The Main School Curriculum
Moorland Waldorf is a registered school and as such must follow the National Curriculum. All the core subjects such as English, maths, history, geography and science are studied in depth in block periods of 3-4 weeks in the Main Lesson, which takes place in the first two hours of each day. However, as the curriculum is structured so that the children receive what they need at each stage of their development, these subject names are not always used, particularly in the early years. For example, history is taught as the pupils develop a sense of their own past and physics and chemistry only receive these titles as the child learns to observe the environment as separate from him/herself. In the later years some of the Main Lesson blocks may be taught by specialist teachers.
Children spend a good deal of time involved in outdoor activities which are integrated into the main curriculum subjects, for example painting and drawing with handmade paints made from natural materials, or planting and growing our own wheat which is finally ground and made into bread. In addition, there is one designated Forest School session each week.
In addition to the Main Lessons regular or additional lessons are given in English and maths, and in two languages, French and Russian, by subject specialists. Practical subjects such as gardening are experienced and there are lessons in handwork, craft, painting, drawing, dance (eurythmy), and games.
Music and drama play an important part in the school life and classes regularly perform plays. All children have the opportunity to learn an instrument (either a stringed instrument or piano) with specialist peripatetic teachers who come into school. These lessons are paid direct to the visiting teacher.
Progress is constantly monitored by teachers and children are supported to achieve their full potential, but there are no assessment tests. Being so small allows us to focus on each child and gain a deep knowledge of their individual abilities, to develop trust and respect between teacher and child which creates a strong basis for learning.
Nature scavenger hunts, identifying trees and fungi, building a fire and cooking on it, exploring the school grounds and noticing seasonal changes, harvesting fruit and making jam and syrups, collecting and classifying natural objects, developing sensory awareness and mindfulness
The great outdoors
Moorland Waldorf is fortunate to be located in wonderful countryside and in extensive grounds. We have large play areas for both kindergarten and the older children. We aim to make the very best use of our natural environment and this has become even more important in 2020 as we juggle the challenges of a pandemic with keeping our children safe, well and in school. We do a huge variety of outdoor activities, many of which complement or enhance the main curriculum – nature scavenger hunts, identifying trees and fungi, building a fire and cooking on it, exploring the school grounds and noticing seasonal changes, harvesting fruit and making jam and syrups, collecting and classifying natural objects, developing sensory awareness and mindfulness. Building dens is part of the class 3 curriculum, we study botany in locality in class 5, make maps of the locality in class 4, enjoy nature walks and explorations in class 1 and 2. The children get to know the area and all of the wildlife which lives in it. We enjoy seasonal craft activities which link in with festivals, for example making lanterns with leaves, mandalas for Divali or creating an Easter garden.