16th October, 2009
Cambridge Primary Review – response from the Steiner Waldorf Schools Fellowship
The Steiner Waldorf Schools Fellowship, the association for Steiner education in the UK & Ireland, welcomes the findings of Robin Alexanders Cambridge Primary Review. In our view, Professor Alexander has examined the evidence rigorously. His conclusions will not be a surprise to educators in most of continental Europe, nor to many unheard voices here who believe that in the long term, children benefit from a later starting age for formal learning.
Steiner schools provide an educational environment where the young child’s innate curiosity & ability to learn can be strengthened through play and through a range of experiences: linguistic, mathematical, practical, social, spatial & physical. Our approach has a long and well respected track record that shows that high quality, but non-academic, early years education lays the foundations for good social & academic skills & for life-long learning.
We are convinced that a later start to formal learning allows children to experience the joy of learning without unhealthy stress or the risk of early burn-out.
Professor Alexander has reached his conclusions out of a deep concern for the well-being of all children & after lengthy consultation & detailed analysis. His report deserves the title ‘independent’ & for the sake of our future and we hope that his findings are taken seriously.