The breadth and depth of the curriculum is a unique aspect of Steiner Waldorf Education. The entire 12 years of school are considered a unity, and all pupils take all the subjects offered. Matric according to the National Senior Certificate curriculum of the Department of Education is one in the 13Th year.
Subjects introduced by the class teacher to 7 year olds become increasingly complex when re-introduced in subsequent years. Consequently, the pupils achieve a thorough knowledge and understanding of the world. For example, nature studies and animal stories in the younger classes prepare the children for botany / zoology and astronomy further up in the school. Story-telling in the Kindergarten builds a foundation for language and the arts etc.
The curriculum is designed with the growing child in mind. Year by year, following the developmental stages of childhood, the curriculum mirrors the inner development of the child, thereby making the educational experience both relevant and satisfying.
Pre-School: (Playgroup) Imitation and Play
Lower School: (Primary) Imagination and Authority
Upper School: (High) Independent ThinkingOut of a matrix of purposeful activity and earnest emotional involvement, clear thinking crystallizes in the teenager. Class teachers give way to specialist teachers who lead the students through a rich and varied array of main lesson studies ranging from thermodynamics to Shakespeare, from trigonometry to the history of the modern world.
Writing, independent thinking and work habits are emphasized. The main lesson books are filled with essays and scientific observations which become increasingly sophisticated.
Central to upper school work is the experience and practice in the visual and musical arts, and a variety of craft lessons ideally suited to the young adults stage of development. The performing arts are an integral part of the curriculum, thus providing the teenager with opportunity for creative expression, self-discipline and demanding activity.
While the teaching approach can and should respond to individual needs, the curriculum content is aimed at peer groups. Since one of the crucial factors in human development is the role of social processes, no curriculum can be wholly individually orientated. Children learn with and from each other. Sharing experiences with others at broadly the same stage of development is more productive and enriching than learning alone. Thus Waldorf Education's emphasis is on whole class mixed ability groups. Each lesson and learning process requires a balance of primary experience, social interaction - through discussion, listening, working together and so on - and working alone. Each of these elements is essential; their balance will depend on the given situation.