Our school recognizes that children pass through distinct stages of development thereby believing that both the subject matter and the method of teaching need to be age specific. We use and refer to the Waldorf curriculum as the primary inspiration of instruction at our school. What sets the Waldorf curriculum apart is not necessarily what is taught but how it is taught. The teachers at the Anchorage Waldorf School carefully balance academic, artistic and practical activities to stimulate the imagination and prepare students as thoroughly as possible for life experiences. Instead of passively receiving information, our students are involved in a dynamic process of exploration, both of the world and of themselves. When you tour our classrooms you will be inspired by the bright, thriving students who have an inner enthusiasm for learning – essential to educational and personal success.
The class teacher: In the elementary school years, the class teacher ideally advances with the students from first through eighth grade, overseeing each child’s educational journey. Our class teachers bring extensive life experience and specialized training in the methods and philosophy of Waldorf pedagogy. This continuity allows the teacher to know the students’ unique qualities in order to plan lessons that reach and motivate each child. The relationship between teacher and child is constantly evolving and deepening.
Main Lesson: The day begins with a two-hour period called main lesson, which is devoted to the in-depth study of a specific academic subject, each lasting three to four weeks. Over the course of eight years, the children at the Anchorage Waldorf School have covered more skills and topics than a conventional elementary school curriculum and have done so in a meaningful, experiential and age-appropriate way.
Foreign Languages: We offer Spanish and Russian throughout all the grades at the Anchorage Waldorf School. Initially, through story, song, rhyme and movement, students become acquainted with the qualities of different cultures. As students progress through the grades, they develop skills in grammar, reading and translation.
Arts: Drama, painting, drawing, modeling, woodworking and movement deepen the students’ experience of the curriculum and awaken possibilities for self-awareness and self-expression. Each class presents a dramatic performance each year in addition to regular opportunities to share their abilities at school assemblies and holiday programs.
Music: Music permeates every child’s school experience each day through singing, learning musical notation, performances and instruction on multiple musical instruments that all children receive.
Movement Education: The movement education program begins in the lower grades with games and activities that spark their imagination and provide enjoyment of physical activity in a non-competitive environment. In the upper grades, students become skilled in a variety of sporting activities.
Handwork: Through handwork, children learn the value of creating practical and beautiful objects with their own hands. All children are provided with the opportunity to learn to knit, crochet, cross-stitch and sew.
Festivals: The celebration of festivals is a meaningful way for the children and school community to attune themselves to the rhythms of the year. The festivals are celebrated through stories, songs, performances and community get-togethers.