Our early childhood program provides a secure, nurturing and homelike environment where creative play, healthy routines and simple tasks are part of the daily rhythm. In Kindergarten, children learn through their experiences in craft, baking, drawing and modelling; through the imaginative use of natural materials in their plays and games; through garden walks; storytelling, songs, rhymes, dance, and the celebration of special occasions.
For the whole seven years of Primary School, Orana students remain in the care of their Class Teacher. A rhythm is provided to each day through the Main Lesson where the children receive material with challenging concepts from each Essential Learning Area, and engage in imaginative language experiences. Between recess and lunch, the Practise Lesson consolidates what is learnt in the Main Lesson and gives time for foreign language teaching.
Specialist teachers also work on a regular basis with the children in languages, handwork, sport, library and music. Children experience the beauty of music everyday through singing and in playing the recorder and violin, which they learn to play in Class 1 and Class 3 respectively. The afternoons are dedicated to painting, modeling, drawing, music, drama, handwork or craft, speech and movement, or outdoor games/PE and gardening.
High School commences in Class 8 with specialist teachers giving the Main Lesson and Practise Lessons, and Class Guardians assuming the responsibility for student pastoral care, class administration and parent contact. In High School, students study a full range of subjects including humanities, mathematics, sciences, languages, arts, technical studies, life skills and sports.
The High School teaching program assists students to take increasing responsibility for their own learning and to develop their own ideals, values and sense of purpose for adult life. The High School encourages students to become independent thinkers; to use their own observations, research, conclusions and judgements; to form relationships with specialist teachers; to address questions and problems in specialist subjects, and develop a wide range of expertise as well as an active, articulate and rounded thinking capacity.
High School concludes with Class 10 at which point students move into Classes 11 and 12, the Senior College.
The Class 11 and 12 curriculum is comprehensive and carefully designed to balance a Steiner approach with the contemporary requirements stipulated by the ACT Board of Senior Secondary Studies. Purpose-built facilities support a broad curriculum of Science, Art, Music, Woodworking, Drama and Photography as well as Maths, English, Politics and other subjects. This broad, integrated approach to the senior college curriculum emphasises the development of a well-rounded student through equal exposure to arts and sciences, together with a range of electives. Orana’s tradition of extensive pastoral care for its students continues into the Senior College.
In Class 12, each student selects, develops and documents a significant research and/or activity-based project which is the culmination of their Steiner Education, and may also contribute to their UAI score for university entrance. Senior College teachers, working closely with each class group on The Class 12 Project, support students’ academic and personal development in the light of their individual aspirations. The wider school community, including parents, friends, mentors and others interested in the topics, meet to acknowledge the students’ achievements at a special end-of-year presentation of all the Class 12 Projects.