Throughout the elementary years, intellectual abilities are nurtured by fostering the children’s imaginations through stories, the visual arts, music, and movement. All subjects–mathematics, science, social studies, second languages, handwork, and sports–are taught imaginatively and artistically, so that each child is inspired to develop an individualized and natural approach to lifelong learning.

The Berkeley Rose Waldorf School invites all families to explore and discover our unique curriculum. Neither Waldorf knowledge nor experience are keys to gaining access to this rich educational environment.

For the 2018/19 academic year, Berkeley Rose will be offering classes up to 6th grade. We will be adding one additional grade each year up to 8th Grade.


First Grade

The educational journey and development of life-long relationships for our students begins at the start of the grade school. Seeds planted here will be nurtured, watered and developed as the children move through the grades. The basis of the curriculum is fairy tales. These archetypal pictures are embedded with life’s mysteries and the dreamlike patterns are what the language arts curriculum is based on. Through pictures that resound in the child’s feeling life, the letters emerge. These symbols are practiced spatially and bodily, in order to inculcate their sounds and gesture. The children also practice form drawing and develop main lesson book pages compositionally to support early reading and writing. Numbers are introduced through their qualities and the four mathematical processes are brought together, again through patterns and movement. Beanbags, balance beam and math manipulatives combined with clapping and movement games engage the will of the children and reinforce the rhythm and patterns of numerical knowing.

The class teacher works out of the unity of the class to develop strong habits to last the eight year journey. Courtesy and manners are reinforced for the good of the group. Circle activities; songs and games teach cooperation. Large and small motor skills are developed each day through play, movement activities, games and artistic work. The children grow in their understanding, working together and thrive in a nurturing, warm environment of love and mutual respect.

Show First Grade Curriculum

First Grade Curriculum


Language Arts


  • Singing and Games
  • Pentatonic Recorder
  • Seasonal Songs


  • Beeswax, modeling
  • Wet-on-wet watercolor painting
  • Drawing from stories
  • Form drawing

Mandarin Chinese Immersion Class

  • Colors, Numbers and Intonation
  • Conversational skills
  • Chinese folk tales and songs

Spanish Immersion Class

  • Folk Culture and Songs
  • Games and Movement
  • Conversational skills
  • Poetry and music


  • Imaginative games
  • Jumping rope
  • Recess free-play and extended hikes


  • Fairy Tales
  • Nature Stories


  • Circle games and movement

Natural Sciences

  • Outdoor Hikes
  • Daily explorations


  • Knitting

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Second Grade

The work in second grade is largely a continuation of the foundation laid in first grade but now meeting the children’s greater abilities as learners. The second grader is seen as still one with the world but is newly experiencing a sense of polarity between right and wrong, good and bad, beautiful and ugly. These polarities are met by stories of the fables and holy people. The children’s sense of morality and reverence for the world is characterized in the noble personalities of the Saints and holy people throughout human history. Equally important are the fables, which show the animal characteristics, or baser impulses, present in the human being. These stories speak to the children’s imaginations allowing them to form their own inner pictures of right and wrong.

Much of the work with numbers and the four operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division) in second grade will be a continuation of the foundation that was introduced in first grade. This year allows intensive work with the four operations and introduction to place value. The work relies greatly upon mental math strategies rather than placing emphasis on written calculations. Memorization of the times tables will first enter the children’s bodies through movement and rhythm.

Second Graders receive a screening to support the teacher in determining where the children are with their gross and fine motor skills, balance, bilateral integration, spatial orientation, dominance, and visual and auditory processing. These observations allow us to better assess a child’s readiness for academics and provide supports in the classroom and at home.

