Our school is a hub of activity and an opportunity for children to delve into their first structured learning experience. The curriculum employs hands-on, high quality Montessori materials to introduce new concepts to the children in all subject areas. Activities are presented either non-verbally, letting the child gain his/her own impressions, or with the traditional Montessori “Three Period Lesson.”
The school day at Little Kingdom is characterized by “blocks of time” which gives students an opportunity to immerse themselves deeply in their work without interruption. The five areas of development in the Montessori Primary classroom are as follows:
Exercises of Practical Life
This area of the classroom offers opportunities for a child to explore activities that have real life application. Young children have a strong urge to become independent. The Practical Life area is where the child is introduced to the Montessori classroom environment. The child starts with transitional activities they have encountered outside of the classroom. This is where the child first experiences a work cycle that has a beginning, middle, and end as the activities have a distinct start point and a distinct end point. The child will move on to more complex activities where his/her skills, including gross motor, fine motor, hand-eye coordination, visual motor and equilibrium, can be refined. As the child practices, they are gaining skills that can later be applied to everyday life. Practical Life is designed to develop independence, confidence, self-control and self-government.
Children are vividly aware of the world, constantly exploring it and taking in impressions through all their senses. Through manipulation and experimentation with the environment children develop their senses. Sensorial materials are so valuable because they help the child to clarify and classify all of the impressions he or she receives from the environment. The sensorial sensitive period activities will stimulate and refine the senses and perfect their functions; the child’s perception of the world will become clearer as his mind becomes more ordered. It is the ordered mind, concentration and cognitive skills learned form these multi-sensory materials that will prepare the child for mathematic study.
Perhaps the two most important differences between the Montessori math curriculum and other manipulative approaches are the depth and complexity of the materials, and the concept of the abstract verses the concrete. Our curriculum creates concrete examples of quantity, recognition of numbers and sequence. In this way, the order of the prepared environment, the sequential learning arrangement and manipulation of the basic sensorial materials help develop the mathematical mind.
Montessori mathematics materials enable even a very young child to achieve a natural appreciation of mathematical concepts. This avoids the mental blocks which so often occur in children faced with purely abstract concepts. Specially designed equipment helps children to grasp concrete ideas along with sensory experience of numbers, quantities and mathematical operations. Gradually children can move confidently to complete abstract mathematical problems
At Little Kingdom, children learn to express themselves. Each student learns the value of letters and sounds, how to string them together to express their ideas through the written word, and the value of reading to understand and comprehend others. Language stirs creativity, and gives voice to imagination.
The freedom offered to the children creates many opportunities for them to communicate with their peers and the adults. We emphasise the development of vocabulary based on real experiences and the early preparation required for reading and writing. Advanced activities take the child well beyond the basic skills into reading and writing for interpretation, creativity and pleasure.
Children are naturally drawn into the world around them. Their curiosity about how things work drives them to find understanding. Through observation and experimentation with animals, space, nature, music, art and more our students arrive at conclusions to support and encourage their curiosity that will last a life-time.