Steiner education rests on the concept that child development follows a universal pattern. While recognising the diversity of individuals, this picture of common experience provides the basis for both the curriculum and the way in which the curriculum is brought to the children at Alice Springs Steiner School for Rudolf Steiner Education. The Alice Springs Steiner School offers a broad but solidly integrated curriculum inter-weaving academic subjects with art, craft, music, storytelling, and drama.
A central pillar of Steiner/Waldorf education is to enable the teacher to intimately comprehend and act upon the needs of each child and to nurture the development of a real spirit of sharing and community within the class. In a loving environment and with the encouragement of teachers and class mates children are developing their strengths and working towards improving areas of difficulties.
Steiner/Waldorf education works towards mastery of oral communication as an integral part of learning; there is emphasis on listening, retelling, acting and drawing stories. This enhances imagination and comprehension of language. Students are taught to work with ideas, to communicate ideas and bring ideas to life through drawing and illustration.
A child is part of the world, connected with the past and the future, with nature and all living things. The child is more likely to experience this sense of belonging if fragmentation in education is avoided. Lessons are presented that contain a historical thread and allow time for a depth of experience.
The curriculum working from the whole to the part helps to avoid this fragmentation and when special lessons in sport, language and arts occur they are usually linked across the curriculum to provide a balanced educational approach. Similarly, the seasonal year finds rich expression within the school. The arts and festivals are important and link the child to the environment, the rhythms of life and the community.
Our curriculum maintains what is fundamental to Steiner Education through:
the emotional, intellectual and physical attributes of each child
that the child is at the centre of education.
that every child is an individual with natural gifts; each has a similar developmental path, but may progress at different rates.
Our understanding of child development which is that:
very young children learn through imitating the world and using their imagination to experience it through play
primary age children learn best when their emotions and imaginations are engaged
children’s learning is enhanced by artistic activity, by problem solving and hands on work.
children benefit from strong rhythms and routine.
Ensuring that the education we provide:
is multidisciplinary and integrated in its application, involving “the head, the heart and the hands” in all that we do;
embraces the practice of having a Class teacher who stays with the children for the six years they are at primary school;
is sequential and related to the child’s needs at every stage of their development;
features the Main Lesson system which is designed to deepen, enrich and unify the children’s learning experience.
For more details on Steiner Education Curriculum please see the Steiner Education Australia (SEA) website.