Show Second Grade Curriculum

Second Grade Curriculum


  • Place Value
  • Times tables to 12 through movement and rhythmic practice
  • Estimation
  • Horizontal computation of multi-digit numbers with the four operations
  • Number Patterns

Language Arts

  • Sight word identification
  • Word families, spelling patterns and blends
  • Cursive writing
  • Reading groups
  • Writing summaries of Fables, Saint and Native American stories
  • Introduction to grammar, punctuation and capitalization
  • Oral recitation and drama through play performances

Natural Sciences

  • Nature studies
  • Observation of the environment

Mandarin and Spanish Class

  • Experience culture through songs, verses, stories, crafts and artistic work
  • Acquire vocabulary to include numbers, animals, family, foods, seasons and colors.
  • Gain comfort with basic conversation


  • Knitting- continental way
  • Garter and stockinette stitches
  • Embroidery II
  • Crocheting squares
  • Color theory II
  • Plant-dyeing of natural fibers II


  • Beeswax and Clay Modeling
  • Wet on wet watercolor painting
  • Drawing with beeswax crayons
  • Form Drawing


  • Games and dances
  • Jumping rope, skipping, hopping and climbing
  • Hike days, daily walks to the park and recess games and play


  • Establish timing, coordination and spatial awareness


  • Pentatonic flute
  • Seasonal songs, games and dances

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Third Grade

Around the age of nine, the third-grade child leaves the world of imitation and experiences a profound inner change: self-consciousness and greater individuality begin to unfold. As the child awakens to the difference between self and the surrounding world, which includes adults and peers, she sees things through a new lens, and an inner world begins to take form. This awakening in consciousness enables the child to start to develop the capacity for objective thinking. While this is a necessary step in every child’s development, this also means that he may become more doubting or critical, or may feel a sense of loss or loneliness.

The curriculum meets this change and the child’s needs in many ways. Stories of people crossing the rubicon and starting life anew, such as the exodus of the Hebrew people from Egypt, are told. And throughout the year the children are given countless experiences of the work of the real world in practical and meaningful ways, such as grain grinding for the weekly challah baking; building shelters; and working on farms for several days at a time. The child understands on some level what it is to leave paradise, enter the real world, and begin to stand on her own.

Show Third Grade Curriculum

Third Grade Curriculum


  • Continued work on times tables
  • Measurements, including length, weight and volume
  • House-building and carpentry
  • Vertical multiplication and long division
  • Expanded use of place value
  • Time
  • Money

Language Arts

  • Spelling and vocabulary words
  • Parts of speech
  • Continued work on cursive writing
  • Reading groups
  • Independent descriptive writing
  • Grammar, punctuation and capitalization
  • Sentence diagramming
  • Oral recitation and drama


  • Beginning Orchestra – Violin
  • Diatonic Recorder
  • Choral training, including singing in rounds
  • Reading of musical notation in voice and instruments


  • Beeswax, clay and oil-based clay modeling
  • Wet-on-wet watercolor painting
  • Drawing from stories
  • Form drawing

Mandarin Chinese Immersion Class

  • Learn to write characters
  • Conversational skills continued
  • Chinese folk tales and songs

Spanish Immersion Class

  • Grammar
  • Learning to write in Spanish
  • Conversational skills continued
  • Poetry and music


  • Imaginative games that combine organized physical activity with rules and strategy
  • Child-led cooperative game creation
  • Jumping rope
  • Recess free-play and extended hikes


  • Stories of the Hebrew people
  • Native American and farmer pioneer tales


  • Work with rhythms and specific forms for the sounds of speech
  • Concentration exercises to develop presence of mind

Natural Sciences

  • Farming and gardening in local plot
  • House-building
  • Cooking
  • Fibers


  • Role of ecosystems in determining shelters


  • Crocheting
  • Weaving
  • Carding, spinning, and dyeing wool

Field Trips

  • As a compliment to the farming blocks covered during the year, third graders enjoy multiple multi-night camping trips working on farms, including building structures. They also attend several daylong field trips, which can include trips to vineyards, grain mills, and sheep fiber farms.

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Fourth Grade

The fourth grader is ready to complete the crossing of the Rubicon, which symbolizes the embarking on his / her life path.The central thread of the Edda, from Norse mythology, which tells a story in picture forms about the dimming of man’s old super-sensible consciousness and accompanies the children as they are going through their own cutting of the umbilical cord to the spiritual world.

