Old Scholar and Old Teacher News

lovingly collected by Christine Polyblank – founder teacher of RWS

The notes start at the beginning, in 1974, with the first 6 pupils, then move forwards, but siblings follow immediately on from the first to join the school (date indicated) so that families appear together but classmates are separated. Many have been through from Kindergarten. When they left the school they usually went on either to another Steiner School, or to The Ringwood School, or, between 2004 & 2009, to the Upper School Aquila Project. The notes have all been checked by the pupils or their parents. I am beginning with a few teachers. CP April 2012 Read more

The first picture taken at Folly Farm in 1972, with Christine Polybank and the first class at the school.

Teachers

  • Dennis Demanett was the first class teacher to join Christine and he took a class from 1976 – 1984. He was a tremendously creative, musical and generally artistic colleague and brought life to many of our festivals and celebrations. He went on to take classes in Hawaii and New Hampshire, and now teaches in the Pasadena Waldorf School in California alongside his wife, Sue. He is still passionate about his work, loving every minute of it, but manages to keep a lovely garden, grow vegetables, cook, read and write. He loves company and bringing people together, and continues to prepare feasts and celebrations just as he did here 36 years ago. Dennis has returned twice for well-attended reunions with his class.
  • Greta Crum (Weekes) was our first Kindergarten teacher, and taught here from 1976 – 1984. Having great organising skills, Greta was instrumental in bringing form to the school, setting up the first meetings, taking the office out of my kitchen and much more. She returned to her native Holland where she taught for many years, also helping to set up a school there, and went on to do advisory work in many Waldorf schools. She has now retired and lives in Utrecht with her partner Jaap de Boer. Greta is a fond grandmother to Joshjan, a keen painter, walker and sailor, and has been back to visit almost every year with Jaap in his sailing boat.
  • Kevin Avison was a Class teacher and occasional upper school History teacher from 1982 -1993, subsequently the founder teacher at Alder Bridge School & teacher at Elmfield School. Jane Avison was both Upper School English teacher and School Administrator during the same period. Both have worked with the Executive Team of the Steiner Waldorf Schools’ Fellowship for many years, she as Financial Administrator (and Administrator for the Godparents’ Anthroposophical Training Fund), he as Advisory Co-ordinator for schools in UK & Ireland.
  • Andrea Flack, Class teacher from 1984 – 2004, has spent the last 8 years (minus a year at RWS as a Therapeutic Speech Practitioner) in Glencraig, a Camphill Community in Northern Ireland, having undertaken further studies in Anthroposophic Therapeutic Speech. Whilst there, she lived and worked with special needs children and adults as well as teaching co-workers in their Seminar. She has just returned to England to settle in Stroud, where she is 'semi-retired', but spending some months each year in Glencraig.

The first 6 pupils...

