As students come into Class Nine there is a strong feeling of the present. They want to be citizens of the modern world, but as yet, they don’t have the necessary understanding of it. They are fascinated with power and strength. The curriculum is woven around these themes. For example, power and energy are addressed in physics through mechanics, as well as in history through the study of modern times following the American and French revolutions.
The focus in Class Nine is very much on the body and the physical world around us. There is a significant amount of time spent off campus in bush and coastal settings, walking, canoeing and farming, with one’s senses directed outwardly, towards the external world. This strengthens the students physically, improving all their capacities and self-reliance.
The students begin to understand that thinking embraces the entire world. There is quick movement between the life of feeling and the life of thoughts. Feeling fairly comfortable in themselves they become interested in processes, in development, in metamorphoses. How do things happen? How do governments form? How did language come into being?
The idea of finding out how things work is important and these questions can be futher explored through practical aspects of the curriculum such as surveying and other technical crafts. Fluids are studied in geography and biology – water currents, water power, circulation, the endocrine system and reproduction. Mechanics and inorganic processes are studied in physics and chemistry.