Class Eight

Individualisation and independence…

At fourteen, the pupils are ‘into’ adolescence: bodily and psychological changes are well underway so that, in general, the young person seems more robust and the tenderness of the previous two years has lessened somewhat.

At this age, the world of ideas begins to take meaning for the young adolescent and the critical faculties of the 14 year old are noticeably sharper and parts of the accepted framework – particular rules for example – are subject to questioning scrutiny. Counterbalancing this critical tendency is the emergence of a reasoning or ‘reasonable’ side in the child.

The emergence of an independent life of feeling enters the ‘labour and delivery’ phase and the emotional turbulence which may attend this birth represents an important challenge to parents and teachers – how to accompany this birth or beginning of the emancipation of an individualised and independent inner life of thinking, feeling and intention without either being overwhelmed or swamped by the waves and tides of emotions, while being able to recognise that the state of crisis is all a part of their developmental phase.

The National Steiner Curriculum, in combination with the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) curricula, covers an important stage in the development of human experience through the ages. After the exploration of the Medieval World in Class 7, we move historically into the Industrialising World in Class 8.

Both genders now stand before new and unknown vistas with sharpening minds, tender hearts and limbs that struggle to reach accommodation with gravity. By the end of this class, the pupils are already searching for new authorities and role models – an appropriate time to bring to a close our wonderful journey with these beautiful young people.

This shift builds on emerging intellectual capacities and fosters the individual’s engagement in the world as newly involved global citizens. When the students complete their schooling at Chrysalis, we anticipate that the founding values they hold will nurture and foster:

  • The love of learning, knowledge and wisdom
  • The pursuit of truth
  • The promotion of logical and critical thinking
  • A moral recognition of human spiritual needs
  • The pursuit of excellence in living
  • An appreciation for individual and group achievement
  • The promotion of wellbeing of the self and the welfare of others
  • A reverence and respect for the natural world.



  • Shakespeare
  • The Art of Communication
  • Film Studies


  • The Age of Revolutions: industrial, political, artistic
  • Industrial Revolution


  • Platonic Solids: the 3D World
  • Money & Society
  • Number and Algebra


  • The Lay of the Land
  • Ecology


  • Physics – Electromagnetism
  • Food Chemistry
  • Anatomy

Weekly Sessions in:

  • English, Mathematics, Mandatory Technology (woodwork, textile crafts, IT, gardening), PDHPE (social values, personal development, health, sport).

Other Subjects:

    • Music: choir, string and percussion ensembles
    • Art: painting, drawing, modelling.
    • Drama: A Shakespeare play performance
    • Design and Technology: woodwork, textile crafts, IT, gardening
    • Movement: surfing, tennis, dance, hiking, abseiling, camp
    • Year 8 Project: personal interest exploration project, culminating in presentation

Outdoor education program for Class 8