Structure of the Day at Montessori Nursery in Wheeler End
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So what should you see as you step through the classroom door?
A beautiful environment
A beautiful environment with perhaps little vases of flowers brightening up the tables. All the activities should be within reach and freely available to your child. They should be set out in a pattern to lead the young child from the simple short activities to those that are more challenging for the more mature child. Nothing should be broken or missing.
With careful planning and attention to detail we cater for every aspect of your child’s needs from play and progress to diet, exercise and sleeping.
Our nursery in Wheeler End, Bucks is governed by the requirements of The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) developed by the Department for Education. This sets out both the regulatory and legal framework for early childhood education and care, together with wider guidance for “best practise”. It provides a coherent and flexible approach to care and learning and must be followed by all childcare providers in receipt of government funding. It therefore ensures that whatever setting you choose you can be confident that your child will receive a quality experience that enables him/her to feel safe and supports his/her development and learning.
Babies and children aged 3 months to approximately 2½ years
Our babies and youngest children spend much of their time in the company of children of similar ages, and with adults who are specialists in providing for their needs.
Our daily plans allow for access to activities to promote the seven areas of learning identified in the EYFS framework. These areas together make up the skills, knowledge and experiences appropriate for babies and children as they grow, learn and develop:
Personal, Social and Emotional Development
Communication and Language
Expressive Arts and Design
Understanding of the World
We provide these learning opportunities in both our indoor and outdoor play areas, through the use of our messy play areas, creative and problem-solving activities, concentrated one-to-one learning opportunities, lots of snugly moments, and during meal times.
Potty training is also part of our remit, and when your child is in need of rest and recuperation we have dedicated areas of our nursery where your child can sleep and relax.
Children from approximately 2½ years to school age
As your child matures (usually from the age of 2½ onwards) he/she continues to enjoy activities under the remit of the Early Years Foundation Stage, but gradually becomes more and more involved with our dedicated Montessori materials. This is a beautiful, broad range of equipment designed to lead your child from simple short activities to those that are more challenging for the more mature child.
These resources are freely available and within reach of your child so that for considerable periods of the day your child will be busy selecting equipment of his choice and suitable to his particular level of learning. He will take his equipment to a space – be it table or floor or outside – use it and then return it to the exact same spot, ready for the next child to use. There is a wonderful peace and quietness throughout the room brought about through concentration on the task in hand.
Many of the early activities use objects often found around the home, such as small jugs for the ever popular pouring activities; dusting and polishing exercises; folding and buttoning activities to name just a few. These are designed to teach the children life skills, increase their dexterity and concentration. Soon afterwards your child will be introduced to the Montessori materials specifically designed to help develop his sensory awareness and his ability to make fine discrimination in size, shape and colour for example. These are later followed by materials ingeniously designed to develop the child’s concrete understanding of language, maths and all the other areas of the curriculum. When reintroduced to these concepts in his primary school, this physical understanding will be invaluable to him.
Each day your child will be involved in one or more small group activities. Group work is considered important especially in developing social skills and is used particularly when teaching the cultural subjects, art and craft, drama, music and games. (A more detailed description of the Montessori activities is given on the following page).
During the day there will be the obvious breaks for meals and snacks shared with friends and adults and rest times if and when they are required.
At the end of a busy, fulfilling day, your child is ready for collection and may tell you nothing, or very little, about his day! But in time you should notice differences, perhaps subtle, perhaps very obvious that will tell you that the magic of Montessori is working for yet another child.