Around Grade 1, children begin to experience a sense of individuality that gives them new capacities for learning and socialising. The Grade 1 curriculum builds upon these new capacities.
Children listen to fairy tales and nature tales that support children’s auditory memory, their capacity to create mental images and also fosters rich vocabulary. Speech, drama & art are embedded in lessons in retelling of the stories.
Children are introduced to alphabets through story-drawings. Children practise writing in sand, air, or floor before they write in their lesson books.
The children learn all four operational processes (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division) with emphasis on the relationship between the processes. These are presented in a story form that includes problem solving.
Images and stories encourage a love of numbers, enhanced by rhythmic and counting activities with songs and movements.
Nature Walks & Games
Wet-on-wet painting, drawing, clay modelling, etc.
Finger knitting, weaving, braiding strings and threads in patterns, etc.
Forms of curved lines and straight lines.
Singing and introduction to recorder playing; rhythm clapping and stamping
The Grade 1 is structured around rhythm of the annual calendar and its festivals.
Each lesson or a class balances quiet focus and active movement. Students engage with a topic or lesson in three different ways enaging 'head', 'heart' & 'hands' over a few days, such as: listening to a story about numbers, recall of this story by children through a play and experiencing numbers through movements or games.
Understanding 6-7yr Olds
In a Waldorf school, true academic work does not begin until first grade. Why? It is well known that the body renews every cell in itself every seven years. At about the age of seven, the child has literally become their own new self, and the completion of this work is symbolized by the change of teeth. The forces which were used to form the physical body are freed up and are now available to be used for memory. Academic work before this time is simply a drain on the child's resources which are designed for physical growth.
A Day in Grade 1
Grade 1 begins with a ‘Welcome Ceremony’, which marks this important passage from Kindergarten to the grade classes i.e. structured reading , writing and other forms of academics. Older grades children & the new class teacher welcomes the new Grade 1. This transition is an important step for young children who are quite eager to be ‘formally taught’ reading, writing and to learn like ‘older children’!
Each morning begins with exercises in recitation, singing, and rhythmic activities.
Then teacher formally welcomes chidlren to the classroom for the 'Main Lesson'. This would be an hour & a half long time where in teachers & chidlren have a short interaction & sharing from their daily life. This is followed by a morning prayer and then class proceeds for the main lesson/subject related work.
Every month the focus is on studying one subject such as English, Hindi, Maths etc. For the one full month they study various topics under that subject using arts & movenets integrated deeply in every main lesson.
The class then takes a washroom & fruit break, after which they go for an hour long outdoor play. Children play structured social games initiated by teachers as well as freeplay which is child-led.
After returning from the play, class has their lunch together, followed by another subject related class or arts based work such as handwork or music class. The day at Aarambh for grades end at 2pm.