Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Steiner School Open Day

I was all excited to post yesterday but then events intervened - like the three hour power outage, Ginger only taking a 30 minute nap and a trip to the dentist  - after which I had to come home and seek long-distance comfort from my Mum, as DH was not answering his phone. I am such a chicken when it comes to going to the dentist and now I have to go back for dental work on Thursday - nothing major but I had a very bad experience with a dentist as a seven year old and have, consequently, been scarred for life with regard to having any work done:)

Sending Ginger to a Steiner School (or Waldorf as it is known in the States) has been something I (as opposed to we!) have been mulling over for a few years; i.e. before Ginger even arrived on the scene.  I had been really looking forward to going to the Samford Valley Festivalley in a couple of weeks time.  In fact it has been on the calender for over a year.  But, service needs have intervened and DH is now going to be out field when it is on.  And, a 5 hour return trip with Ginger solo does not appeal to me.  So, instead, DH, Ginger and I went to the school open day on the weekend. 

I was so impressed with the school and it has confirmed everything I thought was wonderful about Steiner education.  It is not airy-fairy at all - the standard of the work was amazing.  DH was impressed too and has finally agreed it is a goer at least for primary school.  I was so excited about him being for it - as I have been enthusiastic for a while.  And, while not being dismissive of it, he has not exactly been enamored with the idea. 

Now to just make sure we are in a posting location with a school available!  While steiner and montesorri schools have been able to opt out of the national curriculum (the quality of which I think is questionable anyway - as do my parents both with 30+ years teaching experience) - they are setting up their own national curriculums so Ginger will be no worse off in a steiner school than a conventional school with regards to our regular moves.  Steiner schools do start kids a year later - ie - for Class 1 or Year 1 (here in Australia) they would be turning 7 rather than 6; though as my Mum said (with 35 years of conventional year 1 teaching behind her) a later start would solve half the remedial reading problems (particularly for boys).
Oh, and an apology in advance for the quality of these photos - I only had our point and shoot with me.

Ginger loved the early-childhood classrooms and had a melt down when we had to leave.  She was busy playing with Bertha (her doll - which she carried the whole 3 hours we were there) and the baskets. 

As you can probably tell from the volume of photos I was so inspired by the early childhood space and want to implement the ideas - and more particularly the simplicity in our own home.  I have put DH to work sourcing a circular saw from one of his work colleagues so we can make Ginger some tree-stump blocks!  

The next photos are of a mixture of lower primary classrooms.

Love, love, love the wicker baskets - they are one thing I keep my eye open for at op shops.

I had the Sunday School song - Joshua fought the battle of Jericho... stuck in my head after seeing this.

Isn't that peg idea great!

The school goes right through to year 12, but we got talking to the high school teachers and I forgot to take photos.  Did manage to snap one in the class 5 room (I think - I can't be sure anymore).

I have so much food for thought after our weekend visit.  The school just felt right to us. It might sound odd, but the parent group felt like they fitted us too - and, to be honest, I haven't really yet found my 'people' since Ginger has been born so the potential of finding a group of people I fit with was exciting.   DH even said he would consider Steiner for high school - a concession I never thought I would hear:)


  1. Oh yes, i don't even see these schools as alternative, they are just so damn wholesome & wonderful. Highly consider Essington in Darwin, it's gorgeous, we started there!! It's Montessori but a nice relief from the Army wives & regular primary schools. The atmosphere is gorgeous too.
    But if you do go mainstream, it's completely fine, you can support all the other levels & methods of learning at home, with beautiful wooden toys, reading curled up on a pillow & lovely social interaction. Remember, so much comes from you, even when they are out in the wilderness & independence of school. The only child from our 4 who we'd consider Steiner, she needs discipline & i don't think it would have happened in anything other than a regular primary school (we have amazing beautiful teachers) & her circle of bright happy friends, including her twin sister. You can read your children & as the Army moves you around, you sure get a whole lot of different views & experiences with schools. By the time my son starts high school, it will be our 10th different one, but they have all excelled in all types of schooling, we're lucky & never any bullying or learning issues, they are resilient that is for sure!! Love Posie

  2. I really like the look of the play areas in Steiner schools. It always looks like loads of fun for the little kids.

  3. It looks wonderful! I'm so glad you took so many pictures. I hope you find your people there. I read all about Waldorf schools when I started with my teacher training. I liked so much of what I read.

  4. I tried to comment on your post last week but Blogger wouldn't let me so I will try again!

    I think I visited that school when I was working as a nanny many years ago. It was a lovely school, lucky you to be within driving distance.

    It is hard to find your 'people' isn't it? Everyone parents so differently, I really didn't find mine until my children started school.

    I would love to send my children to a school like that. We compromised and ended up sending our children to a small catholic school (we are out at Ipswich). We are not religious, but it is a lovely community minded school and we are very happy there.