Specialty Subject Classes
After the morning main lesson, subject teachers provide instruction in subject areas such as French, handwork, music, woodwork, physical education and Eurythmy- a movement class. Such an integrated and extensive course of study provides the children with a comprehensive foundation for a love of learning, academic excellence and creative exploration.
Music and Strings
At SWS musical education begins from the earliest years with singing as a natural joyful expression of life. Students’ daily experience of music through singing also continues to develop as young children mature through simple songs to rounds, and then to part-singing. In the seventh and eighth grades, as the boys’ voices change, four-part choral singing is introduced. Formal music instruction, as a special subject, begins in class one with recorder playing, singing, games, and movement. In the third and fourth grades children learn to read music and begin learning the theoretical and historical fundamentals of music as an art. During the fourth and fifth grades, students take up a string instruments. All students participate in an instrumental and choral experience and all students from class four to eight join the SWS Strings program.
Handwork & Woodwork
The handwork and woodwork curriculum are extensive. The work is done with an appreciation for the aesthetic quality of each piece, and encourages the student to work patiently and carefully, and develops the abilities to think in the non-verbal languages of color, form, and material.
Handwork begins in the kindergarten with finger-knitting. In the grade school, children learn to knit, crochet, spin, cross-stitch and embroider, felt, sew by hand and on a sewing machine. A child’s brain development is significantly enhanced through the learning of handwork skills. These skills provide a strong foundation for all academic subjects and generates flexible thinking throughout adulthood.
Woodwork classes begin in fifth grade and provides students the opportunity to make finely crafted toys, spoons, large bowls, swords, and three-legged stools. …
Painting & Drawing
Painting and drawing is an integral part of our students experience at SWS. The class teacher guides the class through painting on a weekly basis, beginning with wet-on-wet watercolor paintings moving on to techniques of watercolor painting, use of pastels, and charcoal drawing. Students begin to be trained in drawing from observation, and learning to work with light and shadow.
At SWS drawing is a daily practice beginning in the preschool. This practice of drawing develops into the elaborate main lesson books students create for each subject in the grade school. These main lesson books are richly illustrated and records the depth of a student’s learning. Lessons in drawing technique are added and expanded in each grade.
Modeling & Sculpture
Simple modeling, related to the curricular content, begins with modeling beeswax in preschool. In the grade school children learn to model, and later sculpt, with clay, stone and wood.
French is taught in first through eighth grades. In the first three grades, we focus entirely on learning orally through recitation and singing, games and stories. By the end of third grade, children will have developed an extensive vocabulary, including numbers, letters, colours, parts of the body, clothing, family, animals, trades, and classroom objects. The students are able to follow commands and answer simple questions in French. In the fourth grade, they begin to write poems that they have already learned, and then learn to read what they have written; we also commence the formal study of French grammar. By fifth grade, the students compose their own writings. In the sixth grade, the study of the language extends to the study of the geography and culture of Quebec, and in the seventh and eighth, to the geography, history and culture of different regions in France. Every few years, a home stay exchange is organized with a Waldorf school in Quebec for a middle school class.
At SWS, our seven acre rural campus is alive with many vegetable and flower gardens. This plentiful connection to nature is cultivated in all classes through hands on gardening. In Kindercottage and Kindergarten children experience planting, weeding and harvesting throughout the seasons. In the older grades, children participate in garden planning, compost making, pruning, and the building of garden structures, led by our gardening teacher.
Physical Education and Games
Children in class one through three receive two games lessons a week with a class teacher. Classes four through eight receive two lessons per week which include: games, gymnastics, Bothmer gymnastics, Spacial Dynamics and team sports. Classes six through eight also engage in outdoor activities such as sea kayaking, climbing, and orienteering. Elective programs include archery and sword fencing.