Treow School focuses on classes 1 to 7, where the emphasis is on cultivating the children’s emotional life and imagination. Learning is presented through artistic work that includes story-telling, visual arts, drama, movement, vocal and instrumental music, and crafts.
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The core curriculum includes language arts, mythology, history, geography, geology, algebra, geometry, mineralogy, biology, astronomy, physics, chemistry, and nutrition. The school day generally begins with a one-and-a-half to two-hour, cognitively oriented academic lesson, or “main lesson” that focuses on a single theme throughout a month. This lesson typically begins with activities that may include singing, instrumental music, and poetry recitations, including a class verse for the start of the school day. The learning does not rely on printed textbooks; the children create their books.
Primary school teachers’ present themselves as a role model that children will naturally want to follow, gaining authority through fostering rapport as well as “nurturing curiosity, imagination, and creativity”. The overall goal of the primary school is to “imbue children with a sense that the world is beautiful”.
Class teachers teach the same class through classes 1 to 7, where the teacher and the children can form a stable and trusted relationship. Other teachers can complement the class teacher by providing music, handwork, woodwork, Afrikaans, Zulu and farming lessons.
Some Waldorf Primary Schools allow for a level of individual variation in the pace of learning, based upon the expectation that a child will grasp a concept or achieve a skill when he or she is ready. However, Treow School is not able to accommodate children with learning or behavioural difficulties at this stage.
Cooperation takes priority over competition. Mobile phones are discouraged and not allowed in school. Parents are expected to limit electronic media consumption by the children at home, to support the teachers in this initiative.