. My son is thriving at SAE, he is learning, keen to be there, has friends, and most importantly, he is happy. A happy child will learn. We live in such a busy and hectic society... I am guilty of overloading and over-stimulating myself and my children. I am a single working parent who tries to teach self regulation and provide everyone with down time but that’s challenging.

 

I am a social worker and I see first hand families struggling and children suffering with MH problems which I believe (among other factors) to be caused by our current lifestyles and education system. The Steiner community continues to be a huge support for my family. I now attend the SAE parent and child group with my second child who I very much hope has the opportunity to experience a SAE education. I am not naive and thinking that the school is without problems, nor do I disregard the Ofsted Report however, it doesn’t match up with my experience of this school. I support Steiner Academy Exeter 100% and feel that should it not remain open it would be at huge detriment to the city.



Anna Goudge  

 

I currently have 2 boys attending SAE in KG and class 1. I have chosen steiner education for them because of the emphasis on imagination and creativity. I want my child to experience a wealth of crafts and meaningful tasks, To see and be part of a world where such a carefully thought out curriculum which spans the developing consciousness of the human being is being methodically played out in the childhood developmental stages. I want my children to knit, paint, sing, play instruments, weave, garden, build, dance, recite poetry, draw and create EVERYDAY! I also want them to develop social skills in an environment where they are valued and can flourish as individuals and where their teachers really know them and meditate on them.

 

I also do not want screen time for my children until they are much older. No other school offers this or would accommodate for this. I want to be part of the school community where we work together to help create an amazing environment for our kids to grow up. This is why I have chosen a steiner school!

 

 

Kate McCaig

 

In this fast paced rapidly changing world we chose Steiner as an education and way of life for our children and ourselves:

to teach a deep connection with the natural world and instill a sense of love and awe for it;

to preserve our children’s childhood and to let them be children;

to give them time to put their roots down and become happy and comfortable with themselves and being in society;

to not push them into excessive testing or make them learn things before they are fully ready (by then they have such an energy and excitement to learn it flows through them);

to give them a life long passion for learning.

 

I believe we are helping the future, health, happiness and success of our children, our society and our planet by slowing down childhood and giving them this amazing educational experience.



 

Another lower school parent...

 

My partner and I were privately educated in the UK. Our education consisted largely of a high pressure, exam passing regime with little freedom for self expression and even less opportunity to really know ourselves. As a consequence we threw ourselves into careers blindly wanting to please our 'success-hungry' parents. Retrospectively, I would have loved more time for self reflection and for that accelerator pedal to have eased a little so that I could know myself and allow my natural skill set and talents to develop and determine my path.


For our children we have opted to ease that pressure and give them a Steiner education. This approach fosters a love of learning by igniting curiosity rather than pushing them to learn by rote to regurgitate facts and learn to pass exams. 

The Steiner ethos encourages the individual to work in a team and to problem solve. It promotes critical thinking, resilience and adaptability. Ultimately it gives them a depth of understanding which the national curriculum cannot offer. Steiner children are treated as individuals, enabling them to use their innate skills and talents. The curriculum has an extensive outdoor element which allows the children a greater understanding of their environment and the seasons. The children in a Steiner class work well together and display a kindness and empathy which prepares them to beome conscientious, valued members of society.

 

Another lower school parent...

 

I love Steiner education and feel that it is the only type of education I want for my son. He is 7 and has been in the Steiner
Academy Exeter since he started school at age 4. We moved to Exeter for the school and i was so grateful to have a Steiner education for him that i did not have to pay for. 

The curriculum meets the child where they are, it moves as they grow and is so enhancing for them. The methods of teaching are full of connection and feeling in the lower school. I like it inparticular that the child is not pushed to be too intellectual too soon. Yet they do still learn, deeply. 

I believe that many parts of Steiner education could be incorporated into a school which is free for the families and those
children would really benefit from that. I hope to see the Steiner Academy Exeter being one of those schools. 

 

 

Upper school parents tell us why they chose Steiner here