Throughout the grades at Birali, students are given a nurturing and stimulating education based on the developmental needs of each grade. Structures of the school day are guided by the pedagogical intentions in each area of Steiner Education:
Preschool – nourish the young child’s belief in goodness and beauty
Primary School – awakening the child to love and wisdom.
High School – awakening young people to their destiny
The daily rhythm within the Preschool seeks to nourish the young child’s belief in goodness and beauty. The Preschool learning environment is warm and inviting. Care is taken with the chosen colours, homely furniture and natural open-ended materials and resources to bring forth both beauty and practicality. The daily rhythm is of vital importance to the young child. Imaginative play is interspersed with daily activities such as; painting, baking, nature walks, drawing and craft. Each day includes a music and movement-based Morning Circle, shared meals, self-directed play, rest time and story. The Preschool daily routine fosters a sense of ‘breathing in and breathing out’ as the children transition throughout their day.
During the Primary and High School grades, fundamental academic skills are delivered through creative and balanced learning experiences to address the feeling life of the students, as well as the intellect. The intent of the Primary School Years is awakening the child to love and wisdom through the stability of the Class Teacher Period. The day begins with a morning verse in a time of reverence, followed by a creatively chosen repertoire of speech work, poetry, songs, and movement in a vibrant Morning Circle routine. The Class Teacher provides the overall curriculum and pastoral care of the class throughout the Primary School. Students benefit from the knowledge of Specialist Staff for Music and Japanese lessons. The daily lessons are guided by a three-fold structure of thinking, feeling and willing, as the children learn through the head, heart and hands.
Upon entering the High School Years, the intention centres around awakening young people to their destiny. As the students step out from the Class Teacher period, their daily work meets them with a sense of beauty and individuality. Students experience a greater range and depth of learning areas within the curriculum brought by Specialist Subject Teachers aiming to balance the physical, intellectual, social and artistic development of these young adults. The integral part of the morning across the Primary and High School grades is Main Lesson.
The Main Lesson is a unique element in Steiner Education. Each morning for a block of 3-4 weeks, each class is immersed in the ‘big idea’ or topic theme of their Main Lesson. During a Main Lesson block, students are on a journey of creative exploration with their Class Teacher in the Primary School, or Specialist Subject Teachers in the Middle/High School. Main Lesson topics support the intellectual and emotional development of the students at each grade, ranging from the Alphabet in Class 1, to Pythagoras, Electromagnetism, Shakespeare and the Origins of Literature in High School.