The school has two groups of ‘jardin d’enfants’ which offer young children aged 2 ½ to 6 years a space to grow and thrive. The ‘jardin d’enfants’ develops a number of different qualities in the children: the ability to appreciate quiet as well as movement; an uninhibited creativity that is focussed on art (poetry, music, watercolours); and an ability to be confident in relying on others. The school offers small class sizes with each class having a maximum class size of 20 children.
The rhythm of the day in the Jardin d’Enfants is governed by the activity of the day – bread making, painting, eurhythmy (the art of movement), going for a walk and gardening. Rhythm is a fundamental element of the Steiner-Waldorf education: the rhythm of the child, the rhythm of the seasons and of its celebrations, the rhythm of the week and of the day. These rhythms, along with the natural environment created by the teachers, provide children with a sense of security and structure. Autonomy, initiative, creativity, imagination, responsibility, the curiosity of the spirit and the desire to learn are all nurtured within the children in the jardin d’enfants, so that they can acquire a maturity that is individual, social, emotional, artistic, physical and psychological.
The mixed aged class means that children of different ages take part in the activities together. This helps to ease competitiveness and encourage mutual respect.
During the early years of life, children’s bodies and internal organs are still developing. They are affected and shaped by everything that surrounds them, particularly on a sensory and psychological level. Through active participation in the lively and meaningful activities offered by the teachers, the children are able to develop their skills and talents themselves.