Our New Home for the 2019-2020 School Year

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The Waldorf School of Cape Cod is excited to announce that we will hold school for the 2019-2020 school year at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Falmouth! WSCC is grateful to have found a beautiful space with a welcoming community for our school this coming school year.

The school’s board of directors continues to search for a long-term building and property to purchase for the school’s forever home. In our 35 year history, the school has always rented and the board would like to see a more permanent home for the school.

In the interim, the school community is looking forward to being part of the community at the UUFF. We see this as a win-win for holding inter-generational activities and events.

The UUFF invites the Waldorf Community to join them at their Summer Fun Picnic at 11:30 AM to 1 PM Sunday, August 4, 2019, at 840 Sandwich Road, East Falmouth. Members of the Cape Cod African Dance and Drum will lead a community drum circle from 11:30 to 12:30. Other offerings will include an inflated bouncy slide, and a bring-your-own picnic will continue until 1 PM. The public is invited to the free-of-charge event for all ages, which will be held rain or shine, either outside or inside depending on the weather.

Enrollment is open for new students. Space is limited. Email outreach@waldorfcapecod.org if you are interested in enrolling your child this Fall.

Organic Chemistry & Next Generation Science Standards

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by Stephen McCloskey, Middle School Teacher

This week class 7/8 started to journey into the world of Organic Chemistry. Waldorf science education begins with observation and experiments, this week our students performed an experiment that aligns quite nicely with both Waldorf science education as well as the next generation science standards. The "Carbon Tower" experiment is outlined in "The Wonders of Waldorf Chemistry" book by David Mitchell, and the same experiment connects with the Next Generation Science Standards, including "science and engineering practices", "disciplinary core ideas", and "cross-cutting concepts".

Organic Chemistry is defined as the study of carbon-forming molecules, which includes all living organisms and so much more! The main focus this week has been on sugar.

Sugar contains three different things - Carbon, Hydrogen, and Oxygen. For the "Carbon Tower" Experiment we filled a glass beaker with 40mL of sugar. Then, we saturated the sugar in the beaker with sulfuric acid. Upon stirring the two together, the mixture turned black and made a hissing sound. Seconds later, steam was release upward pushing and putting air pockets into the remaining carbon molecules from the sugar upward. What you now see in the beaker is pure elemental carbon.

Rudolf Steiner, the founder of Waldorf Education, strove to educate the child from a base of experience and activity first (primary experience), followed later by a conceptualization (reflective experience). When students take part in an experiment such as the carbon tower, they are in the first stages of learning organic chemistry that will later be followed up by conceptualization.

Interested in learning more about Waldorf Education and our school?

Click the link below.

The Benefits of Dance

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by Jan Elliot, Dance Teacher

“Up, up! Lift your swords to the music.

Don't be afraid to depend on one another.

Morris is about leaping. Shake those bells!

It's the swords that are dancing. That's where the magic is.”

I have taught traditional dance at WSCC since 2010, but have danced all my life. Moving to music lifts the spirit and feeds the soul, as well as exercising the body. Dancing as a group sharpens the feeling for teamwork and common goals. Tradition deepens a sense of communal history, while exploring dance styles from other cultures broadens horizons. Authentic costumes and implements add color, sound and vitality as well as purpose and meaning. All of these elements are explored in dance classes, and shared in assembly performances.

The tradition of Morris dancing dates back to the 12th century. Once popular in many areas of Europe, it took hold in England in pre-Elizabethan times, evolving from court entertainment to stage performance to rural pastime. Outmoded by the industrial revolution, it was revived by the work of folklorists who notated tunes and steps from elderly ex-dancers. Today it thrives across the English-speaking world and beyond.

At Waldorf our middle school grades (5 through 8) learn the basics of Morris in distinctive village styles ranging from East Oxfordshire to the Welsh border. We dance with sticks, wearing traditional leg bells and armbands or colorful rag-covered vests. The dances are challenging, athletic and team-spirited. Live music is a crucial element, and we are very grateful to Mr. Gable for playing for classes and performances

We are also exploring two styles of Sword dance from northern England: Longsword and Rapper. Longsword, from Yorkshire, emphasizes smooth and mesmerizing movements, as dancers move under and over wooden swords before weaving them into a star or “lock.” In this exacting tradition we explore the true meaning of teamwork, since every movement depends on all dancers working together. As part of a traditional Mummers play, the duty of the dancers is to cut down winter in the guise of Saint George, who willingly accepts his ritual beheading and is eventually revived as spring. The sword dance literally makes the seasons turn!

Rapper sword is the youngest tradition, about two centuries old. This fast-paced and complex form fits well on young bodies, requiring lightning-quick movements and strong, clean tapping steps. The swords, made of flexible steel with a swivel handle, evolved from mine workers' tools in the far north of England. Rapper is alive and well in America, with young teams sprouting up everywhere and competing in national and international tournaments. Several Waldorf graduates have gone on to join established Rapper teams.

In class we balance the intensity of Morris and Sword with rhythm games and social dances from around the world. We have learned dances from across Europe as well as Russia, the US and Africa. Exploring movement traditions and music from other cultures can be physically challenging, but is also fun and allows for social interactions. Handclapping, miming nonsense syllables, “sleepwalking” and changing partners are all part of our journey through the world of dance. As the children become more experienced, their enjoyment increases. There is nothing more satisfying than seeing smiles on their faces by the end of class, or hearing requests for particular dances. Long may the Waldorf tradition continue!