Parent and Child Group

The job of modern parents is becoming more and more demanding, trying to balance the stress of life while also understanding the need and desire to be present and nurturing as a parent. Many seek just a small island of calm and peace, a space to be held. And that's exactly what we offer in our Parent and Child group.

Once we have hung our outdoor things up, we shall share in some simple snack of home made/grown breads and jams and fruits and allow the children to ‘arrive‘ at a gentle pace into the quiet space.
 
As the adults present in the room we ask that we remain conscious of our voices and keep a low tone, this assists in creating a calm atmosphere and warm environment for all present in the room, the wider space and the school as a whole. 
 
We shall have the time to share our own experiences and tell our own unique life story, to be inquisitive in the Steiner ethos and pedagogy, begin a craft and sing together. We shall all be heard and seen and respected as we embark on this new (to some of us!) journey. 
 
Anne Patel is the Buttercups kindergarten teacher and has been in this role for 5 years having completed her early years practitioner training for the 0-5 year old s in holistic childcare training.
She has a vast experience of working with children over many years and has a deep love for continuing her self development, as well as expanding her skills on child development.
Her passion for parental support and care giving are apparent when you talk with her as she is able to offer many insights into personal development/growth resources and readings. Anne enjoys studying and always has some stories to tell on research she has undertaken. She is originally from East Germany living now for many years in Cambridge with her 2 children who attend the Cambridge Steiner School. 
 
Joanne Barker is one of the Buttercups kindergarten assisting teachers and has been in this particular role for 7 years. Having been part of the school since 1998 when she began by volunteering at the first Cambridge kindergarten as an assistant, whilst she trained in becoming a birth doula and educator, studying embryology and anthroposophy. Going on to assist in many babies arriving into their parents arms, whether through adoption, birth, or a blended family journey. In 2000 Joanne began to combine her roles and worked in the kindergarten whilst the Steiner school was ‘born‘. 
Joanne too, has a passion for research and continues to expand on her training with early child development really being her passion and in more recent years learning to understand the more complex developments of children that live their lives through other colours (the vast areas of the autistic spectrum) and all that entails from an anthroposophical perspective. 
Having only one of her four children now attending the school, whilst the others have flown the nest and continue to grow with having children of their own, Joanne lives in a small market town outside of Cambridge where she enjoys time with all her grandchildren and family alike and continues to support families and children in the community. 

Snowdrops Flyer - A4

Snowdrops Parent and Child Group

The Snowdrops Parent and Child Group is a supportive and nurturing environment for both child and parent. It is suitable for children from around eighteen months to three years. It is a weekly gathering that takes place on Tuesdays and Wednesdays 9.30- 11.30am. For more information or to sign up please contact us.

 The groups provide an opportunity for gaining a deeper understanding of the principles introduced in the Parent & Child group and brings outdoor play, snack time, crafts for the adults, and song time supported with the use of song, rhythm and repetition.
This is an ideal place to meet other new parents and learn more about Steiner education. All families are warmly welcomed.

As young children are getting to inhabit and know their physical bodies, the emphasis in the sessions is on supporting the developing senses of self-movement and balance by not intervening with the natural processes, as well as supporting self-initiated and self-directed free-play which is essential for developing lifelong skills such as self-regulation, creative thinking, problem-solving and conflict resolution.

The young child’s consciousness is dream-like and much is done to protect this natural state. Songs are used to support transitions and we work with the young child’s need to imitate, role-modelling the qualities we wish to encourage to unfold from within the children, with joy and love.

The Morning Rhythm

The sessions are two hours long. The calm and peaceful rhythm becomes familiar to the child and offers a sense of security in its natural predictability.

 

"The Parent & Child Group at Cambridge Steiner School was the perfect environment for introducing my little one to other children, as well as adults. 
 
A calm, home like, natural environment, where the children get to play individually or interact with each other as they please, with conscious respectful involvement from the adults.
 
We love the values, structure, natural resources and friendly people at this school, and look forward to our weekly sessions."

 

We begin our gathering outside, come rain or shine, and while the children play freely, adults bond, make new friendships, share their joys and challenges, and support each other. From here, we go inside, put on our slippers, wash our hands and take our place around the table to have a healthy snack.

Once we’ve cleared the table and tidied up together, the adults will work on their seasonal craft on the sofas, while the children play freely. Our simple toys are made of natural materials, such as wool, cotton, silk, and wood, providing sensory nourishment in their softness, weight and texture.

We have a ten to fifteen minute spell of quiet observation time. The adults are still, modelling purposeful activity with their craft-work, and creating a peaceful, holding environment which helps the children feel secure and able to engage in their play. It also provides an opportunity for the adults to sit back and truly observe what comes out from within the children without adult intervention. We are there if they need us, of course.

'Tidy-time' is initiated with a song about a little dusty gnome ( which you will find yourself using also at home in no time) We then come together for song-time accompanied by beautiful felted/knitted animals and ‘treasures’ from nature. As the adults sing and focus on creating their own movements with joy, children will absorb the mood, naturally imitate and create their own gestures in their own time.

Woodmice Parent & Baby/Child Groups are suitable for parents/carers attending with children from birth-5 years. We meet once a week in term-time whatever the weather to enjoy walking, exploring nature, singing, eating and a puppet show together. This group meets on a Friday morning. 

We meet at our meeting point. This can change throughout the year and the leader will provide
details separately. There we hold a little song-time. Most songs include creating gestures. If the
adults model for the children, singing and creating their own gestures with joy, the children will
absorb this and from imitation will join in, creating their own gestures from within in their own time and unique way. Depending on individual temperaments some children will participate loudly and boldly while others will be more observant, maybe even self-conscious. Engagement and participation looks different depending on the unique individual. If you engage and participate yourself you can experience the joy of sitting back a little and observing your child’s individual uniqueness unfold.
We then walk together to our base aiming to move as a group and parents/carers are always
responsible for their children. We set out our picnic blankets and have a snack. It is more difficult holding clear boundaries of time to play and time to stay seated and eat when outdoors. We use little rituals and repetition to help hold those moments without direct instruction. We sing a little blessing song before we start to eat and if a child has finished and is looking ready to go off and play we say a thank you for the meal first.

Plese find some more information here along with essential clothing and footwear. 

Booking is made on a half-termly basis for £42.50.

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