ISKRA waldorf Osijek waldorfska škola waldorfski vrtić

Frequently asked questions

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1. Koje su dobrobiti za moje dijete ako pohađa Waldorfsku školu?
  1. - Dobrobiti Waldorfske pedagogije su doista brojne, jer se radi o pristupu koji pored intelektualnog aspekta razvija i sve druge bitne segmente za cjeloživotni razvoj osobe. Izdvajamo nekoliko najčešće spominjanih dobrobiti:

  • Djeca razvijaju unutarnju želju za učenjem i znanjem

  • Djeca su sretna i idu u školu s veseljem

  • Uči se s razumijevanjem umjesto štrebanjem

  • Razvija se kreativnost u svim aspektima života

  • Razvija se spretnost u radu

  • Razvija se snalažljivost i prilagodljivost

  • Razvijaju se brojne vještine (tzv. "soft-skills") kao što su prezentacijske vještine, komunikacijske vještine i dr.

  • Razvijaju se organizacijske vještine i timski rad

  • Ostvaruje se viša razina samopouzdanja kod djece

  • Individualni pristup omogućuje otkrivanje osobnih talenata

  • Razvijaju se umjetnički talenti i sposobnosti kod sve djece

  • Postiže se bolja usklađenost lijeve i desne polutke mozga, a time i bolji osobni balans u životu

  • Ostvaruje se prednost u stranim jezicima, jer djeca već od prvog razreda uče dva strana jezika i to na interaktivan, praktičan način

  • Razvijaju se zdrave životne navike uključujući povezanost s prirodom

  • Razvija se pozitivan pristup životu

I uz sve to, školsko se gradivo svladava na jednostavniji, prirodniji način te uz puno manje muke i stresa.

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2. What is teaching by epochs and why is it conducted?

Teaching by epochs specifically means that one subject within the "main teaching" is processed in a period of 3-4 weeks. For example, 3 weeks of Croatian language are covered, followed by 3 weeks of mathematics, etc.

This has proven to be a great way to learn, as students can fully immerse themselves in one topic and experience it. With the epochal way of learning, students will not only adopt the material more permanently, but will also learn in-depth and continuously research a particular area. This model of learning has been embraced by successful Scandinavian education systems.

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3. Success without grades - why?

The Waldorf teacher keeps on the track of the child’s school work qualitatively and individually, so students in lower grades are followed by descriptive grades, while in higher grades, in addition to descriptive grades, numerical grades are introduced, but then the student is more willing to be evaluated according to standardized external criteria.

 

In addition to avoiding unnecessary stress and learning for the sake of assessment, students also nurture intrinsic motivation for knowledge and learning.

At the end of each school year, each student receives a certificate containing a detailed description of himself, with all his characteristics and areas in which he has progressed, but also those which can be improved. Every child reads the certificate with pride, because they know that it is about them.

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4. Why does one teacher follow children from 1st to 8th grade?

Primary school children have a need for an exemplary adult and a healthy authority. Establishing a personal relationship with a teacher also establishes a relationship based on trust.

The primary school teacher (class teacher) has the task to convey the essence of the material within one epoch (subject topic) and to encourage reflection and research on the topic. The class teacher together with the students enters the research educational process.

A teacher who accompanies them for 8 years can very well monitor the developmental needs of all students, and in cooperation with other subject teachers and parents can achieve significantly better results in working with children.

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5. What teaching methods are used in the Waldorf school?

The Waldorf school uses a methodology that is natural to the child and man. This means that all segments are engaged, in order for the child to develop cognitively, emotionally, willingly, physically, etc. In one day, children engage in rhythmic classes, intellectual-work related classes and art classes. Through one day, students receive soul food for their whole being, while naturally learning and mastering school materials without stress. This methodology also has a beneficial effect on their health.

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6. Will my child be well prepared for high school at Waldorf Primary School?

The answer is yes. Experience and research have shown that Waldorf school students come with more confidence and abilities needed to master new challenges. They will definitely benefit from the wide range of knowledge and skills they will acquire at the Waldorf school.

