Programs - Grades
Children possess a natural honesty, curiosity and interest in their world; retaining these innate characteristics, while expanding their intellectual capacity, is the primary goal of Waldorf education. By using the arts and creativity to immerse children in the learning process, by timing the introduction of material to coincide with the age at which students are able to truly understand and work with the concepts, and by providing a safe, open and trusting environment in which to learn, River Valley Waldorf School builds confident, avid, inspired learners…for life.
Two features central to daily life in Waldorf schools are the main lesson and the class teacher. Main lesson is the first period of the school day which is 90 minutes to 2 hours in length. During main lesson, a particular topic is studied for a block of three to four weeks at a time. Whether the main lesson is math, language arts, science, geography or history, there is an artistic component and an active/practical component in addition to written work and lecture. Each main lesson introduces something new, reviews work from the day before and engages students in an artistic endeavor so that extended class time has rhythm and movement which keeps learning fresh and students engaged. The class teacher is another unique aspect of Waldorf education. They stay with a class from year to year growing and learning with the children, sometimes from first grade all the way through eighth grade. Often though, class teachers will specialize in either upper or lower grades. In either case, the class teacher becomes part of the child’s extended family and is a constant and trusted adult in their lives.
In addition to the core academic lessons, education at River Valley Waldorf School includes the following specialty classes. Beginning in first grade, Spanish, German, Music (vocal & instrumental), Watercolor Painting, Handwork, Eurythmy and Sports & Games are part of the weekly schedule. In fifth grade, we add Sculptural Arts (both clay and wood). A variety of fine-art techniques are introduced beginning in sixth grade.
To peruse some of the major themes of River Valley’s grade school curriculum at each grade level, please see below:1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Specialty classes