Montessori at Buttercups

What is the Montessori Method?

The Montessori movement was founded by Dr Maria Montessori at the beginning of the 20th Century. It focuses on personal development and individual progress, encouraging the child to develop as a whole person. The results are more mature, creative and socially adept children.

In a Montessori classroom a range of activities is set up and children choose what they want to do, engaging with each for as little or as long as they want. The teacher will observe what a child is interested in and find other ways to engage them.

There are five key principles:

Order and structure - Although learning is child-led, children need order and structure to thrive. Everything in the classroom has its place, and children take responsibility for putting one activity away before moving on to another.

Sensory learning - Children learn through the senses, so Montessori puts emphasis on preparing teaching materials with great care.

Freedom - This is the single most important factor for child development in the Montessori method. The Montessori classroom provides experiences, activities and environments that encourage children to follow their natural instincts.

Sensitive periods - The Montessori movement says that children move through ‘sensitive periods’ when they’re particularly receptive to learning a new skill, such as reading, writing or counting. Teachers watch out for these opportunities and take advantage of them, rather than trying to get a child reading or writing at a certain age.

Discipline - is seen as something that should come from inside, rather than being imposed. Teachers focus on helping children develop social and emotional skills. Rewards and punishments are not used, and teachers will only step in when a child is behaving in a disruptive or upsetting way.

Why choose Montessori?

With Montessori, great focus is given to the formation of the child’s fundamental capacities during the first years of life - not just intellectual capacity but also the development of a strong character.

- If a child can think clearly and logically, concentrate and persevere he will be able to learn to read, to write, do mathematics and to learn about the world.

- If a child can communicate and live well with others, the social problems he may come across will be surmounted.

- If a child has a strong character he will be able to make a positive contribution to society.

Children are given the freedom to develop according to their own unique timetable and as a result they are able to reach each developmental milestone as and when they are ready. Actively engaged in their own development in this way they grow into confident, socially aware, empathetic adults who are contributing members of society.

How do we implement the Montessori Method at Buttercups?

At Buttercups we use Montessori equipment and methods but incorporate them into the Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum, which sets standards for the learning, development and care of your child from birth to 5 years old.

We have a wide range of Montessori equipment, to challenge, develop and entice children at all ages and levels. All of our teachers are trained in delivering Montessori practices. We place great emphasis on sensory materials.

Montessori works really well alongside the EYFS curriculum because both focus on the individual needs of the child, good relationships between teacher and learner, and a positive learning environment.

Whilst all our nurseries incorporate Montessori methods, we have purpose-built Montessori classrooms and qualified Montessori Teachers at our nuseries in Chalfont Park, Teddington, Chiswick, Chiswick Lane, Ealing and Syon Park