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Early Childhood Program


Early Childhood Program Receive the child with gratitude Educate them with love Let them go forth in freedom. Rudolf Steiner – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Early Childhood Program

Early Childhood Program
  • Receive the child with gratitude Educate them
    with love Let them go forth in freedom. Rudolf

  • What is Steiner Education? 2
  • Who was Rudolf Steiner?
  • Our Aim 4
  • The Story of Little Sophia 5
  • Kindergarten and Childrens Development 6
  • Stages of Play 7
  • What this means, day-to-day
  • Daily routine at Little Sophia
  • Our Programs 11
  • Playgroup (Birth to 4 years of age)
  • Kingfisher and Dragonfly all day kindergarten
  • (3½6 years of age)
  • Our Teachers 13

What is Steiner Education?
  • children of the factorys employees. Steiner
    agreed with four conditions the school would be
    open to all children, it would be co-educational,
    it would be a unified twelve year school and the
    teachers working directly with the children would
    take the lead in running the school. Molt agreed
    and the school was opened on September 7, 1919.
  • Consistent with his philosophy, called
    anthroposophy, Steiner designed a curriculum
    responsive to the developmental phases of
    childhood which would nurture the childs
    imagination. He thought that schools should cater
    to the needs of children rather than the demands
    of government or economic forces, so he developed
    schools that encouraged creativity and free
  • Steiner schools strive to honour and protect the
    wonder of childhood. Every effort is made to
    ensure that Steiner schools are safe, secure and
    nurturing environments for the children.
  • The aim of Steiner schooling is to educate the
    whole child, head, heart and hands. The
    curriculum is as broad as time will allow and
    balances academic pursuits with artistic and
    practical activities.
  • Steiner teachers are dedicated to creating a
    genuine love of learning within each child. By
    freely using arts and activities in the service
    of teaching academics, the internal motivation to
    learn is developed in the students, doing away
    with the need for competitive testing and
  • Who was Rudolf Steiner?
  • Rudolf Steiner was an Austrian philosopher,
    scientist and artist who was a forerunner in the
    field of modern spiritual scientific
  • In 1919, he was invited to give a series of
    lectures to the workers of the Waldorf-Astoria
    cigarette factory in Stuttgart, Germany. As a
    result, the factorys owner, Emil Molt, asked
    Steiner to establish a school for the

  • Steiner education also has a consistent
    philosophy of child development underlying the
    curriculum. All subjects are introduced in an age
    appropriate manner.
  • As part of a holistic education, Steiner school
    graduates are academically well-prepared for, and
    consistently gain admission to, top universities.
  • Currently there are more than 995 Steiner schools
    in 60 countries, serving approximately 120,000
    students worldwide.
  • Religion in Steiner schools
  • Classes in religious doctrine are not part of the
    Steiner curriculum and children of all religious
    backgrounds attend Steiner schools. The spiritual
    guidance provided is aimed at awakening the
    childs natural reverence for the wonder and
    beauty of life.
  • Seasonal festivals are important times of the
    kindergarten year and foster a meaningful
    connection with natures cycles. They are
    important parts of the program and are central
    points of celebration for families as well.

Our Aim
  • Our aim is to foster enthusiasm, joy and wonder
    for life in an environment of goodness, beauty
    and imagination.
  • Kindergarten is an extension of the home
    environment. Little Sophia provides a warm,
    protective space stimulated by creative play,
    story telling, singing, baking, painting and
  • Our kindergarten program encourages children to
    enter the world at a natural pace.
  • At Little Sophia children are surrounded by
    caring people and treasures from nature which
    assist in the development of an appreciation,
    respect and care for our world.
  • Little Sophia considers it important that, in the
    early years, a childs environment is familiar,
    calm and provides an enriching foundation for
    play, exploration and experimentation.
  • Special care is given at Little Sophia to create
    a play environment that is beautiful, unhurried
    and secure.
  • We make sure we give children high staff-to-child
    ratios and that each person brings a high level
    of experience and care to their time with the
    children. Our toys and rooms are beautiful,
    allowing each child to bring their own
    imagination to play. The food we eat and
    materials we handle are natural and wholesome.

The Story of Little Sophia
  • Little Sophia has been part of the community in
    different forms for over 21 years.
  • We are proud to be an independent, not for profit
    inner-city Steiner kindergarten in Melbourne and
    the first qualified and Steiner Association
    approved sessional kindergarten incorporating all
    day kindergarten in Australia.
  • The quality and depth of our experience speaks
    volumes for the care and love our community of
    teachers, organisers and parents bring to our
    kindergarten, and the warmth and joy they take
  • Little Sophia has lived in Abbotsford Street
    since 2005, in a little cottage with gardens
    front and back. We enjoy being walking distance
    to the Sophia Mundi prep12 campus in the
    beautiful surroundings of the Abbotsford Convent,
    the Collingwood Childrens Farm and the river.

