Primary School

Moving into Formal Education

Our school aims to provide an educational environment that serves the freedom of the human spirit by emphasising the balanced and disciplined development of the child as a whole human being.

The children begin Primary School when they are in their seventh year. Education research supports Steiner’s suggestion to allow the first seven years being rich in imaginative play, while introducing more formal education from the seventh year onwards.

The Primary School Child

The Primary School child lives and thinks in a world of images. Our teachers meet the child with subject matter that is brought alive through an artistic approach. They challenge the child’s mind through the study of academic subjects; nurture inner harmony through exploration of the arts; and develop willingness to address life’s challenges through involvement in practical tasks. Thus we educate the thinking, feeling and willing aspect of the developing child: their head, heart and hand.

Subject areas help children discover the world from the dawn of time through to the present age. Literacy and numeracy, science, geography and history are balanced with creative endeavours in music, art, craft, gardening, speech and movement. (See Class Snapshots for further details.)

Main Lesson

Subjects are studied in “Main Lessons” which take place for two hours at the beginning of each day when the ‘academic’ aspect of the subject matter is best absorbed. These subjects continue on for three to four weeks. The rhythm of this approach, the development, and depth of content gives the children a rich learning experience. The Main Lesson incorporates subjects such as history, English, social studies, mathematics, music, geography, science and technology. Main Lesson books take the place of textbooks.

Specialist Lessons

SM_12214Music

Music is an integral part of the Steiner curriculum. Each Class Teacher provides basic musical experiences such as singing and recorder for their class. In addition, the Specialist Music Teacher extends the children’s experience of musical ideas and theory. All children from Class 3 onwards learn to play either a cello or violin and participate in School Ensembles.SR_74844

Craft

The creative activity of craft lessons seeks to integrate an appreciation for both beauty and skill. The skills and techniques of knitting, weaving, crocheting, embroidering, woodworking and carving are taught at various stages in the Primary School. Children feel a natural enthusiasm towards making something practical with beauty. There is also an aspect of discipline needed to complete the work.

 

Languages Other Than English (LOTE) – German

The study of a foreign language cultivates the experience of speech sound, rhythms and intonation that are different from English. By giving the children the experience of another language, they have the opportunity to experience the world from a different cultural perspective and the ‘universal human’ element is cultivated.

Eurythmy

The movement art of Eurythmy supports the overall harmonious development of the child. With its gestural ‘language’ (reinforcing the experience of speech and music as emanating from the whole human being), formal syntax or ‘choreography’ (based on a variety of principles related to the structures of language and music), use of polarities, rhythm, music, poetry, story, coordination and dexterity exercises, and more, it contributes to the integration of other fields of learning (from maths through to history) through the experiential medium of meaningful movement. Furthermore, practice of these integrative exercises supports the development of a healthy physical foundation for learning (muscle tone, gross and fine motor skill, overcoming retained reflexes, balance, posture, laterality, etc).

How we work with technology in the Primary School

Computers have penetrated into every human activity and have had an enormous impact on our society. One of the challenges facing teachers is to work with computer technology in a creative, pictorial way so students can understand and relate to it.

Technological education helps students to manage and influence technological change, and to gain greater control over their lives. It promotes creative expression through design and emphasises practical experiences. The important thing is that students are masters of the technology, rather than simply being consumers. We hold back from computers and calculators in the Primary School because of the reliance this fosters on outer technology and the corresponding weakening of one’s capacity to work things out for oneself.

The computer imposes on young children a language and method which is quite alien to their nature. It is a formal language, without rhythm, nuance or colour – all of which we hold to be of such importance to Primary age children. Furthermore it requires a logical reasoning, which the child only naturally reaches around puberty.

Students can develop outstanding computer skills, despite the later introduction of the computer into the curriculum.

 

Educational Support and Student Assessment

05-primary-320x220Our Educational Support Program looks at the whole child and addresses academic, social, emotional and behavioural concerns. It also provides support for children who have a first language other than English, or where a language other than English is spoken at home.

Our teachers regularly evaluate their students’ educational work to ensure that the potential of each child is being progressively revealed. This is done primarily through ongoing, responsive, qualitative assessment, with some use of quantifiable data relating to specific achievements that are regularly reported to parents. We take seriously the need to identify learning difficulties and offer appropriate remedial or extension help. Where remedial or extension support is needed, our teachers attempt to provide this within the framework of the whole class.

Students with special needs in literacy or numeracy may receive individual attention and children may also be placed into small groups based on ability for certain other activities. Students who have learning difficulties with an underlying physical basis are assisted by referral to specialist practitioners.

 

Our Teachers

Our school emphasises the importance of the Class Teacher role. It is the intention of teachers that they stay with the same class for up to seven years. For the teacher this means they develop a deep understanding of the needs of each child. It also means they have a challenge to develop and study, to bring new content to an ever-developing group each year. Our teachers work with an understanding of the health-giving and healing nature of this unique education to nurture the social, emotional, academic and soul needs of the child.

