Primary Years

Daily Structure

Steiner Education is characterised by a daily structure including Morning Circle, Main Lesson, Middle Sessions and Afternoon Sessions. This reflects the three-fold structure of the human being encompassing; thinking, feeling and willing.

Morning Circle is the beginning part of the day where the children unite as a group around choral verse, movement, speech, singing, circle games, counting and times table recitation.

Main Lesson is taught in the first two hours of the day and it is here that all new intellectual content is introduced. This represents the thinking aspect of the human being. A particular subject is studied for 3-4 weeks to allow for a deep and enriching learning experience.

The Middle or Practice Session allows time for students to revise and improve on previous concepts taught. It is the period of the day where students can consolidate their learning through repetition.

In Afternoon sessions, students usually engage in practical activities. These include painting, handcraft, beeswax or clay modelling, games, gardening, inside play and bushwalks.

Main Lesson

The Class Teacher teaches the ‘Main Lesson’ curriculum.

It is based on the major epochs of history; the wisdom of folk tales, the human qualities of the animal fables, the deeds of great people and their connection to nature, legends from the Old Testament, Norse, Ancient Indian, Persian/Chaldean, Egyptian, Greek & Roman myths and Odysseys, the Middle Ages, Renaissance and Revolutions.

Main Lesson learning encompasses Language, Humanities, Mathematics and Science learning.

Class Teacher

A unique feature of Steiner Education is that the class teacher stays with the class ideally from Class 1-8. The rationale being that learning is not just academic it is also social, and relationships are a vital part of life. This continuity enables a strong relationship with, and understanding of, a child’s academic, social and emotional needs and ongoing connections to the child’s family. The teacher plays a significant role and with this continuity becomes an authority that the child can trust.

On a regular basis across the school year the Class Teacher will host a parent meeting. Here the developmental stage of the class can be explored, the outline and progress of the curriculum for the term as well as future plans for the class. Often an artistic activity such as form drawing will be included to give parents a first-hand insight into what their child experiences at school.

Primary Years

Class 1

Class One is the beginning of formal academic schooling marked by the children’s new interest in learning, which is inspired by the awakening abilities of memory and thinking. The seven-year-old child continues to develop independent and pictorial thinking. Class One is facilitated by fostering the children’s feeling life through; stories, pictures, songs and rhythm. These help to connect new concepts to the child’s own experience. Routines are established, games are played, shapes are physically explored, numbers are sung, and drawings are made. Through the telling of folk tales the Class One teacher conveys messages of beauty, goodness and truth to the children, enriching the child’s inner life.

Students establish good habits of classroom life and work that will form the basis for all subsequent learning at school. Fundamental academic skills are practised through the ‘Sounds~Write’ approach for Literacy and a Concrete-Representational-Abstract approach for Maths. The students and teacher build the foundation for an ever-deepening relationship, while forming a socially cohesive group during this special year of “beginnings.”

Class 2

Children in Class Two are developing a heightened awareness of the world around them and are attracted to challenge and adventure, while remaining in a vivid world of pictorial imagination. The events and experiences of the outside world are filtered through the child’s imagination. The eight-year old child resonates deeply with legends and fables, recognising both the everyday attributes of humans, which are shown through animal stories, and those saintly qualities that human beings can strive towards. Folk stories gradually give way to myths and legends from the Celtic and Native American and other indigenous traditions. This year, children continue to familiarise themselves with the fundamentals of arithmetic and literacy, further developing a repertoire of skills that were initially introduced during Class 1.

Class 3

The nine/ten year threshold represents a very significant step in self-awareness. Children realise they are separate from their surroundings and now meet the world as individuals, often resulting in increased questions, self-doubt and wonder. The principle needs of this age are to connect the child’s inner life and the outer world. There is also a need for a strong sense of security, consistency and rhythm and a confidence in authority providing clear boundaries. In this period the child empathises with stories of the Old Testament; these Hebrew stories provide a solid foundation from which to serve this important stage of personal development. The curriculum at this stage has a strong focus on practical subjects such as farming, gardening and building. This supports the child to discover new ways of doing things in the world and finding out about the jobs people do so they too can envisage themselves as independent. By Class Three, students bring greater confidence and fluency to their reading and writing.  Work in maths focuses on measurement and also builds skills utilising the four processes. The students are introduced to written music and start individual lessons on a stringed instrument – violin, viola or cello.

Class 4

In the child’s tenth year the transition from early childhood is complete; this transition typically sees a surge of energy. The aim of Class 4 is to channel this powerful energy which the ten-year-old brings into new challenges so that they are stretched in every possible aspect of their work. The ten-year-old begins to form a more confident view of where they are in relation to their environment, in both a social and geographical sense. The physical changes in their development bring a new strength and agility. The teacher meets the growing interest of the children through bringing more conceptual areas of knowledge through topics such as ‘Local Geography and Mapping’ and ‘The Human Being and Animal’. This addresses their expanding curiosity about the world and provides them with more independence in their work. The students explore abstract concepts such as fractions and experience a leap in the complexity of texts with which they engage through reading and writing non-fiction. The Norse Myths and legends are explored in depth because they are full of courage and valour. These legends assist the child to find the strength that they need to face their own challenges that they too may face as they become more aware of the world.

Class 5

This age marks the pivotal point between childhood and puberty as the child attains a certain ease and grace of movement intrinsic to the age. Movement that is coordinated, balanced and harmonious is a key-note of the developmental stage. Cognitively, the children are more able to understand questions and phenomena in a realistic and reasoned manner. Class Five students have an understanding of placing events in time and history. They learn about ancient peoples – in particular the myths and legends of ancient India, Babylonia, Sumeria, Persia, Egypt and Greece.  In studying the development of these civilisations they gain a sense of where our knowledge has come from and how it has developed over time. Plant life is the focus of science, and decimals are introduced in Mathematics. Ten/Eleven-year-olds are enthusiastic about learning, eager for new challenges and capable of hard work and creativity. They have an openness to the world, and a level of confidence. Intellectually and morally, the child is ready for new challenges.

Class 6

Sixth grade is the gateway to preadolescence and idealism. During Class 6 it is important that the student is brought into elements of deductive thinking, logical thought processes and into their analytical and critical faculties. At this age, the teacher aims to work with the student’s growing orientation towards the outer world. As new capacities for thinking emerge, they can be led to understand causal relationships at work in the world. Class Six students are able to grasp cause and effect and can see things from another’s point of view. They are able to enquire deeply before forming an opinion. Twelve-year-olds are ready to hear of the wonderful discoveries of scientific exploration, the ideas of great Ancient Greek thinkers like Pythagoras and Aristotle, and the achievements of the Ancient Romans. The students at this age can be challenged and are capable of demonstrating high standards in their school-work.


Specialist Subjects

Specialist subjects are introduced from Class 1 through to Class 8. Beginning in Class 1, children will enjoy Movement, Craft and French within their daily and weekly rhythm. These subjects build as the child moves through the school to include PE, Science, Drama, Outdoor Education and Digital Technology. Refer to our Senior Years page for details on our Class 7 & 8 program.