The Class 5 child becomes more independent. They can see the world in a new perspective. The curriculum for Class 5 reflects this by introducing new elements to prepare the child for the next step forward. In Craft lessons, children are more intellectually able to focus on creating patterns as they learn how to crochet different items.
They are physically stronger than before and learn Olympic sports such as javelin and discus, with the opportunity to partake in inter-school Olympic games.
The child is given a vivid impression of ancient cultures through poetry, study of hieroglyphic symbols, arts and crafts of the various ancient peoples. History here is an education of the children’s feelings rather than of their memory for facts and figures, for it requires inner mobility to enter sympathetically into these ancient states of being so different from our own.
The Main Lesson
Main lesson is a uniquely immersive, thematic and interdisciplinary academic lesson led by the class teacher. Main lesson subjects are studied in “blocks” of time from three to four weeks. At the end of a “block” of study, the subject rotates so that the block functions as a magnifying glass on a given subject over a period of time. This pattern of rotating main lesson blocks continues throughout the year.
The class teacher guides the learning of the main lesson content through a variety of activities that allow time for in-depth study and absorption of the material.
During the main lesson each child will create a guided written and artistic record of the content in a bound book, called the “main lesson book,” that can be used for future reference and is forever treasured by the children.
The main lesson bookwork itself constitutes a robust learning experience. In scholarly fashion, teachers and students work with original source materials instead of textbooks. Students learn to think and express themselves in a multitude of ways. They gradually learn time management, reflection, comprehension, synthesis, critical thinking, and disciplined recall.
Academic subjects that are not the focus of the main lesson block are maintained through study during the instruction periods that follow the main lesson. Instruction is always ongoing in reading, writing and mathematics.
Some of the main lessons in Class 5 include:
History: Up until now history has only had a pictorial and personal nature with no attempt to introduce exact temporal concepts or to proceed in strict sequence. Now history becomes a special main lesson subject.
Ancient cultures: This starts with the childhood of civilised humanity in ancient India, where human beings were dreamers. The ancient Persian culture that followed the Indian felt the impulse to transform the earth, till the soil, domesticate animals. The great cultures of Mesopotamia (the Chaldeans, the Hebrews, the Assyrians and the Babylonians) reveal the origins of written language on clay tablets. The Egyptian civilisation of pyramids and pharaohs precedes the civilisation of the Greeks with whom ancient history ends.
Study of Human and Plant/Botany: After discovering some of the secrets of the plant life found in oneself and one’s own environment, the child’s attention is then drawn to vegetation in other parts of the world.
Mathematics: Building on the years of form drawing freehand geometry is introduced. Fractions and decimals continue to be the chief concern of arithmetic study.
Language Studies – Irish and French
Irish and French Language Studies are further developed with reading and writing in both languages. Irish and French origin handcrafts are also explored.
Music studies are built upon and expanded with chamber music, structured improvisation, composition, conducting, and advanced music literacy.
The Primary School classes also follow the rhythm of the year and are filled with seasonal songs and games.
Sessions run five days a week from 9am – 2:40pm