Class One - Class Eight
The school day will start with a two hour multi-disciplinary Main Lesson taught to the whole class by the Class Teacher. The purpose of the Main Lesson is to allow sustained concentration on a topic for a significant block of time, usually three weeks.
The Main Lesson approach has several benefits: it develops the habit of a sustained concentration on one topic, both over the two hour period and over the three weeks /month, allowing in-depth exploration. The multi-disciplinary approach taken during the two hour lesson has two key benefits: it contains a wide range of variety so that pupils do not get bored and a wide range of ways of engaging with a subject are established. For example: a maths Main Lesson could include dance movement, throwing and stamping out a rhythm , singing, art work, storytelling, mental and written arithmetic. This gives every kind of learner a point of access to the subject. It maximises the chances of each pupil finding something they love and something they excel at in relation to all curriculum content. The variety of approaches within the lesson obviates boredom. The teacher plans the lesson to meet the pupils’ natural energy patterns so that they do not become restless or unfocused.
The pattern of revisiting subjects in time blocks of the Main Lesson promotes long-term retention of the knowledge by engaging the long term memory.
Learning is enhanced as a result of the continuity provided by the block teaching method because the Class teacher who delivers the Main Lesson teaches the same class from Class 1 – Class 8 – unless circumstances prevent this. This facilitates the successful management of the social and interpersonal issues that relate to the increasing maturity of the pupils.
The lessons after morning break will be taught by mainly subject teachers, with two subject lessons before lunch and then two further subject lessons after lunch. All timetables broadly follow this pattern.
- Class 1 – Introduction to addition, subtraction, multiplication and division
- Class 2 – Mental practice and longer exercises, moving on to larger numbers, number bonds, odd and even numbers, columns and carrying over and simple geometry
- Class 3 – Practice of all 12 tables continues; long multiplication and long division will be introduced, together with money handling and change, and various forms of measurement involving linear dimensions, liquids, solids and temporal intervals
- Class 4 – Introduction of fractions; measurements and area work continue
- Class 5 – Compass geometry are introduced, also the decimal system
- Class 6 – Percentages, profit and loss, simple interest and proportion and ratio are covered; geometry lessons introduce the use of the protractor
- Class 7– Graphs and algebra, geometry
- Class 8 -Simple and compound interest, power and roots, algebra, linear and curved graphs, equations, integers
The study of geography as a separate subject will begin in Class 4 and starts with a study of the immediate environment, broadening out in the following years to regional, national and global studies. The study of history will move from legends in Class 2, through Ancient History and the study of the civilizations of Greece, Egypt and Rome to the study on modern History, so that pupils who embark on GCSE History will do so with a strong sense of the chronological context.
- Class 4 – Project work based on the study of the geography of the local area.
- Class 5 – Geography of the British Isles. History: The culture and religion of early civilisations of India, Persia, Babylonia and Egypt, moving on to classical ancient Greek history.
- Class 6 – European physical and human geography. History Roman Empire, Roman Britain; field trip to Roman site, the rise of Christianity, Saxon and Danish invasions of Britain, William the Conqueror.
- Class 7 – World geography, including focus on one continent and looking at the cultural, material and economic conditions of specific societies. History: the Middle Ages and the transition from feudalism to the Renaissance, and the Age of Discovery with the great voyages of the 15th to the 17th centuries linked to the science curriculum studied in that year.
- Class 8 - Geography, including meteorology. History of the western culture from the 17th Century to the present, examining in particular revolutionary periods, including the English Reformation and Civil War and the revolutions in America, France and Russia. Biographies of inventors, industrialists and social reformers. In class 8 the pupils also take on the production of a Shakespeare Play.
Modern Foreign Languages
From Class 1 all pupils will study a modern foreign language. In Class 1 the teaching will begin with oral language taught through song and games as well as conversation. Writing and reading will be introduced from Class 2 but the speaking and listening aspects remain central. By the end of Lower School students will have strong language skills.
Technology and ICT
Pupils will be introduced to a wide range of soft technoIogies through their practical creative work starting with cooking and sewing. As they get older this will develop to include gardening, building, woodwork, pottery and metalwork. In these activities they will use an increasing range of hand tools, and learn how mechanical tools function.
The moral and spiritual well-being of the children will be nurtured by developing a strong sense of belonging for all children whatever their faith background. This will be achieved through a calendar of seasonal festivals which the school will celebrates together. A sense of reverence and an attitude of tolerance and respect towards each other will be encouraged and modelled by the teachers and reinforced by verses said at the beginning and end of the day.
From Class 2 pupils will study historic and contemporary religious beliefs from all the main religious traditions. Pupils will develop a well-informed understanding of world religions, and a strong sense of the value of community and of the wonder of the natural world.
There will be both integrated and discrete physical education. Integrated physical education includes the movement exercises which come at the beginning of Main Lesson to help the pupils to settle their focus for learning. The use of rhythm and movement may come into many lessons, such as maths where pupils, for example may throw and catch beanbags as they recite times tables, or a foreign language, where pupils might follow a sequence of movements when learning parts of the body.
Physical Education as a separate will be taught in a) Games lessons when pupils learn a wide range of team games and develop individual sports skills, including, for example, circus skills; b) Eurythmy lesson– a form of movement that is distinctive to Steiner schools intended to develop pupils’ gross motor skills, concentration and sense of spatial awareness through exercises usually accompanied by music.
Music will be taught in an integrated way and as a separate subject. Singing and Recorder playing will be used in Main Lesson in a wide variety of contexts and all children sing daily. In the weekly music lesson all pupils will learn musical notation and pupils will have the opportunity to learn other musical instruments.
Art will be taught in an integrated way and as a separate subject. Art work will be an integral part of the Main Lesson and in a wide variety of contexts. Pupils will have opportunities to learn a wide range of art techniques in weekly art lessons.
A wide range of craft lessons will be taught throughout as a separate subject. From Class 1 a range of handwork skills will be taught, including knitting, sewing, clay modelling. From Class 6 all pupils will have lessons in woodwork, including wood carving; stone carving; metal work, and the use of a forge; ceramics and the use of the wheel and kiln; textiles; weaving; paper making; book binding.