Little Oaks Montessori Preschool. Burrington, Umberleigh.

A Montessori beginning from 2 to 5 years

The Montessori Curriculum

 Personal, Social and Emotional Development

 Within the Montessori classroom each child is highly valued as a unique individual and offered positive emotional support at all times.  He/she is allowed to flourish and develop at their own pace and given guidance and direction in relation to individual developmental needs.  We put high emphasis on promoting self-confidence and self esteem with the aim of enhancing a feeling of self worth and the ability to interact with others in a positive and caring manner.  The freedom of choice and movement within the environment stimulates interaction with peers, adults and all the learning materials.  It promotes independence in all areas of development, allows the child to achieve at their own pace and stimulates interest and, a desire to learn from within the child himself.  A strong sense of belonging is nurtured and when a child first joins a key worker is allocated to be their ‘special’ person.  A small set of ‘ground rules’ are explained so that the child is aware of what is expected of them and in any conflict situation each child is listened to sensitively and strategies for resolve worked out together and discussed. 

 Communication, Language and Literacy

 Throughout the session there is full opportunity for communication.  Verbalization of thoughts and feelings are encouraged at all times with a strong emphasis on listening to the child and giving time to communicate and respond.  In our one short group time we develop ability in taking turns in speaking and in listening to others.  There are numerous ways in which vocabulary is extended, from project lessons in circle time to materials on the shelves and, in general speech with other children and adults.  There are also many other ways in which the environment richly enhances language development and letters and sounds of the alphabet are incorporated into general day to day conversation, singing, rhymes and stories.  Depending on interest and stage of development each child has the opportunity to work on an individual basis with a teacher, learning sounds and letters and is taken through the Montessori phonics method of learning to read.  There are writing materials freely available at all times and numerous activities which are specially designed to develop the pincer grip in preparation for holding and controlling a pencil.

 Mathematical Development

 In our classroom we have specialized Montessori mathematical materials that give the child a solid grounding in mathematical concepts.  These activities are shown individually to the child and may be chosen and repeated whenever wished.  They are designed to give ‘concrete’ learning in size, shape and dimension thus developing concepts that can be used once abstract thinking develops.  Each material has a specific learning objective and allows the children to explore and learn at their own pace and developmental stage.  Building on these experiences there are many other activities that promote learning in counting, numbers, calculation and problem solving.  All the activities are fun and stimulating and learning occurs naturally throughout the session.  Individual teaching is also given, within the interest and level of learning of each child and they are taken through the Montessori method of learning and understanding numbers and developing further concepts in mathematics. 

 Knowledge and Understanding of the World.

 The Montessori classroom is an environment that emphasizes exploration and investigation and provides opportunity for developing designing and making skills.  Within the classroom each area of learning is set out on shelves (child height) with numerous activities available for independent use by the child.  Therefore the child can choose any activity and explore, experiment and extend their learning.  We offer the opportunity to learn about the real world, the natural and man-made environment and to be able to distinguish between them.  Maria Montessori advocated that this be presented to the child through a holistic approach and by personal experience.

 In our biology section we investigate and learn about living things and how to care for them.  In the classroom we watch caterpillars turn into butterflies, tadpoles into frogs and in our daily visit to the garden we experience the seasons changing, collect things to go on the nature table and discuss these with each-other.  In geography we learn about the sun, the solar system, the world, the continents and the people and animals living on them.  There is strong emphasis on learning about other peoples and how they live in different parts of the world and, in our own community. We have close links with the local community and share some learning experiences with the primary school.  In history we start to begin to understand the concept of time and in science we explore light, water, air, energy and magnetism.  There are simple and fun science experiments that the children can work by themselves and plenty of problem solving opportunities.  The children have use of a computer and operate the programs independently. A digital camera and other materials are used to explore technology. 

 Physical Development

 The classroom is arranged so that there is ample room for the child to move and develop both large and small body coordination.  The child-sized furniture automatically develops body control and awareness of space and movement around objects.  There is a special area with activities that develop hand/finger muscles and hand/eye coordination, so necessary for writing and independence. Frequent repetition promotes and strengthens these vitally important muscles and also develops concentration.  There are various other small and large tools and materials for the children to choose and work with.  Many of the specialized Montessori materials naturally enhance physical development.  In the safe outside environment there is balancing and climbing equipment, bikes and other equipment/activities to aid further physical development, control and coordination.  Regular music and movement sessions and frequent dance routines also refine all movements.  Healthy snacks and hygiene routines are taught and the reasons explained so that the children become aware of how to stay healthy. 


Creative Development

 A wide range of art materials - paint, glue, natural materials, crayons and pencils are freely available for the children to use at any time during the session.  Artistic creations are usually of the child’s own inspiration and sometimes a topic of discussion will stimulate a need within a child to express this in their own way and with a variety of different art materials.  There are many materials and activities within the classroom and the outside environment that offer opportunities for role-play.  There is singing and free use of tape recorder and instruments. Movement to music and dance sessions stimulate thought and develop controlled movement and free imaginative expression is encouraged. Stories are read and told and story boxes are available to extend learning and further expression.  Free expression of ideas and imaginative thought is encouraged and supported at all times. A musical play, appropriate to their age and development is performed by the children at Christmas to the parents.  

Please Contact us For More Information

Phone: Lindy Bawtree 07876 362130