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Open Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm
50 weeks per year
Curriculum

The Montessori Curriculum is extremely rich and covers all the Early Learning Goals of the Foundation Stage of the National Curriculum.

PRACTICAL LIFE:

Young children are interested in doing the everyday activities they see going on around them.  Besides helping them to participate securely in their environment – at home, at school and in the wider community – these activities help children to develop concentration, independence and coordination of movement.  The exercises of Practical Life help the child to focus attention for the entirety of an activity and to perfect the movements necessary for the activity.  They also focus on developing the child’s social skills.

Practical Life activities are divided into the following:

*   Exercises for increasing coordination of movement, such as pouring, folding and opening and closing bottles.

*   Exercises for the care of the environment, such as dusting, sweeping, polishing and washing up.

*   Exercises for the care of the person, such as tying laces and fastening buttons, poppers and zips.

*   Exercises of grace and courtesy for the development of social relations, such as greeting people; saying please, excuse me and thank you; and asking for help.

SENSORIAL:

From birth the child is taking in impressions of the world around him/her through the senses.  In the Montessori classrooms we have special sensorial materials that help the children refine those experiences and stimulate each of the senses: vision, touch, sound, taste and smell.  An experience using one sense may also be reinforced by experiences gained through another sense.  For example, feeling a shape will deepen the understanding a child has received from a visual impression of that shape.

The Sensorial materials, which reflect qualities of the environment such as colour, size, shape, texture, sound and weight, are a great help to the child’s powers of observation, communication and exploration.  These activities also indirectly prepare the child for later maths and language work as they enable the child to order and classify the things in his/her environment.

LANGUAGE:

Spoken language forms the foundation for all linguistic expression in the Montessori classroom. Speaking, listening, reading and writing are all closely interrelated, and the Montessori curriculum makes provision for all of them. We use poems, stories and songs, as well as a variety of other materials, to enrich the children’s vocabularies, and we encourage children to talk about what they see and do. We also help the children hear the sounds in words, and then we expose them to the alphabet, using ‘sandpaper letters’ so they can see how the letter looks, feel how it is made and hear its phonetic sound. That leads to word building, word recognition and reading.

Writing comes as part of the child’s desire to express his/her ideas using this new knowledge, and it usually precedes reading. Additional materials prepare the child for the physical aspects of holding a pencil and writing. There are many opportunities for children to listen to stories or to each other and to express themselves verbally. There is a quiet area for looking at carefully chosen books.

MATHEMATICS:

The Montessori mathematics materials are very concrete and sensorial. They thus enable young children to achieve, through their own efforts, a quite natural understanding of basic mathematical concepts and to avoid the mental blockages which so often occur when those concepts are presented abstractly.

Children are introduced to the decimal system with numbers into the thousands as easily as the numbers one to ten. They experience each quantity, learn the corresponding symbols for those quantities and then make the correlation between quantity and symbol. Children also experience the mathematical operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division using concrete materials and gradually move toward working abstractly.

PHYSICAL DEVELOPMENT:

Regular activity is needed to promote healthy growth in young children, and movement is built into almost everything we do in a Montessori classroom. Through activities, both indoors and outdoors, the children develop muscular control, co-ordination and awareness of others and the space in which they move. Children also have to think and use their judgment to solve problems when taking part in physical activities. Our classroom materials and activities are designed to encourage children to use their hands extensively and thus to help them develop finer and more precise control of the hand.

CULTURAL SUBJECTS:

Art, Music and creativity

Extensive opportunities exist for children to participate in art, drama, role play, music and movement. Children use creative activities as a way of recording what they have seen, done, imagined or felt. Every day a selection of art activities, including painting, drawing, cutting, pasting, collage and working with clay, is available for the children to choose. We also have more structured activities in which staff guide, encourage and help. We believe that the taking part and doing is more important than what is made. We sing, dance, listen to music and play rhythm instruments with the children. Our beautiful Montessori bells introduce the children to tone and pitch.

History, Geography, Zoology, Botany and Science

Children have a natural interest in finding out about their world. With the Montessori classroom, children explore and develop their knowledge of peoples of the world, the environment and nature. We encourage children to collect items of interest to display on the constantly changing nature table and thus to gain an appreciation of the wonders of nature. There are Montessori materials to extend the child’s knowledge of history, geography, zoology, botany and science. Children gain an awareness of the world around them by exploring countries, customs, foods, climates, languages, plants and animals. Extensive work is done to ensure that the children explore many cultures from around the world. We have globes, puzzle maps and flags available for teaching the names of continents and countries around the world, and from a young age, children are able to learn about the land and water forms of the world. There is much emphasis on the plant and animal kingdom, and we try to foster a love and appreciation for all living things.

Throughout their time at the School each child is allowed and encouraged to progress at his/her own pace. Competition is avoided so that the children are not encouraged to compare themselves with others but to strive to do their very best every day. Children often work individually but are also offered the opportunity to work and play games in groups. Our experienced staff are trained to appreciate and enhance any area in which the child shows special interest or aptitude.