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"Instead of talking about how we should treat children, we should strive toward a knowledge of how we, as teachers and educators, ought to conduct ourselves. In our work we need forces of the heart. Yet it is not good enough to simply declare that, instead of addressing ourselves to the intellect of our pupils we now must appeal to their hearts, in both principle and method. What we really need - and this I wish to emphasize once more - is that we ourselves have our hearts in our pedagogy." - The Child's Changing Consciousness and Waldorf Education, R.Steiner, April 17 1923

The Class 9 child is undergoing a period of extreme physical and emotional change, and this concept of extremes is reflected in the curriculum of this year with a strong thread of a study of contrasts. If the theme for the year were to be summarised into one word, it would be ‘polarities’.

The curriculum is designed in such a way that the young adolescent sees their inner experiences of change (as puberty gets into full swing) reflected back at them in their lessons. In art, they explore the supposed extremes of black and white, and discover that grey-areas exist between opposites. In chemistry, the focus is on the transformation of matter – how substances can be transformed through various chemical processes into seemingly completely different substances, as well as seeing how solids, liquids and gases change between states of matter. In geography the class studies geomorphology and discover how the earth, too, is in a constant state of change.

As they undergo many (and often rapid) physical changes they develop from their class 8 biology main lesson in which they learned about the skeletal system/skeleton, and now look at the rhythmic systems of the body – the circulatory and respiratory systems.

The soul question of the Class 9 child is “what”?”, as they develop their abstract thinking and hone their powers of observation. One such example is to learn how to describe or draw exactly what they see in a science experiment. This allows them to see the world around them clearly as they navigate this tumultuous time.

A main feature of the Class 9 year is a Shakespeare production which is put on by the class. Shakespeare’s comedies allow for an implicit study of human personality and psychology and issues of society which we still find relevant today. The journey to learn and understand Shakespearean language, as well as expressing themselves in a way that would be otherwise unfamiliar, allows the young adolescent to find their own voice and learn to express themselves with clarity and confidence.

Crafts offered in Class 9 are ceramics and woodwork.

The Class 9 camp is a 5 day trip rafting on the Orange River.

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