Parent & Child Group sessions
A TEAFilms video
MONDAYS 10 am – 12 noon
Parent and Child Group sessions for 2023 – 2024
The principles that underlie all of our work at The St Michael Steiner School are also at the heart of our Parent and Child groups. These principles come out of observation of the developmental stages that children go through as they grow and a perception of what they need at each stage.
Our groups work out of the understanding of the young child enhanced by the work of Rudolf Steiner as well as Emmi Pikler. With this in mind, we aim to provide a supportive environment for parents and carers of young children and a nurturing one for the children themselves; this is reflected in the different groups we facilitate.
Our most important task is to support you whilst you raise and care for your children. We know that parents/carers of young children can sometimes feel exhausted and isolated during this often joyful, fulfilling stage of family life. There is an enormous, ever-growing body of information and advice which can be very helpful, positive, practical and well-meaning. However, it is sometimes contradictory, overwhelming and, at its worst, consumerism/competition-driven.
In our Parent and Child Groups, we strive to offer balance, the opportunity to relax in nature, meet other parents or perhaps dabble in a simple seasonal craft. Or help with a little gardening, peruse the books and pamphlets on offer, whilst your children explore our garden or cosy hut, and play alongside or with each other.
Our group leaders can offer information about Steiner Waldorf Education, Emmi Pikler’s Self-Initiated Physical Development /Respectful Care, as well as parenting issues, if you want to ask them.
Rhythm is natural and nourishing for young children and helps them feel secure and happy. It follows that each of our groups has a consciously chosen basic form.
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday Morning Family Groups for birth to 3½-4 years olds last for two hours, from 10 a.m. to 12 noon. They begin in the garden where children can play freely with natural materials, dig in our sandpit, ‘cook’ in the sand kitchen, climb or roll up and down our ‘hill’, and play on swings. The hut is available for those who, at some point, need a quieter cosy indoor time with their parents enjoying the large floor cushions, the sofa and a basket of picture books, or the home corner with ‘residential doll children’ and woollen animals.
Around halfway through a session, we will wash hands and gather for a healthy shared snack (gluten-free, sugar-free and vegan apple crumble) and herb tea in the ‘barn’. There is then the opportunity for children to have a last outdoor play whilst we slowly tidy up the garden. Before the session ends, we gather on the grass area for a short ‘circle time’, which includes two or three age-appropriate seasonal songs/games in movement/verses and puppets. We end our time together with a goodbye song at the gate.
A QUIET ATMOSPHERE
City children are often surrounded by noise and busy activity, and they need a break from it even more than their parents do. We try as much as possible to provide a quiet, peaceful space in the garden and hut where the children can get lost in their play, where they can experience joy in simple wooden toys, soft dolls and gentle colours. Because our own lives are so full of technology, strong images, background music and constant chatter, these things have become normal for us and we can them out when we need to. Small children can’t do this, and, as adults, we sometimes have to work hard to create a simpler environment for our children. When you come into the Parent and Child Sessions, we hope you will find that much of the work has been done for you.
We all try to be mindful of our topics of conversation and the language and tone of voice we use.
During these times, we ask you, when possible, to participate as young children learn by imitating what people do around them rather than through being instructed. For small children, playing/practising new small/large motor skills are more important for their development than circle time. However, they still benefit from you joining; your musicality, rhythmic movement, playfulness and ultimately sociability will mean they will gain from being around the activity they often cannot resist joining in with the group themselves.
We look forward to meeting you and your children and welcoming you into our School Community.
The Early Childhood Team
Your first visit to one of our groups is complimentary.
Each session is £8.00 per family (concessions are available).
The Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday Parent and Child Group sessions are bookable for half a term at a time, paid in advance. Invoices will be sent to you by our bursar, Marine Gash. The Friday session is open for half-term booking and as a drop-in session and you can pay as you go (cash or card) at the reception.