The Lower School
From 6 to 11
Main Lessons & the School Day
Main Lessons run right through a Waldorf school from 6 to 18. They are daily multi-sensory 2 hour lessons taught in blocks. This is where the core of the curriculum is covered.
Integrated Learning is structured in a way that allows each pupil to develop emotionally, physically and academically within the curriculum. The Main Lessons incorporate kinaesthetic, visual, aural learning through movement, art, music, spoken and written work. Where possible the curriculum is brought alive experientially making the learning relevant and engaing.
The more academic lessons are introduced at the beginning of the day (in the Main Lesson). Subjects such as foreign language, Mathematics, English, Music and Eurythmy are given in the middle period between morning break and lunch. Afternoon subjects such as Games, Gardening and Handwork allow the child a physical experience of learning that grounds and gives balance to their school day.
The Lower School curriculum builds the foundation for the intellectual and abstract thought required in the Middle and Upper School.
The curriculum is like a spiral and develops more depth and momentum as the children age. Topics are revisited.
Science in the Lower School starts with what can be observed, and in the Upper School moves into the micro inner workings at a quantum level to the macro view of the cosmos.
Geography starts at home, and moves to the county, to England, the British Isles and then eventually extends to the far reaches of the globe.
History takes students on a journey from the beginning of the evolution of human consciousness with fables, myths and stories from ancient Egypt and Greece, right up to the present day.
Maths is taught as a language and art through movement, sound and form. Numbers and quantity are introduced with purpose.
Literacy is taught through story, and reading comes through writing and is explored in multiple contexts.
It's all about the Children
Waldorf pupils are supported to reach their highest potential in all areas of their being. The education is not designed to instil knowledge to get them through a test to take them to the next level. It is about encouraging children to meet the world with an open heart a creative and enquiring mind, meeting each child where they are now and supporting them to be where they could be.
When I was 6!
When formal school begins, in the child’s sixth year, a whole new development takes place in the child’s physical, emotional and intellectual capacities. They step out of the dreamy bubble of early childhood and begin to forge deep social connections with their peers. They take greater control of their bodies, their limbs and their sense of balance. They begin to delight in exercising their physical coordination. They also begin to enjoy exploring their memories and thinking imaginatively in images. They begin to feel passionately about right and wrong! Feelings now become the window of their learning.
At a Waldorf school the child’s new capacities are nourished by rich imaginative, story based lessons that inspire the feelings. Children at this age need to be helped to feel the joy and sadness of life each day. The educational focus at this age is to give the child a deep sense of harmony in their feeling and intellectual life.
The Class and Class Teacher
Throughout their Lower School journey the child is accompanied as much as possible by one Class Teacher who teaches the Main Lesson during the first 2 hours of every day . This strong and steady relationship forms the foundation of the child’s education. Over the years the child grows to love their teacher as a reliable and trustworthy figure in their lives. Parents are given the opportunity to truly enter into a real relationship with their child’s teacher and to understand and participate in their child’s educational journey more consciously and meaningfully. We place enormous consideration on finding the right teacher for a new class of students. For the class teacher, leading a group of children from Class 1 to Class 5 is a vocational responsibility that requires the deepest level of commitment, awareness, self-development and love.
The Art of Teaching
The curriculum lays out the structure for a course of study but it is the teacher who adds heart, soul and a profound understanding of her class to bring it alive and to make is relevant. The Class Teacher is given space and supported to practice the Art of Teaching ensuring each child is progressing to their full potential.
Every class weaves in music, art, movement and experiential learning touching the heart, engaging the will, strengthening the mind, developing fine and gross motor skills. This is the original and ultimate holistic education!