Some common themes that teachers work with are:

Connect the subject themes to the human being

First experience then understand

Work from the whole to the parts

Work from an imaginative picture

All activity needs rhythm

The education of our children is enhanced when our teachers work closely and harmoniously with parents to deepen each other’s understanding of the child.

Primary School Curriculum

Snapshot Class 1
Snapshot Class 2
Snapshot Class 3
Snapshot Class 4
Snapshot Class 5
Snapshot Class 6
Snapshot Class 7

Snapshot Class 1

MATHS: Numeracy through movement and through lively oral games. Roman and Arabic numerals. Counting by ones, twos, threes, fours, fives, and tens. The four processes (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division) and simple number problems.
SCIENCE: Nature stories.
LANGUAGE ARTS: Pictorial phonetic introduction to letters and reading approached through writing.
HISTORY: Fairy tales.
LANGUAGES OTHER THAN ENGLISH: German greetings, numbers, parts of the body, colours, clothing, food, animals, the weather, seasons, and holidays, as well as songs, short poems and games.
MUSIC: Singing and pentatonic recorder.
ARTS: Watercolour painting, beeswax sculpting, knitting, hand sewing and drama.
PHYSICAL EDUCATION: Social games, circle games, hand clapping games, swinging, jumping, climbing, running, skipping, catching and balancing activities.
EURYTHMY: Fairy tales, seasonal verses, short poems and rhymes, simple tunes for rhythm and pitch provide the imaginative content for movement. Copper rods are used for coordination exercises.


Snapshot Class 2

MATHS: Continued four processes (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division) and multiplication tables, carrying and borrowing, patterns, mental arithmetic and symmetry. Practice books introduced.
SCIENCE: Nature stories.
LANGUAGE ARTS: Reading, writing, simple compositions and aboriginal animal stories.
HISTORY: Animal fables, legends and myths.
LANGUAGES OTHER THAN ENGLISH: German songs, stories, fables, poetry, short plays and short dialogues, recitation of longer poems with emphasis on pronunciation and intonation. Numbers, animals, human body, colours, clothes, weather, seasons and holidays, as well as personal information, courtesy phrases, food and likes and dislikes.
MUSIC: Singing and pentatonic recorder.
ARTS: Watercolour painting, beeswax sculpting, knitting, hand sewing, form drawing and drama.
PHYSICAL EDUCATION: Social games, circle games, hand clapping games, swinging, jumping, climbing, running, skipping, catching and balancing activities.
EURYTHMY: Movement to poems, fables, saint stories, simple tunes for experiencing rhythm and pitch. First geometric and coordination exercises are introduced. Copper rod exercises continue.


Snapshot Class 3

MATHS: Weights and measures, time, money, review of the four processes (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division), double-digit multiplication and long division.
SCIENCE: Study of practical life and farming.
LANGUAGE ARTS: Reading, spelling, speech, cursive writing, parts of speech, grammar and aboriginal hero legends.
GEOGRAPHY: Farming, climates and physical environments.
HISTORY: History introduced through Old Testament stories and Jewish legends.
LANGUAGES OTHER THAN ENGLISH: German – the farm, weather, telling time, animals, food and cooking, the house and construction, days of the week, months, seasons and more numbers.
MUSIC: Diatonic recorder, singing, marimba and musical notation. String program begins.
PRACTICAL ARTS: Watercolour painting, beeswax sculpting, crocheting, hand sewing, drama and form drawing.
PHYSICAL EDUCATION: Cooperative games, skill development, jump rope, tumbling, fitness games and balancing.
EURYTHMY: As always Main Lesson related poetry and text provide the context for more complex coordination exercises, group work on square and triangle forms, simple alternating patterns on the circle, contracting and expanding. Moving to Major and Minor is introduced in music eurythmy.
CAMPS: Overnight to local area. Farming camp in conjunction with farming Main Lesson.


Snapshot Class 4

MATHS: Fractions, long division and multiplication, mixed numbers and estimation and freehand geometry.
SCIENCE: Zoology, geographical/plant regions and climates.
LANGUAGE ARTS: Composition, grammar, spelling and aboriginal hero legends.
GEOGRAPHY: Local geography and map-making.
HISTORY: Norse mythology and Queensland history.
LANGUAGES OTHER THAN ENGLISH: German – introduction to reading and writing in German, more conscious work with grammar, nouns, adjectives, articles and verb conjugation, singing in rounds with simple harmonies and review of topics covered in previous grades.
MUSIC: Diatonic recorder, class string ensemble and introduction to simple harmony singing.
PRACTICAL ARTS: Watercolour painting, beeswax and clay sculpting, cross-stitch, knitting, hand sewing and drama.
PHYSICAL EDUCATION: Cooperative games, skill development, jump rope, fitness games and balancing.
EURYTHMY: Norse Mythology and other Main Lesson themes provide context. Children work more facing frontally (instead of on the circle) Coordination, and rod exercises continue. Concentration exercises are introduced. Musical gestures are practised.
.CAMPS: Camp Constable at Mt Glorious – indigenous studies and local history. Beach camp.


