Jon Haste backs Steiner School with Grand Tour of Skiddaw Race

A YORK dad has raised much-needed funds for the school his son attends by completing a grueling mountain race.

The 70km Grand Tour of Skiddaw Race in the lake district is not for the faint hearted – but Jon Haste was determined to compete to raise funds for his son’s school – York Steiner School in Fulford.

Jon managed to finish the course – which included racing up Skiddaw, the sixth highest mountain in the UK – in just over 11 hours.

So far he has raised more than £300 for the school’s Fee Assistance Fund which helps to make it as inclusive as possible and open to all.

“There were highs and lows,” said Jon. “Sometimes you’re hurtling down a mountainside feeling exhilarated, the next it’s just head down, keep moving forward and remember to try to eat,” he added.

Jon began his training by running the green spaces in and around York then moved onto the wilder parts of North Yorkshire before setting his sights on mountain running and the Grand Tour.

“It’s a beautiful part of north Lakeland, a long and lovely run in to the mountains along the river Caldew, over High Pike, through valleys, up over Skiddaw – which is a real slog – and back along the river to base camp,” he said.

For Jon, it was his way of giving something back to a school that has welcomed and supported his family.

Jon said: “Since we’ve been at the school we’ve been amazed and thrilled by the quality of the community here.

“It’s so open and supportive, incredibly diverse with a sense that anything’s achievable when people work together.

“We’re so happy that our son’s growing up and learning in a community as strong as this one.”

Jon will be running the York marathon in a few weeks and plans to continue to higher and further for “as long as his knees will allow,” he said.

York Steiner School provides learning based on the ideas of 20th-century philosopher and reformer, Rudolf Steiner and offers age-appropriate teaching based on the needs of each child, without the use of SATs, grades or standardized testing.

The school celebrated earlier this year after achieving an Ofsted rating of ‘Good’ across all areas of activity.

The school’s ‘Lead’, Simon Birch, said it was an “especially impressive” achievement given the institute’s nature as an independent school which does not follow the National Curriculum or set exams for its pupils.

During the three day inspection, Ofsted staff joined the children in everything from singing, music and gardening sessions through to science experiments and literacy work, praising all areas of the school.

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