Curriculum Background

Our endeavour at the Dandenong Ranges Steiner School is to provide an all-around, in-depth education of all aspects of growing children. All areas of cultural development are important to us; academic, physical, social, moral, artistic and spiritual.

The curriculum throughout the school is a response to the inner and outer developmental characteristic of each year of childhood and adolescence. Every subject can have direct and intimate relevance to these subtle processes of growth. In particular, there is an emphasis on healthy development of individuality within a social context and a nurturing of the students’ capacity to discern and take responsibility for their conduct and work.

Behind all the teaching is the recognition of the spiritual in each human being and throughout the natural world. This elevates every subject from being simply training in skills and a gathering of information to becoming a medium for individual deepening and maturation. All aspects of the curriculum are considered important for healthy, rounded development.

The strands, domains and progression points of the AusVELS as well as the Australian Steiner Curriculum Framework are interpreted by the teachers and applied within the structure of the subjects offered. Integration of the two curricula occurs, with each approach being quite complementary.
When reviewing and developing our curriculum the College of Teachers strives for balance between academic, artistic and practical activities.

Overall, DRSS strives for a curriculum that is responsive to the developmental phases of childhood, one that nurtures the imagination, and one that is also accountable to the broader community through compliance with the standards set for education in Victoria, Australia.
We encourage our students to strive for excellence, to be respectful and caring of others, and to find their place in the world, thereby becoming motivated, balanced and responsible citizens.

For Prep, the curriculum is delivered through a structured play-based program. For classes 1-6, each day begins with a two-hour period known as the Main Lesson. This teaching unit is integrated and cross-curricular and incorporates activities to awaken and focus the children’s attention.  It includes oral and written practice of basic skills, mental arithmetic, music and drawing, presentation of new material, recall and discussion of the previous day’s (or earlier) work, individual working, conversation, narrative and practical work. This main lesson period of the day includes a “morning circle” where the children are awakened to work with songs, maths drill, instrument practice, literacy games, recitation and movement activities. A particular subject is studied for 3-4 weeks to allow for a deep and enriching learning experience. The Main Lesson endeavours, through the use of a wide range of strategies, to unite all the powers of the soul by engaging the child’s thinking, feeling and willing.

Please visit the Steiner Education Australia website for further information on the foundations of our curriculum.

Curriculum Building Blocks

The Seven Year Phases, The Class Teacher, Morning Circle, Main Lesson and Practice Sessions.
Please click on the Curriculum Building Blocks heading to read further details.

Class Teacher Subjects

English, Maths, Science and Nature Studies, History and Geography, Classroom Music, Physical Education, Gardening and Environment, Painting and Form Drawing, Wax and Clay Modelling, Wood and Metal Work. Please click the heading for detailed curriculum information on the Class Teacher Subjects.

Specialist Teacher Subjects

Violin and Cello, German, Craft and Eurythmy. Please click the heading for detailed curriculum information on Specialist Teacher Subjects.

Overarching Themes

Steiner education is focused on developing an integrated educational experience, interweaving all elements of the curriculum through Overarching Themes that travel through the Class Teacher Subjects and Specialist Teacher Subjects, using handcrafts, drama and movement, seasonal festivals, music and practical endeavours to draw the children’s experiences into a complete picture. Please visit the Steiner Education Australia (SEA) website for a closer look at the Overarching Themes of each year level.

Supporting Activities

Excursion and Field Trips, Class Camps and Bush Walks.
Please visit the Supporting Activities page for further information.