Nido & Parent Toddler Programs (0-3 years)

From the moment they are born, babies begin the quest for movement, independence and knowledge of the world.  In these weekly 90 minute sessions, parents benefit by observing the changing needs of their child through the guidance of the teacher who facilitates the sessions. There are four programs available - Pregnancy to 6 month old infants (non-movers), 6 months to 12 months (movers), 12 months to 17 months (walkers) and 18 months to 2 ½ - 3 years (toddlers).  If you are interested in either of these programs, please complete the Under 3s enquiry form via the link on the Enrol ME page or phone 9130 8313.  For more details about the typical running of this program see this outline.

Cycle 1 Pre-primary (3-6 years)

The Montessori pre-primary classroom is a happy mix of a community of children and a place for learning and discovery. The classroom is purposefully designed to allow children to be self sufficient and to work at their own pace with the exercises and materials they have chosen.  Children can choose to work either alone, alongside other children or in small groups.  In this way children build social awareness, while gaining the knowledge and skills directly associated with the task at hand.  It also encourages children to develop self-discipline and a capacity for total concentration. The activities in Cycle 1 fall into four major areas: Practical Life, Sensorial, Language, and Mathematics.  Music, art, science, gardening, and physical education are also part of the daily curriculum. 

Schedule

The youngest children attend a half day morning session 5 days a week for approximately the first year or so. From 4 years of age, they have the option of spending the whole day (8.30-3.00pm).  By the time they turn 5 they are attending 5 full days a week which equates to the Kindergarten year in non-Montessori Primary schools in New South Wales.  By attending every day the children grow together and learn from each other over the 3 years of this cycle.

After School Care is also available for children 4 years and over from 3pm - 6pm.

Curriculum

The education program for the Early Childhood level at Montessori East is distinguished by a core curriculum where each child acquires and applies a breadth of skills during a three- year learning cycle. Well-planned lessons are presented in a carefully prepared educational environment filled with specifically designed, age-appropriate materials. The trained, skilled teacher creates opportunities for individual children in a mixed-age community. The children learn and achieve at a rate which meets their particular needs and allows their talents to emerge.

Practical Life

The Practical Life area responds to the child’s great interest in becoming independent. The activities in this area may include tasks such as cleaning, and food preparation that the children see as part of daily routine in their home as well as lessons in social graces and courtesy. The materials challenge them to work at their own uninterrupted pace, to concentrate and to complete a cycle of work which gives them a feeling of satisfaction and confidence. Practical life encompasses four main areas: Control of Movement, Care of Person, Care of the Environment and Grace & Courtesy.

Sensorial

Sensorial exercises promote the development of the senses and the building of skills in discrimination. Children develop cognitive skills by learning to order and classify their impressions through activities in touch, sight, taste, smell, listening and exploring the physical properties of their environment. The Sensorial Materials are archetypal Montessori materials; colourful, textured and exciting to the children’s senses. They include the pink tower, red rods, bells and coloured tablets. They are tools for intellectual development, as children use the sensorial materials to explore the physical properties of their environment. These exercises become the basis for reading and writing and the study of mathematics, science, language, music and art. The activities and materials allow for repetition and correction, Dr Montessori observed that children who learn in this way, develop an emotional and social maturity not normally expected of young children.

Language

The Montessori language materials (such as sandpaper letters, moveable alphabet, metal insets) lead children effortlessly to writing and reading. The Montessori activities build skills in sound discrimination, prepare the hand for writing, encourage the development of written expression and lay a foundation of phonetic skills that prepare the child for reading.

Mathematics

Montessori mathematical materials introduce children to mathematical concepts in a concrete form. Working with precise materials such as number rods, golden beads, and the chain cabinet, the children learn the decimal system, quantity and value, building a secure foundation for future abstract concepts and problem solving in mathematics.

Cultural Arts

Children are introduced to a range of cultural subjects through especially prepared extensions to the sensorial and language materials. The use of storytelling and visual material such as maps, flags, timelines and materials depicting the animal world and the natural environment, extends the children’s experience into cultural areas including geography, biology, history, art and science. Through these studies children learn to respect and appreciate their culture, country and natural environment, and those of others, instilling qualities such as empathy and tolerance.