Hands-on learning from the classroom into the home
Waldorf schools focus on experiential learning – an active approach to lessons which engages the senses through art, music, and movement to best stimulate the mind to retain what is being learned. Art is a central feature of the teaching method. The Waldorf classroom experience is designed to build strong relationships, enhance social, emotional learning and create community bonds through seasonal events, festivals and plays.
What does that look like now, from afar, with distance learning in place and students off campus? At Halton Waldorf School, faculty are working creatively to bring Waldorf education’s multisensory, multi-faceted, human-centered curriculum to students no longer in classrooms. While this approach will never replace face to face encounter, our students continue to thrive.
In March 2020, Halton Waldorf School launched its first-ever distance learning program in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Their teachers are adapting and working creatively to not just teach the curriculum but to make sure students continue to enjoy learning.
Beth Henderson, class teacher, says; "at Halton Waldorf School we focus on giving the younger grades direct experiences of the concepts we are learning; then in the older grades we link those concepts to the wider human experience. Through video, audio, drawing lessons, and online group classes, our students are engaging in experiential-observational learning by connecting with each other, their teachers, and what they see, hear, and feel. Language studies, math, science, handwork, music, and movement, as well as German and French studies are all on-going. Our campus is closed but our learning continues in a range of new formats!”.
In the high school, Halton Waldorf School immediately implemented a distance learning program that allowed students to feel a sense of security in knowing that their learning was not going to be compromised and that, by having the familiar structure of their school day in place, they would feel supported as they navigated this unusual time.
Tamlyn Pickering, high school chair says, “from the first day back from March break, our high school students were given a daily online timetable which mirrored their normal school day in terms of lesson times and break times. Our teachers embraced the new Google Classroom and Zoom teaching platforms with vigor and have been delivering interactive, engaging lessons. Our high school students continue on their learning path and feel a sense of achievement as they move through their course content as planned”.
Waldorf schools across the world make mindful environments a priority for their students. In doing so, this helps to keep stress to a minimum and supports wellbeing and learning. Teachers, parents, and students from Halton Waldorf School are engaging in best practices acquired through the Waldorf pedagogy to help inspire and create mindful environments at home. This strong sense of intention creates healthy routines and rhythms for children during this prolonged period of social isolation.
Founded in 1984, Halton Waldorf School is an independent, accredited Waldorf school serving students in Burlington and the surrounding area with programs from early years through high school. To learn more about Halton Waldorf School, please contact email@example.com or visit our website at www.haltonwaldorf.com for more information about Waldorf education in Burlington.
Angela Marlatt Advancement & Communications Officer Halton Waldorf School firstname.lastname@example.org