Throughout primary school, the desire to learn new knowledge and skills is nurtured, so that "lifelong learning" is something that comes naturally to Waldorf students.

The transition to high school is a big change for all students, as well as the transition from high school to college, but Waldorf students are capacious at all levels (emotionally, cognitively and socially), so they are more prepared for all life changes.

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7. Expertise of the lecturers

All our teachers, whether of primary or subject classes, are highly motivated to work with children and young people. In addition to their master degrees, our teachers go through an additional professional study of Waldorf pedagogy according to an international program, which fills them with knowledge, pedagogical tools and sensibility to work with children and youth.

Our teachers are professional in individual monitoring of students, classroom management and have a high level of understanding developmental needs of students.

The principle of Waldorf pedagogy is that every education begins with self-education, so Waldorf teachers are constantly improving and working on themselves. Every learning begins with an example.

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8. Time spent at school

Classes at the Waldorf school begin at 8 a.m. and end for the first three grades at noon. This is followed by an Extended Stay for those students who choose to do so. The extended stay lasts until 4.30 pm.

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9. What are the additional subjects at the Waldorf School?

In addition to the usual subjects that are taught in public primary schools, there are additional subjects in the Waldorf school, which qualitatively complement the curriculum.

Those are:

• Additional foreign language (2 foreign languages are taught from the first grade)

• Handwork

• Gardening

• Crafts

• Religious culture

• Eurythmy

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10. What about gardening?

Gardening is a regular subject in Waldorf schools. Through it, students learn about nature and ecological plant cultivation through their own direct, practical experience. Such teaching not only develops environmental awareness, but also teaches of an understanding of natural processes and encourages research.

Through gardening, students learn to care for the living world (development of moral awareness) and develop practical skills of food cultivation, which leaves them with a vital sense of self-confidence and self-sufficiency.

In order to make gardening classes as high quality as possible, our school cooperates with experts in permaculture and biodynamic agriculture, and the school also holds workshops in that area.

We are happy to invite and involve parents in the workshops.

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11. In which way are foreign languages taught at the Waldorf school?

Every child in our school starts learning two world languages from the 1st grade: English and German.

Foreign language teaching takes place according to specially designed principles adapted to the age of the children. In the lower grades, for example, these are predominantly social games, songs, plays, and similar interactive content. In this way, the foreign language is adopted easily and naturally  by ear, and most importantly, the interest in foreign languages develops.

In the 5th grade, a third foreign language (elective) is introduced, so after graduating from Waldorf school our students can be considered polyglots.

In the upper grades, among other things, visits to Waldorf schools in other language areas are organized, so that students have an additional opportunity to improve their languages through practice and establish international acquaintances and friendships.

12. What are the benefits of music education at the Waldorf School?

All students of our school will learn to play the flute, which is taught from the first grade.

Also, all children actively participate in school performances and in the choir and orchestra.

Children who want to learn to play an additional instrument in addition to the flute, can choose this as part of free activities at school.

At Waldorf Elementary School, music (as well as other arts) is approached by children through a variety of content and subjects, not just in music class. Music is an important educational tool and anyone can express themselves with it. It is not an area reserved only for talented musicians.

Playing music develops a sense of harmony with others, a sense of rhythm and measure, and many other abilities.

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12. What are the benefits of music education at the Waldorf School?

All students of our school will learn to play the flute, which is taught from the first grade.

Also, all children actively participate in school performances and in the choir and orchestra.

Children who want to learn to play an additional instrument in addition to the flute, can choose this as part of free activities at school.

At Waldorf Elementary School, music (as well as other arts) is approached by children through a variety of content and subjects, not just in music class. Music is an important educational tool and anyone can express themselves with it. It is not an area reserved only for talented musicians.

Playing music develops a sense of harmony with others, a sense of rhythm and measure, and many other abilities.

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13. Why do students learn skills such as knitting and crocheting?

By teaching handicrafts, students develop their fine motor skills, which have an enormous impact on a child's cognitive development. Also, manual labor is directly related to the development of will power.

