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Pedagogical concept

Our image of the child


At the Perlenmeer Kindergarten we see every child entrusted to us by their parents as valuable, unique, wonderful and radiant in their own way - just like a pearl. Our job is to perceive all our little pearls in their unique shine and let them shine. In concrete terms, this means that we attach great importance to addressing and strengthening the children's individual skills, strengths and interests in our daily work. Children who know their strengths naturally develop a healthy self-esteem and a high level of self-competence - two invaluable building blocks for their further development processes in the sense of lifelong learning and for achieving a good quality of life in every phase of life.

 

The Perlenmeer kindergarten is committed to the situational approach: Our work is based on the world, the experiences, the questions and challenges of the children. The starting point of every successful and fruitful learning process can only be the child's intrinsic motivation to learn, which we take up and promote. One of the most important tasks of the educational staff is to identify those key situations in the children's world that can be used to initiate essential learning processes in the sense of lifelong learning and preparation for later life situations.

 

Important key points in this context are, among other things, the involvement of children in processes of daily life, the promotion of social skills through support in independently coping with and resolving conflictual situations, strengthening self-competence and self-awareness on an emotional level, and working with fixed points in the annual cycle.

 

The basis of our work, our planning and preparation are the educational plans - the Vienna Education Plan, the cross-state educational framework plan, as well as the supplementary module for the final year in elementary educational institutions.

Educational partnership
The well-being of the children and the optimal promotion of their development at all levels is the common interest of parents, educators, assistants, management and sponsoring association. So that the children feel completely comfortable in our kindergarten and don't lack anything, it is necessary that everyone works closely together and pulls together.

 

All sides benefit from regular, detailed discussions between parents and employees: Parents are the undisputed experts for their children and can give the employees valuable insights into the nature and world of the children, which can help the employees, for example, in finding individual solutions Challenges in everyday kindergarten life can help. At the same time, in these conversations, parents gain important insights into their child's everyday kindergarten life and can thus recognize completely new facets of their dazzling little personalities. Another important topic in such discussions is of course the teachers' observations regarding the children's linguistic, cognitive, motor and social development and the coordination regarding possible support measures or the need for clarification.

 

Apart from these individual parent-teacher discussions, there are of course joint parents' evenings, where, for example, information about the annual planning is given at the beginning of the kindergarten year. After the parents' evening, there may also be an opportunity for informal get-togethers and exchanges. For the parents of children in their last year of kindergarten, there will be a separate KILK parents' evening in September, which will specifically address what will change for the children in kindergarten, what special support measures are available, and will be discussed through the “Lernplanet” program. Report to the nearby primary school and discuss the dates and deadlines for school registration.

The “Lernplanet” program mentioned above enables children in their last year of kindergarten to get a taste of everyday elementary school life, to become familiar with the facilities and customs of everyday school life, and thus significantly facilitates the big transition from kindergarten to elementary school child. The children are allowed to visit the elementary school once a month during the last year of kindergarten and are always warmly welcomed by teachers and students.

 

One of the special features of our kindergartens is the parent association as a sponsoring association. For parents who are actively involved in the parents' association, this means that they are actively involved in the design of the kindergartens and in important decisions at general meetings that take place at least once a year and as part of working groups. But even those parents who are not actively involved in the club are always kept up to date about what is currently happening in the kindergarten world through regular parent letters (once a month).


Settling in
The children settle in according to the Berlin model. However, great importance is attached to focusing on the child's individual needs during this challenging and sensitive transition phase. The children determine the duration of this phase! It usually lasts around 3-4 weeks and goes something like this:

 

First phase: In the first few days, the child comes to kindergarten with a caregiver for about an hour. The caregiver comes into the group room with you. The child now has the opportunity to get to know the unfamiliar space and all the new people, big and small, while the caregiver is present as a “safe haven”.

 

The parents’ job during this time is to “just be there”. Encourage your child to get to know the room and the other children, but resist the temptation to get too involved. It is not your job to show your child the kindergarten - the staff and the other children do that. You're just there to let him know he can feel safe. The best thing that can happen at this stage is that you sit to the side while your child gets further and further away from you ;).

