Eurythmia means Harmony, Balance and Proportion.
In 1988, after many years of rewarding professional experience with Eurythmia Internationale in France, Teresa Stewart founded Eurythmia Portugal, the first school in Oporto specialising in English language teaching for children from the age of two years.
Eurythmia soon developed partnerships with Oporto’s International schools and quickly became a well-respected bi-lingual nursery school, preparing children to continue their education in these establishments.
This success is due in main to the school’s innovative programmes and the pedagogical principles which underpin the pillars of our philosophy.
From its very beginnings Eurythmia was not only a bi-lingual nursery school, but also a language institute (preparing students for the University of Cambridge exams) and in 2007 we began our music academy with music lessons in guitar and piano for the very young.
Given the high potential of the school, a new phase began in 2010. The administration was altered but the teaching staff, headed by Teresa Stewart, and remained the same, as did the quality of teaching associated with the name Eurythmia.
The new managing partner, Joana Silva e Cunha, shares the same ideology and philosophy as the school. 2011 saw the beginning of a new project aimed at continuing the high standards of innovative teaching, while at the same time allowing the school to grow.
This project included expanding and remodelling the existing facilities of the Nursery School and the opening of new services, such as the Baby Nursery, Crèche and After School club (ATL). We intend to increase the range of extra-curricular activities for children on offer and begin activities for adults outside of working hours.
These alterations, which have improved the physical appearance of the School and allowed an increased range of services to be offered, have in no way compromised the family atmosphere and quality for which Eurythmia has long been known.
That which we believe can be seen in our concept of education…
“Don’t do things for me. Teach me to do them myself.”
This is one of Maria Montessori’s maxims recurring throughout her work with young children. Since 1988 the mission of Eurythmia has been to help develop the global personality of the children it welcomes into its family atmosphere.
Aware of the problems of the world today, we feel we should complement traditional teaching methods with a more holistic vision of other alternative philosophies of education, such as Montessori, Waldorf and Reggio Emilia.
For us the most important thing is that the child feels safe, loved and respected. This is the only way for the child to have increased self-esteem and accept the educational discipline necessary for life in a community.
We believe that each child is gifted with a unique natural creativity. Our role as teachers is to encourage and help the children to discover and explore their own imagination and then to work with them according to the inner world of each one.
This is the method of teaching which has made Eurythmia special and which enhances the intellectual, moral and spiritual growth of each child.
The importance of space
In our school we try to create a space where children can grow and learn in a safe and harmonious atmosphere during their first years of education.
The spaces have been carefully thought out and arranged in order to create a safe, stimulating environment in which the children perceive the world around them through their senses.
In the Eurythmia classroom everything is organised in a logical and meaningful way. The teaching materials are carefully selected in order to stimulate creativity and aesthetic sensibility.
The different colours, textures and concepts, as well as the incorporation of real-life material, present the children with a variety of sensorial experiences and unique opportunities for discovery. We have created a space where the child feels both curious and happy and willing to learn about the world around him or her.
The importance of responsibility, independence and autonomy
Although on the one hand we advocate freedom, at the same time we emphasize responsibility and independence.
We encourage the children to be independent and autonomous in everything they do, so that they will develop self-confidence.
This autonomy is achieved through moments of discovery, creativity and freedom of choice. From an early age, children are encouraged to learn to do things on their own.
As each child is a unique human being, all teaching activities undertaken respect the child’s own rhythm of learning and distinct personality.
We allow them to suggest and choose activities which appeal to them, taking advantage of their ideas, interests and natural curiosity as a starting point for developing the relevant skills and capacities for their level of learning.
Once an activity has finished, the children are taught from an early age to clean and tidy away the items they have been using, leaving the space and materials ready to be used by the next child. We teach the children to treat one another with respect, politeness and gentleness, thereby promoting a spirit of mutual help.
We believe in a system of vertical education, where, in an organised manner, we promote the interaction of children from different classrooms. There are many advantages to this, which would not be available if each group were kept isolated while working on individual projects.
Age heterogeneity and interchange between the different age groups encourages self-esteem in the older children and stimulates development in the younger children.
Our school functions ‘as one’ and team work, both on the part of the children and the teachers, is always in evidence. The role of our teachers is simply to be a guide and mentor on the path to inner discovery.
The importance of respect
Respect, good manners and the ability to share should form the basis of the social education of any child.
Our work is to help the child to accept others whilst respecting both their personality and personal space, thereby promoting social interaction.
It is for this reason that we encourage respect and affection towards themselves, their friends, other people and the environment in which they live.
The importance of English
For more than twenty years Eurythmia has been known for its quality and success in preparing children to continue their education in the renowned international schools of Oporto.
For many children, their first contact with English is in our school. Therefore we maintain a bi-lingual teaching staff, who can assess and work within the linguistic capabilities of each child.
We pledge to continue this education, not only in order to prepare children who will move on to the international schools, but above all because of the importance of learning a second language in early childhood. This learning enhances intellectual development, creating from an early age a capacity for speaking other languages with ease in the future.
There will always be a Portuguese teacher present in each classroom. In addition the school employs native language English teachers with Nursery school training (TESL) who work alongside the classroom teachers to develop daily activities in English, in accordance with the learning capacities of each child.
Our philosophy is to introduce English language gradually, in a natural, gentle and progressive manner.
In a similar manner to learning their mother tongue, the children begin by hearing the same English words repeated, often associated with pictures, and then proceed to repeat the words themselves, often through rhymes and songs. In this way, the children gradually become familiar with the basic vocabulary.
The importance of working together with parents/family-an open school
In our college, we believe that the work done with the children should be complemented by the “work” of the parents at home, with a view to the better development of the children and a more effective intervention with each one of them.
As such we have always sought to create an “open school” concept in which parents are invited to participate at various times in their children’s school life.
We thus encourage the participation of families in the educational process of children and in their life story. As such, from the first moment that the educators establish a good relationship with the parents of each child in the sense of a constant exchange of information about them, so that the work of the school can be completed with the work at home and vice -versa.
The importance of being a second family
The great advantage of Eurythmia, apart from what has been mentioned previously is that it is much more than just a school.
It is a second home where we give a special attention and care to each child, and where your son / daughter will gain knowledge, education and strength that will be present for their life outside.