From 3 to 6 years
During this period, Maria Montessori points out that we need to collaborate with the children so that they are able to reach physical independence (both in language and movement). It is an important stage where the children are making great progress physically, socially and emotionally.
This is the time of the Absorbent Mind, which is the state of the brain from birth to the age of 6. Maria Montessori observed that children internalise everything they see and experience in their immediate environment. This means that they are able to learn effortlessly and almost instantaneously. Currently, Neuroscience studies have confirmed that this ability exists and have labelled it ‘Brain plasticity’.
The abilities that were formed from 0 to 3 are now solidified during this period. The child will now be able to take those abilities, give them structure and improve on them. This ability of the mind to learn and absorb experiences, knowledge and sensations is particularly active between 0 and 6.
The children will work within the seven Areas of Learning outlined by the EYFS (Early Years Foundation Stage) which are directly linked with the five areas of learning in Montessori. These five areas are:
Our sensorial activities allow the children to gradually refine each of their senses. As the child refines their skills, classifying and ordering objects according to their characteristics, they are preparing themselves to tackle language and mathematics in the future.
World exploration and knowledge
We use a wide range of materials which help the children to gain knowledge and appreciation for agriculture, music, science, geography, zoology, history and art, along with planning activities that allow them to have first hand experiences.
The children learn to complete daily tasks which help to look after themselves, others and their immediate environment. These tasks are also designed to improve motor skills, hand control, while additionally reinforcing the use of grace and courtesy as well as how to behave and interact with others.
We start by heightening their auditory senses through the use of games and songs. The children will learn phonetics through the use of sandpaper letters. The children will learn grammar and work on their handwriting from the beginning: initially writing on a blackboard, using the moveable alphabet until they are able to write on paper. They then will move on to copying texts and creative writing, all the while being aided to perfect their calligraphy. Their language skills will also be improved during ‘Circle time’ through activities such as ‘show and tell’ and theatre group.
We use number games and songs to spark an initial interest in maths. We use sandpaper numbers and bead bars to familiarise the children to large numbers. All knowledge of maths arises from the use of Montessori materials such as rods, beads, spindles, cubes and counters. Tens, hundreds and thousands are also taught using similar materials. Addition, subtraction, multiplication and division are all covered.