Now, with the accumulation of more skills, the fourth graders marvel on the beauty and mystery of the natural world.They are ready to learn and research the various parts that comprise our world – from mythological figures of the Norse Gods and Native American stories, to our animal friends in the study of zoology. Even numbers become parts with the introduction of fractions.

In the arts, a special emphasis is given to the intricate form drawing designs, which help to develop problem-solving skills by means of creative thinking practice. Through its design, the fourth grade curriculum maximizes the student’s ability to engage with independent research, as well as collaborative projects with their classmates.

Show Fourth Grade Curriculum

Fourth Grade Curriculum


  • Review of four processes
  • Introduction to fractions
  • Introduction to decimals
  • Factoring
  • Estimates
  • Review of measurements

Language Arts

  • Parts of speech
  • Speech formation / oral recitation
  • Grammar, punctuation and capitalization
  • Vocabulary
  • Writing and composition


  • Map-making
  • Geography of California


  • Norse myths
  • Native American stories
  • Poetry


  • Native American culture
  • Early settlement in California
  • Early explorers of the Bay area


  • Form drawing
  • Clay modeling
  • Watercolor wet – on – wet technique
  • Watercolor wet – on – dry


  • Knitting (increasing and decreasing) to form an animal toy
  • Embroidery IV
  • Cross stitching 4-way symmetrical image
  • Hand sewing

Instrumental Music

  • Build upon their Kodaly sol-fa foundation to strengthen note-reading skills
  • Learn important listening skills through ensemble playing
  • Explore the compositional elements of melody, rhythm and form
  • Experience the joy of musical expression

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Fifth Grade

Greek idealism of the human form manifests in the graceful fifth grader. Agile and glowing, sports and gymnastics encompass every morning before the stories of ancient civilizations are told each day. India, Persia, Sumeria and Babylonia are first told before Egypt and finally Greece. Zarathustra, Ahura mazda, Buddha, Isis and Osiris are just some of the religious leaders we encounter along the way. Classic literature such as the Odyssey and Iliad, the epic of Gilgamesh, Bhagavad Gita, Book of the Dead and other relevant cultural themes are explored through shadow puppets, experiencing caste systems, sculpture, music and drama. The Greek pentathlon is the culminating experience for the athletic fifth grader in which discus, long jump, relay races, javelin and wrestling are played with surrounding Waldorf schools.

Scientific inquiry into the world of botany begins with fungi, lichens and mosses, ferns, deciduous and coniferous trees, and more. Five- and six-petaled flowering plants like the apple and rose, lily and tulip are drawn from nature. Sacred geometry is explored through freehand drawing before geometric tools are introduced in sixth grade geometry. The nature and gesture of the world of trees help the children more fully understand their surroundings. Geography of ancient lands are also drawn and explored with Braggarts and Pyramids being just some of the forms. Grecian vases may also be formed out of clay.

Show Fifth Grade Curriculum

Fifth Grade Curriculum

Science & Mathematics
– Botany
– Fractions
– Decimals
– Freehand geometry

Language Arts
– Greek mythology
– Topic statements, rough drafts and revisions
– Book reports and research papers
– Grammar
– Weekly vocabulary/spelling tests
– Complex memorization of lines and actions for parts in the class play

Geography & History
– Ancient civilizations—India, Persia, Mesopotamia, Egypt and Greece
– North American geography
– Native American cultures

– Painting and drawing
– Clay modeling
– Form Drawing

– Five-needle knitting
– Sock making
– Cables
– Introduction to woodworking

– Recorder and singing
– Strings and introduction to orchestra
– Music literacy
– 5th/7th grade chorus

Gym & Eurythmy
– Individual training for Pentathlon: discus, javelin, long jump, wrestling, running
– Eurythmy for balance, poise, alertness and synchronous movement

World Languages
– Spanish
– Mandarin
– Develop memory, language, translative thinking and vocabulary skills

Field Trips & Community Events
– Visit to Buddhist center and gardens Green Gulch
– Workdays and overnight stay at school affiliated farm in Bodega Bay
– Visit to Rosicrucian Museum / San Jose for Ancient Egyptian exhibition
– Pentathlon
– 5th grade play: Myth from an ancient culture

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Sixth Grade

The Middle School years have arrived!

