A new environment, an extension of the home
For nursery, we have designed a project which combines what we consider to be the best methodologies for this stage, such as Montessori, Waldorf or the most recent Culture of Thoughts and the Theory of Loose Parts and Mini Worlds. The two areas for P1 and P2 have recently been renovated and adapted for these more innovative proposals to create a warm and harmonious environment and for Free play, that is spontaneous and without instruction.
In P1 the rhythm is gentle, delicate and very warm, so that the student feels that it is an extension of their home, especially during the first days of the year. Under the constant supervision of the teachers, the children move freely about the mats, hammocks and mobile platforms, where their first motor challenges are proposed. In P2, the great accomplishment of the year is dominion over the mobility of the whole body, the development of curiosity, the urge to want to touch everything, to go to wherever the object of interest is and the discovery of symbolic play, or role-play.
Nursery students have their own playground, which is located on one of the upper floors, with a playhouse, toys, vehicles, slight and a rubber floor of the type used in public playgrounds, for their safety.
Following the educational proposals of Waldorf and Montessori, the colours of the classrooms are soft and warm, to generate an atmosphere of calm and serenity. Along this line of thought, we do not have visual noise and the furniture is made of natural wood. The toys are also made of this material, which is more in harmony with nature, and also extends to the mobile platforms and the materials handled in order to develop senses such as touch, smell, hearing, etc. The setting also promotes the independence of the infants in the exploration of the learning process. This freedom and self-regulation allows each child to find activities that respond to their evolutionary needs.
We have also adapted artistic expression and Free play from the Waldorf pedagogy as they are more natural expressions for children, we consider them a good way to grow, to acquire knowledge and understand the world around them.
This pedagogy promotes a form of child development that is autonomous, creative, responsible, integrated and with social skills. We respect the rhythm of each student and provide them with different pedagogical stimuli so that they act freely and using their own criteria to choose whatever interests them most at any given time.
We are specialists in the school adaptation process
In Nursery we encourage students to experiment, explore and handle elements through Heuristic play or Treasure chests of recycled material. This model exercises and enriches physical, mental, emotional and social skills. Furthermore, this encourages working in groups, even at such a young age, and also allows the perfection of fine motor skills and for the personality of each child to flourish.
We have taken this a stage further with Loose Parts and Mini Worlds, which puts into the practice the theory that the more elements there are in place, the more possibilities to imagine and create a person has. Therefore, this play with loose parts offers children creative and diverging thinking. When these parts come together, they form Mini Worlds or play scenarios that cover emotions, dreams, desires and fantasies. Open and non-structured material that allows the child to give it the form and meaning that they most like or is of most interest.
The materials used to explore, handle, combine and play together with are small wooden dolls, rings, bowls, stones, mirrors, fabrics, sticks and natural materials such as wicker baskets or pebbles, so that they learn to look at the environment with a possibilistic, imaginative and creative attitude.
Starting in nursery, the students participate, at their own rhythm and level, in important academic events such as Carnival, or Science Week.
In addition to the free play, the main activity in nursery is to work on routines to consolidate good habits, music, dance, psychomotricity, crafts, traditional festivals that we celebrate at school and English. In addition to the tutor and assistant teachers for each year, there is a native English assistant who speaks and plays with the children in English and teaches them songs.
Every year, nursery students are the first to start the academic year, so they have the opportunity to begin one day earlier, to adapt to their new surroundings more calmly. We have years of experience in the adaptation process of nursery students to the school and communication between families is daily and constant. Having started nursery in the school, these children find the change to preschool much easier.