A distinctive educational pathway
How is an education at Cape Byron Rudolf Steiner School different? Our education is:
Developmental –The educational path is shaped in accordance with the needs of the learner. The Steiner tradition respects the rights of children to fully experience the wonder of their childhood. There is ample time for creative self-directed play in kindergarten. This lays a firm, healthy foundation for academic growth as well as the development of social skills and problem-solving skills. We offer an unhurried, unpressured learning environment, which is endowed with beauty, truth and goodness. The introduction of digital technologies in the transition to high school means that students have informed and focused habits of learning and are ready to use technology responsibly.
Creative – Our integrated curriculum enlivens content and connects meaningfully to life. At Cape Byron Rudolf Steiner School, learning is a joyful activity. The imagination of the students is fired through our artistic approach to all facets of teaching. In particular, the integration of music, visual and performing arts in our curriculum nourishes the emotional development of the student. An intrinsic love of learning is nurtured.
Active and heart-felt – The curriculum balances academic achievement, artistic experience and practical skills- the head, heart and hands. An active and inquiring style of learning encourages active critical thinking for life. Key subjects are taught in ‘main lessons’- blocks of three weeks of the same topic, usually for approximately two hours every morning, allowing for depth, integration and highly engaged learning. Foreign language tuition begins in the Kindergarten. Our physical education encompasses a varied program- including swimming, surfing, circus skills, athletics, ball games and team sports and other activities appropriate to each stage of development. We have excellent on site sporting facilities and utilise many of the outstanding local facilities available. Our students join with students from other schools across the region for a range of planned sporting activities.
Narrative based – Steiner maintained that ’ the soul needs nourishment as well as the body.’ Particularly in the primary years, the oral narrative tradition is brought to life in the use of storytelling for delivery of content – for mythologies, legends, history and biographies. The narrative practice is vital for the fostering of healthy social, emotional and listening skills. Our strong literacy program inspires an enduring love of language.
Caring – We promote warm, supportive relationships in our school structure. The primary class teacher Class usually stays with that class as the key educator in core subjects for six years. This means that the teachers deeply understand the individual learning needs of their students. A strong connection is fostered with parents and guardians at secondary level through the class guardians who usually remain with the class until they graduate. We offer a calm, ordered and highly focused learning environment.
Inclusive – Steiner education has always espoused the differentiated philosophy of ‘multiple intelligences’. We build on the strengths of the learner as well as supporting his or her areas of challenge. In doing so, we nurture a rounded personality. Every pupil is expected to give of their best across all disciplines. Our approach to learning is one that endeavours to avoid overt comparison, standardisation and competition. Instead, we celebrate individual strengths and diversity. We nurture respect for a diversity of multi-cultural and religious beliefs. Our teaching incorporates Aboriginal perspectives and we are committed to the ongoing process of Reconciliation. The joyous celebration of seasonal festivals at our school builds a strong sense of community belonging.
Ecological – Cape Byron Rudolf Steiner School fosters an attitude of loving care for the earth and the creatures of the earth. A sense of stewardship is borne of gratitude and joyous experience. We work with natural materials and promote sustainable practices in all that we do. Our school environment is beautiful and well cared for. Our active outdoors program connects students to the balance giving and healing qualities of nature. Our Kitchen Garden program offers our students a unique opportunity to work with the natural environment to grow, harvest and prepare their own food.
Observant – Our assessment practices ensure that the unique qualities of each child are closely observed and described. The development of every pupil is carefully monitored in accordance with NSW and Australian Curriculum standards. We believe that student wellbeing is a crucial underpinning of academic achievement. Our students flourish in an environment which supports healthy and sustainable learning practices . We celebrate effort and embed a sense of personal responsibility for learning.
Empathetic – A sense of justice and fairness is fostered. Rudolf Steiner placed great emphasis on the embedding of an attitude of appreciation in all that we do and teach: ‘The cultivation of gratitude is of paramount importance‘. Positive and kind values are embedded in an integrated, artistic way. At the secondary level, we nurture gratitude through the exploration of global perspectives and service learning.
Spiritual – Within our non-denominational school context, we embrace a spiritual conception of the human being. Cape Byron Rudolf Steiner School’s educational philosophy is mindful and conducive to a sense of resilience and centredness. Our heart-felt approach to learning cultivates an experience of connectedness to life and life’s purpose.
Content reproduced and edited with permission from The Central Coast Steiner School