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Our mixed age environment serves children from 2.5/3 to 6 year olds. During this time of development, children readily absorb all aspects of their environment in a quest to become part of their culture. Children want to learn, they want to be independent and have an effortless ability to absorb knowledge from surroundings. The classroom environment is specially prepared with Montessori materials that are designed for the presentation and exploration of practical life, refinement of senses, early mathematics, language, culture, creativity. The beauty and order of the materials help to remind the child to return them to their place neatly and carefully. They are designed to meet the specific needs of each age and are inviting but not over-stimulating. The children have the freedom to make choices from a variety of sequentially-designed materials, which aids in their development of responsibility and self-mastery. This environment provides a setting rich in factual and beautiful materials, where the children construct their own intelligence with meaningful and purposeful work. We provide a child-centered and enriching environment where the children gain independence and self-discipline and learn appropriate skills. Self-discipline happens when a child is absorbed in her work, especially when that work is purposeful and the child can see direct relevance to her environment.
Dr. Maria Montessori
Children learn how to function successfully in their own environment. They acquire independence, both physically and mentally. Coordination, balance and muscular control, and order are by-products of the materials and philosophy employed. Children learn, work habits, concentration, perseverance, and respect for others. Practical life activities include care of self, cafe of environment, care of others and grace and courtesy skills. Whether it is preparing snack or arranging flowers, children feel a sense of accomplishment and joy.
The early years are the critical time for the development and refinement of the senses. Thus the main objective of the sensorial area is to develop and refine the senses. The classification of the world, contrasting and comparison of size, color, shape, smell, feel, temperature, sound, weights, and textures are all explored. All of this broadens the child’s ability to proceed to a higher level of activity and move from concrete to an abstract thinking.
The children write before they read. All pre-reading and pre-writing skills are emphasized in a sensorial manner. Starting with cursive sandpaper lеtters and phonetic sounds, children experience a wide range of lessons that prepare them for creative writing and reading phonetically and in some cases fluently. Exploration of language, consolidation, refinement and development, language experience, enrichment of vocabulary are an integral part of our curriculum. Specific activities include: enrichment of vocabulary and concepts involving question games, conversation, naming materials, storytelling, classified cards and poetry, sandpaper letters and moveable alphabet, phonetic object game and reading cards, chalkboard, pencil and paper, capitals, puzzles and labelling the environment. Through indirect and direct preparation, the learning environment supports the child’s explosion to writing and reading.
The child is supported to understand mathematical concepts in a multi-sensorial way through the materials that are designed to serve the needs of the developmental period. The Maths area aims to give the child the opportunity to talk, play, touch and experiment with the relevant mathematical concepts long before the formal teaching of maths is introduced. Scientifically developed materials provide materialised abstraction and passages to abstraction. This approach provides the keys as a solid foundations for further maths. Specific mathematics activities include numbers one to ten, teens and tens, decimal system (units, tens, hundreds, thousands), sensorial introduction to fractions. The decimal bead material gives children a strong foundation and a deep understanding of the four operations: addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. They are then presented with lessons that help them to memorise simple math facts. Children experience geometry through Sensorial materials.
Very young children learn about their immediate environment by exploration, investigation and discovery through first hand experiences of nature, of their town, of the culture of their family and by living within a community. These activities nurture the spirit of the child by engendering enthusiasm and a desire to discover, respect and take responsibility for our planet. The concepts of earth, water, continents and countries are explored in this area. Children learn an extensive vocabulary for botany, zoology and cultural concepts.
A creativity corner is available to the children where different mediums of art are made available with emphasis on free expression and the development of creative skills – easels, gluing activities, constructing collages, cutting, water colors, felt tip pens, oil pastels, crayons and so forth are provided.
The environment, both indoors and outdoors, works on the continual development of the child’s basic physical skills as the children have freedom of movement for both gross and fine motor skills. The goals are to promote self-awareness and control, cultivate a positive attitude toward exercise and sports, and develop each child’s confidence.
Multifaceted approaches to the positive development of emotional well-being, social skills and a good relationship with themselves are of primary concern to us. There are opportunities for daily interactions for fostering cooperation with peers within the community.