At Riverhead Montessori the teacher serves as a guide. They observe the child and then prepare the environment by demonstrating the materials for learning or providing the tools to extend any learning moments or focuses the child may show an interest in.
The children work through practical life, care of self, others and the environment. Learning practical skills for life – pouring, sorting, tweezer and scissor work or any materials that help develop the fine motor skills and build the hand muscles required for writing (the pincher grip).
Using materials that provide different sensorial experiences ensures information can be assimilated through as many senses as possible, from vision to touch, to smell and taste.
Language, Literacy & Numeracy
This begins with the recognition of sounds of letters for literacy and eventually the skills of independent constructive sentence building, followed by independent reading and writing. Sensorial materials are used to help distinguish between size, volume and mass. We teach the concrete and abstract skills of numeracy, recognition of numbers and how to quantify, before moving to addition and subtraction. Some children leave our Montessori with multiplication and division skills. All children are exposed to fractions and geometry along with the beginnings of algebra; the binomial and trinomial cube.
‘Science’ and ‘Social Studies’ actually begin at preschool with our understanding of the wider world and existence of objects, environment, places and people and the way they all interact. ‘Hands on’ experience allows children to experiment and explore. Using a wide range of materials and resources (including the children’s organic vegetable garden and fruit orchard for biology related projects!) we bring the sciences into everyday learning in inventive ways. Geography and history are introduced through montessori materials, books and music along with the children’s own projects and experiences from outside of the classroom.
Our outdoor curriculm is considered as important as our indoor programme. Great learning is achieved in the natural world.
Preparing food for others plays an important role in our curriculum and the children are encouraged to help prepare food in every session to share for morning and/or afternoon tea. Not only does this builds many skills but supports our strong programme of ‘Grace and Courtesy’.
Grace and Courtesy
Respect and caring for others underpins our whole culture at RIverhead Montessori. From the moment they arrive here the chidlren are modelled respectful behaviour. They are taught to complete their work and return it to where it came from all ready for the next person. The children are encouraged to serve others by preparing food and sharing. creating friendship pins or drawings. Helping to keep their environment tidy by sweeping, mopping and cleaning the tables and dishes after they have used them.
Included in our programme are specialist teachers that visit in the afternoons. Te Reo, Spanish, Aerobics and Movement, Ukelele Band and Art Appreciation are just a few of the specialist subjects we have at Riverhead Montessori at no extra cost. We are always looking for new and original subjects to inject into our curriculum so please do get in touch if you have any suggestions!
Our comprehensive approach to the Arts is one we are incredibly proud of. We have individual works available in the practical life area for the children and a community art table with everything a budding artist needs to create a masterpiece. Our art appreciation materials are part of our curriculum with children choosing to study disciplines from Matisse to Pollock, Picasso to Aboriginal and Maori cultural art. Many renditions of Van Gogh’s Sunflowers and Colin McCahon’s ‘Hills’ have adorned our walls over the years. Music is another area of the Arts that we place a huge focus on, with an array of instruments and specialist instruction on hand to develop our childrens’ understanding and musical abilities and enjoyment of all kinds of music from classical to tribal to folk and pop.