A curiosity in the natural world is nurtured right from the Kindergarten years and much is learned through the children’s free interactions with the natural world and extended time spent within it.
- Classes 1 and 2- Nature studies are introduced in class 1 and 2. Through stories and observation, children learn the phases of the moon, the rhythms of day and night and winter and summer, as well as becoming familiar with some common local flora and fauna.
- Class 3 – Main Lessons on time explore the subject through hands-on experiences of different ways of measuring times: making sundials, understanding the roots of time in the relationship between the sun and the earth, making water clocks, and candle clocks.
- Class 4 - There is a Main lesson on The Human Being and The Animal, when the class is presented with a project that focuses on the creatures that move in and around the earth. The children will learn about the special adaptations that animals have developed to help them master survival in their environment/habitat. This is contrasted with humans who are not masters of one thing like most animals but are open to learn many things and to transform their environment through language, uprightness, skilful hands and intelligence. Then the animal theme is continued looking at animals that are native to our islands. Each child will complete a project on an animal of their choosing and give a presentation to the class.
- Class 5 - The focus in the science Main Lesson shifts one step closer to the earth itself with the study of the plant kingdom. An emphasis is on observing plants in their natural environment, the processes growth of flowering and fruiting. The focus is on a phenomenological approach as outlined in Goethe’s seminal work “the metamorphosis of plants that see plants as a living process through time. The evolution of plants from algaes, to mosses, ferns and flowering plants is also brought in a pictorial and age-appropriate fashion.
- Class 6 – The scientific focus moves on to the earth itself, with a Main Lesson in Mineralogy. In these Main Lessons, the scientific approach stresses the activity of the senses rather than the activity of dissecting and analysing the parts, because children at this stage learn most through what they can see, hear, smell, taste or touch. The aim is to bring the children’s senses to life and school their ability to make observations about natural phenomena. In class 6 Physics lessons nurture the children’s ability to observe and question these phenomena. They will observe and take part in demonstrations to show the properties of light, heat, sound, magnetism and static electricity. The children are then encouraged to think for themselves about the observations that they have made and what conclusions might be drawn. They are then guided to build open concepts based on these experiences and conclusions. Erroneous conclusions might be corrected or adjusted through further observations. Through a highly experiential approach science lessons are full of fun, joy, wonder and questioning. Sexual education is also introduced in class 6 through a life cycles Main Lesson.
- Class 7 - The five concepts above are revisited, now the relationship between electricity and magnetism is studied as is current electricity. Basic mechanics is also introduced: pulleys, the classes of levers and incline planes and the idea of mechanical advantage. There is a new emphasis on measurement and a quantative approach that reflects the child’s increasing objectivity. Biographies of the scientists who made these discoveries help to bring the subject to life and to provide a context. The first Chemistry lesson is on Inorganic Chemistry in class 7. It includes an exploration of the following: combustion, acids, bases, the lime cycle (through making lime in a lime kiln), oxygen, hydrogen, carbon dioxide, Metals. They will also learn about Nutrition, the senses and the workings of the major organs of the human body and connect this with an understanding of how to keep their body healthy.
- Class 8 - the main lessons for Science include Human anatomy, a particular emphasis is based on the study of the human skeleton and the human beings remarkable adaptations for bipedalism. Organic Chemistry focuses on a study of fats, proteins and carbohydrates and fermentation; their origins functions in the body and uses in industry and the food industry. This may be enhanced by the practical experience of making soap, paper, yoghurt, cheese and more. In Class 8 Physics a study of atmospheric pressure and Latent heat paves the way for an understanding of the steam engine in the industrial revolution. In class 8 the pupils own practical scientific skills are honed.