There are a number of Waldorf schools in Cape Town and no, they are not for people who are a ‘bit slow’ or ‘Waldoffies’ they are schools which are main stream but different to government and most private schools. Classes are structured differently such as the ‘Main Lesson’, which takes place in the first two hours of the school day when you are at their most attentive, provides an in-depth exploration of any given subject. Each main lesson block lasts about four weeks, during which time you learn to approach the topic using all of your senses, to feel, think and experience the subject, making it your own. This may sound airy fairy but I thrived in the Waldorf environment. You could wear any clothes, you didn’t have to wear shoes, boys could grow their hair long and you could call your teacher by their first name.
Other than the usual maths, science etc we had classes such as woodwork (I can make a pretty decent foldable chair, wooden kitchen utensils and carved bookshelf) needlework (not my strength) copper work and jewelery (need a gold or silver ring, call me).
Eurythmy was also part of my interesting school life. I’ve been thinking of how to explain this but think ‘spiritual dance’ and you may get the right picture, minus the gold statue. For eurytmy class everyone wore a deep purple robe and black ballet type shoes. A high strung pianist was normally at the piano and the eurythmy teacher would guide the class to create forms to the music. Sometimes copper rodes were involved, not sure why but hey.
I can picture Mrs Kotzuba tapping her copper rod on the sustainable forest pine floor saying “Learrrners pleeez lets beginn the ‘Colour of zee wind’ formashion”.
Those were good organic days!
Example of eurythmy movement
Copper rod used in some eurythmy performances
Typical Waldorf style class room. All wood furniture. Notice the curves - a strong characteristic of the Waldorf style.