From 3 – 5/6 years
As Kindergarten is often the first step away from home, we provide a homely atmosphere where young children can flourish; filled with a healthy balance of engaging activities and self-directed play, all specially designed to prepare the ground as fully as possible for the start of formal learning.
Learning Through Play
The Kindergarten curriculum is carefully structured to meet the developmental needs of the child. Following many European educational models, Steiner schools do not introduce the teaching of formal concepts until a child is six. The flexibility that creative play engenders is a skill for life. The ability to transform and adapt, to change and recreate is true freedom. If nourished in the early years it can carry through into adulthood. Children in the kindergarten develop lasting social skills; play becomes the work of the child.
Since young children learn by imitation, our Kindergarten teachers lead by example. Pupils discover the importance of watering the plants, tending the garden or feeding leftovers to the birds simply by observing and joining in. The kindergarten is a mixed age small class where the older children model behaviour for the younger children and are engaged in meaningful tasks.
Rhythm and repetition, together with example and imitation, are the basis of early learning. The structured programmes of activity reassure and develop increasing levels of skills. Each day has a routine within which the child feels secure and held. The seasons of the year are an important rhythmic element in the Kindergarten, festivals are celebrated throughout the year which develop a meaningful connection with nature.
Play is at the heart of childhood. The Kindergarten is a haven where children can play imaginatively and creatively. It is an unhurried setting in which the children can grow and thrive and discover their natural love of learning. Everyday the child has plenty of time for free play using open-ended natural resources which allow for imaginative play to develop. Creative play supports physical, emotional and social development and allows children to learn through investigation, exploration and discovery.
Children are involved in learning through activities such as baking, sewing, weaving, modelling, painting, woodwork, fairy tales, games, dance and movement, and singing. Watercolour painting, modelling, hand-crafts and baking awaken creativity, while the imagery of fairy tales, poetry, plays and songs encourages the child’s language skills and feelings. Dexterity and fine motor skills are supported through finger-knitting, sewing and finger games, while gross motor skills are developed through daily outdoor play and circle time activities.
To find out more, or arrange a visit to see our beautiful Kindergarten, please contact our office.
Tel: 01524 381876