Education and Curriculum
Sunlands has been a Steiner Kindergarten for over 30 years. The teachers take their inspiration from its pedagogy, which is based on the understanding, that education needs to guide children gently and in a holistic way through the different stages of their development, addressing their physical, emotional, spiritual and intellectual side with an unhurried approach for the children’s human and educational journey.
Every day, whatever the weather the children spend time in the garden The children enjoy being outside, being immersed in their self-chosen activity or joining in with the adults and help with the garden work, sowing seeds, planting, weeding, watering.
Being outside playing and working builds up an awareness of the changing seasons, respect for wildlife and the care needed to look after our natural world.
Circle time is the time when the children and the teachers sing seasonal songs, learn rhymes, do some finger games and play ring games. The children learn from the teacher by imitating the gestures and following the words and melody. It is s is a joyful and creative time, is a wonderful way of increasing the children’s love for language and music and works wonders as a tool for social integration.
Snack is prepared in the kindergarten. We use if possible organic food and cater for children’s dietary needs. The older children help to lay the tables and prepare the snack. Counting and measuring comes naturally when involved with the task.
Snack time is a social time, gives the opportunity to have conversations around the table to listen to each other and even to learn some table manners.
The Older Child in the Kindergarten
The curriculum in the last year of the kindergarten is differentiated. The children build on what they already know and can do, however, the expectation is that they show progress, take leadership roles, are helpful with the younger ones, extend their own learning through exploration and discovery, are able to self- regulate and are resilient and keen learners.
In the course of the year, the older children will be involved in craft projects, which will demand a greater level of ability and motor skills, concentration and perseverance. The children in Sunlands will be learning to spin with the drop spindle, which they have made. Then they will weave the homespun wool and create a colourful weaving. In the summer term, they will be busy making a wooden sailing boat.
As a registered Early Years Setting (not a registered school), we offer kindergarten provision for 5-6 years old children for up to 18 hours/week as part of the families home education plan, subject to statutory regulations.