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Junior School (Classes 1-4) Te Kura Tuatahi

“It’s time for learning, and building confidence – we love seeing the smiles on our Junior’s faces as they master new skills!”

Junior School is an exciting time for Michael Park students. In the first year of Junior School, students enter Class One (equivalent to Year Two) and the children meet their Class Teacher – who will become a very well-loved and respected person in their school life. We practice the Steiner school principle of having the same teacher stay with the students throughout their entire Junior School journey; as it creates stability, trust, and a familiar learning environment. The Class Teacher teaches the core subjects including English, Maths, Science and History and most of the creative and performing Arts. Several core elements are taught together in the form of a Main Lesson, which comprises part of the daily learning programme.

By using the developmental curriculum and their understanding of child development, the Class Teacher meets the diverse needs and dispositions of their particular class of students. They use stories which illustrate the diversity of human experiences to work with the social dynamics of the class – this develops emotional wellbeing and a sense of social responsibility in the students. 

Support Networks Ngā Rōpū Tautoko

The Class Teacher is supported by a range of specialist subject teachers and takes responsibility for your child’s academic education, as well as for their physical and social development.

The relationship that develops between Class Teacher and student over the years fosters increasing self-assurance and confidence. Class Teachers work in partnership with you, the parents, to guide, motivate, protect, and encourage the student and to enhance understanding of the ways in which you can support your child’s education at home.

Festivals & Community Ngā Hui Taurima a te Hāpori

The celebration and acknowledgement of festivals such as harvest or matariki is another distinctive element in the rhythms of learning in the Junior School. Festivals bring the whole community together in shared purpose and highlight the supportive cycles of the year. The children sense the joy and gratitude in the community around them.

Progress Reports Ngā Pūrongo Paetae

Class Teachers report to parents in a way that reflects the unique needs of each child and is focused on their growth and development. One of the reasons we find the Class Teacher model so effective, is that teachers can identify and monitor in considerable depth both student achievements and challenges over an extended period of time. This means that you as a parent receive a much more detailed level of reporting about your child’s progress, than if they worked with each student for just a single year.

Class One Te Akomanga Tuatahi

Blossoming of the imagination

While in kindergarten the focus is on learning through play, in Class One we engage students in a more formal learning environment through the use of stories.

The fairy tale is a fundamental part of Class One for the children, particularly in Main Lesson as they listen to fairy tales from New Zealand and around the world. Essentially, the fairy tale illustrates the trials undergone by the hero or heroine. Listening to and the recounting of these stories is an important component in the development of core skills in literacy across the curriculum. Through their work in Main Lesson and subject lessons children are introduced to the letters of the alphabet which they begin to use in writing. This allows children to experience the development of language in a concrete and creative way.

Overview of Class 1 Main Lesson Programme
English – Stories and MythsScienceMathematics
  • Fairy Tales 
  • Maori Myths
  • Meeting the Alphabet
  • Christmas Stories
  • Home Surroundings
  • Nature Stories
  • Form Drawing
  • Introduction of Numbers
  • Rhythmic Counting
  • Four Mathematical Processes
  • Writing and Reading Numbers
Overview of Class 1 Subject and Block Lessons
Subject Lessons Block LessonsOther Projects and Events
  • English (Reading, Writing, Oral Language, Information Skills)
  • Mathematics
  • Languages (German)
  • Movement / Games
  • Eurythmy
  • Bothmer Gymnastics
  • Visual Art
  • Music
  • Form Drawing
  • Wellbeing Stories
  • Handwork
  • Outdoor Classroom
  • Class Concert
  • Nativity Play
  • Dragon Play

Class Two Te Akomanga Tuarua

Making the inner connections

In Class Two we work through Pacific, Irish and Celtic folk tales, followed by animal fables and the stories of saints.

The children still carry with them much of the imaginative consciousness of early childhood, but they are also starting to develop a greater awareness of themselves and others, and an alertness to what happens around them. This shift in awareness reflects a growing recognition in the children that they have their own distinct personality and emotions, some of which are positive and some of which are negative. This mood of contrast is reflected in the Main Lesson through the telling of animal fables through which the unique characteristics of animals are experienced (for example, the fierceness of the lion, the playful monkey and the cunning fox), and in the stories of the saints which provide the children with an example of overcoming adversity and standing up for what they believe in.

Considerable attention is given to the ongoing development of fundamental skills in writing and reading. The children’s first reading experience comes through reading what they have written themselves in their Main Lesson books, and over the course of the year students move on to other fiction texts at an appropriate level. In mathematics, children are developing their recall of times tables through rhythmic counting, as well as adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing using simple numbers.

