Know what it is to be a child?
It is to believe in love,
To believe in loveliness
To believe in belief,
It is to turn pumpkins into coaches,
And mice into horses,
Lowliness into loftiness, and nothing into everything.
Francis Thompson (1913)
The program we offer in Kindergarten at Mumbulla School aims to provide a safe, nurturing environment that fosters children’s physical, social, emotional, creative and cognitive development. We offer a play based curriculum, in a homelike environment where daily work in the Kindergarten takes place with a strong predictable rhythm providing the child with a sense of security, anticipation and expectation.
Learning in Kindergarten
The Kindergarten-aged child learns through active exploration and investigation of their physical and social environment. Self directed creative play in the Kindergarten provides opportunities for children to work actively and physically together to plan, create and build. They are learning to work together as a team – problem solving, negotiating, transforming, imagining, inventing, organising, taking turns, sharing equipment, making suggestions and listening to each other.
From imagination to abstract thought
The Kindergarten room has a warm engaging feel that appeals to children’s senses and invites them to explore. Natural open-ended play materials, such as wooden boxes and planks, baskets of pebbles, shells and seed pods, coloured cloths, handmade fabric dolls and wooden animals allow children’s imagination flourish. To a child a shell may be a special ingredient in a cake, or money in shop, or a ticket on a train. It is whatever the children’s imagination creates. Play prepares children for later more formal learning by encouraging and fostering imagination as a foundation for the development of creative, lateral and abstract thinking.
In the Kindergarten children observe and participate in the many purposeful homelike domestic tasks that take place on a daily basis such as preparing the morning tea, setting the table for meals, washing, drying and putting away dishes and sweeping the floor. These experiences help to strengthen and develop children’s will and are the basis for many life skills.
Oral Language Experiences
During the day children participate in a rich variety of oral language experiences. The time honoured art of storytelling allows the children to create inner pictures for themselves, which bring the story alive. Stories include traditional or folk stories, everyday life stories or seasonal nature stories. Rhymes, songs and verses, usually accompanied by movements, provide opportunities for children to practice and master speech articulation, fine and gross motor skills, coordination and dexterity. Stories also foster the development of pictorial or abstract thinking and memory.
Artistic and handiwork experiences such as painting, drawing, finger knitting, wool fleece pictures and French knitting take place on a daily or seasonal basis in Kindergarten. These activities foster children’s creative and aesthetic development and support their fine motor skill development.
The program we offer delays the introduction of formal learning until Class 1 so that we can meet children’s developmental needs and build a rich foundation for later academic learning.
Class 1 Readiness
All Kindergarten children are individually assessed at the end of their time in Kindergarten. This assessment provides the teacher with vital information, allowing them to provide extra support where needed. Please contact your child’s Kindergarten Teacher if you would like more information on this assessment.
Steiner gave indications of how children develop spiritually and emotionally and used this to guide his curriculum and teaching methodology.
These teacher notes on the Kindergarten child offer more insight into these.