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Maria Montessori was a scientist, physician and teacher.  Her careful, scientific observation of her students and the way they learned led to her educational system.  It was revolutionary in its time, but is a methodology towards which the world’s educational systems in Early Learning and beyond are increasingly turning. One of the key components is the Prepared Environment.  The classroom is filled with the learning materials with which students are ready to learn.  The students are taught individually or in small groups, and during a ‘work cycle’ they select the materials that practice their own specific learning.

The Bead Frame is used in early number learning to enable the student to understand the concept of quantities and names.  The next step is the Teen Bead Hanger which distinguishes the numbers and demonstrates their relationship with 10.
The Long Bead Chains give students the opportunity to skip count and ‘see’ the multiplication tables.
In our Children’s House (Pre-Kindy to Pre-Primary) students work largely on the beautifully crafted Montessori specific material. As students progress through the school, materials become less concrete when no longer needed and text books and task sheets are introduced, culminating in the texts, on-line curricula and criterion based tasks of the International Baccalaureate Diploma programs.  Key Montessori elements remain however – especially the ethos of respect, of intrinsic learning and of the concept of ‘work cycle’ which happens at least twice a week throughout our High School.