Every day at Sloka, is cheery and wonderful. Lessons are imparted in a way that necessitates total involvement of the student. The main subjects are taught during “Main Lesson” every day in the morning and these last for one and half to two hours especially in the earlier grades.
Included in this period are Movement activities that incorporate learning mathematics and developing concentration skills. The teachers engage the student artistically, descriptively, and dramatically. The children actively participate through questions, discussions, and written work.
- Specific skills such as reading, spelling, grammar, expository writing, arithmetic review and drill are reinforced through additional daily English and mathematics lessons.
- Oral skills are carefully developed in elementary school through choral speaking, individual presentations and dramatic productions.
- Form drawing, unique to Waldorf education, is a form of elementary geometry where a student learns to draw three-dimensional geometrical figures as opposed to shapes. If taught at an early age, it helps in developing excellent eye-hand coordination. By the eighth grade, the forms are more complex giving them skills that would surpass the ability of most adults.
- Presence of Speciality Teachers in creative and vocational training such as music, dance, craft, handwork, woodworking and physical education, gives a further boost to everyday lessons.
- A full-time Remedial teacher works in our Aziz Nagar campus to help children with difficulties in reading, writing, speaking, spelling, mathematics and sequencing. The Remedial Teacher is most helpful for those children who show a lack of spatial awareness, rhythm and timing, as also lack of co-ordination and concentration. The Teacher works on the confidence of the child with carefully chosen exercises, that are fun and at the same time therapeutic.
In the first three years of grade school, students develop the foundations for work and social interaction using an artistic approach to all subjects.
We at Sloka feel that the rhythm and pace of learning supports a child’s development. The steps taken to achieve this are:
- The main lesson, an extended period that includes rhythmic activity or movement to stimulate and prepare the child for the concentrated work that follows.
- The students practice poems and tongue twisters, clap to the mathematical time tables, listen to stories, and respond to them through writing and artwork. Beginning in first grade, students learn the four functions of arithmetic and by the end of third grade, they master the mathematical time tables.
- Learning through fairy tales, fables, and legends is a vital part of our lessons. As the children listen, recall and re-tell these stories, they gain skills like proficiency in reading and writing.
- Students improve their language skills through games, songs, poems and simple conversations.
- Fine motor skills are developed using knitting, crocheting and embroidery and playing th recorder.
- Social skills are bolstered through physical education and games.
Throughout the years, the curriculum flows keeping in harmony with the child’s growth.
- Children are introduced to activities like gardening for which they undertake several trips to a local farm to sow seeds, monitor growth and finally harvest the fruit.
- Building Block activity encourages students to construct something functional in the school. They also visit construction sites to learn about the various stages of construction.
Years spent in Grades four to eight can be explained thus:
- In Grade four, students focus on local geography and history.
- In Grades 5-8, they progress to studying ancient histories and cultures, that includes India, Persia, Egypt, Greece and Rome. After that, they move on to history of Europe – from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance and Age of Exploration.
- In the eighth Grade, they learn about American history.
- The students explore geography and cultures through their studies of the continents of the world.
- In biology, students learn a variety of topics – beginning with plant life up to the study of human anatomy and physiology.
- Students work with the chemistry of acids and bases in the laboratory. They discover scientific laws and their relation to mathematics by observing the phenomena first hand around them and explore Optics and mechanical principles by conducting experiments.
- practical applications in maths help students see wide-ranging connections with other subjects as they move from fractions and decimals to geometry and algebra. This also aids in understanding of geometric forms.
These Students work increasingly with specialty teachers in addition to the class teacher. Writing, research, classroom presentations, scientific observations, reports and creation of main lesson notebooks demand initiative and higher-level intellectual skills.
Waldorf education believes that Handwork skills are important to develop proper motor coordination which helps in enhancing the student’s ability to concentrate on the task at hand.
Children learn to:
- Knit in the first grade
- Crochet in second grade
- Weave in the third grade
- Cross-stitch in fourth grade
- Complex projects in fifth through eighth grade
Handwork teaches children to appreciate the effort needed to produce something useful and beautiful too. Woodworking is introduced in the fifth grade and continues through the upper grades.
The medium of instruction at Sloka is English. Students are free to choose Hindi and Telugu as their second and third languages. In the initial Grades, the emphasis is on conversation and learning through songs, poems, games and plays. In the upper elementary grades the language lessons begin to include more of written work, reading, grammar and vocabulary in addition to perfecting oral skills.
Music and Dance
Music and dance form a vital part of our curriculum at Sloka. Children learn to sing and are introduced to the recorder in the first grade. As they move to higher grades, they are taught Indian Classical Dance and Music also.
Gymnastics and Games
Students at Sloka participate in a variety of Physical Education classes that teach them spatial awareness, assist coordination and enhance balance and rhythm. Individual and team sporting skills are also given a boost. The school has a large playground on the campus that offers a 200-metre track, Long Jump pit and a Volleyball/Throwball Court.
Physical Education is vital for every student and the different programmes we follow are:
- Grades 1- 3 play games like Dog and the Bone, I Sent a Letter and Animal Train that helps to improve their limb coordination. Gymnastics for this age-group includes warm up exercises, forward and backward rolls, split jumps, rhythmic gymnastics and fun exercises. The goal at this stage is to develop the child’s physical strength, learn about balance, develop coordination between different limbs and improve mental strength.
- Grades 4-6 play Dodge Ball, 7 Stones, Kabaddi and Kho-Kho to develop team spirit, strengthen their lower limbs and work on their balance and coordination. For gymnastics, the goal is to strengthen their forearms, wrist and shoulders. Other than learning to do stretching and handstand roll, they are taught to swing from a rope, walk on their hands, form a pyramid, jump through a loop of fire and participate in rhythmic gymnastics. Children of grade 5 are trained to participate in sports event called “Ancient Greek Olympics” in which grade 5 children of Waldorf schools across the country will participate.
- Grades 7 and up play games like Throwball, Volleyball, Save Your Kingdom and Relay Races to improve on skills of planning, strategy and execution. For gymnastics, they are taught how to stretch, do the cartwheel, handstand, back bridge, back flip, hand spring, dive roll, swing on bars, walk on bars and push ups.