Staff at Elmfield School - a Steiner centre in Stourbridge - believe it's time the state system caught up with its way of thinking. Education Correspondent Shahid Naqvi reports.
Carrie Smith speaks with a soft, gentle voice. You'd find it difficult to imagine her ever raising it or losing her temper toward a child.
The teacher at Elmfield Rudolf Steiner School in Stourbridge believes if you get the educational offering right there is little reason to do so.
"I sometimes wonder if part of the problem in schools are to do with the fact that it is not on the agenda to meet the needs of children," she said. "It is more what information they must have for these goals. I think that is quite destructive for their developments and they are going to rebel because it is not meeting their real needs.
"In any class where children aren't going to behave we have to ask what is their needs and I don't think there is room in the state system for that."
The Cambridge-based Primary Review said children in England may be starting school too young and face a system "uniquely" obsessed with high-pressure tests.
It maintained children who are taught in "alternative" centres - such as Steiner schools - or at home achieve far better results than pupils in state education.
Steiner education, especially at primary level, offers a very different curriculum where there is an emphasis on learning through play, imagination and no testing.
Youngsters do not start formally learning to write until they are six or seven.
"We really believe children want to learn," said Ms Smith. "What they are doing when they are playing is learning. They are engaging with the world but we just can't measure it.
"The idea that if we have a literary problem in this country it doesn't follow we need to start teaching them earlier.
"One of the things being highlighted is that many children in England are disaffected with reading by age 11. They don't want to know. We let them learn to read when they are ready."
Steiner schools put massive emphasis on getting youngsters to engage with their "imaginative world" and artistic abilities.
In this age of increasing emphasis on education as a vehicle for economic growth, Steiner philosophy states instead it is a "process of development and not simply an accumulation of facts and capacities in preparation for a career".
Ms Smith said: "When you hear politicians they are talking about what is needed for the economy.
"We do need to play our part in society but we see people as more than parts of a production line. They are not just there to make the economic world go round.
"They are there to fulfil themselves as human beings."
Though reluctant to knock colleagues in the state sector, Ms Smith asserts she would not put any of her children through it.
"What I hear from teachers in state schools is there is no time to do anything other than what is prescribed.
"There is no time to adapt to the children, to get their hands dirty climbing trees. We don't trust that children want to learn.
"In that environment it is quite harsh for young children who are naturally open, free and interested in the world.
"I think we are knocking that innate curiosity and wish to learn by constantly not trusting it."
Whereas the Steiner movement finds accord with the National Union of Teachers' which has long criticised the focus on tests and results in primary schools, the Government disagrees.
A spokesman for the Department for Schools said: "We make no apology for our focus on school standards. We want every child to achieve to the best of their abilities and we know that parents and teachers want that too.
"There is no evidence to suggest that either school size or starting age has a strong impact on children's attainment or progress at school."