The Montessori Curriculum
The Montessori Curriculum is divided into specific areas that also works effectively with our more traditional play based materials. The first area to in introduce to our youngest children is called the Practical Life area. This provides opportunities for the child’s concentration and independence to develop as they work with the materials provided on small trays. These include pouring, transferring, threading, dressing and cutting skills. The child is shown how to work with the materials and given lots of time to practice and develop. The child’s fine motor skills and hand/eye co-ordination develop as they work with the material. As the child masters these skills their self-esteem and confidence grow and they become eager to try new activities.
The sensorial materials encourage development of visual perception, auditory discrimination and co-ordination of movement through a series of activities using the senses. These involve sorting, matching, grading, shape and colour activities. As the child’s ability to perceive the world around him increases, so does his/her ability to deal with ideas, concepts and pattern and facts. Many pre-maths concepts are explained.
When the child is ready they will move on to the maths area of the Montessori classroom. Children will primarily work with numbers 1-10 and develop a solid understanding of one object being represented by one numeral. They will learn to recognise the numerals 1-10, and count with confidence. We are able to teach simple addition / subtraction and fractions through using Montessori materials. We look at the concept of zero and can teach about off & even numbers.
Our Cultural Materials involve biology, as they lean about life cycle so frogs, butterflies etc; geography , as they work with the globes and continents folders & puzzle maps; history, as children explore the concepts of time during our Montessori birthday celebrations. Out topic work often focus’ on our natural world and we combine Montessori materials with play based toys to offer a comprehensive framework within which children can develop their knowledge and understanding of our world.
The Montessori language material are introduced when the key person determines the child is ready. We teach the letter sounds using sand paper letters, giving the child a practical experience of hearing each letter while saying the sound. The child learns to word build as they work with the large movable alphabet and pink boxes, sounding out each letter then blending together to “read” words. We play eye-spy so that the child begins to hear the usual sound in works, and later encourage them to hear first and median sounds. This child learns to hold a pencil correctly and form recognisable letters as he or she works with the insets for design. Again these material are used within a language rich environment throughout the setting.
The Creative Curriculum involves music, dance, art and drama. The child develops skills and techniques to enhance existing abilities to help their creative processes. They listen to a variety of music styles and music from different cultures. They are encouraged to respond to the music in a variety of way – dance, painting, modelling and become familiar with different instruments.