Based on the Steiner method of teaching, Kamaroi’s integrated curriculum is designed to place an emphasis on the whole development of a child — spiritual, physical, moral as well as academic. As children have different needs at each developmental stage, our curriculum is designed to engage the abilities of the growing child. In the kindergarten this is done through guided creative play, in later years, through the imaginative and artistic presentation of material by the class teacher, which promotes deep learning. As well as being integrated, the curriculum is broadly based, interdisciplinary and comprehensive.
What is an integrated curriculum?
Typically, a traditional education is taught in short dedicated lessons, such as Spanish or Mathematics, repeated a number of times a week. Children are presented with information; often in dry ways that offer to no real reference to the child’s own life. The information must be learned and later tested, to ensure that the child has remembered what they have been taught.
Kamaroi’s approach however is to teach key learning areas in their entirety, in ways that are relevant and meaningful to children. Lessons are consciously designed to stimulate the whole child – physically, artistically and intellectually. A rhythmic structure enhances the learning process by building continuity. This allows for review and allows for a depth of intellectual understanding that incorporates the child’s artistic and emotional responses.
Each day begins with a two-hour long Main Lesson. Key learning subjects, such as Mathematics and History, are integrated into themed blocks of 3-4 weeks, across the school year. The length of the Main Lesson allows the class teacher to develop a wide range of integrated activities around the central theme, thereby catering to a variety of learning styles; visual, auditory and kinesthetic.
For example, in Class 3, children learn about a mob of kangaroos who find themselves at Kamaroi and who must travel a great distance to return home. Their journey takes them from the children’s local area, with its recognizable landforms and flora and fauna, across beaches, hills and deserts, to Central Australia. The changing landscape brings Botany, History and Geography subjects to life for the children. They discover new plants, birds and animals, mathematical puzzles and literary references in ways that are engaging and easily absorbed. The learning is presented in a variety of styles, including the arts and physical education, which allows children to learn in a way that best suits them as an individual.
After the Main Lesson, the day continues with shorter, more practical specialist subjects, e.g. Mathematics and English. These are taught in smaller groups and allow children to further explore and consolidate what they have learnt in the Main Lesson. Each day is designed to balance academic, artistic and practical learning.
The breadth of the curriculum, the central role of imagination and creativity, the focus on the visual and performing arts and the inclusion of classical literary sources at Kamaroi incorporates the traditional curriculum, but offers a far more enriched and comprehensive academic education. This provides children with a rounded education that is ‘experienced’ rather than taught in the traditional sense. As a result, students become passionate and engaged learners with a deep knowledge base and excellent academic skills.