Introducing The Willow Tree Kindergarten’s ‘Little Kindy’

Willow Tree Steiner Kindergarten has announced the opening of a new early years setting at The Steiner Academy Bristol site in Fishponds – The Willow Tree’s Little Kindy!

This is a satellite kindergarten to the already established Willow Tree Kindergarten provision for 3-6 year olds in St Werburghs.

Starting in September 2017, the Little Kindy will take place on Monday – Friday from 8.30am – 12.30pm and will provide places to rising 3 year olds (term before the child turns 3) through to 4.

The Little Willow Tree Kindergarten is for children who are ready to leave their parents for a little while, in a calm and peaceful environment, which very gently bridges the gap between the Parent and Child Groups and older children kindergarten.

This group is tailored to meet the needs of this age-group, recognising its particular challenges and delights! Care is taken to sensitively support the process of separating from parents and settling in to another community group, with an awareness that the needs of each child and family will be different.

The warm and homely environment has a daily structure similar to upper kindergarten but the activity, ring time and story are shorter and simpler.

During the Little Kindy morning the children engage in creative play together: baking, painting, simple crafts, gardening, singing, woodwork, polishing and cleaning toys, games and stories are all enjoyed by the children in a happy, secure atmosphere.

By joining in these simple activities, Steiner believed that the children learn a subtle message around integrity, in that, they are tasks of the real world. The rhythm of the year and seasonal festivals play an important part in this educational modality too, as they help to communicate that we are of the earth, and have a place-connection to all living things.

At the Little Kindy we celebrate in a way suitable for this younger age.

At the Little Kindy the children can begin to enjoy playing with other children, working together and starting to develop awareness and care for other people and the world around them. Learning can flourish in a calm, predictable and unhurried environment, which recognises the child’s sensory sensitivities.

The regular rhythms and routines of the sessions allow the children to feel safe and relaxed. Activities are age appropriate and meaningful, promoting concentration, perseverance, dexterity, coordination and creativity, as well as cognitive and language development.

Steiner saw children to be in need of more than intellectual development (Thomas William Nielsen, PhD) and in drawing upon holistic tradition, this system of learning invites the imagination and creative self of the child to develop.

Underpinning this commitment is a believe that given the space, children will develop an agile creative mind that will lend itself to complex problem solving in later life, thus resulting in a resilient adult.

At the Little Kindy the children can learn and develop skills by imitating the adults working alongside them. The play items in the setting are made of natural materials and are as ‘open-ended’ as possible – to maximise the potential for creative play and physical development.

There is a mix within each morning of child-led and adult-led activity, helping children to develop self-confidence and creative abilities as well as learning to follow an adult’s lead and participating in a group.

The repetition over several weeks of activities, songs, rhymes and stories encourages the development of memory, competence, confidence and understanding. There are extensive daily opportunities for free play and exploration indoors and outside in the garden.

The Little Willow Tree Kindy is open five mornings per week with up to 12 children attending each session, gradually moving towards a child group of 18 each day.

The morning runs from 8.30am/9.00am until 12.30pm for five mornings per week. From January 2018 there will also be the option of staying for a packed lunch from 12.30pm to 1:30pm, however this will only be arranged if the demand is sufficient.

The Little Willow Tree Kindy is now enrolling rising 3 year olds (the term before the childs third birthday) to 4 year olds. Attending the Willow Tree Little Kindy has no bearing on your eligibility for the Steiner Academy provision.

Please get in touch for more information using the following contact details:

Inga Denham, Willow Tree Admin: info@willowtreekindergarten.org.uk  Tel: 07955  588903

Charlotte Brydon-Smith: Willow Tree Kindergarten Chair of Trustees: charlottebrydonsmith@gmail.com /phone: 07900814100.

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