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"Rose Ceremony" to welcome our Grade 01 children

In Waldorf schools, there is a deliberate effort to acknowledge and honour significant moments in a child's life through meaningful rituals. One such tradition observed worldwide is the transition from the kindergarten to grade school, marking the end of the first seven-year developmental period in a child's life and the beginning of the second one. In many schools, as in ours, it is called the "Rose ceremony".

In BSS, the Rose Ceremony is a special event held to warmly welcome new Grade 1 students to the campus. Transitioning from Kindergarten to first grade marks a significant milestone in the lives of these children. As the sun shines in the background, a line of Grade 1 students, accompanied by their parents, stands alongside the entire school community, creating a circle filled with anticipation and excitement. The ceremony begins with a song, serving as a heartfelt welcome for the first graders. Each Grade 1 child is paired with a "god friend" from Grade 4, who will serve as a role model and guide during their early years in elementary school. As they approach the rainbow bridge (formed by rest of the school children with forming a tunnel with their hands) and singing a song with the whole school, celebrating their arrival.

Crossing over the rainbow bridge, the Grade 1 children receive a rose and well wishes from their Kindergarten teacher, symbolizing their journey forward. Finally, they enter their new classroom, where their Grade 1 teacher awaits with reverence. The teacher's purpose is to provide education with love and to empower the students to embrace their freedom as they embark on this new chapter of their educational journey.

A fundamental aspect of Waldorf education is the comprehension of human development and its various stages. One key principle of human development is the recognition of the seven-year phases: from birth to age 7, from 7 to 14, and from 14 to 21. According to Rudolf Steiner, during the initial seven years, young children instinctively focus on developing their fundamental senses such as touch, smell, balance, movement, and vitality. As the child enters the first grade, Steiner explains that the subsequent seven years are dedicated to actively engaging with the environment and attentively listening to what it has to offer. During this period, spanning from first to eighth grade, the teacher acts as a mediator between the child and the outside world. Hence, the incorporation of storytelling into the curriculum holds immense significance. This is because storytelling serves as a vital tool in connecting the child with the surrounding world during these formative years. The spoken and written word help guide the students through an understanding of the world, and through the word, and through the teachers, the students develop a feeling that the world is beautiful.

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