Maria Montessori was born in Italy in 1870. She was the first woman in Italy to receive a medical degree and also studied psychiatry, education and anthropology.
Through her work with special needs children she started to develop the Montessori materials that are found in our classroom today.
In 1907 she started her first classroom for children living in the slums. Their parents were at work all day and the children were left in the tenement buildings. In order to reduce the damage being cause by the unsupervised children, the building owners arranged for Maria Montessori to start a classroom for the children.
Through working with and observing these children the Montessori Method was refined and perfected. Following her success with these children the Montessori Method spread throughout the world.
Southbank Montessori offers an age appropriate developmental curriculum for children aged 2 to 5 years. The curriculum is organized into the following learning areas.
A carefully chosen selection of small – motor activities designed to develop the child’s independence, coordination, concentration, sense of order and care for the environment.
Self-correcting Montessori materials which assists the child in refining their ability to accurately judge and compare size, shape, colour, sound and texture to enable them to become more perspective and analytical in the observations. These materials also prepare the child for mathematics.
The language activities are an important area as they enable the child to learn the phonetic sounds for each letter. When they are confident with these sounds they then begin to read starting with small phonetic words. As each level is mastered more rules are introduced to enable the child to read.
The materials are designed to enable the child to have a physical understanding of numbers and mathematics before the abstract principles are taught. The children start learning the numbers and their symbols for 1 – 9. They then move on to learning the teen numbers and the ten numbers.
From there they move on to understanding the decimal system and hierarchies. The older children will move on to addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions and times tables.
The children are provided with materials to experience geography, history, science, music and art.