Core Main Lesson themes and subjects in Class 1-8
- English and English Literature
- World Literature: fairy tales, legends, fables and myth
- Mathematics and Geometry
- Geography, Geology and History
- Life Sciences
- Physics and Chemistry
Distinctive Curriculum Features
- Innovative specialist subjects feature in the educational programme, such as Eurythmy, form drawing
- Foreign language learning is included from the beginning of school
- The development and use of varied technologies are introduced in the broad context of other disciplines
- The natural world and the sciences are approached from a phenomenological perspective
The Natural Environment
The Steiner Academy‘s specialism, the Natural Environment, benefits all pupils.
The Kindergarten gardens have trees for climbing, places to garden, an outdoor bread-oven and areas for watching wildlife. The children go for weekly walks, build fires in the fire pit and make dens and generally learn about nature.
This experience continues and develops in class 1 and 2. In class 3 there is a whole Main Lesson on farming and food production with the children growing wheat and vegetables. As the pupils get older they participate in an ever-wider variety of outdoor and environment-based activities. This ‘outdoor curriculum’ culminates in Classes 9 and 10 with the BTEC in Countryside and Environment.
This form of movement is tailored to each stage of the child’s development, enhancing their coordination, concentration, and spatial awareness. It harmonises their thinking, feeling and willing capacities.
In the younger classes games are always introduced with a story so that the physical activity has an imaginative focus. Around Class 5 the ancient Greek Olympic events are introduced: running, jumping, discus and javelin. Ball games are introduced with rules tailored to the age group. From Classes 7 to 10, there is a more formal games programme, which introduces the pupils to a broad range of activities including: hockey, badminton, swimming, volleyball and basketball as well as some athletics and gymnastics.
Religious education in this school has, at its heart, the aim of cultivating a mood of reverence and appreciation; fostering a sensitivity for the sacredness of life, developing a sense of wonder for the goodness, beauty and truth in the world and nurturing an enduring respect for the spiritual quality of life.
Elements of the educational programme incorporate a Christian perspective that seeks to articulate universal human hopes, needs and values. Christianity is studied from a cultural-historical perspective within the curriculum, as are Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam and other faiths.
From Class 1 onwards, the pupils start to learn Spanish through songs, poems, games and cultural activities. Languages can continue to be studied in the Upper School, with the pupils often visiting the relevant countries to experience both language and culture. In the older classes there are opportunities for individual exchanges and visits overseas and pupils from overseas Steiner schools often visit us.
Handwork and Crafts
Handwork is an important part of the curriculum from Classes 1 to 8. Pupils learn knitting, crochet, embroidery, hand- and machine-sewing and make a variety of beautiful and useful articles over the years.
Pupils will have the opportunity to work in the school forge from Class 4, while woodwork starts in Class 6 with pupils learning about different woods and techniques, the use of a variety of hand tools, and convex and concave shapes. Pupils make spoons, small toys with moving parts and some simple joinery. In the Upper School crafts include basketry, willow work, copperwork, pottery and stone carving.
The importance of music in the curriculum is established in the earliest years: the Kindergartens resound with singing and each child from Class 1 learns the recorder. All pupils learn musical notation from Class 3 and are encouraged to play a musical instrument (private lessons are available); ensembles are often formed. From Class 5, pupils join the school orchestra, bringing their own instruments or recorders. There are also school choirs and regular musical performances. Class 7 often performs an opera that has been created to suit the class.
Learning Support and Extra Needs
Equal opportunities and supporting pupils with disabilities is central to the ethos of the Steiner Academy. The Learning Support teachers regularly screen pupils for learning needs. Learning Support lessons, Eurythmy therapy, a visit to the optometrist, school doctor or Local Authority educational psychologist may be recommended. Support may be short- or long-term; the aim is to encourage and facilitate learning and the development of each child’s potential.
If needed, the Academy provides additional support to pupils for whom English is not their first language.
Trips and off-site activities
These are an integral part of the learning experience that benefits the academic, social and practical education of the pupils. There are many different trips and activities which start with walks in Kindergarten and Class 1 and end with theatre trips and visits abroad in the Upper School.