Educational Ethos

We see even the youngest of children as independent individuals who want to get to know themselves, who want to explore by themselves, and to find their place in the world. Because of their need for self-discovery they have a huge interest in different activities, situations and materials. Children need an environment which offers new experiences, experimentation, relaxation, role-model learning and physical exercise. Children are curious, brave, creative and have a thirst for knowledge. They know exactly what they do and don’t want and they have the right to express this. They have lots of talents which we should foster and skills which they want to compare with each other. We teach them to be aware of, and to respect, the differences between each other. Adults have the task of supporting the process of self-discovery through protecting the child from danger, offering themselves as role models and filling the environment with opportunities for children to grow. In addition, adults can be a safe place to return to when children feel mentally over-stretched. We are convinced that every human being develops and grows through the experience they gain from tasks and our goal is to know the level of personal development of every child in Villa Vivendi. Because of this we can encourage your child to reach the ongoing stages of their development. Children are self-confident and we want to make sure it stays that way. We always treat them with respect, give them a lot of attention and listen to their opinions, whilst sharing pride with them in their gained skills.
We practice the Berliner Model. For more in-depth information about this, click on the link below. (The link leads to a German page so for more information in English please don´t hesitate to contact us.)

Link to website

Less than a third of the world’s population grows up monolingual and it was decided at a summit meeting of the 15 EU Member States in the spring of 2003 that all EU citizens in the future should grow up with at least two languages. The reasons for this decision are many and obvious. The experience of linguistic otherness is the basis for international tolerance. In particular, the learning of one or more languages encourages understanding between nations, opens the door to understanding the world and increases the chances for peace. The combination of English with German seems to be very useful, since English is so widely used and is taught at German schools. So how does learning a foreign language in a kindergarten happen in practice? We should have an English native speaker with us, of course; this guarantees the best possible language level. In each group there is at least one English native speaker, as well as at least one German native speaker. The educators speak their own language consistently and do not switch to the other language. In this way the children can easily differentiate and assign the various words to the different language systems.

It’s very important that we serve healthy food that tastes nice and does the body good. Everyday our cook prepares a delicious lunch from scratch with fresh ingredients sourced, where possible, from organic products. We follow the guidelines set by the Department for Nutrition and every week fresh bread and raw vegetables are served. The kitchen, where our cook works his daily magic, can be seen from both the toddler room and the elementary room. Therefore, all the children can watch the cook at work and they are encouraged to imitate him. Both group rooms are equipped with a play kitchen because, as Maria Montessori described, holistic learning is “With head, heart and hand”. Our children go in small groups to an organic farm at regular intervals to see where our food comes from. They learn which animals and plants provide us with what food, what “seasonal vegetables” are and what products cost in the farm shop. In the shop they can also have their first experiences with a household budget and its associated mathematics. The contact with agriculture gives the children a basic understanding of nature and its meaning for us, thus building the foundations for a healthy, holistic food culture. We will grow, harvest and prepare our own vegetables with children who are particularly interested in this topic.

Viele Lebensmittel kaufen wir in Bio Qualität ein und wir bevorzugen regionale Obst und Gemüsesorten.
Die Küche, in der unser Koch sein tägliches Zauberwerk vollbringt ist vom Krippengruppenraum, und in der Holstenstraße zusätzlich vom Elementargruppenraum einsehbar. So können alle Kinder dem Koch beim arbeiten zusehen und werden zum nachahmen angeregt. Allen Gruppen steht eine gut ausgestattete Spielküche zur Verfügung. Was ist ein „Gemüse der Saison“ und was kostet es? Beim Einkauf der Lebensmittel können sie außerdem erste Erfahrungen mit einem Haushaltsbudget und den dazugehörigen mathematischen Grundlagen machen. Mit den Kindern, die sich besonders für dieses Thema interessieren, werden wir auch unsere eigenen Gemüsesorten anpflanzen, ernten und zubereiten.

Music is an incredible all-rounder when it comes to the nurturing of children. Using the voice as an instrument, dancing and processing rhythm etc speaks to the body, the mind, social development and it stimulates various brain regions. In our drumming sessions the children get to know a very special feeling of togetherness through making rhythm together. Finding a place within a group is a lifelong, necessary skill. They get to understand the differences in sound and rhythm between playing together and playing alone. Through the use of various international instruments, the children develop their motor skills because, for example, the Ocarina requires a completely different movement sequences to a tambourine or a triangle. Additionally, they learn about different countries and connect to them through the positive experience of music making. But quite apart from the great opportunities for learning music, is just a lot of fun. It makes you happy and relaxes the soul.

To foster the child’s next stage of development, or at least to create the right incentives, it is imperative to know where they currently are situated in their development. We get this information by careful observation and by putting the results in writing. We use photos and videos to enrich the documentation and future educational projects are planned based on these observations. In addition to the daily conversations with parents and the knowledge that the educators and parents already have about the children’s development, parents receive a printed semi-annual development report on their child. It is a beautiful reminder of a very exciting and important time in their life.

Because parents are the experts on their own children, it is important that there is an exchange of information between the educators and parents. We ensure this by daily “small-talk”, regular development meetings or thematic parents’ evenings, as well as active support of the Parents Association. This diverse and intensive collaboration benefits all parties involved, especially the children. Transparency is very important to us. Therefore, all parents are always be informed about our activities and suggestions are welcome. Through in-depth reports, we maintain the children’s development and provide these to parents regularly. Of course, interested parents also have the opportunity to sit in with us and to participate in various activities. So, for example, we celebrate our “Bumblebee & Honey tea” garden party every summer and our “Candle light-Winter night” every winter and welcome any help from parents. Also when we go on outings an additional pairs of eyes are always welcome. Our own mini-library is actively designed with the help of parents. Each year we have two inset days to work on our ethos and then we hold a parents evening where we discuss our new impressions and ideas. This way parents are also involved in the development of our ethos and can actively influence the education of their child. We want an open and respectful relationship between all parties involved, so that a pedagogically valuable, creative design process is possible from which new approaches can develop.