It’s easy to sometimes feel the weight of the world on us as adults. Bills, unanswered emails, mounting global conflicts and an escalating climate crisis can leave us feeling heavy as we slog away on the treadmill of life. But a walk with a young person might just restore some much-needed light and wonder into your world.
As we dawdled down the concrete path that leads from the park to the Metamorphosis classroom in Bern’s east, I’m stopped by sudden, high-pitched squeals. Little fingers point ahead in urgent delight. The group have spotted a bumble bee nestled into a sunflower peaking over the wire fence that lines the footpath. Standing on their tip toes with eyes wide, cries of joy erupt from each of them as they strain to catch a glimpse of the striped, furry creature.
I watched as the tiny animal dutifully went about its business in a low hum – drawing yellow pollen from the flower to keep our delicate ecosystem in order. It was a timely reminder of just how wonderful the world really is.
Children, I’m convinced, are the ultimate teachers on how to live well. They accept compliments without hesitation, forgive easily and never hide their emotions. But most importantly, they are always present and engaged with their surroundings, teaching us to see the world with new eyes – to be utterly amazed by something as familiar as a bee.
It’s this ethos of discovery, exploration and play that is central to Metamorphosis Bern’s approach to teaching.
The playgroup’s founder and head teacher, Leonora Ybarra, brings decades of early childhood teaching experience to the school. This shows in her carefully crafted curriculum that has classes packed with songs, dances, imaginative play, number and letter practice and arts and crafts.
Metamorphosis is Bern’s only English-speaking school or playgroup that accepts children as young as 18 months – toilet trained or not. It’s also one of the few playgroups that has children involved in weekly movement classes, run by assistant teacher Claire Keil, who brings valuable expertise in physical education and working with children on the spectrum.
Each month, children are immersed in a new theme that ranges from creepy crawlies to food systems. The program’s curriculum prepares its young ones for their future schooling years, and a life of learning. It encourages curiosity in each young person so they remain amazed by the wonders of the world for years to come.
To register your child at Metamorphosis Bern, contact Leonora at