What is Montessori?
The Montessori approach is holistic and aims to develop the whole child. Fundamental to the approach is the belief that a child’s early years from birth to six (nursery through to Reception) is the period when they have the greatest capacity to learn. Between the ages of six and twelve is the second phase of the Montessori approach and this experience will shape not only their knowledge and skills, but also their attitude about learning for the rest of their lives.
Our nursery and school are accredited by both Montessori bodies in the UK – ME(UK) and MEAB. Our teachers demonstrate a fidelity to the Montessori principles by guiding and supporting the process of learning and ensure freedom develops within clear limits. Children learn at their own pace in vertical groups, both individually and collaboratively, with time to reflect and be creative. This promotes socialisation, respect and allows children to live in harmony with others in the small society of their school.
Our aim is for children to feel safe, secure, and confident. For them to become resourceful individuals and fulfil their academic, creative, physical, social, and spiritual potential. The school is a nurturing environment where relationships are positive between peers, younger children, and adults. An effective partnership with parents and face to face communication demonstrates a shared commitment to supporting the overall wellbeing of the child.
Children have opportunities to be successful, their contributions are welcomed, and their individuality is celebrated. Children are challenged and inspired to be the best that they can be through high expectations of learning and behaviour. Being polite and considerate, tolerant, and respectful is actively promoted, to be valued members of their school, local community, and the wider world. Ultimately, we enable the children to develop into happy, lifelong learners who leave equipped to meet the challenges of the future.
Who was Montessori?
One of the most important early years educators of the 20th century was Maria Montessori. She innovated classroom practices and ideas which have had a profound influence on the education of young children the world over.
Maria Montessori was, in many ways, ahead of her time. She was the first woman to graduate from the University of Rome medical school and through her work as a doctor, became interested in education and how children learn, how they build themselves from what they find in their immediate environment. In 1906, she established her first Casa dei Bambini, or “Children’s House” for the disadvantaged children of working parents in Rome. Montessori approached their education as a scientist, using the classroom as her laboratory for observing children and finding ways to help them to achieve their full potential.
She began to travel the world, establishing schools, lecturing about her discoveries and writing many articles right up to her death in Holland in 1952 at the age of 82. She was a true pioneer of child-centred education.
Montessori always claimed that she did not devise a teaching method but that her ideas grew out of close observation of children. She discovered that all children have a joy of learning, love of order, the need to be independent, the need to be respected and listened to and the interest in fact and fiction. She created specially designed resources to foster independence and a love for learning from an early age. Montessori left a legacy through her work that combines a philosophy of freedom and self-development for children with a practical approach.