Grade School

“Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.”
– William Butler Yeats

Vancouver Waldorf School | Grade School

The Waldorf Grade School

At the heart of the Waldorf approach is the recognition of the physical and emotional changes that occur as a child matures. In the grade school our teachers take care to introduce skills, subjects, and concepts at a time that is appropriate to the child’s physiological, emotional, and spiritual development. We use a multi-sensory approach, integrating the arts into each subject to engage the Vancouver Waldorf School | Grade School Mathwhole child in the learning process rather than simply imparting intellectual information. From their lessons the students develop their own “Main Lesson” books, filled with rich self-expression and academic content.

In the Grade School, the students are given a classical education in reading, writing, mathematics, literature, and the sciences. The class teacher stays with a class to teach core-curriculum from first grade to eighth grade, allowing the children to grow in confidence and security as their teacher’s understanding of them deepens. Specialty teachers provide instruction in areas such as music, French, physical education and movement, and handwork.

The Grade School key: We do not teach students “a set of facts” they will need for high school. We help each child to develop a set of skills learned in relationship to that child’s individual experience. Anything learned purely through memorization is not enough. Real learning and understanding occur when you have internalized the experience and made it your own. We strive to support our grade school students in the unfolding of their emotional lives by nurturing their growing sensitivities and feelings through every step of our curriculum.

Vancouver Waldorf School | Grade School

Vancouver Waldorf School | Grade School

The bridge between kindergarten and the grades. The curved and the straight line. Fairy tales and the alphabet. Oneness. Pentatonic flutes, knitting, painting, languages, Eurythmy, beeswax modelling, and play.

Lighting the Mind and Soul with Storytelling

Main Lessons

Language Arts

  • Introduction to the alphabet through pictures, stories and sound symbols
  • Form Drawing
  • Literacy is strengthened through vocabulary development, poetry and stories
  • Writing
  • Pictorial and Phonetic Introduction to Letters
  • Reading Approached through Writing
  • Speech Formation/Dramatics

Mathematics

  • Basic facts to 10
  • Foundational operations: addition, subtraction, division, multiplication
  • Geometric Movement

Natural Sciences

  • Nature study

Social Sciences

  • Nature stories, fairy tales and ancient legends

Specialty Subjects

  • French
  • Free-hand Drawing, Wet-on-Wet Watercolour Painting, Beeswax Modelling
  • Knitting
  • Pentatonic Flute and Singing
  • Eurythmy, Games, Rhythmic Movement, Outdoor Activities
  • Day trip outing
  • Class Play

Awakening to the world of feelings – wonder, pity, joy. Fables and foibles, legends and Saints. Rhythmic counting and multiplication. Form Drawing, grammar, painting, modelling, crochet. Languages, flute, singing, and Eurythmy.

Heroic Tales & Ethical Fables

Main Lessons

Language Arts

  • Writing (spelling, punctuation, syllables, upper and lower case, writing sentences)
  • Reading
  • Poetry
  • Rhyming
  • Speech Formation

Mathematics

  • Continuation with the four processes (addition, subtraction, division, multiplication)
  • Multiplication Tables
  • Geometric Movement
  • Place Value (1-1000)
  • Carrying/Borrowing

Natural Sciences

  • Nature Walks
  • Field Trip

Social Sciences

  • Fables, Legends, Saints and Animal Stories

Specialty Subjects

  • French
  • Form Drawing, Watercolour Painting, Drawing, Beeswax Modelling
  • Knitting and Purling, Crochet, Sewing, Making Soft Toys
  • Pentatonic Flute and Singing
  • Eurythmy, Cooperative Games, Rhythmic Movement, Outdoor Activities, Day Hikes
  • Day trip
  • Class play

The turning point of childhood: the 9-year change. Farming, gardening, baking. The Old Testament, building, form drawing, languages and grammar. Drama, music, singing in-round, Eurythmy, and introduction to the recorder.

