“Imagination is the source of all human achievement”
– Sir Ken Robinson
The Power of Imagination
The Class Teacher assumes a central role in guiding the children through a journey of discovery and learning from Class One to Five. A rich curriculum delivered through story, art, music, nature science and practical activity, awakens and develops the power of imagination in students. During these years, a love of learning is fostered and a solid academic foundation built through experiences infused with meaning and feeling.
Class One marks a clear and important transition from the nurturing, communal experience of kindergarten into an awakening, increasingly self-aware, classroom experience. Students are turning seven years of age.
Establishing the rhythms and habits of classroom life helps to form a positive, enthusiastic foundation for all subsequent school learning. Folk and fairy tales infuse the curriculum. The foundations of reading and writing begin now, as do early arithmetic and Japanese classes, all permeated with art, music and movement. The relationship between education and curiosity, joy and engagement is developed.
The Class Two child has a sense that there is more to life than early childhood’s innocent understanding that “the world and I are one,” and students possess a dawning awareness of both human greatness and fallibility. Children are turning eight years of age.
Here students read, hear, study, discuss and write about fables and Celtic mythology. Exaggerated traits such as greed, boastfulness and stubbornness are often illustrated and contrasted with the lives of exemplary people who have overcome these challenges. Mathematics study intensifies, Japanese continues and nature beckons. Craft, painting, modelling, movement and music continue. Studies of the children’s home and natural surroundings provide the foundation for the science curriculum to come.
Significant psychological, cognitive and physiological changes touch the increasingly self-aware, Class Three child. The student’s newfound disconnection from his or her surroundings can be at once disconcerting and excitingly self- empowering. Students are turning nine years of age.
Stories from the Hebrew Scriptures along with hands-on experiences in building, farming, gardening and cooking, help students develop a positive relationship with others and their environment. Mathematics becomes practical with real-life applications, calculating, measurement and money. Our strings program is introduced with children taking up tuition in violin, viola, cello or guitar. This develops into a whole Class ensemble. Bothmer gymnastics is introduced bringing an awareness of bodily uprightness and movement in space. A three-day camp at Narnu Farm provides further practical experience.
Each student begins to explore emerging personal interests, gifts, talents and challenges. The Class Four student’s individuality is celebrated along with the rich diversity of the class community. Students are turning ten years of age.
Reading chapter books, writing book reports and crafting compositions represent a leap in literacy development. Through the study of Norse myths, students explore various personality traits in dramatic ways. By focusing on animals, nature and local geography, students develop a deep connection and respect for their surroundings. This includes a visit to Camp Coorong to experience and learn about Ngarrindjeri traditions, culture and heritage. In Class Four, the development of skills in mathematics, Japanese, craft, music and Bothmer gymnastics continue and deepen.
Cognitively, Class Five students approach both their studies and indeed life itself, in an increasingly realistic and reasoning manner. Physically, they attain a degree of balance, ease and grace supported by a rich, sports curriculum. Students are turning eleven years of age.
To meet students’ emerging consciousness, the curriculum begins to transition from a focus on mythology to one of recorded history, biography and geography. Tales from Ancient India, Persia and Greece enliven the content. Botany and geography provide a focus for class camps. The beauty of geometry is explored within the mathematics curriculum. Ongoing studies of Japanese language and culture continue as well as Bothmer, craft and music. Students participate in the Ancient Greek Olympics, alongside students from other Steiner schools.