We are an independent School, Kindergarten & Playgroup based on the educational model founded by Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925).
Our Early Childhood Campus, which houses Playgroup, Kindergarten & Prep, is located in Menzies Creek in the Yarra Ranges Shire, and our Primary Campus, which houses Classes 1-6, is located in Emerald, on the border of Narre Warren
East, in the Cardinia Shire. Both are approximately 45 km East of the CBD Of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
“Our highest endeavour must be to develop free human beings, who are able
of themselves to impart purpose and direction to their lives.”
At Dandenong Ranges Steiner School, we believe the child should leave school with a craving to learn and an appetite for everything going on around them. This curiosity and acquisition of knowledge can then be transferred into wisdom.
The school is founded on the educational philosophy of Rudolf Steiner (1861 – 1925) and his picture of human growth and development. From childhood onwards, Rudolf Steiner knew both spiritual and natural worlds. His search to integrate these led him to recognise the significance of thinking for spiritual as well as natural scientific research. Steiner was a philosopher, artist and scientist whose visions and depth of understanding continue to have a great impact in many practical fields in areas such as education, medicine, agriculture, architecture and the therapeutic arts.
Dandenong Ranges Steiner School is part of a worldwide educational movement that draws its inspiration from Rudolf Steiner’s lectures to teachers of the first Waldorf/Steiner School. As such the curriculum and structure of the Steiner school is similar in schools both within Australia and around the world. In Victoria Australia, Dandenong Ranges Steiner School works within the parameters of the Victorian Essential Learning Standards and according to the requirements of the Victorian Registration and Qualifications Authority.
We also implement the Steiner curriculum in a way that integrates the school within its community and the particular features of our school. These features derive from the character of our school community and the school’s physical location. They include the semi-rural aspect of the school, and the interests of the founding families, enabling us to have a strong Farming and Gardening Program. The school community has many people professionally involved in the Arts. Many members of the school community come to us as part of a commitment to holistic living in a broad sense, manifested in natural foods and clothing, and a commitment to organic/biodynamic/natural food. A number of our main lesson topics incorporate the history and geography of the local area.
In his many lectures on education Rudolf Steiner delivered a method that helps the child develop faculties which unfold at specific times of life. For example, during the kindergarten years it is active play engaging the limbs which is paramount. At primary school level, children learn through the imagination as feelings manifest. Here there is a need for rhythm which is expressed in music, poetry, the rhythm of the day and so on. The secondary school years bring clarity of thinking and a capacity for judgement as the intellect develops.
The Steiner educator recognises the different needs associated with each period of the child’s development, and the curriculum is arranged accordingly, working with the faculties of “willing”, “feeling” and “thinking”.
Our curriculum and methodology incorporates these three faculties when preparing to teach within each subject area.
The faculty of “will” is the engagement of the individual through an activity, a set task of writing, map drawing or constructing models, for example, or through the form of movement.
The faculty of “feeling” is cultivated through artistic work or experience.
The faculty of “thinking” arises through the art of listening, understanding, remembering and discussing.
For information on enrolling your child into our School, Kindergarten or Playgroup please refer to the Parent Information Page.
Tours of the School & Kindergarten
There are regular guided tours of both campuses. The tour takes approximately 1 1/2 hours and afterwards participants are invited to enjoy morning tea with members of staff.
Tours commence at the Early Childhood Campus in Menzies Creek, then journey on to the Primary (Crystal Brook) Campus in Emerald.
See our News and Events page for details of the next Tour.
Bookings required, please call the office on (03) 8790 4797.