In class one the children make the important move from Transition to Primary school where formal learning begins. Children move into the second phase of childhood at the age of six or seven. This change is marked by a new readiness for formal learning. New intellectual abilities are nurtured, continuing to empower the imagination and creativity from their earlier years.
At this age every child is an artist. The teacher’s task is to inform intellectual knowledge through aesthetic experience. Mathematics, science and social studies, woodwork and knitting, and languages are taught integrating intellect, imagination, and art. The teachers address each child’s learning with pictures and stories, in colour, rhythm, and music. What is learned becomes a living part of the child.
Our understanding of child development is that the very young children learn by imitating the world and using their imagination to experience it through play primary age children learn best when their emotions and imaginations are engaged children’s learning is enhanced by artistic activity, through problem-solving and hands-on work.
The Class 2 child is still deep in the world of imagination and is beginning to see the capacity for light and shadow within themselves. Stories of the fables and saints help to support this recognition. In fables human weaknesses such as greed and selfishness are examined in a light-hearted way through animal characters. The music program includes Percussion, Pentatonic recorder, and seasonal songs.
By Class 3 there is an awakening to a new sense of self. The Class 3 child is acquiring a new sense of self which affects all their social relationships. They are leaving behind the natural predisposition for imitation and becoming more aware of ‘self and other’ requiring a more conscious need for empathy. It is at this time the study of ancient civilisations where agriculture was first practiced where many links can be made to mathematics and the use of money, weight, and measurement. Children begin to learn a Strings instrument, a violin, viola, and cello lessons in the music program.
In Class 4 the child generally exhibits a newfound confidence and is often strongly motivated by his or her will, which awakens the nine-year-old change. The animal kingdom, fractions, the history of writing, local geography/history and Norse mythology all speak directly to the child at this age.
The Class 5 child is ready for the borderland between mythology and history. Exploring human evolution, we more from the dawn of pre-history in the ancient culture of India to the eastward campaigns of Alexander the Great. Historical pictures of the human being in development into the material world which parallel the child’s own descent into the world of matter; we are giving the children a picture of their own evolution. Main lesson topics include ancient cultures, Botany, Fractions and decimals, Australian History/Geography, Geometry and Form Drawing. The strings program and orchestra practice continue for all students.
The Class 6 child develop an intense interest in the world around them; from the plight of the less fortunate to the struggles of the individuals who are creating a better future. Main lessons start to cover sequential, recorded history. The main themes all provide an understanding of the need for order and structure, whether it be in the infrastructure and cultural genius of Ancient Rome or exploring the inherent order of the cosmos above us in astronomy and below us in geology. The need for order is also explored in business and maths.