  • Oliver von Stein lives in Sweden with his wife Petra. He has 3 children: Julian 16, Jan 12 and Isabel 8. He studied Bio-Chemistry at Liverpool University, Pharmacology at Southampton, then studied for a PhD in Molecular Genetics at the Institute of Genetics in Karlsruhe, Germany. For some time he held a postdoctoral position at the Centre of Genomics and Bioinformatics at Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, before working as a project leader of Expression Profiling at MediGene AG, Munich, Germany. In 2001, together with 2 colleagues, Oliver founded InDex Pharmaceutical, an immunology focused Biopharmaceutical Company dedicated to discovering and developing treatments exclusively for steroid resistant diseases such as ulcerative colitis. Their prime product, ‘Kappaproct’ is in Phase III of its clinical trials, and if successful, will then be ready to launch. Oliver is very happy with his life and work.
  • Philip von Stein lives in Denmark with his Danish wife Tanja and their 2 sons, Lucas (17) and Marius (14). Philip studied Goldsmithing - first in Epsom, then for 2 years in Southampton, followed by 4 years in Denmark. He is the top jeweller for Claus Antonsen, Odensee, Denmark. For the last 8 years he has made the famous 'Paske Aeg' (Easter Egg) of which there is only one made each year. It is about the size of a blackbird’s egg, made entirely of gold and diamonds, and is sold to the first person who comes into the shop on a particular day. These eggs have been made by Claus Antonsen for 29yrs and it is an honour for Philip to be asked repeatedly to design and make them. He has had excellent publicity for his work which is much sought after. Philip is very happy, loves Denmark, his family and friends.
  • Andrea Routledge (nee Hoffmann) writes: “I studied nursing at Winchester. Soon after, I married Matthew who I had met at Michael Hall Upper School. I then worked at Hillingdon Hospital (West London) for 9 years during which time Hannah (18), then Jonathan (16) were born. For a while I stayed at home with the children, also doing voluntary work with various organisations. When the family moved to Wendover (Bucks) I returned to nursing part time. In 2010 I decided on a complete change of direction, first obtaining a Diploma in Art and Design, and I am now at Bucks New University studying for a BA Degree in 3D Contemporary Craft and Product (Glass, Ceramic, Metal work and Jewellery). I am finding studying again very exciting and am loving the creative hands on aspects; all the form and colour work we did at school comes back to me now!"
  • Alex Hoffmann writes: “After completing my schooling at Michael Hall (Steiner School) I spent a truly formative gap year working on a cattle farm in Namibia. Following this, I studied Architecture at the University for the Creative Arts in Canterbury graduating joint top of my year in 1994.  For the next 8 years I worked for two London practices including Sheppard Robson, during which time I was lucky enough to meet Ali who I married.  Ali had two young children, Harvey and Madeleine, and I joined her living in a village on the Essex-Suffolk borders. We were blessed with a daughter Sophia in 2003 to complete our family.  In 2003 I also started, with a great friend from Uni, my own business, Clavadetscher Hoffmann Architects.  My time running my own practice was exciting and rewarding as I was able to give back to the Camphill Community by designing Hawthorn House at Camphill in Thornage. In 2008 an opportunity arose to move to Australia and we moved north of Brisbane in Queensland.  We are an integral part of a great community, living on top of a mountain range in Mapleton, on the Sunshine Coast.  I work for Hassell Architects, commuting to Brisbane each day, where I am fortunate to work on city building projects such as Springfield Central Railway Station and Moreton Bay Rail Link. The children are growing fast (17,14 & 9) and life can whizz by, but my grounded upbringing, passion for design and architecture, of artistic flair combined with pragmatic reality, begun during my early school years, remains as strong and as vivid as ever.
  • Natasha Kelly (nee Brobby) lives and works in London. Having successfully completed her Fashion design & technology studies, she moved to London and began her career in the Fashion Industry, where she has worked for such prominent designers as Nicole Fahri, Donna Karan, Wunderkind and now Michael Kors - a luxury Global Fashion Brand, where she is the Director of European Retail Operations. She travels extensively throughout Europe setting up and opening new stores - 12 last year! She is responsible for the Operations of a 50 million pound business which is set to double in the next year. Her retail experience has included establishing fashion brands in the UK in 4-wall-retailing, from building site through to a fully operational store. In addition she has forged collaborations between established designers such as Donna Karan & young graduate design students, creating an exciting crossover between high street retailing & new design talent. She has four children: Tehya (16), Tallullah (11), Amelie (5) and Gabriel (4). She also takes an active interest in the arts, enjoying Galleries, Opera & Theatre, and is an avid amateur Photographer.
  • Sulaika Weihs (nee Brobby) writes: “I live in Sussex with my partner Mark, and I have three boys...the oldest, Louis (22) who left home almost two years ago is doing very well as a sales manager. My middle son, Liam (15), is currently in the middle of his GCSE's and is doing exceptionally well. My youngest son, Lucas (6), is enjoying school very much. Most of my adult life has been spent bringing up my boys, although I did work for several years managing a large ethnic furniture import business. Finding now that I have more time on my hands, and having always been interested in sport and fitness, I recently completed my training in 'Power Plate', have set up a small business and teach one to one classes from home. We are fortunate to live in the Ashdown Forest and, having an energetic dog, we spend time most days walking in the forest, which we all love.”

1976

  •  Sylvian Weekes is an Aviation Security Agent at Amsterdam Airport.  His real love, however, is music – he is a drummer and has spent every free moment playing in various bands over the years. He is also the father of 12-year-old Joshjan, who is at a Steiner School.

