Montessori On The Park
St Marks Gate
Insert information regarding the nursery......
What makes you special, excellence of staff etc...
Your childs' early years are an exciting time of learning and development which can determine their future success...
Our priority is the individual happiness and development of the children. Ages are therefore approximate and movement between classes is subject to availability and the child's own readiness for the move.
The school takes 9 children between the ages of 3 - 12 months. They have their own special, welcoming area on the lower ground floor of the building. We treat this time of life as being of immense importance as young learners start to explore the environment.
We aim for the children to experience warmth, security and a sense of belonging so that they really enjoy their time with us.
The most important elements in the infant's environment are not objects, but rather other humans, their knowledge, their love and wisdom. When considering the objects, a natural environment is sometimes distinguished more by what objects are left out, than by which are included. Among the items which are not usually necessary and sometimes even detrimental, are cribs, swings, jumpers, walkers, playpens and pacifiers, because they inhibit natural development. It is amazing to see how focused a baby can become when concentration is not interrupted. To illustrate this: a mother took her baby for a walk in a buggy and noticed he stared at a poster on a building. When she wanted to move, the baby began to cry, so she allowed him to continue to look at it. Twenty two minutes later the baby gave a deeply satisfied sigh and looked away. What was he thinking? What was he doing?
We can't know, but we know that we have to watch for and respect these periods of intense interest. This is just an example of support in a natural environment – no special equipment. A natural environment for a baby is one, which provides wise and observant adults and interesting and safe place for the infant to rest, explore, and
develop his/her abilities.
Our Infant program encourages the development of all the senses and introduces activities that nurture both fine and gross motor skills. We emphasise the development of early vocabulary and provide our children with a loving environment always rich in new experiences.
We have two toddler classes. One is situated in a bright, airy room on the lower ground floor and takes twelve children between the ages of 12 - 24 months. The second class is situated on the upper ground floor and caters for twelve 2 - 3 year olds. We believe early childhood should be a time of fun, warmth, security, exploring and discovery. Toddlers are curious, creative and receptive; our staff strive to nurture and encourage these qualities. Our aim is to provide a child-centered, loving and enriching environment where the child may:
• Develop a life-long love of learning
• Gain independence and self-discipline
• Learn appropriate skills to move into the next
• Phase of learning with confidence and enthusiasm
• Learn respect for himself or herself, for other people and for the planet.
The first years of life are marked by amazing growth in independence. We prepare the environment to assist the very young child to create a physical and emotional sound foundation for itself. Many of the activities that the child delights in and loves to do are called "Practical Life" in the Montessori environment. The child learns through these self control and develops a healthy self image if they are real - such as washing fruits, sorting, folding, putting away, sweeping and dusting. In our environment the child will discover that there is a place for everything and everything in its place, which answers a need in the very young child, the need for order, of both time and place. This is also a time that visual discrimination and hand/eye control needs to be stimulated. The children will find materials that they will love to work with. Very simple shapes and colours, puzzles and things to put into containers, and on dowels. Knobbed puzzles and other toys that call for special finger and handgrips, which indirectly prepares for writing and other fine muscle activities later on. Quality and beauty is very important in the Montessori environment, for children in these early years literally absorb the life around them.
At Montessori on the Park we have a traditional Montessori class of 26 children aged 3 - 6 years. Parents can also opt to stay on for a further year, if they would like us to prepare the child for entry to the many well known independent schools in the City and East London at age seven. The children in this class share a large spacious room on the upper ground floor .In keeping with Montessori's own observations we do not split the age groups but instead encourage close co-operation and interaction between the children. This wonderful sense of real community and we feel that there are enormous benefits both in social and intellectual development.
Children can move freely according to their individual interests and needs and, in watching and caring for each other, they also develop the key social qualities of empathy and understanding.
The program In this class therefore, provides the crucial introduction to more diverse experiences as the children begin to explore the practical and sensorial materials, math, language, science, geography, history, music, creative movement and art in greater depth and detail Afternoons are designed to offer more in the way of group work and time to refine basic skills or to explore areas of individual interest more fully. The basic curriculum is enriched with art appreciation, off-site field trips and French as an extra curricular activity.
As children advance, this Program then offers more individualised instruction which establishes an intimate connection between the child, the teacher and the work .It involves a variety of approaches, but there is emphasis throughout the curriculum on actually working with and handling the carefully constructed materials that then allow the children to develop more abstract understanding.