Welcome to the Foundation Years
Building relationships and knowing your child
Steiner Education sees teaching as a relational activity where the quality of the relationship between teacher and pupils is central. Knowing your child well is central to our approach to learning. The children meet their Class Teacher who remains with them on their journey throughout the Primary School. The Class Teacher develops a deep knowledge of the children’s educational, social and emotional needs and nurtures their individual strengths, potential and uniqueness. This relationship is strengthened by the close involvement of parents. Your child will be part of a small class group of no more than 15-20 children who grow to appreciate the abilities and qualities of their peers and so also learn from each other.
The Beginning of Formal Schooling
After the Kindergarten the children are eager for the stage where formal schooling begins. The teaching of letters and numbers, of writing, form drawing and calculating takes place through stimulating the imagination and creativity of the children. Using a range of activities including movement, singing, making music, drawing, painting and modelling the children familiarise themselves with the fundamentals of mathematics and literacy, developing core skills in these areas. They learn through imaginative pictures and play which engages their feelings and allows their core skills to develop without pressure and stress. Feeling safe within their Class Group they develop a love of learning and the confidence to express themselves well.
The Main Lesson
Each day begins with the two hour Main Lesson with the Class Teacher. The first part will involve movement and music and poetry as well as regular daily practice of mental arithmetic or spelling. Then the Class will focus for a three or four week period on a particular subject, for example: Mathematics, English Language or Form Drawing. This extended lesson allows the Class to become absorbed in a particular subject and the Class Teacher is able to lead the children through specific learning stages in that subject. After 3-4 weeks the Main Lesson changes and a new subject is taken up while the previous one is allowed to rest. When the Class returns to the first subject after a pause, the learning has been digested and the children are able to use their knowledge in new ways. The Steiner curriculum specifies particular Main Lesson subjects appropriate for the age and stage of development of each year group. In English Language Main Lessons, for example, subject matter is drawn for examples from fairy tales, and from animal fables.
Alongside the core curriculum delivered by the class teacher, a team of specialist teachers enrich the curriculum for the children with Music, Modern Language, Handwork, Form Drawing, Modelling, Eurythmy (an art form combining language, music and movement), and Woodwork.