Study focus and direction
In years 11 and 12, the students begin to focus their studies according to their future aspirations, they still engage with every curriculum area over the course of the year.
Additionally, in class 12, our students engage in an Independent research project, focussing on an area of their choice. Through this project, many students develop a portfolio that gains them early access to tertiary places, however, more importantly, it gives them the opportunity to engage and manage a significant project and to either push their knowledge in an existing passion or explore new possibilities.
All students are supported in this process by an independent mentor and a school-based supervisor.
The main lesson structure that begins in class one continues to serve the students as a major pedagogical structure, ensuring that students have an opportunity to immerse themselves in myriad different areas over the course of the year.
Another core element of a Steiner/Waldorf curriculum is an interdisciplinary approach to teaching and learning that moves from the whole to the part. In practice, this means that when teaching one subject area, we try to link this to other curriculum areas where possible and remove any hard lines between disciplines.
The below focus areas provide some additional commentary on core themes that transgress subject boundaries.
Connection to nature
From early childhood through to the high school, the study of nature is considered core to developing child.
In the current age we are also acutely aware of the impact that our contemporary lifestyle has on our surroundings and we have found that a development of a relationship with nature that is founded upon experience and deep understanding, is the key to the development of responsibility in our youth.
Once again, we take an experiential approach through classroom teaching, afternoon walks in the school’s vast natural bushland and extensive periods of immersion through our outdoor education programme in particular. These experiences form a strong foundational understanding of nature that evolves into a sense of moral responsibility in the later years – guiding our graduates to make informed decisions in their life choices.
The outdoor education programme is a core element of our curriculum, starting with a camp in class 3 and expanding to 35 days under canvas in class 9.
Development of the will
The development of the will is another core task of the teacher throughout the child’s school experience. From grinding flour in the pre-school through to the Independent research project in class 12, the healthy development of the will is integral to a young person’s ability to work towards their potential in post school life. Throughout the curriculum we seek to engage students in their work through a process of intrinsic motivation that in turn creates a love of learning.
Many of our artistic activities, from woodwork, painting and clay-work seek to develop this quality which is also worked upon in physical education, outdoor education and the kitchen garden programme.
Intellect and discernment
The development of the intellect is increasingly important in the high school years as our student’s capacity to form judgements and to discern between right and wrong become more finely tuned. This is the result of significant work from the development of a sense of beauty in the pre school and goodness in the primary school. Now, in the high school, truth prevails and each of our teachers become a role model for our developing students.
Typically, we consider our maths and science subjects to be linked with intellectual development, however, without a sound understanding of our history, society and environment; as well as engagement in the arts; we risk an imbalanced intellect. In our senior secondary years, we encourage students to work with their strengths when selecting subjects, but to also be mindful of engaging in a balanced selection of subjects.
In doing so, we seek to develop well rounded students who will make informed decisions in their adult lives.