We follow the Montessori philosophy of education. The Montessori philosophy places its emphasis on educating the whole being of the child. Dr. Maria Montessori (1870 – 1952), an Italian physician, formulated this method.
In 1907 Dr. Maria Montessori established a classroom in Rome for children left unattended while their parents worked as day labourers. Within a very short time this classroom became famous around the world because these children, with apparently so few prospects, very quickly became socially and intellectually independent, not through adult coercion, but through their own activity, interest and effort. The learning environment designed by Dr. Montessori to enable these children to achieve their potential in such a joyful way was the culmination of years of study and innovation in the fields of medicine, psychology and anthropology. Building on the success of that first classroom, over the last hundred years Montessori educators all over the world have continued to observe and study children and young people, and to design learning materials and environments carefully tailored to their developing interests and needs.
This method allows the child to learn in total free play using special materials and equipment through the medium of a carefully prepared environment. The child is allowed to develop at his own pace, thus gaining independence and self-confidence as his day to day skills improves.
Italy’s first female physician, Maria Montessori was a visionary educator and humanitarian who devoted her life to studying and observing children.
According to the Montessori philosophy, children are motivated from within by an innate curiosity and love of learning.
The goal of early education is to cultivate the child’s own desire to learn. This is achieved within a specially prepared environment, the Montessori classroom. Each classroom is carefully planned by our fully qualified Montessori teachers who constantly observe the children’s interactions within the prepared environment, changing it to fulfill their needs.
Modern research supports Dr. Montessori’s belief that children pass through various periods of intense fascination for developing a particular activity or skill. Classrooms encourage the child at each of these stages by providing the right learning materials and exercises.
Within a structured framework, children develop at their own pace under the guidance of the Montessori teacher. They acquire skills naturally, gain an early enthusiasm for learning, and develop their self-esteem,
Everything in the Montessori environment is scaled to be the right size for a child. They can access attractive equipment that can be easily moved and rearranged. Within boundaries children are free to choose materials they feel confident and comfortable with, encouraging their sense of independence. They can work alone or with others – it’s their choice. There are no pressures, punishments, forced homework or rote learning.
The curriculum covers a number of key learning areas: social development, language and literacy, mathematical development, knowledge and understanding, physical development, and creative development. Moreover, children are able to develop their
There are eight key stages of development in our curriculum:
1. Everyday Living (practical life)
This stage in our curriculum establishes a link between the home and nursery. The various activities carried out by the children teach them how to care for their environment and to contribute towards the cultural and social life of the classroom. Everyday living activities aid the children’s intellectual growth and develop their co-ordination in movement, balance and grace.
These activities are divided into four main areas:
- Activities for refinement of movement – such as pouring, transferring, cutting, gluing, folding, opening and closing and threading.
- Activities for care of the environment – such as sweeping, polishing, dusting, putting their activity away and watering the plants.
- Activities for care of self e.g. washing hands, blowing nose, putting on simple clothing, preparing snack.
- Activities for promoting grace and courtesy such as greeting visitors.
- All the above will perfect skills that will aid to the child’s independence.
2. Communication And Language
This stage of development involves providing children with opportunities to experience a rich language environment. The Montessori Language materials are designed to give order and form to the experiences necessary for language acquisition, both in reading and writing. These materials extensive and assist the children to develop confidence and skill in expressing themselves, and to speak and listen in a range of situations. The language materials include objects and pictures to be named, matched, labeled, and classified to aid vocabulary development. iDiscover Montessori also uses the Jolly Phonics program to complement the Montessori Language materials and facilitate the children’s understanding and better grasp in phonics. At later stage, the children will learn grammar, correct sentence structure, comprehension and writing.
3. Sensorial Materials
A child’s first learning experiences are achieved through their senses of touch, taste, smell and hearing. The sensorial materials provide opportunities to use these senses. It is with these materials that a child will learn to compare, contrast, and differentiate various sense impressions. They develop the children’s level of observation and discrimination, and increase their vocabulary. The improved skill strengthens concentration and assists in character building during the learning process and provides groundwork for development of other skills such as music, math and language.
Math is a concrete experience in the Montessori classroom. The Math area allows the child to develop his thinking, reasoning, and problem solving powers. The materials are designed with such precision that they allow the child to work with the concrete until he internalizes the process through tactile and visual contact and can work independently in his mind. Montessori Math involves the introduction to pre-maths concepts such as sorting, matching and counting. The Montessori maths materials offer a systematic approach to learning through the use of objects, while slowly helping the child in understanding and using numbers, calculating simple addition and subtraction problems, and describing shapes, spaces and measures.
Literacy development involves teaching and encouraging children to link sounds and letters and to begin to read and write. The children have access to a wide range of materials to support their development in this area.
6. Understanding The World
This area of development offers opportunities for the children to explore a wide range of topics through activities and materials based on real-life experiences. They are able to make sense of their physical world and their community by further exploration and investigation during our many educational trips.
This development takes place through activities such as outdoor play, exercise, singing and dancing.
8. Expressive Arts And Design
Children are given opportunities to use and experiment with a wide range of materials. They are also encouraged to share their thoughts, ideas and feelings through a variety of activities in art, music, movement, dance, sports and role play.
The Montessori classroom is unique as every area is planned and prepared to meet the needs of the developing child. The classroom is a child-sized world, with chairs,
The classroom environment offers three kinds of materials:
- Materials through which the children can develop their skills for independence and academic knowledge
- Art materials (including writing tools) for their expression of self
- Materials for the maintenance of the room so that they can develop pride in and responsibility for their environment
The preparation of each Montessori environment includes the careful preparation of the Montessori developmental materials appropriate to that environment. The Montessori materials are sets of objects, each set designed to exacting specifications. In general the materials are designed to:
- Capture interest
- Invite interaction and manipulation
- Encourage precise use
- Extend concentration
- Challenge the intellect act as an indirect preparation for future experiences