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The Waldorf curriculum

The true curriculum results from an understanding of the stages of human life. The children themselves tell us, if we can really observe them, what they want to learn in a particular stage of life.

– Rudolf Steiner
Overview

Rudolf Steiner gave a series of “indications” on pedagogical topics in lectures and writings during his lifetime. These insights inform the unique and distinctive Waldorf curriculum framework in the following ways:

  • The curriculum unfolds over time, is wide and richly experiential
  • The curriculum takes its cue from the development of the child. It is midwife to the emerging individuality, rather than suits of clothes into which the child must be made to fit
  • The curriculum relies upon and encourages the creativity of teachers. The innate flexibility and resilience enables it to be adapted for a variety of settings, languages, and cultures
Curriculum by year
Class
Theme
Literacy
Numeracy
Geography / Science
Year 1 (age 6-7) Fairy tale From image to letter Numbers & the 4 processes Observation of nature
Year 2 (age 7-8) World of saints & fables Reading & writing Multiplication table & units Observation of nature
Year 3 (age 8-9) Creation tales Grammar Weight / measuring Farming & building
Year 4 (age 9-10) Norse mythology Tenses Fractions Local history & geography
Year 5 (age 10-11) Ancient civilizations Sentence structure Decimals, geometry Hong Kong geography; botany
Year 6 (age 11-12) Medieval history Development of style Percentage, business math Asia geography; minerals & geology
Year 7 (age 12-13) Renaissance Style Algebra, negative numbers Astronomy; chemistry; physics
Year 8 (age 13-14) Age of Revolution to present day Prose & poetry Trigonometry Chemistry; physics; human biology; economics

 

Subject to teachers’ modification based on the capacity and needs of different classes