A new Montessori Project on Campus
Bilingual English-French Montessori nursery class
From September 2020, a Montessori bilingual section (English-French) will be added to the school’s existing Nursery. Montessori is a dynamic educational philosophy and the ethos and values of the method are very much in line with the spirit of our school.
This new class is created in collaboration with the Montessori House Belgium International School. Ms. Sabah Usman, who is presently head teacher at Montessori House will herself be the Section coordinator and the English teacher. She will work with a French-speaking colleague. The class will consist of 18 children, aged 2.5 to 6. The children will have access to the specially designed material and the Montessori approach.
The relevance of Montessori education is even more significant in today’s world as we want our children to achieve excellence not based on fear of being punished but based on their love for work.
The Montessori Method:
The main idea behind the Montessori approach is that all children have immense potential, given the right opportunities at the right time in their development. These opportunities help the child cultivate keen perception, profound interests and an understanding of essential facts, notably through the implementation of the Montessori Method with its specifically designed materials.
The Montessori materials cover developmental activities designed to meet the requirements of children in five curriculum areas:
- Practical life: to develop independence, fine and gross motor skills, social skills, self-confidence and self-discipline.
- Sensorial: early sensorial impressions increase the children’s powers of observation and deduction, broaden their vocabulary and contribute to understanding of formal educational concepts.
- Mathematics: the children learn to count, associate quantity and numerals, and gain a sensorial impression of the decimal system.
- Language: materials are based on a carefully structured phonic approach to writing and reading.
- Cultural Studies: bring an awareness that everything in the universe is connected and interdependent. Children use globes, puzzle maps and flags to build their understanding of other countries and cultures.
The Montessori Method takes account of the needs, talents and special individuality of each child. The children learn at their own pace, so they are not being constrained or criticised for what they do. There is total freedom to learn which makes the learning fun.
Montessori education was founded by Maria Montessori. She was born on August 31, 1870 in Chiaravalle, Italy. After graduating from secondary school she wanted to study medicine, which was unusual for a woman in those days. Nevertheless she persisted and graduated in 1896. Montessori read the works of Itard and Séguin and was very much influenced by these authors. In 1907 Montessori started the Casa dei Bambini in Rome with 50 or 60 children between the ages of two or three and six or seven from low-income families in the neighbourhood. She then developed her educational method further by observing the children. The independence of children became the main aim of Montessori education.
Free choice of the materials, uninterrupted work, freedom of movement and activity within the limits set by the environment became the leading principles. The teacher’s role was to observe the children and guide their innate urge to develop.
The Casa dei Bambini was successful and more schools were started in Italy. Montessori published her ideas and these were widely read. In 1909, she published the first handbook of scientific pedagogy. Between 1910 and 1915 schools were started all over Europe but also in the US, Asia and Australia. Montessori travelled all over the world and lived in several countries.
For her work on behalf of children and world peace, Maria Montessori was awarded and honoured several times, including three nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize. She died in 1952 in the Netherlands and was buried in Noordwijk.
Source: Montessori Europe