Our School Curriculum
Our curriculum is based on Rudolf Steiner’s indications and it also meets the current requirements of the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA). The aim of the teaching practices used at Rainbow Ridge School is for children to reach their individual potentials and to enhance their qualities in the broader social context of the community.
Class content is appropriate and specific to the age and development of children within that class.
As ‘Steiner Teachers’ we study anthroposophical philosophy as well as contemporary research to find answers we need to continue providing a quality education for our students.
The first years at Rainbow Ridge School the teachers followed curriculum guidelines developed by an Australian impulse for Steiner Education and our mentor, who was present at our initial meeting of teachers and parents, was Alan Whitehead. Alan Whitehead’s career in Steiner Education includes being a High-School teacher at Glenaeon and a pioneer and teacher in the Primary and High School of Lorien Novalis. Alan conducted teacher training and wrote many books in a Spiritual syllabus series guiding teachers on their path through Primary and High School. Teachers at Rainbow Ridge developed their own Lesson plans. Since the development of an Australian Steiner Curriculum, teachers are following mostly those curriculum guidelines.
Classes at Rainbow Ridge
Throughout the first 20 years we only had combined classes. A class teacher would take on a class one and then combine the next class one and lead those two classes through the Primary years up to year 6 or 8. In 2016 the first single class started and moved on. With growing enrollments but still limited space we will still have to continue some combined classes.
Teachers teaching combined classes either take an essence from both curricular areas or teach half the year to the younger student’s curricular needs and the second half to the older student’s.
The rhythm of the day is a fundamental practice in the Steiner classroom.
thinking realm (head)
feeling realm (chest)
will realm (limbs)
This is taught for the first two hours of the school day. All key learning areas are taught in the main lessons in a 3-4 week block to optimize learning; no fragmentation of subjects takes place.
In order to achieve deep knowledge and understanding of the content the teacher implements a creative and imaginative teaching practice. This practice allows children to delve into all aspects of the topic.
Topics are linked to English, Mathematics, Science and HSIE (History and Geography).
The middle lesson supports the more conceptual morning lesson by involving students in rhythmic and repetitive, creative hands-on activities and exercises. These are practice lessons in Literacy and Numeracy, water colour painting and other artistic expressions.
The School’s music program includes our Strings program. Students start in class 3 to play either cello or violin.
The afternoon lesson is directed towards the child’s developing will forces. Activities can be linked to the main lesson.
For example, a main lesson about plants can be supported by the planting of a class garden in the afternoon lesson.
Other activities may include sport, dance, knitting, stitching and building. These lessons meet the technical and practical arts needs of the students.
Students participate equally in all areas of the curriculum content including craft and technical activities, art, drama, music and sport.
The wholistic outlook of every subject still remains the important grounding for analytical thinking and research. The school’s curriculum embraces this wholistic approach, to educate all the faculties of the children.
Excursions and Class Trips
Excursions and class trips are regularly organised by class teachers. Excursions are designed to enhance lessons with experiences outside the classroom. The school also organises activities with other Steiner schools and professionals from outside the school.
Rainbow Ridge School is a member of the SEA (Steiner Education Australia). It is also part of a network of local Steiner Schools.