Our programme reflects the Montessori Philosophy and Te Whāriki, The New Zealand Early Childhood Curriculum. The curriculum constantly varies and is based on the children’s interests and learning dispositions. The curriculum is balanced with the child’s own choice, structure and routines.
- We believe in providing an warm, safe environment of positive guidance where children are affirmed as individuals and treated with respect and dignity.
- The environment is full of challenges that provided opportunities for explorations, creative play, collaboration and relationship building.
- We believe in growing self-confidence, problem solving skills and building a child’s sense of self worth and interdependance.
- We acknowledge and respect all families’ cultures, needs, aspirations for their child and work in partnership with them.
- We acknowledge, respect and promote New Zealands unique bi-cultural heritage within our programme.
Our daily programme includes working with a number of specially designed materials and a range of Practical life, Sensorial, Language and Reading, Mathematical, Musical and Cultural activities.
Practical life exercises are the starting point in a Montessori classroom. This forms part of the daily programme of the activity in the day of the child. Purposeful activities help to bridge the gap from home to school life. Children carry out real responsibilities. They follow a pattern enabling them to grow in self-knowledge and independence. Exercises such as polishing, cleaning, dusting, tidying, as well as learning to care for both animals and plant life develops understanding and respect for the environment.
Exercises such as threading, lacing, pouring liquids and solids, carrying objects, using the scissors, tongs and eye droppers, funnels etc., help develop the childs motor co-ordination and control movements as well as developing concentration.Children at this stage begin developing skills. We will explain how to greet people, how to correctly ask for something and how to express gratitude. By being kind and helpful at this time develops a spirit of helpfulness and responsibility.
Our Sensorial materials aim at refining each of the childs senses. They are attractive to the child and children are drawn to them. Children are indirectly prepared for writing and mathematics through various Montessori materials and will automatically know how to hold a pencil. Children are not required to learn by heart at first, but utilise all their senses to help them read and write and this is done through the use of Montessori sandpaper letters. The phonetic method of learning to read produces understanding as the children learn the letter sound as opposed to the letter name. By blending the sounds together the children are able to build words easily, then lead gently into reading through the prepared reading materials, creative writing is encouraged through writing their own stories.
Language is developed in each child through individual and group work. Time is given for the children to discuss their work and to introduce new words. Teachers introduce new words used to describe many of the sensorial materials e.g. big, small, soft, rough, yellow, red etc. Cultural subjects particularly lead to developing childrens language. Posters are displayed and designed for effective stimulation and lead to discussions. There is a book corner in the classroom and children are free to use this as they wish.
Through the Montessori Mathematical materials children make the smooth progression from concrete to abstract. They are given the concrete form of the quantity and the symbol of the numbers and the impressions is imprinted in their minds when it comes to work with the written and abstract forms.The fundamentals of the four operations addition, subtraction, division and multiplication are taught.
Zoology, botany, geography and history are all part of the cultural subjects and are closely linked together. Specially made materials are introduced and activities like stories, discussions, arts and crafts build on these. The aim is to arouse the childrens interest in nature whilst teaching them to care and respect their environment.
Provisions will be made for the children to understand and appreciate their individual cultures and others as well. Children will be encouraged to also share aspects of their own cultures with other children. The Montessori materials in the classroom are available to help the children learn other cultures around the world and to compare their lifestyles with others.
We aim to provide an opportunity for the children to familiarise themselves with the roles played by the people in the community e.g. Police Officers, Fire Fighters, etc., Outings will be organised by the Principal in conjunction with the Director and parents.
Individual work with the Montessori Materials will be supplemented with other activities; group singing, creative arts and crafts, cooking and games will be co-ordinated with the Montessori programme.