A New Outlook Towards the World

Main Lessons

Language Arts

  • Literacy
  • Basic elements of grammar (Spelling, Grammar, Punctuation)
  • Cursive writing
  • Speech Formation (Noun, Verb, Adjective and Adverb)
  • Independent reading
  • Comprehension and Sequencing
  • Story Writing

Mathematics

  • All Four Operations (long division & multi-digit multiplication, add and subtract columns)
  • Advanced carrying and borrowing, charts, data collection and problem-solving
  • Measurement: distance, capacity, weight & time
  • Geometric Movement

Natural Sciences

  • Shelter building
  • Nature Study
  • Gardening
  • Farming
  • Cooking

Geography & History

  • Hebrew language, culture, rituals & history
  • Shelters: climate and location in relation to ancient and modern house building techniques
  • Grains: nourishment and world cultures
  • Study of Practical life
  • Pioneer Life

Specialty Subjects

  • French
  • Watercolour Painting, Form and Freehand Drawing, Beeswax and Plasticine Modelling
  • Knitting – three-dimensional project, Sewing, Crochet
  • Music literacy through story, Singing in rounds, Pentatonic flute & beginning diatonic recorder, Notation of rhythm & notes
  • Eurythmy, Cooperative Games, Day Hikes
  • Farming field trip/overnight
  • Class Play based on curriculum

The 4th grader finds balance in the 4 elements, directions, and seasons. Cross stitch, Celtic knots, fractions, geography, local history, Native American stories, Norse mythology, heros and the Kalevala. Grammar and composition. The comparative study of humans and animals. Strings, choir, Eurythmy performance, PE and French.

Revealing Strength, Courage & Adventure!

Main Lessons

Language Arts

  • Writing
  • Reading for comprehension
  • Spelling
  • Grammar and Speech Formation
  • Paragraph development
  • Dramatization
  • Composition and Letter Writing
  • Book reports

Mathematics

  • Fractions (equivalent fractions, expanding, reducing, greatest common factors and least common multiples)
  • Long Division
  • Long Multiplication
  • Geometric Movement

Natural Sciences

  • Study of humans and animals

Geography

  • Local Geography
  • Map Making (travel routes, home and school)
  • The four directions, geographic placement through movement

Social Sciences

  • Norse Mythology and Sagas
  • Native American History
  • History of North Vancouver
  • Early Settlers

Specialty Subjects

  • French (writing, reading and vocabulary)
  • Watercolour painting (warm/cool colours), Form drawing, Advanced drawing techniques, Beeswax modelling, Celtic knot illustrations, Modelling animals & local land forms
  • Cross Stitch, Embroidery, Felting
  • String orchestral instrument, C Flute, Singing (canons and rounds), Choir, Musical notation (sing and play from sheet music)
  • Eurythmy, Cooperative Games and Sports, Day Hikes
  • Multi-night overnight trip to Big House
  • Class play based on curriculum

The Golden Age of childhood! Enhanced consciousness and sense of self as an individual. History and Geography. Ancient India, Persia, Mesopotamia, Egypt & Greece. Study of the living earth, freehand geometry, fractions and decimals. Choir, strings, practical arts, Eurythmy, painting, PE. Greek Pentathlon.

The Golden Year

Main Lessons

Language Arts

  • Independent Writing
  • Reading, Vocabulary and Grammar
  • Spelling
  • Speech Formation/Dramatics
  • Composition/Creative Writing
  • Novel Study
  • Plays

Mathematics

  • Freehand Geometry
  • Fractions
  • Factoring
  • Decimals
  • Ratio
  • Long Division
  • Multiplication

Natural Sciences

  • Botany
  • Zoology

Earth Sciences

  • Canadian Geography

Social Sciences

  • Greek Mythology and History
  • Ancient Civilizations: Egypt, India, Mesopotamia and Persia

Specialty Subjects

  • French (develop memory, language, translative thinking and vocabulary skills)
  • Watercolour painting, Form and freehand geometric drawing, Sculptural modelling, Woodwork
  • Cross Stitch, Sewing, Four-needle Knitting for mittens and hats
  • Strings, Recorder, Singing, Music literacy, Choir
  • Cooperative Games, Greek Pentathlon (discus, javelin, wrestling, long jump, and running), Team sports, Eurythmy
  • Greek Pentathlon, multi-night overnight trip
  • Class Play based on curriculum

Geometrical Drawing, Natural Science: Astronomy & Mineralogy, Language Arts, Mathematics, Roman History, Physics, European Geography, & Medieval History.

