How does Swechha take inspiration from Waldorf philosophy?
Waldorf education at Swechha
Swechha, an initiative by GITAM (deemed to be University), embraces Waldorf philosophy with a vision to introduce and inspire an alternate approach to education in Visakhapatnam.
Being the first Waldorf inspired school in the city of Visakhapatnam, Swechha joins the worldwide movement of more than 1000 Waldorf schools in bringing to life a philosophy that emphasizes child-centered and holistic approach to education.
Derived from the insights of Rudolf Steiner and the tenets of Waldorf education, we strive to nurture children to grow into truly free beings with perseverance to pursue their own will and be visionaries for a better world.
Kindergarten at Swechha takes inspiration from Waldorf approach to create healthy rhythms with meaningful learning experiences in early childhood education. Within the balanced flow of the day, children engage in tasks that foster a joy in learning and develop their will. They explore through play, develop imagination through storytelling and cultivate creativity through art (such as painting, drawing, cooking, knitting, wax modelling). Embedded within the rhythm, children also involve in purposeful work of washing, folding, cleaning which enables them to grow into capable and responsible individuals with perseverance and reverence in the tasks they undertake.
With the motive to be child centric in a true sense, every element of education at Swechha is thought through and designed with the child’s needs at the center of our approach to learning. At an age when it is essential for children to have sensory experiences and movement, we strongly advocate Waldorf approach of limiting screen time to nothing during early years and endeavour to nurture a sense of wonder, curiosity, creativity and imagination in them.
School environment at Swechha
Our classrooms are furnished with soft wall colours, natural textures, simple play materials that create a warm and holistic learning environment for children. Children are provided with experiences to sense the differences in texture, feel the temperature of an object, explore the possibilities of play and express their inner feelings through a variety of materials (such as wooden blocks, handmade dolls with minimal features, different fabrics, block crayons, watercolor paints and beeswax).
The outdoor play area is curated with elements where children connect with nature while developing their sensory and physical capabilities. Sand pits, mud play, pebbles, fallen twigs and flowers embrace the children in the wonder of nature. As they develop their sense of bodily balance while playing, climbing, jumping they also begin to observe the change of seasons and cycles of life.
Kindergarten at Swechha
At Swechha, our Kindergarten admissions are open for children between 3-6 years of age. We ascribe to the Waldorf approach of a mixed-age classroom during early childhood where the older and younger children balance each other out. The mixed-age kindergarten creates a loving family environment where the children support each other and play with less adult intervention. While the little ones benefit from having role models at the next developmental stage to emulate, the older children's excitement for play is reignited by the younger ones. The curriculum is designed so that children can learn from each other and each can develop at his or her own pace in a non-competitive setting.
The content and tasks are crafted in correspondence to the age-appropriate level of learning with a balance between the intellectual, physical, emotional, social, spiritual and aesthetic aspects of human development. Our teachers develop a curriculum that is contextual and consists of stories, songs, verses that relate to the nature-centered seasonal theme. They expose children to rich vocabulary and involve them in music, movement, imitation of gestures which builds their motor skills.
In addition to their skills in preparing creative content, teachers at Swechha undergo extensive training on Waldorf philosophy and child development from established Waldorf institutions. They develop a calm disposition, an appetite for change, passion for learning and go through personal transformation. As an early childhood educator and Waldorf teacher, they strive to be adults worthy of imitation and thereby, bring reverence into their actions and gestures. Equipped to observe children without judgement and manage the class in an artistic approach without resorting to instructing discipline, our teachers ensure a safe learning environment for children that nourishes their development.
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