We at Christchurch Montessori believe that the children are at their happiest when they are busily involved in process. Children are natural learners, who when left to follow their own instincts will want to constantly explore the world. The child is given a balance between freedom and structure to use the activities without unnecessary interference so he/she develops to his/her full potential and at his/her own pace.
“There is in the child a special kind of sensitivity which leads him to absorb everything about him and it is this work of observing and absorbing that alone enables him to adapt himself to life” Dr Maria Montessori from the Absorbent Mind.
The Montessori classrooms provide a prepared environment where children are free to respond to their natural tendency to work, they self- access activities and materials in response to their own interests. The Montessori method goes hand in glove with the early years foundation stage.
The practical life area provides real life experiences. The activities are purposeful and have six basic goals, to assist concentration, independence, fine and gross motor skills, a sense of order, self-esteem and left to right dexterity.
Dressing frames introduce skills for buttoning, Velcro, zipping, poppers lacing and hooks.
Other activities include hand washing and baby doll washing.
Caring for the environment
Exercises for pouring, spooning, sweeping, clothes folding and dishwashing
Grace and courtesy
Include exercises for walking, sitting, greeting others, manners and following instructions.
The exercises are changed at regular intervals to adjust to the interest of each individual child and different topics.
Maria Montessori believed that children learn through the different senses. During the age from three years to six years children develop these senses and there attention is directed towards their environment. By providing sensorial activities specially designed to develop discrimination, order, and to broaden and refine these senses.
The difference in dimension, width, length and size can be found in the pink tower, board stairs, knobbed and knobbles cylinders other visual senses enhanced by colour tablets geometric cabinet and constructive Triangles
The sense of touch, touch tablets and recognition of a variety touch fabrics and other natural products.
Sound cylinders (loud to soft) and bells provide training for the auditory sense
Each of the exercise has an inbuilt control of error so the child is able to see any error made and can independently make his/her own correction. Encoring them to practice and improve independently.
Learning mathematical concepts in a Montessori classroom begins concretely and progresses towards the abstract. Each exercise is presented simple to complex. Process is taught first and facts come later. Each child develops coordination; concentration and independence when experiencing the materials available. These materials Introduce numbers one through to ten, teach counting and value of quantity, using the number rods, sandpaper numbers, cards, spindle boxes, cards and counters, the short bead stairs. Along with additional exercises will reinforce number bonds and sequencing of numbers.
Additional materials are available to introduced higher maths at the child’s correct stage of development and at his/her own pace. These include counting and quantity from units, to tens, hundreds and thousands, simple addition and subtraction, simple fractions, geometric shapes and solids and constructive triangles.
Our environment is deigned in such a way that all activities naturally gear themselves to development of skills for oral, written language and reading. Children have the freedom to converse between children and their peers and children and adults. Precise names are used on apparatus and objects, vocabulary classification and matching exercises develop visual perception, enrich vocabulary, developing the left to right movement in preparation for reading. A large selection of books is available for the children to explore as well as story books at reading times.
Phonetic sounds are introduced to the children through sand paper letters and a three period lesson. (This is, show me, and tell me,)This provides a visual and tactile experience. The focus is on lower case letters and the sound that they represent. Only 3 sounds are taught at any one time so as not to overload the child’s progress. Capital letters come later in programme along with blends and diagraphs.
A selection of colour coded boxes, provide the experiences of building first 3 letter words.
One box for each vowel sound, in each box is a small object or picture and the written word. Then using the LMA (large movable alphabet) children form the word to match the object.
As the child becomes confident using these first set of boxes additional boxes for four letter words to plurals are made available.
As the child’s confidence builds small word cards and simple three letter word books are introduced. Wordless books are made available to encourage self-story telling using pictures as a prompt for the story.
Cultural covers a range of different topics, geography, science, botany, zoology and history. Art and music are also included as part of this area
Daily group times introduce these areas.
Introducing topics about land, air, water, maps, continents, people including food and music from different countries.
Introducing different mini beasts and large animals and their habitats
Introducing the four seasons, colour changes, the five senses, layers of the earth, volcanoes and simple science experiments.
Introducing seeds, parts of plants, kinds of trees and leaves, herbs and spices and what plants give us.
Caring for babies from 3 months up to 18 months our baby room provides a warm, safe, welcoming environment where young babies can experience quality care, sensory play and developmental support. Babies all have their individual routines adhered to, to provide that home from home feeling and helping to ease their initial transition into nursery. Babies form close relationships with key practitioners who instil high self-esteem from the outset and provide lots of support to parents/carers. Babies also have access lots of different foods during messy play, using their whole bodies to explore, taste and touch what is available to them using a variety of tools. Babies have the opportunity to rest and sleep throughout the day and daily activities are tailored to support babies three Prime areas of development.
The Toddler Room provides a secure base from which 18 months olds can explore, through toys, role play, messy and creative play, construction and problem solving. The room is large with lots of space for toddlers to develop their mobility and explore the environment around them, knowing their key person is never too far away. They also have access to the practical life quiet room in preparation for learning at the next level. Toddlers also have the opportunity to rest and sleep throughout the day. Daily activities are tailored to support the three Prime areas of development (as above).
During your child’s day at nursery we supply snacks at morning break, this includes fruit, water and milk. At lunchtime, we prepare a hot two course meal with a varied healthy menu. Special diets can be adhered to.
We have a large outside area at nursery which is divided into four separate play areas. We try and make use of our outside areas each and every day.
Can we please ask that in the warmer weather you could supply a sun hat and sun cream and in the winter a warm coat, hat, gloves and Wellingtons.
All Weather Area: Provides a safe, secure “Outdoor Classroom” which is used for free play with balls, small world, messy play, role play, construction, a play house and space for group games and activities.
Toddler Play Area: A safe, secure area for our younger children to enjoy. It provides soft, matted flooring so is suitable for sitting, crawling and toddling babies. It has some large play equipment, sandpit, little bikes and push along toys for balance.
Garden Area: An area where children are encouraged to take controlled risks and explore the tyres, camouflage netting and uneven ground. There is also a “Mud Kitchen” for children to use their imaginations to explore and investigate what mud can do using various tools and water. There is also some large climbing apparatus, balancing beams, pirate’s ship, slide and large sit in sandpit.
Hard standing play area :an area for the children to ride bikes and scooters
We provide an extensive range of developmentally appropriate equipment which is carefully chosen in order to further children’s development in all areas of learning.
We are lucky enough to be located close to other amenities in the area and we like to take advantage of these when possible. We take the children on a variety of trips and excursions to the park, children’s centre, local common and attractions within the community as well as a leavers trip every summer to the farm or Forest.
We enhance the Framework of the Early Years Foundation Stage by embracing the principle that young children learn through play and experimenting, a philosophy to which we are absolutely committed.
THE EARLY YEARS FOUNDATION STAGE  is the curriculum that covers both the WELFARE and LEARNING AND DEVELOPMENT of young children from Birth to the end of their first year in School.
THE EYFS FRAMEWORK HAS RECENTLY BEEN REVISED and now comprises of:
3 Prime Areas of Learning:
4 Specific Areas of Learning:
Totaling 7 AREAS OF LEARNING.
Christchurch Montessori provides a wealth of activities and experiences which cover all areas of learning.
We liaise closely with parents and take note of each child's interests, progress and development. To ensure that we spend as much time as possible working, playing and interacting with the children, we minimise the time we spend on paperwork to that which impacts directly on our provision for the child and the information that we share with the parents.
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