Swadha - A Steiner School

Grade school

The Curriculum Overview in the second stage – 7 to 14 Years

Grade--school Students between the ages of seven and fourteen are especially inspired by their feelings. Drawn to beauty, with a vivid life of imagination and a readiness to learn, children of this age respond most powerfully to an integrated curriculum that engages their feelings, enlivens their thinking and nourishes their imagination. Also the magic words for education in this period are Discipleship and Authority. The child in this age seeks an Authority (an inspirational figure rather than an authoritarian one),which he very naturally accepts.

With coming of the second teeth dawns a new developmental stage in the life of the child wherein the child is no longer so absorbed in sense impressions and now lives in the inner world of feeling. His musical sense awakens and he loves to sing, dance, recite and play.

Curriculum

In the time of life with which we are now concerned, we must not dry up the child’s mind and spirit by cramming it with intellectual conceptions.”                                                                                   – Rudolf Steiner

Art – the heart of the elementary school curriculum

The Curriculum for this age group involves instruction which does not rest on sense perception alone but brings all the faculties of the feelings into play. This ground where the whole being of the child is engaged is that of ART.

Art enlivens all it touches, art educates to wholeness. The world of feeling is developed by conjuring pictures of the secrets and beauties of nature through parables and not just by stating dry intellectual concepts and facts.

Cultivation of the sense of beauty, awakening the artistic feeling, bringing in musical elements and rhythm, developing the feeling for architectural forms, for moulding and sculpture, for lines, for design and for color harmonies, are a part of the curriculum. Even subjects that are not artistic by nature (e.g. math) are taught in an imaginative and artistic way. Everything a child uses is designed to be functional and beautiful.

Narrating true StoriesGrade-school-2

Besides living authorities, the other such authorities which a child can apprehend with mind and spirit are brought into his experience through stories of the outstanding figures of history, stories of the lives of great saints. To impart the soul of these stories to the child, narration by word of mouth cannot be simply replaced by reading.

Memory Development

A force of soul on which particular value is set during this period of development, is memory. Rhythmic recitations and movements are done with children assisting memorization. During this stage when the development of the memory is important, the child is not stressed by laying undue importance on thorough intellectual understanding. Intellectual concepts are only one of the means we have to understand the things of this world.

Movement

The movement curriculum is built around children’s games and physical exercises such that the child feels a growing strength. This gives the child a healthy sense of inner happiness and ease.

Thus the right kind of cultivation of the feeling at body, mind and soul level in this stage leads to lifelong results of joy and happiness in learning and living, love for all existence, power and energy for work and enriched human values.