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The Kindergarten is based, as is the School, on the principles of education as indicated by Rudolf Steiner, Austrian philosopher, scientist and educator.

The first seven years of a child’s life are of the utmost importance for developing capacities needed later in life. The Kindergarten is an environment where children can play imaginatively and creatively, and can freely develop within their own world. There is a balance between ‘free’ play and the sharing of activities. Through Festivals and special occasions the experience sof wonder is nurtured, as is their joy and enthusiasm for simple tasks.

Each day has its rhythm and the children come to know that each day also has its own activity, rather than all activities being available ‘on demand’. For example, Monday may be painting day, Tuesday baking day, Wednesday modelling day and so on. Sometimes there is a special time for a particular activity as with painting, sometimes the activity arises out of free play.

After a brief rest we gather together for a more reflective, inward moment in the day. Time to sing, speak our morning verse and play a seasonal game or two. We then wash our hands before sitting down to morning tea at the table. A couple of children help to serve the drinks and soon all is ready - flowers and candle in the centre, and grace is said.

After morning tea it is time to go outside, to swing, build in the sandpit, to climb or to help care for the garden.

Before the children go home, they will gather once more to hear a story, always told by the Kindergarten teacher (rather than read).

Sometimes it is a simple story from nature or life, sometimes a fairy tale with all its hidden truths. The children will hear the same story for a number of days. This appeals to their love of repetition and rhythm. They get to know the characters and to anticipate specific events within the story. Later one can sometimes see one or other character from the story appear during free play.
The work of the Kindergarten progresses through rhythm and harmony, through the home-like atmosphere; and the child learns to take his or her place in the world through imitation and by ‘doing’. And, as they are not being asked to give their energies to understanding abstract ideas, the children are able to assimilate their experiences and to get on with the important task of building strong, healthy bodies.

Toys in the Kindergarten are handcrafted from natural materials. They tend to be left ‘unfinished’ so that the children can finish them with their own imagination. A simple doll without a face or elaborate clothing can be an old woman or a princess. A piece of wood with simple shaping enables the child to imagine it as a horse on one day, a lion the next. Tables can become boats, trains, mountains and so on. Much use is made of cloths, logs, pinecones, shells and similar simple materials.

Some Useful Information

  • Our morning sessions run from 8:45 am - 12:45 pm .
  • Children usually start after their fourth birthday, attending around three sessions a week to begin with. Nursery Group commences at 21/2 years old.
  • Each group has a mixture and balance of ages of both boys and girls aged from four to six years.
  • Children need to bring:
    • A piece of organic fruit for a shared morning tea
    • Lunch (no chips, sweets or chocolate please)
    • Indoor shoes/slippers, these may be kept at kindergarten
    • Sunhat or woollen hat, depending on the season
    • Appropriate, warm, child-like clothing
  • We ask that the child’s own toys stay at home. Sometimes there may be an occasion where it is appropriate that a soft toy accompanies the child.
  • Children remain in kindergarten until after their sixth birthday and finish the year together before entering Class One the following year.
  • We strongly discourage television viewing for children

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Christchurch Rudolf Steiner School
19 Ombersley Terrace · PO Box 19944 · Opawa · Christchurch 8002
Phone + 64 (0)3 337 0514 · Fax + 64 (0)3 337 0515 · Email admin@ch.steiner.school.nz

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