High School: A time for independent thinking (Grades 9-12): Thinking
From ages 14-21, the strengthening of the intellect and critical thinking are key areas of focus. After completing a full Waldorf education, students write the National Senior Certificate as their school leaving exams.
In High school the class teacher gives way for specialist teachers who lead the students through a rich and varied selection of main lessons and running lessons. The class guardian teacher supports the high school students to consider a different question each year.
The Eighth Grade Question: “Where?”
When the student arrives in high school and as they transition into a new way of being, they learn to adapt to the many changes they are experiencing and inquire, where am I in myself and in my learning journey?
The Ninth Grade Question: “What?”
In ninth grade, students are questioning the world around them and are interested in the dynamics of change. With this in mind, the Waldorf curriculum introduces the study of historical revolutions, thermodynamics, and anatomy.
The Tenth Grade Question: “How?”
By tenth grade, the students develop a more harmonious worldview, revealed in questions such as “How do the processes of the world bring contrasts into balance?” Tenth-grade students in a Waldorf school study balance and harmony as they manifest in mechanics, poetry, and ancient cultures.
The Eleventh Grade Question: “Why?”
Between tenth and eleventh grades, the student embarks on what will be a lifelong quest for knowledge of self and others. Students encounter the epic tale of Parzival. In the sciences, students learn about the physics of electromagnetic fields.
The Twelfth Grade Question: “Who?” or “Who Am I?”
As seniors, students explore the nature of existence through their final main lessons light and optics, architecture and philosophy, amongst others. They experience the crowning of their Waldorf education through three poignant actions, their final Eurythmy performance, the production and staging of the Modern Class 12 Play. The special Twelfth year culminates in the Class 12 project and presentation, which reflect the student’s emerging individuality.
The Thirteenth Year is the year when the young adults prepare and write their Matriculation NSC exit exams. An exciting year of drawing their school years to a close with a Matric dance.