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The Avonhead Montessori Preschool Philosophy

The management, teachers and staff are committed to creating a stimulating, loving family environment, which is open and caring towards children and their families/whanau. We respect individual needs and differences and aim to promote high self-esteem and healthy relationships between children, parents and staff.

We respect individual needs and differences and aim to promote high self-esteem and healthy relationships between children, parents and staff.

We provide a safe and healthy environment for children to grow and learn emotionally, cognitively and physically. Our comprehensive, balanced, flexible programme reflects the children’s interests in ways that are developmentally appropriate to the age and stage of the children.

We provide children with a warm, supportive relationship with adults recognising the importance of building nurturing relationships amongst both children and their family/whanau.

Our staff are very professional, and are positive role models for children.

Ongoing professional support and development is provided to staff to ensure the continuation of high standards of care and education for your children. We implement effective and efficient management systems to promote the smooth and happy operation of the centre, children, staff and family/whanau.

The Montessori Philosophy Explained

Doctor Maria Montessori (1870 - 1952) was the first woman to be granted a medical degree in Italy. This achievement is often overlooked because it is as an educationalist that she is known and respected.

As a young doctor, Montessori worked with handicapped children, designing materials and equipment which allowed the children to work in areas previously considered beyond their capacity. In 1907 she began to work with children of "normal intelligence" in the slums of Rome. Montessori opened the now famous "Children's House" and the evolution of the Montessori philosophy, as we know it today, began.

The Montessori Philosophy

Today Montessori is the single largest educational philosophy in the world. It is now in more than 100 countries and 6 continents.

Doctor Montessori believed children should gain freedom and independence with the opportunity to learn learn through active movement in a child lead learning, but in a prepared environment. "No one can be free unless he is independent. Therefore the first active manifestations of the child's libertymust be so guided that through this activity he may arrive at independence" Montessori M. (2004) The Montessori Method Lanham, MD.: Rowan and Littlefield p118.

One of the key component of the Montessori Methodology is the provision of freedom within a prepared environment. The prepared environment is enriched to take advantage of the child's sensitive periods in which they absorb information through their senses. Stimulation comes from the total environment.

The classroom is set as a "child's house". All equipment and materials are the right size for the use of children and within their reach. This allows the children physical freedom and aids the achievement of independence. Children are free to select and help themselves to activities from shelves which are open and low, providing them with mental freedom. Equipment is displayed in an orderly and tidy fashion. Classroom materials all have a place and they are always put back in this place by the last child to use them. These aspects of the classroom give children a feeling of security.