In Class 1, the imagination continues to build the bridge between Kindergarten and the Primary grades. The children need fantasy and imaginative pictures and so learning is enriched through fairy tales. They slowly move away from imitation and become more capable of following verbal instruction.
By the time children reach the age of 7 clear changes in their development indicate their readiness for formal learning; they naturally become more independent, and more mature in their temperaments, communication skills and memory. The Steiner approach believes that children of this age are receptive to learning more abstract intellectual activities and as such, will learn naturally. This ease of achievement will imbue a sense of confidence and love of learning that will carry the child through many years of education.
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
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 1 include:
Children explore straight and curved lines, the foundation for handwriting.
Bringing the letters to life via movement, narrative and drawing. This supports the reading and writing process.
Quality of numbers
Children get a feel for numbers, understand their symbology and use this intelligence as a way to perceive the world. They use horizontal number algorithms and are shown this from the whole to the part.
Language Studies- Irish and French
Irish and French Language Subjects are built upon and academically formalized from oral studies in Bridge Class to the introduction of reading and writing in both languages, which starts in Class 1.
Music studies are built upon and expanded. Class 1 students receive their recorder, and music notation and ensemble playing are introduced, in addition to more involved studies on pitch and rhythm.