Between the Ages of Seven and Fourteen
the student’s specific developmental needs are addressed in a structured, socially cooperative and non-competitive environment. In addition to comprehensive language arts, math, science, and social studies, each student attends continuing classes in German and Spanish, vocal and instrumental music, speech and drama, eurythmy (an art of movement), painting, drawing, modeling, and handwork. The school also provides a complete games and physical education program, which in the middle school expands into competitive team sports.
The day begins with a two-hour period called the main lesson, devoted to the study of a particular academic discipline, taught in blocks lasting from three to five weeks. This rotation of subjects allows for a concentrated, in-depth study while recognizing students’ need for variety and time to digest the subject matter. Main lesson is a lively, interactive time, moving between artistic and intellectual activities that engage each student’s faculties of thinking, feeling, and willing. Their interest and enthusiasm is reflected in their main lesson books, an artistic representation of what has been learned. After the morning academic work come the artistic, practical, and physical education classes, as well as continuing skills work in English, mathematics and foreign languages.
The Teacher is the Center
The Waldorf class teacher stands at the center of the grade school years. Ideally he or she accompanies the same class of children through the elementary years, teaching core academic subjects. Note: In seventh and eighth grades, other qualified teachers often teach one or two blocks as well as mathematics. This continuity gives the teacher an intimate understanding of each student’s strengths and needs over time and fosters a warm and trusting relationship between them. At the same time, parents and teachers develop a similar rapport that supports the student’s learning process.
Student Evaluating & Reporting
Students are evaluated through comprehensive written reports sent to parents twice a year. Formal parent/teacher conferences are held at mid-year. With the exception of skill quizzes in grades 6 through 8, students are not graded in elementary school nor required to take standardized tests. Formal grading begins in the high school.