There is really no such thing as a typical day in our Montessori nursery, as the activities and focus of each day vary according to the interests and ideas of the attending children on that day. If, for example, Johnny comes to school full of a visit to a castle he has made the day before this may become the main point of interest for Johnny and any other interested children for that morning. An adult, may show him how to use reference books and/or the internet to further his knowledge and understanding of points of interest, which in turn may lead to other related activities such as craft, art, science or cooking. If interest from an individual, a group or the class continues, this may become a mini-project lasting a period of time and encompassing all areas of the curriculum.
8.30 / 9.00 – Our Day Begins
The children say goodbye to their parents/carers, hang up their coats and bags and come into the classroom. The children then usually greet one another and share any news before choosing their first activity, which they use until satisfied, tidy and then put away.
This pattern of independent work continues throughout the session, possibly interspersed with time outside in the garden, a snack, washing up, listening to a story, watering the plants, doing a painting or having a brief one-to-one lesson with an adult or older child.
Practical Life activities are the first pieces of equipment introduced to every new child and are arguably the most important activities in the classroom. Through repeated, spontaneous use of seemingly simple everyday activities such as pouring, polishing, cutting, opening and closing, children develop their concentration, strength, self-control and self-confidence.
Sensorial materials become of great use to the children soon after they reach three years of age. These attractive and satisfying activities enable them to explore, understand and name the myriad of sensory impressions that they have already unconsciously absorbed. These games also help the children to develop many of the skills that they will require for later reading, writing and maths work.
Cultural materials begin to give the children a sense of wonder and awe at the beauty and diversity of our world and the means to follow and extend their own knowledge and interests in subjects such as zoology, geography, botany, history and science.
Mathematics materials provide the children with an engaging and clear introduction to number, shape and pattern in a physical and sensorial manner. The children are able to gain plenty of experience and confidence in working with quantities and symbols from 1-10 before they are introduced to games that explore the decimal system, addition and subtraction.
Language activities throughout the nursery support the natural development of the children’s speaking and listening skills. The sensorial nature of the language materials allows the children to develop their early writing and reading with ease and pleasure, enabling them to progress with ever increasing confidence.
Creative materials are always available in the nursery and the children are encouraged to explore these to create their own pictures, models, props for role play, music and songs. The role of the adult and adult guided activities in this area is to introduce how to use new materials, tools and methods and to support the children in realising their own ideas.
Physical activities are an inherent part of everything the children do during their time with us. Activities in the playground reflect the variety represented in the classroom and are selected daily to provide an attractive, intellectually and creatively stimulating and physically challenging environment.
Other activities such as cooking, music, drama, gardening, festivals & celebrations, visitors and outings occur regularly and are often based around a theme or topic that is currently of interest to the children or relevant to their lives. Whilst provision is made for each attending child to participate in such activities, they are never dictated to them.
11.45 – Group Time
Is group time where we come together to call the register, discuss the morning, sing, use instruments, share a story, develop our project or go out to play together in the garden.
We then all pop to the loo and wash our hands before either putting on our coats to go home or sitting down to a packed lunch.
12pm – Home time for children who attend only for the morning. Lunch time for children attending all day or for the longer afternoon session.
We sit together at tables and enjoy our lunches before packing away and either going out to play in the garden or returning to activities in the classroom.
12.30 – Children arrive and our afternoon session begins
During the afternoon session, there is space for the children to relax with a book and rest if they need it, they can continue with their own work as in the morning or join in a group activity if they prefer.