Kindergarten Schmetterling: Helping Children to See Many Areas of Life

We always try to build a legacy, a legacy that would make our family proud. A legacy that our next generations would look upto and follow. In this profile, we are presenting you with the story of a school that  was developed on a dream to strengthen the foundation of the next generation. A school built by a family, to nurture the young minds and help them see the different colors, and explore the various opportunities in many aspects of life.

The kindergarten after its initial success, was set in motion by its founders to expand. To meet the rising demand of parents, it has took creative initiatives and customized its ambiance as per the different locations. Today the kindergarten has become one of the prominent institutions and its success has led to the development of a group.

We at The Knowledge Review, see it as our privilege to present you, Kindergarten Schmetterling, Vienna. It provides a traditional pedagogical environment while including modern education in Viennese Education.

An Ultramodern Approach

The private Kindergarten Schmetterling was founded in 2002 in Vienna, originally with only one kindergarten group. After its immense success, the kindergarten today has 19 groups in 3 modern locations. These locations are Neustift am Walde, Heiligenstadt, and Heumarkt, meaning the kindergarten’s groups are located 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 has developed the Kindergarten Schmetterling Pedagogy. Based on the Viennese curriculum, it integrates established elements from Montessori education. It also comprises sensory integration, psychomotor activity, elementary music education, art education, media education, social education, and linguistics.

It is crucial for the kindergarten to foster its pupils possessing an appreciative mindset. It understands that every child has his/her rhythm and personal approach to people and their surroundings. Hence, it has developed a curriculum that provides learning opportunities that address the children’s holistic and all-inclusive personality development.

Kindergarten Schmetterling guides the children through their first years and helps them open the doors to many areas of life. It sees its role as the companion for both the parents and their children. The kindergarten agrees to an educational partnership with the parents and works closely with them to find approaches for the nourishment of the young mind.

A Passionate Persona

Everyone of us dream of something, a vision of achieving the goal that we have always pictured. But only a few amongst us possess the guts, to follow our paths. Mr. Christopher Dorn, Managing Director of Kindergarten Schmetterling, is one such individual who followed his dream of developing progressive education techniques and is constantly finding ways to transform the education sphere.

Before taking up the mantle of Managing Director in 2014, Mr. Dorn was a founding member. He was responsible for setting up the kindergarten in its early years. He and his team laid the floors, built and painted the walls of the kindergarten’s first building.

Mr. Dorn was active in his youth as a volunteer for the Katholische Jungschar und Jugend Wien. After graduating from high school, he decided on a technical orientation for the time being and pursued production engineering and industrial engineering. His first degree led him to work as a research assistant at the renowed Vienna University of Technology and subsequently managing international projects on energy efficiency in production.

As Kindergarten Schmetterling expanded over the years, Mr. Dorn became more involved from 2009 onwards. He trained as a Montessori teacher and established the management structure of the kindergarten that is strengthened by his vision and the exceptional site managers. In particular, Ms Mag Pötzl, who has been a site manager of the Neustift site since 2012 and is responsible for the ongoing further development of the educational concept. She is a certified kindergarten, early childhood and after-school teacher who pursued her higher education from the University of Vienna. During her various stays abroad in countries such as: USA, Sweden, Switzerland, and Japan she gained global experience that has helped her to hold the kindergarten to international standards.

Its Uniqueness

Taking many ultramodern approaches, Kindergarten Schmetterling has developed its unique identity. Here are a few things that sets it apart from the rest: 

High-key supervision: The kindergarten has qualified pedagogical employees who exclusively care for the children.

Self-sufficient upbringing: It allows the children to do as much as possible on their own (independently). External orders shift to internal orders. By helping with self-control, it supports the children in learning how to orient themselves.

Individuality: There are no collective “have-to’s” in its kindergarten; depending on the stage of development, children are supported individually. 

Material: Many things in the kindergarten are made out of wood and/or are made by its members. Its faculties states, “Through the sense of touch the children come to realizations. A prepared environment is very important.”

Presentation: Teaches many things in the form of a presentation or performance and the children learn based on the model. Every presentation helps the children to understand the material better and also how to use it.

Bilingualism: Having a two-language program and its English-speaking assistants present the English language in its daily routine.

Food: Fresh, self-cooked food and meals (organic, regional and seasonal products) are served at the kindergarten.

Modern set-up/ highest standards: The kindergarten’s large and bright group rooms with great playing-equipment provide an optimal environment for the children. There is a washroom in each group. The toilets are different sizes and are an attractive way to help with hygiene and clean education.

Few closed days: The Kindergarten Schmetterling is closed December 24th through January 1st, the week before Easter, during the last week of August, and all the Austrian National Holidays.

The Esteemed Faculties

The staff of Kindergarten Schmetterling’s bilingual private kindergarten always look out for different approaches with the best possible opportunities for the pupil’s development. In the words of its visionary leader, Mr. Dorn, “The happiness and well-being of the children who confide in us is the standard of our daily work. In an atmosphere filled with trust, openness, and joy, we are able to guide children in their personal development.”

In order to develop the children’s motor skills with enough friction and greatly used in the kindergarten’s bright and fully equipped rooms such as: extra gym room, large gardens, and nearby parks. Its faculty has extra qualifications such as Montessori training or sensory integration. Along with these, the group also has an experienced speech therapist in their team.

To fit the children’s many stages of development, Kindergarten Schmetterling faculties synchronize the pedagogical focuses, and constantly improves its curriculum and educational objectives. Based on the analysis of various situations, child-centered projects and plans are formed dynamically and adapted 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 for implementing pedagogical concepts. With the guidance of its faculties and assistants’ frequent training (obligatory further education), new scientific/ academic knowledge, current pedagogical trends, regional structures, and social changes are always valued. It integrates them into the kindergarten’s daily work with its students.

Sketching The Road Ahead

With its successful ventures in different locations, Kindergarten Schmetterling plans to expand its presence in the city of Vienna. In 2020, the aims to open a new location with 3 groups in Neuwaldegg in the magnificent historical house of Grunderzeit. Vineyards surround the place and contain an ample amount of green space to ensure that young minds never lose touch with nature. The kindergarten continuously strives to nurture its young minds and create a generation of citizens that are inculcated with values that will help them to thrive in many areas of life.

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