“I enjoy watching the growth of my daughter from a shy individual to a proud, artistic young woman who enjoys going to school to be challenged. ”

— ELLEN JACOBSON, PARENT

Our Elementary School program seeks to uncover the academic, artistic, physical, and social gifts of each child. At the heart of Waldorf education is the belief that education is an artistic process, and through showing the children to approach their work with care and beauty, children learn to love learning for its own sake.  

 Central to the Waldorf Elementary School experience is the class teacher. In Grades 1-5, one teacher instructs the children in their primary subjects: reading and writing, mathematics, history, painting and drawing, and recess. The same teacher often follows the class from year to year, creating an intense, personal bond in which the teacher observes and shapes curricula around the strengths and weaknesses of the group growing before them.  

 During Main Lesson, a one-to-two-hour block at the start of each day, the class teacher instructs the class through song, poetry recitation, arithmetic or grammar exercises, and orates a story or a segment of history. For 4-6 weeks, the students focus deeply on one subject, such as geography, botany, Hindu mythology, or the history of the Roman Empire, and handwrite and illustrate Main Lesson books to account their weeks of learning.  

 Year-long subject courses round out the rest of the day: World Languages, Handwork, Vocal and Instrumental Music, Eurythmy, Woodwork, Library, and Physical Education are taught by expert teachers who also shape their courses around the children’s developmental needs as they evolve through the grades. In Grades 6-8, specialized Language Arts and Mathematics teachers bring further expertise to these subjects, and in Grades 7 and 8, teachers from the Upper School program bring Information Sciences, Chemistry, and Physics lessons to the classroom. Technology is introduced as a tool to be used sparingly and with purpose in Middle School. 

 From first through eighth grade, week-long class trips, assemblies, holiday celebrations, recitals, and yearly class plays bring a lively sense of fun and community to the students. Life-long bonds are made and students have the sense that they have, in each year, learned in a manner that neither hurries nor stays their developmental growth. By eighth grade, our students are inquisitive, capable, opinionated, and open to the world. 

GRADES 1-5

The enchantment of learning while meeting the world.

Between ages six and seven, your child is ready for a more formalized approach to learning. Rudolf Steiner School continues to encourage imagination and creativity through a multidimensional curriculum that integrates art, science, storytelling, social studies, woodwork, knitting, and mathematics. Students begin studying German and Spanish, and continue to spend time each day exploring the outdoors in Central Park.

Entering their ninth and tenth years of life, students have a greater sense of independence and a developing understanding of their relationship with the world around them. In grades 4-5, students are introduced formally to Natural sciences, geometry, geography and history through artistic and phenomenological experiences to foster intellectual curiosity. The study of an orchestral instrument is introduced and children play in solo performances and group ensembles.

GRADES 6-8

Broadening perspectives and reflections.

In middle school at Rudolf Steiner School, our students’ Main Lessons begins to reflect a deeper connection between school subjects. Science, geography, and art are entwined with studies of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Technology is seamlessly and appropriately integrated throughout the curriculum. The computational skills they’ve gained in mathematics are infused in the physics and chemistry lessons. Students are building a foundation of critical thinking that will prepare them for success in college and beyond.

In all the elementary school years, class plays continue to deepen the social community of the class. Each year students participate in a class play that is presented to parents and often to other classes. The plays deepen the content of a given main lesson subject. The length and complexity of the class play grows with each year, culminating in a full production in eighth grade.

Rudolf Steiner School offers a human-centered education. Our Waldorf curriculum reflects the developmental stages of childhood and serves the capacities and talents of each growing child. The school gives special emphasis to sensory experience and physical movement, to an alliance between artistic and intellectual activity, and to the ethical dimension of every subject. Our graduates are inventive thinkers and resilient idealists who cultivate an appreciative regard for a world that they seek to improve.
Each class has a primary teacher known as the Class Teacher, a fully trained Waldorf teacher, who may accompany the class through the elementary school years. Each class is also taught by subject teachers who specialize in world languages, music, movement, physical education, and the arts.
Deep study of an academic subject such as math, language arts, botany, science, history, or geography. The lesson comes alive through artistic, descriptive, and dramatic presentations, in three to four week blocks. Each student creates their own handwritten and illustrated Main Lesson book. A Main Lesson Book comprises all the assignments and work that take place over the course of a Main Lesson. These books document the content of a block. Students create main lesson books in Grades 1-12.
Learning Support at Steiner is integrated into our educational program. We recognize that children learn through a wide variety of modalities, and also that each child travels their own individual path towards the full expression of their capacities. In grades 1-8 each class teacher devotes time daily to review, planning and organizational work, to keep track of assignments. The Learning Support Coordinator is able to meet with students individually or in small groups to assess and recommend organizational strategies.
Rudolf Steiner School offers families recommended guidelines for student interaction with technology and media based on current research in child development. Educating our students to be skillful and wise participants in this digital age is an important goal at Steiner. Computer literacy and facility are introduced adequately by understanding the use of devices as tools within the general curriculum.
The heart of the Waldorf philosophy is the belief that education is an artistic process. Whether the subject is arithmetic or history or physics, the presentation must live – it must speak to the child’s experience. To educate the whole child, the heart and will must be engaged, as well as the mind.

OUR TEACHERS

Our experienced, nurturing, and talented educators will guide your child through our rich curriculum.

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Rudolf Steiner School follows the Waldorf model of education. Our Grades 1 to 8 programs meet every student at their stage of development.