You will find that no two Montessori nurseries look exactly the same. At Merrydays & Henley Montessori we respond to the needs of the individual child and to the society and culture they are part of. Our teachers also bring their own special skills and interests into the learning environment.
Here the child’s freedom, dignity and independence is of paramount importance. Our classroom environment is orderly, clean and inviting, with all activities displayed within reach of the children. Some children work in small groups, with a teacher, but the majority work alone following their own interests. Our Montessori classroom provides learning opportunities for mixed age groups of children, from the age of two to the age of 5. This vertical grouping is essential as it promotes socialisation. The Montessori approach to education shares the underlying principles of the Early Years Foundation Stage.
Maria Montessori believed that three hours of self-directed activity was necessary, she described this as the child’s work cycle. As an accredited Montessori nursery we allow the children to have the freedom to develop their own work cycles. The general atmosphere is of children busy with activities that absorb and interest them.
There are clearly defined learning areas: materials for everyday living, sensorial, mathematics, language, cultural, art and music which are reflected inside and also in the outside environment.
Throughout a child’s time at Merrydays & Henley Montessori, both formal and informal observations are made on a regular basis, and we actively seek opportunities to assess a child’s progress. Each member of staff has a notebook for recording day to day notes, and all of this information is used when adding to or completing records. We also include photographs of children engaged in various activities. Each child’s key worker has particular responsibility for entering information in records, and the Head teacher has final responsibility for ensuring that all the necessary observations are done and information entered, so that records are as complete as possible when given to parents.
As part of the assessment and recording process, we try to create a chronological picture of your child’s time at Merrydays & Henley Montessori. We also note areas where more help and encouragement may be needed. The Foundation Stage curriculum continues through the reception year at school.
Why we believe that working with our parents is so important?
By listening to our parents and hearing what they have to say it has a direct impact on the child in our nursery and in their home.
We do this through a shared ethos determined by a strong set of beliefs and values:
Parents and children both have rights
Being a parent is a complex and difficult role
Parenting is a key concern for both men and women
The belief that parents are deeply committed to their children
That early year’s educators need to recognise parents’ roles as their first and
most consistent educators.
That we must create a culture of high expectations in early years.
Supporting the child
We believe through a relationship built on respect, enables us to have an ongoing partnership with you the parent. This is done by ‘making the children’s learning visible’