The kindergarten occupies a unique place in our school. It culminates the early childhood cycle, bringing to fruition the skills and capacities the children have been developing throughout their early years. At the same time, the kindergarten serves as the gateway into the grade school, and much of the work of kindergarten is directed towards the developments necessary for first grade readiness.
San Francisco Waldorf School has three kindergarten classes for children between the ages of 4-½ and 6-½ years old. Kindergarten starts at 8:30 every weekday morning and runs until 1pm in the afternoon. A kindergarten specific After Care is available until 5:30 pm.
Each class is led by a Master Teacher and a Waldorf-trained assistant or apprentice. Because the kindergarten is a two-year program, each class is comprised of half new “first year” children and half returning “second year” children. The activities in each class take into account the changing developmental needs of the first and second year child, as well as the individual child’s needs and abilities.
In the kindergarten the emphasis is on learning through doing. The children are active in work and play, song and movement. In a rhythmic, warm and homelike environment, the children learn through imitation, purposeful play, storytelling, domestic and artistic activities. These activities nurture and challenge the child’s will, develop healthy habits and refine social skills. The child’s natural curiosity and creativity are encouraged and engaged. Thinking capacities and memory forces are helped to develop and become strong. The overall well-being of each child is tended with attention and care.