Lower School Curriculum
Green Meadow is a private school that inspires true engagement in learning.
Our rich, integrated Lower School curriculum is designed to engage the vivid imaginative nature of the child from ages 7-11, weaving together storytelling, geography, history, nature studies, world language and world culture, with practical arts, music, gardening and community service work. Our teachers stay with their class through several grades, helping develop a classroom community as the students move through their academic journey confidently.
The waldorf Difference
The Morning Lesson
The morning starts with a rich, hands on integrated Morning Lesson. Meeting a subject area through varied lenses children develop a rich inner tapestry of understanding. Teachers loving interest and careful observation, guides lesson planning so that each child can be well met. Academics, arts, movement, and hands on learning shapes each morning lesson.
a unique private school
Lower School Curriculum
In the Lower School years, the child’s burgeoning intelligence grapples with ever-larger horizons—in time and space, in history and science. Students are engaged in a curriculum that highlights hands-on learning and seamlessly integrates academics and the arts. Each discipline enriches the other, deepening students’ understanding of all subjects. All grade school students participate in world languages (Spanish and German); vocal and orchestral music; handwork and woodwork; science, math, movement, history, and language arts.
We Let Children Be Children
As the students grow and develop physically, and we help them to grow academically, we don’t lose sight of their childhood. Outdoor recess twice a day at all ages lets our students imagine, play and move in the ways they need to be healthy and happy, while practicing social awareness and skills. Vibrant festivals bring the whole school together for seasonal celebrations and keep joy and spirit in the curriculum.
Children move from early childhood into the second phase of childhood at age six or seven. This change is marked by a new readiness for formal learning. These are the years in which every child, no matter what their gifts, is an artist at heart, and the teacher’s task is to inform intellectual knowledge with aesthetic experience. All subjects, mathematics, science and social studies, woodwork and knitting, sports and second languages (both German and Spanish) are taught imaginatively and artistically. The teachers address the children’s feelings as well as their intellect – in pictures and stories, in color, rhythm, drama, and music. Thus, what is learned becomes a living part of the child and the class community.
Our developmental curriculum takes note of a significant change toward the end of a child’s tenth year. There is an awakening to a new sense of self and a related change in the relationship with the environment. At this time natural science and history are introduced as subject areas. In an age appropriate manner, the students gain a greater degree of autonomy in their work. Emphasis is placed on developing good habits with regard to homework and music practice. This “second phase” of the elementary school grows organically out of the first three years.
A Multifaceted Education
At Green Meadow, our students will become scientists and craftspeople, artists and musicians, writers and mathematicians, dancers and athletes, linguists and actors. They will receive a Renaissance education, with many skills and knowledge of a wide array of subjects. The broad and deep experiences developed at Green Meadow will give them the freedom to choose what they wish to pursue in college and beyond.
The Class Teacher
The Class Teacher often guides students through several years, potentially remaining a cohort’s class teacher for multiple grades. This long-term relationship benefits by seeing the children through a continuity of development, creating established routines, and providing stability for the students as they develop and transform. Class Teachers are supported by a constellation of expert subject teachers who share in shepherding the class through the years. Classes of students grow together from 1st through 12th Grades and form strong, familial bonds. These threads of relationship form a social and human foundation from which the education grows.
Beginning in 3rd grade, each class will go away on an overnight trip each year. After the 3rd grade farm trip, students in subsequent years will go on camping trips, where they will canoe, hike, raft, stargaze, and use survival skills. Classes in the upper grades will often take field trips to Boston; Washington, DC; and Philadelphia, focusing on the rich history of these cities. Teachers have the freedom to schedule trips that enrich the social fabric of the class, such as 8th and 1st graders ice skating together at Bear Mountain, or trips that deepen a classes study of the curriculum, such as trips to observe and draw the Hudson River in a study of local geography. We are privileged to take advantage of our close proximity to New York City: classes can tour the New York Botanical Gardens, hear Gregorian chants at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, and visit many museums.
Hear From Our Alumni Families
Class of '89
As a Waldorf lifer, I ventured out into 'the real world’ with some trepidation. But I was able to tackle college and graduate work with ease. The breadth of curriculum I’d been exposed to gave me a sense of curiosity and willingness to take risks in my learning that many of my peers lacked.
Class of '89
Director at Verizon
In Waldorf Education, we were guided to solve problems creatively vs. memorizing facts. It is this curiosity, creativity, confidence, and awakeness that allows Waldorf students to excel at just about anything they choose to take on.
Class of '95
I remember painting, drawing, sculpting, book-binding, eurythmy, acting, and poetry with fondness, and math, biology, history, and orchestra with fits of frustration. My teachers supported my development, knowing full well that once a passion for learning is lit, it will burn for a lifetime.
Class of '99
Waldorf Education taught me to solve problems. I attribute that to my ability to be both analytical and compassionate. I also am so grateful for the lifelong connections I have with friends and members of the Waldorf community.
Class of '98 & '99
The Chapin Sisters (Abigail and Lily)
One of the most important things that our Waldorf Education gave us is a community of passionate, engaged people. Many of our closest friends are people we met at Green Meadow. They have careers (in the arts, sciences, academia, business, and the military) and a genuine love for their work.
Class of '01
I value so much about my Waldorf Education, it's difficult to chose one thing! The enduring friendships I made, how art was woven through every subject, the attention and care given by the teachers. I will be forever thankful for those very formative years of my life.
Class of '05
Music Producer (DJ Hardwerk)
Our beloved class teacher and friend, David Blair, taught me the value of never giving up on something because it gets difficult, you don’t like it, or it’s an inconvenience. He taught me that seeing your goals come to fruition after you have faced obstacles makes the victory that much sweeter.
Class of '12
Graduate Student in Physics
Green Meadow fosters great relationships between teachers and students and allows students to participate in so many different activities. I was able to get my first job in college, building sets for the theater department, because of the work we did on high school plays at GMWS.
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Green Meadow is transforming education, and we want your family to join us in our mission.