About Horsham Montessori
At Horsham Montessori, we have been teaching children following the Montessori method since 1996. We respect the parents’ leading role as their child’s first educators. Working alongside them, we nurture the child’s innate confidence and desire to learn. As a natural extension of the home, we offer a safe and stimulating environment, where we care for your child as a precious individual.
Maria Montessori was born in Italy in 1870, then graduated as a doctor. In 1907, she became involved in a project to teach disadvantaged children in Rome. She then worked with children until she died in 1952, developing a unique approach to education based on many years of careful and detailed observation.
Montessori education focuses on ‘following the child’ according to each child’s unique potential. Children take the lead, and are intrinsically motivated to learn themselves. The role of the teacher is to create an appropriate environment and then leave the child to pursue what is currently meaningful for them.
When a child has freely chosen what they are doing, they will often enter into a deep spell of concentration that may last several minutes or several hours – this ‘state of flow’ is at the heart of child-centred learning. The teachers’ job is then to observe – this gives them insight into what the child’s interests are as well as what sorts of new challenges to offer in order to create an environment that will support their development in all areas. Each child is an individual and an active learner. They will explore the materials in their own way and in their own time, according to their personal learning journey.
Our nursery follows the principles for Montessori environments, which should:
- Provide opportunities that are meaningful for the children who are using it
- Contain beautiful, interesting objects and activities so the child is drawn in
- Be calm, so the child can focus
- Be accessible and orderly, so the child can find whatever they need and return it to its place when finished with it.
In the nursery, children make independent choices, enjoy freedom of movement, and are guided towards a love of learning. Children work individually, or in small groups, using self-correcting educational materials. Each of the materials has been specifically designed to isolate one skill or concept. The self-correcting quality allows children to discover the outcome of the materials independently, and at their own pace.
As children carry their learning materials carefully with two hands and do their very special “work” with them, they may feel like they are simply playing games—but they are actually learning in a brilliantly designed curriculum that takes them, one step at a time, and according to a predetermined sequence, through concepts of increasing complexity.
The Montessori materials match children’s interests with the five Montessori curriculum areas. These include: practical life, sensorial, mathematics, language and culture. Through interest-based experiences, children learn to develop key knowledge areas and skills that assist with their social, cognitive, physical and emotional development. In effect, the Montessori materials teach children how to problem solve and correct their own work.
Children can start at our nursery at the age of two. They usually begin with a period of observation, when they learn from watching the older children and have time to relax and explore at their own pace. If a child joins us after the age of three, we ask them to use our afternoon sessions so that they can gain the most benefit from the Montessori experience in a quieter atmosphere.
“The most important period of life is not the age of university studies, but the first one, the period from birth to the age of six.” Maria Montessori.
For further information about Montessori education, please have a look at this guide: https://www.montessori.org.uk/