Education of children age 4-13 using Steiner metho..
Education of children age 4-13 using Steiner methodologies
Start date: Aug 1, 2015,
End date: Sep 30, 2016
This project involved hosting four volunteers from Spain, Austria and France in Mol an óige Steiner national school in Ennistymon, Co Clare from September 2015 until June 2016. The volunteers experienced a form of informal education where they will receive an opportunity to discover a new region and its inhabitants.
The volunteers lived with their host families before moving to self catering accomodation in January 2016. This gave them an opportunity to settle into their new envionement and to experience living with an Irish family before living independently.
They worked in the school from 9.00 a.m. until 3.30p.m. from Monday to Friday as part of the school team which is comprised of teachers and SNAs. On Wednesdays they attended the staff meeting at which upcoming festivals and activities and events of the week ahead in the school were discussed. These meetings were also used to discuss various teaching methodologies and possible upcoming projects and ideas.
The volunteers got to experience a Waldorf approach to education which places great emphasis on the arts and the environment. They were involved in setting up activities for the children with the class teacher. They worked with individuals/groups of children on different subjects such as reading, drawing, maths, painting and so on.
They were also involved in the supervision of the children in the yard at break times. They accompanied the class on nature and discovery walks alongside the teacher.
The volunteers shared their knowledge and talents with the children through many different activities such as storytelling,games,arts and craft activities etc.The volunteers each told a story at assembly where the whole school gathers together on monday mornings. They told the story in their own languages using props to aid understanding.
One of the volunteers worked at the afterschool from 2pm to 5.15pm from Monday to Friday.
The afterschool programme is a steiner inspired childcare service which was set up in the school, within the school grounds for the families who are unable to collect their children when school ends.
The volunteer was involved in a range of activites during that time from baking to sewing, pottery, music and drama. She was also encouraged to plan and carry out any activities she wished to do with the students. The volunteers worked along side the workers in helping to supervise the children and join in their games. She was also asked to do some cleaning at the end of the day in co-operation with the other workers. the volunteers helped to orgnise and plan fund raising initiatives as the afterschool is a charity.
The volunteer was also involved in working in the school's charity shop which helps to fund the running costs of the school for a few hours a week.
Working in the shop provided that volunteer with a great opportunity to meet the local community.
In the evenings/at weekends the volunteers got to experience the rich and varied culture and heritage that is part of Co. Clare. Ennistymon is an old market town and still hosts two traditional fairs each year. There is a teach ceoil in the town which hosts traditional music events such as concerts and ceilis. There are many sights and visitor attractions along the coast of Clare which are a short drive from Ennistymon. The school itself had events on some evenings and weekends which the volunteers attended such as the many school festivials which are held during and outside school hours. The volunteers enjoyed the Traditional music sessions and Open Mic nights, which were held locally in the town.
The volunteers gained valuable insights and experiences into education and the development of young children.
By gaining first hand practical experience it will hopefully serve them well in their future careeers. The volunteer's linguistic skills greatly improved through speaking the local language throughout the year at school, within their host family and within the community and by availing of the on-line linguistic support.
On a personal level, the volunteers took up an active citizenship in their European Community by participating in this project and understanding what it means to be an active citizen of Europe. They got to experience and know a different language and culture which helped to increase their self confidence as they met the challenge of working and living in a community different to their own.
The children had the opportunity to learn about the country and culture of the volunteer, thus in doing so allowed them to cultivate a broader interest in different cultures. For example one class had a french day as one of the EVS students was from France and they celebrated everything that was french. The school is multidenominational and welcomed the diversity that having volunteers from different nationalitiess brought.
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