In this class, all students formally engage in reading, writing and maths. They are met at their individual learning levels and supported to work at a pace that is appropriate for them, expanding their basic literacy and maths skills, extending their writing and learning different writing styles. Numerous hands-on activities and engaging materials link to these foundations they are developing. For example, cooking cements maths skills, zoo and farm visits support animal studies, playing an active part in the annual school production develops teamwork skills.
Learning is still essentially play-based, but is more directly structured around curriculum goals. The children have a lot of say in what goes on during the day, which engages them in class and allows them to feel safe trying new things, adjusting to difficulties and asking for help when needed. Students are often teaching one another skills they have learnt, taking their learning to new levels and developing collaborative relationships.
In this important stage of personal development, students are asked to take responsibility for the decisions they make and how these impact on others in the class. Daily centering supports the children to come back to themselves and notice how they are feeling, and what they need. The children are also introduced to Feuerstein cognitive enrichment (read about Feuerstein here) to support their decision-making abilities.