At a time when many of us are rethinking priorities and reassessing what’s important we thought it may be a timely moment to share experience of our time at Drumduan.
E (13) and W (11) have been at the school since Kindergarten. We started with the Parent and Toddler group, simply because it was such a lovely, gentle and nurturing environment. Neither of us knew anything about Steiner teaching, having come through mainstream education ourselves and leading mainstream lives!
Having that extra year before starting formal schooling, much like some of our European counterparts, really appealed to us, along with the fact that the school curriculum and ethos allows the students to simply enjoy being children, helped in part by the beautiful woodland setting overlooking the Moray Firth, with trees to climb and ropes to swing on. Needless to say both E & W thrived and it was a natural progression to transition to Class One and beyond. The school equally balances age-appropriate academics with the arts and outdoor education.
What we love about the school and its teaching methods is that children learn principally by ‘doing’, especially in the younger classes. There’s no learning by rote, no tedious homework exercises and both E & W have blossomed, both academically and socially. E is now an avid reader – and we still don’t really know how it happened – all of a sudden it just seemed to click into place (albeit a little later than her mainstream counterparts) with seemingly no effort on her or our part.
It’s also been interesting seeing the process unfold with W. He’s tended to develop slightly later than his peers, but with assessment and assurances from his amazing teacher we’ve had the confidence to allow him to grow and mature at his own pace, and he’s now really coming into his own and continuing to thrive without any knocks to his confidence.
We’ve always taken it one year at a time and now E is just about to join the Upper School – she wouldn’t have it any other way. Although we as parents are slightly apprehensive going against the grain with its non-examination approach we’ll continue to trust out instincts and take things year on year. Past students have accessed further education placements/employment through unique portfolio work and interviews, and if/when exams are required they can be accessed and sat at any age.
Nothing is more important than children being happy, which is reflected in belonging to a school where the teachers truly love and care for their students and nurture them as individuals, encouraging critical thinking and ensuring they’re capable of meeting whatever the world throws at them.