The Development of Consciousness and the Curriculum
The nature of the Curriculum, and how it progresses through the four
Upper School classes, can be appreciated through an understanding of
the student's consciousness during adolescence. Around the twelfth
year, there is a distinct change in this consciousness. The children
become aware of cause and effect; an appreciation grows of the physical
reality of the world, of themselves. This is the pre-condition for the
birth of the intellect at puberty. In stating this, we are of course
aware that younger children already exhibit intellectual qualities to a
greater or lesser extent; however, this critical faculty only becomes
self-conscious and individualised during adolescence, when it becomes
the predominant mode of consciousness. This acquisition of a
determinedly personal viewpoint is especially evident in the way in
which the early teenager can tend to be emotionally reactive,
argumentative, and clumsily critical in the way in which they wield
their opinions. They expect increased independence, yet still lack
judgement. The shaping of the intellect, the forming of sound judgement
based on a clear recognition of each situation, the development of
adequate skills: these are the tasks of the Upper School years.
Students in our high school will attain two qualifications
1. The Christchurch Rudolf Steiner School Certificate from year 11 - 13
( levels 1, 2 & 3)
2. NCEA level 1 ( literacy and numeracy)
NCEA level 2 and 3 are offered in the normal wide range of subjects
expected in any school. Where there is a specific request for a subject
outside the range offered, we assist with Correspondence school.
NCEA processes are moderated and reviewed by the New Zealand
Qualifications Authority ( NZQA) national monitoring systems.
The Christchurch Rudolf Steiner School Certificate is a qualification offered by
the Federation of Rudolf Steiner schools that attests to the quality of
work and personal attributes from a Steiner educational perspective. It
is a comprehensive certificate that includes a personal profile, work
habits, work achievements at appropriate levels and social, initiative
and leadership qualities.
We believe that the combination of both qualifications will
significantly assist our students in their post school work and
Class Nine (year 10)
Fourteen year olds are uncompromisingly physical. Although charged with
emotion, they are likely to resist any direct reference to it. They are
very impressed by facts and accomplishments, and the approach to
subjects in Class 9 indirectly exploits and builds upon the volatile
nature of the students' inner life through considering in each subject
the polaric processes of the outer world. The underlying theme for this
year is Contrast. The challenge for the teacher is to be good-humoured
while always being consequential.
Class Ten (year 11)
During the following year the students gradually stabilize emotionally,
and a sensitive idealism awakens, together with a strong social
awareness and interest. The intellect begins to emerge from its bondage
to emotional life, and can be used to contemplate a more objective
knowledge. It is an appropriate time to build a comprehensive overview
of the world processes, and appreciation of the formative forces
underlying all phenomena. Now, out of the experience of polarity,
arises a search for Balance. This year is a time of orientation, the
students forming a broad conceptual picture of the manifold
world-processes in which they find themselves.
Class Eleven (year 12)
Throughout Class 11 the students consolidate their ability to think
critically, becoming increasingly skilled in discussion and debate.
This faculty is exercised through the activity of Analysis. A healthy
scepticism now prevails through which everything is examined and
questioned. If a viewpoint is logical, it just might be acceptable. The
experience of doubt arouses a restless search for absolute values, to
find a relationship to inner attitudes rather than only to outer
situations. The generalised overview built up during Class 10 is thus
particularised; the student begins to form an individual relationship
to this knowledge, to take a personal stance.
Class Twelve (year 13)
Around the age of 18 there is a remarkable maturation; the
individuality of the young person seems to shine through each
experience. In reviewing the past, in contemplating the future, the
students find their circumstances increasingly meaningful. They can
sense the world and themselves to be resonant with the same sense of
purpose, while simultaneously fraught with tension. And so a great
Synthesis is now sought. In this year all that they have studied seems
to flow together. At the end of Class 12, students look back over their
school years and feel they have developed an understanding of
themselves and their world, with the self-confidence and judgement
necessary for adult life amid the rapidly-changing values and
conditions characteristic of our time.
Science, Art and Religion
A basic principle of Rudolf Steiner's view of humanity is recognition
of the threefold nature of soul-life, in thinking, feeling and willing.
