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Middle School Curriculum

At Waldorf School of Pittsburgh, Middle School encompasses Grades 6 through 8. During these fundamental years, the child’s intellectual curiosity is met with an imaginative, artistic, and stimulating curriculum that grows and expands each year as the child develops and matures.

Curriculum Overview: 

The Three Rs of Waldorf Middle School — 

Rome, Renaissance, and Revolution!

We offer a curriculum uniquely designed to meet the challenging stages of adolescence. While from the outside students may appear to be cynical or self-absorbed, internally they are asking themselves profound questions such as, “Is there such a thing as absolute truth?” “Is the world essentially a good and beautiful place?” and “What will be my unique contribution to the world?”

 

The goals of the Waldorf middle school are to encourage and inspire students to:
  • Think clearly and independently

  • Question the status quo

  • Learn out of their own experiences and not be satisfied with second- or third- hand knowledge

  • Study and work not in order to pass an exam or get a good grade, but to satisfy their own desire for learning

  • Have a sense of their own dignity as human beings

  • Have a sense of belonging to the world and of being needed in the world

 Middle School Program

Program for grades 6–8

Curriculum by Grade

Sixth Grade:
From Romans to Romance

Overview

Sixth grade begins a time of inner turmoil marked by physical and hormonal changes. Students experience a new weight in their bodies and want to feel solid on the earth. Geology helps to ground them in the physical world, while Astronomy stretches their reach upward, outside of themselves. Sixth grade is also a time of great growth in objective reasoning and critical thinking. The phenomenological approach to Physics fosters this growth, as students utilize their own observations to draw conclusions, make judgements, and develop concepts. The study of two powerful empires, Roman and Islamic, mirrors the students’ desire for justice and order during a time of inner struggle. 

 

Lesson Blocks

Lesson blocks for sixth grade include Rise and Fall of Rome, Islamic Empire, Middle Ages, African or South American Geography, Business Math, Geometry, Geology, Astronomy, and Physics.

 

Handwork, the Arts, Movement, and Foreign Languages

Students engage artistically in painting and modeling in a formal art class. They work musically by playing a string or woodwinds instrument, recorder, and choral singing. Students participate in an upper grade drama production alongside students from the seventh and eighth grades. In handwork, students sew a sculptural piece to complement the curriculum. In woodworking, they create spoons. Students engage in movement through Physical Education and Eurythmy. Students also take two foreign languages: Spanish and Russian. Students begin Cyber Physics.

 

Special Events and Class Trips

Students end the year with the Knighting Ceremony. This rite of passage provides a culmination to their studies and personal journeys throughout the year, marking their transition from a squire-in-training to a modern-day knight who strives to act with purpose and compassion. Students also attend an interscholastic event, the Medieval Games.

Seventh Grade:
A Year of Awakening and Exploring

Overview

Seventh grade is a time of polarity; students experience inner extremes and reactions. Simultaneously, students begin their own personal ages of exploration. They long to venture beyond their known worlds and discover their own truths. In doing so, they experience a renaissance. As they become more aware of truth, they also become aware of a desire to challenge authority. The curriculum meets these new awarenesses by countering their potential to spiral into extremes, primarily through the study of ordered sciences such as physics and physiology. In mathematics, students find their need for balance met by algebraic equations and the logical proofs of geometry.

 

Lesson Blocks

Lesson blocks for seventh grade include Exploration, Renaissance, South American or African Geography, Creative Writing, Algebra, Geometry, Physiology, Chemistry, and Physics.

 

Handwork, the Arts, Movement, and Foreign Languages

Students engage artistically in painting and modeling in a formal art class. They work musically by playing a string or woodwinds instrument,  recorder, and choral singing. Students participate in an upper grade drama production alongside students from sixth and eighth grades. Handwork projects support the mathematics curriculum. Students engage in movement through Physical Education and Eurythmy. Students also take continue in their foreign languages: Spanish and Russian.

 

Special Events and Class Trips

Students participate in an interscholastic Renaissance Faire.

Eighth Grade:
From Revolutions to a Free Society

Overview

Eighth grade marks the culmination of childhood and the beginning of young adulthood as students prepare for high school. Students utilize their strong critical thinking skills and newfound independence to become active agents of change, taking up the battle cry for causes, events, and ideals that smack of injustice. They analyze the actions, struggles, and contradictions of U.S. History, viewing its complex story from multiple perspectives. Seeking transformation themselves, students investigate organic chemistry and physics. By studying anatomy and 3D geometry, students learn of the biological marvels of bone and muscle and the structures that support our physical world. Students actively engage with Computer Science. As they complete their journey through middle school, they leave with a thirst and love for truth, beauty, and goodness.

 

Lesson Blocks

Lesson blocks for eighth grade include Revolutions, U.S. History, World Geography, Geometry: Platonic Solids, Computer Science, Meteorology, Anatomy, and Physics.

 

Handwork, the Arts, Movement, and Foreign Languages

Students engage artistically in painting and modeling in a formal art class. They work musically by playing a string or woodwinds instrument, recorder, and choral singing. Students participate in an upper grades drama production with sixth and seventh grade students. In handwork, they learn to use sewing machines; in woodworking, they create furniture. Students engage in movement through Physical Education and Eurythmy. Students also take two foreign languages: Spanish and Russian.

 

Special Events and Class Trips

Eighth grade students create a long term research project in collaboration with a mentor that is presented to the school community. The students also culminate their experience through a service learning trip.

Additional Insights

CONTACT
Admissions

Devon Wood 
Director of Admissions

dwood@waldorfpittsburgh.org

412.441.5792, ext 224

Tuition and Financial Aid

Bob Roberson

Director of Business Operations 

broberson@waldorfpittsburgh.org

412.441.5792, ext 225

Giving

Anne Fowler

Community Outreach and Development Coordinator 

afowler@waldorfpittsburgh.org

412.441.5792, ext 235

CONNECT

201 S. Winebiddle St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15224

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