Steiner Waldorf Early Years offers a child centred education, honouring the uniqueness of each child while also working with the needs of the whole group. Since a child’s primary mode of learning is that of doing and experiencing, learning is integrated into the daily activities rather than subject based. Children are given time to unfold at their own pace with opportunities for uninterrupted play-based exploration providing a strong foundation for learning.
The importance of play
We believe that play is the true work of childhood. Through playing, the children acquire the basis for social and academic skills at their own pace, as well as developing their interest and confidence.
Rhythm and repetition
Our aim is to build a bridge between home and school by creating a welcoming environment. Each kindergarten day has a balance between child initiated and teacher led activities, with each having its own focus, such as painting, baking, or gardening, keeping the structure of each day the same. The strong rhythm of the days and the repetition that each week carries creates a safe and secure environment for the children.
The natural environment
We spend most of our time outside to develop an awareness of the changing seasons and our natural environment. The play equipment complements this and facilitates imaginative play.
In the Kindergarten, children make real things from real materials that have a useful application in the world they know, such as boats that can float, skipping ropes, and candles. Through their work with real materials, they learn about integrity, and a sense of reverence is nourished through caring for the equipment and the environment.
A lifelong love of learning – the holistic approach
Education in the early years of a child’s life is about instilling a feeling of confidence and genuine interest in the world while laying a foundation for academic learning. We believe in addressing the whole child; head, heart and hands to provide the best possible beginning for the child to grow to their full potential in a way that protects the wonder and delight of early childhood and instils a lifelong love for learning.
Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)
The Phoenix Kindergarten addresses all the seven areas of learning and development in accordance with the EYFS.
Three of these are prime areas:
1) Communication and
2) Physical Development
3) Personal, Social and Emotional Development
In addition, we support four specific areas:
3) Understanding the World
4) Expressive Arts and Design
National Curriculum Exemptions
The Phoenix Kindergarten has exemptions from particular areas of the EYFS that we believe are in conflict with the principles of Steiner Waldorf early years education. These are within the areas of literacy, mathematics and information technology. If you would like more information about this please speak to our staff.