Guiding Principles & Our Mission

Guiding Principles

The Montessori Method of Education underpins the policies, procedures and practices of all aspects of our work with young children at Southbank Montessori Childcare Centre. The Montessori Method of Education was developed by Dr. Maria Montessori (1870 –1952). The Montessori methodology has long enjoyed worldwide acceptance as a respected alternative educational approach.

In December 2011, the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) recognised the Montessori National Curriculum as an alternative national curriculum framework to be included on ACARA’s Recognition Register.

The Montessori Method of Education provides an educational framework for children from pre-school to university age with principles and practice guidelines for educational environments for the four planes of development Dr. Montessori identified children pass through on their journey to adulthood.

The Montessori approach is supported by three distinct components.

  • A Philosophy of Education
  • A Methodology to Guide Educators
  • A Set of Materials to Support the Translation of The Theory into Practice

At Southbank Montessori educators follow the principles and practices Montessori developed for Plane 1 of development and use the many different Montessori materials which correspond to this age group to provide inspirational environments for young children.

They see education as an “aid to life” as the natural development and interests of each child informs their interactions with young children.

The Early Years Learning Framework educational principles of Being, Belonging and Becoming are embedded in the practice of all educators at our Centre as holistic environments are prepared for, and professional practice reflected upon, in collaborative partnerships with families and children.

Southbank Montessori is committed to honouring and respecting the cultural diversity of all the families in the service. The Montessori methodology is well documented and supported by scientific research which has validated the insights made by this remarkable woman over a century ago.

Our Mission

Southbank Montessori is dedicated to providing inspiring learning environments based on the Montessori philosophy and principles of learning which encourage independence, develop confidence and respect while guiding and nurturing each child’s individual development.

We acknowledge and honour the sense of belonging to the family children from all cultures bring to their pre-school experience and nurture and develop this sense of belonging to embrace the children’s pre-school and wider social community. We recognise that children come to us with individual strengths, capabilities, learning styles and interests and build on these by developing collaborative learning environments.

We create prepared inside and outside learning environments where children freely explore their natural sense of wonder and choose their own work with enthusiasm and interest.

We respect children’s individual emergent skills by providing them with opportunities which allow for autonomous learning.

We provide an environment and guidance which encourages the children’s development of kindness, courtesy and self-discipline.

Southbank Montessori embraces a community of children, families and early childhood educators who work together to build and maintain a culture of caring where respect, integrity and tolerance are created and nourished.

Building Relationships Following Montessori Principles

At Southbank Montessori; We Will Build Relationships By:

  • Developing collaborative partnerships with families and children to enhance children’s well-being and learning
  • Recognising the family as the child’s first and most important teacher
  • Respecting and valuing the child’s home culture and incorporating this cultural diversity of families in our daily practice
  • Interacting with all stakeholders equitably and respectfully
  • Ensuring that the Service connects with the values and beliefs of the diverse children’s cultures and communities by encouraging families to share cultures and beliefs
  • Providing opportunities for families to communicate with us about their child’s learning
  • Providing opportunities for families to learn about the Montessori method of Education
  • Creating opportunities for families to be involved in decisions about their children

At Southbank Montessori; We Will Implement the Montessori Philosophy By:

  • Acknowledging that children’s interactions with the materials and their environments are their work to build themselves
  • Referring to children’s choices in the prepared environment as their work
  • Preparing environments for the child with only the child in mind
  • Allowing children freedom of choice in the prepared environments
  • Ensuring materials and activities are easily accessible for children
  • Programming for minimal interruptions
  • Allowing time for repetition to consolidate learning
  • Providing a comprehensive range of developmentally appropriate Montessori materials for plane 1 of development
  • Providing a comprehensive range of developmentally appropriate Montessori materials for each of the 5 Montessori curriculum areas – Language, mathematics, practical life, sensorial and cultural

Providing a comprehensive range of developmentally appropriate Montessori materials which are:

  • Self-correcting
  • Allow for individual exploration
  • Allow for spontaneous interaction
  • Encourage problem solving
  • Isolate concepts to be taught

Providing a selection of developmentally appropriate non-Montessori materials which reflect Montessori principles of:

  • Simplicity
  • Beauty
  • Isolation of concept to be taught
  • Demonstrating the use of the Montessori and non- Montessori materials to enable children to experience success

Presenting Montessori and non- Montessori materials in a sequential manner enabling children to build on previous knowledge and make links to earlier experiences:

  • Role modelling grace and courtesy
  • Role modelling equity and respect
  • Teaching children socially appropriate behaviours
  • Seeking, documenting and implementing children’s input into the prepared environments and materials, we provide interests

Observations methods will include the following methods but are not limited to:

  • Anecdotal
  • Running records
  • Learning stories
  • Photographic records
  • Individual learning portfolios
  • Programming and planning for individual children and whole group based on these observations and educators’ reflections on them
  • Using the Montessori curriculum and the Montessori materials first and foremost in all programming and planning for individual and the group.
  • Using documented observations and reflections of the child’s interactions with the Montessori materials as they progress through the curriculum areas in all learning
  • domains as a significant indicator of developmental progress
  • Valuing the input of relevant professionals in planning and programming for individual children
  • Providing opportunities for individual and small group interactions
  • Empowering children to make decisions about working independently or with others
  • Not expecting children to share materials or activities
  • Ensuring that inside and outside learning environments are prepared with equal attention to Montessori principles
  • Allowing children freedom of choice of inside or outside learning environments where possible
  • Recognising that children work for the process and not the end product and
  • encouraging and acknowledging effort and achievement in that process and not a finished product & displaying children’s work only at their request
  • Using acknowledgment and encouragement not reward
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