Our Philosophy

About our Kindergarten

Everything at Stella, from circle time each morning to free play and shared meals, is intended to benefit our children’s development. We place particular emphasis on helping children realise their potential in specific areas as follows:

  • Support for language skills and imagination, via engagement with picture books, listening to stories, poems and riddles
  • Support for children’s motor skills, with physical activity that helps forge connections between the hemispheres of the brain
  • Support for sensory perception, with activities that engage children’s senses for our youngest children, cookery activities, etc.)
  • Support for children’s creativity via regular craft sessions
  • Engagement in everyday activities (e.g. pouring and sorting) using Montessori materials
  • Encounter with the English language, with weekly play-based sessions for our older children
  • Encounter with art and culture, with daily listening to a few minutes of classical music and through picture bits on certain themes
  • Encounter with nature via time spent outdoors every day and a ‘nature treasure chest’ that introduces children to the wonders of nature’s life cycles
  • Preparation for school, via specific preschool activities designed to help identify children’s strengths and areas in which they need greater support.

Character education

All parents want their child to grow into a mature, responsible and well-rounded personality that can engage well with others. This does not happen by itself; children require support to develop their characters, particularly in the crucial first few years of life, which lay vital foundations for a child’s progress into her or his future.

One of our key concerns in our work with children is to help them acquire positive character traits, which we call ‘good habits’. Each month, we focus on a different good habit, communicating it in a way children can understand (examples might be generosity – ‘I like to share’ – or politeness – ‘I say hello with a smile’) and teach in a play-centred manner with the help of stories, fairy tales and role plays.

 

Our daily life in the kindergarten is, of course, where our character education comes to life as our children  engage with others, learning – for example – to listen, take turns and be friendly and encouraging. Shared meals are a further key aspect of our kindergarten community. As soon as children are able, they receive small tasks that help them gain confidence and a sense of responsibility.

Children learn best through the example of their educators. Our educators are aware of this responsibility and strive to model the good habits they teach the children.

Sharing our faith

Christian values are at the heart of our work. We consider the teaching of a living Catholic faith to be a significant part of education for the development of a well-rounded character. The foundations of a personal and positive relationship with God are laid at kindergarten age. We know that the values that underlie our work are ones which non-Christian parents also appreciate – this is why Stella is open to families of all faiths and none.

Our living practice of our faith permeates day-to-day life in our kindergarten; we take joy in our shared community and do all things with love. Shared times of prayer and contemplation are a vital part of our community, and we give the children opportunities to voice their thoughts and concerns in prayer. We mark religious festivals by helping the children discover their deeper meaning. Bible stories, songs and role plays of Biblical events such as the visit of the Magi help the children experience faith through play. For example, we celebrate the feast of St Nicholas by encouraging the children to fill a ‘sack’ for people in need and give it to St Nicholas, who brings them a sweets in return. Rituals such as this help children to experience enjoyment in following St Nicholas’ example and doing something kind for others.

For the periods leading up to Christmas and Easter – Advent and Lent – we have developed a lovingly designed programme to  build up to these important feasts over several weeks, gently introducing their deeper meaning to the children through appropriate passages from the Bible, crafts, and activities enabling them to experience the journey to the manger or the city of Jerusalem.

We have entrusted pastoral care at the Stella Kindergarten to priests of Opus Dei, a personal prelature of the Catholic Church.

Parents' service and Parents’ Academy

Our educators’ work with the children depends on the support of these children’s parents, who are their first and foremost educators. We aim to make Stella a place where parents can rely on our experience and our support as they bring up their children. We therefore work with the Society for Family Orientation (GFO) to offer parents:

– Regular meetings to discuss their child’s development

– Parent education courses

– Themed parent information evenings featuring topics around parenting and education

– Monthly parents’ newsletter including parenting tips

Our hope is that the whole family will benefit from their child’s attendance at Stella.

The education of parents plays an important role in the concept of the Stella Kindergarten.

In the development talk, you can talk to experienced parents of already grown-up children about your child’s development and address concerns and issues that are on your mind.

The monthly “Parents’ Café” takes place within the framework of the Parents’ Academy: Mag. Christina Schmidt and other moderators of the GFO talk about different topics of raising children, such as: “How can parenting succeed?”. The parents’ café offers a good opportunity to get information about child rearing in a cosy atmosphere in the morning and to exchange ideas with other parents. All parents whose children attend the Stella Primary School are also invited to the Parents’ Café.

A special service of the GFO are the courses that are run according to the Harvard Case Method. Analysing specific parenting situations helps parents to find their own solutions for their child and the respective situation. For parents of kindergarten children we recommend the “First Steps Course”. The “Elementary School Course” is suitable for parents of pre-school children.

For more information, as well as dates for lectures, family activities and other related events, please contact the GFO: www.familienorientierung.at.

On our website you will also find articles on raising children, tips for books, films, etc.!

You are welcome to contact the GFO: elternakademie@familienorientierung.at

Would you like

to support us?

Stella International School came into being on the initiative of a group of committed parents. We seek to provide a cosmopolitan education centred on values that will enable young people to forge the society of tomorrow. Public funds cannot cover the crucial extra support, inspiration, resources and activities a Stella education gives.

For this reason, we ask you to please support us with your donation!