Biology: The Living Environment
All students, especially those who live in circumstances that limit their interaction with nature, must have the opportunity to observe and care for a variety of plants in the classroom and on the school grounds. Students investigate the habitats of many different kinds of local fauna and flora and some of the ways they are interdependent on one another. An awareness of recycling both in nature and human societies fosters the notion that many materials can be used again, sometimes in different forms.
Each November, an evening of beauty, awe, wonder and inspiration takes place for Waldorf schools around the world. After constructing Lanterns in their classrooms, The Lantern Walk arrives as winter’s short days and long nights approach. All who participate in the Lantern Walk may embrace the metaphor of bringing light into darkness, both outwardly and inwardly. Stillness and darkness are transformed by families as they begin their journey lighted by lanterns, their steps paced to the soft singing of lantern songs. Many choose to walk in silence, taking in the night air and the beautiful quiet strength of many lanterns coming together to light the way. Children and adults alike, perhaps in different ways, experience the evening’s magic. The lanterns that light our way and the songs that lead us on certainly leave a remarkable impression. The opportunity to walk and sing together creates warmth among us. These are experiences any human being can marvel and reflect upon.
Festival of light
During the darkest point of the year, the winter solstice, students have an oportunity to walk a spiral. The Winter Spiral is a simple and beautiful celebration that brings us hope in the darkest time of the year. It begins in a room lit by the glow of just one candle. The candle rests upon a stump that is placed at the center of a large spiral pathway edged with evergreen boughs, crystals, shells, and golden stars. Singing sets a mood of peaceful anticipation.
We welcome the arrival of spring each year with a traditional Spring Fair. In our community-wide celebration, we raise the maypole, bedecked with flowers and ribbons, around which our students present traditional dances and other offerings to the public. Live music, healthy foods, and imaginative activities for children abound.