Welcome to Waikato Waldorf Junior High
Affirming children as individuals
“Our highest endeavour must be to develop free human beings who are able of themselves to impart purpose and meaning 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. The need for imagination, a sense of truth, and a feeling of responsibility — these three forces are the very nerve of education.
The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be kindled.
Educating the whole child – head, heart and hands – within the special corner of the world that is Aotearoa New Zealand, Waikato Waldorf School seeks to develop free human beings, who are able to reflect upon themselves, embrace a love for learning and develop meaningful purpose and directions in their lives. The community, staff and students of the school value goodness, beauty, truth and reverence.
We invite you to explore Waldorf Education, one of the largest and fastest growing independent education movements in the world. Attend a Journey through the School (click here for more information).
Classes 6-9 (Years 7-10)
“How I stand in the world”
The children turning twelve have arrived at the age of ‘consequences’. For the first time we can reason with them: “If you do this, then that will happen.” At this stage they can begin practising self‑control and begin to imagine into the outcomes of any deeds or behaviour.
The students’ bodies are changing and, as these changes occur, they must work, albeit unconsciously, with them. They must learn how to live in their bodies in a new way. The movements of these twelve-year‑olds begin to lose the natural rhythm and grace of the younger child; the point of balance, attained over the preceding year, appears to be lost. They become ‘unskilled’; their growing bodies seem to be no longer in their control and can become awkward and clumsy.
Just as they must learn to move in a new way, adjusting to the body’s new relationship to gravity, so the soul must also adjust to its changing abode. More than ever at this point in their development the young people must be given imaginative pictures and stories that speak to the higher aspects of their beings, they must be inspired and they must be protected from feelings of hopelessness or inadequacy.
It is at this stage, when the soul connects itself more closely with the mechanism of the bony system, that we introduce the children to new scientific subjects. In the Physics Main Lesson, through observation and experiment, the students will investigate the mechanical laws that govern life and in the Geology Main Lesson, they will investigate the ‘bones’ of the earth.
To follow world evolution and to allow the child to experience what it meant to be a citizen of Rome, at the height of its greatness. To be able to experience themselves as Romans: true, honest, fair and brave; to experience themselves as an honourable part of the community, holding the good of the state above all else.
The founding of Rome, the expulsion of the last king and the founding of the Republic are studied through biographies of the great Romans who put the needs of the city-state before their own. The students can experience the Senate and the making of the laws and learn how our own systems of money, government and justice are descendants of this ancient time.
Movement is especially important in this year and the opportunity to experience the movement of the Roman Army, marching to the breath and heart beat, should not be over looked. Exercises from the original Olympic Games can also continue to be worked with. Life in the Middle Ages follows the story of Rome. Amidst the hardship of daily life ran their stories of valour and truth; the remembered link with the spirit pervaded the great romances of the time.
|Story Curriculum||Stories of Rome and Tales of Chivalry from the Middle Ages|
|Main Lessons||History: Rome; Middle Ages
English: Descriptive Writing
Mathematics: Simple Interest; Algebra
Geography: The Pacific Basin
Geology: The minerals of New Zealand
|Other Lessons||Art – Drawing, painting, crafts, mosaics
“What I will carry into the world”
Puberty arrives and the balance is temporarily misplaced. With puberty changes can occur quickly – the ‘child’ is less in evidence physically and, though the adults may differ in opinion, the pupils turning thirteen this year no longer experience themselves as children. They once again ask, ‘Who are you to tell me this?’ They may resent school and parental rules, would like to be independent, but do not yet have the ability to strike out on their own. They wish to experience a new and larger world and express this in requests to explore the night life of the city, to frequent those places where their contemporaries ‘hang out’. They often demand to change schools at this time, expressing a wish to escape the safety of the known world and to step into something that is ‘bigger and better’.