1977

  • Katherine Metcalfe (nee Polyblank) moved with her family to Christchurch, New Zealand, some years ago, where she set up a successful osteopathy clinic. In spite of the 2011 earthquake, when her house suffered irreparable damage, the family decided to remain there. She has two daughters, Isis (19) and Ella (11) and a new partner, Ross, on whose farm she enjoys horse riding as much as ever.
  • Julia Shand, (nee Blitz), writes: “I live with my husband, Dave, and our son, Jules (9) in the countryside near Aberdeen. I have a job I really enjoy, doing relocation work for a global company as their Destination Consultant for Aberdeen; they outsource their Aberdeen assignees to me. Finding homes and assisting with all aspect of relocations is something I can work into my day and it rarely becomes a logistical problem for the family. I am also enjoying doing ceramics again. I joined a small group who work together once a week and it keeps me active and interested in the creative process. We are currently also converting our garage into a large utility/workroom where I will be able to 'potter'. We all enjoy skiing and have a house in St Foy (Haute Savoir) to which we return for the skiing every year. Life is good!”
  • Emma Stent was, for many years, a sailor sailing all over the world and was actually crewing on the boat, Mermerus, which came 2nd overall in the Clipper 96 Round the World Yacht Race. When not on the high seas, Emma began free-lancing in the Events Industry, work which took her all over the world. Later, with her husband Beau, they set up their own company ‘Another Perspective’, specializing in events for the automotive industry, and which they are now contemplating selling, “as we feel that there should be more to life than work”. Emma writes: “We are in the process of packing up our house here in Hampshire as we are going to spend a year in our house in Italy. Our daughter Tilly is signed up for the local village school in Rezzo, Imperia, Liguria where she will increase the total number of pupils to 7. So we're all going to have a bit of a sabbatical, learn to speak Italian, make our own pasta, cook pizzas in our outdoor pizza oven, eat lots of salad, take stock of our lives and work out where we want to be in a few years’ time - and how to get there.
  • Sarah Fuller graduated in Textile Design at Central St. Martins College of Art and Design, London. In 1995 she co-founded Dog and String Theatre with Chris Wallis and since then has devised, performed and toured shows for children’s audiences both nationally and internationally. She is also a visual artist and has had several solo exhibitions. Sarah writes: "Dog and String Theatre is still going! Last autumn we premiered a new show, Seeing and Dreaming, at the Absolut Fringe festival in Dublin. This piece is about life over eighty and incorporates performance, puppetry shadow play and projections. We would like to bring it to the UK next year. My current work is concerned with exploring and developing ways of engaging and interacting with older people particularly those affected with dementia, trying to find meaningful and playful ways to stimulate and engage through puppetry, music, shadow theatre and movement. I have recently been awarded a bursary from the Arts Council to develop my work in this area. I feel at the beginning of an interesting and challenging journey. Our daughter, Gracie, has almost finished her first year of secondary school and I am very glad to say it has been a happy transition for her from Steiner to secondary school, unlike my unhappy memories of this. We remain in the wild West of Ireland where the wind blows and the rain pours; despite the greyness, when the sun shines it really is one of the most beautiful places to be!”

