We shouldn’t ask “What does a person need to be able to do in order to fit into the existing social order today?” Instead we should ask “what lives in each human being and what can be developed in him or her?”  – Rudolf Steiner

The primary years are the optimal time for nurturing imagination. Steiner stated, ‘this vital picture-making capacity…gives life and insight to logical and conceptual thinking’. Curriculum content, cognitive development and skill building are approached through pictorial and imaginative presentation, embodying narrative, creative writing, visual arts, music, drama and movement.

Developing imaginative capacities enables students to engage with academic material and forms the foundation for future creativity, problem solving and innovation. Timing of curriculum content and lessons is matched to child developmental and emotional needs. Teaching all subjects through an arts based curriculum develops the capacity to appreciate beauty in the world.

In the primary years children form a strong social group with their class, often having the same teacher throughout their primary years. This creates a unique bond between the class and teacher and helps build strong school communities.

Main Lesson

The Main Lesson is a unique feature of Steiner education, aimed to deepen, enrich and unify the learning experience. It is a unit of work on a particular theme/subject and is studied each day for 3-4 weeks. Teachers develop a wide range of artistically and academically integrated and related activities around the central theme. Each Main Lesson relates to the students’ stage of development for that year and is linked to other subjects, building upon prior knowledge, experience and skills in creative ways that engage students in their learning.

Australian Steiner Curriculum Child Development: Primary (pdf)