During the year children work through activities, according to their ongoing interests and developmental levels, in their prepared environment. Children move freely throughout the two classrooms set out under the five areas of practical life, sensorial, maths, language and cultural.
The beautiful outdoor environment is an extension of the indoor program and comprises a Secret Garden, Mediterranean Garden, a seasonal garden and various other gardens, climbing area, sand pit, garden shed and compost bins. Children encounter kookaburras, crows, bush turkeys, native bees – kept in our bee hive – and butterflies as they discover the inter-relationship of plants and animals, as well as take responsibility for tending the gardens and caring for the plants and trees. Children engage in free play in our creative play spaces, providing opportunity for both social and physical activity.
In keeping with the Montessori philosophy, the children have opportunities to focus on various aspects of the world around them, ranging from international and national topics, to community and family events. The children and parents share celebrations of National Days and aspects of their own and other cultures. Children also develop a knowledge and appreciation of traditional Australian culture.
The approved learning framework that informs the development of our curriculum, enhancing each child’s learning and development, is the Early Years Learning Framework.
The Montessori Australia Foundation, of which we are a member, has been very proactive from the early stages of the Framework development. The Montessori Curriculum is accepted nationally. They have set down how the Montessori approach dovetails with the National Curriculum.
Under the broad framework, The Early Years Framework for Australia, the Queensland Kindergarten Learning Guideline supports the delivery of the curriculum and the children’s learning and development. The Guideline describes five learning and development areas: Identity, Connectedness, Wellbeing, Active Learning and Communicating. It promotes active learning through play, real-life engagement, routines and transitions. This is the Guideline we use in our documentation and for the Transition Statements which will be prepared for each child going on to prep the following year.
We welcome parents to peruse the poster in the foyer that clearly outlines how aspects of our program are incorporated into The Early Years Framework for Australia.