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The Montessori Curriculum

The Montessori method is a child-centered educational approach, established by Maria Montessori, which is rooted in scientific observation of children from birth to adulthood. The focus is on the learning development of children. This method encourages children towards independence, order and a freedom to explore but within boundaries. In a cycle 1 classroom (3 - 6 years), Montessori children learn through sensory-motor activities that develop cognitive behaviours through hands-on experience.

The Montessori Curriculum extends children's education in 5 focus areas and they are:
  • Practical Life activities
  • Sensorial Education
  • Mathematics
  • Language
  • Culture & Cosmic education


Classroom Management
Our Montessori classroom is mixed aged (2.5 - 6 years), and the benefits of a mixed age group is significant and crucial to enable children to learn skills such as grace and courtesy, social skills as well as leadership skills. The children in BMEL are provided with plenty of opportunities to explore and be responsible towards their own learning. Our role as educators will involve careful observation and preparation of the learning environment to ensure that children are provided with choices and freedom within limits.

Montessori Curriculum Areas:


Practical Life Activities
Practical Life is the term used by Maria Montessori to describe a set of exercises designed to encourage children to gain skills they need in their everyday lives to help them become independent in caring for themselves and their environment. The purposes include linking home to school (familiarity and imitation of adults), helps the child understand and adapt to his or her culture, mastering of everyday tasks through demonstration of steps. All these at the end, offers the child dignity and the sense of self control and independence.

Activities :

Pouring water, using tongs and utensils, cooking, pegging, screwing and unscrewing lids, threading, sewing, cutting, puzzles, dishwashing, learning to tie a bow etc


Sensorial Activities
The Sensorial Education supports human tendencies for exploration, movement, orientation, order, communication, repetition, exactness, self-control, independence and abstract thinking. The aim of introducing the sensorial materials is to help children order and analyse the impressions they have received to distinguish, discriminate, make judgements, reason, classify and categorise. It is education of the 5 senses where children manipulate the materials and begin to make connection of attributes of their surrounding such as dimensions, forms, colours, shapes, textures weights, temperatures, smells and sounds of things. All sensorial materials are precise and scientifically prepared.

Activities:

Cylinder blocks, Pink tower, Brown stair, Red rods, Colour tablets, Knobless cylinders, Geometric cabinet, Constructive triangles, Tessellations, Binomial cube, Trinomial cube, Square of Pythagoras etc.



Mathematics
Mathematics is relationships, sciences of patterns, numbers, space that are connected to art, nature and our world. When children are introduced to the mathematics materials, they develop numeracy skills such as counting, predicting, estimating, measuring, organising, classifying, comparing, seriating, problem solving and develop some understanding of proportion and ratios.

Activities:

Number rods, Sandpaper numbers, Spindle box, Numbers & Counters, Number games, Bead bars, Teen boards, Ten boards, Decimal systems etc.


Language
Typically, a child that comes into the Montessori Cycle 1 classroom at 3 years old has already constructed spoken language and will begin to consolidate the spoken language to explore the written forms of language. Prior to attending preschool, the child will need broad exposure to language, with correct articulation, enunciation, and punctuation. The child will need to experience different modes of language and to hear and tell stories. Most importantly, the child needs to feel free and be encouraged to communicate with others.

With the child's absorbent mind the child by age six will have reached the 3rd point of consciousness in language where he understands that sounds and words have meaning and that these symbols can be used in writing. He will become fully articulate, he will be able to express himself in writing, he will be able to read with ease, and have a full comprehension of the thoughts of others.

To help the child in his development in language, the Montessori classroom is designed to help the child reach the 3rd period of consciousness. Because the learning of language is not done through subjects as in a normal classroom, the child is learning at his own rhythm. This allows the child to concentrate on the learning of each important step in language so that each progressive step is done easily and without any thought on the part of the child. The special material also plays an important role in aiding the child develop the powers of communication and expression, of organisation and classification, and the development of thought.

At BMEL, we provide opportunities for children to explore different styles of writing through books and music forms. The children also learn a second language throughout the year.

Activities:
Metal insets, Sandpaper letters, Initial sounds, Introduction to the movable alphabet etc



Culture Education
The Cultural area of the Montessori classroom covers the following subjects:

  • Geography
  • Science
  • Botany
  • Zoology
  • History
  • Art and Music
Subjects discussed in Geography are things like land, air, water, maps, continents, people, food and music from other countries which makes education of culture exciting. Children will learn and make sense of different cultures around the world and being a multicultural country in Australia, the education of culture places a huge importance in our curriculum.

When we explore science, we include topics such as seasons and relate them to our senses. The children will learn about hypothesising and experimenting. Some things we may include on our shelves could be an activity for children to explore things that sink and things that float.

Botany education relates to our outdoor environment and things that will be introduced are seeds, parts of plants, different kinds of trees, herbs, spices and the lifecycle of plants. Within the botany unit, children may engage in completing the botany puzzles ,drawing leaf shapes and going on a nature trail to find different shapes of leafs.

Zoology is the area where we focus on animals and their different forms. This could be extended into a practical activity where we look into having class pets and children learn their role as carers in keeping our class pet safe and happy.

Specialist Curriculum

Happy Feet Fitness & Dance Program



Our dance program is delivered by Happy Feet Fitness and includes themes in accordance to the Early Years Learning Framework. For more information about the Happy Feet Fitness and dance program, please click the button below:



Music Program


Our music program develops foundation skills that include the introduction of:

-Rhythm, beat, pulse and metre
-Body percussion
-Musical games and improvisation
-Singing songs, rhymes and solfa/solfege
-Movement, dance and gesture
-Percussion playing – tuned and untuned
-Listening, reflecting and responding
-Story-telling and mime
-Coordinating with a range of props
-Ensemble playing
-Reading, understanding and interacting with iconic and traditional notation



Second Language Program

At BMEL, children will have plenty of opportunities to learn a second language. Acknowledging Maria Montessori's findings that children between ages 0 - 6 years having " The Absorbent Mind" that relates to their amazing ability of learning language effortlessly, BMEL's philosophy of teaching a second language is to have the adult as part of our prepared environment. The second language is taught through verbal conversations that relate to children's daily life and will involve practical conversational skills. Depending on the language skills that each adult brings to BMEL, our focus language will be delivered on a rotational basis every year. (E.g Mandarin in 2018, Italian in 2019, Indonesian in 2020 etc)