The Class 1 curriculum is designed to facilitate the transition from Kindergarten to the progressively more formal learning of Lower School. The children are slowly emerging from an essentially dreamy and unselfconscious condition, profound physiological changes are occurring (the change of teeth, for example), and Rudolph Steiner indicated that a very gradual move towards logical, abstract thinking – culminating in the child’s 14th year and the entry into Upper School – may now begin.
The children are told traditional fairy tales, ideally from the teacher’s own memory, and asked to recall them the next day. The letters of the alphabet are introduced pictorially, as elements of a story, and the children are taught to write them as carefully and beautifully as they can. Later in the year, whole words, phrases and sentences are written and analysed phonemically.
Number qualities are explored, and the numbers themselves written first as Roman, then as Arabic numerals. The four arithmetical processes are introduced through simple stories. Times tables are taught kinaesthetically during circle time. All lessons are ideally planned as imaginatively, as pictorially as possible, from the teacher’s own creative resources.