 

In this first phase, the children can also take a transitional object with them - for example a stuffed animal or cuddly blanket, which in this way becomes associated with the feeling that they feel in good hands in kindergarten. This can be a great emotional support during the first attempts at separation.

Second phase: After the child has had a few days to get to know the group room, the children and the carers a little, the first attempt at separation takes place. It is important not to wait too long before attempting separation so that the child does not develop the expectation that their caregiver will always be present in kindergarten. The teacher will tell you when she feels that the child has arrived at kindergarten sufficiently that a first attempt at separation can be made.

Now the caregiver will clearly say goodbye to the child, say that they will be back in a few minutes and leave the group room. It's important that the child notices that you go away and come back; it's no use sneaking away while he's busy. Now there is a separation phase every day with farewell and reunion. The separation phase initially only lasts a few minutes and is gradually extended. The caregiver initially stays in the house during these separation phases, but can then go shopping or go for a walk in the surrounding area, for example.

 

Third phase: Your child has now arrived at kindergarten to the point where you no longer spend any time in the group room and can also move away during the separation phases. During this phase, you should still make sure that you are available and available at all times. The care periods are now gradually approaching your desired care period.


Festivals and Celebrations
The annual celebrations are fixed points and great moments for children as well as for employees and parents. The festivals are not only a welcome change in everyday kindergarten life but also orientation throughout the year. They offer opportunities for knowledge transfer as well as for creativity and social learning.

Annual festivals and celebrations are based on Austrian customs and traditions. Children from other cultural areas bring additional facets from their world, which overall form a colorful mosaic. When it comes to celebrations and festivals, seasonal aspects are more important than religious ones (e.g. Easter is celebrated as a spring festival and not as the resurrection of Christ). Religious aspects are, if necessary, explained in a child-friendly way - in the sense of conveying an image of the equal diversity of different religions and world views.

 

Exits and excursions
Excursions into the surrounding area take place several times a week. Particular focus is placed on the opportunity to play and exercise in the nearby playgrounds on the one hand and on observing nature on the other. The family group in particular also goes on larger excursions in consultation with the parents in order to expand the children's horizons of knowledge and experience.

The last year of kindergarten
The time before starting school is characterized by a balancing act between “already so big” and “still so small”, which is particularly characteristic of this phase of development. As grown up as children of this age often feel and act, there is a great temptation to perceive them as such and to subconsciously attach corresponding demands and expectations to this perception: that they should already be sensible and have reason over them the emotions, that they have to be a good role model for the little ones in every situation, that they always have to be helpful and cooperative, that they now have to be a little calmer and more sedate and no longer so loud and boisterous,... The list is long and the trap is omnipresent.

It is therefore particularly important to critically reflect on such expectations and to become aware of them. The mantra goes something like “Even a preschool child is a child!”. On the one hand, we notice with great joy the major developmental steps our KILK are taking in this exciting development phase, and we support them and recognize them. We are happy to accept your cooperation and willingness to help, but we do not demand it. We are happy to encourage exemplary behavior, but we do not demand it. Because at the same time we recognize that five and six year olds are not yet little adults and that all the reason and prudence and willingness to take responsibility that begin to sprout in them is the beginning of a development and not yet its end product.

 

We recognize that development is not linear but often enough spirals - that is, a child who was a master of impulse control one week ago may burst into tears the next week over something seemingly trivial because her inner resources are elsewhere be claimed. We don't want to blame such apparent regression by referring to our status as a preschool child, but we want to support it with the same understanding and love as in any other stage of development.

 

And last but not least, we recognize that preschool children are also children with a desire to play and move. Luckily, gone are the days when preschool children had to sit quietly and obediently in their seats for hours and fill out worksheets. Worksheets still exist - and children usually work on them with a lot of joy and pride - but the learning method that is still given the most space because it simply suits children's nature the most learning is and remains in the game. Playful, voluntary, enjoyable learning is also the top priority in the last year of kindergarten, as it not only ensures the best learning success from a purely psychological perspective, but it also lays the foundation for a successful learning career well into old age!

 

In this last year of kindergarten, the children are supported in developing the skills that will be useful to them in the transition to elementary school. These include, above all, self-competence, social competence and learning methodological competence.

 

So that they can gain concrete insights into the world of school, our preschool children are allowed to visit a nearby elementary school on a regular basis.

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