The Steiner Curriculum
“What attracted me to Steiner education initially was the beauty of the educational content and the beauty that is found in the school and its surroundings. I love that children are allowed to learn through play and art while still learning all the necessary academic skills.” Yvonne, Teacher at Golden Hill
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The Australian Steiner Curriculum meets with national educational standards
The Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) recognises the Australian Steiner Curriculum Framework as an alternative curriculum that offers equivalent educational outcomes, in English, Maths, History and Science, to the mainstream system.
The Steiner Curriculum offers an exceptional educational journey based on a holistic approach and quality content
The central aim of Steiner education is to develop and integrate the faculties of thought, feeling and willing in the child; often referred to as Heart, Head and Hands. This holistic approach creates a wonderful foundation for your child’s initiative and moral strength in adult life.
Steiner Education has as its core purpose, the aim to meet the needs of the child in a developmentally appropriate way. This allows the child to shine.
The curriculum endeavours to meet the inner needs of the children at different stages of their development, not only with a change in style and method of teaching, but also with careful choice of teaching materials.
The child’s development grows from an early sense of wonder, to intellectual awakening and a thirst for knowledge. As the child moves from Kindergarten through the Primary years, the curriculum is designed to present one subject at a time and in a way that will best awaken the child’s powers. The teacher shapes the subject matter to suit the experience, abilities, and individual qualities of the class.
As in any school, the children face tasks of increasing difficulty as they grow from year to year. In Steiner schools, the children also meet particular subjects, topics and cultures according to the development of their thought and being. At the completion of their schooling, the children will have studied many cultures, both of East and West, ancient and modern.
Our curriculum satisfies all the WA Department of Education curriculum outcomes in all the key learning areas. The following overview will give a general picture of the main themes (main lessons) covered in the primary years. This is not a comprehensive curriculum guide, as it does not cover specialist subjects or other subjects, which are not delivered through main lessons such as social development, physical education or visual arts.
The following are extracts from J. Cunningham’s (RSSA) 2004 Working with Curriculum in Australia Steiner School
In Class 1, the most important way of meeting a child’s needs is in the way content is introduced. The gradual change from activity and imitation in the kindergarten, to more formal learning in Class 1 is facilitated by involving the feeling life – through stories, rhythm, pictures and songs. These help to connect the new concepts to the child’s own experience.
Introduction to the Alphabet
Introduction to Numbers
The Four Processes: addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.
The Four Seasons
In Class 2, the child of eight still lives in a vivid world of pictorial imagination, but with an alertness and keeness for challenge and adventure. By Class 2, the children have greatly extended their periods of concentration and are capable of developing their own images and so rise from perception to pictorial concepts. Now is the time for extending the amounts of writing and reading, and more complex mathematical work.
Folk stories gradually give way to myths and legends, and animal fables are chosen to show individual differences and characteristics. Stories reflect the wholeness of the human, the animal and natural worlds.
Stories of the Saints
The Four Elements
The Four Seasons
This is a significant year, as the children are experiencing the 9th/10th year threshold, a change in the relationship between self and others. There is an emergence of individuality, a differentiation between the self and the world of nature. The curriculum aims to address the needs of an expression of expansion and a need for sense of security.
Stories from the Old Testament
Farming and Gardening
Building and Dwellings
Introduction to Grammar
Measurement: Linear, mass, liquid, trading and money, time.
Class 4, the tenth year, represents the ‘heart of childhood’. Children of this age need a picture of the world showing more complexity interdependence and relations between individuals, contrasts of the individual working against or for the community. There is a strong need for knowledge and understanding of the physical world to still be brought imaginatively.
Introduction of Fractions
Local Geography and History
The Animal and the Human Being
History of Writing
Early Maritime exploration of Australia
At this age, the children are involved in their work with new self-assurance – there are new intellectual, moral and social challenges. This requires a teaching style which brings pictorial images into reasoning through the formation of concepts. There is a thirst for knowledge of a wider world, both geographically and over time, and an understanding of the inter-relatedness of human cultures and their environment.
The move from myth to history, the sweep of ancient cultures from India to Egypt prepares the child for the Main Lesson theme of Classical Greece which particularly meets the Class 5 child.
Ancient Persia and Babylon
Australian History: Explorers/ the Gold Rush
Introduction to Geometry
For the Class 6 child, there is a stronger orientation towards the outside world, and finding their place in it. The Class 6 child needs a picture of the world that shows goodness and beauty as a counter to the harsh aspects of the world that they are discovering as their interest turns outwards. The students need a teaching style allowing for more expression of student views and participation in decisions but maintaining the teachers’ authority and consistency of expectations and boundaries.