1978

  • Katie Fisher, (nee Catherine Bickle) moved to South Australia in 1980, where she lives with her two daughters Zoe (12) and Samia (23). She works for the Mental Health Services in Drug and Alcohol rehabilitation. Thinking back to her time at the school, Katie writes: “I always remember my days at Folly Farm* as the best years of my life!!!”  *the school’s old name
  • Darius Goodwin lives in Seoul, South Korea with his wife Ju. They are in the process of moving to a lovely new home. He is a lecturer at Soongsil University. This year he is also studying for an MA in Applied Linguistics.
  • Damien Goodwin lives in West Sussex with his wife Sara and children, Isaac and Sylvie. He works as a film, TV, and video games director. He has just finished shooting the short film 'Breakthrough,' with his own company, Scene 33. He is looking forward to directing his first feature film 'Still Summer' in France later this year. He is the voice in the current Emirates Airways commercial!!!
  • Dryden Goodwin is an artist working in London where he lives with his wife Jo and their two sons, Fynn and Heath. Dryden's recent projects include exhibitions in Vienna and Innsbruck, and 'Linear' for Art on the Underground where he made 60 pencil portraits of Jubilee Line staff including 60 short films of the portraits being drawn. His current commission is making a film to coincide with the Olympics, funded by the Wellcome Trust, called 'Poise' featuring high divers. This is to be exhibited first at the De La Ware Pavillion, Bexhill. Other projects this year include two public art commissions in Cambridge and Woolwich as well as a large scale animated projection to be shown on the Southbank in London. He teaches at the Slade School of Fine Art, UCL.
  • Danny and Matthew Moule are both tree surgeons and work together locally. Danny’s partner is old scholar Amy Dukinfield, who studied Eurythmy and Eurythmy Therapy. They have 2 young children and Amy is now teaching Eurythmy part time at The Sheiling School. Matthew is married to Sarah, (nee Heathcote), and they also have two young children.

1980

  • Francis von Stein lives in York with his wife Rachel and their two children, Emily (7) and Lewis (5), who both attend the York Steiner School.  He left school and worked for some years as an IT Support Analyst, then a Specialist, for such bodies as the Pure Digital and the Boston Consultants Group, before setting up his own company, moving north and starting a family.  He worked on a pioneering Contract with GNER to implement wi-fi on their trains; then on a contract with the Food Standards Agency as Service Desk Manager, moving into the role of Infrastructure Manager, which led to his being outsourced to Capita Secure Information Solutions as Service Delivery Manager responsible for Change and Release management, Configuration management and Contract innovation. The family is well and busy but Francis still misses the south of England!
  • Julia Polyblank writes: “After leaving the school, I went on to higher education. Then I spent the next 10 years travelling, working in many different jobs and countries to fund my travels. In 2002 I started my journey in studying complementary healing, and now work as a kinesiologist in an acupuncture clinic. My partner and I have a wonderful 4 year old son, Leo, who goes to the Annan Froebel School near Lewis, a beautiful independent school, very similar to the one I was nurtured in.”

1982

  • Joseph Avison writes: “I live with my wife in Harpenden (near St Albans). I am Managing Director of Global Relations, which includes global sales, marketing and audience development for a US newspaper, The Chronicle of Higher Education. It’s a great job and I travel the world meeting Vice Chancellors and University Presidents as well as Government officials and Education ministers.  It is exciting to work for an organization with real heart and a sense of purpose. I’m very proud and lucky to work here. I often come back to see my grandparents in Christchurch and sometimes drive past the old school, and the new, at least for me, buildings are amazing, quite a change from our old classrooms. I remember helping to nail down the roof one summer; I think maintenance back then was a little more hands on!  The classrooms must be much nicer to teach and learn in, though I am still fond of my memories of leaking roofs and freezing classrooms! I consider myself to be very lucky with the education I had; the broad range of my learning combined with the sense of moral responsibility has helped me to achieve what I have so far in my life.  I may have, at times, not been the world’s best student but what I learned has served me well.”
  • Ruth Avison-Dang writes: “After being the manager of the restaurant and bar at the Ringwood Recreation Centre, I realised I was destined for other horizons, so I moved to a Camphill Community in Switzerland to work with people with special needs. This was a very enriching experience on many levels. I already spoke German before arriving and was able to learn French. The experience additionally enabled me to work out what I wanted to do in life. I did a BA in applied linguistics with The Open University. I then went to Zurich to do my Masters and DELTA which is an advanced programme for teacher trainers. During and following my studies I taught English at secondary schools and colleges, teaching for the "Maturié Federal" which is the Swiss equivalent to our A-levels, as well as training teachers. Two years ago, I opened my own language school in the centre of Geneva: Personalised English Progression (PEP). We now have over 100 students and 6 fantastic teachers who are dynamic and passionate about personalising learning to suit all types of students. I am married to a Swiss / Vietnamese architect and have a lively 6 year old daughter and twins on the way! I am extremely fortunate to have had my education at Ringwood Waldorf School as it prepared me for life and gave me the capacity to adapt to any situation and think outside of the box.”

