Steiner Schools start formal reading and writing between the sixth and seventh birthday, normal in many European countries, but surprising to UK parents. We believe that there are many other things children need to learn before they begin to read and write, like social and emotional skills, kinetic skills, skills to do with the world around them. With time to learn these skills first formal learning is easier. Pupils start formal learning, such as the alphabet and numbers when we believe children are ready and can approach this challenge with ease and with great enthusiasm.
There is much evidence that in general, healthy children who learn to read later than their peers are not disadvantaged by this, but rather are able quickly to catch up with, and can overtake, children who have learned to read early.