LOWER GRADES 1-52024-04-23T13:22:37-07:00

At the heart of the Waldorf approach is a recognition of the physical and emotional changes that occur as a child matures. At the grade school level, our teachers take care to introduce skills, subjects, and concepts appropriate to the child’s physiological, emotional, and spiritual development. We use a multi-sensory approach, integrating the arts into each subject to engage the whole child in the learning process rather than simply imparting intellectual information.

The Difference of a Waldorf Education

Waldorf students are provided with a classical education that introduces reading, writing, mathematics, literature, and the sciences in a developmentally thoughtful way. In the lower grades, we help children see the beauty in the world as part of a holistic education. In the early grades, we nurture students’ strong imaginations and blossoming intellectual capacities through experiential and artistic means.

Our comprehensive curriculum is carefully considered to inspire learning and understanding. The students develop lesson books for each subject filled with rich self-expression and academic content. In their work, students are encouraged to internalize each lesson and make it their own. The integration of the arts in the curriculum builds creativity in thinking. The imagination is continually nurtured, as is the capacity to meet the challenges of learning.

We strive to support our grade school students in unfolding their emotional lives by nurturing their growing sensitivities through every step of our curriculum. We do not simply teach students a set of facts they will need for high school; we help each child to develop a set of skills specific to their individual experience. Then when transitioning to high school, our students excel in their programs whether they continue with Waldorf or move on to an alternate independent school or the public system.

The Lower Grades

Our Faculty2023-01-02T17:25:39-08:00

Students are held by their class teacher and supported by several subject teachers. The class teacher stays with a class from Grades 1 through 8 and delivers the core curriculum. Through their time together, the class teacher builds a deep understanding of each student while each student grows in confidence and security. Specialty teachers provide instruction in their areas of expertise.

Main Lesson2021-11-29T17:39:15-08:00

The main lesson is an in-depth study of a particular subject delivered each morning in a block that lasts three to four weeks. Students are presented with concepts and skills in language arts, math, science, and social studies, reflecting their particular development stage. The arts are integrated with all academic work by creating main lesson books filled with compositions, observations, illustrations, and diagrams of their studies.

Class Trips2021-11-29T17:38:18-08:00

There are a variety of local field trips and excursions related to each grade’s curriculum. Beginning in grade 3, each class will go away on an overnight trip. Annual class trips into the oceans, forests, and farmlands are designed to meet the student’s developmental level, help them gain self-confidence, and encourage their connection to the natural world and each other.

  • Grade 1: Day Trips
  • Grade 2: Hiking Trips
  • Grade 3: Farming Overnight Trip
  • Grade 4: Cheakamus Centre Longhouse Overnight Trip
  • Grade 5: Greek Games Multi-day Overnight Trip
Learning Support2022-03-10T14:36:11-08:00

The Learning Support Program helps students overcome hindrances to learning and become self-advocates over time. The program is overseen by the Learning Support and Therapeutic Care Group (LSTCG), which works closely with faculty, staff, specialists, and parents.

“Our highest endeavor must be to develop free human beings who are able of themselves to impart purpose and direction to their lives.”

“Our highest endeavor must be to develop free human beings who are able of themselves to impart purpose and direction to their lives.”

~Rudolf Steiner

Lower Grades Curriculum

Grade 1

Lighting the Head and Heart with Storytelling

The bridge between kindergarten and the grades. The curved and the straight line. Fairy tales and the alphabet. Oneness. Pentatonic flutes, knitting, painting, languages, Eurythmy, beeswax modelling, and play.

  • Introduction to the alphabet through pictures, stories and sound symbols
  • Form Drawing
  • Literacy is strengthened through vocabulary development, poetry and stories
  • Writing
  • Pictorial and Phonetic Introduction to Letters
  • Reading Approached through Writing
  • Speech Formation/Dramatics
  • Basic facts to 10
  • Foundational operations: addition, subtraction, division, multiplication
  • Geometric Movement
  • Nature study
  • Nature stories, fairy tales and ancient legends
  • French
  • Free-hand Drawing, Wet-on-Wet Watercolour Painting, Beeswax Modelling
  • Knitting
  • Pentatonic Flute and Singing
  • Eurythmy, Games, Rhythmic Movement, Outdoor Activities
  • Day trip outing
  • Class Play

Grade 2

Heroic Tales and Ethical Fables

Awakening to the world of feelings – wonder, pity, joy. Fables and foibles, legends and Saints. Rhythmic counting and multiplication. Form Drawing, grammar, painting, modelling, crochet. Languages, flute, singing, and Eurythmy.

