All students at SVSS experience learning through our rich multi-sensory curriculum. This involves the children using their hands, heart and head. It is designed around the developing stages of childhood. What is appropriate, and at what stage, for the learning of the child? This is a primary aspect of our Learning Enrichment program.
Steiner in his first lectures on education said that teachers must ‘learn to understand the children, with no preconceived ideas ’. From close observations of the child’s movement, speech, behaviour, temperament, and interactions, teachers can begin to see and understand the gifts and challenges of their students. At SVSS, together with the class teachers, the Learning Enrichment staff closely observe the children. From a deep understanding of child development, teachers collaborate with the Learning Enrichment specialists designing programs to meet individual needs. In the early years most programs can be integrated into the daily class rhythms. Movement exercises form the basis in the first years of Kindergarten through to Class 4. From Class 4, specific work for students experiencing challenges such as dyslexia, dyspraxia or dyscalculia is offered either 1:1 or in small groups.
Each student brings new questions. Many difficulties shift over time; some are short term while other needs have deeper origins and will remain with the child into adult life. We have adjustment plans in place for the students with needs to ensure all those who work with the child understand the needs and direction of each individual.
Our aim is to provide a balance of support; too much can create a learned helplessness on the part of the student and the feeling of being incapable of any academic work, while too little can mean the student is excluded from their learning.
Our Learning Enrichment staff includes teachers qualified in working with assessments and children with diagnosis, and who work with current best practise informed by the work of Rudolf Steiner. Additional to in class support and small group work we also have a reset centre called Boombana, meaning flowering tree. Boombana is a welcoming room of comfort for any students. It is a haven from the busy classroom, and offers short respite, individual and small group activities or an alternative setting for those who need a more intimate space. Additionally at Boombana, students can receive therapies including sand, art, foot spas and guinea pig cuddling.