Kindergarten4 to 6 years
Kindergarten (3 years six months to 6 years)
8.40am – 1.10pm There are currently three Kindergarten groups within the school and Singing Tree satellite kindergarten situated in Falmer (see Singing Tree’s page here). Within each of the main school’s Kindergartens the age range is between 3 years 6 months to 6 years old. The curriculum for the Kindergarten is structured to respond to the children’s developmental needs, builds their confidence and prepares them for their move to the Main School. We begin each morning with a walk up to the edge of the South Downs, enjoying the views over the town and sea, the many wild flowers and birds, the children rolling down the hills and talking to the urban shepherd and other friends we have made. Our rhythm allows for creative play, outdoor time and our daily activities, such as; wet on wet painting, eurythmy, baking, handwork and crafts. All the materials the children use are from natural sources, for example; brightly coloured beeswax crayons, sheep’s fleece and wood for our woodwork activities. The creative play in Kindergarten allows the children’s imagination to flourish. On a typical Kindergarten morning a visitor would see children building castles, pirate ships, a fire station and perhaps a sushi restaurant or pizza factory! Love of language and communication is fostered through stories, songs, rhymes and puppet shows, along with the personal interactions of creative play. Numeracy skills develop in play through stacking, sorting, collecting, gathering, clapping and counting. Creative tasks such as painting and drawing and domestic activities, for example cooking and sewing, develop co-ordination and creativity. The children also learn to love and respect the earth and the earth’s seasons by tending the garden, planting flowers and vegetables and harvesting their produce.
Children learn directly from life and the world around them. Formal academic concepts are taught slightly later in the Steiner Waldorf Curriculum. During the Kindergarten years, the vital building blocks for learning are laid down within a reassuring day-to-day rhythm and the yearly flow of seasonal change and festivals. Festivals Our Early Years community welcomes family and friends to join us in school to celebrate our Festivals, which are held throughout the school year. Our Festivals are a vital and joyous part of our curriculum and brought to the children through stories, songs and activities.
Little Kindergarten is for children 2 Years six months to 3 years and 6 months old. See the Little Kindergarten page here.
Singing Tree Satellite Kindergarten in Falmer Village
(2 years 10 months to 6yrs) 9am – 1pm (9am 3pm on Mondays)
Singing Tree is Brighton Steiner School’s first satellite kindergarten and it is located in Falmer village. It was originally established as an independent Kindergarten in September 2008 and after a couple of years it was taken over by Brighton Steiner School and it became its first satellite kindergarten. Situated at the foot of the South Downs, next to Falmer village pond with all the resident ducks and geese, the setting is truly idyllic and must be seen to be appreciated. We are conveniently located between Lewes and Brighton, just off the A27 past the farm shop and close to both Brighton and Sussex Universities. Falmer Village Hall is a bright, spacious setting with beautiful wooden floors and a garden for outdoor play. The children have walks around the pond and through the local farm. Our weekly rhythm includes a painting day, crafts and baking bread, as well as daily time for children to play.
Kindergarten is open Monday to Thursday in Falmer Village Hall, with a weekly Forest Day in Stanmer Park on Friday. There is an optional afternoon session on Monday until 3pm. We hope to offer more afternoons at some point in the future, though children can access the afternoon sessions at the Brighton Steiner School site until 5:40 pm.
At Singing Tree, the older children are encouraged to look after the younger ones, a bit like a big family with children ranging from rising three to six years old. The curriculum works with Steiner’s child development model, so we learn through play, crafts and practical jobs such a preparing vegetables for snack, laying the table and all tidying up together. Children under 6 benefit from a more domestic environment, so kindergartens feel very homely with pink ceiling veils at Singing Tree and a pink play house with a wooden play cooker in. We sing lots of songs, play and walk outside and have a weekly forest day, (when children are ready for a whole morning outside).
Reading, writing and written arithmetic come later, much like in the Finnish model, after the child turns 6. We do count and do maths but in song and real life situations. Such as how many plates to we need for today’s snack? How many chairs for story? How many cups of flour do we need for our bread? We prepare a rich foundation of speech, listening and language, for reading and writing which come when the children are ready (not when the government thinks they should be learning phonics). We develop concentration gradually and have lots of time for children to develop their balance, co-ordination, dexterity and social skills. All of the movement opportunities in kindergarten help to create nimble thinking, problem solving, good inter-hemispheric neural connections and so much more. We have a session of eurythmy weekly too, which incorporates purposeful movements with songs and verses in kindergarten, if you haven’t heard about what eurythmy is, look at the link in the curriculum section. It is amazing what children are learning whilst in play, preparing for festivals other kindergarten activities such as in ring-time. We believe that childhood is precious, it is not a race but a journey to be enjoyed along the way!
Jasmin Brackenfield, Singing Tree Kindergarten Teacher
Come to visit us to find out more. Our open days and other events are all posted on our Facebook page as well as on this site.
Forest days in Stanmer Park
On our Forest day we love walks through the beautiful woods of Stanmer Park. We cook soup on the open fire, make crafts out of treasures that we find on our way and enjoy playing outside.
Contact us to arrange a visit to see the kindergarten in session. Kindergarten address: Falmer Village Hall, South Street, Falmer, BN1 9PB Singing Tree Mobile number 0744 3981560
The kindergartens have been on their summer beach trips this term. Singing Tree Kindergarten had their first ever beach trip and went to Saltdean. The children went rock-pooling and exploring. What a reward for a still child to see a few brave shrimps scuttle out from...
Our series of weekly parenting talks starts again in the Summer term each Wednesday in term time. Not to be missed! Starting Wednesday 10th May 2017 5:30-7 pm At: Brighton Steiner School, Roedean Road, Brighton, BN2 5RA. ALL WELCOME. There will be a creche provided,...
Early Years News from the Administrator: Little Kindergarten now taking children from 2 years 6 months.
I am pleased to inform you that a variation of the Schools Registration has been processed which now permits it to enrol children from the age of 2 years 6 months. In keeping with this change in admissions the school will now be accepting applications (from the Spring...
Dear families we are delighted to tell you about some changes in the early years. from September we are changing the names of our kindergarten's and playgroup. Sally's kindergarten will become Willow Tree Kindergarten Kim's will become Cherry Tree Kindergarten....