Primary School - The Main Lesson


The Main Lesson is one of the basic elements of the Steiner curriculum. It involves the thorough working of the main subjects (such as geography, science, history, mathematics or literature), taught in main lesson blocks of about two hours per day, over several weeks. It is always conducted in the morning, when the children are fresh and is followed by a change of activity.


The topics are approached through a variety of means, including stories, painting, recitation, a physical group project or a game, until the children have made some connection to it with every part of themselves. It is then set aside to ‘digest’ and a further topic is taken up. This pattern is natural to children, as anyone who has observed the success of ‘crazes’ in a playground will know. The result is a thorough and satisfying assimilation of knowledge, thus maintaining the child’s enthusiasm for learning. All children have ‘main lesson books’, which are their own workbooks that they create during the year. They essentially produce their own ‘textbooks’, which record their experiences and what they’ve learned. Upper grades use textbooks to supplement their main lesson work.

Class 1 & 2

Form drawing

Introduction of Numbers & Letters

Writing & Reading

Arithmetic: The four Processes,

Mental Math’s Fairy Tales,

Nature stories, Animal Fables

Celtic Legends, Lives of the Saints

Class 3 & 4

Arithmetic: Measurement, Fractions, Long Division and Multiplication

English: Parts of Speech, Sentence Building, Punctuation, Tenses, Story-Writing, Letter-Writing


Farming, Clothing and Shelter, House Building

Geography of Home, School & Surroundings

Bible Stories from the Old Testament

Peoples Work in the World

Nordic Mythology, Australian Aboriginal Stories

Comparative Zoology (man and his relationship to animals)

Class 5 & 6

Arithmetic: Fractions & Decimals, Percentages & Interest, Exchange & Discount, Formulae, Beginnings of Algebra

English: Literature, Poetry, Active & Passive Verb Forms, Direct Quotation, Conditional Sentences, Business Letters, Style

Stories, history and maps of India, Persia, Babylon, Egypt, Greece & Rome, Greek Myths

Science: Botany, Astronomy, Acoustics, Mineralogy, Heat, Electricity & Magnetism

Geometric Drawing

Geology: landforms and associated rock types