The Pre-school section of Greensprings School is a specially-prepared Montessori environment, laying a solid foundation for children aged 18 months to 5+. All our pupils follow an adapted form of the Montessori method of child education which is regarded throughout the world as unsurpassed in its ability to help younger children achieve their full potential.
Our Pre-school classes are divided into four levels:
- Green Class (18 months+)
- Yellow Class (2+)
- Blue Class (3+)
- Pink Class (4+)
The teaching approach is child-centred. It neither imposes on the child nor does it abandon him/her in total free play. Each class is equipped with Montessori didactic materials in the five Montessori curriculum areas:
- Practical Life Exercises
- Sensorial Education
- Cultural Subjects
These provide formative activities for the pupils within a carefully planned and structured environment in which the child can learn and grow at his/her own pace, along the lines of natural development, with the teacher acting as a guide, facilitator and an encourager.
The basic components of our structured environment are:
- Freedom. The child is allowed to move freely around the classroom, talking to other children, working with any equipment he/she chooses.
- Reality and Nature. An experience of the natural environment is given to help the child achieve harmony with nature.
- Social Awareness. Through exercises on the care of the environment, care of self and development of social skills, the child gains social awareness.
- Order. The carefully planned and structured environment develops in the child a sense of orderliness and an awareness of order in the external world.
- Beauty. The environment is aesthetically pleasing and simple, developing a sense of beauty in the child.
- Sense Training. This develops the child’s awareness, helps build the required concepts for learning and sounds necessary for appropriate language development.
Each day starts with a circle time of about 30 minutes. The child is given the opportunity and freedom to choose materials spontaneously from the Montessori shelves. The teachers move round the class to supervise the children’s work and assist them when necessary.
The five Montessori curriculum areas are:
Practical Life Exercises. These include elementary movements and preliminary activities such as classroom conduct, development of fine motor skills - pouring, transferring, sweeping, opening and closing; care of self, care of the environment and exercises for the development of social skills, grace and courtesy.
Sensorial Education. These develop the following senses of the child: chromatic (sense of colours), hearing, sight, smell, touch, taste and the muscular dimension (fine and gross control). Sensorial materials with control of errors help to refine the child’s senses.
Mathematics. Here, the child works with mathematics materials such as number rods, sand paper numerals, spindle boxes, golden beads, materials and sequence operations. The child uses the apparatus to compute simple addition, subtraction, division and multiplication of numbers.
Language. This includes oral language development, written expression, reading, writing and grammar. Basic skills in writing and reading are developed through the use of sandpaper and large movable alphabet. The child works with pink, blue and green series to develop writing, reading, listening and speaking skills.
Cultural Subjects, Here, the child is introduced to geography, biology, life sciences, music, art and movement through the use of didactic apparatus. The Montessori materials help the child to develop personality, adapt to his/her culture and become an independent, useful member of the society.
Pre-school elective options include ballet, swimming, French, arts and crafts, cultural activities, gymnastics, indoor games and story time. There is an assembly at 8 am every Monday where pupils participate in songs, poems, recitations and short plays.
Pre-school pupils participate in outdoor activities, P.E., music and ICT (in Pink Class). The Montessori Method helps the child to be disciplined, independent, cultured, responsible, creative, imaginative and self confident.