As the child enters Primary School, the earlier stage of imitation expands into a need for applied learning and a guiding authority. The class teacher should become the beloved, respected, and readily accepted representative of the world. In Waldorf schools the class teacher moves with his or her class right through the Primary School. Through this a deeper understanding develops between the pupils and their teacher. This secure continuity enhances the children’s learning.
Throughout the years the class teacher and the parents form a co-operative relationship centred around the growing child. The school day begins with a lively two-hour Main Lesson which concentrates on one subject for a period of three to four weeks. This is an economical method of teaching. The uninterrupted focus on a theme enables the children to immerse themselves completely in the subject matter at hand.
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Creatively Structured Lessons
It also allows the class teacher the freedom to structure the lessons creatively, incorporating a variety of activities such as music to enhance the teaching of geography, and the use of drama and story telling to expand the work in history. The child’s feeling of wonder for form is encouraged and stimulated in the earliest classes. Through large coloured free-hand drawings the child develops an experience of inner harmony which can be applied later; both in practical tasks and in exact thinking.
Practice & Daily Execises
In addition to helping develop good handwriting, these exercises give a real basis for the exact geometrical constructions which follow. Main Lessons include Mathematics, Geometry, Ancient Civilisations, Mythology, English Literature, and later Biology, Science, Astronomy and the Humanities. Other subjects such as the second languages, technical skills, Eurythmy and sport are taught by specialist subject teachers. Academic skills in numeracy and literacy are developed throughout the primary school years through rhythmical practice, daily exercises and regular assessment by the teacher.