An approach to education based on the needs of the child
Using Montessori teaching methods, children are placed in a prepared learning environment where they are free to choose the activities they want to engage in. To build confidence, independence, and self-esteem and create a foundation for lifelong learning, children are encouraged to make their own choices, learn and develop at their own pace. Dr Maria Montessori developed the holistic approach to developing children’s physical, social, emotional, and cognitive abilities by exploring the world around them and using their imaginations. During the early years, from birth to age six, children have the most capacity for learning, according to the Montessori teaching method. Montessori schools have age-appropriate classrooms that let children learn through play using specially designed Montessori toys and resources. Through self-educative practical play, children are guided by a trained teacher to find the answers to their questions.
Compared to other forms of education, how does Montessori differ?
At Glenageary, our Montessori classrooms and outdoor areas are set up to encourage self-learning and collaborative play. The prepared environments promote movement and activity and contain learning materials that are easily accessible. Children’s flexibility in their learning environment allows them to engage with the activity of their choice and other children. This environment allows children to gain a deeper understanding of the different learning subjects, such as language and math, and social interaction. The child can freely interact with the learning resources in this environment, such as language or mathematics. Children have the freedom to explore the learning environment as they wish, but order and structure are essential to their development. When a child has finished an activity, they are taught to take responsibility and put it back in its place. All aspects of child development are supported in our Montessori classrooms. Sensory learning is created using natural materials like wood instead of plastic and through open-ended outdoor activities. The Montessori method promotes hands-on learning that allows children to follow their instincts and respond to what comes to their minds, resulting in creative choices from genuine curiosity.
Our Montessori teachers
Our Montessori teachers are highly trained to guide rather than instruct children and support their social and emotional development. Their role is to ensure the learning environments are carefully prepared so that children can choose their own activities and engage with them in a way that suits their needs. Montessori students are taught that discipline should come from them rather than be imposed on them.
In the Montessori approach, children move through sensitive periods when they are especially receptive to learning new skills, not at a certain age. Teachers observe each child’s characteristics and tendencies, noticing when a child is most receptive to learning new things. As the child engages in these activities, teachers spark their interest and guide them along the way.
As part of the Montessori approach, children learn through play and materials are specially designed to stimulate their senses and aid in learning and development. Montessori materials are designed to encourage children to experiment, be creative, develop motor skills, and play independently at their own pace. Wooden geometric shapes puzzles are examples of Montessori materials. The puzzle is a fun way for children to be creative and have fun, but it also helps them identify shapes, improve their maths skills, and give them a sense of what wood feels like.
Age ranges for Montessori schools
A Montessori learning environment is age-range appropriate to meet the basic needs of growing children while meeting the individual needs of each child. Children of all ages work together in mixed-age classrooms, where younger children naturally learn from older ones.
From two to five years
The emphasis within this age group in our classrooms focuses on the following;
- Developing independence and self-control
- Promoting social development
- Assisting children in developing their senses and literacy, and numeracy through a variety of resources
- Building confidence, creativity, and self-expression by allowing children to explore using their imaginations