Snapshot Class 5

MATHS: Decimals, ratio and proportion, long division, fractions, decimal fractions, number systems, multiple step word problems and formal geometry.
SCIENCE: Botany – flowering plants and trees, algae, fungi, lichens, mosses and ferns. Plant physiology, climate zones of plants, plant life cycles and study of insects, especially the honeybee and butterfly.
LANGUAGE ARTS: Composition, grammar, spelling, vocabulary, building verbal memory, poetry recitation, building comprehension skills, dictionary work and independent reading assignments.
GEOGRAPHY: Australian geography related to vegetation, agriculture and economics, the relationship between physical geography, climate and human activity.
HISTORY: Ancient civilisations of India, Persia and Mesopotamia. Greek culture, politics and governance.
LANGUAGES OTHER THAN ENGLISH: German – poetry, songs, deeper study of grammar, introduction of a reader. Study of ancient civilisations of a specific country. Geography of Germany. Vocabulary related to school, family life, the house, flowers and plants.
MUSIC: strings ensemble (violin or cello), alto recorder, music theory and singing.
PRACTICAL ARTS: Woodwork, watercolour painting, sculpting, 4-needle knitting, drama and form drawing.
PHYSICAL EDUCATION: Cooperative games, circus arts, Greek Pentathlon and gymnastics.
EURYTHMY: India, Persia, Greece offer wonderful themes for movement. All elements learned so far are practised at greater level of complexity.
.CAMPS: Bunya Mountains – botany. Noosa River – canoeing.


Snapshot Class 6

MATHS: Plane geometry, compound and simple interest, business Maths, calculating taxes, basic economics, and percentages. Compass, straightedge, and protractor introduced. Pi, angles and lines.
SCIENCE: Physics – acoustics volume, pitch, timbre, electricity-static and magnetism, mineralogy-plate tectonics, magnetism, optics-light and colour. Combustion-conduction, convection, radiation, heat and astronomy.
LANGUAGE ARTS: Biographies of Australians. Spelling, composition and grammar skills developed. Parts of speech and sentences, prepositions, phrases, vocabulary studies and expository writing skills.
GEOGRAPHY: Geography of the South Pacific. Latitude and longitude, climatic zones and the Tropics of Capricorn and Cancer.
HISTORY: The rise and fall of Rome, the birth of Islam, and the rise of the Middle Ages. Roman architecture, aqueducts. The power of the early kings and the invasions of Muslims, Vikings and others.
LANGUAGES OTHER THAN ENGLISH: German geography, history and culture. Grammar, including regular and irregular verbs, future and present tense, nouns, adjectives, adverbs, possessives and prepositions.
MUSIC: Orchestra, singing, recorders and music theory.
PRACTICAL ARTS: Woodwork, watercolour painting, design and hand sewing stuffed animals and drama.
PHYSICAL EDUCATION: Sports skills and fitness, juggling, cricket, soccer and athletics.
EURYTHMY: Roman history with it’s military achievements give the theme: precision and discipline in movement, exact geometric forms, more complex rhythmical and concentration work. Rod throwing and catching are added.
CAMPS: Girraween National Park – geology.


Snapshot Class 7

MATHS: Algebra and Euclidean geometry, square roots, drawing with instruments, exponents and notation, metric measurement, graphic representation of data, algebraic expressions, Pythagorean Theorem, Fibonacci series and perspective drawing.
SCIENCE: Astronomy, physics, electricity and circuitry, simple mechanics, physiology, inorganic chemistry, combustion, oxidation, acids and bases, nutrition and hygiene. Students take lab notes and write detailed reports.
LANGUAGE ARTS: Composition, spelling, grammar, poetry, literature, biographies, note taking skills, mechanics of writing and critical reading skills developed.
GEOGRAPHY: African and South American geography and culture.
HISTORY: Middle Ages through the Renaissance and up to the Age of Exploration. Reformation in northern Europe, church and state conflict and the Spanish Inquisition.
LANGUAGES OTHER THAN ENGLISH: German songs and poetry. German grammar: regular and irregular verbs, present, future and past tense, reflexive verbs, direct object pronoun and possessives.
MUSIC: Orchestra, singing, recorders and music theory.
PRACTICAL ARTS: Woodwork, hand sewing and designing, drama and perspective drawing.
PHYSICAL EDUCATION: Sports skills and fitness, circus arts, track and field, soccer, basketball, touch football and volleyball.
EURYTHMY: Humour, stories wherein children take individual roles, extended work with copper rods, large complex group choreography (bearing burning torches) for winter festival.
CAMPS: Five nights at Bunya Mountains – astronomy, health and hygiene and creative writing.

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