  • Writing (spelling, punctuation, syllables, upper and lower case, writing sentences)
  • Reading
  • Poetry
  • Rhyming
  • Speech Formation
  • Continuation with the four processes (addition, subtraction, division, multiplication)
  • Multiplication Tables
  • Geometric Movement
  • Place Value (1-1000)
  • Carrying/Borrowing
  • Nature Walks
  • Field Trips
  • Fables, Legends, Saints and Animal Stories
  • French
  • Form Drawing, Watercolour Painting, Drawing, Beeswax Modelling
  • Knitting and Purling, Crochet, Sewing, Making Soft Toys
  • Pentatonic Flute and Singing
  • Eurythmy, Cooperative Games, Rhythmic Movement, Outdoor Activities, Day Hikes
  • Class play

Grade 3

A New Outlook Towards the World

The turning point of childhood: the 9-year change. Farming, gardening, baking. The Old Testament, building, form drawing, languages and grammar. Drama, music, singing in-round, Eurythmy, and introduction to the recorder.

  • Literacy
  • Basic elements of grammar (Spelling, Grammar, Punctuation)
  • Cursive writing
  • Speech Formation (Noun, Verb, Adjective and Adverb)
  • Independent reading
  • Comprehension and Sequencing
  • Story Writing
  • All Four Operations (long division and multi-digit multiplication, add and subtract columns)
  • Advanced carrying and borrowing, charts, data collection and problem-solving
  • Measurement: distance, capacity, weight and time
  • Geometric Movement
  • Shelter building
  • Nature Study
  • Gardening
  • Farming
  • Cooking
  • Hebrew language, culture, rituals and history
  • Shelters: climate and location in relation to ancient and modern house building techniques
  • Grains: nourishment and world cultures
  • Study of Practical life
  • Pioneer Life
  • French
  • Watercolour Painting, Form and Freehand Drawing, Beeswax and Plasticine Modelling
  • Knitting – three-dimensional project, Sewing, Crochet
  • Music literacy through Story, Singing in rounds, Pentatonic flute and beginning diatonic recorder, Notation of rhythm and notes
  • Eurythmy, Cooperative Games, Day Hikes
  • Farming field trip/overnight
  • Class Play based on the curriculum

Grade 4

Revealing Strength, Courage and Adventure!

  • Writing
  • Reading for comprehension
  • Spelling
  • Grammar and Speech Formation
  • Paragraph development
  • Dramatization
  • Composition and Letter Writing
  • Book reports
  • Fractions (equivalent fractions, expanding, reducing, greatest common factors and least common multiples)
  • Long Division
  • Long Multiplication
  • Geometric Movement
  • Study of humans and animals
  • Local Geography
  • Map Making (travel routes, home and school)
  • The four directions, geographic placement through movement
  • Norse Mythology and Sagas
  • Stories from Canada’s Indigenous People
  • History of North Vancouver
  • Early Colonization
  • French (writing, reading and vocabulary)
  • Watercolour painting (warm/cool colours), Form drawing, Advanced drawing techniques, Beeswax modelling, Celtic knot illustrations, Modelling animals and local landforms
  • Cross Stitch, Embroidery, Felting
  • String orchestral instrument, C Flute, Singing (canons and rounds), Choir, Musical notation (sing and play from sheet music)
  • Eurythmy, Cooperative Games and Sports, Day Hikes
  • Overnight trip to the Cheakamus Centre Longhouse
  • Class play based on the curriculum

Grade 5

The Golden Year

  • Independent Writing
  • Reading, Vocabulary and Grammar
  • Spelling
  • Speech Formation/Dramatics
  • Composition/Creative Writing
  • Novel Study
  • Plays
  • Freehand Geometry
  • Fractions
  • Factoring
  • Decimals
  • Ratio
  • Long Division
  • Multiplication
  • Botany
  • Zoology
  • Canadian Geography
  • Greek Mythology and History
  • Ancient Civilizations: Egypt, India, Mesopotamia and Persia
  • French (develop memory, language, translative thinking and vocabulary skills)
  • Watercolour painting, Form and freehand geometric drawing, Sculptural modelling, Woodwork
  • Cross Stitch, Sewing, Four-needle Knitting for mittens and hats
  • Strings, Recorder, Singing, Music literacy, Choir
  • Cooperative Games, Greek Pentathlon (discus, javelin, wrestling, long jump, and running), Team sports, Eurythmy
  • Greek Pentathlon, multi-night overnight trip
  • Class Play based on the curriculum

Accepting applications

Join an information session to learn more about the Vancouver Waldorf School. Take the first step and visit our Admissions page to learn how to apply.

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