From around 7 to 9 years, the young child still lives in an ensouled world. The child does not strongly differentiate between him/herself and the surrounding world. As a consequence, the child is deeply satisfied to have the lessons of the world, brought to him/her though stories and imaginations. In this way, a foundation of knowledge and skills, together with ethics for wise living, is established.
In these younger primary classes at Kindlehill, teachers meet the children’s enquiring minds with stories and imaginations that depict the wisdom inherent in the world. Every subject is brought to the children through the arts of storytelling, music, art, movement and drama. The practical skills of gardening, cooking, building and handcraft are also developed. Physical development occurs though co-operative and non-competitive games, plenty of free play, and other activities such as bushwalking, rock climbing, gymnastics and swimming
At around 9 years, the child begins to separate from the outer world. The child begins to observe the world more independently and somewhat critically. They may begin to challenge the authority of parents and teachers. The developing child now expects the teacher and other adults, to demonstrate in their own lives, espoused principles and values.
Students at this age have greater self awareness and can typically experience a sense of loneliness or isolation. The curriculum meets this with learning content that enhances the self efficacy of each child, such as the study of farming, building and weaving. The students are supported academically, socially, artistically, physically and practically, to develop their capacities to meet the challenges of their widening world
In the older primary classes, the students are prepared for meeting the changes that accompany adolescence. Biographies which highlight finer human qualities and achievements, help the students strive toward becoming productive and contributing members of society. Studies in history help the students feel themselves involved in the ongoing, evolving journey of humankind with all of its achievements and challenges. Science instructs the students to think in clear and observational ways that explore meaning, rather than being presented with pre-digested conclusions. Geography enables students to experience themselves in a diverse, inclusive and interconnected world.
In the arts, there is a focus on developing individual as well as collaborative capacities. For example, in music there is more individual choice of instruments with collaborations for performances. Crafts such as wood carving, leatherwork and handcraft, provide opportunities for individual expression in design. Sport and camps provide challenges both physical and social, with a greater focus on more complex skill development, self sufficiency and teamwork.