Alabama Waldorf Elementary School program (Grades 1-6) fosters well-rounded development through arts-integrated learning, nurturing curiosity and critical thinking. Extended Care programs are also offered for Elementary-age students.
The Waldorf Educational philosophy is uniquely responsive to each unique phase of a child's development. The relationship between student and teacher is an important and meaningful one throughout childhood and early adolescence. At Alabama Waldorf School, from first to eighth grade, our students stay with the same teacher, looping with their teacher each year. As a result, their class becomes a kind of family, with the teacher as the guide. Within this ideal environment, your student comes to know and respect their teacher, and over the years, the teacher can discover the healthiest ways to educate each child.
Students who begin first grade at Alabama Waldorf School experience new subjects. These include core curriculum taught by their class teacher as well as Spanish, Russian, Handwork, and Music. At the beginning of their second-grade year, the class welcomes new first graders, thus becoming a "combined" grade class. These will be their classmates until graduation at the end of grade eight.
In Waldorf Education, a "combined" class is a desirable alternative to the now-pervasive grade-by-grade curriculum introduced in the mid-19th century. Although combined class concepts vary by name and detail throughout the world, we use the terms "combined grades" and "multiage classrooms" for our school. One of the intentions guiding our planning of multiage classrooms and combined grades are that they serve the students' individual needs. They allow each student to progress using developmentally appropriate practices to support their learning continuim. From this place of intentional instruction and guidance from their teacher, a lifelong love of learning develops. While traditional schools continue to become incresingly focused on acedemic achievement, multiage classrooms grow from a pedagogical foundation and have a broader view of educational success.