REVIEW OF Waldorf Academy BY parent, Caroline Blouin
- Date of Review
February 13, 2018
Gr. 3 - 4
(5) Student Experience
Our daughter has found a home away from home, a place where she is loved, nurtured and appreciated for all of the gifts she has to offer. The teachers truly believe in her and she is blossoming.
(5) School Leadership
The uniqueness of Waldorf is that the teachers are truly empowered to lead their class. We have a fabulous teacher who fosters a wonderful community amongst the parents. We are all there as a community to support our children. Issues are addressed openly and in a balanced way. In following the Steiner philosophy, the teaching and administrative staff are guided by the natural development of children. It is truly fascinating that Steiner's principles have stood the test of time and are more relevant now that ever before. The school promotes creativity, kindness, emotional connections to peers, community, nature, and the broader community, and, the art of conversation. This is truly a very special community.
The teachers at Waldorf are absolutely amazing. They are passionate, committed, dedicated. They love the children and believe in possibilities. They fully understand that every child is unique and develop in their own unique and special way. There is amazing support through the therapeutic teaching staff. Rudolf Steiner understood more than 100 years ago the connection between movement and development of the whole child. Waldorf continues to support this belief today that movement introduced at specific times in a child's development helps develop the brain and neural pathways conducive to learning and higher level thinking. The children play games and perform activities that support cross-lateral movements.
I am absolutely confident that our daughter will be well prepared for her school years beyond Waldorf when the time comes. Waldorf tries to meet the child where they're at and build from there. It's a very nurturing approach to learning. The math program is very progressive and goes deeply into the subject matters before moving on vs. a typical approach of seeing a broad range of math topics with no depth or broader context. And the math program is meant to go hand in hand with a child's development and concepts that are emerging in a particular year. They inspire a love of reading by enchanting children with beautiful stories during main lessons in the morning. Each grade has a special theme. It ignites their passion for stories and the imagination. And the academics are well balanced with children's needs to play, move and recharge in nature.
I am thrilled with Waldorf and I do believe that they are developing well-rounded, kind, articulate, respectful and creative children. However, if there was one area of opportunities would be more after-school activities and team sports (non-competitive teams).
Waldorf is a beautiful small school. The class sizes are small and the children get a lot of individual attention - they are seen and heard and feel appreciated. When conflicts occur, they are discussed in a promptly manner in a non-shaming way. They are seen as opportunities for learning and developing. The children know and understand each other deeply. And there are so many opportunities for them to build relationships and share common experiences outside of the classroom through PINE trips, farm trips, etc. All of these experiences help build the emotional connection required for a solid community.
(5) School Life
My daughter loves going to school. If I offer her a choice of staying home with me or going to school, she'll pick going to school. She wants to be there and part of me feels that she knows she's part of a bigger whole and for the whole to work, she needs to be there a contribute. As I mention above, the only area of opportunity I would recommend is more after-school activities.
The parents make the community! There are a ton of opportunities for parents to be involved. I would describe the parents as generally very caring and inclusive, open to enabling all children to grow and develop and fostering opportunities for conflict resolution. Many of the parents have truly exceptional artistic and creative abilities and all of their beautiful talents are displayed during many of the school events.
(5) School Location
The school is a beautiful small school and it feels like a welcoming home. The children are well surrounded and looked after. There are a number of parks around the school that the children go to during the day.