Overview of Class 2 Main Lesson Programme
English – Stories and Myths
Science Mathematics
  • Irish Folk Tales - The Epic of Finn McCool
  • Irish Folk Tales - The King of Ireland’s Son
  • Stories of the Saints
  • Christmas Stories
  • Animal Fables – AESOPS
  • Animal Fables from New Zealand
  • Symmetry
  • Place Value (2 Main Lessons)
  • Maths Magics
Overview of Class 2 Subject and Block Lessons
Subject Lessons Block LessonsOther Projects and Events
  • English (Reading, Writing, Oral Language, Information Skills)
  • Mathematics
  • Languages (German, Te Reo Maori)
  • Health / PE
  • Eurythmy
  • Music
  • Visual Art
  • Form Drawing
  • Wellbeing Stories
  • Handwork
  • Outdoor Classroom / Gardening
  • Class Concert
  • Nativity Play
  • Dragon Play

Class Three Te Akomanga Tuatoru

Finding your place in the world

Class Three is a significant year, as there is typically a new emergence of individuality, a differentiation between the self and the world of nature. Parents frequently notice children at this age becoming more critical and beginning to question everything. The curriculum aims to address this through providing balance in learning, strengthening and enriching the imagination of the child while fostering a positive relationship with the outside world.

Children in Class Three need to have a strong leader as a role model and they look to the Class Teacher for this.

Class Three students enter a new phase and the Main Lesson curriculum becomes very practical. Themes such as time, measurement and money, as well as farming, house / shelter building and crafts become exciting adventures for the children to learn “hands on” about the world around them. In English, the fundamentals of grammar are introduced and regular reading practice is now an established part of the class rhythm. In mathematics, there is an emphasis on measurement while place value knowledge is consolidated ahead of the introduction of fractions in Class 4.

Overview of Class 3 Main Lesson Programme
English – Stories and Myths
Science & Technology Mathematics
  • The Old Testament Stories
  • Shelter Building
  • House Building*
  • Farming and Gardening
  • The Work that People Do
  • Measuring Length & Weight
  • Measuring Time   
  • History of Mathematics
  • Trade and Money

*Individual response / project is part of Main Lesson

Overview of Class 3 Subject and Block Lessons
Subject Lessons Block LessonsOther Projects and Events
  • English (Reading, Writing, Oral Language, Information Skills)
  • Mathematics
  • Languages (German, Te Reo Maori)
  • Health / PE
  • Eurythmy
  • Music
  • Visual Art
  • Form Drawing
  • Wellbeing Stories
  • Handwork
  • Outdoor Classroom
  • Class Concert
  • Drama: Nativity Play
  • Drama: Dragon Play
  • Camp: Shelter Building 

Class Four Te Akomanga Tuawhā

Relating to others in the world

Children of this age need a picture of the world which illustrates the complexity of relationships between individuals and the contrasts of the individual working against or for the community.

The aim is still that the knowledge and understanding of the physical world is brought imaginatively to the students, but gone is the dreamy fairy tale world of early childhood. Class Four children are developing more assertiveness, characterised by greater self-reliance and independence. A sense of solidarity and friendship with their peers is important.

In Class Four, we begin with the study of the human being in relation to the animal kingdom, because children naturally love animals and are extremely interested in them. Through the study of local geography, students learn how to make maps and give directions in relation to the four points of the compass. The children are now writing increasingly independently, and using more complex sentences in their written work. In mathematics, fractions are introduced, drawing on a sound understanding of place value and instant recall of basic multiplication facts including common factors and multiples.

Overview of Class 4 Main Lesson Programme
English & Social Sciences
Science Mathematics
  • Norse Mythology (2 Main Lessons) 
  • Early Settlers*   
  • English
  • Zoology – Human & Animal* 
  • Local Geography   
  • Geometry
  • Fractions (2 Main Lessons)
  • Arithmetic

*Individual response / project is part of Main Lesson

Overview of Class 4 Subject and Block Lessons
Subject LessonsBlock LessonsOther Projects and Events
  • English (Reading, Writing, Oral Language, Information Skills)
  • Mathematics
  • Languages (German, Te Reo Maori)
  • Health / PE
  • Eurythmy
  • Music
  • Visual Art
  • Form Drawing
  • Handwork
  • Outdoor Classroom
  • Drama – Norse Myths
  • Drama – Nativity Play
  • Drama – Dragon Play
  • Class Concert
  • Camp: Bush Camp (links to Early Settlers Main Lesson)

Questions? He Pātai?

If there’s something more you’d like to know about our Waldorf / Steiner school approach to learning and what daily class life looks like for Junior School students, please don’t hesitate to give our friendly Michael Park School staff a call. We are always happy to have a chat with you about your child and their unique learning needs.

You can find contact details for each department on the contact us page or, if you have a general enquiry, you can contact reception on the details below.

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