The Nelson Waldorf School’s integrated curriculum is designed to engage the young child through imagination and beauty. It’s also designed to develop emerging capacities step by step: by the time they have completed the eight year curriculum, students emerge able to connect their education to their personal experience and apply empathy and analytical thinking to their social and academic experiences. Guided through multiple grades by the same class teacher, supported by a constellation of subject teachers, and working in lesson “blocks” (periods of 3 to 4 weeks of intense immersion in a single subject), students develop rich relationships to their classmates, the teachers, and the lesson content. By weaving together oral storytelling, art, music, drama and movement in every main lesson block and specialty subject, Waldorf education immerses students in the subject matter. Creating their own “Main Lesson Books” rather than working from text books engages students deeply in their learning experience. By focusing on the developmental needs of the child, rather than primarily on the informational content, the Waldorf curriculum develops capacities first and knowledge second.
In the lower school children master the fundamental skills for learning through an artistic approach in ways that engage their imaginations and instills a curiosity for the world and a love of learning.
Find out more details about the lower school curriculum by clicking on each class heading below.
- Class 1: Language Arts based on fairy and folk tales: pictorial introduction to letters and preparation for reading through writing; Arithmetic: qualities of number; addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division; and Natural Science based on nature stories and outdoor experience.
- Class 2: Continued work in Language Arts, now based on legends of saints and heroes and on fables; introduction of cursive writing; expansion of arithmetic skills; and continued Natural Science.
- Class 3: Language Arts based Hebrew scriptural stories: introduction to grammar; study of practical life (farming, shelters and building, and clothing); measurement: linear, time, weights, volume and money.
- Class 4: Language Arts based on Norse mythology; local history, geography and map-making; study of the animal kingdom; fractions, long division.
- Class 5: Language Arts based on mythology from India, Persia, Mesopotamia, Egypt and Greece; Greek history; North American geography; botany; decimals fractions.
Adolescence is the time of life when the child begins to set their vision on wider horizons and their capacities for critical reasoning and scientific thinking begin to expand. The richness of the Waldorf curriculum opens up to meet the needs of the 12 – 15 year old with an in-depth look at the biographies of those individuals who changed the course of human history to inspire the students to develop their own talents and gifts to offer to the world. The sciences take on greater depth and breadth. The lessons are created to allow the students through their observations of experiments to discover the scientific laws for themselves.
Find out more details about the middle school curriculum by clicking on each class heading below.
- Class 6: Roman and Medieval history; astronomy; Central and South American geography; geology; physics (sound and light); beginning algebra; geometry and geometric drawing; business math (interest percentage), ratio and proportion.
- Class 7: The Age of Discovery; Renaissance history; creative writing; African geography; physics (electricity and magnetism); inorganic chemistry; human physiology (health and nutrition); algebra; geometry; business math (profit/loss).
- Class 8: Modern history; world geography; Industrial Revolution, French and American Revolutions, world geography; physiology (human skeleton); physics; algebra; geometry; organic chemistry; meteorology; epic and dramatic poetry.
“Transitioning to High School”
The Nelson Waldorf School holds a strong foundation in academia, ensuring for a smooth and successful transition to high school. Teachers plan their assignments accordingly, in order to assist their students’ transition into secondary institutions. Students from NWS often receive awards for academic excellence at LVR, Nelson’s local high school.
Middle School Enrichment Programs
NWS has experiential-education initiatives, which are designed to bring more hands-on and project-based learning to students. Grades 6-8 have the opportunity to elect which activity they would like to be enrolled in for our Project Days Sessions, such as archery, drumming, sailing, jewellery making and rugby. Outdoor education also thrives within our middle school grades on and off campus. Students look forward to overnight rock climbing, canoeing, snowshoeing and hiking trips. Read more about these programs here.