Croydon Montessori Day Nursery

PRACTICAL LIFE EXERCISES

Personal, social and emotional development is supported by practical life exercises such as pouring, polishing, tying shoe laces, buttons and setting the table. These are all activities the children recognise from home and they are instinctively drawn to these tasks which they have seen adults perform. These activities strengthen the children’s concentration, co-ordination, movement, confidence, order, good working habits and independence enhancing life skills.

SENSORIAL ACTIVITIES

The sensorial exercises are concerned with the development and refinement of the five senses, thereby sharpening the children’s ability to make fine discrimination. Each of the sensorial materials isolates one defining quality such as colour, weight, shape or texture, which are designed to heighten the children’s awareness of the world around them.

COMMUNICATION, LANGUAGE AND LITERACY

In both small and large groups children are encouraged to extend their vocabulary and fluency by talking and listening, hearing and responding to stories, songs and rhymes. Reading and writing go hand in hand and the Montessori sensorial materials prepare the children for an introduction to both. Through the use of sand paper letters the children learn the phonetic sounds individually and gradually they are able to blend the individual sounds together and say the whole word.

The children learn to write not just by writing but by performing a number of purposefully structured activities which prepare them both indirectly and directly for facilitating in handwriting. Grammar is introduced through exercises with graded material. Most children who leave us to start school are reading and writing by the time they finish with us.

NUMERACY

By working with the practical life and sensorial apparatus children have already become familiar with sorting, matching, ordering, sequencing and counting activities which form the basis of early problem solving, reasoning and numeracy. In this way children understand the abstract properties of a number. The children learn the basic concepts of mathematics by using concrete materials in the classroom such as the spindle box and counters. For example they match the number 2 with the corresponding quantity of spindles in the box. This gives them a physical impression of quantity. When the children are able to recognise numbers, they go on to explore basic addition and subtraction. The children will therefore develop an early enthusiasm for the world of numbers.

CULTURAL SUBJECTS

All children are encouraged to explore Montessori material that cultivates their awareness of science, history, geography and culture. The children are given the opportunity to explore continent folders, music and costumes from around the world which all exhibit various lifestyles and cultural diversity. ICT equipment is an important part of the child’s learning. This is made available to the children regularly but is carefully monitored so they receive the maximum benefit. Children are also made receptive to a foreign language through French. Regular cooking activities are also carried out which forms the basis of an important life skill.

ART AND MUSIC

Activities include music and movement, poetry, singing and drama. Children are encouraged to use a wide range of resources in order to express their own ideas and feelings in response to their own individual experiences. Craft activities are also carried out on a daily basis.

OUTDOORS

We are based in a picturesque location and have access to large well tended grounds, trees, and shrubs with a variety of birds and squirrels around the church. The children have access to the outdoors daily and we bring in elements of the forest school philosophy. Children are allowed to take reasonable risks outdoors and are taught to appreciate the natural environment through guided nature walks, and exploration.

SOCIAL SKILLS

Through activities, conversation and practical examples the children learn acceptable ways to express their own feelings and also have respect for others feelings. Emphasis is placed on grace and courtesy and anyone visiting the nursery will witness just how polite the children are after being at the nursery for some time.