Samford Valley Steiner School

High School

Our High School aims to provide an education for adolescents that inspires love of learning, develops freedom of thought, and fosters self-confidence.

Adolescence is when the student really begins to take hold of their independent thinking. In the early years they played, in the Primary School they lived in imagination and now in High School they have a will to scrutinise the world and those around them; to judge, to ‘weigh up’ and to seek out the truth. We encourage them to think independently, to observe, to research, and then to come to conclusions and judgements.


The HIGH SCHOOL Guardian

As students come into the High School, their care and guidance is passed from the Class Teacher to a group of specialist teachers; one of whom will be their Class Guardian. Unlike the Class Teacher the Class Guardian does not take every main lesson but only those for which she/he is a specialist. This new emphasis on specialist teaching means that the young person meets a range of experienced and passionate Specialist Teachers who can bring the full depth of their subject matter in an enlivened and extended way. 

an integrated curriculum

The High School curriculum is designed to encourage the emergence of world citizens.  The Main Lesson Structure established in the Primary School years is preserved throughout the High School and students continue to explore a full range of academic subjects in an integrated and creative way. The work of the High School teacher is to unfold for the students Main Lessons that are thematic, experiential and that develop discernment and independent, lively thinking within the discipline of the subject.

After Main Lesson the rest of the day is dedicated to practice and studio lessons. These lessons include: Mathematics; English; laboratory lessons in physics, chemistry and biology; visual, sculptural, dramatic, musical and movement arts; foreign language; sport and physical education; gardening and workshop lessons in handwork and manual crafts.

outdoor education

Outdoor Education at SVSS is much more than bushwalking and camping;  it is an integral part of the fabric of our school curriculum. Each camp is essentially an outdoor classroom experience designed to enrich the Main Lesson of which it is a part. The camp program also brings another unique set of learning experiences arising from the challenges and adventures the students meet in the outdoor setting.

Children growing up in the modern world experience an enormous array of influences, information and technologies. Many aspects of city life are wonderful and are to be enjoyed and celebrated. However, our lives and those of our children have become complex and separated from the natural world. We believe nurturing a connection to the natural world is of profound importance for the healthy development of our students.

The Outdoor Classroom and Camp curriculum helps students to:

  • Enrich and deepen the Main Lesson content
  • Look both outward and inward
  • Build self-esteem and confidence in their capacity to be self-reliant
  • Define wants versus needs
  • Develop greater self-awareness in a social context
  • Experience a supportive group fabric
  • Gain insight into sustainability

The Outdoor Classroom and Camp program helps students to connect with themselves, others and amazing wild places in this part of the world.

student exchange

Samford Valley Steiner School offers a student exchange program from Class 10. The aim of the exchange is to encourage a community of modern young people who have meaningful and authentic links to other peoples and cultures of the world.

Students spend 3 – 6 months at a Steiner School in a country of their choice (subject to availability of exchange partners) and similarly the students exchange partner will spend time at SVSS.  The exchange program enables the students to broaden the horizons of their world view and often to form enriching friendships with young people from another country.  The program benefits all SVSS students as they experience other cultures through the young people from around the world who come to the school on exchange.

senior education


The New Zealand Certificate of Steiner Education is a secondary school qualification which is owned by the Federation of Rudolf Steiner Waldorf Schools in New Zealand and quality managed and developed by the Steiner Education Development Trust (SEDT). SEDT awards the certificate at Level 1, 2 and 3 via Learning Outcomes.

CSE Student handbook Lvl 1 2 3

This certificate aims to certify those students who undertake and achieve in a learning program in a Rudolf Steiner School which seeks to develop the skills, knowledge, capacities and attitudes required for post-secondary school life, including work and/or university or other tertiary study.

The emphasis in Steiner education on the relationship of the learning material to the human being encouraged subjects to be taught in inter-disciplinary contexts wherever possible. In addition, subject matter is taught through phenomenological or experiential methodology – that is from observation of, and personal involvement with, phenomena leading to concept, rather than from the presentation of a concept to confirmation through examples, allowing for the growth and development of the students thinking capacities.

The NZCSE endows graduates with aptitudes and expertise in a broad range of curriculum areas including the Senior Research Project at Level 3 which is a significant demonstration of self-directed, independent learning. The qualification at each level is awarded based on the collection of evidence required to support the decision of the teacher against detailed assessment criteria specified for each Learning Outcome. Assessment is integrated with learning and includes items such as a project, assignment, essay, report, test, product (eg, art or writing portfolio), or performance (eg, laboratory experiment, tool or material handlings, drama, speech, music and movement demonstrations).

Vocational Education and Training (VET)

Samford Valley Steiner School also offers two (VET) courses for students in Years 11 or 12.
(* Please note VET courses are not available for international students)

Certificate II in Outdoor Recreation
The Certificate II in Outdoor Recreation qualifies students as an Assistant Guide for the disciplines selected.  These disciplines are climbing, abseiling and hiking.  A career in Outdoor Recreation can provide rich and diverse life experiences, knowledge that can be used all over the world and can support tertiary entry in the same area, providing pathways toward working in education, recreation, environmental work or regional and state parks to name a few.

Certificate II in Music Industry
This certificate qualifies the student as vocationally competent to assist a Sound Engineer in the professional production of live music and sound recording. Its focus is on audio production rather than a performance focus which compliments the years of student’s performance practice throughout their schooling. The course also has a strong practical relationship to the delivery of school curriculum and events e.g. Conferences, Festivals, Assemblies, Talent Nights, Discos and Dances. Two units of the course involve the capturing and recording of performances and the editing and manipulating of audio digitally. There are ample opportunities for this in our school.


At SVSS we strive to graduate young people with initiative, energy, flexibility, creativity and civic agency, who show responsible social ethics and who are motivated to contribute to society and to creatively shape the future.

The Senior Research Project highlights the strength of our senior students as they investigate a deep question about both their own experience and how their questions might influence and impact the world they are soon to fully enter. The Class 12 Senior Research Project is an integral part of the curriculum where all Class 12 students are required to complete a project. Students experience and grow throughout the entire journey of the project. It is an opportunity for students to choose a topic they are deeply interested in and/or passionate about and immerse themselves in it for a whole year. The students set the goals and expectations for the project, plan it, seek advice and find the resources they need. Through the project students learn a great deal about the topic, as well as face many challenges. They are asked to work with their practical strengths, artistic skills and research abilities. The students’ organisational skills, public speaking ability and determination will also be tested and developed.


An early year's experience that protects the kingdom of childhood


An education that nourishes and supports the child’s developing imagination

High School

An education that develops discernment and encourages independent thinking