Our Nursery School Environment
What is unique about a Montessori nursery is that every aspect of its environment is planned down to the smallest detail to meet the needs of the developing child. It is a world in microcosm, a child sized world where adults treat children with respect and understanding and where children are free to choose their own work, whether inside or outside because what a child chooses freely we know is what is of interest to them and this is the start of their individual learning journey.
The things to choose from are carefully selected by teachers to provide variety, interest and the necessary learning experiences.
Montessori nurseries focus on the whole child. Social, Physical, Intellectual and Spiritual development. Our Prepared Environment is based on having a mixed age group of children and clearly defined areas where the children are free to use as and when they wish and under the guidance of our Montessori teachers.
Practical life skills not only help children to feel at home, but they also develop a sense of responsibility for their classroom, noticing when something needs attending to and doing it without being told.
Children can pour their own drinks gain confidence as well as competence, but the main purpose of such an exercise is a deeper one; children who work on real tasks which involve hand and the mind together develop a great calm and capacity to concentrate which is the best possible preparation for the intellectual work to come.
Through activities, conversation and practice they learn acceptable ways to express their feelings and needs and to have respect for the feelings and needs of others.
The sensorial materials are designed to stimulate and refine the senses. Through our senses, we begin to explore and find out about the world around us. Children today are bombarded by multi-sensorial toys. Sight, sound, and movement come all together which can be confusing and frustrating. Montessori sensorial materials are designed to refine the senses, working on one sense at a time, isolating a defining quality such as size, shape, colour, smell, taste or texture. These materials help a child to observe, make comparisons, form judgements and make decisions.
Early indirect preparation for numbers begins back in the Practical Life area through sorting and pairing activities and within the Sensorial material through grading, shapes, geometric cabinet and learning about abstract mathematical concepts such as weight, length and width with Baric Tablets, the Red Rods and Broad Stair.
Counting is as natural to children at a certain stage in their development as learning to walk! Montessori teachers are trained to spot when a child is especially drawn to a particular sort of work and they provide it just at the right moment to set the child’s interest alight.
Specially designed maths materials allow the child to gain a full understanding of sequence, quantity and the symbols we use in early number work all through action and doing.
As soon as a child enters the Nursery the child will be involved in language. Through nursery rhymes, songs, reading stories and chatting with their friends and teachers. A Montessori environment is rich in language.
As with Maths, the Sensorial Area prepares a strong foundation for later language work with the Montessori phonic materials. The Cultural Area is rich in helping the child learn the names of animals, continents, flowers, etc, helping the child build a rich and varied vocabulary.
A well-stocked book corner gives every child the opportunity and encouragement to become familiar with books and enjoy their first steps into the imaginative and real world of literature and self-expression.
Children are encouraged to use a wide range of resources in order to experiment and express their own ideas and feelings as individuals or as part of a group. Music, art and drama happen daily within the classroom spontaneously and are further developed by the teachers. From building their own dens outside to putting on a small play, we encourage all forms of expression.
Being outdoors is very important in a Montessori environment. We are outdoors every day and in all weather!! Children have fun and can learn a lot by climbing, swinging, digging and exploring the outdoors. There is no distinction between the indoors and the outdoors in our Montessori Nursery, children are free to work inside or outside. Work in Practical Life, Sensorial, Maths, Language, Culture and Creative are all undertaken outdoors which offers a rich environment for the children to develop their social skills and love of nature.
Here the children have their own vegetable patch, a nature garden with a frog pond and insect houses and flowers which attract the butterflies. The children help take care of our animals, the pigs, goats, sheep, geese, ducks, hens and guinea pigs, feeding, watering and cleaning them out as well as collecting the eggs.
Fundamental and part of the prepared environment are the Teachers. Originally called a Directress, the Montessori teacher functions as a facilitator, designer of the environment, resource person, role model, demonstrator, record keeper and meticulous observer of each child’s behaviour and growth. The teacher is on hand at all times to encourage, answer questions and promote a happy, harmonious environment in which to grow and learn.
Together, The Montessori philosophy, The prepared environment, and The Montessori teacher are crucial to a Montessori environment.
At Rigg Farm Montessori Nursery you will find this truly special environment. We offer the best possible start for your child by providing a wide range of experiences which will stimulate a child’s natural love of learning and discovery. The child is taught in a way that does not pressure him/her yet encourages your child to be an active learner, independent, confident and happy.