Learning through imagination
The Waldorf Curriculum is covered through the main lesson system in which one subject at a time is taught every day for a period of 3 to 4 weeks. The rest of the timetable follows a regular rhythmic pattern. Each subject has a moral as well as intellectual content. When a child is led to comprehend the marvels of the plant world, the wisdom in zoology or the order that reigns in the starry sky, in our bodies, in science and in art – the child slowly develops an attitude of wonder, reverence and gratitude which leads to a joyous enthusiasm and affirmation of life.
A thorough foundation for writing and reading is laid in the first three classes. Children learn to write before they read. Letters are first learnt in capitals as they originated in the evolution of our culture. Humans perceived, then pictured, and out of the pictures evolved the signs and written symbols. The children, with their naturally pictorial thinking, do likewise. In the shapes of natural objects, children re-discover the shapes of the letters: M in a series of mountain peaks etc. This approach develops a sense for the quality of the letters and makes them come alive so that they are remembered.
Phonetics are treated thoroughly and the first experiences in reading centre around that which the children know well and have copied from the board. The first printed reader is introduced during the second year.
Art is recognised as an important aid to learning. It permeates the curriculum as a medium of expression and enlivens all subjects. Learning is transformed into a stimulating process with far reaching results when enriched with art and movement, enabling the whole person to unfold.