As children approach twelve, significant changes begin in their physical bodies.
A firm, intentional step is made into the outer world. The child becomes more aware of gravity and weight. With the increasing awareness of their physical bodies the time is right for the study of the physical body of the earth. They are intellectually ready to question authority and debate, they are at home in ideas. Stories from ancient Rome include ‘The Aeneid’.
There is then a transition from ancient to modern history. The decline of Greece, the rise and fall of Rome and the effects of these two great cultures on European civilisation up through the Middle Ages.
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 6 include:
Geology/Geography: the structure of the Earth proceeds from the study of the flora and fauna to the geological ages to minerals, metals and finally gems and crystals. Students are introduced to the Earth’s configuration and contrasts; distribution of oceans, seas, continents and mountain masses and climate studies.
Astronomy: the study of Earth and its relation to the other bodies of the solar system.
Physics: the basics of sound theory are introduced first through the arts as with all subjects in the Steiner Waldorf approach.
Mathematics: the child continues to exercise the disciples learned in previous years and moves onto the study of percentages and ratio. Form drawing now moves into exact constructions, using compass, rulers and right angles. In prior classes geometric shapes were drawn free hand, these designs are now done with the utmost accuracy.
Handwork: Shadows, landscape and colour contrasts are taken up in painting. The child continues to develop their skills with tools in wood carving, creating objects that serve the human or animal world.
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