Secondary School

"The true aim of education is to awaken real powers of perception and judgement in relation to life and living. For only such an awakening can lead to true freedom". - Rudolf Steiner

Students enter high school in Year 8. The balance of intellectual/academic, artistic and practical subjects is maintained, but the orientation is now turned more to the outer world.

English and mathematics, while continuing to introduce the significant new themes through main lessons also focus on developing the requisite skills through three practice lessons each per week.

The Sciences - physics, chemistry and biology - all continue through to Year 12 with practical lessons happening for physics in Classes 9, 10 & 11, chemistry in 9 & 10 and biology in 11 & 12.

History recapitulates studies of ancient through to modern cultures, but now from the perspective of understanding the underlying influences that shaped the different cultures and the qualities and ideas the peoples developed and brought into the world, culminating in an overview of the world today in Class 12.

Geography spans the four elements in the lessons from Class 9 to Class 12, with geology and geomorphology the focus in Class 9, climatology/weather patterns in Class 10, cartography in Class 11 and astronomy in Class 12.

The Arts focus on the aesthetic element through a series of main lessons - Art history in Class 9, poetry and literature in Class 10, music history in Class 11 and history of architecture in Class 12.

Painting, drawing and music continue as subject lessons to Class 11, becoming electives in Class 12.

Physical education/sport from Class 8 to Class 12.

Drama comes more into focus in the high school with the production of a full play in Class 10 and a final play in Class 12 that is rehearsed and performed within the last 3 weeks of the year. In each cases the whole class is involved in the production and performance. The experience of taking on a role and playing someone else’s part in life fulfills an important need in adolescence when young people are searching for their own identity.

German and Japanese continues through to Class 12, students choosing one or the other from Class 10 on.

Woodwork is taught through to Class 11 and metalwork to Class 10. Woodwork becomes an elective in Class 12.

Machine sewing is taught in Years 8 and 9.

Gardening continues through to Class 10.

Various practical subjects form part of the curriculum as lessons for a year or less in high school. These include typing skills, first aid and from time to time such craft activities as weaving, leatherwork and basketry.

Camps form an integral part of certain subjects such as geography, surveying and botany and combine with outdoor education activities such as cycling, sailing, canoeing and bushwalking.

Work experience is an important part of meeting the world. It is undertaken in 3 classes, for 2 weeks per year. In Class 9 students work in primary industry, usually on farms. In Class 10 they enter the world of secondary industry and in Class 11, the service industry - for example hospitals, or working with the homeless or disabled people.

Year 12 is a culmination of many subjects. As well each student undertakes a major project of their own choice and design which they work on independently, but with guidance from a supervisor, for the year. Results are published and presented to a large assembly at the end of the year. This is a major presentation lasting around 40 minutes in which the students must show their work, speak about the process and their results and answer questions. This project is in addition to the full range of subjects studied in the Year 12 curriculum.


Throughout the high school most main lesson subjects have informal tests associated with them. The tests are used primarily to provide feedback to students on their understanding of aspects of the subjects, not particularly for grading purposes. This is in addition to the regular marking of work throughout the main lesson which culminates in a marking of the completed main lesson book which addresses not only the content but also such aspects as presentation, contribution to the work in class and ability to meet deadlines. From Class 8 on, students are expected to complete the requirements of each subject within a given time frame, and they are followed up if it is evident they are not accomplishing this.

In Class 11, grading is introduced for those who request it, to provide a measure of achievement in the light of the student’s ability.

In Class 12, objective assessment is available for those intending to continue on to tertiary studies.

Year 11 & 12 Program

In Years 11 & 12, students undertake a course of study, which rounds off and culminates the previous 10 years of school work in the Waldorf School.  Main Lessons continue for each year group and supplementary courses are offered to both year groups together.  Students can select supplementary coursework in areas of interest such as: Nutrition/Sports Science, German/Japanese, Geography/Science and Culture; Tech, Music, Physics/Environmental Science; P.E., Fine Art, History; Chemistry/Biology, Policitics/Economics; I.T. and Media Studies.

In Year 11 this involves course work in the major core units:
Maths, History, English, Geography, Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Social Studies.
As well as in the units:
Eurythmy, Physical Education, Visual Arts, Music, German or Japanese, Bookbinding, Technical Studies and Work Experience.

In Year 12 this involves course work in the Major core units:
Maths, History, English, Geography, Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Exploring Spirituality and Special Project.
As well as the units:
Drama, Music, Eurythmy, Visual Arts, Foreign Language, Physical Education and additional electives where appropriate.

In Years 11 & 12, both formative and summative assessments are used. A formative assessment is given to students as a matter of course in the reports on their work in all subjects.

A summative assessment for tertiary admission is also recorded and is available to students on request. A summative assessment of all units is made in Year 12. Our Year 12 curriculum offers an alternative to SACE, and students are given a SATAC Selection Score based on their substantial course work throughout the year, which includes an individual Special Project.  Graduates of the school have been accepted into all South Australian universities, and have been successful across a broad range of disciplines in their tertiary studies.