In the 1st grade, students will be able to make cases for their flutes, and in later grades they will make various useful objects, such as for example slippers. Through this, students also develop a passion for their own creation.

Most often, their creations work for someone, thus encouraging the development of the social aspect (giving to another person), but also recognizing the needs of others.

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14. What is eurythmy and what is it for?

Eurythmy is an art-health-pedagogical discipline based on movement. Movements express sounds, voices and tones. Movement in itself is extremely important for the whole learning process, because the child mostly learns through the experiential. Therefore, coordinating and making the movement aware would mean making the cognitive processes aware. In children, eurythmy develops the ability to express themselves through dance and drama, but there are also many additional benefits, such as:

• improved coordination between mind and body

• more proper posture and physical health

• greater harmony in movements and expression

• increased safety in performance

• more balanced work of the right and left hemispheres

• increased ability to express creatively

• teamwork and team coordination

etc.

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15. What about the diet?

Organic, fresh and whole foods in our school contribute to the healthy and proper development of children. Nutrition creates the foundations for more proper physical development, on which other dimensions of health rest.

In our school, all children have a morning snack. For those staying in the extended stay, lunch and afternoon snacks are organized.

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16. Cooperation with parents

An important aspect of Waldorf education is parental involvement. Parents are also involved in founding many Waldorf schools around the world. Opinion of the parents is taken seriously and they are an important part of the educational process.

In accordance with their knowledge, skills and abilities, they are invited to participate in school activities, preparation of school events or ceremonies and can also contribute to some part of the implementation of teaching. This way of working has not only a functional role, but also a pedagogical one. The child perceives school as "our school" and is very proud that his parents are also involved. A role model worthy of imitation is set before the child, because it is the adults who represent the world to the child.

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17. What are the differences between a Waldorf and a state school?

The biggest difference is in pedagogical orientation. The Waldorf education system is, unlike state school, child-oriented, and the curriculum is used as a means to fully develop the child's potential and to make the child healthy, responsible, proactive, creative and an enterprising person.

In addition, there are some other specifics of Waldorf schools, which are immediately noticeable:

• In the Waldorf school, students have all the subjects as in the public school and additional subjects

• from the first grade they learn two foreign languages (English and German), and later a third foreign language can be chosen

• Students do not have classical textbooks but make their own for each subject by class

• numerical evaluation with grades is introduced only in higher grades, and until then the teacher descriptively monitors the overall progress of the student

• Students from 1st to 8th grade are accompanied by one teacher through the subjects of the main classes

• children are taught to love to learn because it is learned in a natural way, therefore they love their school and their teachers

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18. Who can attend Waldorf school?

All children can attend Waldorf school, regardless of religion, worldview, ethnicity and parental income.

Every child, regardless of predisposition, will develop their individual potentials, because in Waldorf pedagogy the emphasis is not only on the intellectual development of the child, but equal importance is attached to the development of social and practical skills.

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19. Why do you emphasize the importance of timely introduction of digital technologies in Waldorf schools?

The greatest attention is paid to the healthy development of the child (student) and attention is paid to the timeliness of the introduction of certain contents or teaching methods. It is important to create all the predispositions for students and to strengthen their personal capacities.

Digital technologies are ubiquitous today, and their premature emphasis in education does not mean or guarantee success in any field. On the contrary, the premature introduction of digital technologies can be detrimental to a child’s development.

At the Waldorf school, it is important to learn to understand technology before we use it, so that it will one day serve us and not rule us. This is indicated by numerous scientific studies and the growing number of digital addictions in children.

An interesting fact is that in Silicon Valley (the center of the IT industry) the children of IT gurus go to Waldorf schools, because those schools not only teach them to understand today's world, but give them all the skills to use technology properly.

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20. Is monthly tuition expensive?

The principle of the Waldorf school is not to reject a child for financial reasons. However, since grants to alternative international schools are significantly lower than those received by public schools in Croatia, Waldorf schools have to charge their students parents tuition fees.

To enable their children to attend school, teachers and parents form communities of solidarity that are designed differently in each school, but always try to balance the family’s financial capabilities and the needs of the school.

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