High School

The Denver Waldorf High School offers a liberal arts education, consciously aimed to nurture and encourage adolescent ideals. The high school experience aims to balance the students’ academic needs with their longing to find meaning in the world.

Engaging body, intellect, and emotion

At the start of each day, movement helps spark students’ circulation and bring them together. They then engage in a long, uninterrupted seminar (referred to as main lesson in elementary and middle school) to activate their minds, followed by music and elective classes to spark emotional expression. Music classes and elective courses promote the development of healthy emotional expression through creation.

Regarding music, all high school students participate in chorus, with the option to participate in either music ensemble or orchestra until their senior year. Students new to DWS and who have not played their instrument before are strongly encouraged to take private lessons.

Hands-On Learning of Real-World Skills

Students apply what they’ve learned theoretically to scenarios in the real world. For example, a study of soil composition could be applied to a chemistry lesson on acids and bases, as well as a close reading of The Grapes of Wrath, and a course in black-and-white photography in which they learn to develop their own film.

Rhythm of Thinking, Feeling, and Willing

Our goal is to expose our high school students to academic wealth, and demonstrate to them that all knowledge is valuable to encourage their pursuit of wisdom throughout life.

The high school curriculum revisits themes and subjects periodically to strengthen functional knowledge. Students cultivate their ability to think critically, organize ideas and information, and clearly present thoughts through an academically challenging mix of math, English, humanities, physics, life sciences, chemistry, world language, practical, industrial and fine arts, chorus, orchestra, drama, and physical education.

The Best High School Structure for Lifelong Learning

Our seminars are organized into nine four-week blocks. During each block, the curriculum focuses on a single subject (chemistry, math, language arts, history, biology, physics). These focused blocks allow our students the time and expanse to immerse themselves in a subject. In this way, we’re able to hone our students’ true abilities by exposing them to rigorous academics while exciting their critical thinking and developing their academic confidence.

Portfolios

At the end of each block, students revisit the subject, in some cases capturing what they’ve learned by creating their own portfolio. We learn best by teaching. These lesson books give our students the opportunity to solidify the knowledge they’ve gained while exploring their ideal communication mediums, giving them a more complete understanding of themselves and their relationship with knowledge.

Motivation and Confidence to Succeed

Our students leave The Denver Waldorf School knowing who they are, what success means to them, and how to achieve it. They leave with the motivation and the confidence to achieve. From ninth through twelfth grade, a new image of the adult develops in the young person’s mind and becomes their ideal. Truthfulness, thoughtfulness, self-possession, consideration, strong-mindedness, warm-heartedness — these are the qualities our students learn to hold as their ideal.

Ninth Grade

Discovering what the world is like

As ninth graders begin to embody their own thinking and individuality, former certainties are called into question by the chaos of puberty. Students need confidence in the physical grounding of their existence, so studies include organic chemistry, geometry, and earth science. They also explore history through art, becoming aware of evolutions in architecture, depictions of nature, and portrayals of the human form over the centuries.

ObservationDescriptionIndividualityQuestioning

Language Arts

  • Shakespeare
  • The novel
  • Composition
  • Analysis

Social Studies

  • Art history
  • Revolutions
  • Multicultural American history

Science

  • Geology
  • Anatomy
  • Organic chemistry
  • Thermodynamics

Math

  • Conics
  • Linear equations
  • Combinatorics
  • Quadratic equations

World Languages

  • Spanish

Visual Arts

  • Black-and-white drawing
  • Calligraphy

Practical Arts

  • Basketry
  • Woodwork
  • Printmakinga

Industrial Arts

  • Thermodynamics lab

Theater

  • One-act plays

Music

  • Chorus
  • Music ensemble
  • Orchestra

Athletics and Movement

  • Gym
  • Set building
  • Yoga
  • Team sports

Field Trips and Community Service

Ninth Grade In-Depth

Interested in learning more about our ninth grade curriculum? Complete the form and we'll email you our in-depth ninth grade brochure that offers expanded information on The Denver Waldorf education.

