Ask RiotACT: Orana Steiner School – worth a look?

sportsmum 9 April 2017 4

Ask RiotACT

Hi Rioters,

It’s been a while since the topic of Orana was discussed on the site. I have a child entering high school in a year’s time and am wondering if this school is worth a look. I see that they had a great ATAR ranking last year which seems to be an improvement. The educational philosophy looks interesting and perhaps well suited to the type of creative child I have.

I’m interested in viewpoints particularly of those who have had children go to the school or leave the school, or from those who have had something to do with the school or its teachers themselves?

I’m really not interested in general criticism about ‘witchcraft, paganism, anti-vaxxers’ and the like!


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4 Responses to Ask RiotACT: Orana Steiner School – worth a look?
pixieriot pixieriot 9:39 pm 29 Aug 17

Both mine went Steiner and it’s great. All children deserve Steiner. That said to come into Steiner at high school never having done it before and I suspect it would ‘conflict’ with your home lifestyle a lot would be interesting and may be challenging.

Banda Banda 4:50 pm 18 May 17

I have two kids at Orana and it has been both wonderful and unbelievably frustrating. It is a very safe, caring environment in which student relationships are better than at any other school I’ve seen (I’ve never taught in a Steiner school but have years of experience in non-Steiner education). ATAR results are good, as are NAPLAN results by Year 9 – the kids start formal education later so take a while to catch up but the majority definitely get there by Year 9. The curriculum is well-balanced and the benefits of the rounded education can be seen by early High School. If your child, like one of mine, is average or above across all areas, Orana would probably work out very well for them. However, if, like my other one, your child is asynchronous in their learning (i.e. they excel in some areas but are quite weak in others), just don’t go there. The special needs provision is poor – they don’t know how to manage gifts and talents or specific learning differences and are very prone to focusing on the negative. The curriculum is very prescribed and, in contrast to the hippy image, the teaching methods are pretty rigid so there’s little room to accommodate the square pegs through, e.g., strengths-based learning. Again, contrary to expectations, there is a bit of tension between the holier-than-thou Steiner zealots (who are somewhat prone to judgement and backstabbing, always in a calm voice with a warm smile) and the majority who think that he was just a bloke with a few good ideas that, after examination, are worth pursuing. When all’s said and done, every school is a compromise and Orana is no different. It exemplifies the best of the best but sometimes hits way wide of the mark.

sportsmum sportsmum 8:31 pm 24 Apr 17

Thanks NJHdb!

NJHdB NJHdB 6:20 am 23 Apr 17

Hi there, I work with someone who sends there daughter to Orana. In general I have heard good things from them (maybe bias) but I believe their comments to be quite well balanced.

They started their child at the school very young and liked the idea of nurturing the child’s natural development pace rather than ‘force feeding’ them main stream educational regimes (something I like the idea of as a father to a two year old).
Something I will always remember them saying was that their child’s struggle with math and reading may be a result of the schools approach to learning/teaching. Of course this is only one persons experience but it does seem to me that this may be an issue with a percentage of children attending the school. As your child will be entering at high school level this of course may not be relevant. Worth considering though.
I think it’s worth meeting as many of the parents of children at the high school too.
All the best!

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