Silvia Lauzzana | Fri 2 Oct 2020
Teacher Silvia Lauzzana on the innovative ideas Steiner kindergartens used to support children’s learning without turning to technology.
Parents know that their young children attending Steiner kindergartens thrive because of the many things they offer: a welcoming and nurturing social environment, where they can play, learn and discover with other children aged three to six, a natural outdoor environment that offers plenty of opportunities for exploration and physical development; the warmth and beauty of toys and equipment made from natural materials.
Parents also know their children thrive due to established trusting and warm relationships with the adults caring for them. The children benefit from the predictability of the routine, and parents know their child’s well-being has been at the heart of the provision and planning.
In common with all schools and early childhood settings, work with children and families was interrupted as a result of the Coronavirus lockdown. Families became isolated, facing illness, bereavement or concerns about their future.
Amidst the uncertainty, stress and fear, Steiner Kindergarten teachers developed ways to support families, starting from a position of strong connection and an ethos of care that includes parents as well as children. Many kindergartens remained open for key worker and vulnerable children as well.
SUPPORT FOR THE CHILDREN AND PARENTS IN THEIR HOME
For those families remaining at home, it was clear from the beginning that the use of technology (not encouraged for children in Steiner Early Years education) was not the appropriate way of communicating with the children.
Instead, the focus was on how to support the parents/carers in caring for their own children. The Steiner Waldorf Schools Fellowship (SWSF) organised a number of webinars for Steiner early years staff at the start and throughout lockdown to provide guidance and support.
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