EYFS and the Montessori Method
The Early Years Foundation Stage is the curriculum under which all government funded nurseries must operate.
At Little Acorns Montessori we rigorously and very successfully follow this curriculum, as is born out by our Ofsted reports.
Here at Little Acorns we link the EYFS goals to Montessori by following the EYFS structure and applying Montessori Principles.
These principles include the prepared environment, freedom within limits, promoting independence, movement and real world/life experiences.
There is more about the Montessori ethos below.
The Montessori Child
Maria Montessori believed that the first six years of a child's life are crucial to their future development.
The following sections outline how we apply Montessori principles to individual areas of learning.
We aim to provide quality care in a Montessori environment which will give your child the freedom to learn in controlled surroundings with materials which enable them to correct themselves. We are there to guide the child.
The aim being to nurture free thinking, independent and creative young people who have inquisitiveness and confidence through life.
Practical Life helps children become independent by giving them the opportunity to develop everyday skills such as taking shoes on and off, zipping up coats etc. We have special dressing frames to show how to undo and fasten buttons, zips, velcro etc. Transferring activities using jugs enable children to pour their own drinks at snack time, using different objects such as a spoon, tongs etc to transfer objects from one container to another prepare the children for serving themselves. These activities will also indirectly prepare the children for writing later by strengthening their fingers.
Sensorial activities allow the children to develop their senses in preparation for future maths activities. Special touch boards are used to distinguish between rough and smooth ready for when they use the sandpaper numbers and letters. Early maths concepts are learnt through activities such as grading cylinders, initially knobbed cylinders that teach one to one correspondence and self-correction moving on to knobless cylinders where the children must visually grade them. Matching colours then progress to grading colours
Montessori mathematics is all about building a concrete understanding of early maths concepts by using hands on activities and materials, these show the children what is happening eg. Adding two numbers together. Number rods are used to give a visual understanding of length, ordering and comparison. Mathematical language can be taught such as shortest and longest. Sandpaper numbers are used to provide not only visual recognition but also ‘sensori-motor’ recognition by feeling the shape of the numbers.
Communications, Language and Literacy
Children enjoy listening to stories, this helps to develop their language skills and introduces new vocabulary. There are opportunities after each story to discuss what they recall, clarify anything they don’t understand which will build their confidence, concentration and intellectual abilities. Phonics groups teach the children letter sounds. Insets are used to prepare the children for writing, providing pencil control, they will also learn how to draw around the shapes in a clockwise direction in preparation for the formation of letters.
Developmental movement play is about helping young children build and make use of their felt sense of themselves and the world they live in - the foundation for everything they will be and do in their future lives.
Little Acorns children follow a Funfit programme devised by the British Gymnastic Association. Children learn to keep fit with music and movement. Gaining gross motor skills which includes toys, like riding bikes, climbing, jumping and scooters all help with this plus gardening and sand play.
Expressive Arts and Design
We aim to support the children’s curiosity, exploration and play.
We will give them opportunities to explore and share their thought through a variety of art, music, movement, dance, imaginative and role-play activities