Nurturing curiosity, creativity, imagination, and independence
Montessori education is the result of the life and work of Dr Maria Montessori (1870-1952), an Italian doctor who devoted her life to children and their education. Dr Montessori believed in the innate goodness of children and in their natural urge to explore the world and to learn. Her view of education went beyond academic learning. It was an holistic approach which took into account all aspects of the child’s developmental needs – physical, emotional, social and spiritual. Each stage in the child’s education, she believed, should be aimed at addressing these needs. Her’s was a child-centred approach to education.
The Montessori approach to education focuses on the whole personality of the child; the faculties of intellect, deliberation, initiative and independent thinking. Montessori education emphasises the uniqueness of the individual child and acknowledges that children grow and develop at different rates.
As a member of the school community, the Montessori child experiences and learns these fundamental qualities which form the basis of personal fulfilment and set the foundations for participation in the wider community.
Treetops Montessori School provides education at developmental levels corresponding with Dr Montessori’s Planes of Development. Education at each level, in accordance with Montessori principles, is predicated on the basic human urge to explore.
An important feature of our classrooms is their social composition. The mixed age setting facilitates the personal, social and intellectual development of the children. Older children provide role models for younger ones and help them to learn. Visitors to Treetops frequently comment on the good behaviour, confidence and respectfulness of the children. Our classes also provide a nurturing and well-ordered environment in which the children can develop individually.
How do we embrace Montessori principles in a Treetops education?
Treetops Montessori School is firmly grounded in Maria Montessori’s vision for the child and the future of the world. Children at Treetops enjoy the freedom of choosing their own work within a carefully structured environment.
When Montessori principles are embraced, the education presents endless opportunities for children to work together and to learn from each other. They work under the guidance and direction of highly qualified teachers who act as facilitators, or guides. Each child works at his or her own pace according to their individual ability. In this way children are neither held back nor stressed by trying to keep up.
The Montessori classroom is set up to facilitate learning, not teaching.
The experienced teachers at Treetops teach how to learn, rather than what to learn. The focus is on the journey, not the arrival. In addition to Class Teachers and qualified Teacher’s Aides there are Specialist Teachers who are available to cover areas such as Art, Drama, Languages and Technology and Enterprise.
Montessori teaching materials, many of which are self correcting, are used throughout the Primary areas. By using these materials children learn, not just how to get something right, but why things work the way they do. At each stage in the child’s development appropriate equipment and activities are provided to assist the child in their learning.
In 2012 Treetops completed the phasing in of the Montessori National Curriculum in Pre and Lower Primary, which was authorised by the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) in late 2011.
Treetops also has a well developed LOTE (Languages Other Than English) programme, offering Japanese as a second language from Pre-Primary to Year 10.