The Montessori Primary classroom in many ways resembles an extended family. Everyone knows everyone. There is free communication and movement. The exchanging of facts and discoveries becomes second nature. The Primary aged child is in a period of heightened social development, so he needs group experiences. The potential of each individual child is maximised in an environment that has a place for everyone, providing a profound sense of belonging.
The Montessori Primary classroom is based on a vertical grouping of 3 years. This multi-age grouping provides the children with plenty of opportunities for broad social development. The presence of this wide range of ages and abilities provides for each child a tolerance and appreciation for people’s differences. Relationships and their complexities are supported by sensitive adults who are trained to observe and enhance social interaction – not to repress it.
The vertical grouping (multi-age classes) eliminates the need for competition! It in turn allows the children to develop a sense of sharing and caring for one another. The opportunity exists for individual progress within the group. The youngest children receive stimulation from the older children’s activities. And of course, they want to emulate the older children’s progress. The older children in turn, benefit from helping the younger children.
The Primary child has the mark of a Philosopher.
He want to know everything about everything. Wonder is intrinsic to his/her learning.
In Montessori, the child’s own questions provide the basis for exploration of the world. The work provided is made relevant to the child’s personal quest, providing for him/her an inner motivation.
The Montessori method of Education encourages imagery, a wide knowledge, a sense of purpose, courage to think and act as an individual, and a love of learning and work.
The Montessori Primary classroom balances the child’s developing imagination and powers of abstraction with down to earth, concrete, hands on materials.
Each piece of material has a structured sequence which is designed to lead the child to discovery and understanding. The child takes one small step at a time, proceeding from the known to the unknown.
The basic responsibility of the Montessori Directress is to prepare the child for the future. She will aid the child in the development of the person he/she will become with the understanding that becoming is a continuous process throughout life.
She does this by providing an environment which is conducive to the continuance of self-discipline and a love of learning.
The Directress will foster the development of a positive self image, confidence, self-discipline and an inner strength to cope with new experiences without fear.