I went to the Cambridge Steiner School from kindergarten aged 4 all the way through to class 5 aged 11. I am now studying medicine in Sheffield. What I loved about Steiner was the way it encouraged learning and curiosity without competitiveness - children are valued as individuals with their individual talents rather than pushed and made to feel inadequate. The knowledge I acquired there was well rounded and instilled in my appreciation of arts as well as sciences, being encouraged to accept the beauty and accessibility of the former and the wonder and curiosity of the latter. I feel that my Steiner primary education has given me valuable life skills that will make me not only a better more holistic doctor but a happier more well-rounded person!
Becky Strauss, Leaver 2009
I went to Cambridge Steiner School for classes 1 to 3 (plus kindergarten before that) and remember the experience fondly as a time in which I not only learned a lot but also got a real chance to experience childhood, something which other schools often overlook in the name of (early, ultimately unnecessary) academic achievement. This perhaps unpopular focus hasn’t hindered me academically, however. I am currently in my third year studying medicine at the Charité University in Berlin and working in the clinical research department of A&E there too. I truly believe it was my time at the Steiner School which helped me build up my way of thinking and the skills and creativity I use every day.
Noa Galtung, Leaver 2006
Although I realise the Steiner methods aren't conventional, and it may look like the students are not learning at the same rate as others their age, I can assure you it is quite the opposite. I was dyslexic and I never felt different to anyone else until I entered mainstream schools where the teachers put me in lower classes regardless of the grades I was getting, purely because they believed dyslexia equalled stupidity. In the Steiner School this was never an issue.
But beyond this, the Steiner school teaches its students to be completely accepting of their peers. Regardless of race, age, fashion choice etc. Moving to a mainstream school, it was staggering how one would be judged on one's hair-cut or the label of clothing one wore. Steiner also taught me to WANT to learn as much as possible. Instead of teaching children to sit down, do as they are told, and rote learn what they are supposed to, Steiner kids are taught to question everything. And yes, this does sometimes mean a slightly more restless class than one might hope for, but it's purely because the teachers are willing to pause a lesson in order to talk through and validate the opinions and questions of their students. I could not possibly be more thankful for this.
On the basis of my own (and others) academic achievements since, those who go through the Steiner system are in no way academically disadvantaged. Rather, the very opposite. I wouldn't have had the drive to push myself harder than was ever required or asked of me, if I hadn't been taught to seek knowledge at every possible opportunity. A lesson taught by Steiner.
Anna Gatti, Leaver 2010
I had the best experience at the Steiner school. It has shaped the way I think about everything in my life and was an irreplaceable experience. I am currently at Edinburgh University studying cognitive science- a multidisciplinary degree I could only have been able to do with the help of a well-rounded primary education!
Mia Duncan, Leaver 2010
I am currently studying at the University of Exeter, reading English with Art History and Visual Culture. Though I was only at Cambridge Steiner School for a few years, it has had a profound influence on the way in which I think and learn. Steiner provided me with the interest to enjoy learning as well as the freedom to form my own opinions and the creativity to be able to express them. I am aware of the way it has shaped my character and given me the building blocks to manage my own education and to take my interests further. The transition to secondary school was actually fairly easy, though it was different it didn't take long to settle in. Some of my fondest memories are from Cambridge Steiner School, and though I have now moved on to other things, my time there gave me a solid foundation which has supported me throughout my education.
Molly Magrath, Leaver 2009