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The Montessori method

The Montessori method has one aim : the development of each child’s potential by respecting his/her individuality.

Your child will become an active participant in his/her learning and discoveries in a carefully prepared bilingual environment, your child will be able to experiment as he/she is guided by two teachers in charge of the class. The class is a place of learning but also a place for living and discovering where every child will gain more independence with time. 

In a Montessori environment, all the material is child-sized and adapted to your child’s strength in order to encourage independence. After being presented activities, the children are free to use them as long as they wish to. They are masters of their choices in a structured setting which will reassure and answer your child’s needs in each steps of his/her development.

Les Petites Canailles ecole Montessori
Ecole Montessori Les Petites Canailles

Information

Why do we have mixed age groups ?

In a Montessori class, you will find mixed age groups from the ages of 3 to 6 years old. Mixing the ages benefits children. Indeed, children help each other and also encourage each other to gain knowledge. The younger children are stimulated by seeing their older peers working. The older children, who have mastered some activities, are able to present activities to their younger peers. This way a relationship of sharing and mutual help is created.

What is the teacher’s rôle ?

The teacher is a “guide“ and a “reference point“ to the children, he/she supports the children’s interests and prepares the learning environment.

He/she presents activities to the children, observes and offers help when needed. He/she follows the children through their basic learning skills.

What is freedom of choice ?

Freedom of choice takes place in an environment which has been planned to be enriching, structured and reassuring. The child is free in his/her movement, in the choice of activities and to express him/herself but always supported by the teacher, day by day, in order to acquire more independence. Class rules teach children how to live together with respect for one another, for differences and various rhythms.

Why do we only have one of each material ?

By waiting for an activity to be available, the children will develop independence, willingness, self-confidence and confidence in others – this is fundamental in living together, it also helps with frustration as the child will not always get what he/she wants instantly.

The child develops his/her capacity to plan, to mobilise ressources to attain an objective, even if this means having to wait for someone else to finish using an activity. Having one of each activity also teaches the child that it is not an obstacle, but simply a child who needs to finish their work… Therefore the environment takes on another social dimension. This also prevents comparison and competition to take place between the children, each child undertakes his/her activity by respecting their own needs, wishes and rhythms.

Is it difficult for children to join a traditional school after being in a Montessori preschool ?

The Montessori pedagogy enables children to become active in their learning and discoveries during their time in preschool. We follow the National curriculum and often go beyond traditional expectations. Children stay in preschool for 3 years. After these 3 years, all the children go to primary school. This is exactly what happens after 3 years in a Montessori preschool, after 3 years, all the children go to Primary 1 (CP in France).

The areas of learning in a Montessori classroom

Each classroom is made up of 5 areas :

Practical life :

Your child’s first presentations will be of activities from this area of the classroom. These will be the basis of your child’s work. Your child will recognise the materials easily as they will relate to his/her daily life.

Sensorial :

This material will be presented to your child alongside the practical life activities. It will be used to develop and refine the five senses. It will enable him/her to classify, organise and relate his/her own perceptions to the outside world.

Literacy : 

The French-speaking teacher and the English-speaking teacher will support your child to acquire new vocabulary, to understand and communicate naturally in French as well as in English. 

Numeracy and arithmetics : 

The numeracy and arithmetics’ material, like all the Montessori materials, is sensorial and will enable your child to grasp mathematical concepts through perception and handling the materials.

Discovery of the world : 

The material gives the opportunity to the child to discover the world through geography and scientific experiments adpated to children.

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