At Mars Montessori School we recognise the parent/carer as the primary educator of a child and we pride ourselves on working closely in partnership. Respect is shown to family traditions and childcare practices. Every effort is made to comply with parent wishes for their children where appropriate to the ethos of our school.
It will be our initial aim to introduce the children to the philosophy of the Montessori method of education.
We employ fully trained Montessori teachers as well as at least one member of staff having an alternative qualification in childcare. This helps to provide variety within the nursery and ensures that the needs of our little children (1 – 2½) are carefully monitored, nurtured and supported throughout their day at school. Many of our staff team are mothers and we understand that often children of 1 & 2 require different care and activities, as well as sleep, cuddles & nappy changes.
We have fully equipped our school with a complete range of genuine Montessori materials. Not all schools that say they are Montessori schools buy this equipment. Montessori materials are very expensive. They are unique, beautiful, mainly wooden and carefully crafted by experts. It is imperative to the Montessori philosophy to have the materials available. Click here to find out more about the Montessori Philosophy
Each child who joins our school is allocated a Key Person (teacher) to work with them on an individual basis. This key person observes the child closely and makes a special learning plan to ensure that (s)he receives the right kind of learning experiences to help them grow and develop to their fullest potential.
Our curriculum is broad and balanced and includes activities and experiences in Practical Life skills, Sensorial experiences, Language & Literacy, Mathematics, Cultural experiences, Geography/Biology/Botany/History. The children receive specialist lessons in Yoga, Dance & Drama, Music & Sports on a weekly basis (as well as having our dedicated Montessori & French programmes).
We aim to introduce the children to practical life skills by using a wide range of materials especially designed to develop their dexterity and muscle control. This prepares them not only for writing at a later stage, but answers their plea of ‘help me to do it by myself’, and this encourages further independence and confidence.
We aim to help the children with their gross and fine motor skills via the Montessori sensorial apparatus, which also helps in deepening their concentration. We follow a child’s own development stages, carefully monitoring progress through observation and one to one interaction which is recorded to ensure they are continually stimulated. We introduce new exercises when a child is ready and when it is appropriate to do so.
We aim to provide a safe and stimulating environment in which a child can experiment with, and learn through, a variety of art & craft materials and experience manipulative play with clay, play dough and messy play mixes. A painting table is freely available throughout the course of the day as you never know when a budding Monet or Picasso might appear!
We aim for the children to be able to participate in small and large group discussions and to be able to express themselves clearly using a wide and ambitious vocabulary. We introduce the children initially to numbers and letters indirectly through everyday activities such as song, stories, rhymes, music etc. This builds their confidence and develops their social skills as well.
The letters of the alphabet are taught phonetically using a wide range of specially designed Montessori materials, as are numbers and early mathematics as and when a child becomes ready.
We aim to provide a range of multi-cultural activities to enhance the child’s perception of the world and all who live in it. We use real life pictures of people, places, homes and costume from around the world. We provide the children with many creative activities to help them gain an awareness of the cultures and beliefs of others.
We aim to introduce geography by providing globes, puzzle maps of the world and each continent; pictures showing real life & water forms such as “an island” and “a lake”. The children love using these materials and seeing real life pictures. We introduce activities relating to soil, air & water and an introduction to flags from around the world.
We aim to introduce history by using the unique Montessori time line materials and stories to go with it, passing through various stages including those with dinosaurs. We introduce the solar system initially via a fantastic song. We have in the past planned a whole project where the children make paper-mache planets that they can hold and touch and position around a pretend Sun. This proves a very popular project and the children learn the planet names remarkably quickly.
We aim to introduce biology by providing a range of materials such as puzzles containing different parts of animals, plants, trees & flowers; bird cages, water wildlife, dinosaurs, mini beasts, fruit & vegetable cards. Throughout the year we show the children real life experiences in this area such as having a butterfly house growing caterpillars into butterflies and then releasing them; tadpoles growing quickly into froglets and eventually into frogs, again being released into our local pond. From time to time we have womeries and ant houses as well. During the course of the year, the children help us with planting bulbs, seeds and some vegetables.
At the end of each academic school year in August, we take the children on our end of year trip. Parents/carers are welcome and invited along to join us to celebrate the end of the school year. We also arrange many other outings during the year, a couple of favourites being ‘The Little Angel Puppet Theatre’, ‘Corams Fields’ and a soft play centre not too far away. We also have a weekly visit to the local library. The children benefit greatly from these extra excursions and parents/carers are always welcome.
The fundamental aims of the Montessori method of education and the fundamental aims of Mars are to sow the seeds of interest that will fuel learning, giving children education for life.