The Montessori method works on the following principles: spiritual development, stimulation, learning through the senses, freedom of choice, independence, interest in learning, self discipline and repetition thus allowing children to develop a respect for life and therefore becoming productive and positive contributing citizens of our Universe. The Montessori curriculum consists of the following areas of learning:
This area of learning is about emotional well-being, knowing who you are and where you fit in and feeling good about yourself. We promote this through the freedom of exploring their environment thus allowing them the opportunity to solve their own problems whilst at the same time having the assurance that they will not be judged, disciplined harshly or disrespected in any way but rather guided and nurtured in their learning. This also helps them to develop respect for others, respect for their environment, self-respect, social competence and a positive disposition to learn.
Practical life activities help children to perfect the skills they need for daily life. Whilst learning practical life skills children develop eye-hand co-ordination allowing them to develop the skill of concentration thus successfully leading the child to build positive self esteem, confidence and as a result becoming independent and interested in learning.
Sensorial activities allow the children the opportunity to explore colour, dimension, size and shape thus allowing them to order and classify the physical properties of the world they live in. These activities stimulate and develop the senses allowing children to enhance concentration while refining their powers of observation.
The Montessori mathematics materials are designed to allow the child to develop mathematical awareness through the use of specially designed equipment thus allowing the child to grasp concrete ideas leading to more abstract mathematical concepts such as addition and subtraction. Through the use of the materials the children acquire a love of numbers and have within them a desire to explore numbers and their equivalent in their environment.
The children have ample opportunity to express themselves within the Montessori prepared environment leading to the development of language skills and a widening of their vocabulary. They are encouraged through the use of the equipment to explore letter sounds allowing them to develop an understanding of letter recognition leading to the development of reading and writing skills appropriate to their individual needs.
The Montessori cultural area allows the children the freedom to explore the world they live in through a variety of activities in history, geography, biology and science. Children have access to maps and flags of the world, science experiments, food tasting from different countries and activities that allow exploration of the natural world. Cultures from around the globe are explored and celebrated.
Creative is fundamental to successful learning. This enables children to make connections between all curriculum areas and as a result extend their learning and enhance their imagination. We promote this through music and movement, art, dance, role-play, yoga, imaginative play, sand and water, stories and poetry.
Physical development is about improving skills of co-ordination and movement. This is an integral part of all the curriculum areas as it allows children to develop a positive sense of well-being, gain confidence in what they do while allowing them to feel the positive benefits of being healthy and active. Physical development is a crucial part of a child’s day and we promote this by allowing the children free supervised access to a well-prepared outdoor area as well as encouraging the children to participate in specially developed Yoga exercises.
The first aimof education should not be to prepare young people for careers but to enable them to develop respect for life.” Norman Cousins
For more detailed information about how Montessori works with the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), please read the document Guide to the Early Years Foundation Stage in Montessori Settings.