From our parents:
“In her own words; ‘I only followed my brother here because it seemed like fun‘.
Indeed our daughter would probably not have embarked on her Steiner journey if it had not been for the experience of her younger brother. He would come home from his mainstream primary school with grey skin and red eyes, unable to engage and missing out on foundational learning. As parents we had no reason through his early years to feel that he would have special educational needs and came to Steiner where an auditory processing difference was quickly identified; not a special educational need, but a difference which was not just addressed but celebrated as part of the Steiner ethos. That central ethos; nurturing and educating children as intellectual, emotional, physical and spiritual individuals had us hooked. Most importantly, the Steiner education was enabling our son to find who he was and to begin his own learning journey.
Our daughter completed her mainstream primary education and at that stage, aged 11, she decided to join her brother at Norwich Steiner School. She quickly built positive relationships with her classmates and enjoyed all of the diverse opportunities presented to work with and learn from each other.
A trip to Hadrians Wall, cycling to Stiffkey on the North Norfolk Coast and a week on a working farm in Devon were just a few of the highlights. As part of a comparatively small peer group the opportunities to understand and to celebrate difference have been all the more acute. Working with others is a fundamental life skill which is embedded early at Steiner.
The Steiner certificate [the NZCSE] has given our daughter the opportunity to show her abilities, to evidence what she has learned and to work to deadlines. She has a portfolio of evidence for that learning that she can share with those she might wish to work for or as a gateway for further education. Her graduation this summer was a proud day. If we had ever doubted the merits of a Steiner education the evidence of the confident young woman our daughter has become was apparent in her positive and thoughtful speech.
We would like to thank all who have been involved in the Norwich Steiner movement for the gift of lifelong learning that our daughter has embraced.
“Our experience of the Norwich Steiner School has been overwhelmingly positive. Our daughter joined a class where all the young people had known each other for years, but she was immediately integrated and made to feel welcome. The teaching was excellent and struck me as much more varied and applicable to life than in mainstream education. Our daughter was still able to specialise in certain subjects but received a far broader mix than if she had been doing A levels. Most importantly, the pastoral care was the best I have ever encountered in a school. Our daughter was celebrated for who she is, and all the staff made a real effort to know and understand her. There is a wonderful family feel to the school. She was well supported through the University application process and got into her first choice, as did all the others who applied in her year. Both she, and we as parents, could not have asked for a better way to end her school journey. I only wish she had gone all the way through the Steiner system!”
“I feel that, were our son at the local primary, being a boy, he would have been labeled as somehow difficult, which I know he can be, from a teacher’s point of view. But his ‘creative answering’ of questions is turned positive within Steiner education. We are very happy with Norwich Steiner School’s ethos and are very happy to recommend this school and form of education.”
“Two years of home-educating my son after his previous school closed, gave us the opportunity when we moved to Norwich to explore the education that was offered at the Norwich Steiner school.
My son is quite an ‘individual’ and would flounder quickly in a mainstream setting, but as soon as we walked into the school I knew we had found the perfect place that would allow him to flourish and learn.
He loves coming to Norwich Steiner School and in the time he has been here has changed from a quiet, introverted child into a bright, lively and confident individual with a breadth of knowledge and talents that far exceeds any expectations I had when he joined.
There are many children like my son who would benefit from the education available at Norwich Steiner School, and with an upper school, I think it would become a viable alternative for many who might otherwise have been concerned at having to move their child at 13/14.
The opportunity to leave the school with an excellent recognised diploma rather than the pressures of GCSE testing is something that I and many others I have talked to would prefer for their children and I fully support the plans for the Upper school.”
“We intend our daughter to continue being educated to 18 years with the Norwich Steiner School. Steiner education has been a steep learning curve for us. Our daughter, for a variety of reasons failed to thrive in mainstream and before finding the Steiner school had moved school four times. We were on the verge of home educating when we heard about the Steiner school and came for an open day. We suddenly saw a school where she would be given the chance to thrive without negative pressure and the constant feeling of failure. Her self-esteem improved within weeks of starting at the school.
The upper school we believe offers an education that cannot be found at any other school in Norwich at present. It is so true that education is a journey and not a race. My daughter has found her creativity and writes intelligent, complex stories at home for pleasure. This would never have happened had she been hampered by the mainstream system where only targets and where you stand on the academic step seems valued.”
I just asked my eight year-old son what he likes about his school, and he smiled and said “The enormous puddle!” He’s referring to the puddle that gathers in the playground after heavy rain and which slowly drains away with the assistance of an underground pump.
It isn’t so easy for me to choose just one thing.
I have been impressed with the care and thoughtfulness of his teachers, with their enthusiasm, patience, commitment, and their genuine interest in each child.
The curriculum, first in the kindergarten, and now in school had supported him in his social and emotional development, and in his learning, in a very robust yet subtle way, allowing him time to enjoy his childhood and mature at his own pace. The emphasis on natural development and the absence of testing in his earlier years has given him the time and confidence that he needed to flourish.
Something else that I like is the school building itself, it feels familiar, solid and strong, and the classrooms are spacious and simply but beautifully presented.
My son has told his cousins that he goes to ‘a school of myths’. Stories have played a key part in his education, and he has gained wonderful narrative skills and an impressive vocabulary.
If you were to ask him what his favourite lesson was, he would say ‘Games, and music and painting and German and handwork and French and story lesson and main lesson and playtime and art and clay and …’
I think what I value most is how everything has worked together and has enabled him to grow into the caring, interesting, lively, funny boy that he has become, without him really noticing that he is learning.”
“Norwich Steiner school is a safe nurturing environment where education is a journey not a race and my son has flourished. He develops at his own speed knowing that he will receive support from everyone. I wish I had gone to this school when I was a child. I enjoy joining like-minded parents helping in the school with voluntary jobs which make children feel part of a community. I recommend this school to everyone!”
“My daughters have attended right through from Parent & Child Group, to Kindergarten and now to the School. They have always been happy to go to school and I am very impressed by the richness of the education and by the loving care of their teachers. One of the wonderful things about this type of education is that the class teacher is with their particular class for the first eight years and this enables them to gain a deep insight into the individual nature of each child and their strengths & weaknesses. Being free from the stress of the National Curriculum and SATS, the teachers are able to tailor their lessons according to the individual children in their class – thus enabling them to bring out the best in each of them. I imagine that the freedom to teach in this way must be a very rewarding & satisfying experience for them and it is reassuring to think my children’s teachers may also be enjoying their time in the classroom.
This aspect of the education as well as the breadth of the curriculum, gives the children the opportunities, experiences & encouragement needed in order to help them reach their full potential both in school and once they leave school.
The school has a friendly, positive atmosphere – staff are very approachable and always happy to help whenever there is a worry or a problem that you wish to discuss. I am so pleased that we made this choice for our daughters – I am now looking forward to the future and the exciting plans for the Upper School!”
“This is a really unique kind of education and we have so enjoyed watching our son flourish and blossom in so many ways since he has been here.”
The following is what a child had to say to her parents when asked what she liked about this school compared to a mainstream school she had previously attended:
“This school opens the world up to you. The teachers open your eyes to a world you’ve never seen before: planting & picking vegetables, climbing trees as high as you wish, playing with sticks, taking your shoes off, digging holes & washing your feet in the sink!! You eat in your classroom – that’s wicked!
The teachers think that children have their own right to talk, if needed. You don’t have to be quiet all the time. My teacher plays the flute to get us to listen.
They encourage children into their loves, like music. The teachers are really really kind.
They teach children that there’s nothing to be afraid of & there are risks, but they are worth taking sometimes.”