My, what a busy ‘Summer” Term this has been! The weather has kept us all on our toes but has certainly not dampened the children’s spirits. Fully waterproofed, they have experienced all aspects of rain: creating streams, building bridges and filling buckets from puddles.
We have been regularly planning and organizing festivals. In white Whitsun garb we celebrated, our beautifully laid table serving 23 of us all together. The children skipped and sang merrily around the Maypole and sat transfixed by the flaming torches that lit St John’s Fire.
We have enjoyed a steady flow of visits from children in Nursery. Some who have already joined us and others we look forward to welcoming in September. Chestnuts Kindergarten began a trial period of outdoor play first thing and indoor play to follow. We were very pleased with the calm settled indoor play that resulted. At our staff meeting on Thursday we intend to discuss the initiation of this new routine for both Kindergartens in September.
The Nursery also welcomes numerous new children, where they will be invited to join in their beautiful homely environment. This is now extending more into the garden with an outdoor table for food preparation and snacks and a gazebo for shelter and shade.
This term children have enjoyed digging and planting flowers and vegetables. They are continually involved in the growth and transformation of the now well established garden that the staff have lovingly formed and nurtured.
Our End of term Kindergarten Festival will take place on July 19th at 11am. Could parents of Kindergarten children please be in the Eurythmy Hall at 10.50am at the latest, ready to share with us this expression of your children’s hard work this term. As the holiday commences we hope you will join us on our workdays on Tues 24th and Wed 25th July from 10am – 3pm
For parents of children beginning Class 1 in September this year there will be an introduction meeting with the new Class1 Teacher, Mrs. Zoe Burns on Wed 27th July from 11am – 11.45am in Classroom 1. Finally there is to be work on a new Kindergarten Handbook during the holidays to provide all parents with general guidelines, clothing requirements for the new term and a list of festivals.
Michael House Parent and Toddler Groups continue to meet on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings. Our garden gate lies beyond the Outdoor classroom towards the end of the School drive, but if you are visiting us for the first time we suggest you ask at the main School reception for directions.
The door is open from 8. 30am and we close at 12.30. The early start supports families with older siblings who are being brought to school or Kindergarten for 8.30, while other families for Toddler group are welcome to arrive through the morning. As you become familiar with the rhythm of the morning you will understand the optimum time for yourself and toddler to arrive, giving yourselves time to breathe into the group before the meal gathering or the singing and story circle.. Our Toddler groups are ,unusually not pre booked , which hopefully supports the parent who wishes to be flexible when considering the daily activity of the toddler family and alleviates pressure” to do ” or leave the house.
Our Toddler groups hope to give a space to “gentle” parenting, where respect flows between us for all the unique parents and children that make the world. Besides giving a flavour of Steiner education, we hope to encourage a love for this very early childhood period, which has such an impact on the rest of the child’s life. Our Groups vary daily in size and dynamics, but the rhythm is always there; arrive, time to play, bake and make, chat, observe, prepare meal, gather for meal , clear table , play, tidy, sing, story, goodbye. The play could be indoors or outside, where there is sand, mud water, and sometimes a little wood fire….; the making could be a sharing of craft skills and the observing could be individual or shared….. whatever we wish the group to nourish and let flourish the creative forces of parenting. and to protect the awakening senses of the baby and child from premature stimulation and prescriptive expectation. The intention of the rhythms and environment in our Parent and Toddler Groups is to acknowledge that the child under 5 years old is, in Steiner’s words, “an entirely sensory organ”. We hope
to encourage a feeling for the child to emerge, like the butterflies they are, rather than to be drawn out and led on. . All we are, and think, and do they absorb……we try our best, forgive ourselves and try again.
We wish you all happy holidays and a wonderful summer Best regards The Early Years Team