My first experience of Steiner education was when I visited a Steiner School in Edinburgh. I was visiting friends whose child, aged three, attended kindergarten several times a week at the local Steiner School. My friend informed me of some of the school policies which included no branded clothing or items with logos to be worn on site.
The environment felt incredibly warm and welcoming. My friends child attended a group in one of the small wooden cabins that made up the Steiner School. There were no plastic toys or fancy gadgets on show; all the items the children were exposed to were made from natural materials. For their morning snack, the children sat and ate bread and jam they had made themselves. The parents of the children joined them for snack and stayed to participate in a session of sing and dance outside. Outside, there was an expansive area of green space in which the children could play freely.
Rudolf Steiner was born in Austria in 1861. He was a pioneering academic whose ideas formed the basis of a philosophy known as Anthroposophy. He died in 1925. Anthroposophy is not a belief system but an approach which considers each individuals body, soul and spirit.
In Steiner education the approach of teachers takes account of the entire needs of each individual child; their academic, physical, emotional and spiritual needs.
The priority is to provide a relaxed, creative learning environment where children can experience joy in learning and the richness of being a child, as opposed to feeling hurried to perform academically. The curriculum in Steiner schools reflects the needs of the whole child and is designed to work in harmony with the child as they move through the different stages of child development.
There is now a project to open a Steiner School and Kindergarten in Manchester. More information can be found on their Facebook page:
Further information about Steiner Education including a list of providers, and Anthroposophy can be found using the links below: