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Waldorf Academy:
The Our Kids Report > Reviews
Grades Nursery/Toddler TO Gr. 8 — Toronto, ON (Map)

Waldorf Academy:

Roundtable Q&A Discussion About Waldorf Academy (2020)

Waldorf Academy alumni, current students, and parents shared their insights on the school’s culture, values, strengths, and weaknesses. Hear what Danielle, Ali, Desana Rose had to say about the school.

Video Contents

Highlights from the Q&A discussion

Danielle — current parent

Danielle chose Waldorf Academy for its warmth and teacher-student connection, emphasizing the importance of personal growth and creativity. She appreciates the school's commitment, especially during the pandemic, and admires how it fosters confidence, listening, and respect for Earth among students, embodying values of community, creativity, and environmental awareness in education.

  • The fact that Waldorf teachers were often with their students for more than one year was also very attractive. My children have a lot of personality traits like myself, and I knew they were going to need a place that had warmth and connection. That was really important to me. When I think back to my school days, the years I had made connections with my teacher, I remember the year very well, and I usually enjoyed it. Years I didn't make a good connection with my teacher, I tended not to remember anything else that entire year.

  • I met a Waldorf Academy parent, through a mother-and-baby program. I started picking her brain, and it went from there. Prior to that, I knew that my yoga teacher was a parent of two alumni. When my kids got to be around junior kindergarten age, I started hearing more and more from people that their child had attended or they knew someone who had attended.

  • The school exceeded my expectations in terms of the level of commitment and caring of the teachers. It has been absolutely phenomenal. They try to understand my child at a deep level and see what's operating for them and how they can help that child engage and overcome the obstacles. Even my youngest, who just transitioned into Grade 1, is getting so grounded five weeks in.

  • For both of my children, the number one thing has been seeing how they get the confidence to take on difficult things, struggle with them, and come out the other side having mastered something. It's been remarkable to see how supportive they have been through that process, making them feel unstoppable.

  • Both my sons feel very heard at school. My older son had the opportunity to show a prospective student around the school. He told her she would be listened to here, that the teachers would incorporate her ideas. That has been very true for both of my boys.

  • My younger son showed me where they're doing a lot of outdoor classes. He was so excited to take me down this path and past this little creek. He said, ‘Mom, it's like another world here.’

  • I would describe the school as warm, wise, and surprisingly deep. The Waldorf curriculum is really inspired by the Earth, by its rhythms, by the myths and the archetypes in the natural world and in the human world. My children have really benefited from this, gaining a connection to the natural world that I didn't have growing up.

  • There's a strong value placed on collaboration, working together. The school values community. It supports creativity, both in the children and amongst the parents. Warmth, human connection, beauty, and kindness are central. And finally, respect for the Earth by having this strong connection with the Earth.

Ali — alum

Ali, a former student at Waldorf Academy, shared his appreciation for the tight-knit community, individualized attention within small classes, and the school's creative curriculum. He highlighted the school's social engagement and academic rigor.

  • What I appreciated most about the school was definitely the tight-knit community; it really is unparalleled. At assemblies, various activities, field trips, we were all together, and even the parents were super close. This sense of community is enhanced now as I still keep in touch with a huge portion of my old class, and some of my best friends are from that group. We're totally a family no matter when you show up, and there's no hierarchy of any kind; we're all just so close, which is amazing.

  • The class sizes were definitely important for a teacher to cater to the individual needs of students. Teachers stay with you for multiple years. You develop a relationship that makes it impossible to fall behind. This close relationship with teachers, together with the small class size, creates a lot of discussion-based learning, which is great.

  • The first word I’d use to describe Waldorf is ‘creative.’ The school maintains a creative atmosphere with plays, music, outdoor learning, painting, art, and movement.

  • Waldorf is also socially engaged, with projects like the Hero Project where you immerse yourself in researching someone who inspires you socially. This engagement is part of Waldorf's approach to education, which maintains a high academic standard without sacrificing creativity, making the school bright in its academic rigor and creative expression.

