Berwick Program

Southbank Berwick Program

Purpose

This center’s educational program is based on the Montessori Method of Education and Early Years learning framework (Belonging and becoming: The Early Years Learning Framework for Australia & My time, Our place: Framework for school age children)

The classrooms are specially prepared for the age of the children and contain age appropriate materials coving the five areas.

This policy will provide guidelines to ensure that the educational program (curriculum) and practice at Southbank Berwick Centre is:

  • Based on an approved learning framework
  • Underpinned by critical reflection and careful planning
  • Stimulating, engaging and enhances children’s learning and development.

Southbank Montessori Berwick Centre is committed to:

  • Providing an educational program that is based on reflective practice, critical analysis and planning
  • Supporting each child to achieve learning outcomes consistent with the national Early Years Learning Framework and national quality standards.
  • Providing an educational program where children can learn through play and are supported to make decisions, problem-solve and build relationships with others
  • Creating an environment that supports, reflects and promotes equitable and inclusive behaviours and practices
  • Involving families in the development and review of educational program and practice.

Southbank Montessori Berwick Center Curriculum and Practice:

Practical Life:

The Practical Life lessons are the first level of work for all children and are linked to the child’s home environment by using elements that are familiar with the child’s culture. The materials teach precise movements and procedures, which aid large and gross motor development. The practical life area of the classroom is designed to strengthen the child’s attention span and concentration.  Many activities are repetitive and increasingly complex. The “works”, (also known as activities) are designed to produce sequential and orderly work habits. Independence and self-control are established within this area. The early social courtesy behaviours, class procedures and expectations are introduced throughout Practical life. The lessons learned in practical life create the foundation needed to perform work throughout the classroom.

Children will participate in the following lessons:

Grace and Courtesy: Class ground rules, social manners, carrying and walking respectfully, conversation and self-expression, table manners and self-care.

Motor Skills and Coordination: Eye-hand coordination, fine and large motor control, pencil grasp, sequencing, left-to-right and top-to-bottom sequence (reading), spatial awareness and body coordination.

Care of Self: Dressing/undressing; zipping, shoe tying, hand washing, and independence with personal hygiene are a few of the skills learned here. We learn to care for our personal belongings.

Care of Environment: Washing and polishing materials and furniture, plant care and flower arrangement, animal care, setting and cleaning tables, respecting materials and environment, returning work when finished, and related environmental activities including the outside environment. We practice making our space and our work look beautiful.

Food Preparation: Pouring, slicing, stirring, peeling, grinding, chopping, measuring, mixing and following a recipe. Many items in the food prep area are done independently; some are done in group situations.

Sensorial Materials:

The Sensorial materials isolate a particular quality and refine the senses. The children learn about abstractions which give the child concrete experiences with concepts. By working with matching and gradations of size, shape, form, colour, texture, sound, and taste, the child’s senses are refined and perceptual awareness is intensified. The sensorial materials are a direct preparation for the development of mathematical thinking and the math lessons.

Visual and Touch: Using the sense of sight and touch we learn to discriminate colours, textures size: length and width and corresponding vocabulary. We learn geometric forms and shapes and vocabulary and definitions.

Auditory: Using the sense of hearing we learn to discriminate sounds and musical tones and rhythm instruments. This prepares students for phonemic awareness activities.

Gustatory (taste) and Olfactory (smell): Recognizing and identifying different tastes and smells. Discrimination Skills: Recognizing same, similar, differences and gradations.

Language:

The Language materials are incorporated through many daily experiences. Children between birth and six years are in a long sensitive period for language. Language development is what separates the very young, from the independent children that can connect with their environment. The child is continually developing oral language and communications skills, preparing for writing, reading, and grammar academic work.

Oral Language: We work on listening and communication skills, auditory discrimination, and vocabulary development.

Writing: We work with sandpaper letters (children can remember the letters by feeling them), metal insets, moveable alphabet, and penmanship.

Reading: We work with phonetic object boxes, phonetic reading (pink, blue and green reading series), sight words, phonograms (blends), reading classification, function of words, alphabetizing, word study and simple research

Mathematics:

The Mathematical thinking and reasoning skills are developed through precision, order, and logical processing. We work from the concrete to the abstract by using materials that bring math to a new dimension. There is much focus on math language.

Numeration and Linear Counting: We discover the relationship between quantity and symbol. We count by ones, work on teen numbers, skip counting and practice numbers 1-1000.

Decimal System and Concept of Operations: We focus on the relationship between quantity and number. We learn the meaning of the numeral 1, all the way through 1000. We work on addition, multiplication, subtraction and division.

Memorization: The Montessori materials help the students independently memorize math facts. The use of the boards and charts are available to use every day.

Math Concepts: We offer lessons working with clocks; telling time, counting money, measurement and working with fractions. All of the lessons start off with concrete materials before moving to abstract (pencil/paper) work.

Cultural Studies:

The Science curriculum includes the physical sciences; learning about the world, zoology; learning about animals, and botany; learning about plants. While learning about the world we focus on the seasons, the weather, atmosphere, land and water forms. While learning about zoology we focus on animals, body parts and habitats. While learning about botany we focus on leaves, trees, plants and the process of how they grow. We introduce a plethora of science language and terms to help children gain a sense of scientific wonder.

The Cultural area in our classroom teaches children about geography, history and cultures. The students learn about our cultures and can learn about the cultures, animals and people around the world.

The Arts are integrated throughout the curriculum, beginning with the basic skills and procedures gained through Practical Life lessons, and perceptual skills are refined with Sensorial lessons. Music is explored through singing, rhythm work and movement activities.

If required, the directresses can provide to the families a complete list of the materials in each area and their child’s attainment in those areas. The directresses provide this information at their 6 monthly parent meetings.

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