Tenth Grade

Bringing contrasts into balance

Having attained a more harmonious inner life, tenth graders are ready to explore the processes that balance the world. They study mechanics, with its laws of balanced forces and motions, as well as Euclidean proofs and the elements of poetry. And they look to ancient cultures for an appreciation of the evolution of consciousness that culminated in the epitome of harmony and form represented by ancient Greece.

ComparisonDiscriminationJudgment

Language Arts

  • Poetry
  • Research writing
  • Historical fiction
  • Bible as literature

Social Studies

  • Ancient history
  • Geography
  • American history

Science

  • Physiology
  • Mechanics
  • Acids and bases

Math

  • Sequences and series
  • Exponents and logarithms
  • Trigonometry
  • Periodic functions

 

World Languages

  • Spanish

Visual Arts

  • Oil/acrylic painting
  • Mosaics

Practical Arts

  • Woodworking
  • Black-and-white photography
  • Copper work
  • Clay

Industrial Arts

  • Mechanics lab

Theater

  • Class play

Music

  • Chorus
  • Music ensemble
  • Orchestra

Athletics and Movement

  • Gym
  • Set building
  • Yoga
  • Team sports

Field Trips and Community Service

Tenth Grade In-Depth

Interested in learning more about our tenth grade curriculum? Complete the form and we'll email you our in-depth tenth grade brochure that offers expanded information on The Denver Waldorf education.

Eleventh Grade

The individual internal world

Eleventh graders now embark on a lifelong quest for knowledge of self and others. The central question this year is why? Students grapple with the stories of Parzival and Hamlet and examine the philosophy of Descartes. In the sciences, the physics of electromagnetic fields exemplify the possibility of knowing what cannot be perceived directly.

AnalysisMeaningPurpose

Language Arts

  • Shakespeare
  • Debate
  • Parzival
  • Journalism
  • Romantic poetry

Social Studies

  • Medieval history
  • Music history

Science

  • Embryology
  • Botany
  • Immunology
  • Electromagnetism
  • Astronomy

Math

  • Projective geometry
  • Complex numbers
  • Linear sequences
  • Analytical geometry

World Languages

  • Spanish

Visual Arts

  • Painting
  • Collage

Practical Arts

  • Woodworking
  • Glass
  • Clay

Industrial Arts

  • Electromagnetism lab

Theater

  • Class play

Music

  • Chorus
  • Music ensemble
  • Orchestra

Athletics and Movement

  • Gym
  • Set building
  • Yoga
  • Team sports

Field Trips and Community Service

Eleventh Grade In-Depth

Interested in learning more about our eleventh grade curriculum? Complete the form and we'll email you our in-depth eleventh grade brochure that offers expanded information on The Denver Waldorf education.

Twelfth Grade

Emerging individuality

Twelfth grade nurtures the capacity for comprehending the evolution of the human being and the natural world. Students explore the nature of being through American transcendentalism, Goethe’s Faust, evolutionary theory, and modern economic history. Independent senior projects reflect the emerging individuality of each student, culminating in an artistic, oral, and written presentation incorporating personal research and service.

SynthesisExistentialismTranscendence

Language Arts

  • Composition
  • Transcendentalism
  • Faust
  • Russian literature

Social Studies

  • 20th Century history
  • Architecture

Science

  • Zoology
  • Optics
  • Planet earth
  • Biochemistry

Math

  • Precalculus
  • Calculus I and II
  • Statistics
  • Chaos
  • Personal finance
  • Polynomials

World Languages

  • Spanish

Visual Arts

  • Plein air
  • Life drawing

Practical Arts

  • Woodworking
  • Black-and-white photography
  • Stone carving
  • Blacksmithing

Industrial Arts

  • Electromagnetism lab

Theater

  • Class play

Music

  • Chorus
  • Music ensemble
  • Orchestra

Athletics and Movement

  • Gym
  • Set building
  • Yoga
  • Team sports

Field Trips and Community Service

Twelfth Grade In-Depth

Interested in learning more about our twelfth grade curriculum? Complete the form and we'll email you our in-depth twelfth grade brochure that offers expanded information on The Denver Waldorf education.