  • I think two things that could improve are, first, the diversity within the student body and, second, more freedom within the arts curriculum. While Waldorf is known for its ‘artsy’ curriculum, there's limited freedom in terms of mandatory participation in artistic endeavors, like acting in plays, which might not appeal to everyone.

  • To new students, I'd say don't start being stressed out, because you're going to be totally embraced without any second thought. The tight-knit yet welcoming community ensures you feel safe and loved, totally destroying the negative stigma around those teenage angsty years. Waldorf's unique approach to education, from its community engagement to its creative and academic curriculum, offers a distinctive experience that shapes students in multifaceted ways.

Desana Rose — alum

Desana, an alumna of Waldorf Academy, shared her appreciation for the school's unique approach to education, emphasizing creativity, genuine teacher-student relationships, and the importance of community involvement. She emphasized the school's efforts to balance traditional learning with technological advancements, guided by the aim of nurturing well-rounded, socially engaged, and independent learners. Desana is currently completing her placement as the marketing and communications coordinator for the Waterloo Economic Development Corporation.

  • Waldorf Academy's approach to integrating creativity into every aspect of learning is really unique. For example, during a geography unit on ancient Greece, students learn through reading and writing but also through creative projects like map drawing, sculpture, and theatrical performances. Waldorf's commitment to creativity gives students diverse skills, and prepares them for real-world applications. It encourages them to explore different talents and ways of thinking.

  • Waldorf Academy places significant emphasis on the personalized attention and care students receive from their teachers. From the early grades, teachers engage in individual discussions with each student to understand their unique needs, desires, and educational goals. Beyond academic support, the teachers also play a crucial role in the personal development of their students. They help students navigate social interactions and personal growth, teaching them skills such as community involvement and empathy.

  • Discussions on topics like peacemaking and community values are integral, similar to the Hero Project, which helps students understand historical figures and their impact on society. These encourage students to think about concepts like conflict and peace. These discussions instill a sense of social responsibility and a desire to contribute positively to the community, with students encouraged to apply creative thinking and problem-solving.

  • A significant aspect of Waldorf education is its commitment to minimizing digital media and technology in the learning process. This philosophy aims toward a hands-on, experiential learning environment that promotes real-world interactions over screen-based activities. While there are a lot of benefits to screen-free learning, I think the students might benefit from a little more technology education.

  • The school encourages parents to actively participate in their children's education, from assisting with projects to attending school events. This collaborative approach creates a supportive environment that enhances the educational experience for students. Such involvement not only enriches students' learning but also strengthens the bond between the school and families. It makes education a shared responsibility and joy.

  • For students entering Waldorf Academy, I’d say embrace the guidance of teachers and engage deeply with the material. Teachers at Waldorf are dedicated to understanding and meeting the individual needs of each student. Their advice is invaluable. 

  • I’d similarly encourage parents new to the Waldorf community to immerse themselves in the school's activities and ethos. Their participation will support their children's education, and will also contribute to the community spirit that characterizes Waldorf Academy. Through active involvement and open-mindedness, students and parents can fully benefit from the unique educational experiences that Waldorf offers.


More about Waldorf Academy

Back to Waldorf Academy overview

More video reviews

Parent, Abi Etches-Raheel (2021)

Watch our parent interview with Abi Etches-Raheel to get the inside scoop on what it’s like to have a child attend Waldorf Academy.

More written reviews


Parent, Cindy Waldman (2020)

Our son has really enjoyed his time at Waldorf Academy. Waldorf Academy has a very warm, inviting, and community-based environment. What he likes best is the mix of Nature, Sciences and Arts he gets ...


Parent, Danielle Marcos (2020)

My children love their teachers at Waldorf Academy: they are truly seen, understood, and valued. The teachers' depth of commitment is remarkable. Because they understand the kids so well, the teachers...


Parent, Michael Bernstein (2020)

My son feels seen and cared for the way a family member would care for him. His individual needs, concerns, strengths, challenges, and many questions are all lovingly attended to by the staff. He lo...
See all written reviews (5 total)

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