Class 7 is to a large degree the time of the birth of the intellect. Children at this age need to experiment and explore the world. Their powers of reasoning are being exercised and they are forming judgements about the world. The children are developing the capacity to stand back from their own feelings. With this distance can come perspective and the beginnings of objectivity.
The main theme running through this year is the Renaissance, which provides the backdrop for much of the year’s work. It finds its expression in history, the age of the great explorers, scientists and their inventions. World geography runs parallel to history and covers the whole globe. Children study climate, longitude and latitude and the stars.
Mechanics begins in Physics with the lever principle as found in the human arm. From their experimentation the children learn the basic mechanical concepts and their application. Chemistry is introduced as a study of the combustion process. This study is carried into the human organism and the digestive processes; fire can be observed internally in the breaking down of substances. Physiology is introduced as the study of life processes in man: blood circulation, respiration and nutrition in connection with digestion, health and hygiene.
Mathematics introduces algebra, ratio and negative numbers and extends work in geometry, decimal fractions, fractions and percentages. A Main Lesson of “Wish, Wonder and Surprise” completes this year. It involves creative writing and literature, but is also designed to bring consciousness, balance and refinement to the adolescent’s emotional life. More English lessons emphasise the different styles of writing, use of an outline, paragraphing, self-editing and summarizing. Through the curriculum the child on the brink of puberty is supported and nourished at this most important time where they are adventuring across a basic threshold on their way to selfhood.
With recognition to the South African Waldorf Federation Curriculum, the Australian Waldorf Curriculum and the Waldorf Home School Curriculum.