Athletics & Movement
Games, movements, and other activities are part of each day in the early grades—challenging students physically, boosting fitness levels, and building students’ confidence. Joyful movement lays the foundation for healthy brain development, as well as enhancing physical, social/emotional, and cognitive aspects of the developing child.
Team sports are introduced in fourth grade, with an emphasis on good sportsmanship. By fifth grade cooperative games are integrated with competitive sports, which continue through the middle school years. Fifth graders compete with other Waldorf schools in a reenactment of the ancient Greek Olympics. Students train for the long jump, javelin, discus, long run, Olympic wrestling, and 50-yard dash. Seventh and eighth graders are challenged with ropes courses, endurance tests, and team sports. Afterschool athletics begin in the sixth grade with soccer in the fall, basketball in the winter, and conditioning in the spring. The soccer and basketball teams compete with other private schools in the area.
Waldorf students learn a form of movement called eurythmy, led by a teacher with a piano accompanist playing a classical repertoire. Created by Rudolf Steiner in 1912, the art of eurythmy makes visible the rhythm and quality of speech and music through movement and gestures of the whole body. For example, students learn to perform a poem by Robert Frost—through the vocabulary of eurythmy—so that their movement is visible expression of the poem. Because students are asked to move and weave in and out of complex patterns together, eurythmy also develops body control and social skill. Eurythmy has a beneficial effect on sensory integration, coordination, concentration, and posture—all of which facilitate learning. It provides an artistic complement to the academic subjects taught at each grade level.