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Upper School

Rudolf Steiner Education is based upon an understanding of the successive phases of development in human life.
Approximately every seven years a new faculty emerges, and matures during the intervening period. This process is quite gradual, yet proceeds in clearly defined stages.

The structure of the Rudolf Steiner School, the content of the curriculum, and the teaching methods, all reflect these distinct phases.

A Comprehensive Education
Students in the Christchurch Rudolf Steiner School are required to undertake all the subjects in Classes 8, 9 and 10 (Years 9, 10 and 11) regardless of aptitude. In Classes 11 and 12 (Forms 6 & 7), the students may choose from a broad range of subjects leading towards nationally-recognised qualifications; but the Main Lesson programme remains compulsory, and together with an Arts programme forms a core Waldorf Curriculum. The narrowing effects of specialisation are avoided, as we consider education not only to be the acquisition of information and the development of learning strategies, but also the development of all faculties necessary for a full life. Opting for strengths may expose weaknesses. Observing this, we recognise that the various subjects each develop a particular aspect of the broad range of human qualities. Both individual strengths and weaknesses are thus given attention, and growth in each encouraged.

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.

Qualification Pathway
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 tertiary placements.  
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 them.
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.

Pastoral Care
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.

Work Experience
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 career.

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.

STAR Courses                                                                                                  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).                                                                                            

School Camp
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.

Student Assessment
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 performance, etc.
Students are not ranked by comparing achievement one with another but individually assessed in respect of clearly-stated achievement objectives.
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.



Christchurch Rudolf Steiner School
19 Ombersley Terrace · PO Box 19944 · Opawa · Christchurch 8002
Phone + 64 (0)3 337 0514 · Fax + 64 (0)3 337 0515 · Email admin@ch.steiner.school.nz

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