How Montessori education works

A Montessori School is often quite different when compared to a mainstream nursery school. Our environments differ in appearance, the way we structure the day and how we guide child learning, each of which are unique to Montessori Schools.

The environment

Montessori classrooms are very carefully ordered learning environments; activities are stored at child height on open shelves. Walls are calm; there are no sand & water troughs inside and few recognisable commercial toys. Activities are normally made of natural occurring materials and there is usually only one of each item. Children work or play on mats or tables. There is a high emphasis on self-discovery.

The teacher

Montessori teachers act as guides and custodians; ensuring the learning environment is developmentally appropriate. They do this by observing where each child's interest lies and use this in-conjunction with their in-depth knowledge of child development to determine which materials should be on the shelves. Montessori teachers introduce new concepts by presenting activities in bite size presentations, capturing the child interest and then encouraging them to continue their own learning.

The greatest sign of success for a teacher... is to be able to say, "The children are now working as if I did not exist."
-Maria Montessori

The child

There is very little timetabled learning, time constraints are kept to the barest minimum; this allows the child to become fully absorbed in their chosen activity. To this end Montessori schools operate a three hour uninterrupted cycle of activity, children work and play at their own pace on self selected activities either indoors or out, independently or in a small group, gradually increasing their focus for extended periods of time.