The Grades program at Aurora Waldorf School invites children on a journey, both into the world beyond their classrooms and also into their own sense of self. Our students graduate with a healthy curiosity about the world and a fuller understanding of themselves as whole human beings.
The breadth of our curriculum brings students into all corners of human discovery and ingenuity, from fairy tales and fables through to physics and philosophy. The depth of our program integrates academics with movement and the arts, so that every student can find his or her best entry point and learning style.
Consistent with the holistic view of child development that grounds all of Waldorf education, our curriculum structures the years from first through eighth grade as a continuous trajectory rather than a series of individual milestones. This means that students are not stifled by a “pass/fail” environment or pressured to achieve new skills before they are ready. By finding the right pace and methods to reach each child, we teach students not simply to read, for example, but to appreciate the beauty and power of language.
No matter at what point your child joins us, our faculty will be ready to meet them with the right lesson at the right time.
The uniqueness of the Waldorf curriculum lies primarily in how and when the children are taught, rather than in what is taught. In presenting material, the encounter comes first; then encounter becomes experience; and out of experience crystallizes the concept.
A distinctive aspect of Waldorf education is the class teacher, who typically leads the daily main lesson instruction for all blocks, and across all subjects. She or he will also often hold parts of the creative development for the class, including art, music, and drama.
Each morning the children start with the two-hour main lesson with their class teacher. During this time when young minds are freshest, they intensively study a block from one of the core academic subjects. In this way, the rhythm of the day begins with the work that requires the most attention, and each academic subject can receive special focus during the course of the year.
In a truly balanced educational program, each student will find many ways for his or her gifts and talents to shine. Even a very bright child who can zoom through "reading, writing and arithmetic" needs real challenges for growth in other dimensions.
Throughout the regular program of main lesson and subject classes, all students are provided an education that is rich in developmental movement, music and art, literacy and numeracy foundations, and health-strengthening rhythms. For those who need more support, the Educational Support Team provides an intermediate level of intervention.