Canterbury New School will aspire to provide an age appropriate, broad and balanced curriculum for pupils from 6 – 13 with the ambition of extending this to pupils up the age of 18 when there becomes a need. We also run Brambles, an outdoor parents and toddler group and will have an independently run Kindergarten on our site.
The teaching will be based on the understanding that excellent outcomes are achieved by introducing learning at the moment of maximum pupil readiness rather than introducing learning at the earliest opportunity. Thus, in common with many countries in the world, the introduction of formal literacy and numeracy will take places at the age of 6/7 when pupils have had the opportunity to develop strong skills to enable successful learning outcomes. Similarly the introduction of computer technology will take place after the pupils have developed an understanding of a range of mechanical technologies.
Teachers will have the freedom to adapt the curriculum to suit the needs of the pupils they teach, and to use personalised differentiation to meet the learning.
A key principle that underpins the curriculum will be that learning is promoted by:
- curriculum delivery that corresponds with what comes most naturally to children of a particular age and therefore provides age-appropriate method and content;
- providing personalised support within a culture of collaboration, where considerate engagement with others, and by undertaking tasks and activities cooperatively as a group, rather than competitively as individuals;
- academic learning being balanced with opportunities for learning through experience, through the natural world and through artistic activities;
- meeting the needs of the whole child through equal attention being given to the cognitive, emotional, spiritual, moral, social, cultural and physical development and well-being of pupils;
- developing the child’s imagination which holds the key to the development of creative thinking;
- allowing scope for the teacher to interpret and present material in an artistic way that can take account of the particular nature of the group of pupils and their cultural setting
All the strands of the curriculum will be interrelated. For example at age 10, in mathematics, children will divide the whole and learn about fractions; in music they will divide the beat and learn music notation and in English they will divide the sentence and study grammar. There will be a year on year continuity with the study of each subject building directly on the work of the previous year.
Distinctive Curriculum Features
- Innovative specialist subjects will feature in the educational programme, such as Eurythmy and form drawing
- Foreign language learning will be included from the beginning of school
- The development and use of varied technologies will be introduced in the broad context of other disciplines
- The natural world and the sciences will be approached from a phenomenological perspective
The Natural Environment
Canterbury New School will aim for our young people to exist in awareness and harmony with the natural world.
We will work towards ensuring that the Kindergarten gardens will have opportunities for climbing, places to garden, an outdoor bread-oven and areas for watching wildlife. The children will go for weekly walks, build fires in the fire pit and make dens and learn about nature.
This experience will continue and develop in class 1 and 2. In class 3 there will be a whole Main Lesson on farming and food production with the children growing vegetables. As the pupils get older they will participate in an ever-wider variety of outdoor, environment-based activities and weekly Landwork lessons.
We hope to be able to offer Eurythmy as soon as possible. This form of movement is tailored to each stage of the child’s development, enhancing their coordination, concentration, and spatial awareness. It harmonises their thinking, feeling and willing capacities.
In the younger classes games are always introduced with a story so that the physical activity has an imaginative focus. Around Class 5 the ancient Greek Olympic events will be introduced: running, jumping, discus and javelin. Ball games are introduced with rules tailored to the age group. From Classes 7 upwards a more formal games programme is offered, which introduces the pupils to a broad range of activities.
Religious education in this school will have, at its heart, the aim of cultivating a mood of reverence and appreciation; fostering a sensitivity for the sacredness of life, developing a sense of wonder for the goodness, beauty and truth in the world and nurturing an enduring respect for the spiritual quality of life.
Elements of the educational programme will incorporate a Christian perspective that seeks to articulate universal human hopes, needs and values. Christianity will be studied from a cultural-historical perspective within the curriculum, as will Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam and other faiths.
From Class 1 onwards, the pupils will start to learn a language through songs, poems, games and cultural activities. Within the Waldorf Curriculum, languages continue to be studied in the Upper School, with the pupils often visiting the relevant countries to experience both language and culture.
Handwork and Crafts
Handwork will be an important part of the curriculum from Classes 1 to 8. Pupils will learn knitting, crochet, embroidery, hand- and machine-sewing and make a variety of beautiful and useful articles over the years.
We hope to build a school forge where pupils will have the opportunity to work from Class 4. Woodwork will begin in Class 6 with pupils learning about different woods and techniques, the use of a variety of hand tools, and convex and concave shapes. Pupils will make spoons, small toys with moving parts and some simple joinery.
The importance of music in the curriculum will be established in the earliest years: the Kindergarten will resound with singing and each child from Class 1 will learn the wooden flute. All pupils ill learn musical notation from Class 3 and will be encouraged to play a musical instrument (private lessons will be available).
Learning Support and Additional Needs
It is our aspiration that as we grow and become more established, we will be able to open up the education through supporting pupils with Special Educational Needs and disabilities. Within this first phase of our development we recognise that our Learning Support Team will be small and the because of this, the support we will be able to offer will be limited. Support may be short- or long-term with the aim of encouraging and facilitate learning and the development of each child’s potential.