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Reviews of Trillium Waldorf School

Guelph, ON  |  Grades K - 8  |  Shortlist

 

Review by: Katie Pew - Parent (Mar 10, 2022)

"At the Trillium Waldorf School, the community is the greatest part."


Student Experience

Our children both thrive at Trillium Waldorf. My daughter is in grade two and loves every day. Her favourite subjects are handwork, games class and practical arts. My son is in his final kindergarten year and is eagerly waiting to join in the grades. Both children love going to school and always have. The teachers care for them like their own, and I believe the children can really feel that. Our daughter was always very timid and takes a while to give her trust to others. The teachers she’s encountered have all given her respect and the time and space she needed without pushing. It’s made all the difference in her confidence. She now greets her teacher daily, making eye contact which is so huge and we’re so grateful.


School Leadership

We actually had a tough encounter with the school regarding our re-enrolment this past fall. We made the hard decision to take a year to homeschool during the pandemic to hope to maintain a routine for our children. It was such a difficult decision for us as we didn’t want to lose the sense of Community. However, when we decided to come back, they didn’t have the space for our daughter with the current class size limits. We were heartbroken and we weren’t going to give up! The school met with us many times to try and solve the issue. There may have been tears but everyone continued to support us and talk through all our concerns. Luckily, the stars aligned and a space opened up and they called us right away. As I look back, they really sat and heard us and talked with us instead of saying too bad and leaving it at that.


Teaching

I couldn’t say enough good things about all the teachers we have encountered at Trillium Waldorf School. Our current grade two teacher is so fantastic at keeping the class under control, being serious when needed but also is able to bring out a fun side for the more ‘boring’ topics to keep the children engaged. Our daughter came home one day going on and on about how funny he was that day and all the things he did (pretending to be ‘another teacher’ named Mister Mister). She said it was the best day! Another area I see and am so grateful for is the guidance and grace he offers. When our daughter is frustrated with her work or challenged, he always reminds her that we come to school to learn and that we shouldn’t already know all the things. That’s why we go to school! And for a little girl who always tries to be perfect at what she does, this is such a great approach and also a great reminder for us parents. We don’t need to know everything. We are always learning!


Academics

I feel like this can be a tricky one for people who are not used to the Waldorf curriculum. While it is not always on par for what goes on in public school, I feel like the children are far happier in general in life after having gone through the school. The entire whole child approach is so obvious when you see them. The children who attend this school are confident, able to carry conversations with adults with ease, and feel sure of themselves. We haven’t gotten any older than grade 2, but at this point, I am very happy with where the academics are in regards to the development of my child. I feel like it really meets her where she’s at. That’s so important to us as a family.


Extracurriculars

With Trillium Waldorf school being a smaller school, there is no gymnasium or extra space inside the school. That being said there’s plenty of outdoor space and they frequent the woods as well as local parks and skating rinks. As far as extracurriculars that I know of, they are slim. While there are no extracurriculars, there are plenty of offerings within our city so I’m not too hard-pressed about it.


Students

This was a great draw for us at the Trillium Waldorf School. The student body is great even though it is on the smaller side. I believe there are just under 150 students in school. We love Trillium Waldorf School for its sense of community within the student body as well as the parent body. Conflicts are talked about and resolved. The classes are tight-knit and very bonded. It constantly feels like one giant family. Also, there’s still plenty of interaction between the grades in a very positive way. And because of the smaller school size, a lot of the children know who all the other children are regardless of grade or age. On top of all of these wonderful things, at the beginning of each school year, the grade eights welcome the rising grade ones into the grades with a rose ceremony that will make anyone shed a tear or two. And at the end of that same school year, the grade ones will present rose back to their great day buddies. Words cannot describe how beautiful this all is.


School Life

Our children love going to school here. Every day they look forward to school, the subjects taught, the snacks being offered in kindergarten, seeing all the subject teachers as well as playing with their friends. In the school, they feel very safe, safe in the environment, safe around fellow students, and safe in the company of their teachers. As parents, we have to understand that when we send our children to school, their teachers and people who are caring for them during the day have as much influence as we do as parents. There is not one single person or teacher within that schoolyard that I would not want to be around my children or be a positive influence for them. In my eyes, the only thing that Trillium could offer more of is space. To allow more families to come into our community, and for our school and student body to grow!


Community

At the Trillium Waldorf School, the community is the greatest part. There are always offerings of parent involvement, whether it is volunteering with handwork class, going on nature walks, or the annual spring and fall worker bees, where the parents, teachers and students all come together to clean up the schoolyard and inside the school. This always offers a great opportunity to meet the other families and spend time together while the children play. There’s also the annual spring fair which is our children’s favourite event within the school. During field trips to the apple orchard, the pumpkin patch, skiing, trips to the farm and more, parents come together to make it happen and carpool. We truly do become a family in this school!


School Location

The children spend a great deal of time in the forest nearby whether it be on a short walk or an afternoon nature walk. With the school being kind of on the edge of the city but still, within it, they’re able to go play at the park or be in nature. They get the best of both worlds!




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