Steiner education is based on more than 100 years of evidence-based research. It supports a gradual start to academic learning with formal learning beginning in Class One. Additionally, oral literacy and numeracy are fundamental to the Kindergarten curriculum. Shelley Bowen, Education Director at Cairns Hinterland Steiner School explains “Childhood is precious. Allowing children to live in childhood for as long as possible gives them time to lay solid, stable foundations for their future.”
The emphasis in Steiner Education, is not on acceleration, nor success or failure, but on the breadth and depth of a child’s learning. “We give students time to learn, and to grow – mentally, physically, socially and emotionally. This allows the potential within each child to unfold.”
While learning to read is not outwardly tackled in the Kindergarten and Prep years, the foundations are taught from the youngest age.
“Comprehension and the education of the imagination through the oral storytelling tradition, lays the building blocks for literacy.” says Shelley Bowen. “Sitting quietly and listening to a story being told, not read, means children are making mental images. They are developing what words mean not just going through the decoding process that is ‘reading’.”
In Class One, students meet the letters of the alphabet through story; one letter at a time where a quality is attributed to each letter. The sound and shape of each letter is explored. Shelley explains, “Through story, students meet the Mighty, Majestic Mountain and as they draw/copy ‘M’ into their books, they can see those Mighty Mountains. And this image stays with the child and reinforces their understanding. Thus, when the letters ‘hold hands’ to form words the phonetic process of reading, naturally comes next. This is a ‘slow cook method’ but one that brings a love of learning and a deep understanding of language.”
Another point of difference of Steiner education is that it is an artistic education with creativity at its very heart. Creativity is not just as an extra-curricular activity.
“Across all lessons, teachers present, and students learn, through painting and drawing, sculpture, story, music, literature, drama and movement.”
“By nurturing each child’s imagination, we develop their emotional intelligence, and their creative and critical thinking abilities. These are required not only to succeed in the workforce, but also to resolve critical issues facing the world today,” illuminates Shelley Bowen.
Cairns Hinterland Steiner School’s Open Day is on Saturday 15 May. Experience the school, the classrooms, and the student’s work. You can understand from the teachers how the National curriculum is delivered using the Steiner approach. Waitlists do currently apply in Early Childhood with some places remaining available in the lower Primary.
All are welcome; contact the school for more information firstname.lastname@example.org or 4093 8809.