The child’s capacity to learn from birth to 6 years is like that of a sponge, soaking in knowledge from all senses.
The 3–6 year Montessori curriculum covers practical life exercises, sensorial materials, and academic materials to awaken each child’s interest in reading, mathematics, science, botany, biology, geography and history. Individual work is supplemented with group singing, music, art and outdoor activities.
The programme has been designed to incorporate all aspects of a rich and traditional Montessori programme. This includes making full use of the extensive and beautiful outdoor environment.
Elements of the Montessori method include:
- classes bringing children together in multi-age groups spanning three years,
- children progressing as they are ready at an individual level,
- concrete learning materials which the children freely access and are actively engaged with, and
- the understanding that children have developmental periods where they are particularly sensitive
The 3–6 year child has special sensitivities which include:
- a love of order,
- a readiness to develop focus and concentration,
- relating to their environment through movement to organise themselves and gain independence,
- seeking out and responding to oral and written language, and
- a phonetic approach to language.
The 3-6 year period of development is the commencement of ‘self construction’ as an individual and prepares children for wider society. A strong foundation in reality-based activities supports development of children’s natural talents. Montessori consciously teaches children to be kind and considerate of each other; a community of respectful learners is formed.
On completion of the Early Childhood programme children are eligible to enrol in the 6–12 years programme.
Useful resources for information:
(Montessori Association New Zealand)
(Association Montessori Internationale)