The effort to complement students' natural abilities begins at an early age and continues throughout their time at a Waldorf school. It is encouraged by the curriculum and supported by the fundamental understanding that a child's strength should not become their weakness because of one-sided development.
Understanding Waldorf Education
Developmental Profile of a Grade 6 Child*
In the sixth grade, the harmony and balance often experienced in the previous year fades, and pre-adolescent struggles begin to appear. Physically, the child's limbs are suddenly growing. Emotionally, the child is at times feeling critical, uncomfortable and longs to be part of a group. The 12-year-old witnesses what may be described as the death of childhood and the birth pangs of the individual.
At this age, the teacher aims to work with the children's growing orientation towards the outer world. As new capacities for thinking emerge, the children can be led to understand causal relationships at work in the world. The students can be challenged and are capable of high standards in their school work.
Sixth grade is the gateway to preadolescence and idealism. The curriculum serves to ground the students, to inspire them to venture out toward the unknown and to offer an introduction to their quest in life. This year is both an ending and a beginning.
Grade 6 Core Subjects
* Reference: The Educational Tasks and Content of the Steiner Waldorf Curriculum,
Edited by Martyn Rawson and Tobias Ritcher