Waldorf School “Prof. Nikolay Raynov” is licensed by the Bund der Freien Waldorfschulen / Federation of the Free Waldorf Schools and by the Ministry of Education in Bulgaria. The education process is based on the principles of Waldorf education.
In Waldorf schools, the main subject of study for the day is called a main lesson. Its duration is 1.5-2 hours.
Mornings are the most productive learning time, and this is when our students have their main lesson. The teacher designs the lessons in the most creative way. The teaching methods include storytelling, game play, painting and singing, so that the children use all their senses in the learning process.
In Waldorf schools, main lesson subjects are taught in blocks of 3-4 weeks. During a block, every day the subject of the main lesson remains the same – it could be literature, mathematics, geography, history, and so on. In this way, the child concentrates on that subject, and may even develop a keen interest into it. After a period of “saturation”, the main lesson is changed, and a new block begins. During the new block, the child begins the process of forgetting the previous subject. However, this internal process is very important for assimilating the subject long term. When the next block of the same subject comes after a few months, the child works on it at a higher level.
Learning foreign languages is an important part of the Waldorf curriculum. In our pre-school group and first grade, children learn one foreign language (English). From second grade on, a second foreign language is added (German). Studying a foreign language helps children get to know the world around them. Each language is related with the respective culture, history, habits. Studying it allows children to develop agile thinking, be open to people from different backgrounds and cultures, as well as expand their own horizons.
In the beginning, foreign languages are taught through songs, role play, poems, and conversations, allowing the child to learn through its natural ability to imitate. Later on, writing and reading are added. With time, more focus goes to grammar, vocabulary and punctuation.
Arts are a vital element in Waldorf education. Kids work with different kinds of art materials, such as wax, soft pastels, watercolors, charcoal and others.
In music classes, kids learn to sing and play one or two musical instruments, depending on their age. In first grade, they start with playing the recorder. Older students play also a second musical instrument. Starting from the pre-school group, children study Bulgarian folk dances. Older students study modern dances. In fourth grade, students also get acting classes in their curriculum.
Eurhythmy is a Waldorf form of art combining musical and speech rhythms with body movements. Apart from being a beautiful visual art, it also helps children develop their sense of coordination, sense of rhythm, auditory and social skills.
Crafts teach children to focus on their tasks until their full completion, and have a positive impact on their whole neurological system. They develop fine motor skills, which is very important for the correct writing of letters and numbers. Depending on the age of the children, they do felting, knitting, sewing, beeswax and clay modelling, sculpture and woodwork.
Our school has an organic garden (our “Green Garden” project) of fruits, vegetables and flowers grown by teachers, children and parents. Children learn through experience. Children participate actively in seasonal organic farming activities: seeding, planting, mulching, fertilization, watering, harvesting, etc. Apart from gardening, this helps children learn elements from biology, math, and foreign languages.
Free play, outings, sports, museums
Every day the curriculum includes open air time when children play at the school yard or they go to the park nearby. On Friday, there are short trips to Vitosha Mountain or tours to museums, exhibitions or theater.
Depending on the age of the students, there are also sports as part of the curriculum.