Educational Program Overview
SBS follows a curriculum based on the educational theory of Rudolf Steiner, who started the first Waldorf school in Stuttgart, Germany in 1919. Steiner believed that it was the job of the teacher to guide the students through the natural unfolding of their potential, encouraging them to develop their innate talents. He envisioned that students move through learning first by doing, then through feeling, and lastly by thinking, engaging the students’ knowledge and skill base.
SBS blends Waldorf methods and content with rigorous state standards-based instruction and curriculum. This approach results in a relevant, rigorous, child-centered curriculum that incorporates the creative arts, storytelling, literature, music, drama, and activities adapted to the learning needs of each child. This teaching pedagogy has universal appeal and is effective with children of varied backgrounds, learning styles, and cultures. Waldorf education exists in over 1000 schools and sixty countries worldwide and is supported by the educational theories of Piaget and Montessori, and the work of child development specialists such as, Elkind, Healy, and Gardner.
The highly academic program at SBS offers aspects of Waldorf education adapted and suitable for a publicly funded California charter school. The program does not and will not advocate any particular religious creed or belief and will only reference religious content as literature. It is strongly interdisciplinary, integrating the arts (e.g., drama, painting, music, drawing, handwork, woodwork) into the curriculum. This takes many forms, and whether a dramatic production portraying a historical event, a colorfully illustrated write-up of a chemistry experiment, or a painting that depicts the earth’s geologic layers, teachers seek to deliver "education on the wings of art.” This approach awakens the child’s imagination, creativity, and emotional connection to the lessons, bringing relevance and wholeness to learning. Lessons and activities blend cognitive, auditory, kinesthetic, visual, and tactile approaches to address the students’ various learning styles.
Daily, weekly and seasonal rhythms help provide a consistent and safe environment which enhances learning. Daily recitation, singing, and dramatic arts are among the many elements that nurture strong skills and memory development in the students. The multiple learning modalities integrated into daily lessons create a learning atmosphere that is supportive, challenging, and meaningful to each student. Staff at SBS recognize that education is more than just an intellectual exercise, and that students who feel safe, respected, and cared for are highly motivated to learn. SBS places a high priority on our students "learning how to learn."