Since Easter 2012
there has been a building site outside the front door at work
five years after the architects’ plans were first shown to us, the building
began. The building will house the Petö/Montessori Integrated Kindergarten and
also a new Petö/Montessori Krippe (crèche).
been snapping away since the big hole was dug, when the children were so
excited because they thought we were going to have an Olympic-sized swimming
pool on our doorstep.
watched closely when the foundations were laid, when the lift shaft was
cemented in, when the wall units were delivered and when the second floor began
to take shape.
It was all happening
the beginning of August, the rafters are up and the Richtfest (rafters-fest) has taken place. This is a party given for
the builders by their boss to celebrate the completion of the first stage of
building. There was the traditional speech from the rooftop, the traditional
pig-roast, lots of silly games and some lovely singing from the children.
the Kindergarten to its new home is
planned for around Christmas time and lots of thought is going into how the
rooms will be furnished and decorated.
offered my services to the Kindergarten for a few afternoons when I had a
couple of hours free between groups. I did not really wish to cycle home and
back again so I was looking for a job to do.
not take them long to decide how they could put my skills and time to good use,
to think about what was needed. The new Kindergarten would need a new sign and
even perhaps a new logo and the children could design it with me.
product heads this posting. This and the following photographs show the work in
process. Each week two or three children donned their painter’s smocks and
depending on their age and skills contributed what they could to the art work.
began with three three-year-olds daubing shades of blue on the canvas with huge
brushes. This was followed by two four-year-olds gently dabbing sponges soaked
with yellow paint within a taped off border on top of the blue.
week the creation was left to dry then hung in the Kindergarten for all to see
how it was developing, and to allow the opportunity for children to talk about
the different stages and what they would like to do next.
Time for the Komet
This Kindergarten is called Kindergarten Komet, so of course we
needed a comet in our picture.
decided that the comet should be executed in a different medium and in the end
we decided that window-colours would make an ideal contrast, with lots of shiny
gold and yellows on the matt blue-and-yellow background.
pre-school children and the five-year-olds were chosen for this job. This work
was spread out over two weekly sessions to allow for drying between colours, to
prevent smudging and to have the optimum level of concentration!
the comet eventually glued in place it was time to think about what to write on
The printing press!
We could not put a huge canvas through a
printing press but we could print on it with individual letters.
remembered that years ago I had bought some sponge letters about two inches
high that would do just the job, if only I could find them. I found them quite
quickly with very little effort amongst a box of old paint brushes.
would we find the letters that we needed?
despite finding that only half of the letters of the alphabet were left in the
box, the letters that we needed to print KOMET
Waiting a while
decided to wait a while before adding any more information to the sign as, with
the addition of a Petö/Montessori crèche to the establishment, it is quite
possible that the building may be be called Kinderhaus
and not Kindergarten.
wait and see but, even though the final decision on the name has still to be
made, the sign was hung on the door of the yet-to-move Kindergarten on the morning before the Richtfest (rafter-fest) took place. It was there for all to see
when they arrived to party with us!
Thank you Susie for this vivid account. Apart from the (from you) usual story of conductive pedagogy/upbringing in practice, three things leap out at me on the 'policy' level:
- there is still healthy investment in Germany
- linked with inclusion and
- with the conductive work collaborating closely with a different school of education.
Planners and policy-makers elsewhere, please note.
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