The Lower School Curriculum Class I & Class II
For the first two weeks of Class I, children just have a main lesson, to help accustom them to their new learning environment. Their day is then lengthened and they remain at school until lunchtime. After the Christmas break, the class teacher decides whether to extend their hours further, usually to incorporate a day per week at Hampstead Heath.
In the first two years the children are introduced to reading and writing and become familiar with the four rules of arithmetic. These subjects are taught through the narrative of fairy tales, nature stories, legends and fables and through songs, games, poetry and plays.
- Form Drawing
- Writing, introduction to the Alphabet
- Mathematics: the quality of numbers, counting to 100, Roman and Arabic Numbers, the four processes: addition, subtraction, multiplication and addition.
- Nature Study
- Singing and Introduction to the recorder
- Handwork: knitting
- Painting, Beeswax modelling, Crayon Drawing
- English: fables from around the world, study of the saints, reading
- Mathematics: continuing work with the four processes, Column Algorithms
- Form Drawing
- Nature Study through fables
- Singing and Recorder
- Handwork: knitting and sewing
- Painting and Modelling
The ninth year sees children stepping outside the familiar world of heredity and imitation that they have lived in since babyhood. They begin to perceive themselves as independent beings. This new questioning phase is met by a more demanding curriculum that seeks to help the children orientate themselves in their new world through its practical content: farming, crafts, building, weighing and measuring help to reassure the child that there are natural laws by which all human beings live.
- English: intensive study of grammar
- Writing: cursive handwriting
- Mathematics of practical life: Time, temperature, Weight & Volume, linear measurement (integrated into house building), Trade Goods & the Development of Currency
- Form Drawing
- Social and Environmental Studies: Farming and Gardening, House building
- Cultural Studies: stories of the Old Testament
- Singing in rounds
- Handwork: Crochet
The children are now ready to set out on their journey of exploration beginning with the study of local geography, man and animal and Norse mythology. Towards the end of Class IV, the children prepare for the team activities and the disciplines they will need for their sporting activities in Class V.
- English: work in grammar continues, introduction to composition writing through personal narratives and tall tales
- Zoology: comparative study of human beings and other animals
- Geography and Local History
- Cultural Studies: Norse mythology
- Mathematics: Introduction to fractions
- Form Drawing: Celtic knots
- Singing: two part songs
- Handwork: Embroidery and Cross Stitch
The children study the British Isles, botany and the myths of the ancient civilizations: India, Persia, Babylonia, Egypt and Greece. In harmony with their study of Ancient Greece all the Class Vs from all over the world camp for three days at Michael Hall School to train for and compete in the ancient Olympic Games. This is a momentous and moving occasion marking the children’s passage through the golden heart of childhood towards puberty.
- Ancient History: India, Persia, Mesopotamia, Egypt and Greece
- British Geography
- Mathematics: Fractions and Decimals
- Handwork: Knitting on four needles
- English: reading, writing and grammar