A Deeper Perspective on Early Childhood

Story time is an important part of the curriculum at Toronto Waldorf School kindergartenAt Toronto Waldorf School our focus is Education from a Deeper Perspective™. We strive to inspire our students to evolve into creative thinkers who are personally centred and strongly connected to humanity and the environment.

Our Early Childhood programs nurture the wonder-filled imaginative world of young children, building a strong base for future learning and development. The natural childhood activities build core skills such as sequencing, sensory integration, eye-hand co-ordination, social skills and more.

  • The warm, protective environment creates a secure base for children to explore the broader world and cultivate positive self-perceptions.
  • Our dedicated teachers focus on developing healthy sensory and social integration among the children.
  • The Early Childhood programs ready the child for academic learning in Lower School.

The foundations of education from a deeper perspective™ are:

The Right Thing at the Right Time

  • Playing in the field at Toronto Waldorf SchoolThe entire TWS curriculum is designed to meet the specific needs students experience at different stages of their development.
  • In Early Childhood we work on building a foundation to sustain a young child’s physical, intellectual and social / emotional development.
  • Ample time for free play allows children to engage their imaginations, a natural interest at this age, building a strong base for creative thinking.
  • Free play also enables children to become comfortable in their bodies and further develop their large motor skills.
  • In Joyful Beginnings (our parent-infant program), we work with parents to strengthen their interactions with their child under 2 years old.
  • In Parent & Tot (Age 1.5 - 3), children begin playing in parallel to others, with parents close at hand for comfort and security.
  • The Nursery program (Age 3 - 4) offers a first step away from parents.
  • By Kindergarten, the child (Age 4 - 6) attends school 5 days a week, engaging with peers and teachers. The oldest children provide leadership in the classroom while the younger ones imitate them.

Appreciation of Individuality

  • Each child has a unique learning style; our curriculum provides information through all the senses to meet a wide range of learning styles.
  • Puppet shows present both visual and auditory input.
  • The curriculum presents a full range of activities, indoors and out, each day to meet the needs of each individual child.

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How to Think, Not What to Think

  • Free play is important in the early childhood curriculum at Toronto Waldorf SchoolThe power of abstract thought blossoms in the High School years and beyond. The work in Early Childhood prepares the basis out of which abstract thought and the development of the intellect will develop. This important preparatory work yields a strength for building intelligence throughout life.
  • The teacher’s role in Early Childhood is to provide children with a rich variety of experiences in the classroom and outside in nature. These experiences are not given explanations, but are allowed to live in the thoughts of the children to bear fruit at a later time.
  • The focus on free play and imagination helps children to easily create mental images which later leads to creative thinking and their mobility of intellectual concepts

Environmental Stewardship

  • Playing in the field and forest at Toronto Waldorf SchoolEnvironment stewardship, so crucial to our children’s future, begins with a strong relationship with nature. The Early Childhood program provides a profound opportunity for children to build a connection to nature that will be lifelong and lead to responsible environmental stewardship as adults.
  • Children spend generous amounts of time outdoors every day, in all weather.
  • The TWS farm, garden and forest offer experiences of the natural world in a protected setting.
  • Teachers cultivate gardens around the playground and create opportunities for the children to help maintain them, underscoring our ability to work with and shape the forces of nature.

Experiential Learning

  • Toronto Waldorf School Kindergarten GardenThe TWS Early Childhood program is pure experiential learning. The curriculum is active with a focus on doing; cities are built in the sandbox; treasures for the nature table are found on walks, dramas are enacted with simple costumes.
  • Learning to bake at Toronto Waldorf SchoolMovement permeates the curriculum from fine motor activities such as painting or beeswax modelling to large motor activities like running, jumping and climbing outdoors.
  • Simple props and toys allow children to engage their imaginations and develop the capacities that support intelligence. A wooden play stand can become a ship, castle, restaurant or anything else the child brings into play. Natural materials such as driftwood or shells can be phones, plates or furniture.
  • The capacity to consider and imagine evolves into the openness needed to develop creative solutions for the challenges of today’s world.

The learning environment of the Early Childhood program, carefully crafted by our teachers, provides an ideal educational context for children to develop the capacities to promote physical health, academic success and social responsibility.

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