1985

  • Colin Hornby works for Perkin Elmer which makes bio-imaging equipment and software for research purposes. He has recently taken on a new role in the company and is a Hardware Specialist (eliminating problems/errors in the hardware at the production stage) and their International software specialist - he travels internationally to those labs/universities that have problems that no one else can sort out. Until his first child, Charlotte, was born, he travelled extensively in the UK and Europe, dealing with sales for the company and training University labs to use the equipment and software. Colin and his wife, Ruth, are expecting their second child in July. He plays cricket for a local Oxfordshire team.
  • Bevan Hornby works as a nurse in the operating theatre (at the moment in A&E), at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary. Before deciding to become a nurse, Bevan worked at Treloar School for children with physical disabilities. He is a great sportsman playing cricket, squash and cycling.
  • Adrian Hornby graduated in summer 2011 with a degree in Geology from Royal Holloway, London. During his university time, Adrian started playing for the Ultimate Frisbee team, and eventually became its captain, organising many new tournaments nationally. At the moment he is living in Colima, Mexico, doing research as an intern, while he applies to do a PhD in Volcanology. His childhood interest in photography continues.
  • William Hornby has a degree in Construction Engineering from Kingston University, London.  He was sponsored by his firm Bam-Nuttall throughout his University training, and worked on the job during those three years, as well as studying.  After graduation, he continued working for Nutall, until May 2011.  He then started working for Dawnus, a smaller Welsh engineering firm with projects in Africa.  He has spent the last year in Sierra Leone, and is now starting a new job for Dawnus as an Agent in Senegal. William has taken up ice hockey again, and enjoyed playing with a team in the Kingston area. His sporting possibilities in Africa are diminished, but he is a keen fisherman there!
  • Julia Hornby has used her 'sandwich year' to work for ICYE (International Cultural Youth Exchange, affiliated with UNESCO) who put her in touch with ACI, a Costa Rican non-profit NGO, that brings international volunteers to a large number of projects in Costa Rica. Julia spent 5 months working for their main office, supporting volunteers, researching projects and writing public relations materials. She is spending her last 5 months working in a school, teaching English, in the northern part of the country in the small town of Bihagua. Julia plans to commence her final year at Greenwich in the autumn.
  • Joe Hornby lives in Devon and has spent the past 2½ years in the workshop of Tobias Kaye as an apprentice. Joe has learned to make sounding bowls, unique musical instruments used in therapeutic settings such as oncology clinics, work with special needs people, and psychiatric settings. He has become a very skilled wood turner, making other turned items as well. Joe is planning a 2 month trip to the USA with a former classmate at the end of August.
  • Daniel Bamford writes: “I am living with my wife Kay on Anglesey; we are back in a caravan on another building site as we are part way through a barn conversion. To pay for the building project I am working as a mechanical Design Engineer, (for which I obtained a BSc in Product Design with Mechanics at Cardiff), designing medical instruments for a company in Caernarfon. Both Kay and I have been learning Welsh, which is proving to be a very difficult language. However, it is great to be able to understand the gist of the conversations we hear out and about. Life is treating us well on the whole, although I am so busy that time seems to be flying by.” Dan’s good friend Joe Avison informs me that Dan is doing most of the design and building work himself, that he is immensely inventive and that he can put his mind – and hands – to practically anything.

1987

  • Simon Coello has completed his Master of Mathematics at Southampton University with First Class Honours, (a standard he had achieved in his Bachelors as well). Since then he has been working as a web analyst for Business Link – a position offered to him within months of being recruited onto the "graduate programme" as one of three candidates chosen from 3,000 applicants following a rigorous interviewing process.  He has since been promoted within the team.
  • Jonathan Coello got his Masters in Environmental Sciences at Southampton University, passing with First Class Honours in June 2011. He also won 2 prizes for his final dissertation: the Olive Consultancy Student prize 2011 for best 4th year M Env Sci. Project, as well as the IT Power Energy 2011 Student Prize for his Energy Project.  He has gone on to do a PhD in the field of Carbon Footprinting. Jonathan loves the outdoors and is keen on cycling, motorbiking, walking and camping.

