Steiner education a new option for Douglas families


Karlie Brady

Junior Reporter

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The Tropical North Steiner School is an alternative education system hoping to open in Mossman next year. Image: Supplied.

Douglas Shire residents are set to get a new option when it comes to choosing the type of education that’s right for their children.

The Tropical North Steiner School has received approval to begin operating in Mossman for the 2020 school year with classes for prep students through to class three, with plans to grow each year.

Director and pioneer of the school, Julie Verri, said the opening is pending numbers and while expressions of interest are growing, enough enrolments must be finalised in order for the school to open.

“Numbers are looking promising,” she said, “but now is the time to turn the expressions of interest into physical enrolments.”

Steiner education turns 100 years old this year and is the fastest growing education system in the world, with over 2000 Steiner schools in operation, including 40 in Australia.

While Steiner education is popular in many large cities, in North Queensland there are not many options to follow the Steiner path and most people know little about it. 

Ms Verri is on a mission to change that and is aiming to bring the Steiner way of schooling to the tropical far north. 

“Steiner is a holistic education that follows a head, heart and hands approach, “she said.

“The head representing the academics, the heart representing the artistic, and the hands representing the practical.

“Dealing with the holistic elements of the child, we regard each of these three parts as equally important. The child is a whole person, not just a head; to develop the whole person we need to give equal emphasis to the academic, artistic and practical,” she said.

The new school will follow the Australian Steiner Curriculum Framework, recognised by ACARA (Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority).

“It’s an Australian recognised curriculum which can be found on the Steiner Education Australia website. Each of the units of work support the developmental stages of the child and adolescent,” Ms Verri said.

“Every child is unique and doesn't fit into one box and we want every child to have an opportunity to learn.”

Ms Verri said Steiner offers students an alternative option to the mainstream education systems currently offered in the Douglas Shire.

“Every school system has a place and every child learns differently,” Ms Verri said.

“But what I love about Steiner education is the nourishing approach it has to the child and the curriculum that not only develops critical thinkers but allows the children to feel confident in who they are.”

Ms Verri said a key point of difference in Steiner Schools is their class structures. The main lesson is conducted in the first two hours of every morning and is dedicated to the study of the same topics for a period of three to four weeks.

“The main lesson block may be focused on Mathematics, Language, Humanities, Science; however, each will encompass a variety of experiences including movement, singing, painting, drawing, modelling, drama, narrative, practical activity and formal academic work.

“The children are not given text books or printed worksheets to work from, rather they create their own lesson books which serve as a personal record and recount of their learning through drawings, words, and other visual representations.”

She added that the goal of Steiner education is to enable each student to follow their individual journey.

“We don’t want children to compete for a common outcome, we want them to perform to the best of their ability and be happy, confident, well rounded human beings.”

To find out more about what a Steiner education may look like for your child visit the Tropical Steiner School Website or the Steiner School Australia Website. 



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