The Three-Year Learning Cycle and Mixed-Age Classrooms
In our Montessori classrooms, children progress through a complete three-year cycle of their natural phase of development, meaning that they stay in the same environment progressing through the range of activities available for their continued development. This also means that children develop a range of other skills in interacting with children older and younger than themselves with varying abilities as part of their environment. Children at the top end of their learning cycle learn to assist, be patient, tolerant, compassionate and take on responsibility as good models for younger children. Younger children pick up positive cues in social situations and feel motivated to aspire to the work their older peers can do.
Children in our classrooms use real concrete objects made from natural materials such as wood, metal or glass where possible, to develop their skills and their understanding of the world. These concrete materials are beautifully designed from Dr. Montessori’s own tests and observations with children. They are carefully sequenced allowing the child to experience logical progression in the building of skill and they are self-correcting, allowing the child to recognise their own errors without external interruption. These materials involve the hand as well as the mind to provide a multi-sensory learning experience for the child and this helps make abstract concepts clear and concrete as well as inviting fascination from the child.
Individualised One-on-One Learning
Each child in our classrooms has an individual weekly plan of study and work, based on observations made by the directress (classroom teacher) of each child’s particular developmental needs, their readiness for more advanced activities, their interests and challenge. The directress presents new material to a child one-to-one when she senses their readiness for it and following this presentation, the child then comes back to work with and explore the material independently, working with it to gradually develop proficiency.
Choice and Independence
Children in our classrooms are given a range of choice under the guidance and observation of their classroom teacher (directress): they can choose where to work (working on the floor, individually at a table, or with a peer); what work to do during the day; in which order they do it; when to take a break to eat a snack. However, they cannot choose not to work! This helps children progress at their own pace, develop esteem in making sound choices and being accountable for them and developing a sense of independence in their own work. Younger children are supported in developing physical independence to meet their own needs through demonstration and modelling until they can do things entirely by themselves and take pride in doing so.
Nursery and the Early Years Foundation Stage (3-5 year olds)
Our nursery sessions for 3-5 year olds follow the Montessori Method and also match (and often exceed) the requirements of the Early Years Foundation stage. Nursery aged pupils are an integral part of the Children's House where pupils aged 3-6 years old interact with each other as they play/work, learn and explore.
Posts from the school blog that talk about the Montessori Method at Deenway
A school leader shares some of Maria Montessori's insights and their importance to our vision for...
Explore the Montessori Method Further
Watch these videos to learn more about the Montessori Approach to Learning
note: some of these links may be from external sources. Where this is the case the views expressed are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the school's stance. The links are provided to give you a broad idea of the Montessori approach to teaching and learning, but there will be some differences between settings, contexts and cultures especially in cases where personal experiences are being shared. The school does not endorse external sites and is not affiliated to these organisations or individuals unless expressly stated.
A Parent to Parent Argument for Montessori Schooling
The difference between conventional schooling and Montessori education is eloquently summarised in this short video from Trevor Eissler author of "Montessori Madness!".
Introduction to the Montessori Method
This video provides a useful summary of the Montessori Approach and what it looks like inside a classroom.
You Might Be A Montessorian
Montessori education has been around for over 100 years...but what is it? And why don't all students have access to it? Katy Wright, a national board certified public educator, takes you on her journey of discovering how Montessori education can solve all of our problems in public education.
Does Montessori School Make A Difference?
In this podcast from Montessori Education, William Kelly talks about how his Montessori schooling, from preschool to junior high, helped him develop into a successful ed-tech entrepreneur and a flourishing human being.
How Do You Hug a Child Like This?
Trevor Eissler's "How Do You Hug a Child Like This?"