As the thirteen-year-old child enters into adolescence they start to leave the security, dependence and dreaminess of childhood behind. New forces of self determination surge within them.
This becomes a time of exploration, searching and discovery – all of which help to create a new relationship with the world. The children long to find their place in this world and it becomes the task of the teacher to help empower the Class 7 learners to find themselves as individuals within the community surrounding them.
Welcome to the world
The curriculum takes the learners on a journey beyond our borders to the rest of the world, where they start to discover the relationship between people and their environments. The Renaissance forms the main theme for the year and provides the backdrop for much of the work. The learners follow the sea routes of the great navigators, they meet scientists whose inventions have shaped and changed the world and discover the stories of great men and women who challenged the views of society in their own search for truth, freedom and self-expression.
Their place on earth
Geographical boundaries are broken down when the geography lessons allow the learners to start looking at the world as a whole. The great explorers introduce them to new places and countries and they slowly begin to see the connections that developed across the globe laying the foundation for today’s economic, political and social relationships. History lessons run parallel to geography and this allows the learners to experience the theme of exploration from different perspectives: from the explorers venturing into the unknown world to the indigenous people whose land is being explored, such as Ancient Mali.
Crafting story from emotion
The story material is used as a guide for creative writing in the English language lessons. The mechanics of writing are strengthened and children are taught to write using the idea of a mood and in doing so they learn how to shape the English language accordingly. The learners start to write ballads and poems and they build on their prior knowledge of grammar and vocabulary. Arthurian legends, as well as the Poetry of Rumi, are explored in these lessons.
Maths in abstract form and in life
Algebra is introduced and strengthened in mathematics. The learners work with linear equations and expand their world of numbers to include irrational numbers. The emergence of abstract work, however, is complemented by practical work, and it is in geometry lessons where children start to see mathematics living in the natural world. They are introduced to the Pythagoras Theorem, and through calculations and proof they discover various things like the Fibonaci Sequence and its relationship to everything that makes up the environment around us.
The life of science
In science the learners meet scientists who developed abstract concepts, new ideas and philosophies. They learn a great deal about the physical world and through careful observation they can discover the essence and processes which bring it to life. In physics they concentrate on the lifeless concepts of mechanics, magnetism and electricity as well as the living concepts with regards to the physiology of the human body. In chemistry, studied for the first time in Class 7, the children look at the characteristics of substances and how they transform through chemical reactions.
Light as art
Creative arts embrace the Middle Ages and Renaissance themes and introduces the learners to new paint techniques, as well as light and dark drawing that use shadows to enhance still-life pictures and portraits.
Craft and handwork activities encourage the learners to create objects using the felting technique as well as expanding their skills in embroidery and sewing.
Daily life in the seventh grade has its moments of turbulence and discovery. The work done in class is focused on balance and transformation, as well as finding the courage to reveal one’s own identity. As the learners start to assert their independence, they look for examples of earnest striving in the adults around them, and as we stand firm in our values and create safe, conversational and nurturing spaces, we allow them to become individuals with a strong sense of social responsibility.
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