Graduation Speech

By Jess, pupil at the school in Elder Class since September 2009


To thine own self be true                                                   Jessica O’L-J    July 13th 2017

In 2009 I started at the Norwich Steiner School. It was known that for me and my parents I would always struggle in education. I was “blessed” with the lovely learning disability of dyslexia. In a dramatic leap of faith, from my mum, we decided to try out an alternative form of education. My mum was browsing the internet, looking up different forms of “home schooling” and somehow came across the words, “Steiner School”. She had never seen nor heard of it before and just happened to click on the site which brought her to a video created by the St Michael Steiner School. After watching the video she looked up Steiner school near Norwich and to her surprise, there was one in the city. During the next week she attended an open day. She came home later that day and came to me with a video, all she said was, “you’re not allowed to speak until you’ve watched the whole thing” and we sat and watched it and as promised, I didn’t speak until the whole 20 minutes were over. I’m not going to lie; I was a 9 year old girl who just wanted to go to an okay school with no complications. The video was strange to me, a lot of bright colours, children and felt. My mom was looking at me as if to say “Let’s just give it a go” So I did.

I can remember my first day at the Norwich Steiner School vaguely well. I stepped through the bright blue doors with my brand new lunch box and rain coat. I remember being extremely nervous. My mum walked me to my classroom where I was greeted by the one and only Mr. Higgins who introduced himself to me as my main teacher. It was like stepping through time; I don’t think I’d ever seen someone carry an actual pocket watch before.

I was introduced to my class mates, well my classmate, all others were either not there yet or playing somewhere else. The only person in the classroom was George. Who, when Mr Higgins introduced us, gave me sideways look as if to say, “What…is that?” I still remind him of this, he of course denies this. It’s funny to think that the little boy, who looked so disgusted at me at our first encounter, is now one of my closest friends.

At playtime all I remember is a blur of green and creams as that day everyone seemed to make the decision that they would throw grass at each other. I was a shy and quiet person, so I hid behind someone’s back hoping no one would notice me. I remember looking out over the field thinking, where on earth am I?

10 years later, multiple haircuts and questionable fashion choices have gone by since that day and I’ll answer that very question:

To me the Norwich Steiner School was a leap of faith. I had no idea what I was getting in to when walking through those doors for the first time, all I wanted was a new beginning with education. I’m now walking through those very same doors for what could be my very last time and seeing for the first time what the Norwich Steiner School did for me. There is a quote which I’ve always liked which states: “A life without passion is not living, it’s merely existing.” I’ve come to the conclusion that this school has taught me a bigger lesson than mere normal education provides, I will walk out of this school with a deep passion to become my best self and know my best self to be true and for that I am eternally grateful to my classmates in Elder and my teachers:

I honour the energy of Elder which sees the end from the beginning.
Many lifetimes I have been here
I have the knowledge that I have changed myself again and again.
I will start from where I am now and continue to persist in my path
I will succeed
So may it be