The Children's Casa- Primary section
(age 4-6 years)
Our 3-6 class is known as The Children’s Casa (translated as ‘Children’s house’). It has two sections. The pre-school and primary. The Primary class follows on from our pre-school class. Children in this class are still in the first plane of development. Montessori determined the overriding goal of this period is the development of the self as an individual being. In this plane the child soaks in like a sponge whatever is there: good or bad, beautiful or ugly, peaceful or violent. Montessori surmised that this process is “a natural creative function” of mental development and lays the groundwork for the later emergence of a higher order of thought. The classroom is a prepared environment and children have free access to the areas of practical life, education of the senses, Numeracy, Literacy & Language, Knowledge and understanding of the world and creative arts.
The teacher uses an individualised learning plan for each child to guide them through the
curriculum. An advantage of the Montessori approach—including multi-age classrooms
with students of varying abilities and interests—is that it allows each child to work at their
own pace. Students whose strengths and interests propel them to higher levels of
learning can find intellectual challenge without being separated from their peers. The
same is true for students who may need extra guidance and support: each child can
progress through the curriculum at their own comfortable pace, without feeling pressure
to "catch up."
The Montessori teacher closely observes each child and provides materials and activities
that advance their learning by building on skills and knowledge already gained. This
gentle guidance helps them master the challenge at hand—and protects them from
moving on before they are ready, which is what actually causes children to “fall behind.”
STAFF IN THE CLASS
Once children can recognise the letters of the alphabet they can begin decoding words. Sounding out words they are able to use the moveable alphabet to spell them. The pink series is the first of the Montessori reading series. It includes CVC words. Later they move to the blue series, which contains blends and digraphs.
Able to recognise numerals and with an appreciation of the sense of numbers, children begin working with the golden beads and the decimal system. They explore the sequin boards to learn their tens and teens. Addition is taught, using small number rods in bonds of tens and then using the beads for more complex operations. With a concrete understanding of number and progressing through operations they will soon be ready for elementary.
Glimpse into CMS
This activity allows the child to concretely see the growth of numbers and the progression through the hierarchy from one level to the next. There is something very appealing to children about organising nearly 50 thousand golden beads!
Knowledge and understanding of the world
The classroom contains a range of Montessori based activities to help the children learn about their world, from the Solar System right down to their community, e.g. activities to introduce them to the Sun and its importance to life, animal kingdoms, the planets, the continents, etc.
We have had tadpoles, caterpillars and eggs in incubators in our classrooms as they learn about life cycles. The curriculum is further brought to life with trips to places such as techniquest, St Fagans museum of Welsh life. Children also explore simple versions of the Montessori great lessons. They will build on these lessons further in elementary.