1. Managing Director
What We Teach
Guide to EYFS

The revised early years foundation stage has come into effect in Sept 2012. We are fully trained to deliver the new curriculum and want all our parents/carers to know and to rest assured that the new EYFS does NOT clash with Montessori teaching. A central idea of Montessori education is that children have within them the power they need to develop themselves. Following from this is the understanding that it is through the child's interaction with his environment that this self-construction takes place. It is the child that needs to be active in his dynamic experience with the world around him.
The task we set ourselves as Montessori educators is to provide children with an environment carefully prepared to meet their particular developmental needs and, through careful observation, to connect them with that environment, so that they can build themselves through their own activity.

The parallels between the Montessori approach and some of the main themes of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) are clear. The EYFS theme of 'A Unique Child' is based on the principle that 'Every child is a competent learner from birth who can be resilient, capable, confident and self assured'.


Similarly the EYFS makes the provision of 'Enabling Environments' one of four priorities. The emphasis placed on 'active learning' and 'learning through experience' within the theme of 'Learning and Development' is again very much in line with Montessori practice.  
Montessori Curriculum
Dr. Maria Montessori discovered that children have an inherent drive for independence and she observed that children have exceptional powers of concentration. Most importantly, Maria Montessori noted that the very young children unconsciously absorb their environment.
 
Our Montessori teachers direct and guide the children through activities within the prepared nursery environment. Each child is an individual and the teacher will carefully observe and monitor the child’s development, recognising and interpreting his/her interests.

The teacher then supplies the child with materials/activities and challenges appropriate to their abilities. All the equipment is displayed on child sized shelving for the children to select themselves. It is through the child’s subsequent independent use of the materials and activities that learning takes place. This method is used in all the curriculum areas and gives the child confidence to take on new challenges and instill a love of learning throughout life- where work is never seen as a chore
Sensorial
 
The sensorial materials are designed to enable children to identify and refine information obtained through their senses, and to order and classify sensorial impressions. By seeing, smelling, tasting, listening, touching and further exploring the sensorial properties of these materials, children begin to classify and eventually name objects in their environment.
 
Mathematics
 
Young children are intrigued by numbers- knowing how much or how many provides another dimension in understanding the world. The Montessori math materials and lessons help children to develop and understand math concepts through the manipulation of concrete materials, building a secure foundation of math principles, skills, and problem-solving abilities.
Literacy
 
Because the child’s mind from 0 to 6 is absorbent, this is the ideal age to assist the development of brain pathways. Montessori observed that the child of this age was in a “sensitive period” for absorbing language, both spoken and written. The Montessori early childhood classroom is rich in oral language opportunities- listening to stories or reciting poems, singing and conversing with others. Introduction of the Montessori sandpaper letters connects each spoken sound with its symbol, supporting the development of writing, and eventually, reading.
Practical Life
 
The activities of Practical Life instill care: for oneself, for others, and for the environment. These exercises include pouring liquids, preparing food, washing dishes, setting a table, polishing, and dealing gracefully and courteously with social encounters. Through these tasks and experiences children learn to concentrate, coordinate their movements, and develop fine-motor skills. Practical Life activities are the foundation of all future academic work because they promote concentration, order, and a complete work cycle.
Science, Geography, Social Studies, Art and Music
 
All of these subjects are incorporated into the early childhood environment. They are presented in sensorial ways with specially designed materials and real-life experiences. In geography, children learn not only about the names of countries but the life of people and their respective cultures. They develop a sense of respect for different cultures, recognising that we all belong to the family of people. Young children are natural scientists. Watching and caring for plants and animals creates an interest in science lessons and a reverence for life. Art and music give the children an opportunity for creative and joyful self-expression, also experiences with great music and works of art.