The True, the Beautiful, the Good, – through all the ages of man’s conscious evolution these words have expressed three great ideals: ideals which have instinctively been recognised as representing the sublime nature and lofty goal of all human endeavour. – Rudolf Steiner 1923
During his formative years the child longs for nourishment that will support his inner growth. Experiences of Goodness, Beauty and Truth provide that substance.
Rudolf Steiner gifted the children (and the teachers) a broad and deep curriculum that unfolds sequentially and nurtures the whole person. World Literature has a seminal place within it and an understanding of the needs of the growing soul shapes the story pathway from Year One to Class Six. This nourishing literature sustains soul development in the formative years.
Literacy is taught against the backdrop of World Literature. Rich meaningful texts from the story epochs provide a scaffold for the development of Literacy skills at each class level.
Vibrant story images become a springboard for vibrant Written Expression and Artistic work. These activities enable the child to participate deeply in the story events and to learn and grow as he roams imaginatively within them.
The Literature content is presented in a sequential way and is aligned with the child’s inner questing and soul growth.
The pre-school child is nourished by simple fairy tales and by reiterative stories. He savours the imagery and enjoys the unfolding of each story.
The Class One child loves to dwell in intricate tales. He is delighted with tales that reveal other tales hidden within. He roams “the world” confidently with characters who seek a talisman that will transform failure into joy.
The Class Two child is grateful when he receives North American Indian tales and experiences the interweaving of all life. He ventures out bravely in the Celtic tales and fights dragons who threaten to overthrow beauty.
The Class Three child is fortified by the Ancient Hebrew Stories of great individuals who struggled with matters of identity and responsibility – Joseph in Egypt, Daniel in the Lions den, (King) David the shepherd boy who killed Goliath.
The Class Four child is strengthened in soul by his sojourn in the Norse myths and sagas and his experiences with the hero whose character is forged in adversity.
The Class Five child is uplifted and challenged by the light and dark of the Greek myths and as he journeys with the protagonist he participates in his struggles and he/she tastes resilience.
The Class Six child hungers for truth and is inspired by those who find their path and uphold their values – like Sundiata, King Arthur, Gawain.
“If a story is seed, then we are its soil” Clarissa Pinkola Estes. Via story, the child can explore, can test, can strengthen facets of his inner life in a safe secluded place that is accessible imaginatively.
Rudolf Steiner painted a picture of the flowering soul and gifted it to a ten a year-old child.
It is sometimes called Bell Ringing. Various translations are available.
To wonder at beauty
stand guard over truth
look up to the noble
resolve on the good:
This leadeth man truly
to purpose in living
to right in his doing
to peace in his feeling
to light in his thinking
And teaches him trust
in the working of God
in all that there is
in the width of the world
in the depth of the soul.
Ruth – Education Coordinator