The essence of Montessori is that every child is treated with care, patience and respect, encouraging them to become independent and confident learners.
Montessori classrooms provide a prepared environment where children are free to respond to their natural tendency to work and play , they self access activities and materials in response to their own interests here at The Nursery in Hayle.
The children's innate passion for learning is encouraged by giving them opportunities to engage in spontaneous , purposeful activities with the guidance of a trained adult.
Through their work and play, the children develop concentration and self-discipline and progress at their own pace and rhythm, according to their individual capabilities.
Born in Italy , Dr Maria Montessori (1870-1952) was one of the most influential pioneers of Early Years education. Her ideas , which have been recognised world-wide for over a century, were way ahead of their time and have proved to be just as relevant to the children of today. Particularly her discovery that children learn more effortlessly up to the age of six than they ever will again.
She believed that every child possesses immense natural energy and that given the right situation and stimulation , they can develop skills and achievements way beyond normal expectations, regardless of challenges they may face in other areas of their lives. Dr Montessori called this situation the "Prepared Environment" where children are free to explore , following their inner "guide". The adults in the Prepared Environment are guides and not "teachers" in the traditional sense.
Montessori "guides" understand that children in this phase of childhood display "Sensitive Periods" - times when they appear to concentrate on perfecting particular skills. Some of these sensitive periods, such as the development of social skills and the acquisition of speech , may be obvious , but perhaps less obvious are times when children develop a passion for order and an interest in small objects. Maria Montessori discovered that when children are allowed freedom to make their own choices they naturally choose activities that best serve their learning needs. By working uninterrupted , they develop superb powers of concentration - even a very young baby will spend a long time playing with an object that is attractive to them if not interrupted by an (often well-meaning !) adult.
in our nursery alongside the Early Years Foundation Stage framework :
"Play is the work of the child" ( Maria Montessori)
Montessori recognised that young children have a need for order and regularity in their lives. At Butterflies we provide calm and consistent atmosphere where your child can create, play, make friends and develop as an individual as well as part of a group. We use thoughtful language to encourage your child to grow in confidence and to become a competent learner.
"The senses , being explorers of the world, open our way to knowledge" (Maria Montessori)
We use careful observations of the children to help us to prepare activities inside and outdoors to meet their needs - rich learning experiences , incorporating all the senses, are balanced by beauty and order. Every piece of equipment is of appropriate size for little hands and is easily accessible to the children. In addition to the beautiful crafted Montessori materials , children use real items that they would encounter every day - eg. glasses, plates, washing up bowls , dust-pans and brushes . pegs for pegging their own work to dry ,jugs of water bowls of rice with spoons , rice and cooking materials to name a few.
"Free choice is one of the highest of all the mental process"
Children are unique individuals who are unlikely to have the same interests at the same time, consequently ,children are free to choose the activities they wish to work with - indoors or outdoors - and may return to them as often as they wish. If you have ever watched a young child learn to climb stairs you will understand the importance of this ! We call this "following the child".
"Establishing lasting peace is the work of education"
Dr Montessori felt that education can change the World for the better and so peace and cultural studies are a key element of our Montessori Nursery. We learn about cultures of those attending , as well as those of people from different parts of the Worlds , their lifestyles , folklore and beliefs.
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