The children are now busy leaving the golden years of childhood behind them. They are coming out of a period of balance, ‘The Heart of Childhood’, into a phase of change.
There is often a sense of sadness as they look back to the years of innocence and play as well as a feeling of insecurity as they look ahead to the years of adolescence. What does life have in store for them? They begin to imagine all kinds of possibilities.
Excitement and growing anticipation also take hold of the children as they look at the world and at their friends with new eyes. Their intellectual capacities are growing and they long to understand how everything works and how everything is connected.
Cause and effect are among the keynotes of Grade 6. The children not only enquire about causes, but now actively create them in order to gauge the effects! This also occurs in social relationships.
The 12-year-old is truly standing on the edge, in a kind of no-mans-land, on the one side lies childhood, to which they no longer fully belong, and, on the other side lies that of youth, which they are also not yet privy to. Further changes happen within the child’s mind and understanding. A new awareness of themselves is coupled with a new awareness of the world around them. This growing orientation towards the outside world brings with it a need to understand causal relationships.
The curriculum for Grade 6 is tailor-made to suit the needs of the 11-12 year-old. The children’s dawning intellectual capacities are directed towards observation of the natural scientific world. For the first time the structure of the earth is studied. This is literally the foundation on which we walk and which we have always taken for granted.
Although the growing child longs to understand the world, he/she still yearns for a creative approach to facts and figures. And this is exactly what we strive to do.One works very much with, and through, the senses as well. In the Main Lesson on ‘Heat, Light and Sound’ they observe common everyday phenomena and bring to awareness what they have actually seen. This brings about a certain security and confidence in the world and therefore in themselves. Amongst new Maths topics are percentage and business-related study. This is often made very practical indeed, and holds many children’s attention easily.
The overall aim is to renew and strengthen the children’s connection with the world, in which they will live and work, as well as to renew and strengthen their social relationships in a healthy and respectful manner.