S P E C I A L S U B J E C T S
French is taught from 1st - 12th grades. In grades 1 - 3, language is taught using imitation and repetition. The emphasis is on conversation and learning through movement, singing songs, reciting poems, playing games, and performing plays. In the upper elementary grades French lessons increasingly include written work, reading, grammar and vocabulary in addition to perfecting oral skills. Continuing emphasis is placed on vocabulary, spelling, and grammar into the high school years. Seniors are offered a world language elective in the first semester.
World language classes help develop flexibility of perspective and a connection to other cultures and aspects of our global community. Our students find it really exciting when they can read signs and menus on the 7th grade immersion trip to Quebec, and our high school students enjoy conversing in another language if they choose to embark on an exchange program or when students from other parts of the world visit us!
Handwork is an integrated part of the educational program taught in all Waldorf schools. The handwork curriculum is broad and includes but is not limited to skills such as knitting, crocheting, hand sewing, embroidery, felting, paper crafts, pattern design and machine sewing. More complex weaving and pattern design are introduced in the High School.
Many of the benefits of the handwork program include: hand-eye coordination, basic math skills, the ability to understand and follow a process from concept to completion and the ability to focus on a project for an extended period of time.
Movement Education and Games
The Movement Education curriculum gives children basic coordination and movement skills that will help them if and when they decide to play organized sports. In grades one through five, movement education is taught through various games to help develop an enhanced awareness of personal space with clearly defined boundaries. Physical activity is emphasized through games using imagery, story, rhythm and imitation. In the spring, the fifth graders participate in the Greek Olympic Games which is a gathering of fifth grade classes from several regional Waldorf schools. From the middle grades through the high school, more conventional sports provide a basis of how a team works together, self-discipline and healthy competition.
Eurythmy is an artistic form unique to Waldorf education where music and speech are expressed through movement and gesture. Eurythmy enables the student to orient himself in space, develop coordination, and create forms while moving in a group.
Music is an integral part of the curriculum throughout the school. From the first grade, all the children sing and play the recorder with the music and the technique becoming more demanding as the years progress. Each fourth grader chooses a stringed instrument and group string lessons are part of the fourth grade weekly curriculum. In fifth grade, woodwinds and brass instruments are introduced allowing the children to expand their instrument range. In grade six, the students join the Middle School Orchestra with their instrument of choice. In the middle grades, string ensembles, recorder groups, and choirs are formed. Elements of musical theory are woven into the musical curriculum each year. Singing in a choral group and playing in the orchestra continue throughout the middle and high school years.
Woodworking and Clay Modeling
Woodworking and clay modeling are introduced in the lower grades as part of the class curriculum. However, in the middle grades they are given more emphasis as separate subjects. Students benefit greatly from learning to shape wood or clay into intentional form while honing skills of observation and design. The also learn the use and care of tools.
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Saratoga Springs, NY 12866