Ages 7 – 8
The child of eight still lives in a vivid world of pictorial imagination, but with an alertness and keenness for challenge and adventure. The lengthening of the child’s limbs continues from Class 1, and the child is more dexterous and physically confident. By Class 2, children have greatly extended their periods of concentration and are now capable of remembering greater amounts and in sequential order. They are capable of developing their own images and so rise from perception to concepts. Now is the time for extending the amounts of writing and reading and more complex mathematical work. The intellect is further awakened through an artistic approach that builds on the love of pictures, colour and music.
Individual differences are becoming more apparent both academically and socially.
Needs of this age:
- Security & Support – for their emerging individuality, which may bring mood swings and strain social relationships.
- Challenges – for their emerging intellect, brought to them through imaginative activities.
Steiner Curriculum themes and methods to meet the needs of this age:
- Stories reflecting a stronger connection with the world
Whereas in Class 1, stories reflected the wholeness of the human, animal and natural worlds and the heavens, in Class 2 the stories are chosen to reflect a differentiation between these kingdoms.
Fairy stories gradually give way to myths and legends, particularly of the Celtic culture.
Animal legends are told, particularly Aboriginal Australian Dreamtime stories.
Animal fables portray individual differences and characteristics; some characters manifest one-sided aspects of moral qualities, others show goodness and balance.
- Stories of individual courage and idealism:
Stories showing the ennoblement of moral, emotional, and personality characteristics enrich the curriculum.
Stories of the Saints and holy people of a variety of cultures, show the human being reaching beyond personal qualities. These stories show goodness and courage, and often a relationship between the human and animal worlds- eg St Francis and the birds.
Stories of physical challenge and striving engage the children, eg the Irish King of Ireland’s Son.
- Form drawing:
Specific form drawing exercises develop thinking capacities.
Geometrical symmetry exercises with an emphasis on axis, mirroring, and above/below provide spatial awareness as do four-sided rounded symmetrical forms and their metamorphosis into angular forms.
Main Lessons Class 2:
Lower Case Alphabet – follow on from Class 1
- Word and Spelling Games
- Reading Library
- Grammar and Punctuation
- Measurement (informal units)
- Times Tables
- Number and Problem Solving
~ 4 processes and problem solving
~ vertical algorithm (not trading)
~ patterns in number
- Space, Patterns and Form Drawing
- Animal Fables
- Aboriginal Culture and Stories
- The Four Kingdoms
- Saint Stories (may include Buddhist Stories)
- Celtic Stories
Practice & subject lessons relating to these themes:
Games, activities and creative tasks to help social interaction.
Artistic work, modelling etc on main lesson themes reinforce the beauty of nature.
- The teacher maintains strong leadership and consistency, as the children become more individualistic.
- Continuation of group activities including singing, verses, games, movement.
- Work with quality of social interaction and peer support within the class to foster harmonious work and play environment.