The Hyderabad Waldorf School
Our students have made us proud and their success is a testimony to the hard work put in by our teachers, parents and the entire team. We create trust, bonding and sharing – tools that help our students wherever they go.
Glimpses of Sloka
Distinctive features of Waldorf Education
In Waldorf Education development of the individual child is the focal point,
we are convinced that the healthy individual is a prerequisite for a healthy society.
English is the medium of instruction in Sloka. Hindi and Telugu are available to choose as 2nd/3rd Languages. In the initial Grades, the emphasis is on conversation and learning through singing songs, reciting poems, playing games, and performing plays. In the upper elementary grades, the language lessons increasingly include written work, reading, grammar and vocabulary, in addition to perfecting oral skills.
Handwork skills are important in a Waldorf education because this activity develops fine motor coordination and increases the student’s ability to concentrate on the task at hand. Children learn to baste and knit in first grade, to do purl knitting patterns in second grade, and to crochet in the third grade. They learn to make toys, dolls, pin cushions and pouches using their skills. They move on to more advanced work, eventually learning to sew their own aprons and kurtas. From this handwork, which continues throughout the grades, the children come to appreciate the effort and skill required to make something that is not only useful but also beautiful.
Woodworking is introduced in the fifth grade and continues through the upper grades. Using hand tools like the chisel and the whittling knife, students create functional, beautiful objects, including toys, spoons and bowls. At the end of four years of Woodwork study is the creation of a significant wooden object by each Grade 8 student. Then they move on to working with metal and other media.
Music and Dance are an integral part of the curriculum throughout the school. From the first grade, all the children sing and play the descant recorder, moving to the alto in middle school. Children are introduced to classical Indian music as well folk music and Western Music. Children from Grades 2 to 5 learn Folk Dance and those from 6 to 10 learn instrumental music. They choose from 5 instruments – tabla, flute, Indian violin, guitar and keyboard.
Waldorf students participate in a variety of physical education classes that teach spatial awareness, encourage coordination, balance and rhythm, and develop individual and team sporting skills. A large playground in our campus offers a 200m track, Long Jump pit, Volleyball/Throwball Court. All games are played with an emphasis on inclusion and fairness. Enjoyment and skill development always have priority over winning.
Competitive and strategic games are introduced in the middle school and up till Grade 5 children play games that help improve their coordination, stamina and overall skills such as hopping, skipping and running. Children from Grades 6 and above are gradually introduced to games like Throwball, Volleyball, Dodge Ball, Kho-Kho etc., to develop team spirit, strengthen their lower limbs and work on their balance and coordination as well as their skills of planning, strategy, and execution.
Apart from regular gymnastics, children at Sloka are introduced to Bothmer Gymnastics, which was developed in accordance with the indications given by Steiner’s perspective of the Human Being and Child Development. This comprises a collection of simple core exercises, which, when practiced regularly, bring about a change of inner and outer posture and movement.
A child’s relationship with a subject depends strongly on how and when he or she first meets it. The curriculum clearly indicates “when” certain subjects should be introduced and Waldorf teachers put in a lot of effort into “how” they introduce it. Music, poetry and drama are some of the aids used in addition to lectures and classroom teaching. The child’s focus in the classroom is enhanced by the variety of co-curricular activities, many of which are unique to the Waldorf Education system itself.
Eurythmy is an artistic movement discipline developed by Rudolf Steiner, the founder of the Waldorf School. Defined as ‘visible sound’ the alphabet appears in specific sound gestures in Eurythmy, as do the tones and intervals of music. Group choreography is drawn from forms found in nature, such as spirals, stars and figure eights.
In older grades complicated geometric forms are pursued in work with larger groups. Children develop the ability to move with an entire group in increasingly complex forms. This all promotes athletic ability in any physical endeavor, greater spatial and social awareness and flexibility.
Jharoka is a window for parents to see the work that the children are able to do during the year. They exhibit their skills in music, dance or drama and is one of our major annual events in the school. Children of Grade I upwards participate in this event. Children take great pride in putting up this show for their parents and their effort is evident in the confidence and energy with which they participate.
The Bazaar is one of the 3 major events that are held in Sloka every year. It is a carnival like event that is attended not just by Parents and students of the school but also by the wider community including well wishers and friends.
Bazaar is primarily an exhibition of the art and craft work that children of Grade classes do in the school during the year. Children also make items to sell in the Bazaar. In addition to this, various other stalls are put up by teachers, parents and all other interested parties. Books, clothes, jewellery, organic goods etc are all on sale at the different stalls.
Per tradition, parents and children of Class IV come together to spearhead this event. The entire school community participates in preparing for this special day. The children of Class IV are at an age where they need a sense of idealism and belonging. The Bazaar calls for co-operation between their parents, the school and themselves and this helps foster this feeling.
The preparation and drive to conduct the Bazaar helps build a feeling of responsibility and trust in the world for these children who are feeling alone and separate at their age. The primary goal of the Bazaar is to raise money for child sponsorship and teacher training in the school. Sloka currently offers 100% sponsorship to 8 children and 50% sponsorship to 12 children. The cost of sponsoring one child’s education for 10 years in Sloka is Rs.5 Lakhs.
Conducted once a year, the Sports Day is a much-awaited event. It is one of the main events in Sloka’s annual calendar. Children of Grades V and up participate in this event. Children participate very enthusiastically in track and field events. Their discipline and coordination come through clearly in the display of Gymnastics and team sports.
At the end of the Class Teacher years, before children transition from Middle to Upper School, children are at a stage of adolescence where they experience an inner emotional turbulence. They don’t want to reveal the strange happenings inside them until they have gained some sense of security. They hide their feelings and insecurities in many ways.
At this time, Waldorf Schools, world over stage a major play, which allows them to shape their emotions while still under the protective mask of a role in a play. The children put in a lot of effort into designing their costumes, props and rehearsing the delivery of their dialogue. This experience gives them self-confidence and a sense of achievement. In this grade they are also learning about the Industrial revolution, so usually works of authors like Shakespeare and Dickens are chosen.
In Grade V, as part of their study of ancient Greek history and mythology, the re-enactment of the ancient Greek Olympics takes place. The children of all Waldorf Schools across India take turns to host and organize a pentathlon of events – Discus, Javelin, Long Jump, 100m Sprint and Relay Race. Recognition in these events is given for grace and form as well as for speed or distance.The Grade V children in all schools are divided into 4-6 groups (depending on the number of participants) and work together as a team, making some lasting friendships with peers from other Waldorf schools along the way.
Grades 9 and 10 have multi-disciplinary projects which allows them to apply their knowledge across various subjects. Grade 9 has an Art History workshop, where they spend a week researching into a specific period in art history and creating specific artworks, including murals and canvases. Grade 10 on the other hand does a Land Survey project where the class travels to a specific place and survey the land, creating an accurate map and presenting the results of the survey to the rest of the school and the parents.
Sloka being a secular school, all Indian festivals are celebrated with great enthusiasm and reverence. Janmasthmi, Diwali, Eid, Christmas and Holi are some of the major festivals celebrated in the school. Children organise the festivals, plan the events and decorate the campus, with various classes taking turns to do this.
Story-telling is an integral part of Waldorf Education. In this book, you will find fascinating stories – real ones. The students of Sloka, the Hyderabad Waldorf school, have written biographies that are filled with challenges, triumphs, and humor.So sit in your favorite chair, curl up with this book and enjoy the writing within