Learning the Montessori way

Children learn in different ways and the classroom is set up to allow for this. The teacher acts as a guide, understanding each child’s requirements and interests and leading them appropriately. She will ensure that the child participates in the whole environment over time, challenging them and stimulating their curiosity in all areas (not just those to which they initially gravitate).

Such work is either done individually or in small groups. This ensures that children gain the help and confidence they need to undertake new challenges. Children can repeat activities whenever they like, developing their skills and making their own choices.

In a Montessori classroom, you will see many kinds of learning: a child concentrating very hard on an activity that they chose themselves; a group of children role-playing; a small group working with a teacher; preparing a snack and eating at the table with some friends; a group organizing a ‘show’ for whoever wants to watch; working individually with a teacher who is presenting a new activity with just the right level of challenge, and so on.

This method of teaching nurtures children’s independence and drive and really does result in children whose appetite for new activities and new learning appears endless. Each child has a tailored learning plan, extending to all the curriculum areas.

An individual child, in a morning, might choose to:

  • do a floating and sinking experiment
  • practise writing their name
  • play an addition game
  • water the plants outside
  • practise doing up and undoing laces
  • prepare fruit to share with others
  • build an obstacle course outside
  • learn about the life-cycle of a butterfly
  • paint a picture then embellish it with gluing
  • role-play with friends
  • make a book
  • dictate a story then illustrate it

or they might choose one of many other activities, indoors or out.