The Kindergarten offers the best possible start for children from 3 – 6 years old. We provide a caring, supportive and stimulating environment in a warm, light and large double room. It is modelled on the European system where children learn through both play and work.
The school day is split into a morning and afternoon session, with the older children beginning to stay all day. There is a maximum of 12 children per session with 2 teachers. The kindergarten is divided with lower primary 6-8 years by a sliding wall.
Some parents will only want their child to attend until the year in which they are 5, so that they can move onto to their local school. This is perfectly acceptable. However we would just add that experience has shown us that 4 year olds greatly benefit from at least spending an extra year in this class as this allows them to consolidate socially and academically, and gives them the opportunity to be one of the older children.
The relationship between the younger and older children is inspiring for both parties as the younger children look up to and learn from the older ones, whilst the older children enjoy the respect and extra responsibilities their elder status confers upon them.
Working towards Independence
Everyday tasks, that we take for granted, are to the child the vital skills required to function effectively in their culture. Mastering these basic skills leads the child towards a greater degree of independence. The Kindergarten is therefore equipped with a large range of ‘practical life materials’- exercises that allow the children to practice basic skills such as pouring, sorting, cleaning etc… Each child is also given a job for the week such as laying the table for lunch, tidying the snack table or watering the plants. The children are made to feel that the classroom is their ‘little house’. When children feel they have real power in their environment it is remarkable how careful they are in looking after and tidying up their classroom. Sweeping, mopping, and scrubbing are all favourite activities in the class! As the children increase their level of independence so they increase their self-esteem and confidence in the world and begin to feel a useful and trusted member of their society.
Understanding their World
By the age of 3 children are generally consumed with curiosity about their world. In the Kindergarten we try to work with the children’s questions as much as possible, often building a whole lesson around a child’s question. The classroom is full of many different materials for teacher and child to use, covering a wide range of subjects, from language to cosmology. The equipment and furniture are largely wooden, which helps to create a calm atmosphere.
We may do many daily activities outside in good weather.
The Kindergarten Week
9.30 – 10.45 Free choice
10.45 – 11.15 Yard time
11.15 – 12.00 Individual or group lessons
12.00 – 1.00 Lunch and tidy up
1.00 – 2.00 Forest time
2.00 – 3.00 Free choice and individual or group lesson
3.00 – 3.30 Story and sort work for taking home