1988

  • Romy Campbell : After her ‘A’ levels, Romy helped to set up 'the Greenhouse' in Salisbury, then left for Tanzania with the charity Trade Aid where she taught English to adults in a village and ran a resource centre library for children. After a 2-year stint at Myriad Toys, she returned to Tanzania as project manager with The Breakfast Club, an organisation recognising that children cannot learn on an empty stomach, and which supplied a nourishing breakfast to 750 children, enabling them to concentrate at school. She supported a school enterprise project to plant fruit trees and buy pregnant cows for the villagers. Most recently Romy took a BA Honours in Economics and Social Studies, specializing in Development Studies - in which she got a First.
  • Jamie Campbell studied English and Performing Arts at Plymouth, then took a job with Frizzel Liverpool Victoria where he was soon invited to join a central planning team looking after sales, servicing and claims. More training led to a promotion to Relationship Manager to a team of analysts, and he now wants to manage his own team. Jamie is happy in his workplace and is looking forward to getting married next year.
  • Sara Campbell got a National Diploma in Health and Social Care at Brockenhurst College. She is now a Support Worker with people with learning disabilities in Ringwood.

1994

  • Dominique Roloff-Standring studied French and German at Bristol University from which she graduated with a 2-1.  She worked for a while fundraising for various charities, and spent time in Ghana working for the Ghanaian charity IKANDO, where she used her language skills as a translator. She now works as an Assistant Project Manager for The Challenge, a charity which aims to create a rite of passage for 16 year olds, promote social mixing and support community engagement.
  • Simone Roloff-Standring completed her Masters in Pure Chemistry at Nottingham University with Distinction, winning several prizes along the way. She won a place on the coveted Johnson Matthey graduation scheme and is at present researching into chemical process catalysts. When not working, she still loves outward-bound activities, exploring and trekking and above all, travelling.
  • Philippa Roloff-Standring has turned her passion for reading (amazing, considering that she only learned to read at the end of class 3!) into her career path: she is in her second year studying English at the University of West Sussex. During her gap year she worked in Brazil at an Antroposophical Social Therapy Day Centre, and was active in workshops, the garden and much more, as well as working at a Camphill Community in England.
  • Armina Roloff-Standring is very happily settled at Wynstones (Steiner) School nr. Gloucester. She is working for her AS levels and particularly enjoys being in the choir which will be singing Mozart’s Requiem in Tewksbury Cathedral in early May.
  • Colum Pooler graduated with a degree in Social Care from Aberdeen University. After various social work experiences, he is now the Manager at Sturts Farm Camphill Community where he has the unenviable task of bringing Camphill practices in line with Charity Law whilst maintaining what is unique about Camphill. And he is loving every minute!
  • Fionn Pooler completed a degree in Film Studies and Creative Writing with a First with Honours at Anglia Ruskin College, Cambridge. He has made a few small films with a friend and also written some screenplays - which, along with poetry, he loves doing best. He made the 40 minute documentary-type film for Newton Dee's Fiftieth Anniversary, called Portrait of a Community, which was very well received. At present he lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan (the centre for anthroposophical activities in the USA). Whilst writing, he is keeping bread on the table by working in a couple of art cinemas there.
  • Ruairidh Pooler studied for the International Baccalaureate at the International School in Aberdeen where he was a high-flying student, winning awards in Art and Spanish. He took a year off in Japan to study the Japanese language and culture, whilst following his great love - the martial art of Kendo. He began a course at Edinburgh University in Japanese and Linguistics but dropped out as he could not get on with the teaching methods. He spent last summer cycling from Aberdeen to Italy, keeping his friends entertained on Facebook as he went along. Whilst deciding on his next step he has joined his brother Fionn in Ann Arbor. He is considering returning to Edinburgh to study languages - maybe Arabic or?

