The Montessori classroom provides a prepared environment which presents opportunities for the child to engage in spontaneous, meaningful activities under the guidance of the Montessori directress.
Dr. Maria Montessori designed an extensive range of teaching materials for use in the classroom. Within this framework of order children develop concentration motivation persistence and discipline. They progress at their own pace and rhythm according to their individual capabilities. Maria Montessori put great emphasises on the emotional, social and physical growth of the child.
There are five sections in the Montessori programme:
The practical life exercises are the foundation of the Montessori environment. They allow the child to develop control and coordination of movement, awareness of their environment, orderly thought patterns; independent work habits and responsibility, attained by spontaneous, purposeful work.
The sensorial materials are mathematically graded with a built-in error control. The children are given the opportunity to sort things by size, shape, colour, touch, sound — a task all children love. The children acquire the habit of working independently, becoming comfortable with the fact that errors are essential to the process of learning.
The language materials help to develop listening, speaking, reading and writing skills using a phonetic approach to language.
The Montessori method of introducing mathematics to the pre-school child is based on a continuation of the Sensorial activities. The first five exercises concentrate on introducing numbers from one to ten.
At this age the child learns by doing, therefore the learning experiences should be as concrete as possible.
Cultural studies include geography, history, biology and science. These subjects are often introduced during circle time, a coming together of the group enjoyed by all the children.
Montessori truly is an ‘Education for Life’.
Your child will be a little over two years when he/she joins the Junior Montessori room.
Junior Montessori Activities
Since a lot of the childrens’ play is ‘imaginary’ we have a large selection of dressing-up clothes, builders tools, shop and post office sets etc to encourage your child to act out their ideas.
Their language skills have greatly improved by this stage. Children’s knowledge and creative thinking is encouraged and developed with the help of books, stories, music and dance.
Each month the children visit the public library where they enjoy story time in a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere. Before leaving they choose a selection of books to bring back with them to the crèche. Other activities enjoyed are sand and water play, painting, arts and craft and play dough, samples of which are taken home on a regular basis.
Walks to one of our local amenities such as the park to play on the climbing frame, the harbour to feed the swans or the beach to build sand castles are frequent, particularly during the summer months.
The juniors spend as much time in the garden as possible. As in the toddler group, garden toys are brought into the junior room on days when it is not possible to go outdoors.
This is a homely environment where table and floor activities intermingle with time for physical activities where independence and self-motivation are encouraged.
Swimming, Drama and Stretch-n-Grow classes start as soon as the children join the Junior Montessori group.
Now that they are big girls and boys, lunch is served in adult form and the children use real cutlery and drink their milk and water from a toughened glass.
Christine, our Montessori Directress since 1998, guides the children through a two-year Montessori programme. Working with Dana, our senior group leader, their aim is to send a well-balanced, healthy, happy and secure child on to ‘big school’ with reading and writing skills in keeping with the local primary school teaching.
Senior Montessori Activities
In this group your child will enjoy a great many activities apart from Montessori. These include weekly lessons in swimming, Stretch-n-Grow, Irish dancing, Modern Dance and Yoga and visits to the library and walks that take in the wide variety of local amenities in the area.
Girls and boys are also welcome to join the ballet class which takes place each Thursday afternoon in the Little Flower Hall, Bray. The children are escorted to and from class by staff.
Our extensive garden is used on a daily basis, with an emphasis on climbing, jumping and swinging on our purpose-built play-centre. All our outdoor activities are strictly supervised yet the children are allowed the freedom to explore in a safe but exciting environment. Ball games such as football, handball, tennis and games of catch develop eye-hand co-ordination. Exercise develops the brain as well as the body.
The children of this age group form lasting friendships and regard the crèche as their second home. We do not employ television or video in any area of the crèche as we are far too busy enjoying our wide variety of activities. We also understand that the children have ample opportunity to view TV at home.