Emphasizing the Concrete World

Main Lessons

Language Arts

  • Writing: Expository, Descriptive and Narrative Writing, Conditional Sentences
  • Reading, Vocabulary and Grammar
  • Spelling
  • Composition, Report Writing, Editing
  • Biographies
  • Speech Formation
  • Creative Writing
  • Literature
  • Drama

Mathematics

  • Geometric drawing with instruments
  • Percents
  • Fractions
  • Decimals
  • Business Math
  • Graphs
  • Ratio
  • Interest
  • Discount

Natural Sciences

  • Physics: sound, light and colour, heat, magnetism, static electricity
  • Botany

Earth Sciences

  • Minerals and Geology
  • Geocentric Astronomy
  • World Geography

Social Sciences

  • Roman and Medieval History
  • The Crusades
  • Medieval Society, Arthurian legends
  • Ancient History, Troy

Specialty Subjects

  • French
  • Watercolour painting, Drawing, Sculptural modelling, Three-dimensional work, Woodwork/Carving
  • Pattern-making and Sewing
  • Strings, Recorder, Singing, Music literacy, Choir
  • Eurythmy, Cooperative Games, Sports, Circus arts
  • Caving field trip: Geology and Mineralogy trip
  • Class Play based on stories from the history curriculum

Perspective Drawing, Late Medieval History, Mathematics, Grammar, Physiology, Geography & Age of Exploration, Physics, Renaissance History, & Chemistry.

An Age of Exploration & Human Greatness

Main Lessons

Language Arts

  • Essays, Expository Writing
  • Note-taking
  • Poetic Structure
  • Grammar
  • Reading
  • Spelling
  • Research Skills
  • Composition/Creative Writing
  • Literature and Drama

Mathematics

  • Geometry
  • Algebra
  • Power
  • Square Roots
  • Solve computation problems and conceptual word problems

Natural Sciences

  • Inorganic Chemistry: lime cycle, salts, acids and bases
  • Physics: mechanics and simple machines
  • Human Physiology: systems of the body

Earth Sciences

  • Geography of Europe and Africa, or the Americas
  • Astronomy

Social Sciences

  • Renaissance
  • Reformation
  • Age of Discovery
  • Age of Exploration

Specialty Subjects

  • French
  • Knitting (advanced), Painting, Clay modelling, Perspective drawing, Freehand drawing, Woodwork: carving, objects with moveable parts
  • Pattern-making and Sewing
  • Strings, Recorder, Singing
  • Team sports, Eurythmy, Cooperative Games, Health, Circus arts
  • Adventure field trip
  • Class play: Typically builds on some aspect of the curriculum

Geometry, History, Mathematics, Human Anatomy, Meteorology, Organic Chemistry, Physics, & World Geography.

Exploring Integration and Interconnectivity

Main Lessons

Language Arts

  • Creative Thinking and Critical Reasoning
  • Oral Presentation
  • Vocabulary Development
  • English composition, grammar and spelling
  • Reading
  • Research Skills and Report Writing
  • Poetry and Short Story Analysis and Writing
  • Composition/Creative Writing
  • Speech Formation/Dramatics
  • Advanced Literature
  • Short Story
  • Shakespeare

Mathematics

  • Pre-Algebra, Mechanical/Mathematical Geometry
  • Review of solids and measurement

Natural Sciences

  • Physics: Hydraulics, Aeromechanics & Electromagnetism
  • Chemistry: studying the properties of Sugars, Starches, Proteins, Fats & Oils
  • Physiology and Nutrition

Earth Sciences

  • Geography: surveys of landforms, oceans, atmosphere, climates and ecosystems

Social Sciences

  • American Revolution to the modern-day
  • Industrial Revolution to modern history
  • French Revolution
  • Reformation

Specialty Subjects

  • French
  • Painting, Clay Modelling, Drawing, Drama
  • Machine-sewn garments, Woodworking: building a useful object, like a small table
  • Strings, Recorder, Singing
  • Sports, Eurythmy, Cooperative Games
  • Camping trip
  • Grade 8 play production: Shakespeare comedy, musical or operetta, or a well known classic

Please contact our Admissions Office for more information 604-985-7435 ext 200 admissions@vws.ca