Languages: German & French
In our Early Childhood programs German and French are taught through songs and movement. Beginning in Grade 1 students take classes in German and French led by specialist teachers. Poetry, games and songs are a strong focus in Waldorf language instruction.
Foreign language learning is integrated into the main lesson content of each grade.
Woodworking begins in Class Four when students develop a sensitivity for their material by stamping, rasping and sanding basswood dice and the Jacob’s Ladder toy. In Class Five students shape animal figures with coping saw and rasp. Working from a fresh cedar log, Class Five students also create a fine carpentry cause and a magic propeller stick toy. In Classes Six through Eight, students progress with the study of convex and concave forms by shaping basswood eggs, spoons, bowls and complex animal figures. A final Class Eight project is the finger jointed treasure box.
At KWS the mindful art of shaping wood is a journey of perseverance and focus through curiosity and wonder.
Music and Instruments
Music is integral to Waldorf education. Songs, rhythm and movement are part of the daily activities.
In the Grades, singing is a daily part of the curriculum. Children begin formal music instruction by learning the pentatonic flute in Grade 1, and then they move on to the recorder in the following grades.
Handwork – Building Fine Motor Skills
Handwork is a beautiful part of our curriculum. Beginning in Kindergarten children learn to finger knit, wet felt and sew. As the grades progress, children learn, with a specialist teacher, to knit and crochet more complicated patterns and create challenging projects.
Handwork builds children’s self-esteem and gives children the opportunity to develop exceptional fine motor skills in a practical and exploratory way.
Eurythmy is an art unique to Waldorf education. Taught by a professionally trained eurythmist, Eurythmy is the art of artistically guided movement to music and speech. Through Eurythmy, children develop grace, control and expression.
Eurythmy is also a strong foundation in literacy development. Recent brain research supports movement through storytelling as an active component of literacy success. Children from Early Childhood to Grade 8 participate in Eurythmy classes.
Sports & Games
Movement education and games in the Waldorf curriculum spring from the same understanding of a child’s development that underlies the academic curriculum in a Waldorf school. Each lesson contains a rhythm of joining together and moving apart, highly active games balanced with quieter games, working together as a group and taking a few moments to reflect on one’s own body and movement.
Each year the children participate in skating, swimming, skiing, and games. Class five prepare for the Greek Olympics where they can visit and compete with other Waldorf Schools.
We integrate art into all aspects of learning in our curriculum.
In the Early childhood programs, artistic activities are part of the weekly rhythm and children explore the mediums of painting, drawing, beeswax modelling and puppetry.
In the Grades the children create beautiful main lesson books on the academic subjects that are works of art in themselves. There are also projects taught by both classroom and specialist teachers in the disciplines of painting, sculpture, woodwork, and sketching.
In Early Childhood and through the Grades, children have opportunities to garden on our picturesque school grounds.
As the child grows, the understanding of gardening deepens. What begins as an appreciation of the Mother Earth in Early Childhood matures in the older grades. For instance, in Grade 3 there is an opportunity for the whole class to be involved in a building project. In the Upper Grades, scientific discovery through Botany is a focus for learning.
There are many opportunities for further enrichment through field trips and outreach programs. Examples of these are farm visits, sports, skiing and snowshoeing, canoe trips, swimming, art galleries and theatre. Grade 5 students also participate yearly in the Greek Olympics, which is a regional gathering of North West Waldorf Schools, to compete in traditional games of Ancient Greece.