Lower School Overview
Learning with the Head, Hands and Heart
Academics in Waldorf Education are enlivened through the arts and hands-on learning. Reading, writing, history, math, and science are accompanied by the opportunity to play an instrument, knit, carve wood, or perform in a play. These essential parts of the curriculum work together to develop the intellect, a sense of wonder, and a joy of learning.
Our technology free classrooms in the lower grades allow children to focus on learning. Waldorf education believes that children develop a deeper understanding and retain more in a screen free environment. Interaction with the teacher, reading from books, and handwriting develop concentration, memory, and critical thinking, and are essential to healthy neurological development.
Experiential Learning • Academics Integrated with the Arts
Self expression is an important part of a Waldorf education. As a record of their learning, students create their own “textbooks,” which include original compositions, illustrations, and diagrams. Fine and practical arts, music, drama, and singing all awaken and hone the student’s capacity for self-expression and build the confidence that allows students to thrive.
Curiosity and a love of learning are supported by a curriculum designed to offer the right challenge at the right time. Children become creative problem-solvers and are encouraged to use their imagination. Homework reinforces what is learned in class and is given in appropriate amounts beginning in 3rd grade.
In lieu of letter grades, teachers provide written feedback on students’ academic, artistic, and social progress, giving parents a picture of the whole child. We do not administer standardized tests in the lower school.
Awakening Each Child's Capacity
The unfolding of each child’s unique capacities is the task of our experienced faculty who remain with the children for several years. In addition to the class teacher a number of specialty teachers provide instruction in Spanish, German, orchestra, handwork, physical education, woodworking, gardening and more. Together, the faculty work to develop the child’s emerging skills and potential.
A moral education is promoted in a learning environment where cooperation is valued over competition. Waldorf teachers consciously develop emotional intelligence through personal engagement with the social issues of the class. Children build the capacity to express and share their perspectives, listen to their peers, and respect individual differences.