Class 7 children are deepening connections with themselves and the outside world. At the same time, they are beginning the healthy process of questioning authority. Students are becoming individuals in a stronger sense than ever before.
Class 7 Themes
The Renaissance and the subsequent historical periods of the Middle Ages and the Reformation are the subjects of much of Class 7. Through the history of this period, students also gain an understanding of the political, cultural, and physical relationships within the continents of Europe, Africa, and Asia. Map making and drawing is an important part of the Class 7 curriculum.
Where once the students learned from the moral conflict found in fairy-tales and fables, now the Class 7 students learn from the biographies of significant historical figures such as Joan of Arc, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, and Eleanor of Aquitane. The students learn how one’s ideas and ideals can be achieved on Earth. The trials, sacrifices, and lofty human strivings of historical figures speaks to Class 7 students, who are themselves on the brink of great emotional and intellectual advancement.
It was in the time of the Renaissance that the preoccupation with the perfect human form, both in science and art, was at its height. Class 7 students study the human form in its function, studying human physiology, hygiene, health, and the circulatory, digestive, and reproductive systems. Sexuality education is included in this study. They also study the beauty and proportion of the human figure in great works of art and through their own work in the visual arts.
Students in Class 7 study the mechanical advances that took place during the time of the Renaissance. Mechanics and Physics begin in Class 7 with the study of simple machines such as levers, inclined planes, screws, wheels, and pulleys.
In Chemistry, students learn the scientific method. They observe, perform, and describe simple experiments. How does a candle burn? Why does salt form from evaporated water? These things can be observed and explained. Students discover age-old scientific truths for themselves.
Class 7 students begin basic Algebra. They solve equations and discover for themselves the Pythagorean Theorem. Geometric concepts such as area and perimeter are studied, and powers, roots, and negative numbers are introduced. Math is practiced three times a week during skills classes.
In Perspective Drawing, students learn to draw using exacting laws and techniques to create images from a variety of vantage points or perspectives. The wider implications of seeing from numerous perspectives is important for their social development.
In Language Arts, students undertake the Main Lesson block in Creative Writing known as “Wish, Wonder, and Surprise.” Students practice their creative writing skills to create original poems, essays, and stories. Students work to develop their individual writing style, and to further hone their speech, composition, comprehension, and editing skills during thrice-weekly skills classes.
Students in Class 7 work for the first time with perspective in their paintings and drawings. Students also work with design techniques such as composition, headings, vignettes, illustration, and cover design, which are then used in their Main Lesson books. In keeping with the theme of the Renaissance, students explore forms of expression such as frescoes and clay sculptures of the human form, as well as studying concepts of composition (and mathematics) such as the golden mean.
In the Class 7 curriculum, students learn to sew an article of clothing by hand and to work from a pattern. Students begin by selecting patterns and fabric and then learning to pin, mark, baste, and finally hand-sew a garment. Students also learn the art of wet felting, which is an ancient technique of matting wool fibres with soap and warm water. Students often make their own felted wool slippers.
In Class 7, Renaissance music, particularly instrumental pieces, support the Class 7 curriculum of the Renaissance Period. The students begin to learn about intervals and chords, and continue their study of keys and rhythms. In Class 7, accompanied singing is introduced and some pop music is added to the repertoire. Weekly home practice continues.
In Class 7 students perform a play for the rest of the school. Plays are usually associated with the curriculum as a period piece (such as Shakespeare) or as a style of theatre that developed during the historical period of study.
Class 7 students play many sports and games and practice the skills and drills associated with them. Physical fitness is emphasized, which includes activities such as running fitness circuits and cardiovascular and strength training.
Students begin and end their year with a class trip. The first trip of the year is a several day low ropes course. The class seven students will also participate in day trips including, biking, snowshoeing, and hiking. The year end trip features a week long “Discovery Trip” of local surroundings on foot and by boat.