The Task: to look beyond the immediate horizon and begin a voyage of discovery that mirrors the students’ own development. To present threshold pictures of bravery and sacrifice in daring to go beyond the known and to reflect upon the consequences of this. The great voyages of the 11th, 12th and 13th centuries can be studied through biographies and the immense hardship of the journeys, and the effect these travellers had on the worlds they discovered can be investigated. The arrival of the Renaissance, hard on the heels of this era, is in turn studied, especially the lives of Da Vinci, Michelangelo and Raphael. The students will try their hands at copying these great masters and experience the beauty of form and colour that was their particular gift to the world.
Lessons that support this time include Astronomy and its developmental history. The lives of the astronomers and their discoveries are charted, Maths moves into Algebra and the secrets of finding answers when not all the information is to hand. The English lesson ’Wish, Wonder and Surprise’ encourages the students to look beyond their own desires and view the greater needs of the world. The students perform a play – a major presentation for the entire class. The Class 7 camp takes the students into the great outdoors and teaches them basic bushcraft and survival skills in a wilderness environment.
|Story Curriculum||Biographies of Great Deeds|
|Main Lessons||History: The Age of Discovery; Renaissance
English: Creative Writing; Wish Wonder & Surprise
Mathematics: Geometry; Algebra
Astronomy: The sky as we see it
Science: Physics; Chemistry; Mechanics
Health & Nutrition: Growing Up
Drama: The Class 7 Play
|Other Lessons||Art – Drawing, painting, crafts, perspective drawing
Drama – From a Main Lesson
Handwork – making a doll
Underlying Theme – Identity
The fourteenth year is a milestone year in the inner life of a young person. There is an increasing realisation – and assertion – of the individual sense of self, of the uniqueness of one’s own identity.
In Class Eight, students are encouraged to form opinions, take positions, and assume responsibility for themselves in the wider community. The students are in the process of completing their passage through childhood and are entering young adulthood, an achievement that provides a broader viewpoint, sharper powers of observation, and growing critical faculties. These skills help students develop the scope and the perceptive abilities to recollect, to connect, to see relationships – abilities which make it possible to build a comprehensive picture whether the subject is history, physics or maths.
The students are increasingly experiencing themselves as individuals with tastes and impulses of their own. They rightfully challenge accepted practices and ideas in order to understand and participate in a more independent way. The goal is for the students to experience a stronger sense of self-mastery and responsibility.
The Waldorf curriculum aims to meet these needs.
|Story Curriculum||The Age of Revolution|
|Main Lessons||History: English Civil War; French Revolution; American Revolution; Industrial Revolution
English: Novel Study
Mathematics: Geometry; Arithmetic, Computer Memory and ASCII Code
Science – Organic Chemistry; Physics (Fluid and Aero Mechanics); Biology (Bones, Muscles & Senses)
Climate & Meteorology
Polarity and Contrast
The theme in Class 9 is of polarity and contrast. This stage of adolescence is often an emotional roller coaster and life may be experienced by students as a series of highs and lows. This is reflected in many of the themes of the subjects during the year such as rights and responsibilities, comedy and tragedy and black and white drawing and print-making. Through these and other subjects, students are encouraged to use both the senses and intellect, challenging them to think deeply and observe meticulously. These critical thinking skills help the student to begin to see beyond black and white polarities. Curriculum content, concepts and ideas are grounded in authentic contexts to support students in making the necessary connections and becoming more adept at putting their thoughts into action. All subjects are compulsory, including a chosen language, keeping a breadth of learning that creates a firm foundation for the years ahead.
By the end of Class 9 the students should begin to:
The Teachers’ Pedagogical Aims For Class 9 Are:
|Main Lessons||History: Pacifism and its impact on the world
English: Novel Study; Comedy and Tragedy
Mathematics: Conic Sections; Statistics
Rights and Responsibilities
Science: Organic Chemistry; Biology; Geology; Physics (Communications Technology)
Craft – Woodwork, sculpture, basketry, engraving
Movement – Physical Education, Eurythmy
Languages – Maori and French