Swadhaa - A Steiner School

Overview

Translating the educational inspiration and intent of the school to the educational process is where the heart of the school lies. Striving to see the underlying principles in practice, in the classroom, is an honest endeavour by each member of the community. There are certain fundamentals that form the basis of the ethos of operation at Swadhaa.

Curriculum-OverviewCooperation: All learning is based on co-operation, helping and working with each other.Children are not pitted against each other but are encouraged to do their best. Competition and comparison cannot form the basis of learning. Children are allowed to learn at their pace, avoiding stress and compromises on understanding.

Range of teaching methodologies: Though the overarching methodology in the classroom is based on Steiner’s philosophy, the subject matter is conveyed by integrating various methods, based on the child’s needs. The uniqueness of each child is nurtured and the information is conveyed such that each child’s individual pace and bent of learning style is considered, to keep alive the joy of learning for her.

Flexible pace of learning the curriculum: The pace of completion of syllabus is planned but not rigid. The learner’s ability and capacity are the central factors in determining the pace of teaching. It allows the children in a particular age group to proceed at different paces and be at different levels in the same subject.

Assessments are continuous and non-judgmental.

Cultural Rootedness: Cultural rootedness forms a significant pillar of the curriculum at Swadhaa. The fabric of Steiner’s approach encourages threads of the indigenous culture to be woven through it. For each subject matter, detailed research into the Indian context and symbolism is carried out and age appropriate elements introduced.

Connectivity with Nature: Creating environmental awareness and caring for nature coupled with a sense of responsibility to serve and nurture it, is another cornerstone of the curriculum. Children will engage in gardening, farming, nature treks, bird watching etc.

The Art of Education

Waldorf Curriculum Overview

Thus, what is important for the art of education is knowledge of the members of the human being and of their various developments. We must know what part of the human being especially needs to be worked on at a certain age and how to work on it in the proper way.”                                                                    -  Rudolf Steiner.

  • The curriculum’s unique characteristic is that across all grades, the morning begins with the Main Lesson. These two-hour long, main lesson sessions continue every day for three to four weeks on the chosen subject. This allows students to explore one subject in great depth. The content and delivery of main lesson is carefully chosen to strike a balance between mental, physical and artistic effort within the sphere of the same subject and to speak to age-specific developmental needs.
  • In the early years of schooling the academics are de-emphasized but very profound work is done with children at the metaphysical level, Curriculum-overview-2to enhance their motor co-ordination, social skills, spatial abilities, listening capacity, cognitive faculty as well as individual confidence to imagine, create and execute. Their inner being is consciously nourished and nurtured, thus laying strong foundations for a healthy being.
  • Academic content is introduced in the first grade in a manner conducive to the child’s learning faculties at that stage. The introduction is light and minimal and builds up by the end of grade 1.
  • Across the spectrum of academic subjects and grades, students create their own textbooks, recording what they have learned in beautifully illustrated books which contain lessons, experiments, descriptions, poetry, essays and stories.
  • Lessons in a variety of handwork mediums and practical arts, requiring an active engagement with the task at hand are part of the curriculum. Painting and drawing, movement and dance, vocal and instrumental music – are infused across the curriculum at all grade levels, advancing a developed aesthetic sense and an ease with creative expression.

The curriculum by its very nature and content seeks to nurture the development of an individual’s spiritual life and a respect for the natural world.