The oldest students are working towards finalising the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme and can soon start their research to which university they would like attend. They have started thinking about what role they will play later in society at large. The youngest children in the Montessori school, being the infants and toddlers, work on forming their personal identity and absorb everything that surrounds them.
It is wonderful to see this spread of development on a daily level. In the Montessori classroom children can be who they are meant to be; they can follow their individual learning style. Simultaneously, both teachers and the environment provide varied opportunities to the children so that they develop the skills of other learning styles, thereby developing a good self-esteem and becoming flexible and adaptable. These personality traits are essential in this fast changing world.
Great care is given to our premises and materials in the classroom. We believe that a learning environment needs to be attractive and stimulating. It should not be overwhelming with posters, drawings, window dressing and other aesthetically unpleasing distractions. It needs to provide mental peace for a child to be able to concentrate well and to allow a child to go into flow with the task at hand. Teachers are well prepared and keep their classroom environments beautiful. New parents often walk into the school and comment, “I wish I could go back to school and do my education all over again!”
The Montessori concept was developed by Dr. Maria Montessori and was hence named after her. Despite its name, this system of education does not follow a specific person but it follows the true nature of every child. Maria Montessori observed many characteristics in children, which are now proven by modern research.
Children need to develop a good self-esteem, a healthy imagination, a love for learning, independence, intelligence and decision making powers. By means of having attractive classrooms and teachers who are in tune with each individual child, a Montessori environment provides opportunity for growth in all these areas! With this philosophy, one hopes to create a worldwide ripple effect! Individuals with a good self-esteem, become happy and balanced members of society. They will be able to look at the past, observe today and make the right decisions for the future!
The Parent Infant Group
The Parent Infant Group has been a huge success over the past years, with families returning for subsequent series! The Parent Infant group has its own space upstairs in ‘Savoorke’, Tervuren and uses the adjacent Parent Café for their theory sessions.
Every year three sessions of ten weeks are offered to families with babies from approximately four weeks to walking age. This community offers a platform where parents and their babies meet with child development specialists in a beautifully prepared environment containing baby-sized equipment, toys made of natural products, small furniture, and ideas and information geared toward stimulating the baby’s optimal development.
Toddlers need a quiet, caring and adaptable environment that changes according to their developmental needs. Their concentration expands with designated educational toys and teacher initiated activities. The hands are the tools of the brain. Toddlers love to touch and try! They discover the world around them and simultaneously discover their own abilities. The feeling of ‘I can do it by myself’ builds self-esteem and self worth.
Due to the intense absorption of everything that surrounds them, children thrive well in a bilingual environment. They learn languages ‘without effort’, as long as the same person speaks the same language to the child and the language is offered in a concrete, child-oriented manner. This is why Montessori education and bilingual exposure goes so well together. In the Montessori school this bilingual set-up goes all the way up to the Secondary section, and by then the students are ready for a multilingual environment.
Montessori education offers the necessary positive interaction, appropriate freedoms and limits and caring adults that helps preschoolers develop both personally and socially. An ordered environment with concrete learning materials and a personalised approach gives the opportunity to act through their own learning style and simultaneously start to build up skills necessary for balanced learning.
This is the age when children use their senses in order to explore. They become more and more independent and aware of the immediate world surrounding them. This stimulates also their interest in writing and reading, early mathematics and the beginnings of geography, biology and history.
Montessori Primary offers a vast curriculum! This is the age where children love to obtain more knowledge. They become aware of the world beyond their family and want to know much more. The ‘Windows into the class’ events gives a great overview of what the children have been studying. The breadth is wide, often covering topics that are traditionally covered in Secondary. But these topics are presented in a simpler and creative format, thus stimulating the child’s urge to want to discover!
New students make an automatic move from their respective Children’s Houses to the Primary, since there is a continuation in the use of the materials and the approach of the teachers. Children’s House children are very well prepared to move on, having already worked with a large variety of math materials and many already on the way to become confident readers