Location – Rathstraße 6/8, 1190 Wien, Austria
Website – https://www.schmetterling.at/
Contact – +43 1 440533510
1. Please mention about the school and its mission/vision and various infrastructural facilities.
The private Kindergarten Schmetterling was founded in 2002 in Vienna, originally with only one kindergarten group. Nowadays the kindergarten has 24 groups in 4 modern locations across Vienna. These locations are in Neustift am Walde, Heiligenstadt, Dornbach and Heumarkt, directly in the heart of Vienna. The private Kindergarten Schmetterling is a family business (second generation) run by the Dorn family and their team.
The Kindergarten Schmetterling developed the Kindergarten Schmetterling Education/Pedagogy. It is based on the Viennese curriculum and integrates established elements from the Montessori education as well as sensory integration, psychomotor activity, elementary music education, art education, media education, social education and linguistics.
An appreciative mindset is very important to us. Every child has his/her own rhythm and personal approach to materials and humans. Our learning opportunities address the children’s emotional, social, physical, and cognitive areas, thus promoting the development of their entire personality.
We guide the children through their first years and help them open the doors to many areas of life. We agree to an educational partnership with the parents, meaning that we work very closely with each other.
A regular exchange of information is essential for us since one can only cater to the child when one knows what is going on. However, we cannot and do not wish to replace a parental role. We can only be active in accompanying – parents and children.
Our pedagogues synchronize the pedagogical focuses, curricula, and educational objectives to fit the children’s stage of development. Based on the analysis of various situations, child-centered projects and plans are formed and dynamically adapted, also with the help of a monthly reflection on the main focuses. To ensure quality management, the location manager continuously checks the legal bases, the Viennese curriculum, and the guidelines of implementing pedagogical concepts. Thanks to the pedagogues and assistants’ frequent training (obligatory further education), new scientific/academic knowledge, current pedagogical trends, regional structures, and social changes are always valued and integrated into our daily work with the children.
By attending interface meetings at schools and kindergartens, the transitions can be reflected upon and constantly improved.
The child’s needs are always a priority for us!
2. Kindly mention about the prominent personality of the school and his/her role in the development of the school.
Christoph Dorn built the kindergarten together with his mother. Mr. Dorn is a founding member of the association and has supported the kindergarten on a voluntary basis from day one.
Mr. Dorn has been employed by the association since 2009 and has been the sole managing director since 2014. Mr. Dorn was largely responsible for the expansion of the kindergarten to three locations and has significantly shaped the orientation (bilingual concept, daily, freshly cooked food, eco-label certification etc.).
Mr. Dorn has completed two technical studies and a variety of pedagogical training. In addition to his role as managing director of the kindergarten, Mr. Dorn is also chairman of the supervisory board of the Supporting association Vindobini.
3. Kindly describe about the various courses offered by the school and their salient features.
Courses have a long tradition at Schmetterling. The individual interests of the children are addressed in the courses offered in the afternoon. The courses vary each year and per location. Schmetterling has offered the following courses in recent years:
- Early Musical Education
- Concentration and coordination training
- Cooking for children
- Yoga for children
- Science course
- English as a foreign language
- German as a foreign language
- Sports courses
- Nature Experience
4. Please mention what steps are you taking beyond the traditional curriculum to ensure overall development of the students?
Schmetterling offers much more and is constantly developing the educational concept. What is special about Schmetterling is the bilingual care in German and English (full-time), the daily home-cooked meals with an organic content of 80%, a higher care ratio in the groups, weekly excursions for the older children, inter-group school preparation in a separate course, modern and bright rooms, …
All caregivers must undergo annual further training to stay up to date with the latest pedagogical developments. In addition, Schmetterling employs its own pedagogical quality manager.
5. What steps does the school take to motivate and develop the students’ interest towards education?
Children of kindergarten age are basically interested and curious. Schmetterling picks up on this natural curiosity and tries to give the children the necessary security to be able to develop freely.
For this reason, we use the Berlin settling-in model and the relationship partnership with the parents is particularly important to us. In the development meetings, which take place twice a year, the needs of the children are addressed.
In addition, a speech therapist and an occupational therapist visit Schmetterling every week.
6. How are you providing financial assistance to the students in need?
Schmetterling supports families in financial need with a free or low-cost kindergarten place.
In individual cases, donations were also collected for these families.
7. What are the career opportunities available to the students after completion of their courses?
Schmetterling offers kindergarten places at four locations, and children up to the age of six are cared for. Due to the full-time bilingual care, the children also can go to purely English-language elementary schools (e.g., American International School Vienna, Vienna Elementary School).
Schmetterling is often chosen by parents who are only staying in Austria with their children for a few years. The children of these families stay in the international context when attending Schmetterling, but also get to experience the German language and Austrian culture. This gives the children a broad spectrum and prepares them for international challenges.
8. How the school tackled Covid-19, share your experience.
All kindergartens were open throughout the Covid-19 period and there was always at least one group of children attending at each site. Schmetterling cared for the children in very small groups during the lockdown. For the children in their final year of kindergarten, shelter was provided to prepare them for school. For the other children, there was a comprehensive folder with craft ideas, songs and much more. The caregivers were also in telephone exchange with the parents.
The staff at Schmetterling had to test themselves two to five times a week, depending on the incidence. In individual months, compulsory testing for children was implemented.
9. Please enlighten us about the school’s major awards/achievements, its accomplished/renowned alumni, remarkable collaborations, and major accreditations.
At Schmetterling, the topic of environmental education is very important. Schmetterling is EMAS (Eco-Management and Audit Scheme) certified and proudly bears the Austrian Ecolabel.
Some of the children’s parents are ambassadors, Austrian politicians, major entrepreneurs, and public figures.
10. Kindly elaborate about the future of the school in the same.
We are currently working on organic certification, which should be achieved by the beginning of 2023.