The three R’s: Rhythm, repetition and reverence
Rhythm, repetition and reverence are themes that run throughout the entire length and breadth of the Steiner curriculum. They are especially important during the early years, setting up important habits for life. When children can safely rely upon what will happen during each part of their day or morning, through repeated activities with their own rhythm, their sense of security and well-being is dramatically affected. All of this impacts on their ability to learn and retain information.
- Constant changes can often invoke anxiety in the developing child. Healthy, repetitive activities and rhythms ensure that learning is both easier and more effective, as well as helping children to seamlessly flow from one activity to the next.
- In the Kindergarten, each day follows the same basic rhythm (for example free play, followed by circle time, snack time, outside time and then a story). There is also a weekly rhythm too - for example painting on Monday, bread-making on Tuesday and so on.
- With each season also comes the reliable rhythm of particular festivals - harvest time in October, the lantern festival of November and rites of spring and summertime, like the Maypole festival in May or the St Johns festival in June.
- Even older children and adults feel a sense of security from these rhythms and repetitions and find them calming.
“Earth who gives to us this food,
Sun who makes it ripe and good.
Dear Earth, dear sun, through you we live,
To you our loving thanks, we give.”
(Typical prayer offered at snack/meal time)
Reverence is another unique feature of our approach to educating your child. This is created through the many verses that are learnt by rote, (also a part of the curriculum and building strong foundations for literacy), or the candles that are lit at specific points in the day, alongside class singing and moments creating silence together.
In this way the inner spirit of each child feels a sense of nourishment and calm in a non-secular way. We instil a sense of appreciation in our children for the world around them, as they routinely give thanks for snacks and meals and the bounty of the earth.