folded paper transparency waldorf star

At the Waldorf school, teachers practice a holistic pedagogy that supports the developing human being on the journey from childhood to adulthood. 

Early childhood teachers, encouraging movement and exploration, model a gentle work ethic for their students, creating a beautiful and safe environment in the early childhood classrooms and play spaces.

The Grade School Program – including Elementary and Middle School grades – engages students in intensive three-to-four-week studies of themes accompanied by high academic, artistic, and behavior standards that are designed to prepare the child for later demands on his or independent judgment. These Main Lesson Blocks provide students in grades one through eight with academic skills through the study of human culture that follows the awakening of human consciousness through history. The grade school class teacher stays with the class for several grades – if not for all eight grades – and serves as a loving authority who comes to know the students very well, thus being in a position to readily meet the needs of each individual student as well as the group. 

Both programs hold the clear goals of cultivating a reverential attitude toward the world and the capacity to engage the imagination in the world; developing faculties of perception; and strengthening the will to carry out one’s own initiatives, whether through speech, athletics, mathematics, music, scientific discovery, or artistic expression. We see all of this as vital to the healthy development of the child toward adulthood.

The heart of a Waldorf school curriculum is the view of child development articulated and promoted by Rudolf Steiner, embodied in all Waldorf schools. Even as the details included in a course may vary according to school location or culture, every aspect of the curriculum is intentionally placed to support and affirm students as they move from one developmental phase to another. The elementary curriculum is designed to provide students with a nourishing and intriguing overview of human culture, from its very beginnings and into the Twenty-First Century. The students are expected to present their best efforts in every assignment; so the teachers are conscientious to create assignments worthy of those efforts.

In addition to content, the presentation of the curriculum develops capacities that will be explored and fulfilled later in life: capacities for intellectual and artistic pursuits, for working with other people, for inner development. We strive to create in our students a dynamic interest in the world and the ability to translate that interest into meaningful action.

The Waldorf Grade School Curriculum