Our Preschool follows the Montessori Method of Education; children are treated with respect and allowed to learn at their own pace. Montessori Education is an activity-based method of Education where the child is the centre of the learning experience. Montessori gives the child the freedom to explore at their own pace within the prepared environment.
We run our classroom following the fundamental principles of freedom of choice, freedom of movement and freedom of speech within a structured environment. It is an approach that values the human spirit and the development of the whole child; physical, social, emotional and cognitive.
The teacher, child, and environment create a learning triangle. The classroom is prepared by the teacher to encourage independence, freedom within limits, and a sense of order. The child, through individual choice, makes use of what the environment offers to develop himself, interacting with the teacher when support and/or guidance is needed.
Multi age groupings are a hallmark of the Montessori Curriculum: younger children learn from older children; older children reinforce their learning by teaching concepts they have already mastered. This arrangement also mirrors the real world, where individuals work and socialise with people of all ages and dispositions.
Montessori Education can be divided into four headings as follows
- Practical life exercises give the child everyday skills, they are also called the exercises of daily living because they involve simple and precise tasks that the young child has already observed adults perform in the home environment and therefore wishes to imitate e.g. pouring exercises and how to dress.
- These are the first exercises taught to the Montessori child on entry to the Montessori classroom and they lay the foundation for future exercises.
- Montessori Practical Life exercises are divided into four areas – Elementary Movement, Grace and Courtesy, Care of the Environment and Care of the Person.
- Some of the skills the child will develop by performing practical life exercises are the development of independence, social skills, concentration and the refinement of gross and fine motor skills.
- Montessori sensorial exercises involve materials to train the senses. They require the child to compare, contrast and discriminate between stimuli.
- Objects are grouped together according to some definite quality e.g. colour, shape, dimension, sound, weight and texture etc.
An example of some pieces of sensorial equipment are the pink tower which develops visual and muscular impression of size and the sound boxes which assist the child to distinguish between sounds.
- There are four integrated aspects to learning language – listening, speaking, reading and writing.
- The Montessori Language programme uses the phonetic method combined with the whole language approach to teach language.
- Language is first approached through story telling and circle time this is then advanced by introducing the sandpaper alphabet.
- Words are taught using the phonetic system and if this is mastered the non-phonetic reading material may be introduced.
- Mathematics is taught in a concrete way. The child is given the opportunity to explore maths by the use of material from his/her environment and structural material so that s/he develops the concepts of mathematics in a meaningful way through his/her own activity
- The child who has the opportunity to get the sensorial knowledge of arithmetic in a Montessori classroom has an advantage over the child who starts arithmetic in an abstract way.
Geography, history, science, music & dance, arts, cultural studies and nature studies will also be taught in our Montessori Classroom along with this the child will be given ample opportunity to play both indoors and outdoors.
Parenting/Research Based Articles
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