1995

  • Kieran Finn: With the end of his third year studying for an MSc in Physics at Oxford in sight, (one year to go!), Kieran is still loving it. He still travels a lot and plans to spend the first half of the summer at an observatory in Hawaii, and the second half at a University in Finland as an intern in the Cosmology Department. Cosmology is his passion. He is working on a plan to spend a year working at one of the scientific bases in Antarctica, capturing particles deep in the ice that tell us about the origins of the universe. Kieran is active in the university's Ice Hockey and Gymnastics Clubs. He plays his clarinet - and the bassoon too - in two of the College orchestras and he also conducts.
  • Daniel Finn is about to take his 'A' levels at the Ringwood School. He is a member of Forest Forge Theatre, where he played the Beast in their recent Beauty and the Beast production, and he also helps direct a younger group. Daniel is auditioning for Drama School at the moment. This summer he will be part of the National Youth Theatre cast putting on welcoming performances for the athletes in the Olympic Village. He is also in a band with school friends as vocalist and accordion player.
  • Christian Finn has settled happily into his Quaker school at Sidcot, near Bristol. He too is keen on drama and was in their production of 'Les Miserables'. He is looking forward to a visit with his father to an elephant sanctuary in Thailand at Christmas.
  • Isobel Gill-Taylor finished her degree in Steiner Education at Plymouth University last summer.  During her degree she was inspired by an ex Steiner teacher who came to talk to the students about using Steiner educational ideas in Prison education. Isobel chose to do her work experience at the prison, spending 3 months studying the ‘Art of Living’ course, as well as running an Art Therapy course with a group of prisoners. Since completing her degree, Isobel has been travelling: through Malaysia & Thailand, New Zealand & Australia, visiting members of her father’s large and welcoming family. Whilst in Australia she spent 3 months on a cattle farm and was quite horrified at the way the calves were treated. She is considering doing a Masters in Curative Education or Art Therapy, but after her experiences on the farm, is also considering how she can help children develop a more healthy relationship to nature.
  • Maya Gill-Taylor is just completing her degree in Ocean Sciences at Plymouth University. Her final dissertation was on the effects of the Icelandic volcano on the oceans and the carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere. She wants to train as an oceanographer, hygrographer and meteorologist to enable her to join the Antarctic Research Boats which research climate change. Ever the pragmatist, Maya has learnt that if she joins the Navy, she will actually be paid for the course! She will start the interview process for the Navy once she has completed her degree in May.
  • Tarra Gill-Taylor is studying for his AS levels at the Ringwood School. His subjects are Physics, Maths, Biology and History, after which he wants to study Natural Sciences at University.
  • Lucy Mills-Taylor is delighted to have gained a place at Liverpool University where her childhood ambition to become a vet can now be realized. She remained in the school until the end of Class 10 (Aquila) then studied for the International Baccalaureate at Brockenhurst College. She still plays the piano and is as mad about horses as ever.
  • Katie Mills-Taylor is completing a 2-year B-Tech course in Photography at Brockenhurst College. She plans to take some time out next year and will spend 3 months travelling in Canada and the USA.  Her passion for horses has not diminished either.
  • Oscar Rousseau writes: “After leaving Ringwood, I did my GCSE’s, then went on to Brockenhurst College, where I was reunited with my Steiner classmates. I studied English Language & Literature, Media Studies and Performance Studies. Then I needed a break – so my best friend Ben and I brought plane tickets to Israel. We spent three hot months volunteering on a kibbutz, working on an irrigation project in a mango plantation, and in the kitchen, just a stone’s throw away from the Gaza Strip. In fact, we were so close that at night we would gather on the roof of an old bomb shelter and see the city illuminated by a crimson sky. My journey in Israel was an invigorating and empowering experience. It instilled in me a confidence I never knew existed and fuelled a desire of travel. My path took me next to Thailand, where I stayed for a month trekking through jungles and sleeping in bamboo huts high up in the Chiang Mai hills; then on to India, spending two months in Kerala on a journalism internship. I now live in London, and am studying for a BA Hons in Journalism at the University of Westminster. I am Vice-Captain of the Muay Thai team. I have been selected for the Olympic Broadcasting Service team, during the 2012 Games, and will be working at the Aquatics Centre. I have also secured a two-week work placement with ITN. The past two-and-a-half years have been wonderful, the qualities I cultivated from my travels were seeds which had been sown the first day I walked into Janice’s kindergarten, seventeen years ago.”
  • Linnea Rousseau is working for a degree in Business Studies and Marketing at Bristol University. She continues to play the piano and has recently achieved a Grade 8 in Singing. She is very happy with her life.
  • Holly Walter is coming to the end of her third and final year of the Actor Musicians course at Rose Bruford in South London.  She has thoroughly enjoyed the course and is working on her showcase for agents at the same time as completing her 10 thousand word dissertation.  The final part of the course is to complete a ‘New Writers’ Season’ for which she and others from her course will be doing 6 weeks of children’s theatre in the East End. For this they will create a brand new production, writing, composing, directing and performing for young children.  Holly sings, plays the violin, piano, guitar and accordion.
  • Miranda Walter completed the 6th Form at the Ringwood School with excellent academic results.  Whilst there she was an enthusiastic member of the Netball Team, the Riding team, the Fair Trade Society and the Community Action group and was also very involved playing and performing in the musical productions and all the concerts throughout the two years. She and her friends won the Jane Goodall award for biology and conservation. Miranda is now studying Biology and Conservation Ecology at Exeter University. She is thrilled to be there and is a keen member of the volley ball team and the Eco Society. She still plays the flute and the piano and passed her Grade 8 in both last year. She plans to join the Choir in September.  Her summers are likely to be spent in exotic places doing conservation work!

