In Year 7, students reach 13 years of age, and become teenagers. This period of inner development resonates with key themes of the chapter in world history of the great voyages of discovery and the renewal of culture that took place during the Renaissance. Teachers support students to discover new perspectives that direct their attention towards the exploration of the outer world and away from the newly experienced unrest in their inner life. Students are given many opportunities for active learning and group interaction.
The Year 7 program encompasses 3 camps which represent such a privilege for students of this age. On each camp students visit unique, contrasting and stunning environments. On these trips they are immersed in natural environments which allow them to develop their appreciation for the beauty around them, while being given the opportunity to participate in activities including walking, swimming in remote locations and taking in all the beauty these places have to offer.
Locations: Sydney, Barmah Forest and Tasmania
The Year 8 program is designed to meet the needs of approaching adolescence in a time that is itself challenging. When new inner forces are emerging in the growing young person, a healthy series of appropriate challenges provide a stimulus to balanced development. In this period of change, initiation marks the movement from one stage of life to another, from one state of consciousness to a higher one. Thus, we offer a broad program of academic, aesthetic, social and physical courses that will stimulate and inspire students as they leave childhood and prepare to enter the new world that lies ahead.
The Year 8 Programme consists of three camps and presents a unique opportunity for all the students to spend time together in three stunning environments. While on these trips students are given the opportunity to canoe along the Murray, ski in and out of Mount Stirling and explore the remote South Coast of Tasmania. As an added bonus to the Year 8 program, some of the camps are shared with different year levels in the Secondary School.
Locations: Barmah Forest, Mount Stirling and Tasmania
Year 9 students are at the height of adolescence in all its polarities, the best and the worst. It can be a time when they become lost in their own personal inner world and yet they are also capable of compassion, endurance and intellectual prowess. They can be carried away by their own impulses and yet they have high aspirations. Our balanced programme aims to both challenge students academically, and ground them in practical tasks that build a broad base of service, resilience and leadership skills. In Year 9, all students undertake an extensive outdoor program aimed at learning outside the classroom and building an appreciation of place and the natural environment.
Unique to Mansfield Steiner School, the Year 9 Outdoor Education Program is an intentional, sequenced outdoor education learning journey. Designed to give the students a yearlong adventure, the program works to round out their skills for independent travel, preparing them for their Year 10 cultural exchange.
Built to work with the natural environments that surround Mansfield, the students will spend 55 nights out in various Australian landscapes, hiking, paddling, riding bikes and completing Main Lessons relevant to the associated environments and places, whilst immersing their growing beings and awareness in the area’s unique landscapes, culture, tradition, and history.
These outdoor experiences will provide opportunities to gain perspective of themselves and their place in the world. The program is shaped to give students a chance to build first aid skills, participate in a volunteer organisation and take on real responsibilities. They will learn water safety and radio communication skills, which are helpful skills to continue to navigate the outdoor program.
New Outdoor Education coordinator Brooke Varacalli will work specifically with the Year 9 cohort to complete the outdoor education program. A passionate outdoor educator, Brooke has worked extensively in the outdoors and most recently for Sophia Mundi Steiner School.
On each trip, the area they visit is chosen, above all, as a beautiful natural place. This is part of a continuing theme of appreciation for and empathy with nature. An important part of achieving this aim is the intentionally uncomplicated nature of each trip: the less gear you carry and the less impact you make.
As students mature and grow, the program meets the students at the different transitional points of their development, helping to prepare them for the responsibilities of adulthood.
In Year 10 students continue to learn through the Main Lessons, now in a broad and rich curriculum of wide ranging topics. Searching questions, which are a prerequisite for philosophical thought, now begin to be asked. The students’ level of judgement becomes more analytical and a deeper level of responsibility can be expected. Suitable themes for this age are those that provoke thoughts that question the human condition. The imperative at this point is to grapple with the issues and questions raised with an inner confidence that answers can be found. This confidence comes through a synthesis of deepening knowledge and inner experience, combined with a sense of wonder that has been cultivated since Year 1. The students realise that issues and ideas need to be explored from many sides and from many levels of experience, before any judgements can be made.
In Year 10 , students move out of adolescence in the most powerful of ways, experiencing their own independence in the world. In 2019, Year 10 students will be offered a term long International Exchange. The intention is that students will return from their exchange having discovered inner strengths of resolve and purpose, ready to succeed in the challenges that follow in the coming years. Year 10 will also experience a 5-day rock climbing camp. There is also a focus on community service; the students will go out into the community and share the many skills and talents they have acquired during their years at the school.