The Primary School
A Time for Imagination And Caring Authority
As the child enters Primary School, the earlier stage of imitation expands into a need for applied learning and a guiding authority. The class teacher should become the beloved, respected, and readily accepted representative of the world. In Waldorf schools the aim for the class teacher is to move with his or her class right through the Primary School.
Through this, a deeper understanding develops between the pupils and their teacher. This secure continuity enhances the children’s learning. Throughout the years the class teacher and the parents form a co-operative relationship, centered on the growing child.
Subjects are presented in the Main Lesson, usually over a block of about three weeks. The uninterrupted focus on a theme enables the children to immerse themselves completely in the subject matter at hand.
It also allows the class teacher the freedom to structure the lessons creatively, incorporating a variety of activities, for example, undertaking a building project as part of a main lesson on House Building, or the use of drama and story telling to expand the work in history.
Main Lessons include Mathematics, Geometry, Ancient Civilisations, Mythology, English Literature, and later Biology, Science, Astronomy and the Humanities. Other subjects such as the second languages, technical skills, Eurythmy and sport are taught by subject teachers.
The child’s feeling of wonder for form is encouraged and stimulated from the earliest classes. Through large, free hand form drawings the child develops an experience of inner harmony, which can be, applied later, both in practical tasks and in exact thinking. In addition to helping develop good handwriting, these exercises give a real basis for the exact geometrical constructions, which follow. Academic skills in numeracy and literacy are developed throughout primary school years through rhythmical practice, daily exercises at each grade level, regular marking and assessment by the teacher. The Federation conducts a national academic survey of all the schools to reflect progress to the schools and recommend improvement.