1997

  • Amy Konig left Brockenhurst College with ‘A’ levels in Art & Textiles and is now           studying for an Art and Design Foundation Diploma at the Arts Institute in Bournemouth. She has been offered a place next year at Winchester School of Art, part of Southampton University, to study for a BA Honours in Fashion and Textiles.

1998

  • Maya and Daniel Avis are both studying at London’s School of Oriental and African Studies where they happen to be taking the same course: Developmental Studies. Daniel’s second subject is World Music. He still plays his clarinet and is part of the SOAS ceilidh band which was recently invited to visit Istanbul where they played for the British Consulate, on the same day playing for the Irish Consulate in Palestine. Dan has spent two months travelling in Mali, West Africa, where he studied drumming while living with a Muslim family. This gave him the opportunity to follow a group of musicians during the wedding season, just before Ramadan and to see the month of Ramadan, which he found very interesting. Maya’s second subject is Geography. She belongs to the University’s Rock Climbing Society and recently returned from a trip she helped organise to the Sierra Nevada. Her fieldwork project will be living with the Bedouins, a desert people of the Middle East for 2 months this summer, where she hopes to study how nomad societies adapt to life in the 21st  century, and their relationship to states and boundaries.
  • After completing a B-Tech in Media Studies with excellent results, Joseph Schneider won a place at the Northern Film School, affiliated to Leeds Metropolitan University, where he is studying Film and Moving Image Production.  He has also been accepted as a volunteer in the Olympic Village in an international scheme for students. Joe is also the station manager of the University’s TV Station, and they won an award for their cover of the Freshers’ Week.
  • Having completed his Adventure Education course at Brockenhurst, specializing in water sports, Henry Schneider is taking a year out to find his direction. He has, in the meantime, won a youth scholarship to go on a voyage with the Tall Ships.
  • Kitty Schneider is an enthusiastic pupil, and much appreciated by her teachers for it, at the Ringwood School, where she is preparing for her GCSE’s studying English, Psychology, History and Textiles. She is a keen member of Forest Forge Theatre and of Stage 65 (Salisbury), and continues to play her flute.

1999

  • Keir Turner is preparing for his ‘A’ levels at Brockenhurst, studying Philosophy, Sociology, Maths and PE. He is still a keen basketball player and will have his final season for the Solent Kestrels Basketball Team next year playing in the U18's national league. He plays in the College team too.

2000

  • Chantelle Manners is sailing around the Caribbean on a six-month contract with the American Cruise Line ‘Princess Cruises’ as junior Assistant Cruise Director. She will soon arrive in Rome for the European Cruise season. She graduated with a degree in Acting from the Arts Institute in Bournemouth last summer and applied for the post on the cruise ‘to see the world’. On board she is hosting activities, putting on shows and ensuring that the experience of the passengers is as good as possible.
  • Madison Manners is in her first year at Bristol (University of the West of England) doing Business Studies with Human Resources. It is lots of work but she is enjoying it.

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