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Primary Program (3-6 year olds)
Our Early Childhood Preschool program is designed for children ages 3-6years of age.
Our Classroom Design
Our classrooms are carefully designed specially for the child and the entire environment is created to facilitate their learning process. The design and flow of our Early Childhood classrooms create a learning environment that accommodates choice and is uniquely suited to the needs of each student. Each classroom has spaces suited to group activity, and areas where a student can settle in alone. All of the rooms are open and spacious, allowing each child to set out elaborate work. Children work at tables or on the floor, rolling out mats on which to work on and defining their workspace. Each classroom has a quite library corner, fish tank or place to curl up with books, where a student can read or be read to.
Each part of the curriculum is well defined with spaces for Language, Arts, Practical life, Sensorial, Science, Math, and Geography & Culture. Each of these areas features shelves or display tables with a variety of inviting materials accessible to students from which they can choose.
Each classroom feature low sinks, chairs, tables and snack areas elements that allow independence and help develop small motor skills.
Our Early Childhood primary classrooms are designed specially for the child and the entire environment is created to facilitate their learning process.
Our Montessori Classroom Learning Materials
Each classroom is equipped with classic Montessori materials and teacher made materials that follow the Montessori curriculum. These didactic materials are developmentally designed to allow the children to learn from doing. A hallmark of Montessori education is its hands-on approach to learning. Our students work with specially designed materials, manipulating and investigating them until they master the lesson inside and out.
Each material is beautifully crafted, appeals to children and begging to be touched. These materials are distinct are displayed on open, easily accessible shelves. They are arranged left to right, in order of their sequence in the curriculum, from the simplest to the most complex.
Each material teaches a single skill or concept at a time. For example, the various “dressing frames” help our Early Childhood students learn to button, zip, and tie; 3-dimensional grammar symbols help our older third year students analyze sentence structure and style. And in each materials is a mechanism (“control of error”) for providing the student with some way of assessing his or her progress and correcting such mistakes, independent of the teacher. Everything is arranged where it is supposed to be, conveying a sense of harmony and order that both comforts and inspires.
In this safe and empowering environment, students find joy in learning.
The children are given lessons using the materials and then are free to explore and observe. A systematic approach when the emphasis is placed on the process rather than the product of learning. During the work cycle teachers present lessons using the materials, and the children, through using the materials, are able to absorb fundamental concepts which aims at developing a love of work and a joy of learning.
Our Montessori curricula, techniques and materials satisfy the natural tendency for children 3-6years of age to learn Independence, coordination, order, self-discipline, collaboration and concentration as children are seen working individually and cooperatively with materials that engages their curiosity.
These concrete materials provide passages to abstraction, and introduce concepts that become increasingly complex. As each students progress, the teacher replaces some materials with others, ensuring that the level of challenge continues to meet each child’s needs.
The Role of the Teacher as “Guide”
At WFCH each teacher isn’t seen as the focus of attention. Typically you’ll find the teacher sitting on the floor or at a table, sometimes observing the students as they work and making notations about their progress, or consulting with an individual, or engaging in individual or small group lessons.
Our Montessori teacher, child, and environment to be seen as a learning triangle, with each element inextricably linked, as a vital part of the whole. The teacher prepares the classroom environment with materials and activities that entices each student to learn. The teacher constantly guides the students to new lessons and challenges, but it is the child’s interaction with what the teacher & the environment has to offer that enables learning to occur.
Each Classroom As A Caring Community
Our Early Childhood classrooms radiate harmony, peace and respect.
Each child addresses each other respectfully and in modulated tones. At work time there is a busy hum of activity, yet also a profound respect for each other’s work. Students show grace and courtesy, and an interest in the welfare of others. Children work together as stewards of their environment. Collaboratively. They take turns caring for the classroom; they each do their part to maintain order, such as by returning materials to the shelves after use. I the process they learn how to live in community, show leadership, learn independently, and think constructively and creatively: These are the life long lessons that remain with our students as they make their way in the world.
Children staying for the half day, lunch is eaten at noon, followed by a quiet time or naptime for those who need it. The afternoon work cycle begins for further exploration and learning from 1:00pm -3:00pm. As the regular Montessori school day comes to an end, the Extended Day Program, guided by Montessori Assistant staff, who offers children a relaxed and familiar after school environment until 6:00p.m.