There are many essential elements of a Steiner education, but at its heart, the Steiner method provides the right learning experience at the right time. This method works because it addresses the whole child—cognitive, social, and creative—and meets the needs of each individual through a challenging and multi-sensory environment that focuses on experiential learning.
Steiner education’s rich, high quality curriculum set by Steiner Education of Australia (SEA) and interpreted and taught by teachers at Golden Hill Steiner School. Steiner curriculum includes Science, Maths, Writing, Reading, History, Social Studies, Gardening, Physical Education, Handwork, Woodwork, Drawing, Painting, Music and Language (Indonesian).
In the Early Childhood program, rhythm and routine set the day, which includes creative play; circle time; ample outdoor time; a homemade, organic (where possible) snack; then rest and more outdoor play.
For our Primary School Students, each day begins with a personal greeting from their teacher followed by Main lesson, a 90 minute to two-hour period of academic concentration (the time spent depending upon Class level). Main Lessons are taught in three to four week blocks devoted to a particular subject such as humanities, math or science. After a snack and recess, students move on to their specialty classes, which include Indonesian, music, handwork, woodwork, physical education, art, gardening, and additional academic study or review.
We like to say that 10 minutes per class is an appropriate amount of homework for children. However, homework is not typically assigned until Class Three at Golden Hill Steiner School.
Homework should not be an unmanageable burden for our students or their families. It should be an age-appropriate opportunity to practice special skills set, hone executive functioning skills, and work on projects that require more time that a typical day allows. For example, in Class Three curriculum, students are asked to build a model home of an indigenous people of study. This is one of our student’s first homework assignments.
Keeping the class together allows for social and academic cohesion and helps keep the focus on learning. Children learn by respecting and modelling authority figures. Keeping the class teacher where possible, (by no means the child’s only teacher), as a steady authority in a child’s life is beneficial to social and intellectual learning. This deeper relationship with students, parents and extended families helps our rich community thrive and studies show that a student’s relationship with their teacher is an essential function of learning.
Our school, and Steiner educators in general, believe that technology is an essential tool in life and work, but not the best way to teach subjects of study in Classes 1-6. For children under the age of twelve, we believe the focus should remain on hands-on, experiential learning.
Studies show, that note taking by hand, writing mathematics problems on paper, reading from print books, moving in class, and making art and music all better support brain development when integrated into a curriculum than using iPads or Chromebooks.
We are committed to making our school accessible to all families that value a Steiner education. We strive to keep our annual fees reasonable and offer various payment options including payments that can be spread out over the year, and discounts for siblings.
Golden Hill Steiner School instils essentials like critical and creative thinking, intrinsic motivation, and a high level of lifelong curiosity. Our alumni are impressive and go on to have success in many areas and become valued members of community.
Community involvement is a central ideology of Golden Hill Steiner School as it is essential in helping develop creative, thoughtful and engaged students. Parents are asked to be active and engaged in our classrooms, festivals, school events, excursions, camps and more.
All sciences begin with simple nature experiences in Kindergarten and the early classes, and advance with the study of chemistry, biology, botany, zoology and modern physics in Primary School. The emphasis is on direct encounters with observable phenomena: “Describe what happened. Evaluate what you have observed. What are the conditions under which the phenomena appear? How does this relate to what you already know?” Then students are asked to think through the experiment and discover the natural law that stands behind and within the phenomena.
Our goal is to foster passionate readers who continue reading for pleasure throughout their lifetimes. To that end, we introduce reading in a developmentally appropriate way, when students are more comfortable with the written word and fully ready to engage. Steiner teachers begin teaching reading in Class One by teaching consonants and vowel names and sounds through an artistic approach of drawing, painting, movement, and speech. This artistic, deliberate process engages the children with great interest, and by the end of Class One, children are writing and reading sentences and short texts. Students typically begin reading printed readers with their teacher during the second half of Class Two.
Steiner schools are self-administered under the guidance and accreditation of the Steiner Education Australia (SEA). Our school is required to maintain its registration with the Association of Independent Schools of Western Australia (AISWA).
Governance in a Steiner school is made up of three major working groups: the Staff, the Board, and parents. The Administration coordinates the flow of information and resources between these three bodies. The Principal is responsible for the everyday running of the school, as well as the development and implementation of educational policy and compliance in all areas. The Principal reports to the Governing Body – The School Board.
We accept children from the year they are turning four into our Kindergarten, to Class Six in our school and often have mid-year enrolment available. While there are sometimes waiting lists for enrolment, particularly in early childhood, we do our absolute best to offer enrolment in all classes at all times to qualified students. From 2023 we plan to also offer Class Seven and then an additional year group each year until Class 10.
Remedial and intervention services at GHSS are provided by our Learning Support teachers and Education Assistants. This team works in collaboration with teachers, parents, and outside service providers to develop and implement accommodations to support the academic success of all students. Accommodations may include modifications within the classroom, strategies and techniques implemented by the classroom teachers, and interventions by the Learning Support team. Parent permission is needed before any child can work with the Learning Support team, and they, along with the student’s teacher will monitor the student’s progress and the effectiveness of the accommodations and communicate this to the student’s parents.