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Our School

 

Playgroup And Kindergarten (Grade R)

The environment in which our young children grow up has a direct impact on their deeds, feelings and thoughts. In the earliest years of childhood an immense power of imitation governs our children’s way of playing. Children place immense trust and confidence in the adults in their lives and cannot yet distinguish values. For this reason they assume that everything around them is good. In the early years of the development of a child’s body good habits are established which will influence the child’s health and well-being for the rest of his or her life. The child is positively influenced by the warmth and kindness we as adults offer. The child is also subconsciously aware of and influenced by our good intentions and moral values.

 

Playgroup

Our playgroup accommodates children aged three to four years. They experience the warmth and the space that allow them to explore the world by playing under the loving guidance of the teacher. Outside the children play and amuse themselves and one another with natural resources and play in the sandpit. They enjoy building little houses and play gardens. Once inside, the mood is set by appropriate music. The children then do craft work, draw, model or paint, sing songs, bake, prepare food from our garden, play with dress-up clothes and listen to stories by candlelight.

 

Kindergarten (Grade R)

The kindergarten environment is structured for children aged five to six years. The teacher holds a daily ring time where the children move, act , speak and sing many verses and songs. Playtime is still important as well as craft and artistic activities such as modelling with beeswax, clay or playdough. Activities such as simple sewing, baking, preparing food from the school garden, painting or acting out stories and puppet shows in the morning lead towards a quiet time in which the children listen to a fairy-tale. All these activities are aimed to prepare the children for entering Class One. Quarterly festivals and the birthday of each child mark the calendar year with many special events.

 

Primary School

As the child enters primary school the earlier stage of imitation widens into a need for applied learning and a guiding authority.

 

The Role Of The Class Teacher

The class teacher should be the beloved, respected and readily accepted representative of the world. Where possible the Waldorf class teacher should move with his or her class as they progress through primary school. Thus a deeper understanding and relationship can develop between the pupils and the teacher. Throughout the years the class teacher and the parents form a co-operative relationship centred on the growing child.

The teacher must continue to develop his or her own inner resources so that the child experiences a holistic education and can consequently make strides towards becoming a full human being who can contribute to the ever-changing demands of his own inner development and of our world.

 

The School Day

In Waldorf education one frequently hears the phrase “thinking, feeling and willing”. These three fundamentals of learning are always present throughout the school day, particularly during the main lesson which forms the basis of the Waldorf school day. The school day starts with a dynamic two-hour main lesson, and the focus is on one subject for a period of three to four weeks. This is an efficient way of teaching. The total focus on one theme enables the children to immerse themselves completely in the subject matter being dealt with. It also enables the class teacher the freedom to structure the lessons creatively. In doing so, he or she incorporates a variety of activities such as music and rhythmic movement to enhance the teaching of geography. Similarly the use of drama and story-telling enriches the work in history.The child’s feeling of wonder for forms is encouraged and stimulated in the earliest classes. The children draw large coloured free-hand drawings, mostly variations of the straight line and the curve. These drawings are called form drawings and they help the child develop an experience of inner harmony. In addition to helping develop good handwriting, these exercises provide a solid basis for the exact geometrical constructions in the upper primary classes.

Initially main lessons include Mathematics, English Literature, History and Geography. At a later stage attention is paid to Biology, Science, Astronomy and the Humanities. Other subjects are Languages, Music, Painting, Technical Skills (such as knitting, crocheting and woodwork, depending on the age group), Religion, Sports and Eurythmy.

 

What is Waldorf Education?

"It is important that we discover an educational method where people learn to learn and go on learning throughout their whole lives."

Educating The Whole Child Towards Creative Responsibility

Education is often discussed these days. Schools influence the well-being of our children and the health of our societies. A child needs a firm foundation for becoming socially balanced and productive, and it is vital that the child’s development be lovingly and carefully guided. We can only guess what demands the future will hold for our children, and it goes without saying that inner strength, intellectual flexibility, empathy and sound independent judgement will be qualities vital to their future. Waldorf schools methodically work to develop these qualities. Each child is a divine miracle and as such entitled to an education which nurtures and nourishes every part of the child’s being.

 

The Curriculum

Throughout the developing years of the child the curriculum mirrors his or her inner development and seeks to give the child experiences for which he or she is subconsciously yearning. This makes the lessons naturally relevant and satisfying. All the important areas offered in conventional schools are taught, but the approach is carefully developed for each age. The breadth of the curriculum is a unique aspect of Waldorf Education and the material covered is used as an integrated whole. Movement, story, speech, music, drama, drawing, painting and modelling are therefore brought into the lesson to make learning enjoyable while at the same time reaching the children at a deeper level than would mere copied facts, memorising and learning by rote.