Children's House

3 - 6yrs

K2 - Y1: Five Areas of Learning

Practical Life, Sensorial, Language, Arithmetic, Culture

As in all Montessori settings, the learning takes place at the learner’s pace, and the teaching adults monitor and record how each child interacts with the environment, working quietly as a team to provide help and assistance only when it is needed.

Each activity on offer in the Children’s House is designed to be a complete piece of work. Materials are interrelated; by using one learning material a child is also subconsciously developing the skills and awareness necessary to engage in other materials providing more complex tasks. The activities are also designed to be self-correcting, so children are able to work through the challenges of activity unassisted and may practice it over and over again until they are satisfied.

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Sensorial

Small children are vividly aware of the world, taking in impressions through all their senses. The materials in this area stimulate and train the senses not only visually but also through touch, sound, taste and smell. An experience using one sense may often be reinforced by experiences gained through another sense – for example feeling a shape may reinforce a visual impression. Our materials reflect qualities of the environment such as colour, size, shape, texture, and sound and develop the child’s powers of observation, communication and exploration. Work with the sensorial materials lays the foundation for further work in mathematics, language and art.
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Arithmetic

The Montessori mathematics materials enable even very young children to achieve, through their own efforts, a natural appreciation of basic mathematical concepts by providing experience in the ‘concrete form’. This helps children to avoid developing mental blocks which can so often occur if children are faced with abstract concepts such as quantity, value and ratio in only written or pictorial form. The specially designed materials provide concrete ideas and sensory experiences of numbers, quantities and mathematical operations.
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Practical Life

Practical life activities help the child to practice skills needed for everyday life, for example pouring, tying laces and laying a table. Many of these activities may also be done in the home. As well as helping the child develop his/her physical co-ordination there is the added advantage that the child learns to focus attention for the entirety of an activity. By completing a task properly the child achieves a sense of fulfilment. Practical Life activities also focus on developing the children’s social skills in a multi-age setting.
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Language

The Children’s House provides many opportunities for developing the children’s ability to express themselves. Emphasis is given to the development of vocabulary based on ‘real’ experiences and the preparation required for reading and writing. Advanced activities take the child well beyond the basics to reading and writing for interpretation, creativity and pleasure. Many books are available in the book corner and the staff maintain a good mix of literature for the different ages within the class, reflecting a variety of cultural and social backgrounds as well as general aspects of daily living.
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Culture

Here the teachers in the Children’s House cover a wide range of subjects which reflect the broad interests of young children. The Montessori environment aims to stimulate these interests and extend the children’s knowledge, appreciation and understanding of music, craft, art, history, geography, science and the natural world. Different cultures from around the world are also explored.
Individualized, Independent Learning

Child Community

The 'Child Community' is an extremely powerful element in the children’s learning and development. Helping children to think of themselves as part of and learning within a community is a defining feature of Montessori education.
When a child enters the class for the first time they become part of a powerful and sophisticated community of children where the older, more knowledgeable members act as role models and even teachers to the younger ones. It is a self maintaining system that also helps to keep orders and promotes a sense of discipline that the children themselves have control over. Held together by fair-play, sharing, and mutual respect, when a child uses a piece of equipment, for example, they quickly learn where and how to replace it, ready for the next child to use.
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