Children can start in Kindergarten soon after they are three years old. The safe and loving atmosphere helps them to make their first move away from the security of their own home, and older children in the group help the adults welcome and care for the little ones.
Each Kindergarten group has a mixed age range from 3 year olds to those who are in their seventh year and looking forward to class 1. The Kindergarten session takes place in the morning and afternoon care is also available.
The Kindergarten follows a gentle and strong rhythm of free play as well as more structured activities such as simple craftwork and handwork activities, baking in the outdoor bread oven and painting. Outdoor playtime, garden activities, and a weekly walk allow for a connection to nature and lots of fresh air. The days are enriched with singing, stories and puppet plays.
A strong sense of rhythm runs through the week and the year with activities that follow the cycle of the seasons and the celebration of festivals.
Imitation and activity is the young child’s natural way of learning. The teachers provide an example to the pupils and cultivate an atmosphere of care and warmth for them.
Creative play is a vital element so that, under the teacher’s care, they can develop their own inner space by imitating adult life and creating imaginative worlds of their own.
Through all these activities our aim is for the children to develop imaginative qualities and respect for others that will guide and nourish them throughout their lives, and provide a strong foundation for their personal, social and intellectual development.
Each September those children who turned 6 by the end of August move up from Kindergarten into Class 1 and join their class teacher who stays with them, ideally until Class 8 (age 13/14). This approach allows for continuity, as well as the development of trusting and authentic relationships, one of the significant characteristics of Steiner Education.
For more information please download the Steiner Academy Hereford Kindergarten Handbook.