The natural rhythm of the morning starts with a morning verse, before class starts at 9.00.
Main Lesson 9:00 – 11:00
The main lesson is designed to immerse the children in a subject theme over a period of about three weeks. A three week block of, say, history will become an artistic and imaginative learning process supported by activities such as the recitation of poetry, singing, drama, drawing and writing – all integrated with the theme. The aim is for the children to experience the subject with their head, their heart and their hands as the main lesson weaves together practical, physical, artistic, rhythmic and musical activities with oral and written work; both literacy and numeracy are always interwoven within every theme. Building from one main lesson to the next, children form a complete picture. At the end of the cycle history can then rest and mature by sinking into the deeper levels of consciousness (to be taken up again later that year or the following year), another main lesson subject is taken up, and then another, and another through the years as the curriculum unfolds over time. The class teacher takes all the main lessons for the class.
Morning Break 11:00 – 11:40
Morning Break is at 11am and after 15 minutes to eat a healthy snack brought from home the children go outside to play together for 25 minutes – in the playground or the field, surrounded by trees, flowers, and actual mud – den building, running, chasing, skipping, hop-scotching, running around the field playing tag.
Subject Lessons 11:40 – 13:10
The second part of the morning and the afternoon the children have subject lessons, which continue throughout the year taught by specialist teachers. At Nant-y-Cwm we provide a range of subject lessons from the academic: French, music, English and maths, to the practical: gardening, woodwork, handwork, games, gymnastics and the artistic: Eurythmy, painting, drama, clay modelling and drawing. Again these are taught in an artistic, holistic and imaginative manner. French is taught from Class 1 to Class 8. In Classes 1 to 3, this is achieved through games, poetry and song which actively and playfully involve children in language. Writing, reading and formal grammar are introduced from Class 4. In music all children learn the pentatonic pipe and the recorder through imitation and develop a musical ear before learning formal music notation. From the fingers to the brain, Handwork develops important neural pathways. In class 1 the children learn to knit and make soft animals, this continues further into dolls and socks. Through the years the children learn knitting, crochet, cross stitch, hand-and machine sewing, pattern making and many other useful skills.
Lunch Break 13:10 – 14:00
After a packed lunch, that the children bring from home and eat between 1.10pm-1.25pm, the children go outside for more fresh air, exercise and socialising.
Afternoon Lessons 14:00 – 15:30
Afternoon subject lessons start at 2pm. We aim to balance our day with the more academic subjects in the mornings, and as the pupils’ concentration lessens the more practical and physical lessons in the afternoons.
Practical hands-on activities allow time for the development of the will, gross and fine motor skills and creativity. A rich curriculum of children’s games and sports promote pupils’ discovery of the joy of movement: an inclusive programme at the centre of our curriculum, which meets the developmental needs of children throughout the school, promoting physical agility, social awareness, self-esteem and cooperation.
The days are punctuated by eurhythmy; ‘poetry in motion’, or ‘visible speech’ movement, designed to focus minds and help concentration.
End of School 15:30
At the end of the school day the children shake hands with their teachers to say goodbye before being released to the care of their parents.