Shepherd Valley Waldorf School K - 8
Middle School
shepherd valley middle school

The Middle School Student is characterized by a growing independence. He/she is no longer satisfied with goodness, beauty and truth as judged by another, but rather is keen to explore his/her relationship with these high ideals.

The Shepherd Valley Waldorf Middle School Faculty and Staff partner with parents to provide an environment of support and strength to meet the growing expectations of the adolescent.   The Shepherd Valley Waldorf Middle School provides a curriculum that validates the experience of adolescence and provides schoolwork with real connections to the outer world.

Middle School students at Shepherd Valley Waldorf School are exposed to more special subjects as their world expands.  The relationship with the Class Teacher continues to be important in Middle School, but the student forms stronger relationships with more Special Subject Teachers and handles a more varied set of subjects; he/she is expected to commit more time to schoolwork, do more homework, and manage his or her time more independently.

For curriculum in the specific grades please click on 6th grade, 7th grade, and 8th grade.

Weekly Subject Classes

Elective Classes
During 3rd and 4th Periods each Friday afternoon, the Sixth, Seventh and Eighth Grades will participate in art classes which will continue in five to six week blocks.
Some of the offerings include:

  • Gardening/Social Dance
  • Cooking
  • Mosaic
  • Marimba
  • Felting
  • Shoe Making
  • Bookbinding
  • Batik
  • Basket Making
  • Clay – Pottery and Modeling
  • Gardening and Cooking
  • Bicycle Maintenance

Students will submit their preferences and classes will be filled with attention given to overall balance. There are five blocks during the year.  Each student will participate in at least one block of gardening.

These classes are subject to change, either from a logistics standpoint or lack of interest.

Eurythmy lessons encourage the students to experiment and contribute their own artistic ideas in regard to the curriculum.  Lessons are intended to reinforce the main lesson work.  Parallel with geometry lessons, various geometrical form metamorphoses are practiced.  These exercises encourage the student's growing capacity for orientation and abstraction and cultivate social awareness.

Rhythm, rod and symmetry exercises support recreating coordination. All exercises must involve coordination of sequences and attention to accuracy.  In Seventh and/or Eighth Grade, the modes expressing spatial and soul elements are combined in longer dramatic or humorous poems, which will be performed to the school community.  In connection to European history, the students will learn a variety of folk dances and they will be exposed to music from European cultures.

Foreign Languages - Spanish/Mandarin (Chinese)
Each Foreign Language is taught in rotating blocks of four lessons per week for Middle School Students.   This method serves to give the students a deeper connection and more familiarity with each language.

In Sixth Grade, a new Foreign Language lesson book with texts, vocabulary, grammar, and verb work is introduced. Alternatively, the teacher may use the lesson book for texts and vocabulary and introduce a grammar book, which the students will add on to and work with through Eighth Grade. Earlier understanding of grammatical concepts is strengthened and verbs are now conjugated. The students are introduced to various tenses in the foreign languages. Students recite poetry and sing songs and begin to read more complex literature in the foreign language, such as a story of Cesar Chavez, for example. South American and Asian geography may be explored through the foreign language classes.

Students in Seventh and Eighth Grade continue to review vocabulary and practice the basic grammar structures of Spanish and Mandarin. They will also be introduced to more complex grammar aspects of the foreign languages while developing more independence in using the learned structures both in speaking and writing.  The students will be introduced to more sophisticated literature, and a reader may be added to the foreign language class. One of the goals is to develop a more sophisticated understanding of the historical and political developments of the Spanish and Mandarin speaking worlds. In addition, the students will explore the relationships of the Indo-European languages as well as the development of the English and Spanish language.  Students can expect homework assignments in every class throughout the school year. New students are expected to have Spanish and Mandarin basics. The goal of the Middle School Foreign Language Program is to create the foundation for High School.

A transition from cooperative games to competitive sports begins in Sixth Grade. Basic fundamentals and proper skill development is emphasized. The curriculum culminates in the Medieval Games, involving area Waldorf schools, in which students in a medieval period atmosphere, meet outdoor movement challenges that include group initiative events and individual obstacle courses. 

In Seventh and Eighth Grades, additional team sports activities are introduced, while attention is given to perfecting technique and learning through practice. Emphasis is on sportsmanship.

Handwork lessons include hand and machine sewing, highlighting the Waldorf Main Lesson curriculum.

Sixth Grade Students design and sew animals.  Students in Seventh Grade hand sew dolls complete with clothes. Eighth Grade students study the Industrial Revolution and will machine sew their own clothing. The Handwork lessons are an engaging and lively way to enhance dexterity and life skills.

Together with the math blocks, weekly math classes are offered. Students can expect that homework will be assigned every class throughout the year.

In choir and orchestra, the students learn more complex and challenging vocal and instrumental arrangements, demanding attention in the lesson.  More instrument practice is needed outside of class. Recorders continue to be played in main lesson, with the alto recorder in the Sixth Grade and the bass recorder added in Seventh or Eighth Grade to the already proficient soprano and alto players, allowing for four-part harmony.

The fundamental tools students use for wood carving are handsaws, chisels, gouges, rasps, files, and sandpaper. With these tools, they learn to shape, smooth, and polish wood. The underlying goal is to teach the students patience, perseverance, and pride in their work.

Middle School Teachers are committed to academic excellence. The students are evaluated through essays, artwork, class participation, timeliness, quizzes and tests.

For curriculum in the specific grades please click on 6th grade, 7th grade, and 8th grade.