MUSIC AND STRINGS
At SWS musical education begins from the earliest years with singing as a natural joyful expression of life. Students’ daily experience of music through singing also continues to develop as young children mature through simple songs to rounds, and then to part-singing. In the seventh and eighth grades, as the boys’ voices change, four-part choral singing is introduced. Formal music instruction, as a special subject, begins in class one with recorder playing, singing, games, and movement. In the third and fourth grades children learn to read music and begin learning the theoretical and historical fundamentals of music as an art. During the fourth and fifth grades, students take up a string instruments. All students participate in an instrumental and choral experience and all students from class four to eight join the SWS Strings program.
HANDWORK AND WOODWORK
The handwork and woodwork curriculum are extensive. The work is done with an appreciation for the aesthetic quality of each piece, and encourages the student to work patiently and carefully, and develops the abilities to think in the non-verbal languages of color, form, and material.
Handwork begins in the kindergarten with finger-knitting. In the grade school, children learn to knit, crochet, spin, cross-stitch and embroider, felt, sew by hand and on a sewing machine. A child’s brain development is significantly enhanced through the learning of handwork skills. These skills provide a strong foundation for all academic subjects and generates flexible thinking throughout adulthood.
Woodwork classes begin in fifth grade and provides students the opportunity to make finely crafted toys, spoons, large bowls, swords, and three-legged stools
MODELLING AND SCULPTURE
Simple modeling, related to the curricular content, begins with modeling beeswax in preschool. In the grade school children learn to model, and later sculpt, with clay, stone and wood.
French is taught in first through eighth grades. In the first three grades, we focus entirely on learning orally through recitation and singing, games and stories. By the end of third grade, children will have developed an extensive vocabulary, including numbers, letters, colours, parts of the body, clothing, family, animals, trades, and classroom objects. The students are able to follow commands and answer simple questions in French. In the fourth grade, they begin to write poems that they have already learned, and then learn to read what they have written; we also commence the formal study of French grammar. By fifth grade, the students compose their own writings. In the sixth grade, the study of the language extends to the study of the geography and culture of Quebec, and in the seventh and eighth, to the geography, history and culture of different regions in France. Every few years, a home stay exchange is organized with a Waldorf school in Quebec for a middle school class.
At SWS, our seven acre rural campus is alive with many vegetable and flower gardens. This plentiful connection to nature is cultivated in all classes through hands on gardening. In Preschool and Kindergarten children experience planting, weeding and harvesting throughout the seasons. In the older grades, children participate in garden planning, compost making, pruning, and the building of garden structures, led by our gardening teacher. The gardens are planned and planted to meet specific aspects of the Waldorf curriculum and the festival year, for example gardening and farming in Grade 3, natural dying, Michaelmas soup and Pumpkin path.
PHYSICAL EDUCATION AND GAMES
Children in class one through three receive two games lessons a week with a class teacher.
Sunrise Waldorf school follows the BC Educational Curriculum of Physical Health Education (PHE), which has four main areas of learning. These are Physical Literacy, Healthy Living, Social Health, Mental Health. Physical Literacy and Healthy Living are taught during the PHE classes by the specialty teacher, while the Social Health and Mental Health components are taught by the class teachers. In addition to the BC Curriculum, the Waldorf curriculum and methods of teaching are woven into the classes to bring varied and age-appropriate activities to the children. As part of the Physical Literacy components of the Physical Health Education, grades 4 through 8 receive two 45-minute lessons per week which include: games, gymnastics, Bothmer gymnastics, Spatial Dynamics, individual and team sports. Paddle Sports (sea kayaking, SUP boarding, canoeing), hiking and extra-curricular programs including archery and basketball are available to grade 6 and up.
The healthy Living component of PHE is also brought during the PHE class and includes class discussions and homework tasks.
In classes 6, 7 and 8 students learn Cyber Civics.
"Cyber Civics is the most comprehensive digital literacy curriculum for middle school. Award-winning, turnkey, standards-aligned lessons teach students to become ethical, safe, and productive digital citizens. Hands-on activities created in the classroom by teachers."