Our kaiako (teachers) are wonderful and amazing people, who have been selected based on their experience within Early Childhood, their professional Montessori training, knowledge of teaching and nurturing young children and their philosophy of education and knowledge of child development.
We value professional development, and encourage our team to participate in a variety of courses, in order to grow and keep up to date with new developments in the educational field. We are fortunate that many of our staff are able to speak second languages, so we are excited to be introducing French & Mandarin lessons for our children in 2020!
At Avonhead Montessori Preschool and Nursery the children have opportunities to engage with purposeful work from the practical life, sensorial, language, maths and culture areas, where important cognitive, social and emotional skills are developing. They can choose to work either individually or in small groups.
The Montessori Method uses four main groups of resources:
These are materials which allow children to practice activities which people normally do in using and maintaining the home environment and looking after themselves. They promote manual dexterity, eye-hand coordination, sequencing, concentration, satisfaction and competence in a variety of tasks leading to independence.
Montessori developed a special approach which will prepare the child for listening, speaking, reading and writing. The letters of the alphabet are introduced by touch (sandpaper letters) and sound.
The child has a natural tendency to touch, hear, taste, see, smell and discriminate with their senses. Sensorial equipment is used by the children to classify and organise their sensory impressions. Each piece of sensorial material isolates one quality such as shape, colour, size, sound, smell etc by eliminating other differences.
Materials such as number rods, sequin boards and the golden beads were developed by Maria Montessori to enable the child to learn the basic operations of the decimal system. Individual work with Montessori materials is complemented with other activities such as music, group singing, stories, creative art, cooking, simple science experiments and educational outings.
Curriculum Planning and Implementation
The programme is planned in advance after assessment (learning stories) are completed to determine the children’s individual needs and interests. This information is collected in individual profile books and using Storypark. Programme Planning meetings are held to plan the curriculum which reflects the childrens interests and needs.
The daily programme is a combination of Montessori and free play activities i.e. outdoor activities, puzzles, books, music, blocks, painting, water play, collage, carpentry, fantasy play and play dough. The programme is designed so that children can develop into happy, confident, competent learners, physically, socially, emotionally and intellectually.
We are committed to follow the aspirations of the New Zealand National ECE Curiculum, Te Whāriki, “For children to grow up as competent and confident learners and communicators, healthy in mind, body and spirit, secure in their sense of belonging and in the knowledge that they make a valued contribution to society”.
Te Whāriki envisages kaiako (teachers) in early learning settings working in partnership with parents, whānau and community to realise this vision. The expectation is that, in their early years, children will experience a curriculum that empowers them as lifelong learners.
Te Whāriki supports this work by providing a framework of principles and strands. The principles are the foundations of curriculum decision making and a guide for every aspect of pedagogy and practice.
The strands are 5 areas of learning and development, where the focus is on supporting children to develop the capabilities they need as confident and competent learners.
Each setting takes these principles and strands and, in partnership with parents and whānau, uses them to ‘weave’ a curriculum whāriki (mat) that is specifically designed for their children.
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We understand that your child’s education & care is a priority and that choosing the right centre can be a big decision. We would be delighted to share in your child’s learning journey. Feel welcome to contact us in whichever way is most convenient for you, or visit our centre and meet our teaching team!