Specific ideals for each of these facilities were formulated already by
the Greek philosopher Plato, when he spoke of Truth, Beauty, and
Goodness. In the Upper School, students may experience these values for
themselves, and ultimately form an individual relationship to each of
The principle underlying all science is that of thinking in accord with
accurate observation of phenomena. But an important part in the process
of observation is the inner response of the observer; disregard this,
and the world will appear objective enough, but our humanity may be
lost. To develop a new participatory consciousness is one modern
challenge. When our thinking becomes imaginative, we can identify
ourselves in relation to outer phenomena.
In the arts, imaginative self-expression is the basis of activity.
Inner experience is shared or articulated in images borrowed from the
outer world of sensory experience. But if fantasy over-asserts itself,
subjective experience predominates, and the world is lost from
consciousness. The objective study of colour theory, tone, etc.,
clarifies the world of feeling, allowing the outer world to mirror the
soul, and vice versa.
Embodied in our actions are moral impulses. What we do always has a
direct effect upon the lives of other human beings. Through open
religion (which means 'to tie together again'), the students'
consciousness is extended in two directions: towards the idealism of
youth, from which streams their individual viewpoint; and towards the
wisdom of mature awareness of self and world, in the realisation of the
consequences of their deeds. Between these two poles, the experience of
becoming a human being, free and responsible in the passing moment, can
acquire renewed meaning.
Truth, Beauty, Goodness - science, art, and religion - can become
actual forces in life through an appropriate education.
All students are members of a class community with others of their age
group. This class group is under the guidance and care of an Upper
School teacher who is their Class Sponsor. This relationship develops
over the four years the student spends in the Upper School.
The sponsor attends to the general care of the class, acts as their
advocate and handles discipline and other matters of guidance and
organisation. The sponsor also acts as the main channel for
communication with parents and caregivers and organises parent meetings
and supplies other information and support.
Parents are encouraged to become involved in supporting the education
of their children. Sponsors welcome contact and communication.
Students can seek out, or be referred to, the School's Counsellor, if
the need arises. If necessary, the Dean will attend to issues of
responsibility and self-management.
Each year every student participates in a week's Work Experience in the
community. This gives the student an opportunity to evaluate career
possibilities, while enabling them to develop important skills in
employability. Where possible, placements are made on the basis of
their development: for a Class 9 student this will be a workshop, a
physical labour work-site, a shop; the Class 10 students work in
kindergartens and retirement homes; in Class 11 the student is placed
in industry or business, with a brief to develop understanding of
management structure and organisation; while the Class 12 student is
expected to find their own situation, hopefully with a sense for a
Careers and Transition Education
The School careers education programme is concerned with developing
(through planned modules of learning and experience) skills, attitudes,
and understanding that enables students to make informed decisions
about school and post-school options and directions. It also enables
students to participate effectively in working life.
Students are offered and enrolled in programmes that help them to focus
on their career path through life. A fast developing careers and
transition programme in the senior school endeavours to provide advice,
guidance and information to all students. Tasks such as writing a
curriculum vitae, producing a dynamic covering letter and learning
interview skills are a few of the many things addressed at present.
Programme development is extensive and ongoing, and will aim to meet
the future needs of our students.
The Secondary Tertiary Alignment Resource (STAR) provides the school with additional funding to access courses that
provide greater opportunities for students. The objective of STAR is to
enable schools to better meet the needs of students by personalising
learning pathways and facilitating a smooth transition to the workplace
or further study. This resource is available to all domestic class 10 to 12 (year 11 to 13) students.
Gateway is available to our school, and
supports senior secondary students in classes 11 and 12 (Year 12 to Year 13) undertaking
structured workplace learning across a range of industries and
businesses around New Zealand, while continuing to study at school. For further information please contact the school.
Gateway delivery involves arranging structured workplace learning with the following characteristics:
- a formalised learning arrangement set in the workplace
- clear understandings about the knowledge and skills to be attained by learners
- clear understandings about the assessment method used (workplace learning).
Every year the whole Upper School, students and teachers, spend several
days in an adventure setting where personal, social and leadership
skills can be developed.
The learning achievements of students are recorded throughout the year
and reports for parents and students issued each term. Parents are also
encouraged to discuss any aspect of school life with the sponsor or
other teaching staff as the need arises.
We assess evidence of learning provided by students. This evidence may
be in the form of workbooks, assignments, folios, tests, practical
Students are not ranked by comparing achievement one with another but
individually assessed in respect of clearly-stated achievement
An individual record of each student's learning path is thus built up
during the Upper School years to form a basis for an accurate and
comprehensive graduation profile.