Promise Centre

A Steiner Waldorf KINDERGARTEN

A Steiner Waldorf KINDERGARTEN

A Steiner Waldorf KINDERGARTENA Steiner Waldorf KINDERGARTENA Steiner Waldorf KINDERGARTEN

The Centre

Promise Centre is a Steiner Waldorf Kindergarten, located in North East Bangalore. We began in

1990 and became a Steiner Waldorf Kindergarten in 2009, making us the first of its kind in the

state of Karnataka.

At Promise Centre, we believe in providing education through the Hands, Heart and Head

following in the precepts of Rudolf Steiner, the founder of the Waldorf system of education. The

learning in a Waldorf school is in continuous motion and has been proven through the role of

repetition, rhythm and reverence in the actions of a child below the age of 7.

Our objective is to strengthen the innate will of the child through repetition of activities in a

reverential manner, which in turn builds the child’s confidence. This confidence lays the foundation for formal education after the age of 6. We strive to protect the wonder of childhood

and to keep the purity of the child’s innate nature intact.

We admit only 28-30 children to maintain a 1:10 teacher child ratio.

Every year since our inception for every 10 children we have admitted one differently abled child

and for every 19 children, provided free education for one financially challenged child.


Promise Centre stands on a corner property at the beginning of an eponymous street. The low

cost, eco-friendly building was designed and built by Lalitha Mandana, our Founder, in

collaboration with her architect, in 1998. Its sloping roof, natural light and pastel wall colours

make it a well-ventilated space, safe and completely child friendly. The experience of being in the

mother’s womb is recreated with the pastels of purples and pinks adorning the walls and only

natural sunlight, filtered through the canopy of large ficus, jacaranda, jack fruit and mango trees

that stand tall in the school yard. The most striking feature about the interior is its fluid form,

enclosing nothing yet extending warmth, protection and spirituality to all who enter the space.

Along with the clean and bare physical space the children are given toys that stimulate their

imagination. All toys are wooden and have little to no facial features. There are no complete toys,

for example, a few pieces of wood strung together with a rope denote a train. This is so that the

child’s imagination can run wild and he can make anything of the toy he is playing with, from a

train to a caterpillar to a rope bridge. It teaches the importance of finding your joy from nothing at

all and the reverence for all things, even for a block of wood.

As you enter the classroom there is a ‘nature table’, depicting the seasons and festivals at that

time of year. The objects are arranged in a meaningful yet aesthetic manner and are all made of

natural material.

The exterior is an equally important space at Promise Centre. The garden, the rope swing,

sandpit and 7-foot wooden climbing frame all serve as an extension of the classroom. It is where

the children experience and connect with nature in its true form. There is a certain divinity to this

space. It bears testimony to what piques their curiosity, be it the dry skeleton of a fallen leaf, a

trail of red ants or a meeting butterfly.

Lalitha Mandana


Lalitha is a born teacher. Her love for children and understanding of their individual spirit comes

not only from the experiences in her simple yet rich life but also from 􀁻ve decades of working with

children. When she founded Promise Centre in 1990, she was the headmistress of a well-reputed

International school in Bangalore. In the subsequent years word spread about her unconventional

teaching methods and admissions began to pour in. Her superlative understanding of the true

nature of children and the personal care she extended made it a space that children loved to be in

and parents yearned for their children to be in. Her own childlike curiosity still keeps her an active

participant in the activities and events at the school. Lalitha leads parent education at Promise

Centre and is a core member on the board of trustees at Advaya Shaale, the second Waldorf

Grade School in Bangalore.

Jyotsna Mandana

Principal and Lead Teacher

Jyostna has education running through her veins, it is her true calling. When you see her with the

children is when you realise that education is an art, and the teacher an artist. After majoring in

Literature and Psychology she spent a decade teaching in Montessori and mainstream schools. In

2004, she joined her mother, Lalitha at Promise Centre. In spite of adopting the practices from all

the available systems of education, something still seemed amiss. Its at an IPMT conference in

2005 that she first came across Waldorf education and realised that Lalitha had all along been

practising the principles of Waldorf education. From then on there was no looking back for her,

she completed her Waldorf Kindergarten training at the annual seminar in Khandala and has

attended it diligently ever since. She then attended every possible Waldorf training session there

was at Hyderabad, which is where the Waldorf system took root in India.

In 2009, Jyotsna took Promise Centre from a Waldorf inspired to a full-􀁼edged Waldorf

Kindergarten. In 2011, she did a three-year foundation course in curative education and social

therapy through Friends of Camphill India. In 2013, Jyostna started early childhood training

programs, which she conducts every year. She is a core group member in South India of Sadhana,

Association of the Indian Waldorf Kindergarten. She delivers lectures based on concerns in the

kindergarten, with a view to make the kindergarten an active parent community, to spread the

wealth of Waldorf education and invite parents to conscious parenting. Jyotsna is also a core

member on the board of trustees at Advaya Shaale. What’s more, she has been a Waldorf parent

for the past 14 years.