Cassia is a mixed age Transition class, where children turn 5 or 6.
Younger children turning 5 years old before the 30th of June attend three full days from 8.30am- 2.50pm Monday to Wednesday and a further half day from 8.30am-12.30pm on Thursdays.
Older children turning 6 years during the transition year and turning 6 during January and February of the following year attend Monday to Thursday 8.30am-2.50pm and Fridays from 8.30am-1.00pm. The program is based on the Steiner curriculum framework. Pre-numeracy and literacy skills are taught through movement, the senses, play and experiential learning experiences.
The curriculum in a Steiner transition class is based on the understanding that a child learns best through play, the senses, movement, experiential learning and imitation. Therefore children need to be active and play. This supports their deep body based learning.
Materials and toys are aesthetic, natural and often handmade and together with our spacious creative outdoor environment, support open-ended play and sensory well-being.
A sense of contentment is fostered, as a necessary state to think and reflect – to learn. In addition, neurological readiness for formal learning is developed through our focus on strengthening the physical capacities of children.
Children naturally bring openness, reverence and an ability to absorb the nuances of what they experience. So in the Cassia day we surround them with worthy activities and role models. We offer artistic activities that expose children to rich colour and language. Daily movement and singing find their way into the children’s bodily development and imagination. Meaningful activities that serve a purpose – such as bread baking, gardening, sewing and woodwork support a growing sense of purpose, skill and connection. Each day and each interaction is approached with reverence and care to develop respectful attitudes for all and the world around us.
We value the land on which our school is built and the diverse cultures of our local community. We strive to foster an appreciation of what is unique, as well as recognizing commonality.
Gratitude and reverence are a daily part of our class and the foundation of our seasonal festivals. The Cassia curriculum follows the Australian Steiner Curriculum Framework and implements the practices and principles of the Early Years Learning Framework. It covers all subjects in a hands on, real life way.
The Cassia day offers ample time for child directed, adult supported free play.
THE BENEFITS OF PLAY
Child-initiated play lays a foundation for learning and academic success. Through play, children learn to interact with others, develop language skills, recognize and solve problems, and discover their human potential. It integrates learning in all areas. In short, play helps children make sense of and find their place in the world.
- Physical development:
Active play facilitates children’s sensorimotor development and integration of movement skills.
- Intellectual development:
There is a close link between play and healthy cognitive growth and creative capacities.
It lays the foundation for later academic success in reading and writing. It provides hands-on experiences with real-life materials that help children develop abstract scientific and mathematical concepts. Play is critical for the development of imagination and creative problem-solving skills.
- Social and emotional learning:
Research suggests that social make-believe play is related to increases in cooperation, empathy, and impulse control, reduced aggression, and better overall emotional and social health.
- Sheer joy:
The evidence is a clear – healthy children of all ages love to play. Experts in child development say that plenty of time for childhood play is one of the key factors leading to happiness in adulthood.
For children to be fully engaged in imaginative play and to take in the learning offered, they need to be held in a secure rhythm and a predictable, aesthetic environment. Rhythm, an ordered daily routine, brings reassurance and continuity and builds trust. A sense that “there is time for everything and for everything there is a time” is cultivated in Cassia. Children’s healthy life habits are supported by repetition of real life tasks. Our daily rhythm would usually include:
- Circle Time (music, speech and movement)
- Indoor creative play.
- Homely real life activities: cooking, bread making, gardening, tidying
- Artistic work: Painting, clay and beeswax modeling, crafts
- Outdoor play in the garden, whittling and woodwork
- Oral storytelling
- Bushwalks /Games
- Wholesome home cooked morning tea and an emphasis on healthy food.
- The curriculum is interwoven into these activities in a natural way.