We practice the Montessori method of teaching, in conjunction with the new Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum which all Grant maintained schools are required to follow. This sets out six early learning areas, which we work to achieve through the Montessori method. The Montessori system exceeds all of these requirements. All areas are given equal importance by the government, and they are:
1. Personal, Social and Emotional Development
2. Communication, Language and Literacy
3. Problem Solving, Reasoning and Numeracy
4. Knowledge and Understanding of the World
5. Physical Development
6. Creative Development
Should you wish to find out more about this curriculum, please ask any member of our staff, or please click here
Dr. Maria Montessori''s philosophy
The Montessori philosophy is based on the principle that all children are intrinsically motivated to learn and possess an "absorbent mind". They absorb knowledge without effort from their immediate environment, when provided with the right kind of stimulation at the right time of their development. A very high level of learning can come with ease to all children.
Our Montessori classroom is a “living room for all children”. Everything in our classroom has a specific use or purpose. All of the furniture and equipment is scaled down to the child’s size and is within easy reach.
The intrinsic flexibility of the Montessori method allows a child to learn and progress at his or her own speed, which means that a child of advanced ability can develop intellectually well above grade level whilst remaining within his or her peer group.
Our Montessori teachers are trained facilitators within the classroom environment. Their purpose is to stimulate the child’s enthusiasm for learning and to guide without interfering with the childrens'' natural desire to learn and develop.
For more detailed information regarding Montessori’s teaching method and philosophy, please talk to any of our teachers or visit;http://www.montessori.org.uk/ or http://www.montessori-uk.org/whatis.htm
"The child has his own laws of development...it is a question of following these...not imposing ourselves upon him."
Maria Montessori 1870-1952
Montessori teaching materials
Montessori materials help children to explore and master their environment through activities which aid the development of the whole personality.
Exercises in practical life - learning the skills of daily living
These are designed to put children in touch with their environment. They learn to cope with daily challenges that they see us managing on a daily basis - tidying up, cleaning, dressing, sorting, opening bottles etc...how to look after themselves and their toys.
Sensorial materials - exploration through the senses
It is established fact that children learn through their senses. Through experimenting, touching, feeling, listening and actually physically experiencing concepts such as size, proportion, shape and colour, we provide a natural stepping stone towards progression in language, maths and music.
Mathematics - concrete to abstract
The Montessori mathematics materials allow young child to begin their mathematical journey from the concrete to the abstract through manipulation, experimentation and invention. The child builds math skills such as number, symbol, sequence, operations and memorisation of basic math facts, through small, easy steps. They soon develop a thrill of discovery when using these materials, enabling them to perform mathematical operations for themselves.
Literacy - from spoken to written
The Montessori classroom emphasises and encourages spoken language as the foundation for linguistic expression. The child hears, learns and uses specific vocabulary in all activities in their immediate environment. Basic skills in writing and reading are developed through the use of sandpaper letters, alphabet games, and various presentations allowing children to link sounds and letter symbols effortlessly, making reading a realistic goal for many of our children.
Cultural studies - our world
In our school we offer the following subjects:
- Nature Studies; we learn about mammals, birds, reptiles, fish and their habitats, the human body, plants and flowers (which we plant and grow during the year).
- Geography; we learn about where the children in our school come from, the characteristics, customs and festivals of different parts of the world, and what we need to live in them.
- Science; we study minerals, the weather, undertake simple experiments such as float or sink, and make use of magnets, magnifying glasses and microscopes.
- Information Computer Technology (ICT); we have developed our ICT offering to include computer and internet studies, photography, and voice recording.
- Drama and Music; we learn about different types of music and have our own school orchestra, we learn about how to express ourselves and read others expressions. These are very popular subjects, and we give a major show each year for all our parents (and grandparents and friends) to enjoy!
We provide a stimulating environment in which creativity, originality and expressiveness are valued. We strongly believe that creativity should come from within. Our children have the opportunity to experiment with a variety of art mediums such as clay, charcoal, painting, cutting, gluing, printing and collage. Art is offered on a free basis and as an accompaniment to project work, so there is always something interesting going on in the school!
We believe children should be active. As such we offer a wide physical curriculum; we go outside to play every day that the weather allows us to, we have yoga and Indian Dancing sessions once a week (at no extra cost), we have climbing and balancing apparatus available both inside and out.
"It is the child who makes the man, no man exists who was not made by the child he once was."
Maria Montessori 1870-1952
School meals and drinks
Water is available for children to serve themselves with all day every day.
A snack is provided mid-morning, made up of a combination of fresh fruit, vegetables (such as cucumber, carrot sticks for example) raisins, and rice cakes, which the children select, prepare and serve themselves. This is a very popular part of the day!
A hot, vegetarian meal is provided at lunchtime each day for all full time children. This meal is designed to be nutritionally balanced. Each meal is served with milk, and a choice of fruit such as apple, pear or banana, or yoghurt or fromage frais for dessert.
A sample menu is available on this site at ''Sample Menu''.