Early Childhood - Mansfield Steiner School, Victoria

Early Childhood

The enjoyment of an unhurried childhood is a gift to any child in the increasing busyness and pressure of our modern world. At Mansfield Steiner School early childhood years are split into three stages.

Children at Mansfield Steiner School experience the enjoyment of an unhurried childhood. Our aim is to foster enthusiasm, joy and wonder for life in an environment of goodness, beauty and imagination. At Mansfield Steiner School early childhood years are split into three stages

 

Playgroup

Playgroup introduces parents and children to the beauty of Steiner education. Our Playgroups are designed to cater for families of young children from birth to three years of age. Parents come together to meet in a friendly atmosphere, sharing knowledge of the child’s first years. Our facilitator brings a wealth of experience in early childhood development and holds parent and child in a nurturing space of warmth, reverence and acceptance. Playgroups allow children to become engaged in worthwhile play and quiet activity with other children, with the security of their parent or guardian. The atmosphere of playgroup is warm, gentle and enfolding. Children are surrounded with calming colours, natural materials and simple toys. This encourages creative and imaginative play and develops a sensitivity to and respect for nature.

When: Mondays & Fridays during the school term

Time: 9.30am–11.30am

Cost: FREE

Bring: A piece of fruit to share

Venue: Morning Star room and garden

Contact: Jane Nealon

Pre-school/Kinder – ‘Morning Star’

The Morning Star program offers a play-based curriculum that fosters the child’s physical, social, emotional and cognitive development. The surroundings are orderly, beautiful and calm, inviting the child to engage in learning in a secure, creative and inspiring environment. Children in the Morning Star program are turning four and five years of age within the calendar year.

Through active investigation of the natural environment in our beautiful gardens and beyond, the child’s innate sense of wonder is fostered. A reverence for the rhythm of the seasons and the beauty of our world lays the basis for future environmental stewardship.

Strong foundations for literacy are developed through verse, song, rhythms, rhymes and stories. Our arts and craft activities- such as beeswax modelling, painting and drawing- develop dexterity and an appreciation of beauty and craftsmanship.

Healthy social relationships are nurtured through a balance of play and structured activities. Children in the Morning Star program learn to share, to take turns and to listen to one another in a caring way. They engage in practical activities such as cooking and gardening. The child’s desire to learn by doing is fulfilled. A sense of clear, unpressured achievement strengthens the child’s will and self-esteem.

Children actively develop good learning habits and a sense of gratitude. Children work in an environment that is considerate and respectful so that school becomes a special, valued place.

The Morning Star program is attuned to the developmental needs of the child. Each child is born with a natural curiosity for the world, a sense of wonder, a spontaneous joy in simple things, a lively enthusiasm for living. Our teachers work with this in mind and align their teaching methods to support the developmental needs of the child and to respect the child’s wonder for the beauty and mystery of the natural world.

When: Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday

Time: 9am – 3.20pm

Cost: See the School Fee Schedule

Bring: A piece of fruit or veg to share

Contact: (03) 5779 1445

Enrolment enquires welcome see Enrolment Procedure

Prep – ‘Rosa Mundi’

The focus of the Rosa Mundi year is one of “preparation”. The program endeavours to lay the foundation for physical health and vitality. It fosters a sense of wonder and an interest in the world. Children cultivate an inner readiness to learn and meet the world through personal experiences. Children develop their ability to form meaningful relationships, and embark on a journey of lifelong physical, emotional, intellectual and inner development.

Rosa Mundi children follow a structured program with a balance of experiential learning and creative play. The focus of the program is to encourage children through experiences. By physically doing the young child grows not only in their physical development but extends their speech and oral language development, mental abilities and attitude towards learning. The program follows a rhythmical, harmonious and secure daily routine. Emphasis is given to creating a balance in challenging and restful activities both within the day and over each week. The children’s work reflects the seasons of the year and is celebrated with social festivals.

Play is recognised as a serious and vital activity through which the children’s powers of creativity, imagination and initiative are cultivated. Young children learn through play, approaching it in entirely individual ways and out of their unique experiences of the world in which they live. The environment is ordered, clean, natural and organic and is set up in a way to safeguard healthy play. Using open-ended play materials enables the child to develop their imagination and sense of creativity. Simple objects with no predetermined use enable children to find endless possibilities in their play. Children are fully immersed in the activity of play, planning and designing and problem solving in activities that come freely from their own intrinsic motivation, and are carried by their own will and their engagement with others. Our aim is to foster enthusiasm, joy and wonder for life in an environment of goodness, beauty and imagination.

 

Solid foundations for language skills are laid in the Rosa Mundi program. Children develop a genuine love of language through verse, song, rhythms, rhymes and stories. The child experiences a rich variety of oral language experiences. Movement accompanies these experiences so that the child’s fine and gross motor skills are also developed. The teacher aims to enrich the children’s oral language and to provide opportunities for them to develop social awareness through encouraging respectful interactions. Each day the children and the teachers come together for morning circle, where they sing songs, recite verses and poems and participate in dances and finger plays. Later in the day they all meet again for story time, where they are exposed to traditional folk and fairy tales and simple nature stories. The teacher provides the children with rich and beautiful oral language experiences, which provide a wonderful foundation for the language work that comes later in their educational journey.

 “If you want your children to be brilliant, tell them fairy tales. If you want your children to be even more brilliant, tell them even more fairy tales.

       ~Albert Einstein

Numeracy skills are introduced through formal and informal experiences with pattern recognition and through imagination, imitation and creative play. Numeracy skills are embedded in their work as the children stack, measure, sort, collect, gather and count, and sing number rhymes. Problem solving and communication skills are fostered through interaction with the teacher and peers.

The child in their first seven years wants to be physically active, learns by imitation, and lives in a world of “doing”, through will dominant activity. The Rosa Mundi program fulfills this need for physical movement by supporting learning through imitation as a fundamental key to developing successful confident children. Cognitive, social, emotional and physical skills are afforded equal value and many different competencies are developed. Children need time and opportunity to practice practical and useful skills. They engage in domestic activities where they feel a sense of achievement and challenge through contributing to, caring for and creating something beautiful. The simple acts of cleaning, sweeping, digging, weeding, building, kneading, sewing and preparing a meal support the healthy development of well rounded confident and capable learners ready to meet the challenges of the next stage of development.

Children in the Rosa Mundi program turn five before the 30th April and have turned six and demonstrated class one readiness before they embark on the class journey in Class One. The child will then begin their six-year journey with a Class Teacher. The activities in the Rosa Mundi program support the development of the young child in readiness for formal academic learning in the Primary School. Children are well prepared, ready to learn and they progress quickly.

When: Monday to Friday

Time: 9am – 3.20pm

Cost: See the School Fee Schedule

Contact: (03) 5779 1445

Enrolment enquires welcome see Enrolment Procedure