So says the Confucian proverb, which you will find at our kindergarten entrance and expresses the pedagogical approach with which we welcome our children at Colegio Andino.
Our pedagogical concept is based on integrating the child with the world around them amid nature. Play and experimentation are the basis of our methodology and teaching, allowing children to enjoy the transition from kindergarten to Colegio Grande in a memorable way.
Kindergarten is the beginning of the school stage. Here we provide children with the tools to discover their tastes, talents, and abilities and acquire skills, values, and autonomy. At the same time, they naturally become familiar with the German language.
In kindergarten, the children laugh, play and learn in German from their first day at Andinitos; the younger they are, the better immersion learning works. The principle “one person, one language” is implemented by a German-speaking and a Spanish-speaking pedagogue.
The children immerse themselves in German with us. In other words, German is the language of conversation, exploration, and learning, even if they do not yet understand it at the beginning. Our immersion program offers the children an experiential and pressure-free learning environment through contact with primarily native speakers, which promotes and sensitizes the intercultural experience.
The children learn what der Apfel (apple) means by touching, smelling, and tasting an apple. They also learn the meaning of the adjectives “wet”, “dry”, “hard”, etc. by taking off their shoes and socks and feeling wet grass, dry sand, and stone-ground barefoot.
Play helps children grow in society, acquire and expand their skills, and develop their identity. Playing and learning are not opposites; they are two sides of the same coin.
Its development is not a challenge for children, but it tends to be for parents. In kindergarten, we love to support them in this aspect. Autonomy cannot be taught to children, as it is learned through experience, decision-making, self-confidence, and positive reinforcement.
From an early age, children can discover, compare, hypothesize, and reflect on their thinking. Therefore, in kindergarten, we do not focus on imparting large sums of specific knowledge but rather on creating a solid foundation for the later educational path, explicitly supporting their investigative drive.
Conflict is an essential driver of social development. Children fight for toys, for the first place in line, for who gets to play. Our pedagogical work aims to reinforce social skills early on and to promote constructive conflict management.
Our aim is for children to learn to accept disappointments, cope with setbacks, handle unfulfilled wishes and expectations, and not avoid them. Tolerance to frustration will also be a great challenge for parents, making parenting an adventure.
This methodology promotes decision-making, planning, and organization. It is a fundamental part of our pedagogical concept since children have the opportunity to search, choose and experiment and thus learn to know their tastes and interests so they may learn with greater motivation.
As of February 2021, each kindergarten group has a “Nature Day”. The idea of Forest Kindergarten dates back to 1952, when Ella Flatau, a Danish mother from Sollerod, enjoyed spending the day in the forest with her four children and her neighbors’ children. In 1954 she founded the first Forest Kindergarten.
The main characteristic of these Gardens, which sets them apart from others, is that the “forest children” spend most of their time in nature, outdoors, and play with whatever they find in each place.
Once a week, the children spend the day outdoors on the school grounds. This contact is fundamental for development in learning, especially natural processes and research, socialization, expression of emotions, and creativity.
The concept of “Forest Kindergarten” is also compensation for the living conditions of many children in a city like Bogota.