Kindergarten and pre-primary school
Through play in harmonious and natural surroundings, the children gain direct sensory experience of the elements provided by the school’s proximity to nature. At this age children learn by identifying their surroundings. A pre-school class (grade 0) forms the bridge between kindergarten and primary school. The children learn, through rhythm and repetition, to cope with school hours and practice elementary social skills.
The primary school
With German, English, and Xhoekhoegowab or Oshidonga being taught (on a daily basis) from grade 1 to 5 (Afrikaans is taught from grade 5), great care is taken to make sure that teaching is concrete, practical, and as experiential as possible. This teaches learners that learning about the world is a personal experience. At its core, WSW seeks to develop and support each child’s individual abilities. The main subjects taught at this level are: reading, writing, arithmetic, form-drawing, nature study, and cultural knowledge. Music, the languages, eurythmy, and sport complement the main lesson blocks. Painting, needlework, woodwork, crafting, and gardening appear in the curriculum at age-appropriate times.
The high school
Independent work, class discussions, and individual research are the main features of learning in the high school. Project and portfolio work promote academic independence and collaboration.
English is the medium of instruction with German and Afrikaans as second languages. This permits learners from other education systems to easily integrate into the WSW education and community.
The WSW curriculum is broad and caters for academically gifted scholars, artistic souls, and practical-minded craftspeople. All learners have the opportunity to develop their mental capacities in the mathematical and scientific subjects, and to explore the nuances of communication in the language and literary arts. Art, music, and eurhythmy enable learners to explore their creative sides while dress-making, metal and woodwork, electrical, and the horticultural disciplines provide learners with out-of-the-classroom skills. Drama plays a central role at WSW—Grade 8s and 12s perform a full-length play for the public, Grade 9s take part in the Black Light Theatre, and Grade 11s have their Parzival presentation.
Classes also go on excursions and camps for project-related purposes. A practical in social work is also part of the curriculum.
The school also has an active sports program with soccer, basketball, and netball being the main sports codes.
Basic vocational training
Waldorf School Windhoek provides vocational training to its learners to teach them practical skills that are readily employable in the Namibian economy.
A fully-equipped kitchen with 12 workstations is able to accommodate 24 learners. The training is offered up to NTA Level 2 (accreditation pending). The basic training for Grades 9 and 10 is of a practical nature, incorporating the produce from the school’s garden. This hospitality training is offered in cooperation with the Wolwedans Foundation as well as NICE.
The electrical workshop has six workstations which accommodate 12 learners. The training is offered up to NTA Level 3 (accreditation pending). The electrical course includes the study of electrical circuits, direct and alternating current, wiring, household devices, and electric motors. The course also includes sections on designing, handling and mounting solar panels and associated equipment.
A shaded garden with an area of 500m2 accommodates 12 learners and provides horticultural training. Learners are taught gardening and micro-farming principles; they design, assemble, and maintain flower and vegetable pots; and collect their own harvest. Produce from the garden is used in the school’s kitchen or sold at organic markets.
Office administration is taught to 12 learners who are taught basics of word-processing (letter writing), spreadsheet compilation, business plan development, and many other tools necessary for navigating the modern working environment.
WSW ensures that learners receive work experience by involving its learners in relevant practical work conducted by third-party companies. In this way, learners are taught about the importance of team work, reliability, responsibility, and the need for professionalism and dedicated attitude to one’s work.
The hostel provides a safe, stimulating, and familiar place for out-of-town WSW learners to live. 26 children, from grade 1 to grade 13 live in the hostel. They represent various cultural, linguistic, and socioeconomic backgrounds. Hostel life fosters communal responsibility and inter-personal communication.