Prep & early childhood
At Birali Steiner School we have created a warm and loving environment that nurtures a slow and gentle unfolding of the young child. These early years, before children reach the age of seven, are strongly formative and lay a firm foundation for later academic learning.
How We Learn
The Steiner early childhood program prepares and strengthens children for their primary school years. We do this by supporting the healthy development of the whole child through the rhythmical approach to the day that allows the child to naturally unfold (rather than feeling rushed or hurried to ‘learn’). We provide them with both ‘time’ and ‘space’ to discover the world around them.
Self directed free play is the heart of the early childhood program and it is viewed as not only a child's real work in life, but also the foundation of creativity. For the young child, play is a way of understanding the world and is vital for healthy emotional and intellectual development. The inner forces of imagination, cognition, problem solving and flexibility, which are developed during play, become the capacities for life-long learning.
Our school activities Include:
In the early childhood context, adults model wholesome and purposeful work, while the children play freely around them. The early childhood educators are conscious to undertake activities that are worthy of imitation as children learn best by imitation and example.
The foundation room is set up to allow for true self-directed play. The room is filled with ‘open ended’ materials (irregularly shaped wood, cloths, etc.) that offer many possibilities, rather than a single fixed idea, developing the imagination of each child. A block of wood is a boat one day and becomes a fishing rod the next. The benefits of play in early childhood have been strongly affirmed by current research.
If a child has been able to play,
to give up his whole being
to the world around him,
he will be able,
in the tasks of later life,
to devote himself with
confidence and purpose
to the service of the world.