Class 4

Age 9–10

Casuarina Steiner School Class 4
Casuarina Steiner School Class 4
Casuarina Steiner School Class 4
Casuarina Steiner School Class 4
Casuarina Steiner School Class 4
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This is the midway point in the Class Teacher period and the seven-year cycle of the Middle Years – the ‘heart of childhood’.


  • A harmonising of the relationship between blood circulation and breathing, brought about through the child’s self-directed activity


  • Thinking and reasoning becomes more active, though the pictorial aspect is still strong
  • More “grounded”, interested in the concrete world around them
  • Questioning and criticising, especially about what is right and wrong


  • Increasing awareness of their own individuality, questioning authority
  • Contrast between their inner world and outer worlds develops further
  • Often struggle with expressing their own individuality and that of peer pressure, and can form strong social groups that can lend itself to bullying or exclusion
  • Energetic, keen for physical challenges and exploration
  • Confident in their own abilities
  • Looking outwards to the world with eagerness
  • “Rubicon” crossing

Needs of this age:

  • Challenge: lots of work; physical and mental challenges; exploration & inquiry.
  • Healthy ways of channelling their energy and individual expression.
  • A more independent way of working; new relationship to the class teacher.
  • A new sense of externally imposed authority being supplemented with an inner authority, based on developing moral strength, courage and responsibility.
  • A picture of the world showing more complexity, interdependence & relations between individuals, contrasts of the individual working against or for the community.
  • Knowledge and understanding of the physical world, still brought imaginatively:

Steiner Curriculum themes to meet the needs of this age:

Main Lessons:

  • Norse myths, such as the Icelandic epic Edda, the Finnish epic Kalevala – multiplicity of deities, good-natured challenging of the gods’ authority, a picture of a changing relationship to the spiritual world; themes of adventure, darkness and evil, courage overcoming adversity
  • The Vikings – strength, courage, exploration of the world
  • Aboriginal tales – multiplicity of divine influences, interdependence of human beings and animal and plant worlds
  • Animals and their relationship to human beings, in a more concrete way than the fables of Class 2; the three-fold nature of animals
  • Regional, state and national studies reflect the child’s expanding interest – geography and history, aboriginal cultures, multi-culturalism
  • Map-making – transition from pictorial to conceptual symbolic representation
  • Fractions: the relationship between whole and parts
  • History of writing, calligraphy; children develop their own handwriting style
  • Use of fountain pens

Class 4 Main Lessons

  • History of Writing
  • Grammar (tenses) Punctuation and Spelling
  • Writing – Text types
  • Introduction to Fractions
  • Geometry and Space
  • Number and Problem Solving
  • Measurement and Area
  • Human Being and Animal
  • Aboriginal Culture and Lifestyle
  • Australian Maritime Discovery
  • Australian Continental Explorers – maps, atlases, physical geography, discovery and exploration
  • Norse Myths/Viking Stories
  • Story themes for the year of courage, adventure, heroes.

Teaching styles:

  • More practical, objective approach to the world, though still engaging feeling
  • Teaching needs to be lively with strong leadership
  • Authority of class teacher becomes more subtle, allowing for independence, yet:
  • Consistency of expectations, clear boundaries remains very important
  • Children respond to and respect specialist knowledge brought by subject teachers
  • Social skills development continues, with the theme of the individual working for the group
  • Camps with more physical challenge