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Westside Waldorf School

17310 W. Sunset Blvd.
Pacific Palisades, CA 90272

(310) 454-7064


Philosophy & Approach

School Philosophy

General Approach to Learning: Play-Based, Waldorf

From the Director:

The structure in a Waldorf early childhood classroom comes through the rhythm of the day, led by the teacher. Days are structured so that physical activity and outdoor time alternate with calm quiet periods and indoor time.

Curriculum & Teaching Approach

Learning Philosophy & Tools

  Play- based mostly teacher led not formally in curriculum conducive environment
Language       more

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  • A well-stocked bookcase
  • Storytelling and singing
Oral language  
Nursery rhymes, poems, songs  
Storybook reading  
Emerging literacy skills  
Cognitive development
Math & number sense more

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  • Puzzles
  • Baskets of natural materials such as shells, stones, pine cones, wood blocks, etc.
Time & space more

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  • Calendars and clocks
  • Natural building materials (see above)
Sci. reasoning/physical world more

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  • A place for science activities such as growing plants
  • Pets for children to watch and care for
Music more

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  • Musical instruments
  • Singing
Visual arts more

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  • Materials such as paint, ink, paintbrushes, crayons, markers, chalk, paper, etc.
  • Art work on the walls
Physical activity more

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  • A playground with climbing equipment
  • Bean bags, balls, and other objects that children can throw, kick, and play
  • Tricycles
  • Enough room for children to move around and play and a suitable indoor alternative to the outdoor playground on rainy days
  • Sandboxes and/or water stations for play
Other subjects taught Grades 1-8 Spanish, Japanese,Woodwork,Handwork,Eurythmy,usic, String Instrument,PE,

From the Director:

Textbooks are not used. Teachers tell stories, present puppet shows, and lead movement, singing and handwork on a daily basis. Emphasis is on development of gross and fine motor skills, as well as social skills. Academic instruction in a Waldorf school begins in Grade 1.

Quality of Teaching

Individualized Teaching: From the Director

This concept is not relevant in a Waldorf early childhood classroom. Every individual has strengths and weaknesses. The goal in a Waldorf early childhood classroom is to build confidence in a child's innate talents and to provide support in areas less developed.

Day in the Life

General School Mission

We are committed to providing children with a nurturing early educational experience: whole foods, natural materials and toys stimulate imagination and creativity. Days are structured so that physical activity and outdoor time alternate with calm quiet periods and indoor time. Above all else, our early childhood education programs provide imaginative play with baking, cooking, sewing, singing, verses, storytelling, fingerplay, gardening, drawing, watercolor painting, beeswax modeling and nature walks.

A Typical Day

Free play. Preparation of snack with teacher. Outdoor recess. Snack. Circle time--singing, movement, story or puppet show. Watercolor painting, beeswax modeling or finger knitting. Lunch.

Home-School Connection

Home-School Connection: From the Director

Monthly class meetings, Parent Community Coucil meetings, quarterly lectures and festivals. Parent-Teacher conferences.A high percentage of the Westside Waldorf School nursery students enter the Kindergarten and later elementary school.

Parents Say They are Encouraged to:

  • Sit on the board of trustees
  • Hold social events at the school to build community
  • Fundraise
  • Are required to make donations ourselves
  • Are able to visit the school anytime we want
  • Go on field trips
  • Volunteer in the classroom
  • Receive newsletters

Modes of Communication

  • Notes
  • Phone Calls
  • Voice Mail
  • Email
  • Special Meetings
  • Two or More Regular Conferences
  • Drop-Off
  • Pick-Up
  • Regular newsletter/printed updates circulated to the whole school


Separation is Handled through:

  • Home visits by teachers
  • Pre-entry meetings with parents at school
  • Small group sessions

Handling Separation: From the Director

A Parent Infant/Toddler program for children 2-36 months where child attends 1-2 mornings a week with 1 parent is very helpful in familiarizing children with the school and personnel. When school year begins, class mornings start with lengthy outside free play.