‘In our beautiful classrooms the students experience a deeply reassuring rhythm of story times, play times, meal times and rest.’
As parents know, in the first two years of our child’s life we witness such profound and distinct stages in a child’s development: their mastery of feeding, of crawling, of speaking, of walking. As the child grows older the developments continue. They begin to communicate in sophisticated ways. They begin to represent the world in pictures. They begin to understand reality by playing. Fundamentally they begin to imitate the world around them: their parents, their siblings, the local shopkeeper, the animals they see at the zoo, the trucks they see on the road. For the young child imitation is the core of their education in life. It is through imitation that the child up to the age of 6 or 7 makes sense of the world. You will see this in abundance in a Kindergarten or Prep school.
In these early years of Kindergarten and Prep we do not make heavy demands on intellectual learning but rather give importance to play and social learning. Children of this age learn through what they do rather than through academics. Steiner education meets the needs of the Kindergarten and Prep student with consciously considered, appropriate lesson content and with a warm, safe, nurturing environment. In their art and craft they add to the beauty of their surroundings in a way that reflects and embeds their learning. They experience the world of nature –the stones, the sea, the rivers, plants and animals –through the cyclic unfolding of the seasons. All this allows the child to develop trust in the goodness of the world and those around them. The calm natural rhythm of their life allows the child to develop emotional resilience and an ability to negotiate the modern world with a sense of inner assurance.
Our education offers time for the children’s development to take place in a healthy way. This helps them build the strong foundation that will carry them through the whole of their lives. Experience has shown that children who have had this opportunity are well prepared for primary school and able to take up fully what their education offers.