Teaching methods

The method of education adopted by St. Andrew’s Montessori is based on utilising a child’s natural desire to learn using their five senses. The Montessori Method enhances self-motivation and promotes the unique ability of children to develop their own interests and talents. The school aims to stimulate a fascination with learning.

St. Andrew’s Montessori provides:

  • A carefully planned and structured environment in which children can grow and learn in a natural way, creating the best possible opportunity for children to reach their maximum potential.
  • A fully qualified staff of teachers, which shows children how best to use equipment and materials. Teachers observe the children’s work and introduce new challenges when each child is ready.
  • An atmosphere dedicated to the individual growth and development of each child. Teachers, at all times, are sensitive to a child’s character and personal needs, and each child is respected as an individual.
  • An environment that nurtures a high degree of confidence, self-discipline and good concentration. Maria Montessori spoke of a child’s mind as an “absorbent mind” and St. Andrew’s Montessori fosters a ‘prepared environment’ that is functionally arranged for children, enabling them to work, move and develop freely. Everything in this environment is in proportion to the children’s size, which assists the mind’s ability to assimilate effortlessly and unconsciously from the surrounding world.
  • Teaching materials that are well made, attractive, interesting and always well maintained. Everything in the classroom has a purpose and everything is accessible to the children.

The Montessori philosophy does not advocate early achievement or any other externally fixed goals (which excludes tests, benchmarks and competitive pressures from education at St. Andrews’s Montessori) as children tend to excel, driven by their own thirst for knowledge. Instead, children are accommodated as follows:

At the beginning of each term teachers actively observe each child’s character and capabilities in order to personalise a teaching programme suited to each child.

The ratio of staff to children at St. Andrew’s Montessori is 1:4 in the afternoons for children between 2-3 years of age, and 1:8 in the mornings and full day. In addition, the school employs enthusiastic students from the Montessori Centre International to assist.

Throughout a child’s time at St. Andrew’s Montessori, an in depth record of intellectual, social, emotional and physical development is kept. Children receive both weekly and termly reports. St. Andrew’s Montessori is of the belief that the ability to learn is an acquired skill that should be nurtured when children are young in order to help them become mentally developed, thinking, intelligent adults.

Montessori and ‘Mainstream’ Education

Although the Montessori approach places emphasis on the individual child thus allowing children to develop at their own pace, St. Andrew’s Montessori School does recognise the importance of the defined areas of learning and the Early Learning Goals of the Foundation Stage Curriculum for children aged 3 to 6, as laid out by the UK government. All Montessori nurseries and schools are assessed to the same Ofsted standards as other settings.

The Foundation Stage Curriculum is organised into seven areas of learning, namely:

  • Personal, social and emotional development
  • Communication and language
  • Physical development
  • Literacy
  • Mathematics
  • Understanding of the world
  • Expressive arts and design

St. Andrew’s Montessori strives to maintain the Montessori principle of creative freedom whilst simultaneously qualifying its activities according to the goals highlighted as part of the national curriculum. Children attending St. Andrew’s Montessori will be celebrated for who they are as spontaneous, creative individuals. St. Andrew’s Montessori boasts an excellent success rate of sending children on to the school of their parent’s choice.

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