Parent Review – December 2018

“Both of my children go to this school. It has a wonderful philosophy which pervades its curriculum and the community it creates. Its interpretation of Steiner’s pedagogy, which interpreted literally can seem out of date and even somewhat kooky (especially the religious/spiritual stuff), is modern and refreshing, picking up on the best aspects of Waldorf education and informing them with the latest research and understanding about teaching and learning.

As a tertiary educator of pre-service teachers, the thing that most impresses me about Kamaroi’s curriculum is the complete integration of the Arts with all other subjects, something I highlighted in the online course I made for the University of Sydney, “The Place of Music in 21st Century Education”. Check out its free content if you’d like to see the Kamaroi approach to teaching numeracy, literacy and science hand in hand with visual art, drama, music, and more.

One aspect of its philosophy that gets Steiner education more broadly in the press quite regularly is its approach to the use of technology – or, more accurately, its resistance to technology in the early years. It’s interesting to see now that the latest research is suggesting that screen-based media should indeed be limited, and that it can have a negative impact on learning and related competencies such as attention and concentration. If this approach worries prospective parents, I can assure them that technology is indeed introduced in both a practical and creative manner from year 4, and that the school provides very clear guidelines for approaching its use at home – which, of course, parents interpret as fits their family.

Another really interesting development in recent educational research is the realisation of the importance of play – yet this is something that early educational philosophers and pedagogues such as Montessori, Steiner, and Dewey understood. Kindergarten at Kamaroi is a brilliant year where the “whole child” is educated. Kamaroi understand the importance of children developing rounded social, coordination, and fine-motor skills at this age, in addition to the traditional more “cerebral” subject areas. Some parents worry that traditionally Steiner education starts reading and writing late, and I understand this, but one of my children simply went ahead at home, reading fluently in Kindy, and my daughter, who did it “the Steiner way” (or perhaps at the Steiner pace) is an avid reader of complex books now at the age of 11 (not having too much screen time I think helped that too!).”

James H.