The foundation of a Montessori education begins within the 3-6 pre-school (Casa) learning environment. It is during this stage of development that children require opportunities that will promote independence, allow for spontaneous activity and encourage exploration. Maria Montessori observed that children of this age group are naturally attracted to activities that aid their individual self construction. The materials and activities we present to the children allow for concrete manipulation so that learning is relevant and meaningful. Here is a list of the main features of a Montessori pre-school environment:
- The Prepared Environment: Materials which invite activity and exploration.
- Practical Life: The skills of daily living.
- Sensorial: Exploring the world through ones senses.
- Mathematics: Explored with concrete materials, understood through abstraction.
- Language: From spoken word to reading, writing and creative expression.
- Cultural Subjects: Broadly based and cross disciplinary.
- French: The fundamentals of expression and comprehension.
- Art, Music: Fully integrated into the curriculum.
- Working Outdoors: The natural environment.
French is taught as a second language at the preschool level. French is introduced thematically through vocabulary enrichment, songs and interactive language activities.