Our Program and Methods
The teachers at Dráček Nursery School specialise in child development as regards nurturing and education, using the following tried and tested methods:
1) Creative humanist education
Is based on the principle that it is possible to build a positive relationship with oneself, towards others and towards life. However, this process must be started as early as possible, really from the moment the child is born. A positive relationship with oneself and towards others forms the basis upon which the child’s personality grows and matures. The humanist approach emphasises that every child needs to be trusted.
We divide games up into didactic, educational and creative. The teacher carefully considers what mental aspects the game involves and what functions it is principally aimed at developing, e.g. focusing on children’s psychomotoric skills, awareness, feelings, or inner discipline, or games intended more to get children involved as part of a group, i.e. socialisation.
The primary aim of the teacher in the teaching process is to develop motivation to learn and also to improve non-learning skills. In practice this requires the child to become familiar with the method of how to learn and how to come up with new solutions to problems. Nowadays there is little point in teaching for teaching’s sake. Memorising new words or remembering numbers with no motivation is not as effective in teaching as, for example, asking questions such as “How many words can you learn in ten minutes? How many during the break? Can you learn more than your friend? How many more? How can we find out?”. By asking these questions we are developing children’s natural competitiveness, aspiration, socialisation, communication, cooperation and self-confidence.
4) Cultivation through art
When using art in the nursery school we adhere to the following principles and use everything our culture, nature and society has to offer: we include as much art as possible in the learning process, providing children with the chance to enjoy exhibitions, operas, visits to the theatre, ballet, pantomime, concerts and reading sessions, enabling them to be active in all these areas.
The teacher or parent gets the children to work based on what the children themselves actually want to do. The teacher offers them as many options as possible, and the children themselves choose and suggest how to go about it. This requires that the children are able to weigh up the different options and act independently. Work must have a purpose; the children must know that it is not an activity purely for activity’s sake, but is work with an objective in mind. The children should have the chance to come up with as many different solutions and ways of achieving their aims as possible (ergotherapy).
In the world today creativity is one of the most important abilities for getting ahead in life. Facts and procedures often change so quickly that we don’t have time to apply skills we have learned. Creative thinking forms the basis for skilful adaptation to new conditions and is also a diverse and entertaining way of spending one’s leisure time. Small children tend to be extremely imaginative and this skill must be supported in everything the child does, at nursery school and outside it – in the family and everywhere that children spend their free time.
Fundamental principles for supporting creativity: Non-judgemental approach, Voluntariness, Safety, Humour, Enjoyment, Praise, Play
7) Educational and stimulatory groups
Education = personality development, Stimulation = stimulating the body to perform better
The term psychomotorics generally means teaching through movement. From this it is clear that this is now just exercise to improve skills and dexterity, to enhance physical fitness and active leisure, but also exercise that helps to develop mental skills.
9) Respect and be respected
We prioritise an equal partnership approach to education based on the principle of respect. To be accepted, to be respected and to have good self-esteem are basic human needs. If these needs are not adequately satisfied during childhood, it can lead to personality disorders. Self-esteem may be described as the “personality’s immune system”. Children with high self-esteem will be far better able to withstand what we refer to as social pathologies.
10) Step by Step program – Starting Together
The day starts by a talking session in a group circle (on the carpet), in which the children tell each other about new experiences or feelings and learn about the plans for the new day. Work in the activities centres (for around 45 – 90 min.) Activities in the Nursery School in all the centres always focus on a particular topic for a certain amount of time (e.g. a week) and are chosen to meet the needs of the school curriculum. Every child chooses which centre to go to that day, but has to alternate between all the centres during the week. In each centre the children carry out tasks they are assigned – some alone, others in groups, at their own speed and in their own way. The teachers develop the children’s creativity by offering tasks that have a number of different solutions. If some children finish earlier, they may volunteer to do other, more difficult tasks, help the others, or do anything else they want to do (e.g. reading).
11) Hejný´s method of mathematics
We are newly introducing the Hejny method of teaching mathematics, see https://www.h-mat.cz/. The Hejny Method is based on respecting 12 basic principles, which are ingeniously put together into a coherent concept so that the child discovers mathematics on his own and with joy. It is based on 40 years of experimentation and makes practical use of historical insights in the history of mathematics from ancient Egypt to the present day.
12) Values education of Cyril Mooney
Very child has the right to experience life's wonderful values of freedom, honesty and love throughout adolescence. Every child has the right to be happy. Every child has the right to be introduced to the spiritual part of their nature that transcends the constraints of religious and social criteria. Every child has the right to be raised in a spirit of love, care and tolerance. Every child has the right to be prepared to contribute to the shaping of the world.
We would be happy to answer any questions you might have by telephone or by e-mail.
We look forward to your visit.