Our program for 2019 is:
A mixed age program (younger and older children in each group).
Children turning five by December 31st this year attend Kinder for 16 hours per week.
Comprising of two full days (9am-3pm on either a Monday and Wednesday or a Tuesday and Thursday) and one half day (9am-1pm on Fridays). Morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea are provided.
On arrival, parents and children wait for the kindergarten teacher to open the door and welcome them in. Children place a piece of fruit in the basket ready for cutting up then hang up their bags. The children may play inside or outside freely or participate in an activity such as painting, drawing, cooking etc.
Great care is taken to create a protected play-space where the child learns by doing. Simple, homely tasks and artistic activities to both do and see are balanced with story telling, singing games and generous play times.
The kindergarten provides warm, nurturing and inviting surroundings. Great care is taken in choosing colours and materials. For example, the colour of the walls or curtains are a gentle pink, chosen for its warm and life enhancing qualities. Natural materials are used wherever possible. The furniture and equipment used is often made by hand, with attention to beauty and practicality of design.
Playthings are often objects collected from the natural environment; sea shells, nuts, pine cones, logs and other more conventionally shaped blocks. There are also cloths in plain, beautiful colours, and hand carved wooden animals or houses.
Music is an integral part of the program. Children live in a musical element and respond easily and joyfully to the singing voice.
Each day the children are told a story. The story may be taken from nature or may be a traditional fairy tale. The stories are not chosen purely for entertainment, but also for the genuine psychological and spiritual values they contain. Usually the same story is told every day for a week or two, in order that the themes and the rhythm are reinforced in other aspects of the day. No book is used but sometimes small puppets or other props are used to enact the story. The children develop good listening and memory skills and are able to respond freely in their own imaginations to the images in the stories.
The young child responds to the rhythm in his or her day and so the day is structured in a rhythmical way, allowing for extended periods of play interspersed with more formal activities.
The seasonal rhythm is also observed, seeing the songs, stories, verses and foods appropriate to the seasons being presented to the children. Seasonal festivals are held throughout the year.