Classes Four, Five and Six bring a series of main lessons that explore three kingdoms that share certain attributes with human beings – the animal kingdom, the plant kingdom and the world of minerals respectively. Each of these kingdoms is studied in a way that reflects and highlights aspects of humanity – the physical, cognitive and moral capacities of the human being. Lessons are presented imaginatively and pictorially. We do not wish to fill the children’s heads with dry zoological, botanical and geological facts, but rather to awaken a consciousness of the life of the earth.

In the “Man and Animal” main lesson in Class Four, the children investigate the broad variety of deeds and moral choices that people make, and compare these, through a variety of means, to the more specialised activities of chosen animals. In looking at how animals specialise, the children begin to perceive how human beings embody so many capacities that exist in animals as specialist skills. In seeing how animals are bound to behave according to their instincts and attributes, we place subtly before the children pictures of the human being’s freedom of choice and our moral obligation to care for the animal world in an unsentimental way.

In the “Botany” main lesson in Class Five, the children study the order of plants. The archetypal forms of plants – their ability to produce seeds, roots, stems, leaves and blossoms, are central to the discussions, descriptions and observations. The children are led through the order of plants, from the simple, lower-order plants that do not have clear divisions between their various archetypal functions to the higher plants, which form roots, stems, leaves, seeds and blossoms clearly and distinctly. These pictures are brought artistically, and, like the other Science main lessons in the Lower School, in a way that can be observed. Again, human attributes are highlighted by our studies – the lower plants being compared to young children who are not yet able to master the various skills that human beings possess, and the higher plants being compared to well-balanced adult human beings. For Class Five children, this main lesson brings to consciousness what lives in the world about them, thereby strengthening their connection to the natural world, at the same time as saying something of the capacity for balance in the human being.

Class 6 brings a study of the mineral world, and the inanimate, structural nature of the minerals, along with the unassuming beauty of their innumerate forms, makes mineralogy a perfect study for the Class 6 child. Class 6 children experience their bodies in a new way, and often seem to be weighed down by gravity. As they are coming to grips with their bones, we lead them into an investigation of the ‘bones of the Earth’. The creation of rocks from volcanic eruptions, the effect they have on the landscape and the way lives are affected by them are all studied in a living manner. Through observation, through handling the rocks; through stories and artistic activities and through practical application wherever possible, the children discover the quiet life of the planet.

Class 8 brings Main lessons in sustainability, magnetism and food chemistry.

Class 9 brings Main lessons in geology, heat and engines, organic chemistry and human biology

Class 10 brings Main lessons in Acids & Bases, genetics, mechanics and the Living earth

Class 11 brings Main lessons in the Periodic Table and in cell biology.

Class 12 brings a Main lesson in Evolution.