What is Montessori?
The main idea of Montessori is that every child is treated with respect, given freedom within the limits of a carefully structured environment, and allowed to develop naturally at their own pace.
When did it start?
In 1907 Maria Montessori opened her first school, Casa die Bambini, in a slum area of Rome.
What makes it different from other types of pre-school?
In Montessori schools the children are allowed to explore (are encouraged in fact!) their desire for independence. They learn everyday life skills such as dressing and washing themselves, cleaning up, preparing food.
They explore every part of their environment through their senses and the sensorial materials in the class nurture this learning. They are developing their fine motor skills with cutting, beading, peg boards and the Montessori materials. Their gross motor skills are developed through taking on jobs that they love such as sweeping and also playing games, dancing, miming and gardening.
They learn social graces and manners but also cover a wide range of subjects including Maths, Reading and Writing, History and Geography, Science, Biology, Music, Irish, Art and Drama.
Small class numbers, individual attention, practical life skills and a commitment to the development of each child as an individual are the key features.
“Education is a natural process carried out by the child and is not acquired by listening to words but by experiences in the environment.” - Maria Montessori