I returned to teach at Imhoff Waldorf at the beginning of this term and the familiar warmth of the first day assembly was a valuable reminder of what it is that makes Imhoff Waldorf school so special.
The routine of the weekly assembly is well-known to all of the teachers and children of the Primary School and this regular gathering reinforces the feeling of being one large family group. Seeing how the teachers hold each of their classes with such care and love, I also realised how much I appreciate working alongside my colleagues.
The Primary School teachers take it in turns to hold different aspects of the assembly and so we started this second term with a lively, new song introduced by Teacher Bonnie (Class 3). As the children grasp the rhythm and new words and actions of the songs they are all swept up in the joy of singing together, from the high pitched tones of Class 1 children, to the deep sounds of the Class 7 boys.
Teacher Fezile (Class 1) held the attention of our gathering with another of his rich African tales and the familiar rhythm sticks that he always uses when he tells the assembly story.
Teacher Shelby (Class 2) brought the announcements for the week, reminding children to wear their hats and caps, how to use the new entrance to the school and “not to forget to get your Zip-Zap Circus tickets”.
The weekly assembly always ends with the traditional closing verse:
From my head to my feet, I am the image of God,
From my heart to my hands, his own breath do I feel,
When I speak with my mouth I shall follow God’s will,
When I see and know God
In my father and mother,
In all dear people,
In the beasts and in the flowers,
In the plants and in the stones,
Then no fear shall I feel-
Only love that will fill me
For all that is around me.
The children headed off to their classrooms after assembly to step into the rhythms of our new school term. This rhythm is the backbone and continuity throughout our year – from the start of the New Year journey welcoming the Class 1s, through to the Easter Festival in April, onto the Saint John’s bonfire in June, the spring festival and challenges of St. Michael in September and finally the end of year Class 7 farewells and preparations for the Christmas holidays. The ground is then newly laid for the new group of children that will take the step from Kindergarten into Primary school and the familiar rhythms continue to flow.
It is fabulous to be back in this pulsing life cycle of our school and a privilege for me to have the task of guiding our Class 7 group through these last three terms of their Primary School years.
Glenda Capra, Class 7 teacher.