The demand for Montessori education is growing, but what is it and how could it benefit your child? Our Head of School Michel Capobianco explains.
Italian doctor Maria Montessori observed how children learn for themselves and developed an approach and materials to support this. Montessori builds on children’s natural desire to learn and nurtures academic skills and character development. Montessori children become confident, creative, responsible, hugely empathetic and highly independent. This seems very relevant to today’s world.
It is possible to call a school Montessori even if it doesn’t have any Montessori trained teachers! So how can you recognise if a Montessori setting is the “real deal”? Key features of authentic Montessori education include:
• An aesthetic and enticing environment, specifically designed for children at each stage of their development – Equipment is child-sized and materials are easy-to-reach. The classroom is meticulously cared for, which encourages the children to take care of it too.
• Mixed-age groups – Classes have bigger age ranges – younger children learn by watching older children, older ones benefit from the experience of helping younger children.
• Child-led learning– Children choose their activities and return materials to the shelf after they have used them. There is an atmosphere of calm and children concentrate for surprising periods of time, working alone or with others.
• A specially trained adult – A Montessori teacher is highly-skilled at observing the capacities of each child and offers new challenges when they are ready. The teacher won’t interfere unless a difficulty arises, and they will give just enough help to get the child back on track.
Is this what you would like for your child’s start in life? Discover our London school for children from two and a half years.