Developmental Approach


Waldorf education provides a rich experience that aims to prepare children to meet the challenges of our world and the future with clarity of thought, a caring heart and confidence.

HWS achieves this aim with a creative experiential approach that addresses the whole child: mind, body and spirit.

The structure of Waldorf education follows Steiner's theory of child development, which divides childhood into three developmental stages, and describes learning strategies appropriate to each stage. These stages last approximately seven years. The stated purpose of this approach is to awaken the "physical, behavioral, emotional, cognitive, social, and spiritual" aspects of each individual, fostering creative as well as analytic thinking.

Early Childhood  —  Pre-school and kindergarten: to age 6/7 

During the first years of life children learn best by being immersed in an environment they can learn from through unselfconscious imitation of practical activities. The early childhood curriculum therefore centers on experiential education, allowing children to learn by example, and through opportunities for imaginative play.

 Lower School  — grades 1-5    &    Middle School   — grades 6-8

The Lower and Middle schools emphasize cultivating children's emotional life and imagination in order that students can connect more deeply with the subject matter. Academic instruction is presented through artistic work that includes story-telling, visual arts, drama, movement, vocal and instrumental music, and crafts.

High School — grades 9-12

High school education focuses on developing the capacity for abstract thought and conceptual judgment. Building creative, critical and analytic thinking through academic subjects, fine and applied arts, music, and drama, the curriculum fosters intellectual understanding, independent judgment, ethical ideals, and social responsibility in our young adults.