Every spring in a Waldorf school, the 5th grade class studies Greek civilization, learning about the government, history, mythology and culture. As a culmination of the students’ studies, they participate in a Pentathlon, which is an athletic event based on the ancient Greek games. As with all aspects of our Waldorf curriculum, the event is designed to relate directly to the students’ learning and development, bringing relevancy and enthusiasm for their studies. Grouped into five City States- Sparta, Athens, Corinth, Ithaca, and Thebes, the students compete in the following events:

  • Long run
  • Long jump
  • Discus
  • Sprint
  • Javelin
  • Wrestling
Throughout their training and also on the day of the event, students observe the nobility, compassion, and uprightness of each athlete. This also provides an alternate understanding of competition to what is often displayed in our modern popular culture.

In preparation for the festivities, the students also write odes to their favorite Greek goddess or god and recite their compositions to those gathered as part of the opening ceremonies. The ritual opening, with the lighting of the torch and the offering of poems, very much sets a beautiful tone for the day. While the children put forth their best efforts in achieving results in speed and distance, more important is their display of grace, beauty, and form.

Participating Schools

Starting in 2022, The Denver Waldorf School will host numerous schools in the region. This year, the following schools will join us for the Pentathlon on May 13th:

  • Boulder Valley Waldorf School (Niwot, Colorado)
  • Shining Mountain Waldorf School (Boulder, Colorado)
  • North Fork School of Integrated Studies (Paonia, Colorado)
  • Waldorf School on the Roaring Fork (Carbondale, Colorado)
  • Santa Fe Waldorf School (Santa Fe, New Mexico)
  • Prairie Moon Waldorf School (Lawrence, Kansas)