NCS believes it is vital that the education the child receives at school continues in the home. For this reason, the parents’ understanding of the unique nature of the NCS curriculum must support a child’s enrollment in the school.
Watch the video below on Waldorf Education, ‘Preparing for Life’.
NCS uses a curriculum guided by the Core Principles for the Alliance of Public Waldorf Education. Waldorf Education was founded by Rudolf Steiner who opened the first Waldorf School in Stuttgart, Germany, in 1919. The education was based on a view of human development and the needs of the growing child. Waldorf Education places equal emphasis on educating the head, a child’s intellectual capacities, the heart, social-emotional capacities, and the hands, will-forces or ability to execute what needs to be done. Teachers strive to accomplish this by transforming education into an art and creating opportunities for experiential learning that develop these three capacities in the students. There are three main developmental phases of childhood: birth to seven years, seven to fourteen years, and fourteen to twenty-one years. During the first phase, which encompasses the Kindergarten program, open-ended play and physical activity are emphasized. Pre-academic capacities are developed as a solid foundation in preparation for the explicit academics that are introduced beginning in First Grade. In the First through Eighth Grades, art is woven throughout the academic lessons and the content is delivered through a story curriculum that begins with fairy tales from around the world in the lower grades and transforms into historical stories and autobiographies in the upper grades.
In Grades One through Eight, in order to foster a close and meaningful relationship with each child, teachers ideally remain with the same group of children for a number of years. These teachers are referred to as Class or Main Lesson teachers and teach the daily Main Lesson for the first two hours of the school day. Main Lessons are taught in Blocks of approximately three to six weeks. Each block has a topic of study, English and Language Arts, Math, Science, History, Geography and all the activities during the Main Lesson, which include speech, music, movement, written and artistic work, revolve around this topic. Students create their own text books, known as Main Lesson Books, to record the information they are learning. The remainder of the day, four additional periods, are practice lessons taught by the Class Teacher or a Specialty Teacher. Specialty Teachers are skilled professionals who teach subjects such as Music, Spanish, Movement, Handwork, and Math. For further grade level details, check each grade’s curriculum page.
“One of the strengths of the Waldorf curriculum is its balance and depth: the emphasis on the arts… the rich use of the spoken word through poetry and storytelling… Above all, the way the lessons integrate traditional subject matter is, to my knowledge, unparalleled.”
– Ernest Boyer, President, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching