The Steiner Curriculum

The Steiner curriculum is derived from children’s development stages, which has seven cultural themes for each of the primary school years.

Mornington Park Primary School Steiner stream is proud to have had the opportunity of having a curriculum written specifically for the needs of our school in relation to its environment and children’s cultural needs.  This curriculum meets all the educational standards of the National curriculum while affirming the development of the child.

The relationship between student and teacher is both crucial and changing through the course of childhood and early adolescence.  Our school campus is small which allows teachers to form unique and quality relationships with every child in the Steiner Influenced Stream. The learning Program in a Steiner environment has a particular structure that makes it unique to other education methodologies. The day is set into three parts;

  • Main Lesson (the first two hours of the school day)
  • Practice Lessons
  • Specialist Lessons

It is within the Main lesson that we see something very different to other schools.  This lesson is the introduction of all the new curriculum content and goes for approximately 2 hours every morning.  Main lesson subjects include Science, English, Social Studies, Mathematics and Art.  These subjects are delivered using an especially chosen theme.  Each main lesson subject runs for a three-week block allowing the teacher plenty of time to introduce a range of new learning objectives on new subject matter.

After a four-week rest period, all the new content from the main lesson is reintroduced to the student in 45 minute lesson blocks.  During these lessons the student has opportunities to practice concepts so that their understanding is strengthened, reinforced and integrated. These lessons are interspersed with our language, specialist music and social skills program.

Specialist and practical subjects are mostly left to the afternoon timetable.  They include Physical Education, Music, Woodwork, Foreign Language, Craft, Painting and Eurythmy.

In all subjects, the lessons address the children’s feelings as well as their intellects – the program is delivered creatively through pictures, stories, colour, rhythm, movement, drama and music. The balance between physical, intellectual and aesthetic experiences within the life of the child is central to delivering an enriching, purposeful and living education for the child.  Our program acknowledges the academic as well as the artistic qualities as equally important in the successful education of the child and aims to develop active and informed members of society, capable of managing the interactions between themselves and their social, cultural and physical environments.

Eurythmy means ‘beautiful movement’ and in the Primary School it translates as movement to poetry, story and music.  Eurythmy aims to bring unity and a sense of belonging to the group in an inclusive way. One of its features is group choreography of natural and geometric forms.  The objective in eurythmic movement is to expand awareness and ‘takeothers along with you,’ of working harmoniously with your ‘neighbours’ with a sense of inclusion and friendly interest.   The age-appropriate music, stories and verses help to support development and link the activity of Eurythmy into the curriculum. Eurythmy has its own ‘movement’ language and gestures to further enhance and experience the elements, qualities and sounds found in speech and music.

All students in the Steiner Influenced Stream are taught a foreign language through a specialist program. The main focus of this program is for the child to gain a deeper understanding of the cultural diversity of another country in comparison to Australian life.  The resonance provides the young person an opportunity to find compassion for a world full of cultural diversity.

CLASSROOM PHYSICAL MOVEMENT (Games and other activities)
From Prep to Class 3 in particular, games are brought to the children to foster play and to support development of the Primary Senses, in particular those of Movement and Balance. In these early years many circle games as well as other favourites can be introduced, often through song and rhyme, many of which have their origins from past generations.

In the latter years games are brought to foster teamwork, cooperation and sportsmanship, yet ideally with minimal emphasis on competition. In Class 5 the children have attended the Ancient Greek  Olympics with other Steiner streams where the aspects of beauty, truth and strength were performed. Other physical activities are numerous and are brought to the classes in Morning Circle through verse and song, and active rhythmic multiplication chanting, as well as other activities including crafts, building, walks, camps and the like.

Physical Education at Mornington Park Primary focuses on the important role that physical activity and sport play in the lives of all primary children. It provides opportunities for challenge, personal growth, enjoyment and fitness. The program promotes involvement, with a focus on learning new skills at age appropriate stages. It develops students’ confidence across a range of different sports. In the senior years students are involved in district sporting events including swimming, athletics, cross country and several other sports.

Singing throughout all the year levels adds much joy, warmth and vitality to the classes. Through song and verse, the seasons are welcomed and the festivals celebrated.

In the early years the mood of the fifth, based on a pentatonic scale, a sense of freedom in both melody and rhythm embrace the children. Songs are learnt by imitation, and later played on recorder. From Class 3 onwards, the modern diatonic scale now has prominence. Songs are still learnt “by heart” with written music and words now being utilised. Rounds can now be introduced where the class has been divided from the whole into parts, and from Class 5 this continues further with melody and harmony being sung in part singing, in both major and minor keys. Music continues to have daily prominence in the school life of the older child. 

Many opportunities exist for children to learn a musical instrument in private or small groups.  Instruments include violin, piano, guitar, percussion and voice.  Within the instrumental program children are involved in playing in group ensembles and perform regularly at whole school assemblies, festivals and within the community.

Form Drawing is an activity that feeds the children in many different way. It helps children to develop control for fluent handwriting. It stimulates a strong sense of symmetry and flexibility of thought. it is certainly a great preparation for geometry. It supports development of the whole being of the child, appropriate for their age and grade.

Craft is an important part of the Steiner Curriculum. It relates to the epoch presented at each year level and becomes a medium through which the academic can be experienced or expressed. The craft curriculum is offered with careful consideration of the stages of development of the children at each level and their capabilities to think, feel and do.  Articles are chosen for their usefulness and relevance to the child, are made with natural materials, are made with age-appropriate skills, tool and materials and are appropriate to the current season.