English Language and Literature
Our English lessons cultivate the spoken word and all forms of literacy through spelling, grammar and the elements of language composition.
The English Language and Literature lessons continuously widen our pupils’ vocabulary and improve their use of grammar, punctuation and spelling.
Our Teachers are dedicated to delivering the English Language and Literature classes to inspire, challenge and motivate every pupil.
Through explaining the pattern of numbers, our Mathematics classes work to dispel any inherited fear of the subject by introducing it to the pupil from the very beginning of their time with the School.
In the beginning, the Teachers do this through number games, pattern and rhythm. As pupils progress through the School, all aspects of the subject are taught including geometry, algebra, fractions, decimals, platonic solids, the Four Number Processes and mental arithmetic. In addition, statistics and the handling of data in the Upper School demonstrates the social, economic and political uses of maths.
At The Brighton Waldorf School, we believe the teaching of foreign languages is an essential part of our curriculum.
From the age of seven in Class 1, children are taught foreign languages by native speakers in ways that make language learning fun. By the end of the class year, the childrens’ active vocabulary includes colours, classroom objects, parts of the body and numbers up to 20 and they can also respond to simple commands and basic questions.
When the GSCE syllabus begins, lessons incorporate poetry, plays and songs which become more challenging as a pupil’s abilities increase.
As they continue to develop, vocabulary covers interests, hobbies and plans as well as travel and tourism, jobs, work experience, social issues and relationships.
In addition, grammatical structures are studied and include adjectives, adverbs, tenses, reflexive and impersonal verbs, forms of address, passive forms and direct and indirect objects.
From our Early Years Department, the children take part in fun painting classes where they begin to explore the mixing of colours. As they progress through the School, the children get to grips with the technicalities of using a paintbrush and controlling the paint.
Different tones and the characters of the colours themselves are worked on and the Teacher links these exercises with the Main Lesson subjects. Further on, the children paint scenes from Main Lesson subjects, for example, Norse mythology or Ancient Egypt, whilst also looking at the seasons, festivals, animals and times of day.
Moving through the School, pupils cover black and white drawing and learn to perceive the equalities inherent in light and dark; produce ‘veil paintings’, explore shadows, symmetry, mirror image and observation, colour perspective, maps and mood paintings.
In the Upper School a variety of methods are used to develop the skills of the pupils, such as charcoal, crayon, chalk pastels, Chinese ink, and block/lino printing. Class 10 students produce three GCSE projects to fulfil the course requirements in various forms, including a still life of their own in watercolours.
Children first encounter Science when attending the Kindergarten (part of the Early Years Department) through the rhythms of the seasons.
As the children move through the classes, their first contact with formal science is the Man and Animal Main Lesson in Class 4, followed by the Plant Study Main Lessons in Class 5. From Class 6 to Class 8, the Science Curriculum broadens to encompass astronomy, physics (magnetism, electrostatics, light, sound and forces), chemistry (combustion, salts, acids and bases, sugars, starch, cellulose and proteins) and human biology (health, nutrition and anatomy).
In the Upper School, Science is taught through demonstrations and experiments. Accurate observation, precise measurement, rigorous recording and full, clear descriptions are required of the pupils. Where appropriate mathematical laws are derived from experimental results. The Class 9 and 10 Science Curriculum geomorphology, climatology, oceanography, organic chemistry, physics, anatomy and embryology.
Geography is one of the most important subjects in our curriculum as it encompasses many aspects of the world around us. In the earlier years, the children become aware of their close surroundings, the kingdoms of nature, the elements and seasons. The Curriculum expands to cover farming, building and other local trades.
Local geography gives the children a more concrete source of knowledge. In Brighton they are fortunate and can explore the South Downs and beaches as well as many sites and activities in and around the City.
As children move through the School, we build on the local geography. The children study the British Isles and become acquainted with maps and study the Continents, giving them an understanding the differences between countries, their people, languages and occupations; vegetation, rocks, the great rivers and the varied climates.
The Brighton Waldorf School gives great weight to hand writing. From the early classes of our School, the children learn to write by hand and do so beautifully and in an artistic way. They learn to use a fountain pen and they record in their Main Lesson books – in cursive writing – what they learn about the subjects they are studying.
Recent scientific research is corroborating the value of the use of the hands. Among the findings the learning of good penmanship has been shown to support the healthy development of the child.
Eurythmy is a class that is unique to Waldorf Education and bridges the area between Physical Education, Music and Drama. In simple terms Eurythmy is often described as ‘visible speech’ and ‘visible music’. It comprises a language of gestures representing each sound (vowel and consonant) and each musical tone and interval.
Practising the elements of Eurythmical movement helps the children to become more graceful, co-ordinated, alert and at ease with themselves.
They work on choreography and interpretation of literature and music deepens the children’s aesthetic appreciation of those subjects experientially.
Music is first introduced in Kindergarten in a playful way, with daily and seasonal verses and songs the children are quick to learn. By Classes 1 and 2, the children are already trained to hit the right pitch, to get a feeling of high and low notes and to feel different rhythms.
All pupils are introduced to the pentatonic wooden flute in Class 1 and go on to learn the traditional recorder. Pupils can also uptake in private instrument lessons through the schools network of partners and many of those pupils contribute towards the school culture of music through group ensembles and festival performances. Pupils participate in weekly choir lessons.
Physical Education at The Brighton Waldorf School is designed to develop skills for a lifetime of physical activity, an appreciation of the outdoors and the ability to meet and overcome life’s challenges.
Our goal is to follow a child’s physical and cognitive development whilst supporting the academic curriculum.
In our Early Years Department, healthy movement is practiced through the Class’ daily walk, circle games and imaginative play. As pupils progress on their learning journey through the School, games and team sports are introduced and the children develop strong sensory integration, a real respect for rules and an understanding of teamwork. For this reason, the children are able to develop self-discipline and a healthy sense of competition.
In adolescence, as pupils make the transition from childhood to adulthood, life skills sessions create an atmosphere where each student can safely explore, express and challenge their inner views and opinions and discuss difficult issues.
Drug Awareness sessions raise awareness of both psychological and physiological addiction, what drugs are, how they work and the reasons why young people experiment. The subject matter covers tobacco, alcohol and illegal drugs. Students can research and present findings to the whole group and practise essential research, presentation and communication skills.
Sex Education sessions raise awareness of teenage pregnancy, STIs and HIV, safer sex practices, alcohol/drugs and sex. These issues are addressed through discussions, question and answer sessions and group workshops.
Guest speakers from a variety of health, social and business backgrounds are invited to elaborate on issues raised and discussed in previous workshops and lessons. Students also attend sessions in places of work to explore elements of particular organisations.
Formally-managed debates around emotive topics help students to be aware of the differences between objective and subjective exchanges. These sessions allow students to make public their (often very strong) ideals, challenge those of others and be challenged in a safe environment.
Come and see for yourself
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