SUBJECT CLASSES

In addition to the broad arts-infused academic curriculum, Asheville Waldorf School offers a variety of specialty classes taught by teachers whose focus in on a particular subject.

Eurythmy

Eurythmy is an art form unique to Waldorf Education where the art is the body itself. Through gestures and movement, students bring expression to poetry and music while working with beat, rhythm, pitch, phrasing and musical tones. Eurythmy supports the healthy development of a child’s relationship to her or his body.

Eurythmy provides spatial orientation and coordination, rhythm, an understanding of polarities, agility in the feet and expressivity in the hands, social collaboration, sensitivity to self and
others and an appreciation for the beauty of language.

Handwork

The handwork curriculum through the grades educates students on many levels. At its most literal level, students learn traditional crafting skills that have been practiced for centuries and are increasingly being lost to a digital world. Learning how to create beautiful and useful objects builds fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, powers of concentration, perseverance with difficult tasks, facility with counting and patterns, and the confidence and satisfaction that comes from making something by hand. At a deeper level, using the brain to control the hands, tools (such as knitting needles), and natural materials is a complex activity that, like handwriting, stimulates multiple regions of the brain and offers cognitive benefits.

Music

Instrumental music instruction begins in first grade with simple flutes. Starting in third grade, each student learns to play the violin and participates in group lessons (see Strings.)

Music class also includes the voice! By third grade, students are singing simple rounds. Beginning in third grade, all students are also taught music theory and by 5th-grade students are singing in harmonies. We introduce rhythmic and notation work and concepts of major and minor modes, as well as sight-singing.

Choral and instrumental performances take place regularly through school assemblies and seasonal celebrations. Students learn to feel confident performing in class and at school events. The experience of singing and playing music also provides a lively and harmonizing atmosphere to the culture of the school.

Foreign Language: Spanish

All students at AWS study Spanish first through eighth grade. In the “global village” of the 21st century, foreign language instruction gives students insight into different cultures and broadens their perspectives. Oral work is key to learning languages in the early grades, with songs, poems, rhymes, counting, games, short plays, and other engaging activities. In the later grades, written work is introduced, including grammar, poetry, and literature.

Strings

Playing violin trains the ear in a deep way. Students refine their sense of pitch as each note is created by their fingers. The tangible vibrations of the string resonate near their heart through the flowing movements of the arm. In keeping with the Waldorf understanding that children aged seven to fourteen are in the feeling phase of life string instruments play an important role throughout their elementary and middle school years.

Games

We provide Games classes as one piece of our movement curriculum. As one might expect in a Waldorf School, PE looks different from grade to grade, as the children are in different places developmentally. In the early grades, we play imaginative games which include running, jumping, skipping, and dancing and provide both exercise and good lessons in social interaction.

In Grade 5, Games focuses on the events of the Greek Pentathalon, in conjunction with their study of ancient Greece. This culminates in a regional event held in the spring, in which 5 or more Waldorf Schools from the Southeast region participate in a Greek Pentathalon together.

In 6-8th grades, we begin to develop the skills necessary to play a variety of sports strenuously and by the rules. Activities such as volleyball, basketball, baseball, soccer, and frisbee begin to develop physical strength and mastery of one’s body, as well as teamwork and good sportsmanship. Circus arts, orientation, archery, double dutch and track and field may also be brought to round out the Games curriculum.