Besides offering an excellent education, Orana offers its students and their parents more than just a school focused on the classroom.
Children need the security of strong connections between their homes and the school. It is only through these links that we can truly support each other, so working in harmony with parents is a bedrock principle of our school. The involvement of parents in their children’s education plays a significant part in the overall rewards that children reap at a Steiner School. Thus our school offers parents many opportunities to become part of a community that has both a heart and a purpose.
The success of the parent teacher partnership relies strongly on developing understanding for the aims and intentions of Steiner Education. Parents are encouraged to explore and appreciate the natural laws of child development which underpin the education. Steiner education is intrinsically founded on both the parents and teacher interest in such development and thrives on their collaboration.
We value a two-way exchange of information between parents and teachers, recognising parents’ aspirations for their children and knowledge of their children’s characteristics and needs. Sharing of information takes place in many formal and informal ways, from teacher home visits, individual parent interviews, parent-teacher meetings and after-school chats. Parents can also get to know the other families with whom their child is relating by assisting with classroom activities; helping maintain and beautify the school grounds at working bees; assisting with excursions, festivals and fund raising activities. The annual Spring Fair is the major fund raising event and is also a wonderful representation of our school, attaching many visitors from outside the school community.
Finally, there are several opportunities for input into collaborative decision making with the teachers and school community groups via involvement with the various committees, particularly the School Board, the Parents and Friends Association and the Sophia Group. Each class has a Class Co-ordinator who can be a significant contributor to the social fabric of the class.
The Orana playgroup, the weekly parent Craft Group, parent education talks and workshops, diverse camps, excursions and school concerts add vitality and builds community. The school community regularly gathers on a Friday evening for a twilight concert to watch musical performances by the children. In addition to whole classes showing their skills as they progress through the school string program, or sing some of choral pieces they learn, individual children also perform.
The Orana Steiner School playgroup is based on the philosophical indications given by Rudolf Steiner and aims to create a warm, nurturing and imaginative environment for the young child ages up to four years old. Moreover, the parent craft group also meets every week. It offers a wonderful chance for those who have never considered themselves crafty to learn to create beautiful art, share morning tea and meet other parents.