Kindergarten and Childrens Development
  • The first phase of a childs life, from birth to
    around the seventh year, is a time of remarkable
    physical growth, culminating in the change of
    teeth. This is a time of action and imitation.
  • This period is the time for creative play,
    evidenced by the childs inclination to immerse
    themselves in the imaginative world. At Little
    Sophia we foster this will and direction,
    bringing focus and joy to play and the lessons it
  • When the time comes for intellectual activity,
    this focus and joy will be an innate part of
    their learning.
  • Little Sophias programs encourage the childs
    imagination to unfold through play. We consider
    that self-directed, active play, is preferable to
    externally planned and led activities.
  • Play allows the child to develop the ability to
    concentrate, think creatively and be thoroughly
    absorbed in an endeavor.

If a child has been able to play, to give up his
whole living being to the world around him, he
will be able to, in the serious tasks of latter
life, devote himself with confidence and power to
the service of the world. Rudolf Steiner
Stages of Play
  • Rudolf Steiner spoke of three phases or epochs of
    play. At kindergarten, we are concerned with the
    second and third stages of play.
  • The second stage of play
  • The second phase of play occurs from about the
    third to the fifth year the age of imitation.
    This stage is marked by the rapid development of
    new faculties and expressions. All the energy
    which previously went into learning to stand,
    walk, speak and think in the first stage of
    development now finds a new field of endeavor.
  • Notable at this stage is the childs ability to
    create real things out of simple objects, such
    as using a log as an iron, or a seed as a potato.
    The child learns by imitating daily events,
    constantly growing with each new discovery. This
    is the wonder of creative imagination.
  • The third stage of play
  • In the third stage, from five to seven years, the
    primary stimulus is not always from the outside
    world but increasingly comes from within. Play is
    still based on the imitation of adults in the
    environment, but play is increasingly inspired by
    images they have of what they want to do.
  • The play environment
  • Everything within the kindergarten environment
    should contribute to an appreciation of genuine
    and real beauty.
  • The kindergarten has a preference for toys and
    materials that are simple and natural so
    individual imagination determines the use of each
    object. For example, coloured cloths in a basket
    can become capes, babies blankets, princess
    veils, an ocean, a cubby whatever the child
    wants it to be.

  • Electronic media and its effects on the child
  • Little Sophia considers that a childs exposure
    to electronic media produces outcomes that are in
    direct opposition to the education offered in our
    kindergarten. If you have not encountered the
    idea of a media-free childhood before, it can
    come as a surprise, especially when, in our
    modern society, most children spend quite a lot
    of time in front of the television or computer
  • The kindergarten believes that the negative
    outcomes of watching television and DVDs,
    listening to the news and advertising on radio
    and playing computer games far outweigh any
    positive ones.
  • The strong influence of television and other
    media in a childs life is visible in many ways,
    and can be clearly seen in their play. The
    children may seem stuck in creative play,
    unable to play anything but a superhero or
    monster while other children seem to
  • lose their imagination and cant think of
    anything to play at all.
  • More subtle changes may be noted in a child who
    cannot sit still during a story, making it a
    distressing time instead of a time of wonder and
    delight. There are many well documented negative
    effects of television on children including
    hyperactivity, lack of attention span, inability
    to complete tasks and perhaps the least
    desirable the dimming effect it has on the
    childs wonderful imagination.
  • For more information, read
  • Whos Bringing Them Up? TV and Child Development
    by Martin Large (Hawthorn Press, 1990)

What this Means, Day-to-Day
  • At Little Sophia, the teacher leads by example,
    working with the children. A daily rhythm
    balances periods of relaxed free play and
    receptive, quiet activities such as drawing,
    painting and listening to stories, with those of
    more directed effort and active pursuits, such as
    circle games, outside play and more.
  • Children feel both the pleasure of solitary play
    and the rewards of being part of the group.
  • The kindergarten room is organised into areas
    such as the home corner, the kitchen and the
    block corner, which invite the children into a
    story. Every toy has a place in a basket or on a
    shelf and when the teachers song or action moves
    the group to the next activity, the children know
    where each toy belongs.
  • Little Sophias teachers work to create an
    atmosphere of reverence for one another and the
    world. Calm and discipline is maintained through
    familiarity and routine, by balancing the flow of
    activity through the day, and through the teacher
    embodying respect and nurturing worthy of
  • High teacher/student ratios support this
    approach, as does the use of high quality
    materials which impart a sense of beauty and
  • Parent involvement, such as through helping to
    prepare morning tea, helps to bring Little Sophia
    further into the childs familiar world, as well
    as allowing parents to see their childs day.