Sixth grade history begins with the transition from ancient to modern history, from poetic consciousness to a search for truth in the form of scientific concepts, because the 11-year-old herself is involved in such a transition. She is now able to grasp history as a temporal sequence of cause and effect relationships: through the decline of Greece, the rise and fall of Rome to the effects of these two great cultures on European civilization up to the beginning of the fifteenth century. Biographical study of a chosen historical figure guides students through an in depth research project. Grammar, vocabulary enrichment, writing structure and composition, and speech through drama are the language studies woven throughout the curriculum as students present and create records of their learning.

Astronomy studies explore the laws of the universe. The physical sciences include the study of acoustics, heat, magnetism, static electricity, and optics. In all these studies the principles underlying the various phenomena are arrived at as end products generalized from concrete experiences rather than stated theoretically before the experiments are made. Geography studies the earth’s configuration and contrasts: distribution of oceans, seas, continents and mountain masses with the introduction of climate studies and first astronomical concepts. These are applied specifically to European and African geography. Botany continues with an introduction to horticulture.

Mathematics introduce percentage, interest, profit and loss, ratios, proportion, estimation and introduction to algebraic equations. Geometrical design is now done with the utmost accuracy with instruments, connecting to perspective drawing that is now introduced.

Black and white drawing, shadows, landscapes and color contrasts are taken up in painting. In handwork the children sew stuffed animals and carve wood to shape in an animal and a spoon, developing their skill with tools. Singing focuses on two and three part choruses, songs of the minstrels and middle ages, recorders in descant, alto and tenor voices and Roman music. Eurythmy introduces simple musical forms, with greater depth in alliteration, geometrical forms and transformations. Foreign language continues with the reading of simple Mandarin and Spanish texts, humorous stories, and free translation.

Show Sixth Grade Curriculum

Sixth Grade Curriculum

Science & Mathematics
– Geology & Mineralogy
– Astronomy
– Physics
– Mechanical/Mathematical geometry
– Business math

Language Arts
– Independent writing
– Grammar
– Topic statements, rough drafts, and revisions
– Book reports and research paper/presentation
– Routine spelling/vocabulary tests
– Complex memorization of lines and actions for parts in the class play

Geography & History
– Ancient Rome: monarchy, republic, empire, and fall
– Founding of Christianity and Islam
– The Crusades
– Medieval Life in Europe
– South American or European geography

– Painting and drawing
– Sculptural modeling

World Languages
– Mandarin and Spanish

– Patternmaking and sewing: conceive and create a stuffed animal
– Woodworking

– Band or orchestra
– Recorder and singing
– Tenor & alto recorder
– Music literacy
– 5th/6th grade chorus

– 6th grade play: Story from the history curriculum

Movement & Eurythmy
– Movement training for balance, agility, strength, and coordination continues
– Eurythmy for interpretive, emotional energy

Field Trips & Community Events
– Caving: Geology and Mineralogy trip

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Seventh Grade

Seventh grade is a year of exploration! Students are eager for knowledge, independence, and social connection. With increasingly rigorous academics, students enter adolescence with a growing sense of self-reflection and introspection. Algebra and plane geometry are introduced at this time when greater capacities awaken for abstract and conceptual thinking. Students also explore the sciences through lessons including the interrelationship of chemical properties; and physical laws of refraction, reflection, heat, electricity and magnetism, and the simple machines, in addition to the studies of astronomy and physiology.

The Renaissance, Reformation, Scientific Revolution, and Age of Exploration are the primary thematic units in seventh grade. Students observe the geometric principles which the artists used in their paintings, allowing them to develop the laws of perspective and apply them in their own drawings. They read biographies of great figures who challenged the prevailing views in their own search for truth, freedom, and self-expression. Creative Writing is a new subject this year, where writing prompts and guidelines provide the structure into which a student’s creative thoughts can find voice and clarity.

This is a year where individual exploration – from academic research to physical challenges – meet the young adolescent’s growing sense of independence, while an equal emphasis on group facilitated conversations, class projects and outdoor adventures highlight the importance of working and operating together as a group.