Age Range 3 years and 6 months – 5 years [guide only]
In 1896 Dr. Maria Montessori was the first woman doctor in Rome. After many years practising as a doctor, she became involved in child Development. She studied and analysed their needs and looked for universal traits and characteristics amongst children.
She believed that all children possess sensitive periods, whereby every experience the child has is soaked up by them and no matter who or where the child is, these sensitive periods would stimulate the child’s whole persona.
From her research Dr. Montessori devised a method of Education where children would work with didactic [self- teaching] apparatus, the child would learn and refine areas of their development through this equipment. Along side the apparatus, the teacher directs and guides the child in conjunction with these universal traits and sensitive periods, so as the child’s true potential would manifest itself.
There are 6 areas within the Montessori classroom: -
These are every day tasks that children adore to complete, not just for the end result - such as polishing a shoe, but because they enjoy the activity in itself. Directly they teach the child a skill, indirectly they promote and refine the child’s Gross/fine motor development, concentration, hand and eye co-ordination and independence. This in turn will encourage the child to be self aware and confident.
These activities encourage the refinement of the child’s senses and give them experiences that enable them to be more aware of the world around them. They enhance visual discrimination, auditory awareness and chromatic sense to name a few. Indirectly they prepare the child for later language and mathematical work.
Earlier work with Practical Life and Sensorial exercises will have indirectly prepared the child for basic linguistic and numeral operations. The apparatus relevant to these areas introduces the child directly to the world of spoken and written language, as well as basic numerical and mathematical operations.
The world of Biology, Geography, Zoology and Science will be opened to the child. These activities are designed to promote experiences that encourage the child to see and involve himself in the world around him.
Through various group projects and activities, the child creative attributes will be explored. Thus encouraging self-awareness, confidence, self-esteem and a positive self image.
Our Montessori Classrooms is equipped with Dr. Montessori’s apparatus; the teachers within them have the knowledge and experience to guide the child into self discovery and self construction of themselves and their capabilities.
Although Montessori education features primarily within our environment, not all children will benefit from it, hence if need be, our environment and teachers can adapt to suit the needs of each individual child. Providing traditional teaching methods and materials can do this.
Towards the end of their time with us, the children are slowly `weaned` so to speak away from the Montessori apparatus and taught by a more traditional approach - hence preparing the child for the next level of their schooling.
The child’s day is structured around a three-hour work cycle in the morning; this includes one to one teaching, morning snack, and group activity, outside play, lunch and a group circle time. Monthly projects feature strongly within circle time.
After lunch, free play is encouraged to promote an informal social situation for each child, so that friendships can be fostered through mutual understanding. After a mid afternoon snack, activities such as Arts and Craft, Music and Movement, Cooking etc., are provided, as well as outside play, weather permitting. The child’s day winds down at 5.00pm with quiet time - puzzles, books etc. and home time.
Food and Drinks
All food is provided. Juice and water is offered to your child throughout the day. Milk is provided by the Creche at lunchtime.