The Camphill School’s Waldorf® curriculum is adapted to meet the needs of our students. As a Walldorf school, traditional academic subjects are balanced with a strong art and music program and a practical hands-on approach. Our focus on functional life skills integrates concepts, art, and experience. Instruction is individualized to meet the needs and goals expressed in each student’s Individualized Educational Program (IEP).
The class teacher stays with students from grades one through eight, and the high school teacher remains with the class all four years. This consistency allows for a deeper understanding of the student and their learning needs by their teacher.
ELMS (Early Learning, Lower, and Middle School)
In the lower grades, main lesson blocks are taught for periods of four to six weeks. This content permeates most classroom activities, from reading and math to painting, music, baking, and gardening. In the lower grades, an environment of respect for each other is established by turn-taking, sharing resources, and helping one another.
In the middle grades, students explore the world in a new way that is supported by a curriculum that includes botany, chemistry, physics, geography, history, language arts, and geometry.
Students in the elementary and middle grades are active participants in the rich social and festival life of The Camphill School community. Birthdays and special occasions are celebrated in houses and classrooms. They also enjoy trips to museums, concerts, plays, and movies to enrich academic programming.
As students enter our high school program, the journey of becoming an adult begins. Academic and functional instruction focuses more on the individual needs of the student and becomes less focused on the main lesson content. Students are exposed to major works of literature such as Homer’s Odyssey and Goethe’s Faust and explore the world through sciences such as physics and zoology.
High school students participate in an afternoon prevocational program designed to develop skills and attitudes that enhance their social development and allow them to participate in meaningful cooperative work. Students rotate through various crews including the school store, household activities, gardening, landscaping, weaving, stable and animal care, woodworking, maintenance, and life skills.
In addition to small group instruction, students are able to choose, in one trimester, from elective courses according to their interests and talents. Our elective courses have included folk dancing, auto shop, baking, and book club.
High schoolers elect Student Council officers and representatives from each grade annually. The Student Council meets with its faculty advisor to discuss issues and concerns and to suggest and plan activities. Student Council-sponsored activities have included a food and supply drive benefiting local shelters and prom.
The Transition Program, with its emphasis on work-study, prepares students to enter adult life. Our program and curriculum lead students to greater independence, responsibility, and social and emotional maturity. Through craft and work training, students develop skills, self-reliance, self-esteem, social relationships, a positive attitude to life, a wish to be both a participant and a contributor, and a firm foundation for practical judgment and attitudes necessary for adult life.
The program accommodates both boarding and commuting day students. Day students join the program Monday through Friday from 9 am to 3:45 pm. The daily schedule of the Transition Program reflects the emphasis on vocational training. Students also may participate in traditional educational instruction as well as occupational, physical, and speech therapy as dictated in their Individualized Educational Programs (IEP).
The program offers meaningful activities that better prepare students for life beyond school by providing:
- work readiness skills including habits, attitudes, safety, following instruction, teamwork, and concentration
- motor skills
- social interaction and relationship building
- adaptive living skills
- classroom instruction in science, art, and humanities
- functional academics
Students are thoughtfully assigned to crews and will stay in the same crew for the duration of the year. Students who show a strong career preference may stay in a specific crew without rotating through various crews during their years at Beaver Farm.