Max Cooper - Ex Student
I attended the Holywood Steiner School from 1984 to 1997, and the first thing I would say about it was how much I enjoyed the experience - a friendly and stimulating learning environment. I left with good GCSE's and followed my interests in science at Methodist College Belfast, followed by Nottingham University and University College London.
Despite this long scientific education and research process beyond PhD level, I always maintained a strong creative side to my thinking and interests, which I believe was instilled during my time at the Holywood school, and I believe was a great asset for work in the sciences, and any other field for that matter - Having had formative years to explore the world in a slightly more artistic manner than standard state education, without the pressures of constant examination scores at a young age, allowed me to develop my thinking and understanding without having my enthusiasm and passion crushed at an early age by rote learning.
I carried this love of art and creativity through until it eventually turned into my full time work as a digital artist and musician, experimenting with the intersection between the arts and sciences. I can't vouch for all of Steiner's ideas, but the general ethos of his education system has been a great benefit to me and seems to be very relevant today despite it being established 100 years ago. www.instagram.com/maxcoopermax & www.maxcooper.net/
Deidre Morrison - Parent
My two children have been at this school for about seven years now. We moved them after my daughter started mainstream, and I realised what a poor fit that system would be for my son. We have not looked back, and both children are thriving both academically and socially in this holistic environment that is equipping them for a changing world better than any test-fest ever could. I cannot recommend this system highly enough.
Nora Brown-Davis - Ex Parent
Great nursery school!
Stephanie Sim - Teacher & Parent
“My children have attended the school since Kindergarten. I find that they are confident, outgoing, thoughtful and eager to learn. They also have developed their own sense of self, and been allowed to follow their interests within this very rich curriculum".
"Their social skills are complimented by their academic abilities, and they are able to adapt and learn quickly in any situation. Despite there being no tests - or because of it - they exhibit a joy in discovering the world around them and are high achieving individuals in their own right who always draw positive comments from those around them.”
Eileen Haywood - Ex Parent
“I can now reflect with appreciation on how much my children have benefited from their education at the Holywood Steiner School. Our daughter is currently studying for a Masters degree in forensic law in the Netherlands having studied European law for her Bachelor’s degree and was accepted onto this course as much because of her social and communication skills as for her academic achievements.(A-levels in Sullivan School).
Our son chose to study movement and circus skills in conjunction with Bath University, England and is currently living in Dresden where he teaches children in two different schools. His work is designed to develop motoric skills in order to improve cognitive processes in the students.
Like his sister, he has benefited enormously from the social and communication skills which were always encouraged throughout his school years. And, yes, both of them love what they do!”
Fry Taylor - Parent
I have two boys who are at this school and they both love it!
My younger son, who is 5, asks me almost every weekend if he can go to school because he has such a great time.
I asked my eldest son, who is 7, what his favourite lessons are and his reply was, ‘It’s either the maths because we do it in a really fun way or it’s the forest school, or art class, or German, or games, or cooking, or piano’.
Paul Gibson - Ex Parent
Judith Mattews - Ex Parent
We moved to Holywood so that our children could go to this school, and they were happy there - great education in a beautiful setting.
Christine Comie - Ex Parent
My daughter attended Rudolf Steiner Holywood after having an unpleasant experience at a state funded school, she was also 4 years old when she started formal education, too young in my opinion. Now she is a student at The Ulster University having received an unconditional offer. Thank you.
Interviews with parents.
Laura Kerloc’h - Parent
What brought you to the Steiner?
I instinctively felt child-led education was what I wanted for own children.
How would you describe your child’s relationship with teacher / class mates?
The beauty of the teachers staying with their class for a seven year period is that they know each child. They see their strengths and weaknesses. They can tell when the child is “off”. It is almost as if they are a second mother to them whilst retaining a professional distance as their teacher. All three of my children genuinely love their teachers.
As the classes are small, there is a family feel to it. Many of the children in the class have been together since the age of three they share a lot of history. Luca’s has been friends with some of his classmates for over 10 years.
What do you think is the most interesting thing about Steiner education?
The unhurried approach to education and respect for the ways different types of children learn. There isn’t the feeling that the children are compared to their peers or are in competition with one another.
The curriculum is so rich and varied. The children’s imaginations are nourished and developed as they move through the years . The teachers encourage the children to question what they are learning about and draw their own conclusions. It is very different to the way I remember school for myself (learn, memorise and regurgitate for exams). They get to experience the history of civilisation in a really exciting and profound way and at an age that is appropriate.
I like the idea of the ‘Main Lesson’. For a two hour period each morning where the classes explore a topic over the course of a number of weeks. They are immersed in the discovery of a certain period in time or new subject.
There is a sense of reverence and awe the curriculum and teachers promote. The blessings that are said at fixed points in the day are truly beautiful.
Read the full article on Laura Kerloc’h on the Parents' Association for Holywood Steiner website.
Laura Nelson - Parent & Ex Student
How would you describe your child’s relationship with teacher / class mates?
Our school is quite small and close knit. My kids call their teachers by their first names and I would say there is a sense of equality and respect for each other in the class. In my own experience as a student we were a close class who knew each other really well. Each lower school class in the Steiner curriculum stays with the same class teacher for the first 7- 8 years of their education until transitioning to Upper school and as a result a strong relationship between child and teacher is formed.
What do they enjoy about school?
I can honestly say that my kids love school. They are disappointed if they miss a day- for example- I’m writing this on a super snowy day and my kids were very pleased that there wasn’t a school closures- snow day! They went to school knowing they would be spending time outdoors on the school grounds playing with their mates.
What myth or inaccuracies have you heard about the school?
This question is really big. Almost everyone who speaks to me about Steiner education or our school in Holywood has ideas that are wrong. I have heard everything: “It’s a school for hippies, new-agers, dropouts, Germans, special needs kids, Christians, elitists, anti-vaxers or racists. The kids don’t learn math, English, writing, reading or any formal education whatsoever. The kids teach themselves. The kids are way behind in their education”. All of these are completely false. Steiner education is recognised and highly regarded in many other countries in the rest of the world. It can be exhausting attempting to dispel these myths here in N.I
Read the full article about Laura Nelson on the Parents' Association for Holywood Steiner website.