The Montessori curriculum can be categorised into five main areas. For each area, there are specific Montessori materials which have been created to meet the child’s needs and foster their independence.
The Montessori curriculum is underpinned by an constructivist approach to learning whereby children build their knowledge about the world through active exploration and discovery. Montessori educators view children as curious scientists who are motivated to explore the environment on their own.
Children are offered 2.5 to 3 hour blocks of time to concentrate on the activities they have chosen without interruption.
The curriculum areas include:
The Exercises of Practical Life
This area consists of real-life practical activities which build a child’s self-efficacy and self-confidence. Practical life activities are some of the most important jobs in the classroom because they meet the child’s need for movement, balance and coordination.
Practical Life activities encourage the development of:
Gross and fine motor skills
Respect for other children and the environment
During the early years, children absorb and learn any language they are exposed to effortlessly. This sensitive period for learning language peaks in early childhood.
At Montessori, children indirectly prepare their language skills through singing, poetry and listening to stories. In the classroom, language is presented to the child in a tactile sense and not as a formal tutorial in grammar.
For example, children learn to trace sandpaper letters, write letters in the sand tray or use the “movable alphabet” for early spelling. This familiarizes the child with the sound and formation of each letter, later enabling them to write their own words and sentences.
The Sensorial area is also one of the first areas young children seek out. Sensorial materials meet the child’s need for sensory stimulation and judgment.Exercises in this area train or refine the senses. They help the child judge size, shape, taste, sound, and smell. Children learn to discriminate.
Since we know that sensory development must come before higher intellectual capacities, sensory activities are an
essential part of the “prepared environment” because they
lay the groundwork for further growth in language and math.
Sensorial activities help a child develop their:
We also ensure that we maintain the four principles of Te Whāriki which is the curriculum framework for the early childhood education sector. The principles of Te Whāriki include empowerment, holistic development, family and community, and relationships.
Through these studies,they develop an understanding of where they fit in their neighbourhood, community, country and the wider word.
The child begins to discover similarities and differences in cultures around the world
A respect toward others and feeling proud of their own cultural background
Children also learn Te Reo Maori and Tikanga Maori
Our classrooms have a range of interactive, hands-on materials that assist children grasp the concepts of:
Basic operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division