The first phase from birth to approximately the seventh year is a time of remarkable physical growth. This is a time of action and imitation, where the child completely and unconsciously lives and acts their experience and observation. Through their senses the child takes in the world without discernment. It is therefore vital to ensure that the environment is wholesome and good. The kindergarten teacher works to create an atmosphere in which there is reverence for one another and the world around. The teacher doesn’t direct activities, but rather leads by example, working with the children.
“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
A daily rhythm is established by balancing periods of self-initiated free play with those of more directed effort. Mornings may begin with a free play period followed by a more organised activity such as bread baking or painting. Morning tea is another focal point, where the children often help prepare food and the table. At the end of a session, the children gather again for a closing story and song.
At Little Yarra there are two kindergarten groups; Mother Holle & Briar Rose. Each kindergarten group is in the care of a teacher and an assistant who provide the warm, secure environment in which the children will develop physically, socially and spiritually. The kindergarten multi-age groups consists of children ranging in ages: 3 – 4 year olds (Ring-a-Rosy); 4 – 5 year olds (Kinder children); and 5 – 6 year olds (Prep children).