Daily Routine at Little Sophia
  • Morning and afternoon tea is another focal point
    for which the children help prepare food and the
  • Much like at home, cooking is an essential part
    of our program and of a child's environment.
    Quality is vital. Whenever possible, we use
    biodynamic or organic produce, prepared each day
    with love and care. Each morning the smells of
    cooking fill our kindergarten room.
  • The children gather again for a closing story and
    song to end the session.
  • Each session at Little Sophia usually begins with
    a free play period, either outside in the garden,
    or inside the kindergarten room.
  • This may be followed by a more organised activity
    such as bread baking or painting.
  • A free play period may follow before the children
    help to tidy away the wooden animals, stones,
    stools, cloths and tables that they have used to
    build towers, farms, shops or houses, and other
    play activities.

Family Playgroup
  • Each session is rich with homely activities,
    songs, rhymes and stories which celebrate the
    seasons. Parents are offered craft activities
    such as knitting and hand sewing to create toys
    which can be taken up if so desired. All
    playgroups are facilitated by a Steiner trained
    group leader. Term fees apply.
  • Playgroup is a wonderful opportunity for your
    child to explore a social environment beyond the
    family home. It is also an ideal stepping stone
    from informal mothers groups into a more formal
    setting with parents present, ultimately leading
    into kindergarten when their parents no longer
    accompany them.
  • Offered on Mondays throughout the school term for
    children aged 1 month 3.5 years
  • Group 1 9.30am 11.30am
  • Group 2 1.00pm 3.00pm
  • The Playgroup setting is one of warmth, nurturing
    beauty, and parental support. The program seeks
    to protect and nurture early childhood and it is
    play based. It is imbued with a gentle rhythm of
    play (inside and outside) coming together for
    circle songs, washing of hands and sharing a
    morning or afternoon tea of simple, healthy food.

Kingfisher and Dragonfly Programs
  • (3½ to 6 years of age)
  • All day Kindergarten
  • Kingfisher Monday Friday
  • Dragonfly Tuesday Friday
  • 8.30am to 4.30pm
  • Families can choose their childs days of
    attendance. The kindergarten has a preference for
    a minimum of 2 days and maximum of 4 days to
    foster continuity for the child.
  • The Kingfisher and Dragonfly programs are
    provided for children who are 3.5 to 6 years of
    age. Our programs are unique having children of a
    mixed age together. These programs are offered 48
    weeks per year and the Child Care Benefit and
    Child Care Rebate are available for eligible
  • Children are guided by their kindergarten teacher
    in activities that are outward focused, such as
    outdoor play, shared songs and ring games and an
    equally important inward focused time, with
    indoor play, water color painting or gathering
    together for story time and circle time.
  • The program provides an opportunity for children
    to be in a family group with children of mixed
    ages. It operates throughout the year except for
    public holidays and four weeks over the Christmas
  • The Kingfisher and Dragonfly teachers design the
    programs and work with the children and
    kindergarten assistants to create an environment
    that is calm and nurturing for all.

Our Teachers
  • The greatest influence on a child must be the
    people around them, and with this in mind, the
    teachers at Little Sophia strive to be worthy of
    a child's imitation. This applies to all aspects
    of behaviour, conduct and being. Children, and
    their learning processes, are deeply impacted by
    the environment and the people around them. As
    adult role models, how we move about the
    children, and how we speak to them, matters.
  • Rather than be involved with the children in
    their play, we have tasks of our own to undertake
    and complete such as sewing, winding balls of
    wool, polishing our wooden play materials or
    gardening. Our kindergarten is like a home, so
    tasks of maintenance and repair are part of our
    daily routine.
  • The children invariably want to become involved
    and thats one of the ways they learn the skills
    of life.
  • All of our teachers at Little Sophia are state
    trained and have over 30 years combined Steiner
  • All of our teachers have a range of skills and
    accomplishments from organic biodynamic cooking,
    painting, lyre, doll making, craft, puppeteering
    and masterful storytelling.

  • Kindergartens contact details
  • Address 35-37 Abbotsford St, Abbotsford VIC
  • Phone (03) 9417 2537
  • Email admin_at_littlesophiakindergarten.org.au
  • www.littlesophiakindergarten.org.au

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