Have you heard of the Montessori Method?
Maybe you’ve seen the toys designed to support the teaching, maybe you know someone who goes to a Montessori school but still don’t understand exactly what it entails, or maybe you’ve never heard of the teaching method and have landed here to learn about a European variety of grape.
In any case, at least if you have young children, and particularly if you’re deciding what kind of education to give them, you’ll want to read what’s coming.
With only basic knowledge of the topic, we sought out the expertise of Toni Fayad, the Director of St George Montessori Engadine to bring us all up to speed.
A unique teaching approach
How would you describe the Montessori method in one sentence?
The Montessori approach promotes development of learning factors including concentration, independence, self-confidence, self-esteem, persistence and self-direction.
How does it differ from what most of us know as the traditional method of teaching?
It is child-centred and adult-guided, rather than geared at ‘teaching’ a child certain concepts. The Montessori education is more focused on the process of learning than with the products of learning and offers an educational environment where the child’s natural desires to learn are encouraged and extended upon.
In the Montessori classroom, children are provided the freedom to choose what work they will do and for how long.The room itself is divided into seven interconnected areas of activities including practical life, sensorial, science, geography, mathematics and arts, culture and music. To compliment the Montessori approach, the Montessori method of teaching uses special resources designed exclusively to accompany the Montessori theory of learning.
What advantage do these differences give young learners?
The advantages provide children with a head start in their learning journey. The teaching method specifically allows them to develop in areas such as self-confidence, independence, persistence and workflow – all necessary traits for their life journey ahead.
I heard that children of all ages are often grouped together in Montessori schools, is this the case for you?
Our rooms are specially aged-based so our educators can focus on the needs of each child’s development. The resources and activities are age and stage-appropriate e.g our 3-5 year old room engage in more school-readiness focused activities. Our preschool room is of mixed ages, which allows children to have friends of all ages and develop a sense of ‘leadership’ for those moving onto school. It also allows us to focus on children’s coping abilities, social and self-esteem development.
Is the Montessori method more suited to some types of children/learners than others?
Our Centre provides a holistic approach with a combined curriculum, which we feel caters for a larger range of children than other approaches. Our play-based learning activities include project-based work relating specifically to children’s interests at the time.
We feel that the Montessori method of learning is suited to all children. It is a method of learning that is devoted to the individual needs of a child and based on the discoveries and insights of Dr. Maria Montessori who devoted her life to observing natural child development.
Is there anything else we should know?
At our Centre in Engadine, we combine the Montessori curriculum with the Early Years Learning Framework to provide a holistic approach to learning so children get the best of both worlds in that they experience the Montessori environment alongside a play-based learning approach. We still do a lot of project-based work, which is an extension of the children’s interests as well as lots of fun group activities.
We also encourage nature-play in our beautiful outdoor space where we house vegetable gardens and raise chickens that the children love to collect eggs from.
If you’ve still got questions about the Montessori Method or are interested in checking out St George Montessori Engadine then you’re in luck! Your perfect opportunity to learn more is coming right up.
Open Day at St George Montessori Engadine
St George Montessori Early Learning Centre Engadine is holding an open day and you’re invited! Come along this Saturday 14th November from 10am-1pm to join the Safari-themed day.
This Open Day is the perfect opportunity for you to meet some of the Centre’s passionate staff and ask all your unanswered questions. You can tour the Centre to explore their facilities and take a look at the Montessori materials.
While you’re there, enjoy a free coffee and BBQ lunch, an exciting reptile show and a great range of craft activities and games for the kids.
As a bonus, new families who enrol will receive a $500 Woolworths voucher.*
Essentials to know before you go
St George Montessori Engadine is open 7am – 6pm Monday-Friday and is conveniently located on 252 Woronora Road, Engadine.
They’re a full-service childcare centre where all meals are cooked by an in-house chef and nappies are provided.
The Open Day is a free event but bookings are essential to ensure that COVID-safe capacities are upheld so be sure to book your free spot now.
*Terms and conditions apply.