Waldorf School of New Orleans hosted its first Pentathlon on Sunday, April 18 at the track at Joe W. Brown Park. Our 5th and 6th Graders prepared for weeks under the guidance of Movement Teacher Lila Campbell in order to participate in this this landmark occasion. The students were divided into four city-states: Athens, Corinth, Sparta, and Thebes, and - although the children didn't know it - each group represented one of the Four Temperaments.
The pentathletes read their odes to the Greek gods and completed several events that paid homage to the original Greek Olympic Games: Chariot Race, Wrestling, Sprint, Discus, Javelin, Long Jump, and Relay. They competed, as a whole, to best their previous collective performance during their preparation period. They were ultimately able to score twice their prior point total.
Waldorf students from around the world participate in a Pentathlon at this age. In the U.S. it is typically a regional event, a gathering of students from several fellow Waldorf schools from neighboring states. This year, because of the pandemic, Ms. Campbell worked very hard to organize this milestone event for our school alone so that our students would not miss out. She was assisted by judges Rachel Flores, Rebecca Nelson, and Liz Lichtman. Families gathered to watch, and musicians Denise Bonis, Ben Schenck, and Cassie Watson Francillon added a special touch by providing accompaniment throughout the day.
The Pentathlon event coincides with a Main Lesson block on Greek History.
Photo credit: Amy Marquis