The school in MATURANAHAUS is divided into primary
and secondary stages
The primary stage
is for children aged 7 to 13 years, and also for the transition children from the entry stage
(kindergarten), who can come to the primary stage
as often as they wish once they turn 6. The children from the primary stage
can also visit the kindergarten at any time.
After they turn twelve, children can choose to begin the transition year to the secondary stage
. On their thirteenth birthday, youths become full-fledged members of the secondary stage
for the remainder of their time at MATURANAHAUS. Our school is also suitable for children with special needs and disabilities.
The prepared environment of the primary stage
contains a variety of activities and materials suitable for the developmental needs of children at this age . Inside the building and outside in the yard, there are numerous opportunities for self-directed play and learning. These are more extensive and complex than in the kindergarten. Our natural school yard offers many occasions for motion, using natural materials, making fires, building, caring for animals, playing games or doing all kinds of projects, in any weather, throughout the year. The building provides different areas for practical creative activities, experiments, a kitchen, role-playing, music, building games, board games, concrete material for language arts, mathematics, cosmic learning, etc. Everything is easily accessible so that the children can work independently and spontaneously.
Content and context are not taught or presented abstractly, but rather are discovered in hands-on activities with a broad range of concrete materials. This diverse practical experience across a variety of fields means children learn in context, thus creating a broad network of cognitive structures based on natural learning processes. . Learning takes place everywhere and at times. The children's spontaneous activities are generally characterized by intensity and stamina and clearly show how fun and easy learning can be.
In addition to the spontaneously accessible areas of the school, there are various courses, excursions, work groups and short internships. These are discussed in the weekly assembly. The children always decide freely which activities they would like to pursue and voluntarily join courses or work groups. Some groups are open for spontaneous participation while others may decide on certain rules for attendance based on the needs of the group or the content. The weekly assembly is the only event that is mandatory for all pupils. It is directed by the children and provides a forum for discussing ideas, questions, conflicts, plans, etc. In the weekly assembly, pupils discuss basic house rules as well as rules pertaining to various areas of everyday life at school, giving them the opportunity to fulfil the increasing desire to take part in decision making and self-regulation within the group.
In the prepared environment, children can always move freely and choose between diverse social situations with other children or adults. This requires the children to continuously make new decisions, alone as well as with others. Co-operation, team skills, and other social skills are established through a constant process of learning.
In addition to this rich environment, the youths in the secondary stage
have their own area that is not used by the children in the primary stage. There youths can relax, make use of computer workplaces or use various material for formal learning in different subject areas. The concrete materials and all areas in the primary stage continue to be accessible to them.
The secondary stage
has its own weekly meeting which is also mandatory for all and is the forum for discussing various topics as well as the organization of everyday school life. As in the previous stage, work groups, courses etc. are formed according to interest and possibility. Specialist lectures, internships and excursions offer the opportunity to become familiar with various social areas and to plan for the future. For their time at the secondary stage
, the pupils are obliged to keep a journal concerning their activities, plans, reflections etc. They choose one of the members of the pedagogic team as a tutor, meet regularly them and show them their journal. This individual accompaniment supports the youths in examining their own development and plans for the future and in preparing for final exams.
Accompanied and relaxed environment
The school stages at MATURANAHAUS are places of active and self-determined learning: all pupils decide individually what they want to do, where, how, how long and with whom. All areas are supervised by adults who observe the children's activities with attentive interest and accompany them while placing confidence in their ability to develop independently. The adults are always available to the children; when asked they give instructions in the usage of materials and support the children to pursue their self-imposed tasks and solve problems without intervening.
Adults supervise conflicts between the children by taking into consideration each child's point of view and supporting them emotionally, without offering a solution for the situation. This enables the children to find individual solutions and aids social and emotional self-regulation. The adults maintain the house rules and, when necessary, set clear boundaries. This creates a reliable framework and a relaxed environment in which each child feels safe.
and secondary stages
are open every morning from 8:15am to 1:15pm. Children can arrive any time before 9am, but all children leave at the same time. The daily schedule changes to fit individual projects, work groups, excursions etc. A school assembly takes place every week in which the weekly schedule is presented and where children can share wishes or ideas for courses or excursions. Aside from this general structure of optional courses, every day, week, and month is filled individually with numerous spontaneous activities that the children and youths pursue with an intensity and perseverance that vary according to the situation.