Hout Bay Montessori has three pre-school classes. The formal Montessori three year curriculum begins with the three year old. The child explores the Practical Life, Sensorial, Language, Mathematics and Culture areas of the class. Learning takes place one-on-one, and each child progresses at his own pace. We are uncompromising on these key and critical aspects of Montessori education:
Child-Centered Classrooms: the classrooms are designed to meet the needs, interests, abilities and development of the children in the class.
Self-directed Activity: Children are driven by their desire to become independent and competent beings in the world to learn new things and master new skills. For this reason, outside rewards to create external motivation are both unnecessary and potentially can lead to passive adults who are dependent on others for everything from their self-image to permission to follow their dreams.
Freedom Within Limits: Montessori children enjoy considerable freedom of movement and choice, however their freedom always exists within carefully defined limits on the range of their behavior. They are free to do anything appropriate to the ground rules of the community,
Mixed age groups: Montessori classrooms gather together children of two, three, or more age levels into a family group. Children remain together for several years, with only the oldest children moving on to the next class at year’s end.
A Family Setting: Montessori classrooms are communities of children and adults. As children grow older and more capable, they assume a great role in helping to care for the environment and meet the needs of younger children in the class. The focus is less on the teachers and more on the entire community of children and adults.
Cooperation and Collaboration, Rather Than Competition: Montessori children are encouraged to treat one another with kindness and respect.
Universal Values: Montessori deliberately teaches children not only appropriate patterns of polite behavior, but seeks to instill basic universal values within the core of the child’s personality. These values include self-respect, acceptance of the uniqueness and dignity of each person we meet, kindness, peacefulness, compassion, empathy, honor, individual responsibility, and courage to speak from our hearts.
Observer: The Montessori teacher is a trainer observer of children’s learning and behavior. These careful observations are recorded and used to infer where each child is in terms of his or her development, and leads the teacher to know when to intervene in the child’s learning with a new lesson, a fresh challenge, or a reinforcement of basic ground rules.
There is only a full-time option (5 days per week) in the pre-school. Preference is given to those children who plan to remain at the school for the full preschool and primary phases.
Our Daily Lunches
The children at Hout Bay Montessori look so forward to their lunchtime meal, which is prepared with care by our kitchen staff. Lunches are enjoyed in each class in a homely way, as a family, with the children dishing up and washing their dishes afterwards. They love the home cooked warm dishes and are delighted by the ‘rainbow foods’ (fruit and vegetables) that accompany each meal. We only use free range meats, chicken and eggs, and organic ingredients as far as possible. We do cater for special dietary needs.