Philip Newton (pne) wrote,
Philip Newton


We had heard about a bilingual kindergarten which was supposed to open in February in the building next to my office. Since they're not finished restoring the building yet, the date has slipped a bit (the current estimate is, apparently, for the kindergarten to open unofficially next week and official in March, subject to approval).

This evening, there was an informational meeting where the organisers of the SterniPark project (which the kindergarten will belong to) and the future leader of that kindergarten presented the project and the kindergarten. Thirty-five parents were invited, though only four (sets of) parents showed up (a man, a woman, a couple from India, and Stella and I).

It all seemed rather interesting; they had 500 m² (about 5400 sq.ft.) for up to 100 children, split up between a rooftop terrace of about 200–250 m² and the rest inside. They would offer an English-speaking and a German-speaking teacher(? - Erzieherin), who would each speak only their language to the children (though they'd respond to either language), so that children could become acquainted with a second language, whether or not they later choose to speak it themselves.

SterniPark also has a "forest bus" which four kindergartens currently share for a week each per month; during that week, a different group gets to use the 23-seater bus to go to the forest somewhere or into an animal park or a similar setting. It's possible that the new kindergarten in the Fleethaus will also be able to have the use of that forest bus occasionally.

They will also have a water area of about 4 meters by 4 meters (13 ft by 13 ft) where children can play in the water.

The staff present were the leader of SterniPark; the future leader of the Fleethaus kindergarten; two younger teachers and one older one; and a teacher from another kindergarten who had come to interpret into English during the meeting for the benefit of those who preferred that language (the couple from India, in this case).

The leader seemed rather young to me; when I asked her her age, she said she'd be turning 26. On the other hand, she's a lot older than the children so maybe that's enough. It still seems odd to me. (I suppose that makes me ageist, expecting someone more "mature" to lead such an establishment?)

After the meeting proper, the leader of SterniPark showed us through the house where the meeting was held, which was one of their older kindergartens (15 years, IIRC); they had converted two adjacent houses into rooms for children, so there were three (or four?) storeys, and in each storey, you could go from one house into the other. It was quite impressive.

They had children there from very young until twelve, in three rough age groups: Krippe (0–3 years), Kita (3–6 years), and Hort (6–12 years, after school). They also had a number of specialists come in regularly who'd do things such as make music; paint; work with clay; and psychomotoric development.

It all seemed rather impressive, and Stella said she was glad that we had lost (due to a possible move out of town which ended up not happening) the place in the Catholic kindergarten where we had signed Amy up for, since she found this kindergarten much better than the two others she had looked at so far.

So the current plan is for Amy to start there at the beginning of April, as soon as Erik is in kindergarten, too, and Stella doesn't have to look after him any more. Amy will probably only be there for three or four hours a day, in the mornings.

Tags: amy, kindergarten
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